Prisoners in Fort Dix: how prisoners Vlasov raised the rebellion in the United States

History 10/01/20 Prisoners at Fort Dix: how prisoners Vlasov rebelled in the U.S.

in the Summer of 1945 on an army base Fort Dix in new Jersey, riots broke out, accompanied by mass suicide. 154, a Soviet citizen who was captured at the end of the Second world war, staged a revolt after learning that they are going to send in the USSR.

the Unrest in Fort Dix

29 June 1945 in the New York Times published an article about the incident in Fort Dix. As reported by the newspaper, the riots staged “the soldiers of the German army”, but really it was about the soldiers of the Russian liberation army of General Vlasov. They were captured by the allies in France and Italy in 1944 (not a secret that the soldiers of the ROA, in practice, were scattered in various German units). Conditions in the American camp was quite tolerable, and a Vlasov hoped to remain in the United States. But in accordance with the agreements reached at the Yalta conference, the USA had to exchange the Russian prisoners of war on the Americans. Partially it was made in 1944, when the Soviet Union went to war prisoners from camp in Virginia. Now, after the war, it was the turn of the prisoners at Fort Dix. Marshal Zhukov in his message to the General Eisehower said that 80 thousand Americans captured by the Germans and found themselves in the Soviet zone, will be returned only in exchange for 154 Russian collaborator.

as soon As it became aware of the imminent loading of the steamer, Vlasov barricaded themselves in their barracks. The negotiations with the rebels in what have not resulted. When prisoners set fire to the barracks, the Americans stormed. The room threw tear gas, after which the Russian ran outside. The rebels had hastily armed, Cutlery, knives and batons from scrap materials.

“One of them attacked Lieutenant Clifton Freeland, slightly cutting his hand. The group then attacked Lieutenant Ira Frieder, who was hit on the head. Airman 1st class George Gerzanich, the guard, was wounded in the arm,” — wrote the newspaper.

In response, the protection of the Fort Dix opened fire from rifles and machine guns. 7 prisoners were injured. Another tried to climb over the barbed wire, was also injured. In total, the unequal struggle lasted about 30 minutes. When the assault ended, in a hut found the bodies of lieutenants Ignat Nazarenko, feoktista Kalinin and private Philippe Sbotov (according to other versions, Shatov or Platov). Former members of the ROA took his own life, but would not return to the Soviet Union. Another 15 people were preparing for the suicide, but did not have time to make it.


Against the expulsion of prisoners of war from the United States actively supported Russian immigrants who had long lived in the country, for example, “Us-Russian Union of Russian aid outside the USSR” and the Tolstoy Foundation. They reminded Americans that such actions violate the Geneva Convention. Upon learning of the riots at Fort Dix, the newspaper “Russia” sent to President Truman a telegram with the following text:

“In the name of justice and for the principles on which was established the United States of America, we American citizens of Russian origin, United around our daily newspaper and fortnightly magazine in English “Russia”, please stand up for the Russian POWs of Fort Dix, new Jersey, and to stop inhumane deportations in the USSR, where they will be tortured and executed international Communist government entrenched in Russia.”

at the last moment, when the Russians were already on the pier in new York, the deportation was indeed suspended. When in the next few days, the emigrants tried to visit prisoners at Fort Dix, they were informed that the visit is prohibited. Apparently, the issue of American prisoners of war, the government hesitated for some time. However, on 31 August 1945, 143 Russian Voennoennyh still sent from America. The country was able to remain only 8 prisoners from Fort Dix who were not Soviet citizens. One more participant of a riot already in Europe failed to prove that he is the representative of the emigration of the 1st wave. This man then went to Latin America.

Timur Sagdiyev

© Russian Seven

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