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Gary D.
10-08-2009, 10:12 AM
Does anyone know how the defeated German armed forces were treated by the Allied occupying authorities immediately after the war? I read somewhere that German soldiers were incarcerated for two years! This seems hardly fair, imprisoning an 18- or 19-year-old draftee, although I can understand why the Allies wanted to weed out dangerous SS men.

Then, what was going to happen to all these young men--wander around, unemployed, homeless, across a defeated Reich? Again, they were needed to get Germany back on its feet again--who can imagine Europe without Germany?

I was doing some research on the German actor Hardy Kruger, who was one of the 'golden Aryans' that Goebbels boasted so much about. Young Kruger made a few movies under the Third Reich, then went into the service. His biography states, 'After he was released . . .'

herman2
10-08-2009, 11:11 AM
Well, I have read that many scientists and experts in rocketry and bomb making were welcomed by many countries all over the world to enrich their country’s own self interests. Strange how a scientists who made significant advances in bombs that killed innocent women and children, were considered a prize catch by the various allied countries. I know your question was directly about the armed forces though. The Russians were the worst because they harshly imprisoned German soldiers for several years after the war. My Mom’s uncle was in prison in Russia until 1954. He was a measley corporal-nothing fancy. Those Russian bastards were ruthless. No one wanted to surrender to them because they knew they would torture them. Everyone wanted to surrender to the Americans and British. My father immigrated to Canada in 1953 because unemployment in Germany was bad and housing was impossible. My dad never regrets leaving Germany at the time because even after he got married in Germany there was no housing in Hamburg that he could find

Gary D.
10-08-2009, 01:28 PM
* * * The Russians were the worst because they harshly imprisoned German soldiers for several years after the war. My Mom’s uncle was in prison in Russia until 1954. * * *

The only reason the Soviets released any German prisoners they hadn't worked to death was because the Bonn government bought them out--financial inducements and technology. I believe the Federal Government began to prosper around 1955.

Even if the Soviets had been signatories to the Geneva Conventions, they probably would have still kept German POW's for decades.

Somewhat off the subject, but we punished many Germans for obeying unlawful orders. I remember reading somewhere that the Wehrmacht didn't bring court martials against those who didn't obey unlawful orders--although it would be foolish to think illegal orders weren't carried out.

In Ken Burns' excellent study of World War II, that came out two years ago, American troops were given orders to shoot unarmed German soldiers who had just surrendered. The American soldiers refused to carry the order out, even in the bluff of being court martialed. I have to watch my tape(s) again to remember the outcome. I don't think I could shoot an armed 18-year-old, unless he tried to kill me first. However, this was probably about the time of the Malmedy Massacre.

Egorka
10-08-2009, 04:06 PM
My Mom’s uncle was in prison in Russia until 1954.Did he ever mentioned why he was kept in Soviet prison until 1954?
It is peculiar that he was there until 1954 whereas 99% of all survived German POWs were repatriated to Germany by December 1949.
There must be a reason, no?
Either he was a very-very-very unlucky chap or he was a criminal of some sort.

Nickdfresh
10-08-2009, 04:17 PM
Gary, you do realize we have a German Military forum?

Nickdfresh
10-08-2009, 04:21 PM
Well, I have read that many scientists and experts in rocketry and bomb making were welcomed by many countries all over the world to enrich their country’s own self interests. Strange how a scientists who made significant advances in bombs that killed innocent women and children, were considered a prize catch by the various allied countries. I know your question was directly about the armed forces though. The Russians were the worst because they harshly imprisoned German soldiers for several years after the war.

Yeah. Well, I don't totally blame Ivan for that. You do realize that the German Ostheer and SS merely just penned up Soviet POWs like cattle, and the ones they didn't shoot outright or work to death, they let starve or die of exposure to the Soviet winters?

Many, even most, German POWs did not deserve perpetual imprisonment. But they were treated much better than their enemies often were. The Red Army POWs suffered the second highest captivity death rate behind the Jews in WWII...

Gary D.
10-08-2009, 07:05 PM
Gary, you do realize we have a German Military forum?

Is this not an appropriate discussion under this thread?

Rising Sun*
10-08-2009, 07:59 PM
The Red Army POWs suffered the second highest captivity death rate behind the Jews in WWII...

Possibly not. The Gypsies might rival or even exceed the Jews in captivity, but not as losses as a proportion of their pre-war population. The problem is that figures are very rubbery about Gypsies.

I've been reading a bit about this lately and it's clear that the Jews hijacked the role of being the only victims of Nazi genocide and now for reasons very much related to justifying their hijacking of Israel the Zionists are determined to deny the Gypsies recognition as victims of Nazi genocide. A short introduction is here http://hgs.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/9/3/346.pdf

Nickdfresh
10-08-2009, 08:34 PM
Is this not an appropriate discussion under this thread?

It's not a big deal, but we tend to like to keep the discussion specific to the nationalities of the belligerents. This forum is for more nebulous topics...

