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Russian atrocities

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe' started by Peppy, Jun 12, 2002.

  1. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Brutal indeed but they were not the only ones. I remember reading that in stalingrad, Paulus ordered the executions execution of some 360 Germans soldiers in a single week alone for desertion and such. ;)
     
  2. olegbabich

    olegbabich Member

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    Soviet motto – Victory at any Price is the biggest Soviet Atrocity of the war. Russian life is cheap and Red Army was good at wasting many good people. Even Stalin and Zhukov in 1942 issued orders about abnormal casualties ( nienormal’nye poteri).

    During Battle of Stalingrad Soviets held 34,500+ Military Tribunals, after the trials they shot about 14,000+ men. That is a whole Division.

    On other hand if France took this approach, they might have lasted longer.
     
  3. FalkeEins

    FalkeEins Member

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    ..in the West maybe, but not in the East. This is the point that Kershaw examines at great length in his new book....and the consequences of 'running away' were almost as great as falling into Soviet hands ...'fear' & brutal discipline kept the German fighting long after all hope was lost..the Soviet actions/atrocities such as at Nemmersdorf in October 1944 underpinned the determination of the German soldier to fight on at all costs in the East...
     
  4. Volga Boatman

    Volga Boatman Dishonorably Discharged

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    Just to add my two cents..... aquick quote from Max Hasting's latest and greatest book, "All Hell Let Loose"....

    Page 616, paragraph 3,

    "The advancing Soviet legions resembled no other army the world had ever seen; a mingling of old and new, Europe and Asia, high intelligence and brutish ignorance, ideology and patriotism, technological sophistication and the most primative transport and equipment. T-34s, artillery, kattyusha rocket-launchers were followed by jeeps, Studebaker and Dodge trucks supplied under Lend-Lease, then by shaggy ponies and columns of horsemen, farm-carts and trudging peasants from the remote republics of Central Asia, clad in footcloths and rags of uniform. Drunkenness was endemic. German harmonicas provided musical accompaniment for many units, because they could be played in rattling trucks. The only dicipline rigourously enforced was that which required men-and women- to attack, to fight, and to die.. Stalin and his marshals cared nothing for the preservation of civilian life or property. When one of Vasilevsky's officers asked for guidance about the proper response to wholesale vandalism being committed by his men, the commander sat silent for several seconds, then said, "I don't give a f**k. It is now time for our soldiers to issue their own justice."

    Paragraph 3, page 617.
    "Reckless abuse of weapons caused significant numbers of Russians to kill eachother in rage or carelessness, to press triggers as readily as their Western counterparts might spit or blaspheme. For all it's commanders' military sophistication, this was a barbarian army, which had achieved things such as only barbarians could. Paradoxically, it's educated elements were driven by a sense of righteousness greater than any that stirred American or British soldiers. They cared nothing for Stalin's 1939 devil's bargain with hitler, nor for Soviet aggression against Finland, Poland and Rumania. They recognised only that Russia had been invaded and devastated, and now were approaching a reckoning with the nation responsible."

    German propaganda, for once, had no need of hyperbole or exaggerration. Telling the truth about the true nature of the Soviet Army was all that was needed to spur people on
     
  5. Volga Boatman

    Volga Boatman Dishonorably Discharged

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    I am not convinced that wholesale executions would have made one whit of difference to the 1940 Campaign in France. German occupation policy was so much more benign. The German soldiers that found themselves in contact with French people in the occupied zone had a healthy respect for French culture; many could speak conversational French, (as well, many French could speak German).

    The real destruction for France in terms of infrastructure came with 'Overlord". The Allies, and the Americans in particular, simply flattened everything they ran across with artillery.

    What France lacked, was a deep, never-ending interior to trade space for time. No tyrant such as Stalin ruled there either, meaning that the high sacrifice of people was not in evidence. French generals, incompetent and behind the times that they were, were not given to Zukhovian mass in acceptence of casualties.

