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Chevan
09-15-2008, 01:37 AM
Hi everyone.
All of you probably know the story about the Red Army first entering the Eastern prussia in the october of 1944.
I heard that there a several versions of the events are existed.

Well, the facts first. Nemmersdorf in East Prussia was conquered by the Red Army on October 21, 1944 (2nd Battalion/25th Guard Tank Brigade). After heavy fightings the village was re-captured by the Wehrmacht.
Here we have already two different versions: eyewitnesses report Nemmersdorf was re-taken the same day, only a couple of hours later. Official reports say german 5th Panzer-Division took the village two days later on October 23.
What happened exactly we will never know. Fact is that
a) the russian soldiers killed between 23 and 65 german civilians (women, kids and old people) as well as some french POWs
b) the Nazi leadership exploited the incident to stiffen the resistance against the advancing Red Army.
It was reported of mass rapes, mass killings, crucified women on barn doors etc. Other (german) sources say there weren't any rapes at all. Goebbels' employees lifted skirts and lowered underwear of the dead women.
B. Fisch's version of disguised germans in russian uniforms to commit the massacre is an insolence though IMHO

So how we can learn a true about it?

Egorka
09-17-2008, 11:28 AM
Sorry for the late reply - I was busy.
I moved the reply to this thread.


Well, the facts first. Nemmersdorf in East Prussia was conquered by the Red Army on October 21, 1944 (2nd Battalion/25th Guard Tank Brigade). After heavy fightings the village was re-captured by the Wehrmacht.
Here we have already two different versions: eyewitnesses report Nemmersdorf was re-taken the same day, only a couple of hours later.
What eyewitnesses reported that Nemmesdorf was taken back the same day?


Official reports say german 5th Panzer-Division took the village two days later on October 23.
What happened exactly we will never know. Fact is that
a) the russian soldiers killed between 23 and 65 german civilians (women, kids and old people)
I have to double check but the original report speaks of 26 victims in Nemmesdorf and the surrounding villages.


as well as some french POWs
As I know the story about killed French POWs is a "urban legend".


b) the Nazi leadership exploited the incident to stiffen the resistance against the advancing Red Army.
It was reported of mass rapes, mass killings, crucified women on barn doors etc.
As I know the mass rape cases and especially crusifiction was not mentioned in the original autentic reports. Most of it is the fruit of the post war period.


Other (german) sources say there weren't any rapes at all. Goebbels' employees lifted skirts and lowered underwear of the dead women.
The lifting of underwear for the taking pictures is most likely true because the German photographs were taken after the victims were burried. It is doubtfull that the Wehrmach soldiers whould burry German victims in such condition.


B. Fisch's version of disguised germans in russian uniforms to commit the massacre is an insolence though IMHO.It is just an assumtion from his side. Thinking aloud as there were a couple of some strange coincendences assosiated with the events in Nemmesdorf.
Does Fisch insists it was done by the German special units dressed in russian uniform (these units did indeed exist as I know).

flamethrowerguy
09-18-2008, 05:46 PM
Didn't forget you, Igor. I just want to have all possible sources around dealing with a sensitive topic like this one and getting a book from an upper shelf is a hell of an adventure in my current physical constitution.:cry:
Will reply soon!

pdf27
09-19-2008, 12:49 PM
I'll reopen this thread tomorrow when everyone has calmed down again. The fight has been transferred to a thread in Off Topic which will remain permanently locked.

pdf27
10-03-2008, 09:56 AM
Reopened and bumped.

flamethrowerguy
10-08-2008, 10:06 AM
Allright, guys, here we go again.



What eyewitnesses reported that Nemmesdorf was taken back the same day?

Fact is that Nemmersdorf was reached by the Red Army (2nd battalion/25th Guard Tank Brigade) at about 7:30 am (October 21, 1944). The official statement says Nemmersdorf was re-taken by parts of german 5th Panzer-Division on October 23, 1944.
In several books reports by eyewitness say that Nemmersdorf was retaken by the Wehrmacht at about 11 am the same day:
e.g. Ein Storchennest als Mahnmal (Joachim Reisch)
Another source (Eines der düsteren Kapitel by Thorsten Hinz) names the next day (October 22nd).



