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Stalingrad Survivors

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe February 1943 to End of War' started by Yaldy, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. Yaldy

    Yaldy recruit

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    Greetings all,

    Did the prisoners taken at Stalingrad ever get to send a note to their families? Red Cross? Or did the families ever get word that their loved one was now a prisoner?

    Did these men just show up at their last home when released back to Germany and nobody knew they were arriving home?

    Thanks
     
  2. padutchgal

    padutchgal Member

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    Good question, I wondered that, too. I've read lots of books about WWII but I've never seen that subject covered. I did read that the last of the German POW's were released when Konrad Adenauer visited Russia in, I think, 1953.
     
  3. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    I do think the families did not get any info until the war was over, and even then it might have taken until the DDR was created. Not sure. Here is something:

    "Russia had failed to co-operate with the Red Cross. Russia had failed to provide a list of captured German soldiers – despite promises – and the Germans reciprocated. German POW’s could expect nothing but the harshest of treatment from the Russians."

    http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/german_prisoner_of_war.htm


    I guess not very different to what the Germans did to the Soviet POW´s of the winter 1941-42.
     
  4. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Interesting...and sad in a way...and again saying Wiki not the best source but perhaps a little hint of what happened...

    "After the German surrender, the International Red Cross was prohibited from providing aid such as food or visiting prisoner camps in Germany. However, after making approaches to the Allies in the autumn of 1945 it was allowed to investigate the camps in the British and French occupation zones of Germany, as well as to provide relief to the prisoners held there. On February 4, 1946, the Red Cross was permitted to visit and assist prisoners also in the US occupation zone of Germany, although only with very small quantities of food. "During their visits, the delegates observed that German prisoners of war were often detained in appalling conditions. They drew the attention of the authorities to this fact, and gradually succeeded in getting some improvements made".

    The Allies also shipped POWs between them, with for example 6,000 German officers transferred from Western Allied camps to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp that now was under Soviet Union administration. The US also shipped 740,000 German POWs as forced labourers to France from where newspaper reports told of very bad treatment. Judge Robert H. Jackson, Chief US prosecutor in the Nuremberg trials, in October 1945 told US President Harry S. Truman that the Allies themselves:

    "have done or are doing some of the very things we are prosecuting the Germans for. The French are so violating the Geneva Convention in the treatment of prisoners of war that our command is taking back prisoners sent to them. We are prosecuting plunder and our Allies are practicing it."

    Prisoner of war - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  5. mtclark_al

    mtclark_al recruit

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    Many people did not even get notified at the end of the war. My wife's grandMother was not notified officially of the capture of her husband for 16 years after the war. during that time the Germany gov't gave no assistance in the form of military pension at all, once the Red Cross was provided the capture information she recieved her benefits. Approximately 5 years ago the red cross sent a form from the Russian authorities which detailed his capture, and that he died of malnutrition in 1946 in Kamyshin (Wolga). There is a lot to the story that I still do not know, and likely never will.
     
  6. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    "Russia had failed to co-operate with the Red Cross. Russia had failed to provide a list of captured German soldiers – despite promises – and the Germans reciprocated. German POW’s could expect nothing but the harshest of treatment from the Russians."

    http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk...ner_of_war.htm

    I guess not very different to what the Germans did to the Soviet POW´s of the winter 1941-42.


    Sad but true. It could just as easily be phrased that Germany failed to provide a list [and food, and shelter....] and that the Russians reciprocated. In either case, ordinary men doing their duty as their country asked them to suffered.
     
  7. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Can't agree with the comparison of POW treatment between Germany and Russia. Germany had a policy of systematically starving Red Army troops this was no the case in Russia. I have read numerous accounts of returning German PoW's speaking of their surprising conditions; even eating the same rations their guards were.
     
