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Soviet filtering camps for liberated soviet POWs

Discussion in 'Post War 1945-1955' started by Karjala, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. Karjala

    Karjala Don Quijote

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    [​IMG] Originally Posted by Karjala [​IMG]
    "It is not a myth but a fact, that all returning POWs were considered at first as possible traitors.
    They were sent to filtering (prison) camps, where they were interrogated for weeks.

    After that many were excecuted, even more were sentenced to GULAG, the rest were freed."


    "m kenny" wrote:

    And I say you have no facts in order to back that. Leave aside the Soviet soldiers/citizens who actively helped/served with the Nazis and give me the data that shows that 'all' returning POW's were treated as traitors.
    For instance why did the Soviets (late war) directly put all released POW's into the army if they were thought to be enemy agents?



    "Ivan's War" by prof. Catherine Merridale, page 182:

    "On 11 May 1945, Stalin signed the order that provided for the establishment of another web of camps in Central Europe. There were to be forty-five on the First and Second Belorussian Fronts alone, each one designed to hold up to ten thousand men. By June, there were sixty-nine camps for special prisoners on Soviet territory and a further seventy-four in Europe.

    Their purpose was to intern former Red Army soldiers who had been prisoners of war with the intention of "filtering" them, which meant looking for spies, fingering cowards, and assigning punishment to so-called betrayers of the motherland"


    page 183:

    "In all, about 1.8 million prisoners like him would end up in the hands of SMERSh."

    "Building prisons to hold these "special" veterans was a challenge when resources were stretched. But Soviet secret policemen were always willing to adapt."

    "For years to come, it would house consignments of expatriates waiting for the attentions of SMERSh, the cells and darkness, and the train ride to the east." (Sachsenhausen, ex-German concentration camp)

    "In all, about five and a half million Soviet citizens had been sent back to their former homeland by the end of 1946. Of these, something like a fifth were either executed at once or sentenced to twenty-five years of hard labor. Others took their own lives, and even those of their accompanying families, rather than face the mercy of Soviet military police."

    "Specials" were treated as convicts whilethey awaited "filtration." The onus was always on them to prove their innocence. The process could take months, even years. SMERSh and its successors were still "filtering" displaced persons in the 1950s."

    "While they waited, the wretched prisoners faced insults and bullying, andthe same treatment would continue when they were assigned to labor camps. By August 1945, just over half a million were already at work. Quotas of former prisoners and "traitors" wereassigned to the coal-mining and power industries, to construction work, timber, steel, fisheries, engineering, chemicals—anywhere labor was needed and money was scarce. The condemned were supposed to be grateful to Stalin for sparing their lives. The conditions of the disgraced men, as one survivor remarked, rivaled the hardships of a Nazi camp."
     
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  2. Volga Boatman

    Volga Boatman Dishonorably Discharged

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    Karjarla, why do both Sloniksp and mKenny call this "A Myth" ?

    Sloniksp in particular, as a trustee of this site, should be swallowing his pride as a good Russian and letting us know the truth.

    I, too, had heard that returning Soviet prisoners of war were slapped with prison sentences, or executed out of hand, or simply worked to death.

    I know, for sure, that just over 50,000 COSSACKS were in for a torrid time on their return to Russia. Lots of them self mutilated, some committed suicide, rather than be returned to the Soviet Union. They begged the Western Allies to keep them in the West, but we sent them back anyway, knowing full well just what their fate would be.

    So, I ask again, why does Sloniksp, as a TRUSTEE of this site, continue to propagate the old Stalinist line that returning prisoners executed and imprisoned is "A myth"

    mKenny also stated "A Myth indeed".

    Why?
     
  3. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    The treatment of the Cossacks is irrelevant,because they were fighting with the Germans,and,were,following the Soviet law,traitors .
    That the West was sending them back,was legal,and,that's the only thing that's count .
     
  4. Volga Boatman

    Volga Boatman Dishonorably Discharged

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    What about the rest Lj?

    Sloniksp calls them a 'myth', yet I've heard this propagated too often to ignore it as a fairy story.

    Granted, the Cossacks don't count, but what about all the others?
     
  5. DaveBj

    DaveBj Member

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    Alexandr Solzhenytsin's novel One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich dealt with this. The protagonist was accused of being a German spy and thrown in the gulag after having been released from a German prison camp at the end of the war.

    Even as late as the 1980s Soviet citizens had a notation on their internal passports if they had spent time behind German lines during the war. This notation had negative implications when it came to jobs, travel permission, etc.