Nickdfresh
10-08-2009, 08:36 PM
Possibly not. The Gypsies might rival or even exceed the Jews in captivity, but not as losses as a proportion of their pre-war population. The problem is that figures are very rubbery about Gypsies.

I've been reading a bit about this lately and it's clear that the Jews hijacked the role of being the only victims of Nazi genocide and now for reasons very much related to justifying their hijacking of Israel the Zionists are determined to deny the Gypsies recognition as victims of Nazi genocide. A short introduction is here http://hgs.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/9/3/346.pdf


How many Gypsies? I can't imagine that there were so many in Europe at the time. But what do I know?

I think the estimates of captured Soviet men and women killed were anywhere from 3.3 million into the low fours...

And I can't use the link as I don't have a subscription, mate...:)

Rising Sun*
10-08-2009, 09:15 PM
How many Gypsies? I can't imagine that there were so many in Europe at the time. But what do I know?

I think the estimates of captured Soviet men and women killed were anywhere from 3.3 million into the low fours...

I was talking about death rates, i.e. the percentage of captives who died, rather than numbers.

Gypsy numbers were vastly smaller.


And I can't use the link as I don't have a subscription, mate...:)

Sorry, mate. I forgot it was a subscription service.

I can't post a detailed table from the link because it won't hold its formatting and it will take forever to re-format it, and I'm too bloody lazy to process it as an image at the moment. The table is interesting partly because nowhere was 100% of a local Jewish population exterminated but it happened to the Gypsies in Luxembourg, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia the Netherlands and Belguim, albeit all with small pre-war populations of 200 to 1,000. The highest percentage for Jews was 90.9 percent in Poland, being 3 million out of a pre-war population of 3.3 million. With more substantial populations of Gypsies, 98.2 per cent were killed in Croatia, being 28,000 out of a pre-war population of 28,500. Figures for both groups vary by location, but without doing the arithmetic the average for Jews looks a lot higher than the average for Gypsies, which is consistent with, from memory, an estimate that about two thirds of Europen Jews were wiped out and about one quarter to one third (figures vary) of European Gypsies.

Here is a European total for Gypsies from another reliable source.


It is not known precisely how many Roma were killed in the Holocaust. While exact figures or percentages cannot be ascertained, historians estimate that the Germans and their allies killed around 25 percent of all European Roma. Of slightly less than one million Roma believed to have been living in Europe before the war, the Germans and their Axis partners killed up to 220,000. http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/article.php?ModuleId=10005219

Egorka
10-09-2009, 06:46 AM
Originally Posted by herman2
My Mom’s uncle was in prison in Russia until 1954.Did he ever mentioned why he was kept in Soviet prison until 1954?
It is peculiar that he was there until 1954 whereas 99% of all survived German POWs were repatriated to Germany by December 1949.
There must be a reason, no?
Either he was a very-very-very unlucky chap or he was a criminal of some sort.
To elaborate a bit on this topic.
By the end of 1949 the general repatriation of POWs from USSR was over, i.e. about 3,35 million POWs were repatriated.
In the December 1950 there were app. 16.500 POWs were still in Soviet captivity (including app. 6300 officers and 260 generals) due to criminal accusations.

These 16,5 thousands accused men constitute 0,492% of the number of repatriated POWs.

It is still statistically possible that your uncle was just a good chap but extremly unlucky in his fate... but is it likely?

P.S: On the other side appart from those 16,5 thousand accused men there were still some nontransportable ill POWs whose repatriation was delayed by their condition.

Rising Sun*
10-09-2009, 07:19 AM
To elaborate a bit on this topic.
By the end of 1949 the general repatriation of POWs from USSR was over, i.e. about 3,35 million POWs were repatriated.
In the December 1950 there were app. 16.500 POWs were still in Soviet captivity (including app. 6300 officers and 260 generals) due to criminal accusations.

These 16,5 thousands accused men constitute 0,492% of the number of repatriated POWs.

That's the Soviet version at a time of international tension and dispute about exactly how many German POWs it still held.

The Germans estimated it could be as high as a million unaccounted for Germans, and up to 100,000 German POWs.

The situation was compounded by East / West tensions and politics at the time.

See pp. 37 - 40 of Robert Moeller's The Search for a Usable Past in the Federal Republic of Germany http://books.google.com.au/books?id=8Kme_3IrvEMC&dq=the+search+for+a+usable+past+moller&printsec=frontcover&source=bl&ots=qpqlAeEjKJ&sig=qHtO4WjGMtrXAYndxUSH31mByjk&hl=en&ei=fCfPSvywNcaOkAWngOnWBg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3#v=onepage&q=&f=false



It is still statistically possible that your uncle was just a good chap but extremly unlucky in his fate... but is it likely?

It is also statistically highly probable on the German figures that the Soviet figures were bullshit and that it is likely that Herman's mother's uncle was extremely unlucky in his fate and was a good chap.