I have to double check but the original report speaks of 26 victims in Nemmesdorf and the surrounding villages.

Swiss newspaper "Courier de Genève" published an eyewitness report of its former Eastern Front-correspondent on November 11, 2006 saying: "...The situation (in Nemmersdorf, FTG) is not only marked by the fierce fightings of regular troops but also by the well-known measures of warfare: mutilations and executions of POWs and the almost complete eradication of the german population. The Red Army got hold of 30 men, 20 women and 15 children and killed them. I spare you with depictions of the mutilations and the horrific perspective of corpses on an open field. These are impressions exceeding the most lively phantasies...."
-According to the researches of Bernhard Fisch there have been 23-26 victims.


As I know the story about killed French POWs is a "urban legend".

I don't really know. I sometimes read that the french and belgian POWs left with the major part of the Nemmersdorf population shortly before the incidents. Joachim Reisch writes in his book "Was in Ostpreußen wirklich geschah": "...on the surrounding fields dead people were lying in rows. Children as well as old people, women and girls violated and mutilated beyond recognition. Among the dead there were also several treck-refugees and even french POWs."


As I know the mass rape cases and especially crusifiction was not mentioned in the original autentic reports. Most of it is the fruit of the post war period.

The details (e.g. crucifixions, smashed childrens heads) were publishe in the early 50's right. Not the rapings though, with all the photos of naked women's abdomen (faked or not) there were no intentions to keep it secret back in 1944/45.



The lifting of underwear for the taking pictures is most likely true because the German photographs were taken after the victims were burried. It is doubtfull that the Wehrmach soldiers whould burry German victims in such condition.
In this case most likely. But who wants to generally exclude rapings by the Red Army in this time period?


It is just an assumtion from his side. Thinking aloud as there were a couple of some strange coincendences assosiated with the events in Nemmesdorf.
Does Fisch insists it was done by the German special units dressed in russian uniform (these units did indeed exist as I know).

I read these "ideas" from disguised Wehrmacht/SS soldiers were "made up" by a collective from Kaliningrad in 1989. Surely there where these units on german side (e.g. the Brandenburger) as well as there were russian special units operating in german uniforms (Stalin's "torch-men).

Egorka
10-08-2008, 05:58 PM
Here is a quick reply just before going to bed.

Fact is that Nemmersdorf was reached by the Red Army (2nd battalion/25th Guard Tank Brigade) at about 7:30 am (October 21, 1944). The official statement says Nemmersdorf was re-taken by parts of german 5th Panzer-Division on October 23, 1944.
In several books reports by eyewitness say that Nemmersdorf was retaken by the Wehrmacht at about 11 am the same day:
e.g. Ein Storchennest als Mahnmal (Joachim Reisch)
Another source (Eines der düsteren Kapitel by Thorsten Hinz) names the next day (October 22nd).
In this case the date of Nemmersdorf retake in the official German record corresponds to the officail Soviet record.
So I personally go for it then.


Swiss newspaper "Courier de Genève" published an eyewitness report of its former Eastern Front-correspondent on November 11, 2006 saying: "...The situation (in Nemmersdorf, FTG) is not only marked by the fierce fightings of regular troops but also by the well-known measures of warfare: mutilations and executions of POWs and the almost complete eradication of the german population. The Red Army got hold of 30 men, 20 women and 15 children and killed them. I spare you with depictions of the mutilations and the horrific perspective of corpses on an open field. These are impressions exceeding the most lively phantasies...."
-According to the researches of Bernhard Fisch there have been 23-26 victims.
http://pics.livejournal.com/labas/pic/000c05pe
http://pics.livejournal.com/labas/pic/000c05pe

I would not trust an article in a news paper when it comes to detailes. The reporter used numbers that no one else used before him. Neither Heinriks, neither international comission, neither "Volkishe Beobacher"...

The number of 26 bodies (13 women, 8 men, 6 children) is not just result of Fisch's research. This number is the result of investigation by Major Heinriks (maybe a wrong name spelling as I only seen his name in Russian transcription), who was as a part of official investigation comission on assignment to investigate the situation and who issued two reports on 25 of October and the final one on the 26 of October 1944 after surveying the area in amd around Nemmersdorf.
We can IMHO definately state one thing: Heinriks had no reasons to embelish the situation. Rather opposite.
The Heinriks report holds information about two definitive rape cases and one suspected rape case.
No crusifiction is mentioned explicitly. But it citates another Major Braummuller who informed about a case in Alt-Vustervits (wrong spelling?) where a man had woonds on his hands.