    *******

    DaveBj (BA Russian, MA Soviet Studies)
     
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  6. Karjala

    Karjala Don Quijote

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    Well, I can't really answer for their behalf, can I.

    I suppose it's because the truth is against the official soviet/Russian myths of the "nobel" Great Patriotic War...


    (BTW - it's "Karjala" - Karelia in Finnish... )
     
  7. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Volga im afraid you have mis-quoted me... It was I not mkenny who wrote " A myth indeed". Now for what you consider a myth....

    Most if not all countries have some sort of a system in which they interrogate or debreif returning POW's. In the case of the Soviet Union, the returning POW's were not in the thousands (as allied POW's were) but in the millions. With such high numbers many camps had to be built and interrogating/debreifing took longer. As many as 1,000,000 Russians fought alongside the Germans. As far as the Soviet leadership was concerned collaborators were amongst the POW's....

    No one is claiming that returning Soviet POW's were not shot, or imprisoned. The question is how many met such fate? Had I not done my research and simply read what you had posted, I might be under the impression that all who returned were treated as traitors and thus dealt with accordingly. That is what I consider a myth.


    The inmates of the "verification filtration camps" of NKVD belonged to so called " particular contigent".

    The particular contigent consisted of 3 categories of people:
    1.POWs and servicemen encircled by the enemy.
    2.German police servicemen collaborators and other civilians suspected of collaboration.
    3.Civilian men of draft age who lived on the German occupied territory.

    From the end of 1941 to 1 October 1944 they received 421.199 persons (1st category - 354.592 ; 2nd category - 40.062 ; 3rd category - 26.545 ).
    For the same period the following number of people left the filtration camps: 335.487 (319.239, 3.061 and 13.187 respectivly).

    Of the mentioned 354.592 of the 1st category (POW and enemy encircled servicemen) background was checked and then send to:

    •249.416 - sent to Army units for service.
    •30.749 - sent to civil and military industry.
    •5.924 - sent for service as NKVD servicemen.
    •11.556 - arrested by NKVD (of which 2.083 for espionage charges)
    •5.347 - left for various reasons (to hospitals, deceased, ect).
    •51.601 - still undergoing background check.

    In 1944 - 1946 - 4,2 million repatriants arrived to USSR.
    6,5% (app. 273.000 people) of those were regarded as "particular contigent" and were assembled in the "verification filtration camps" of NKVD for background check.


    seource: http://www.tuad.nsk.ru/~history/Auth...es/ZEMSKOV.HTM


    If your intersted, below is a link of a Red Army soldier who went through such a process... What he says may interest you and anyone else who is curious on the topic at hand.

    "I remember..." - Page 3


    Soviet propaganda is not the only form that exists, there is also an anti Soviet type. It seems that in recent days, it has been more prevalent.


    PS,
    As mentioned, the Cossacks fought alongside the Germans....There fait was sealed.
     
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  8. Volga Boatman

    Volga Boatman Dishonorably Discharged

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    Ok, Sloniks, you get a salute for honesty. CAC lives just around the corner, and if he salutes this post, it must be the real deal.

    I have two copies of "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" on my shelves, plus "The Gulag Archipeligo", (an absorbing and shocking read), "The First Circle", and "August 1914". You could say I'm a fan of Alexander's work. I'm told he is not popular with mainstream Russians before or today. I'm told they feel as if his work portrays Russia in a less than savoury manner. I suppose a dissident is unpopular in his own country everywhere, not just in Russia.

    I've always wondered whether Ukrainians or Belo-Russians, just to name a few, also view Solzhenitsyn's work in the same manner that Russians do.

    So, salutes all round as a gesture of goodwill, eh?
     
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  9. Karjala

    Karjala Don Quijote

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    As I wrote in my post #1:

    "Ivan's War" by prof. Catherine Merridale, page 182:

    "In all, about five and a half million Soviet citizens had been sent back to their former homeland by the end of 1946. Of these, something like a fifth were either executed at once or sentenced to twenty-five years of hard labor. Others took their own lives, and even those of their accompanying families, rather than face the mercy of Soviet military police."


    Addition to the "soviet English" to "standard English" wordbook:

    "Anti-soviet propaganda" = telling the truth not supporting the official soviet propaganda myths.


    The unfortunate faith of the anti-soviet Cossacs is only a small side-story in the bigger picture.
     
  10. belasar

    belasar Court Jester

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    Absolute's like that above makes it difficult to have any kind of debate, more to the point they are a intellectual conciet. Not every tid bit of anti-soviet propaganda was the truth or must we accept everything from Geobbel's Propaganda Ministry was actual fact?
     