The figures are all obscured by the usual political bullshit which attends all such accusations and denials, so nobody will ever know the truth.

herman2
10-09-2009, 07:42 AM
Did he ever mentioned why he was kept in Soviet prison until 1954?
It is peculiar that he was there until 1954 whereas 99% of all survived German POWs were repatriated to Germany by December 1949.
There must be a reason, no?
Either he was a very-very-very unlucky chap or he was a criminal of some sort.

Ya, well maybe he was a criminal. I really don't know him that well, but he wasnt in the SS or anything and he merely fought on a horse on the Russian Front. I know for sure it was 1954 because everybody in my family spoke about it. I wish I knew more. I don't deny he may have been a criminal but he never said anything that was of much interest to brag about. He was a simple man but doesn't hate Russians per se as he acknowledges it was war and has nothing to do with Russians today, so I don't mean to be critical of Russians. I only feel bad when I think of how cruel Russia (and perhaps others) were to POWS after the war....

Rising Sun*
10-09-2009, 07:52 AM
i really don't know him that well, but he wasnt in the SS or anything and he merely fought on a horse on the Russian Front.

Ah!

That explains it.

The Soviets might have released your mum's uncle, but I bet they kept the horse. :D

More seriously, and given the German reliance upon horse transport during the war, it's likely that your mum's uncle was in transport rather than fighting on a horse, in the sense of being cavalry.

What's often not understood is that when there was a mass surrender, as with the British forces in Singapore, a large number of prisoners were not fighting men but support and rear echelon troops, who often were least equipped for the rigors of captivity.

Egorka
10-09-2009, 08:02 AM
That's the Soviet version at a time of international tension and dispute about exactly how many German POWs it still held.
The information I reffered to came from internal reporting made not for the public, even more so not for the international public.
So as obvious as these figure a not 100% correct (like any report attempting to elaborate on something so big and extended in time) it is also obvious that these figures represent the best Soviets knew on the situation with POWs.
And it is clear the the real figure (whatever it is) can not be drammaticaly large than mentioned here.


The Germans estimated it could be as high as a million unaccounted for Germans, and up to 100,000 German POWs.That is quite possible and doesn't contradict what I just said. The "unaccounted" missing Germans are exactly that - unaccounted. I would think that a German soldier executed out of rage right on the field after he surrendered whould likely to add to these "unaccounted". There could numerous other surcomstances similar to this one.


The situation was compounded by East / West tensions and politics at the time.
Of course. But the internal reporting remains to be least affected by this.


See pp. 37 - 40 of Robert Moeller's The Search for a Usable Past in the Federal Republic of Germany http://books.google.com.au/books?id=8Kme_3IrvEMC&dq=the+search+for+a+usable+past+moller&printsec=frontcover&source=bl&ots=qpqlAeEjKJ&sig=qHtO4WjGMtrXAYndxUSH31mByjk&hl=en&ei=fCfPSvywNcaOkAWngOnWBg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3#v=onepage&q=&f=false
Looks interesting! Thanks.


It is also statistically highly probable on the German figures that the Soviet figures were bullshit and that it is likely that Herman's mother's uncle was extremely unlucky in his fate and was a good chap.
I am not insisting Herman's uncle was a criminal. That is not my intention. F.ex. he could had been framed or he could be very ill and nontransportable or such.
On the other hand knowing how relativly few POWs remained in USSR after 1949 one should realise that it was hardly an accident, but rather due to some very unusual sircumstances (even more unusual than already unusual for the rest of POW).
Knowing that and knowing that by far most of the remaining POWs at that time were under different accusations one might have a question. That is all.


The figures are all obscured by the usual political bullshit which attends all such accusations and denials, so nobody will ever know the truth.
Right. So lets just then wrap it all up and close the hole forum... else it is such a waste of time.
:)

flamethrowerguy
10-09-2009, 08:06 AM
It wasn't mandatory to be a criminal to get kept that long in Soviet captivity. Escape attempts were punished with some extra years as an example. Or being successful in what you did as a soldier would be another reason. German fighter pilot Erich Hartmann -without any explanatory statement- got 20 years for "atrocities against the Soviet population, cannonade of military objects as well as the destruction of Soviet aircrafts and (as a consequence) impairment of the Soviet economy". Hartmann was released in 1955 and was fully rehabilitated in 1997 by the Russian authorities.

Egorka
10-09-2009, 08:10 AM
Ah!
That explains it.
The Soviets might have released your mum's uncle, but I bet they kept the horse. :D
Even worse the whole truth has not been yet uncovered and as terrible as it sounds Russia still keeps the mentioned horse a prisoner!!! Russia denies it, but we are a not to be fulled!

Rising Sun*
10-09-2009, 08:17 AM
The information I reffered to came from internal reporting made not for the public, even more so not for the international public.
So as obvious as these figure a not 100% correct (like any report attempting to elaborate on something so big and extended in time) it is also obvious that these figures represent the best Soviets knew on the situation with POWs.
And it is clear the the real figure (whatever it is) can not be drammaticaly large than mentioned here.