    Max Hastings is particularly critical of Soviet tactical brutality vis-a-vis casualty figures. Even at the climax of their war effort in the fight for Berlin, Hastings is very critical of Soviet thickheadedness in their massive frontal assaults, grinding down the opposition with sheer numbers. Zukhov, for all his brilliance as a staff officer, and for all his great defenceive victories from late 1941 onward, Zukhov was still throwing troops forward arm in arm by 1945; pushing condemned criminals forward to expose frontline positions and set off minefields.

    France had already been through this set of tactical circumstances during the Great War. The Soviets were stuck in a timewarp. Their wastage of their own people beggars belief, as it seemed to many observers, particularly the German infantry that had to field these massive assaults. The Soviets defended their point of view by stating that the most effective way to defeat an enemy is to demoralize him. These massive assaults certainly did that. Many Germans must have wondered if the human torrent would ever reach an end, and most began to question the motives of the people that put them there. For all that, desertion to the Soviet side were much reduced for the duration of the GPW, whereas Soviet soldiers choosing to cross over continued right up to the Oder River.
     
  6. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    Through Hell For Hitler Henry Metelmann....Current book thread...Good book good read good man...Backs up some of what you say Volga.
     
  7. FalkeEins

    FalkeEins Member

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    but they didn't, it rather back-fired on the Russians who had arrived in East Prussia in October 1944 don't forget. 'Fear' kept the German army fighting in the East long after their comrades in the West would have chosen to surrender to the Allies. The entire population was mobilised to build defences as the Soviets approached. While most had questioned the motives of the leadership long before, the approaching Red tide concentrated the mind wonderfully to the task at hand..
     
  8. Volga Boatman

    Volga Boatman Dishonorably Discharged

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    Somebody above mentioned that the entire German nation should not be brought to task for atrocities committed by "the NAZI state."

    I am afraid I must beg to differ.

    The German Army, composed as it was of ordinary German citizens, was duplicitous in that it actively supported atrocities perpetrated, suppossedly, by only the SS. Without this help from the Heer, it is quite doubtful that these atrocities could have been conducted at all.

    It is postwar revisionism that the German Army looked on in silence whilst the SS did all the dirty work. This is something that Heer veterans would very much like to distance themselves from. Logically speaking, the Wehrmacht WAS 'The State', ('Das Reich'); the NAZI state. The SS were simply a 'state within a state', still representative of the people as a whole.

    Veterans returning from 'Ostfront' rapidly spread the word as to the true nature of the State's occupaption in Russia and the Ukraine. With millions of serving soldiers, it cannot have escaped the notice of a significant many of them that their affairs in the Soviet Union were as far from a regular occupation as you could get. Gradually, these horrors filtered down from the 'front-hogs' to the rest of the people, an osmosis on a nationwide scale.
     
  9. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    Which is why volga if you have not read the book I mentioned you should, it confirms all of what you say from a German fighting man. One who it seems was haunted to his grave.
     
  10. FalkeEins

    FalkeEins Member

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    this was one of the 'tactics' utilised by the Nazi state deliberately to stimulate and harden German 'fighting spirit' and resistance during 1945 - for example too many people knew the real truth of the camps in Eastern Prussia - which meant that most Germans knew exactly what sort of treatment would be reserved for them when the Russians came.. ie Russian atrocities didn't exist in isolation
     
  11. olegbabich

    olegbabich Member

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    Russian atrocities were mostly directed inwards, toward their own citizens and people in the territories of expanding Soviet Union. Soviet State also took exceptions to people who were liberated from Russian lands that were occupied by Germans.

    German atrocities were directed to outside (occupied territories)and race cleansing.

    When “Liberating” Red Army did commit crimes against civilian population. (Revenge was the order of the day). The rape of women that took place is a dark chapter in history of Red Army, but I always think of German girls in German Propaganda footage throwing flowers in front of Hitler’s motorcade and the crowd of thousands cheering the Fuehrer.