The details (e.g. crucifixions, smashed childrens heads) were publishe in the early 50's right. Not the rapings though, with all the photos of naked women's abdomen (faked or not) there were no intentions to keep it secret back in 1944/45.
I ment that the original Heinriks report does not indicate mass rape. I did not mean that there were not rapes at all.
Heinriks report, 26 October 1944: "2 definitive rape, 1 suspected."
International comission, 31 October 1944: "Almost all young women were raped"
Potrek statement, 1953: "All women, including girls ob 8-12 year of age as well as a blind 84 y.o. woman, were raped."


I read these "ideas" from disguised Wehrmacht/SS soldiers were "made up" by a collective from Kaliningrad in 1989. Surely there where these units on german side (e.g. the Brandenburger) as well as there were russian special units operating in german uniforms (Stalin's "torch-men).Well to my knowledge no one, including Fisch, realy insists on this version.

Chevan
10-09-2008, 01:34 AM
Swiss newspaper "Courier de Genève" published an eyewitness report of its former Eastern Front-correspondent on November 11, 2006 saying: "...The situation (in Nemmersdorf, FTG) is not only marked by the fierce fightings of regular troops but also by the well-known measures of warfare: mutilations and executions of POWs and the almost complete eradication of the german population. The Red Army got hold of 30 men, 20 women and 15 children and killed them. I spare you with depictions of the mutilations and the horrific perspective of corpses on an open field. These are impressions exceeding the most lively phantasies...."
-According to the researches of Bernhard Fisch there have been 23-26 victims.

But how many of those 23-36 were killed during the battles when the 5 Pz division re-cuptured the Nammersdorf.As i know from the other source the German artillery and aviation attacked the Red Army units here killing the figures ( differ in other source) of Soviet soldiers.
As i know the about dozen soviet soldiers have been found by Germans in village after the battle.
So what does make us to conclude that all 26 civils killed by the close fire( i.e were shoted) but not perished during the artillery and bomb attack?
At least part of them.


I don't really know. I sometimes read that the french and belgian POWs left with the major part of the Nemmersdorf population shortly before the incidents. Joachim Reisch writes in his book "Was in Ostpreußen wirklich geschah": "...on the surrounding fields dead people were lying in rows. Children as well as old people, women and girls violated and mutilated beyond recognition. Among the dead there were also several treck-refugees and even french POWs."

Again where is the evidence those people were killed specialy? One can see a handreds photos of bodies in the East , mutilated beyond recognition by the fire and explosions who were dropped to the rows near the roads.


The details (e.g. crucifixions, smashed childrens heads) were publishe in the early 50's right. Not the rapings though, with all the photos of naked women's abdomen (faked or not) there were no intentions to keep it secret back in 1944/45.

But why the Goebbels propogand has not showed the details in 1944/45 as they usialy did all the war?
This fact look very strange IMO.
We know how the , especialy the rapings of the German civils, were the "lovely matter" of the dr Goebbels.
the other his "famouse deed" were to overestimate the victims of firebombings, showing all terrible details and increasing the figures of victims in times.
Look at Katyn massacre German report for instance were FULL of details , photos and "evidences of jewish-bolshevics crimes". As well and the Germans unearthed the hundreds of bodies in Baltic states in 1941, immediatelly started to share the photos with details.
Well known fact that during the war the both sides propogand use any possibility to harm the enemy.
But in Nemmersdorf we have UNIQUE situation when AFTER the war the figures of victims RISED in times in western press.
In 1953 the first time Potrek's story had been published ,accurate when the cold war starts.


In this case most likely. But who wants to generally exclude rapings by the Red Army in this time period?

Actually we know RAPINGS were a real. Nobody will deny it.
The killing of civils , executions and "revenge" and ets as well.

flamethrowerguy
10-09-2008, 03:53 PM
I would not trust an article in a news paper when it comes to detailes. The reporter used numbers that no one else used before him. Neither Heinriks, neither international comission, neither "Volkishe Beobacher"...