Maybe.

But there is always the problem with such figures that they could be altered to suit Stalin's desire, as happened with the 1930s censuses. Those who knew the fate of people who produced the original census figures Stalin didn't like knew that they should produce the figures he wanted.

So even internal figures can't be relied upon because those producing them might have been influenced by considerations of self-preservation to produce what was wanted rather than what was true.

Egorka
10-09-2009, 08:17 AM
It wasn't mandatory to be a criminal to get kept that long in Soviet captivity. Escape attempts were punished with some extra years as an example.Could you, please, elaborate on the escape attempt issue and give an example.


Or being successful in what you did as a soldier would be another reason. German fighter pilot Erich Hartmann -without any explanatory statement- got 20 years for "atrocities against the Soviet population, cannonade of military objects as well as the destruction of Soviet aircrafts and (as a consequence) impairment of the Soviet economy". Hartmann was released in 1955 and was fully rehabilitated in 1997 by the Russian authorities.Without checking, didn't Hartman remained a hard core NAzi even in Soviet captivity?
So in case with Hartman it then was more due to his pro-Nazi attitude than actual war performance.

Rising Sun*
10-09-2009, 08:19 AM
Hartmann was released in 1955 and was fully rehabilitated in 1997 by the Russian authorities.

How did they manage that?

Give him back his ten lost years?

Compensation?

Or just a pardon of sorts?

flamethrowerguy
10-09-2009, 08:23 AM
How did they manage that?

Give him back his ten lost years?

Compensation?

Or just a pardon of sorts?

I'm at work, so I don't have the sources right now but -on the quick- Hartmann was already dead for 4 years when rehabilitated.

Rising Sun*
10-09-2009, 08:25 AM
Even worse the whole truth has not been yet uncovered and as terrible as it sounds Russia still keeps the mentioned horse a prisoner!!! Russia denies it, but we are a not to be fulled!

This horse has lived at least twice as long as any normal horse.

Is this due to the sturdiness of the German breeding stock or to the willingness of the Soviet authorities to give the best grass to horses rather than to the proletariat? :D

flamethrowerguy
10-09-2009, 08:25 AM
Could you, please, elaborate on the escape attempt issue and give an example.

Same here, Igor. Will do when at home.;)


Without checking, didn't Hartman remained a hard core NAzi even in Soviet captivity?
So in case with Hartman it then was more due to his pro-Nazi attitude than actual war performance.

Nah, you're mistaking him with either Rudel or Herrmann. Hartmann was a colonel of the German Luftwaffe after the war with excellent connections to the US.

Rising Sun*
10-09-2009, 08:25 AM
I'm at work, so I don't have the sources right now but -on the quick- Hartmann was already dead for 4 years when rehabilitated.

That should have made him feel better. :rolleyes:

Egorka
10-09-2009, 08:40 AM
Maybe.

But there is always the problem with such figures that they could be altered to suit Stalin's desire, as happened with the 1930s censuses. Those who knew the fate of people who produced the original census figures Stalin didn't like knew that they should produce the figures he wanted.

So even internal figures can't be relied upon because those producing them might have been influenced by considerations of self-preservation to produce what was wanted rather than what was true.I don't think that this is compareable with the census case. Census figures are ment to be public. The internal reports on POWs - not.

F.ex. there exists a report/memo from, I think, 1948 from Molotov to Stalin where Molotov mentions number of remaining POWs and than sais something like: considering high mortality rate of POW I sugest to report a lower number. Several days later Soviet News Agency (TASS) reported a figure that was somewhat lower than the one mentioned in the memo.

By the way, if my memory serves me right, the census figures were not directly forged by those responsible to please Stalin. That is actually why they didn't meet the "requiered" by Stalin numbers and were later purged. They had to make some doubtfull assumtions in their calculation and such. As I understood the hole deal with the forged census was due to the fact that the Soviet leadership actually had no idea of the demographical impact of the 1933 starvation. Add to this the demograhical shift (urbanization of population) which USSR experienced in 30-s. The point is that census result was complete surprise for Stalin.

Egorka
10-09-2009, 08:44 AM
Nah, you're mistaking him with either Rudel or Herrmann. Hartmann was a colonel of the German Luftwaffe after the war with excellent connections to the US.
That is probably right. I think it was Rudel that I had in mind.


This horse has lived at least twice as long as any normal horse.
Is this due to the sturdiness of the German breeding stock or to the willingness of the Soviet authorities to give the best grass to horses rather than to the proletariat? :DNo, it is due to superior Soviet medical service! Soviet enema treatment is the best in the world.


http://gazeta.aif.ru/data/mags/stavropol/770/pics/16_01_00.jpg
http://gazeta.aif.ru/data/mags/stavropol/770/pics/16_01_00.jpg

Rising Sun*
10-09-2009, 09:20 AM
No, it is due to superior Soviet medical service! Soviet enema treatment is the best in the world.


http://gazeta.aif.ru/data/mags/stavropol/770/pics/16_01_00.jpg
http://gazeta.aif.ru/data/mags/stavropol/770/pics/16_01_00.jpg

Enema?

