History 07/02/20 Soldiers undertaker in the great Patriotic war: who were they
Practically all the major battles in the former occupied territory of the USSR to this day strewn with bones. As recognized by participants of search groups, work on the discovery and reburial of the remains will last for years to come. A considerable number of soldiers during the great Patriotic war were simply left to lie where they found an enemy bullet. This primarily refers to those fighters who according to the reports were missing. Other victims have tried to bury under the Charter – to do this, and in Soviet and German army were special people.
the Funeral team of the red Army
the Rules of burial in the red army installed various army documents. One of them, published in late 1941 Directive of the chief political Directorate of the red Army, signed by Colonel-General Lev Mehlis, which was kind of a rude name “On the organization of the burial of the corpses of the dead Soviet soldiers”.
the Commanders had to organize the “carding” of combat operations and to identify victims. The procedure of burial included the preparation of graves and the installation of the columns with the names of fallen soldiers. The military cemetery had to be fixed on the map, so solitary graves was forbidden.
In fact, the funeral divisional team was formed “due to the rear” and were recruited from random people who had no previous experience funeral business. Often involved local residents. In teams of “undertaker” are chronically short of hands. For example, an inspection conducted in 1943 in infantry regiments, pointed out that the funeral was engaged in group of 3-6 people, obviously, refers to his work as a heavy duty.
“it was heavy, unbearable, vomit, putrid stench of decaying death. Putrefactive changes in some of the bodies were so pronounced that when you try them turn what off limbs, removing the clothing is easy soft tissue behind the bone, exposing the skeleton, trying not to breathe through the nose, collected from under shrubs, from trench openings, holes and cracks the rags of clothing, body parts and put them in sacks,” described the work on the battlefield writer Vladimir Bogomolov, he served as the funeral team.
not surprisingly, not all “the undertaker” wanted to act according to the rules, especially since they often lacked the necessary equipment. Hundreds of bodies of red army soldiers were just left lying on the ground, and those still buried, were often not able to identify. Instead of the graves were used other depressions in the ground – bomb craters, trenches and the trenches. The layer of earth above the bodies were often so thin that from the graves protruded from the tips of your toes. With the perpetuation of the memory of the soldiers also had difficulties – gravestones inscriptions was done pencil on paper and very soon disappeared.
to solve the problem of lack of people to the funeral at times brought the trophy brigade, whose main responsibility was the collection of trophies on the battlefield.
the Undertaker of the Wehrmacht
In the German army divisional funeral service was led by officers or military priests. They had more people than the Russian – 4-5 people in the battalion.
Despite the difficulties of the war on the Eastern front, the Germans tried to comply with military funeral ritual, unchanged since the days of Kaiser Wilhelm II. If the German burial teams there was a time they made all of the dead wooden coffins and put them in individual graves (in the winter they really “dug” with grenades). Over the mounds raised wooden crosses with inscriptions, often hung helmets of the dead. Sometimes constructed luxurious grave monuments on the main streets and squares of settlements.
any practice of exchange with the dead Russian is not established, on the contrary, German soldiers recalled that attempts to retrieve the bodies for burial were sometimes “suicidal”.
Sanitary the team of Germans are sometimes pelted with earth and piled in the gullies, the corpses of Soviet soldiers – it was done solely for the purpose of prevention of epidemics, and of any rituals in such cases, of course, the speech was not.
© Russian Seven
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