Well, I wouldn't trust the Prawda, Völkischer Beobachter or The Sun but if we can't trust a catholic swiss newspaper who's left to trust?;)


The number of 26 bodies (13 women, 8 men, 6 children) is not just result of Fisch's research. This number is the result of investigation by Major Heinriks (maybe a wrong name spelling as I only seen his name in Russian transcription), who was as a part of official investigation comission on assignment to investigate the situation and who issued two reports on 25 of October and the final one on the 26 of October 1944 after surveying the area in amd around Nemmersdorf.
We can IMHO definately state one thing: Heinriks had no reasons to embelish the situation. Rather opposite.
The Heinriks report holds information about two definitive rape cases and one suspected rape case.
No crusifiction is mentioned explicitly. But it citates another Major Braummuller who informed about a case in Alt-Vustervits (wrong spelling?) where a man had woonds on his hands.

I ment that the original Heinriks report does not indicate mass rape. I did not mean that there were not rapes at all.
Heinriks report, 26 October 1944: "2 definitive rape, 1 suspected."
International comission, 31 October 1944: "Almost all young women were raped"
Potrek statement, 1953: "All women, including girls ob 8-12 year of age as well as a blind 84 y.o. woman, were raped."

Right, no crucifixions etc. were mentioned in 1944 by nazi press/leadership. Why these things were made up in the early 50's I really can't imagine. I am sure in Germany nobody dared to call for revenge or generally mentioned allied crimes in public. Surely the horrific incidents were made even more horrfic by Goebbels and his mob but it turned out as a mistake. Goebbels suspected the media coverage to stiffen the resistance agains the advancing Red Army but all he accomplished was panic.
Volkssturm member Karl Potrek stated 1953 in his "Documentary of displacement" he had seen 6 naked women nailed to barn doors. Also he mentions the number of the dead with even 72 women and children. However it is suspected that this number means the dead of the entire rural district of Gumbinnen (including Nemmersdorf, Alt-Wusterwitz and Tutteln). Agreed about the raping-issue and numbers.

Another report:
-Major General Erich Dethleffsen, Chief of Staff of the german 4th Army made the following deposition at the Nuremberg Trials under oath(!) on July 5,1946:
"...in several villages in the Gumbinnen district the civil poulation was shot by soviet forces - partially by martyr like nailing to barn doors. A great number of women was raped before. Also about 50 french POWs were shot by russian soldiers." Within a personal conversation with the american expert on international law Professor Alfred de Zayas, Dethleffsen repeated his statement.
I couldn't find too much about Major Hans Hinrichs and his statements regarding the rapings. I just found this interesting: "...captured russian soldiers of the 11th Guard Army deployed in the Nemmersdorf area declared that the atrocities were committed by the die-hard bolsheviks among them due to Stalin's order "to kill the beast in his lair."

flamethrowerguy
10-09-2008, 04:22 PM
But how many of those 23-36 were killed during the battles when the 5 Pz division re-cuptured the Nammersdorf.As i know from the other source the German artillery and aviation attacked the Red Army units here killing the figures ( differ in other source) of Soviet soldiers.
As i know the about dozen soviet soldiers have been found by Germans in village after the battle.
So what does make us to conclude that all 26 civils killed by the close fire( i.e were shoted) but not perished during the artillery and bomb attack?
At least part of them.

Chevan, I responded to most of your points within my last post. Just adding this about the cause of death of the civilians of Nemmersdorf:
-A report of german 1st Lieutenant Heinrich Amberger, chief of 13th Company/Panzer-Regiment 31 of 5. Panzer-Division declares that the corpses on the fields and in the farmyards were not killed due to combat operations or straying bullets but methodically executed by neck shots.
-Lone survivor Gerda Meczulat from Nemmersdorf declared: "...a russian officer opened the door of our shelter, shouting "Pashol, Pashol". When we left the bunker there were russian soldiers everywhere armed with smg's. Then I heard shots and the stertorousness of the dying". Mrs. Meczulat -suffering from polio since the age of 7- was the last person to leave the shelter. By doing so she slipped and fell, then the russian officer stepped behind her, put a pitol to her head and fired. The bullet lacerated her jaws and left the body above the cheekbone, she survived by miracle.