I thought it was a champion parsnip.

No wonder you Russians are so tough. We use something like that for refuelling our submarines. ;)

By the way, do you have contact details for any of the lovelies surrounding the parsnip? :D

I'm willing to show them my vegetable. :mrgreen:

Rising Sun*
10-09-2009, 09:25 AM
F.ex. there exists a report/memo from, I think, 1948 from Molotov to Stalin where Molotov mentions number of remaining POWs and than sais something like: considering high mortality rate of POW I sugest to report a lower number. Several days later Soviet News Agency (TASS) reported a figure that was somewhat lower than the one mentioned in the memo.

Doesn't that support my point about Soviet figures being manipulated to achieve a desired result, and being unreliable?

Rising Sun*
10-09-2009, 09:50 AM
By the way, if my memory serves me right, the census figures were not directly forged by those responsible to please Stalin. That is actually why they didn't meet the "requiered" by Stalin numbers and were later purged.

The first lot of statisticians worked out figures according to the evidence available to them. Those figures disagreed with Stalin's ideas of Soviet population growth. Some of the people at the top responsible for those figures were sent to gulags.

Another team was appointed and it came up with figures which agreed with Stalin's population estimates. That team didn't go to the gulags.


The point is that census result was complete surprise for Stalin.

The first one, yes.

The second one, no.

Nickdfresh
10-09-2009, 02:47 PM
Same here, Igor. Will do when at home.;)



Nah, you're mistaking him with either Rudel or Herrmann. Hartmann was a colonel of the German Luftwaffe after the war with excellent connections to the US.

After his release I believe Hartman spent time in the United States consulting for the Air Force and even logging some test pilot time in the cockpit, before returning to the Luftwaffe...

Egorka
10-09-2009, 02:56 PM
Doesn't that support my point about Soviet figures being manipulated to achieve a desired result, and being unreliable?
No, it doesn't. :)
You see, the mentioned episode with Molotov sugesting to publicly anounce a lower figure in the press is actually shows that the internal figure was perceived as a real one. It is only out PR purposes a distorted (not too much distorted BTW) was reported. That is why internal documents (especially at the level of Stalin-Molotov) are so important to understanding of the picture.

One surely should apply modest amount of rational questioning when evaluating information, but there is a line after which it is not critical thinking, but rather paranoia. Lets not step behind that thin line... :)

flamethrowerguy
10-10-2009, 12:34 AM
Could you, please, elaborate on the escape attempt issue and give an example.

An example would be Dr. Günther Wagenlehner, I just re-checked his reports. Wagenlehner was born in 1923 and as a Lieutenant of the Wehrmacht he was captured by the British near the end of the war. After his release he returned to his home in the Soviet zone of occupation. At first he was detained in Germany and then taken to a camp in the Soviet Union. After two escape attempts and involvement in a camp uprising he was sentenced to three times 25 years forced labour. He returned to Germany in 1955.
After the war he worked for more than 20 years as an expert for eastern affairs and psychological defence in the German Ministry of Defence.

He provides the following thesis for keeping Germans in the Soviet Union until the mid 50's: In 1948 the Soviet government decided to send all German POW's home until late 1949. However KGB and MVD prevented this by preparing the mass convictions of autumn 1949. In September 1949 Stalin decided that 17000 POW's had to be sentenced to 25 years of forced labour according to UKAZ 43 (war criminals). The matching individuals that didn't confess were supposed to be convicted for aiding and abetting (article 17). In this connection a soldier's membership to an outfit like the "Großdeutschland", "Brandenburg" units or the Waffen-SS in general was regarded as sufficient. Convictions were imposed in 5-10 minute trials.
On March 17, 1950 Stalin assessed that too many Germans were convicted and ordered the Minister of the Interior to release 5000 just convicted individuals. Meanwhile every former German POW who was sentenced according Article 17 of UKAZ 43 is immediately rehabilitated on enquiry.

flamethrowerguy
10-10-2009, 12:42 AM
After his release I believe Hartman spent time in the United States consulting for the Air Force and even logging some test pilot time in the cockpit, before returning to the Luftwaffe...

IIRC this was the F-86 Sabre. Hartmann eventually was another victim of the so-called Lockheed Scandal of 1966 (concerning the F-104 Starfighter).

Egorka
10-10-2009, 04:22 PM
After two escape attempts and involvement in a camp uprising he was sentenced to three times 25 years forced labour. He returned to Germany in 1955.Correct me if I am wrong, but the first sentense Hartman got in 1949 with that rediculous acusation of destruction of Soviet airplains and a backery on the ground. After he was one of the leaders if the camp revolt where all inmates cooperation wit hthe camp administration were killed he got a new sentense. I have not read of the third 25 year sentense.
What year did he get 25 years sentense for an escape attempt?
He was obviously intitially framed due to his open and public opposition to everything Soviet. I suppose the camp revolt incident might be even more complicated affair.


