History 02/02/20 What Russian song red army soldiers were forced to sing German prisoners
during the war, the Soviet Union captured 2 million 389 thousand Germans. Gradually, until 1955, they were sent to Germany. And before departure, the prisoners were restored to what they themselves have destroyed factories, roads, houses in the cities, worked in the lumber camps, in mines and tunnels. In the first years after the war, the prisoners were particularly serious, not enough clothes, medicine, food. Isolation from home and the unknown future (will there be enough strength to survive until liberation and, in General, will release it?) – all this demoralized the prisoners.
But in contrast to the Soviet prisoners of war in Germany, Germans in the USSR were not destroyed. Soldier Hans Becker, was taken prisoner in 1944, recalled that the treatment by the Germans does not conform to the rumors about the cruelty of the Russians that German high command treated the soldiers (“In war and in captivity”, M., 2012). Immediately after the capture “I fed, watered and given a cigarette”, — he wrote. However, on the way to camp he met a Russian who wanted to shoot him, but the guards did not allow executions of the prisoners were banned and not everyone cared for the orders. The camp was not, of course, the sanatorium, especially at first, but fed Becker basically the same as fed themselves Russian, and he was not tortured. The USSR needed workers.
Becker’s Life in captivity, like all his comrades, consisted of work and better to eat. During work and leisure his companions sang songs. For example, the peasant funny songs, like the Thuringian Unser Gas de hat zwa Hema (“our goat has two horns”). Soviet policonstructor in the camps was of great importance for the musical entertainment. Captured in 1944, the Berliner Heinz Roth in his childhood he learned to play the violin, so the management of one of the camps in Kazakhstan entrusted him with the organization of the musical ensemble. He soon learned to sing “I – you’re the LiuBima” and “From the Amur river to the Berezina”, but he was allowed to sing a German song and Rosamunde. I had to sing on the orders of the guards. Prisoner Johannes Bergman in may, 1945, was in a convoy of prisoners at the Bohemian town Iglau. The column was ordered to sing: “We ostentatiously carried around the market square, and we had to sing a song to show that we are defeated.” Sang out of fear, and Bergman can’t remember what it was.
Some Germans were forced to sing the Soviet anthem during the morning build. Went to work to build and it was like a military March. To all consistent with military customs, the guards were forced to sing. The same order was often received by prisoners, when followed by any Soviet city. Came out a little idea. The Germans in such moments is not restricted in the choice of repertoire. All the same, because almost no one understood the words. Hans günter remembered how he at the request of the commandant of the camp sang when you log in Mitava: “We sang songs and joyfully entered the city… the Soldier’s song somehow made an impression. We felt no hostility or fun, everything was absolutely fine.”
Unthinkable, but one of the former prisoners of war, Wolfgang Franz, recalled how in captivity in a forest camp in 1946 or 1947 he had to sing, perhaps, the Nazi song. “One evening we were called to roll call to be counted. And suddenly someone said that we should sing the Horst Wessel. Of course, we said that we weren’t going to sing it, it’s forbidden. But they said, “No, here in the forest is not prohibited.” And we had to sing it. But all was not as peaceful as I tell you. We were threatened with a gun. What are we supposed to do?
Historian E. Wool notes that the prisoner has provided an opportunity for Russians and Germans to become acquainted with another culture. And many took advantage of this opportunity. After war comes peace. Sooner or later, the enemy start to see the person trying, even very peculiarbut, to learn and understand it.
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