BTW, if he expect the following photo to be real (which I do) we can surely exclude the amount of 23 victims.
2872

Chevan
10-10-2008, 12:48 AM
Chevan, I responded to most of your points within my last post. Just adding this about the cause of death of the civilians of Nemmersdorf:

Yes sorry you right.


-A report of german 1st Lieutenant Heinrich Amberger, chief of 13th Company/Panzer-Regiment 31 of 5. Panzer-Division declares that the corpses on the fields and in the farmyards were not killed due to combat operations or straying bullets but methodically executed by neck shots.

SO did they executed even the babies by the neck shots?
http://pics.livejournal.com/labas/pic/000bf78c


-Lone survivor Gerda Meczulat from Nemmersdorf declared: "...a russian officer opened the door of our shelter, shouting "Pashol, Pashol". When we left the bunker there were russian soldiers everywhere armed with smg's. Then I heard shots and the stertorousness of the dying". Mrs. Meczulat -suffering from polio since the age of 7- was the last person to leave the shelter. By doing so she slipped and fell, then the russian officer stepped behind her, put a pitol to her head and fired. The bullet lacerated her jaws and left the body above the cheekbone, she survived by miracle.

OK.
So all the civils in bunker were murdered right after red army officer pushed them out.
But how does it correlate with Potrek story that ""All women, including girls ob 8-12 year of age as well as a blind 84 y.o. woman, were raped."Gerda Meczulat did not say anybody was raped at all.


BTW, if he expect the following photo to be real (which I do) we can surely exclude the amount of 23 victims.
2872Well if this photo from Nemmersdorf ,you right the 24 is more real.

flamethrowerguy
10-10-2008, 05:38 AM
SO did they executed even the babies by the neck shots?

I don't know, fortunately I am no forensic doctor or pathologist. I don't want to imagine what a bullet fired from close distance does to a baby's/critter's head.



So all the civils in bunker were murdered right after red army officer pushed them out.
But how does it correlate with Potrek story that ""All women, including girls ob 8-12 year of age as well as a blind 84 y.o. woman, were raped."Gerda Meczulat did not say anybody was raped at all.

We don't know if all remaining civilians of Nemmersdorf did actually hide in the same shelter. But according to Mrs. Meczulat story in this case were no rapes.
I read a bit more about Potrek and his potential intentions. I think it's very much emoted. You mentioned the beginning of the Cold War as a reason. Very likely, furthermore Potrek was a spokesman of german displaced persons-association and they were surely fishing for attention by that time.

Gathered some more Nemmersdorf photos, maybe anyone could/want to say something about potential causes of death.
WARNING! THESE ARE NO PLEASANT PHOTOS!

Egorka
10-10-2008, 06:24 AM
The name is Hinrichs.

Here the scan of his report that I found with some help.
The picture quality os not great. Can you read this?

http://pics.livejournal.com/labas/pic/000g5hqr
http://pics.livejournal.com/labas/pic/000g5hqr

flamethrowerguy
10-10-2008, 06:30 AM
The name is Hinrichs.
Can you read this?

Yes, by copying and enlarging it does (somewhat) work.

Chevan
10-13-2008, 07:12 AM
We don't know if all remaining civilians of Nemmersdorf did actually hide in the same shelter. But according to Mrs. Meczulat story in this case were no rapes.
I read a bit more about Potrek and his potential intentions. I think it's very much emoted. You mentioned the beginning of the Cold War as a reason. Very likely, furthermore Potrek was a spokesman of german displaced persons-association and they were surely fishing for attention by that time.

Well, i do agree.
The next question is how much were actualy murdered?
26 either 65 as Swiss newspaper wrote.

Swiss newspaper "Courier de Genève" published an eyewitness report of its former Eastern Front-correspondent on November 11, 2006 saying: "...The situation (in Nemmersdorf, FTG) is not only marked by the fierce fightings of regular troops but also by the well-known measures of warfare: mutilations and executions of POWs and the almost complete eradication of the german population. The Red Army got hold of 30 men, 20 women and 15 children and killed them
What figure do you believe in?

flamethrowerguy
10-13-2008, 11:40 AM
What figure do you believe in?

I'd go for the mid-20 numbers. The amount of 60-70 was surely ment for the entire Gumbinnen sector in October 1944.