He provides the following thesis for keeping Germans in the Soviet Union until the mid 50's: In 1948 the Soviet government decided to send all German POW's home until late 1949. However KGB and MVD prevented this by preparing the mass convictions of autumn 1949. In September 1949 Stalin decided that 17000 POW's had to be sentenced to 25 years of forced labour according to UKAZ 43 (war criminals). The matching individuals that didn't confess were supposed to be convicted for aiding and abetting (article 17). In this connection a soldier's membership to an outfit like the "Großdeutschland", "Brandenburg" units or the Waffen-SS in general was regarded as sufficient. Convictions were imposed in 5-10 minute trials.
On March 17, 1950 Stalin assessed that too many Germans were convicted and ordered the Minister of the Interior to release 5000 just convicted individuals.
More or less the same as I imagine what happened.

Meanwhile every former German POW who was sentenced according Article 17 of UKAZ 43 is immediately rehabilitated on enquiry.
In total there were app. 25200 foreign sitizens sentensed on the ground of the law № 39 of 19 April 1943.
Up to January 2000 about 11000 people sought rehabilitation. 8000 got rehabilitation, 3000 were denied.

There are only 5 articles in the order № 39 of 19.04.1943 http://bdsa.ru/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=621&Itemid=30 :)

flamethrowerguy
10-10-2009, 11:05 PM
Correct me if I am wrong, but the first sentense Hartman got in 1949 with that rediculous acusation of destruction of Soviet airplains and a backery on the ground. After he was one of the leaders if the camp revolt where all inmates cooperation wit hthe camp administration were killed he got a new sentense. I have not read of the third 25 year sentense.
What year did he get 25 years sentense for an escape attempt?
He was obviously intitially framed due to his open and public opposition to everything Soviet. I suppose the camp revolt incident might be even more complicated affair.

You're mistaking Hartmann and Wagenlehner here I assume.;)


There are only 5 articles in the order № 39 of 19.04.1943 http://bdsa.ru/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=621&Itemid=30 :)

I had no inside information about the Soviet official rules on that one, I just quoted Wagenlehner. Do you have any idea which "Article 17" he was writing about?

flamethrowerguy
10-10-2009, 11:39 PM
I had no inside information about the Soviet official rules on that one, I just quoted Wagenlehner. Do you have any idea which "Article 17" he was writing about?

I found it myself, he simply meant Article 17 of the penal code of the Soviet Union...

Egorka
10-11-2009, 03:35 PM
You're mistaking Hartmann and Wagenlehner here I assume.;)Your assumption is entierly justifiable! :)

I found it myself, he simply meant Article 17 of the penal code of the Soviet Union...
I tried to find what article 17 is. It seems that the 17 article of the penal code of 1926 (in force until 1960) covered accompliceship in a crime.
I guess the logic was that since the war against USSR was declared to be a crime and some organisations were declared to be criminal too, then the members of SS could be charged with accompliceship to the crimes.

BTW charging the mentioned guy for an escape attempt after the sentense was entierly possible juridicaly. The thing is that after such conviction the person would looses status of POW, which leads to the consequence: fugitive = crime = punishment.

As I understand by far most of these 16000 men were SS members, no?

flamethrowerguy
10-12-2009, 01:42 PM
As I understand by far most of these 16000 men were SS members, no?

From what I just re-checked the choice of those unfortunate ones was randomly. There were POW's already put on a transport home and promised "woyenno plenny skoro domoy" and then kept back after all. The accusations also based on articles 58&59 of Soviet penal code (in my source listed as "contra-revolutionary activity, impairment of public property" etc.). A popular count of indictment was "shattering of the economical substructure of the Soviet system". This could mean (all real cases):
- a German driver of a tank drove his vehicle through a cornfield, ergo he destroyed the harvest and hereby the economical substructure.
- some were sentenced after they confessed to have eaten a Russian chicken during the war...theft of Soviet property.
- a Wehrmacht shoemaker was convicted because of the exertion of his profession: he abetted the marching abilities of the invading forces.
- an army musician lifted the spirits of the fascist army.:lol:
- a pharmacist was sentenced because of the fact that he supplied the Wehrmacht with medication: strengthening of the Wehrmacht!

Eventually a certain amount of Germans had to stay and they picked some incidentally. Another explanation for holding the POW's back is that the Soviet Union needed them as a Cold War dead pledge to put some pressure on Western Germany and derail its orientation to the west.

Ostertag
10-16-2009, 10:20 PM
There is an old German POW camp in Espanola ONT 3 hours from my city. The camp is now a mill but there is still drawings on the wall from the POWs. The POWs were treated good and were given day passes to go for a walk or see a show, some POWs helped on frams and other odd job that thay could fined. after the war most of the POWs stayed in Canada or came back when thay fond Germany in ruins.

