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German Gulag Prisoners Recall Their Postwar Ordeal

Discussion in 'Post War 1945-1955' started by kerrd5, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    What about the "freedom fighting" partisans in resistance movements across Europe? They did not declare war or observe international laws, yet they a vaunted as heroes. Germany was a state - or empire- who used war as an extension of policy by other means (as von Clausewitz says). Are the Americans terrorists for being in a war now? Come on now...

    Vonk...Where they though on the winning side? Or the losing side? It does matter. Its been proved to matter. War is not fair nor its outcomes. Those who choose to war must make sure they are on the winning side of any war they initiate or they cannot have any real recourse to justice or even in some cases...humanity.
     
  2. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    What you have just said is a plain “Banditen Propaganda” chat! Please, don’t. It’s tasteless.

    As I have said in one of my previous posts, the most of my elderly neighbors were in Wehrmacht, but I haven’t mentioned that my father was a partisan. When occupation forces have arrived, people have predominantly decided to collaborate. Once upon a time my father told me: “My decision to join partisans wasn’t a political one, I simply couldn’t join collaborationists to shoot decent people.” For me, he was a wonderful example and he has helped me to grow into a decent man.

    It is shame that you even try to compare hordes of indecent Axis soldiers with European partisans who have accepted all risks of fighting enemy far behind the front line for 4-6 years. If you still don’t conceive the difference, let me explain this subject by using simple words: partisans have been defending their own people and their own land while Axis soldiers were intruders who illegally entered countries with a simple goal: exterminate.
     
  3. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    partisans have been defending their own people and their own land while Axis soldiers were intruders who illegally entered countries

    I don't see any thing to argue with in that statement. I've been on this forum a while now and seen this argument barracked about quite a bit in many different threads.

    Can I just ask one question of some of my American cousins as it has irked me quite a bit from a very old post by one of our prolific members of not so long back...Who likened partisans to war criminals. And even stated that once a country was occupied the killing of German officers by resistance or partisan movements was criminal..That amazes me...It was even likened to and I hate to bring it up the Iraqi resistance after 2003 allied invasion. I have to say...or ask...if America was ever invaded...Defeated in war on the ground...Would that be an end to American resistance...No partisan movement? No resistance movement...I know the answer to that already, but if I am correct in assuming it would not be the end..Why do so many berate partisans and Resistance movements of ww2 for doing just that. The auxilleries in UK would have been murderous in their resistance and partisan warfare once the British invasion had been conducted if it ever were...I know most Brits on these forums admire the fact the Auxilleries were prepared to do such a thing and can't think of any nation who would not want to do such.
     
  4. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    I have no beef with partisans or a resistance movement. If you want to get technical, the American Revolution was partisanship. We were British citizens rebelling against the crown. We would do the same if the government of the US should fall. That said, the Germans in the SU were an invading army. What happened to the individuals is unconscionable, but also unavoidable. The Russians were demonized by the West, and felt no compunction about treating their enemy harshly.
     
  5. JeffinMNUSA

    JeffinMNUSA Member

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    Tamino;
    Your father was a partisan? Well my deepest respects to him! It took a special kind of courage to choose to resist the Axis in the occupied lands. That NAZI propaganda held that the partisans were "illegal combatants" is something of a bad joke as NAZI was engaged in illegal mass killings at the very same time. It was a situation of incomprehensible savagery brought on by a mad man who observed no law.
    JeffinMNUSA
    PS. And the various partisan movements were in aggregate a lot more effective in doing serious damage to NAZI than is generally accepted; http://books.google.com/books?id=4O...gCg&sqi=2&ved=0CCkQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=effects of partisan movement&f=false I was reading some Von Mellinthen a few decades back and the man's near hysterical tirade about these "illegal fighters" gave me pause.
     
  6. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    Previously in this thread, I have addressed »the problem of German POWs in Siberia« in a qualitative manner. Now, let us approach this question in a rational, quantitative way; by numbers:
    • A total 3,576,300 German soldiers were captured by the Soviets.
    • 86% of the German POWs were repatriated
    • A Total of 4,559,000 Soviet soldiers were captured by Germans
    • Just 28% of the Soviet POWs have returned alive to Russia.
    • Just 14,100 Germans soldiers considered as war criminals were sent to NKVD camps.
    Furthermore, a large number of dead German POWs in Soviet custody were those from Stalingrad battle whose bad health condition after the battle was primary cause for their high mortality. Therefore Hitler and von Paulus can be considered as responsible for death of these unfortunate soldiers.

    Hence we may conclude that: Soviets were more than merciful with captured German soldiers. »Untermenschen« (subhumans) were much more human than »Übermenschen« (Superhumans). Isn't that a paradox?
     
  7. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    I just hope no former German pow or their family reads this, nor any of Vlassov men as I doubt 86% of his soldiers survived by the so called Lenient compassion of Uncle Joe. I don't know where you get your figures, but the NKVD would have been proud of you.
    I'm fully aware Russian Pows were massively mistreated by the Nazis and starved to death, but claiming the German pows went to some sort of holiday camp until they got freed, just goes a bit too far . I do respect the Russians, but I also respect the German pows who surived the hardships in Soviet camps.
    Hence this thread is now closed.
     
  8. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Threads Merged.
     
  9. Karjala

    Karjala Don Quijote

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    AFAIK Germany indeed DID declare war on the USSR - unlike the soviets have argued.