    Combat (POW treatment) related atrocities on the Russian front was a common practice by both sides.
     
  12. Krystal80

    Krystal80 Member

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    I have a question
    Did the Red Army liberate any concentration camps? If so, how were those people treated? Were they left to fend for themselves or fed and taken care of? Russians seemed to have had a real hatred for Germany/Nazi's, I wonder what they thought if/when they came across the concentration camps?
     
  13. FalkeEins

    FalkeEins Member

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    Red Army liberated Auschwitz in late January 45..but there were comparatively few inmates still there - about 5000 IIRC, compared to a 'normal' war-time population of 150,000
     
  14. Juno

    Juno recruit

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    [video=youtube;EhEdMrme6jg]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhEdMrme6jg[/video]
     
  15. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Who is she and what does this prove? Please provide a source rather than just YouTube.
     
  16. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Hi Kystal,

    By 1945, the Red Army banner stretched from Moscow to Berlin. All camps along the way were liberated. The guards were gone and the victims inside taken care of.
     
  17. VonKoenigsberg

    VonKoenigsberg Member

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    And what do you suppose the "ordinary" Germans could have done? What would you have them do? If they had even slighty spoken out against these events, the Gestapo would've caught wind of their existence and crushed them. There really isn't a choice for ordinary citizens in a totalitarian state, because each person likes his own life.
     
  18. ANZAC

    ANZAC Member

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    Beever's book 'Berlin: The Downfall 1945' brings up the rapes & killings by the Red Army as it over ran Eastern Germany, to the point that Russian historians & the Russian ambassador to the UK denounced the book as "lies" and "slander against the people who saved the world from Nazism".

    He responded saying the bulk of the evidence on the subject came from Soviet sources, especially the NKVD reports in GARF (State Archive of the Russian Federation), and a wide range of reliable personal accounts."


    And Russian correspondents themselves who travelled with the Red Army seem to back Beevor up..............


    Natalya Gesse, a close friend of the scientist Andrei Sakharov, had observed the Red Army in action in 1945 as a Soviet war correspondent. "The Russian soldiers were raping every German female from eight to eighty," she recounted later. "It was an army of rapists."

    Calls to avenge the Motherland, violated by the Wehrmacht's invasion, had given the idea that almost any cruelty would be allowed.

    The novelist Vasily Grossman, a war correspondent attached to the invading Red Army, soon discovered that rape victims were not just Germans. Polish women also suffered. So did young Russian, Belorussian and Ukrainian women who had been sent back to Germany by the Wehrmacht for slave labour.

    Nuns, young girls, old women, pregnant women and mothers who had just given birth were all raped without pity.

    Beria and Stalin, back in Moscow, knew perfectly well what was going on from a number of detailed reports. One stated that "many Germans declare that all German women in East Prussia who stayed behind were raped by Red Army soldiers". Numerous examples of gang rape were given - "girls under 18 and old women included".

    "Red Army soldiers don't believe in 'individual liaisons' with German women," wrote the playwright Zakhar Agranenko in his diary when serving as an officer of marine infantry in East Prussia. "Nine, ten, twelve men at a time - they rape them on a collective basis."

    Estimates of rape victims from the city's two main hospitals ranged from 95,000 to 130,000. One doctor deduced that out of approximately 100,000 women raped in the city, some 10,000 died as a result, mostly from suicide. The death rate was thought to have been much higher among the 1.4 million estimated victims in East Prussia, Pomerania and Silesia. Altogether at least two million German women are thought to have been raped, and a substantial minority, if not a majority, appear to have suffered multiple rape.


    Beevor has stated that German women were part of a society that supported Hitler and thus can't be seen as victims in the same way as Jews, Poles and Russians.

    Not sure about that.
     