Rising Sun*
10-19-2009, 07:58 AM
One surely should apply modest amount of rational questioning when evaluating information, but there is a line after which it is not critical thinking, but rather paranoia. Lets not step behind that thin line... :)

It might not be me who has stepped over a line of historical rationality, or who is unable to accept critical thinking, but the modern Russian state.



Russian historian arrested in clampdown on Stalin era

Authorities seize research into Arctic gulags in latest move to suppress evidence of political repression

Luke Harding in Moscow
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 15 October 2009 18.38 BST

A Russian historian investigating the fate of Germans imprisoned in the Soviet Union during the second world war has been arrested, in the latest apparent clampdown on historical research into the Stalin era by the Russian authorities.

Mikhail Suprun was detained last month by officers from Russia's security services. They searched his apartment and carried off his entire personal archive. He has now been charged with violating privacy laws and, if convicted, faces up to four years in jail.

Suprun had been researching Germans sent to Russia's Arctic gulags. A professor of history at Arkhangelsk's Pomorskiy university, his study included German prisoners of war captured by the Red Army as well as Russian-speaking ethnic Germans, many from southern Russia, deported by Stalin. Both groups ended up in Arkhangelsk camps.

"I had been planning to write two books. I need another two or three years before I can finish them," Suprun told the Guardian today. The historian – who described his arrest as "absurd" – said he had signed an agreement with local officials not to talk further about his case.

But the arrest has provoked outrage in Germany and among leading historians. It comes amid Kremlin attempts to rehabilitate Stalin and to clamp down on independent historical research – with political repression during the Soviet era and victims of the gulag system now taboo topics.

Today the historian and writer Orlando Figes described Suprun's arrest as unprecedented, and part of a "Putinite campaign against freedom of historical research and expression". Figes, professor of history at Birkbeck college, London University, added: "[It's] potentially quite alarming, if it means that the regime intends to clamp down on the collection of personal data about the Stalin terror."

Suprun's project was done in collaboration with Germany's Red Cross. The organisation is still trying to establish the fate of thousands of Germans transported to Soviet Russia as prisoners during the war – many of whom never came back. The German Red Cross today said it was baffled by the historian's arrest. It was "completely unacceptable", Erica Steinbach, a rightwing German MP, added.

Russia's FSB intelligence agency also arrested a police official who handed Suprun material from the local interior ministry archive. It includes a list of 40,000 German gulag victims between 1945 and 1956, deported to the Arkhangelsk region. It details which camps they were sent to and whether they survived. The official, Col Alexander Dudaryev, is accused of abusing his position.

"What we are seeing is the rebirth of control over history," said Rauf Gabidullin, of Arkhangelsk's movement for human rights. "The majority of Russians don't have any idea of the scale of Stalin's repression. Those in power are from the KGB. They don't want people to know what their KGB predecessors were doing, or its huge scope."

Asked what life was like in Arkhangelsk's freezing gulags, overlooking the White Sea, he said: "Terrible. The winter was extremely long. The conditions in the barracks were appalling. The German prisoners who were lucky enough to survive chopped wood. In other parts of the Soviet Union they constructed buildings, including Moscow state university."

The Arkhangelsk camps also contained Poles, Greeks, Tartars and other non-Russian ethnic groups. By the end of the war 11 million Germans were in allied prison camps. More than a million perished. Soviet prisoners of war fared even worse. Of the 5.7 million taken prisoner in Germany 3.3 million died – more than half.

The second world war remains a source of major tension between Russia and its post-Soviet neighbours. Russia's president, Dmitry Medvedev, has repeatedly accused Ukraine, Poland and other eastern European countries of distorting history for political purposes and in May set up a new state commission to prevent what he called the "falsification of history".

Over the summer Moscow reacted furiously when the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe's parliamentary assembly, led by the Baltic states, passed a motion equating Nazism with Stalinism. The Kremlin has also defended the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact – under which Stalin and Hitler carved up eastern Europe – describing it as a tactical agreement no different from other western accommodations with the Nazis.

Today Allison Gill, the director of Human Rights Watch in Moscow, described the Suprun case as "very troubling". "It's part of an attempt to provide a single narrative about what Russia was, and what it means today. It denies the full complexity of Russia's history and the fact that individuals had vastly different experiences. I don't like it at all," she said.

Suprun's research is similar to several other projects carried out over the past two decades by the Russian human rights organisation Memorial. Memorial has collected the names of tens of thousands of gulag victims, publishing their details in public "memory books". Last year police raided Memorial's office in St Petersburg office, seizing material used by Figes in his book on family life in Stalin's Russia, The Whisperers. They later returned it. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/oct/15/russia-gulag-historian-arrested

Anglo-Saxon-Viking
10-24-2009, 09:44 AM
The Deutschlanders who came to America as POWs were really allowed a lot of freedom.
In the movie Tuskegee Airmen it was portrayed that when some of the volunteers made a stop in Hillsboro, TX that they had to give their seats to German POWs because THEY were African Americans. That is a true incident and was not added for political correct-
ness. As far as Germany goes Gen. Patton got in trouble as Procurator of Bavria because he was using the Germans to run public services. Also he wanted to incorporate the SS and Wehrmacht POWs into the US Army and attack Russia. So they
did OK as POWs.

flamethrowerguy
10-24-2009, 10:16 AM
The Deutschlanders who came to America as POWs were really allowed a lot of freedom.