  8. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    And yes they were ordinary soldiers doing what their countries asked of them. The politics may not have been the ordinary soldiers fault. But its never a good thing for a nation to invade another and think they will take over that nation or its people and not suffer any backlash. Of course there will always be the rules of war, and we know they can be signed by one and not the other, or certain parts of one nation should not be combatants...although I'm sure we can all sympathise with the though that anyone invading my country needn't think I won't fight back just because I'm a civilian.As any invader to the UK or USA would have and would find even today...And then their is the whole war crimes mess and the winners writing history and bringing the losers to trial..But like in Holland..Bombing of Rotterdam etc..some saying it was not a war crime..to bomb is part of war etc etc...But invading a neutral country is logically a war crime and any killing done by the invader should then be seen as such...Long rant I know...But to avoid all this in the first place...Don't invade your neighbours...Anyone.
     
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  9. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    Exactly Slava!

    To support your statement, there is the 3rd part of the Stalingrad Trilogy in a frame below dealing with surrendered German soldiers at Stalingrad. This is a German documentary syncronised into English. You may find out from their testimonies that Russians trated them better than they have expected after all they did before the encirclement. Of course, they havent got a five stars hotel accomodation either. ;)
    [video=youtube;7kVhcJDck4A]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kVhcJDck4A[/video]
     
  10. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Somehow I think that there was a certain difference in survival whether you were sent to a prison camp in the Caucasus area or Siberia.
     
  11. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    Indeed! I guess Caucasus had more favourable facilities. ;)
     
  12. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    This is a 1946 letter from a Romanian wife to her POW husband in Russia.

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. 36thID

    36thID Member

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    Is there a book you could recommend from a Stalingrad POW that returned to Germany ?

    Tamino.... Powerful Video !
     
  14. padutchgal

    padutchgal Member

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    I clicked on the video and got the message, "This video doesn't exist"!
     
  15. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Looks like those videos have been deleted. Probably a copyright issue.
     
  16. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    There are multiple instances of that video on internet. It is also available on a DVD. Here it is again and it is indeed worthy watching:

     
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  17. arca

    arca Member

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    Very good movie Tamino!



    About the POWs.. Out of 5.2 million Soviet prisoners, about 3 million died in German hands, or wll over 50%, 600 000 of those beeing executed, and the rest starved to death or died of deseases. Out of 2 880 000 German prisoners only 14.9 % died in Russian hands. There is a huge difference in prisoners treatment because Germans were set on anihilation of lower rase, and only after starting to lose the war did they improve survival ratio, so they could work. Some say Germans were surprised by a number of prisoners, so they died because they weren't expected. This is a lie. The very plan for victory in the east predicted those number of prisoners, but they were to be ignored. Also Germans claimed they will abide no rules of war toward Soviet POWs because Soviets, didn't sign Geneva convention. But when Soviets in late june '41 tried to include the Red cross to help both sides lay down some rules for POW treatment, Germans declined.
    Stalingrad POW died in very high percentage (more than 90%), yet this was not due to mistreatment, but those man were in such a bad state that they needed intensive medical treatment and long time rehabilitation in order to survive and recover.
     
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  18. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    Exactly my thoughts arca! :)

    If we add to this all these millions of the murdered children women and elderly people, the picture of the Hell on the Earth becomes complete. It is quite disturbing that the most of these crimes were committed without orders - that was an initiative of ordinary Wehrmacht soldiers: fathers of families, sons, nephews, sons of ordinary working people... That was a mass murder of innocents by the willing executioners of the barbaric regime.

    Let all the victims of the Nazi terror rest in peace.

    Smrt fašizmu! (To others who don't understand: this is a Partizans salute, In Croatian/Serbian language this phrase means: Death to the faschists!)
     
  19. arca

    arca Member

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    Sloboda narodu! ( a second part to the salute, and also used as a response to the first part for recognition, like pasword. Means: Freedom to the people!) :)
     
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  20. want2findmypast

    want2findmypast New Member

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    i know my great opa was a german commander that survived stalingrad but i cant find him in the records could someone give me somewhere to look please!
     

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