Another 04/01/20 “Otkazniki” Wehrmacht: how the Third Reich fought with the deviants

In the great Patriotic war were killed, according to historians, about 5 million soldiers and officers of Wehrmacht. No wonder many German men of military age were trying to “hang” from military service and sent to the Eastern front.

the Law against evaders

Adolf Hitler, apparently remembering that he had left Austria to Bavaria, not to serve in the army, before the Second world war remained a relatively lenient laws for the Dodgers. Not wishing to enter military service, the Germans were sentenced to 1-2 years in prison.
However, from 1 September 1939 a sufficient number of soldiers in the army was for the Third Reich a matter of survival. After the introduction of martial law, the evasion of military service has been regarded by the authorities as “undermining combat capability” (Wehrkraftzersetzung). The punishment for this was death sentence with eternal deprivation of civil rights. However, this measure was formally invoked only when the refusal of the person from service had the effect of propaganda, i.e., they could affect the behavior of other citizens subject to mobilization. In practice, in connection with the vagueness of the wording could execute each. Yet, in less serious cases, the draft Dodgers go to prison with confiscation of property.


In the fifth paragraph “Special military criminal law” of Nazi Germany in the edition of 1938 was listed three possibilities, “either temporarily or permanently to evade military service”: use of self-harm, fraud and “other ways.”
maiming themselves, disguised as accidents or injuries at the factories, bribing officials and doctors, falsification of documents, for example, information about work on the important production – here the standard methods used by the German recruits. Common in that time was a “method”, andzvestna in the USSR – the introduction under the skin of the fuel, which provoked the tumor. But after long-term treatment of the alleged “sick” all went into the army.
the Vigilant citizens who have become aware of such cases and reported them to the Gestapo. According to researcher Oleg Levkova, denunciations of this kind accounted for 22% of the denunciations in these institutions.

the Composition and number of evaders

in Addition to the members of certain religious movements were not eager to serve in the army Volksdeutsche of the annexed Eastern territories (Upper Silesia, and Pomerania), and other foreigners, equal to the Germans. For example, after the occupation of Luxembourg the agenda for the army has received 12 thousand inhabitants of the Duchy, 3 thousand of whom evaded conscription.
as for the ideological political opponents of the regime, most of them before the war were placed in camps and not subject to appeal.
According to historians, during the years of the Second world war in Germany executed about 16.5 thousand uklonistov from army. Tens of thousands of people were deprived of freedom.
Special scale evasion from the army acquired after a radical turning point in the war, when it became clear to many that the Third Reich will not win.
– In the last years of the Second world war, many ethnic Germans conscripted into the Waffen-SS or “disappeared”, or tried to avoid service, deliberately injuring yourself, says researcher Anna Wittmann.
After the assassination attempt on Hitler in 1944, the problem of “draft Dodgers”, writes the author of a biography of Martin Bormann Pavel Pavlenko, came in sight of the head of the Party Chancellery of the NSDAP. On assessment his Department, the number of evading army was at that time about a million people, but it was not only about recruits, but about deserters.

Rehabilitation of “otkazniks”

the Dodgers from serving in the army of the Third Reich decades been fighting for their rights in Germany. Known, for example, Ludwig Baumann, who in 1942 refused to fight on the Eastern front, for which he was subjected to torture and sent to a concentration camp. Despite his assertion that he did not want to serve the criminal regime and to participate in the “unjust war” to achieve rehabilitation Baumann succeeded only in 2009.

Timur Sagdiyev

© Russian Seven

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