    In comparison the USSR did not declare war on Finland either in 1939 or 1941. I doubt they did against Poland either.

    We do not share your view of the "merciful soviets". Our experiences of the soviet partisans and the treatment of the Finnish POWs tell a different story.

    AFAIK not a single soviet war criminal at the Finnish front has ever been punished so far. Why?

    What kind of consequences do you suggest for crossing the Finnish borders with weapons in hands...?
     
  10. Karjala

    Karjala Don Quijote

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    Those German POW numbers are the soviet "truth". The real truth is something different...:

    "According to Soviet records 381,067 German Wehrmacht POW died in NKVD camps ( 356,700 German nationals and 24,367 from other nations).[1][2] German estimates put the actual death toll of German POW in the USSR at about 1.0 million, they maintain that among those reported as missing were men who actually died as POW.[3]"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_prisoners_of_war_in_the_Soviet_Union

    "Rüdiger Overmans writes "It seems entirely plausible, while not provable,that one half of the 1.5 million missing on the eastern front were killed in action, the other half (700,000) however in fact died in Soviet custody".[143]"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties

    The real death percentage of the Finnish POWs in the USSR was abt 43 % - in only few months on average!

    One should take into account the length of imprisonment, which for the Germans (and e.g. for the Finns) was generally much shorter than for the soviets.
     
  11. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    I guess you understand that for us, you and me, there will never be a unified view on this subject because we observe the reality from very different angles. As the matter of fact we are staring into the past from the opposite sides of the mirror.
    I am trying to understand your reasons: our countries are situated at the extremely dangerous zone where interests of two great nations were in conflict. For Finland, Soviet Union was the aggressor while for us it was the German Reich. But, as we all know: the Greater German Reich was much greater treat to the safety of the World than the "Red Peril from the East". We also both know that victory of the Nazis would have caused ruthless and total annihilation of entire nations and to others the utter subjugation to the Ruling Germanic Race, with no exceptions.
    The Axis soldiers participated in atrocities at the East, this way or another: directly or indirectly. Let's not pretend: they all have known about all dirty details of the plan and have participated in its execution. They have collectively caused utter destruction of the USSR, otherwise a poor country. It was fair to tell them to repair what they have just destroyed. Letting them go unpunished would have been an utter injustice to their victims. They have attacked collectively and had to be considered accordingly, in the same manner.
    For all inconviniences of captivity they should blame those who have send them to destroy the Rotten Eddifice.

    And, please, stay on-topic and discuss Finnish-Russian affairs in appropriate threads. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you have turned even the Manchurian thread into a Russo-Finnish matter.
     
  12. Karjala

    Karjala Don Quijote

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    Yes, I indeed do guess, that our point of views differ...

    No, we don't all know, that Germany was "the greater threat to the world". As a matter of fact "we all" know, that the Red Peril became much greater threat to the world - on all continents. The Red Plaque from the USSR still contaminates large areas of the globe - something, which Nazis never did or could have achieved. We also know, that the soviet rule ruthlessly annihilated entire nations - some of which e.g. were Finnic...

    We all know - or at least should know - that the soviet soldiers participated in atrocities in the East and the West - on all fronts. None of them could have been unaware of the crimes of the soviet regime. The soviets started the WW2 in Europe together with Germany - as allies. The soviet master plan was to make Germany fight the West to exhaustion. Then the USSR could have attacked and conquered the hole Europe. Unfortunately for the soviets Germany was faster - by a whisker. The USSR was not an innocent victim but an active warmonger.

    Out of the two criminal countries/regimes in Europe (broadly thinking) only the other one got punished - as well as the ordinary soldiers of Germany who did not have any other options. The other criminal country still celebrates her occupations and even her known war criminals still march around with chests full of medals. The soviets/Russians have not repaired what they destroyed for example in Finland, which was a poor country. Letting them go has been an utter injustice to their victims!

    Yes, you are wrong. In this thread I was discussing about the German POW's with the similar examples of the Finnish POW's, who often were held together with the Germans. Hardly off-topic.

    In Manchuria thread - discussing of which here IS INDEED off-topic - I have been only replying to the earlier posts. I have not "turned it" to anything but yes, I have gone with the flow together with the other participants.
     
  13. tslothrop

    tslothrop New Member

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    Painful as it is, a reasonable extension of this topic might be a discussion of the mass deaths alleged to have occurred in US and French (especially US) detention camps in occupied Germany at the end of the war. According to two troubling books by Canadian writer James Bacque ("Other Losses" and "Crimes and Mercies") upwards of 1 million disarmed Wehrmacht soldiers died of starvation, sickness and exposure to the elements prior to repatriation of the survivors back into the general German population.

    In citing Braque's work, I don't mean to imply that, even if it's true as described, the history he uncovered is comparable to the appalling record of the Russians in this regard, as thoroughly reviewed in previous postings here, or that whatever happened in these US and French camps remotely equates on a scale of programmatic evil to Dachau, Belsen, et al. (FWIW, I don't sense that Bacque sees any such equivalence, either.) If anything, a closer comparison would be to Andersonville in the US Civil War.

    Still, and again, I believe the subject is pertinent to this thread. At any rate, Bacque's first book (according to him) so disturbed an at-first skeptical Stephen Ambrose that, when he finally came around to crediting Bacque's evidence, found it utterly shattering.
     

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