How many Ostarbeiters of the Soviet Union destroyed the Nazis

History 08/01/20 How many Ostarbeiters of the Soviet Union destroyed the Nazis

the Forced deportation to Germany of Soviet citizens was carried out by the German occupation authorities between 1942 and 1944. Almost half of people who have left their native lands was not destined to return.

Initially, the Germans were not planning to move the population of the Soviet Union to Germany, but after the failure of the blitzkrieg, the Nazi leaders realized that in terms of prolonging the war, cheap labor will not be superfluous. In January 1942 Hitler set a task to take on forced labor 15 million Soviet citizens.

Until the end of April, sending the labor force was on a voluntary basis. The population of the occupied areas of the Soviet Union promised a decent salary, reasonable working conditions and facilities. Part people really fell for the German propaganda. When the country was devastated, and famine and unemployment, people were ready for anything. As recalled, a student from Odessa, drove all the desperate, lost their homes, who have not left any relatives or friends.

When it became clear that the plan fails Ostarbeiters, people began to take force: enough in the markets, on the street, in homes and apartments. To simplify the procedure of local authorities were ordered to compile lists and send the agenda. People in droves have fled, preferring the surrounding forests and swamps, forced labour in exile.

Those who are not so lucky, waited an agonizing road to the West. Poor health could not stand the long marches to the railway station and fell, such was beaten with sticks, sometimes to death. Very weak were shot on the spot.

According to German reports, in the first months of 1942 in Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic from the USSR were transported weekly to 10 thousand civilians. According to the encyclopedia “Great Patriotic war, 1941-1945”, just two and a half years at West HS wasnano about 5 million Soviet citizens, mostly taken from the territory of Ukraine (about 2.4 million). In addition, the Germans used the forced labor of approximately 3.2 million Soviet prisoners of war.

Real working conditions differed from what was painted by German propaganda. The German leadership immediately set the task to exploit Ostarbeiters “to the maximum extent at the minimum cost”. To carry a heavy load had predominantly 16-18-year-old boys and girls — they were the majority moved to Germany.

the strongest was sent in the labor camps, created in mines and factories. Here in the barracks, surrounded by barbed wire, many of them spent the rest of his life. According to the memoirs emerging from years of slave labor, the Germans tried to soften the unbearable conditions of life, but most often, the Ostarbeiter were treated like cattle housed in the barn and fed the dregs.

Some efforts to help compatriots made the representatives of the ACPD (Committee for the liberation of peoples of Russia), including General Vlasov. Long negotiations with the German authorities had no success. Only on 26 January 1945, Himmler issued a circular that prohibited against “ostovtsev” corporal punishment and equalized them in terms of supply with the “second category” of foreign workers — the French, the Belgians, the Dutch.

in the Spring of 1945 to the abducted Soviet citizens came the long-awaited freedom. According to the “all-Russia Book of Memory, 1941-1945”, out of the total number deported to work in Germany, citizens of the USSR (5 million 269 thousand 513 people) in their Homeland were repatriated 2 million 654 thousand 100 people.

About 450 thousand Soviet Ostarbeiters decided not to return to the USSR. Almost all of them were from the Western part of Germany liberated by allied troops. Many of them settled in Germany, assimilated with the locals, others have left for neighbouring countries, some people managed to move overseas. Fearing persecution by the Soviet authorities, “defectors” trying not to advertise my life, which seriously hampers historians studying this issue.

2 million 164 thousand 313 persons from among Soviet citizens deported to Germany, according to the “all-Russia Book of Memory, 1941-1945”, did not live to see the liberation. The cause of death was very different. Some of them were killed while trying to escape. Committed successful escape were often caught and returned, but instead of the plant or the mine was waiting for them in the death camps. Many died of diseases, including common conditions of poor sanitation typhoid and tuberculosis.

it was Not uncommon among Ostarbeiters (especially if they were together with the prisoners of war) the creation of underground organizations. In the German archives over the years 1944-45 repeatedly found mention of the executions of the Soviet underground.

let’s Not forget about the bombing of the German territories of the Soviet and allied aircraft, which, together with the Germans killed Soviet citizens. In late 1944, after another air RAID destroyed one of the camps, Ostarbeiters in a munitions factory. Killed about 200 workers. Recorded cases of the use of euthanasia for Ostarbeiters with severe mental disorders.

Russian writer and demographer Paul fields in his book “victims of two dictatorships: the Life, work, humiliation and death of Soviet prisoners of war and Ostarbeiters abroad and in the homeland” leads the lists of “War diary of the Economic staff “OST’4″”, which takes into account mortality statistics of Soviet workers in German enterprises.

According to these data, in the first place tuberculosis, which accounts for 1/4 to 2/5 of all deaths. On the second place in mortality from cardiovascular diseases (12-16%), the third position is occupied pleurisy and pneumonia (from 6 to 12%), the fourth place was given to injuries (4 to 7%).

From typhus killed 2-4%, due to the suicides of 3.6%. Then followed a slaveocie, shot while trying to escape (from 0.7 to 1.5%), a monthly average there were from 10 to 25 persons, about two thousand every month managed to escape.

the Proportion of Ostarbeiters, who died or who died in concentration camps, relative to the total mortality among the Soviet citizens who worked in Germany, was relatively small, it ranged between 11 and 35% per month. This is despite the fact that conditions there were much worse than in special settlements for the workers.

the Total number of victims among the civilian population of the USSR, including Ostarbeiters, historians estimated at 13 million 684 thousand. It’s more than the losses among the Soviet soldiers in the great Patriotic war, which amount to 11 million 444 thousand 100 people.

Taras Repin

© Russian Seven

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