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  11. Karjala

    Karjala Don Quijote

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    You are of course right.

    My "dictionary" was only an exaggerated response to Sloniks's writing(s), which somehow remind me of the worn out official soviet propaganda...
     
  12. belasar

    belasar Court Jester

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    Undoubtedly Soviet era propaganda was almost laughably over the top at times, so it is perhaps understandable that at times it is hard to dis-believe every positive about them, but it is imnportant that we strive to do so, otherwise we merely perpetuate the false myths of the period.
     
  13. DaveBj

    DaveBj Member

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    I read One Day in the original in '75, when I was in my intermediate Russian course at DLI/Monterey. It was not an easy read, but not as hard as his later works; he tended to use "unmodern" Russian, which meant that some of his vocabulary couldn't be found in the standard Smirnitsky Russian-English Dictionary.

    Later on, in the '80s, when the USSR was beginning to unravel, and Solzhenytsin was living in the U.S., there was talk of his returning to a de-Sovietized Russia, but at the same time there was a surprising amount of opposition to that among the Washington-area emigre community, for fear that he might become, in their words, an "Ayatollah Solzhenytsin." Obviously, that did not happen.

    DaveBj
     
  14. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    What did I write that reminded you of "official Soviet propaganda"?
     
  15. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Regarding the Cossacks...

    Pyotr Krasnov was the leader of the bunch, below is his oath:


    «I swear and promise in front of the God Almighty and The Holly Gosspel, that I will be faithful to The Leader of the New Europe and The German nation - Adolf Hitler, whom I will faithfully serve and battle against Bolshevism, selflessly and to the last drop of my blood.

    I will whole-heartedly follow all the laws and orders issued by the superiors assigned by the Leader of the German nation - Adolf Hitler.

    In a field, in fortresses, in trenches, on seas,in the sky and on land, everywhere in battle I will bravely fight the enemy and will serve faithfully together with the German armed forces protecting New Europe and my dear army against the Bolshevik slavery and until comlete victory over Bolshevism and its allies.


    In 1947, the 6 of the former "SS-cossaken" top leaders had been sentenced to death ( Krasnov , Shkuro, etc) about 150 officers got prison terms ranging from 10-20 years.
    The rest were sent to special settler-camps ( not GULAG) for SIX years. In 1951-52 all of them were liberated...
    It was extremaly soft and ..human for the time when the man for theft might to get about 10 years of gulag..

    The year of their release should be of some interest, Stalin was still alive....
     
  16. Karjala

    Karjala Don Quijote

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    Quite a lot actually, starting with your (staged) avatar - with emphasized symbol of communist dictatorship.
    Haven't seen many nazi-flag equivalents here...
     
  17. Karjala

    Karjala Don Quijote

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    Well - Churchill said "If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons."
    Then he and Roosevelt went and allied with Stalin!

    Can't really condemn the Cossacks after what they had experienced in the soviet "heaven". Hitler was fighting against the soviets,
    everything else was of minor significance for them.

    How many of those sent to Gulag were still alive to be freed after their sentence?

    Anyway - as I wrote before, the faith of the Cossacks was a small detail in a bigger picture. ALL of the released POWs were regarded
    as possible traitors. Out of 5,5 million returning soviet citizens (POWs and others) app. every fifth was sentenced either to death or to
    prison camps (and many killed themselves before that). That's more than a million, if I count correctly...
     
  18. belasar

    belasar Court Jester

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    Karjala,

    Slava's avatar is a iconic photo from the war, and it represented the effective end to fighting in europe between Hitler's force's and the combined allied armies. While I have never seen a Nazi flag per se, there have been images of Hitler and Mussolini. We as member's are allowed some freedom of expression, and if I may speak for Sloniksp his avatar is not an endorsement of the Communist system but rather a nod of respect to the common Russian soldier who did so much to end Hitler's empire. This is all the more deserving as they were ill used by Stalin and all to often by their own senior generals who were more nterested in personal glory and notoriety than they were in the lives of their men.
     
  19. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Since you have now posted the same quote from Ivan's war 3 times it must mean that those numbers are final and indisputable, and the number which I had posted must be prapoganda...:rolleyes: What is your favorite part in Ivan's war?

    If you read the oath taken by the Cossacks, you will see that the fighting was not limited to the Soviet Union but also to her allies, America, GB, France etc.

    What is your opinion of the interviewed Russian soldier who spoke about his experience through the filtration system?
     
  20. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    A lot really? Could you find some of my "Communist Propaganda" posts or sources?

    What flag would you have had the Russian soldiers raise marking the end of fighting?

    Thank you.
     

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