    VonKoenigsberg likes this.
  19. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    I disagree (but you already know that :)). The ultimate German plan for Soviet Russia was extermination or enslavement of all who stood in its way. The Russians who were left alive were nothing more than slaves. Theyre sole purpose was to provide the German war machine with all that it needed. What prevented the Germans from accomplishing lebensraum was not their morale high ground or sympathy for the inhabitants but the Red Army. I have reason to suspect that had the Red Army been defeated than all those who were left alive would not remain as such for very long...

    When the Red Army entered Berlin, nothing stood in its way. The Red Army and the Soviet Regime could have conducted its own version of Lebensraum if it wanted.
    So I say again, had the Soviet Regime and the Red Army conducted its warfare in the same fashion as Germany had the population of east Germany would have been 0.


    Why?

    This is a bit extreme. Eizengruppen was an execution squad and it had no other purpose. NKVD would far closer resemble the Gestapo.


    The Nazis were responsible for more deaths in less than 2 decades that all of Mongol conquests put together. Numbers speak volume.


    No one cared about what the Russians had done to the Germans at Nuremburg (not even sure how many knew). All were too familiar with what the Nazis had done though. The concentration camps were still fresh in everyones minds. When Eisenhower got a tour of Western Russia, he was speachless in what he saw.... No one was ever looking into or going to prosecute the Russians for anything they along with others were the victims and not the Germans.

    The Nazis waged a war of aggression based on racial superiority. Upon this ideology, they alone determined who was fit to live and who was going to die or be enslaved. They killed so many in such a short time that they even created machines to help speed up the process of extermination (no one has ever done this). The Nazis played god and the crimes commited by this regime were the most ruthless and cold blooded man has ever seen. If this is not EVIL I cant imagine what is.

    Yes. Had Hitler decided to kill his own citizens, there would have been no WW2.

    The reason behind the killings is also quite significant...

    To me,
    STALIN = BRUTAL
    HITLER = EVIL
     
  20. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    First you say you disagree then you mention there plan wasn't to kill everyone?
    Why? You've already mentioned that the Nazi plan wasn't to kill everyone. Furthermore there's a good chance the Nazi regime wouldn't have survived long enough to effect a 100% kill even if that was what they intended.

    That's not at all accurate. If they had tried the militarys of the western allies "stood in their way" and Soviet success in such a confrontation was not only not insured it would have been unlikely in the long run.
    Repetition doesn't make it any more correct. You yourself have stated that it wasn't the Nazi plan and as I pointed out it's not at all clear it was within thier capability.
    The Red army was considerably different in many ways from the Russian army of the Napoleonic times. Communism for all intents and purposes turned it into a religious war and those are never pretty.
    So it makes a huge difference if you spread out your murders or clump them together? Not in my book.
    The Nazis had more numbers and technology to work with that the Mongols. The latter wiped out whole cities. The Soviets were responsible for even more deaths over less than 3 decades as well, as you say "numbers speak volume". And that's without even discussing the Communist activities in China or Cambodia.
    That's a very hard statment to prove correct, care to try and even support it?
    Indeed but not all that relevant IMO.
    No one was looking because at least in part it was obvious that there was no point. The Russians may have been victims but they were also victimizers as were the Germans.
    And the Communist waged wars of aggression based on ideological superiority. I don't see how this puts them in a much better place.
    And the Communist were doing any different? One of the biggest reasons that IMO they didn't kill even more is that many Communist believed that they didn't need to use purely military means to achieve world conquest. They thought time was on thier side, Hitler seemed to know his days were numbered.
    The fact that those in previous times weren't in a hurry makes it all that different?
    I don't disagree with this I just put the Soviets and at least some other Communist regimes on a par with them. If you go back in history there were others that were as bad. Unfortunatly the Nazis weren't the sole case of such evil.
    Well he did kill a fair number of them.
    The Nazis killed people because of who their parrents were, the Communist because of what they thought or what the Communist thought they thought. I have a hard time sayint one is worse than the other. I'd tend to use both adjectives for both men although I'd add insane for Hitler and cunning for Stalin.
     

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