"Deutsche", please. "Deutschländer" are sausages!:D

Rising Sun*
10-24-2009, 10:41 AM
"Deutsche", please. "Deutschländer" are sausages!:D

That may have been his point. ;) :D

Nickdfresh
10-24-2009, 11:39 AM
I've never heard of that specific Tuskegee Airmen incident. But the German POWs generally ate much better than most Americans and even received BEER RATIONS leading to resentment by both civilians and US military personnel. The US Army largely took a hands-off approach to the POW Camps and even let the Germans largely run their own affairs. They were paid for their labor and generally worked no harder than a typical US construction worker with set hours and they were also allowed to put on plays, hold cultural classes, and even play Fußball. All of this of course led to the hardcore Nazis and SS personnel taking things over and enforcing discipline to German soldiers --as the MPs largely were ordered to stay out of their affairs and those German POWs that expressed dissatisfaction with the Nazi regime in Germany were in turn "dealt with". This meant of course that there were a inordinate number of "suicides" by hanging in some barracks.

Of course, after the War ended, this all changed and POWs were place on half-rations (of the generous portions they had previous enjoyed during the War) and a rigorous de-Nazification program was instituted in which the tables were turned and the camp "leaders" were "dealt with." Also, a more rigorous regime of hard labor was enforced with long hours and few days off.

flamethrowerguy
10-24-2009, 11:46 AM
Of course, after the War ended, this all changed and POWs were place on half-rations (of the generous portions they had previous enjoyed during the War) and a rigorous de-Nazification program was instituted in which the tables were turned and the camp "leaders" were "dealt with." Also, a more rigorous regime of hard labor was enforced with long hours and few days off.

Right about that, things changed with VE day. German POW's reasoned this with the fact that the US didn't have to bother about their own men in German captivity no more. On the other hand it was also assumed that the liberation of the concentration camps and the horrible sights the US forces encountered there did their part.

Nickdfresh
10-24-2009, 12:17 PM
Right about that, things changed with VE day. German POW's reasoned this with the fact that the US didn't have to bother about their own men in German captivity no more. On the other hand it was also assumed that the liberation of the concentration camps and the horrible sights the US forces encountered there did their part.

The above is correct. I would add to that though that there was a general feeling that certain parts of the US Army were institutionally incompetent and senior officers that were relieved on the battlefield were often sent to perceived "soft," lessor important stateside duties to be commandants of camps and training schools. This was done of course as to not embarrass the Army and said officers and the overall War effort. At the end of the War, I think some were finally pushed out of the Army to make way for the ones who had proven themselves and wanted to stay in. I think there was also a general resentment of the populace who thought that while it was commendable that the Germans were treated very well by WWII standards (and it worked out in the long run), stories of Nazis still running things in the camp periodically surfaced and incidents of dead German POWs committing "suicide"--despite the fact that they were obviously beaten up prior to death--were not possible to completely hush-up. And yes, the atrocity stories contributed to a harder line of "De-Nazification" and a more rigorous screening of suitable candidates who would inevitably have to run what became of West Germany...

flamethrowerguy
10-24-2009, 12:27 PM
Within the de-nazification process I read that there were lively discussions between the POW's and their American educators about the USA's race politics. I should add that the major part of the camps was below Mason-Dixie.
I certainly have to re-check about the convinced Nazi influences inside the camps.

Rising Sun*
10-25-2009, 08:37 AM
I certainly have to re-check about the convinced Nazi influences inside the camps.

It was very significant in some camps in the US, to the extent that the Nazis in some camps ruled the roost and at times killed their opponents. I read a well documented book about it some time ago but I can't recall the title or author. I'll post it if I can track it down.

I recall some reading about the same effects in Australian camps holding German POWs, although not to the same effect. Perhaps because they were much smaller camps and perhaps because a proportion of the German prisoners here came from different sources to those in America, such as the crews of commerce raiders.

Egorka
10-25-2009, 03:52 PM
It might not be me who has stepped over a line of historical rationality, or who is unable to accept critical thinking, but the modern Russian state.
...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/oct/15/russia-gulag-historian-arrested
Well, he hasn't been arrested and has't been charged with anything. Yet.
Next time he and his accomplice should be more carefull (or at least discreet) in breaking laws and regulations for money. :)

joyban
11-06-2009, 07:53 AM
Here is an first hand details of fighter ace Erich Hartmann :-

http://www.hotlinecy.com/hartmann.htm

This is what he said :-


Q: What was it like for you when you surrendered?


A: Graf, Grasser and I surrendered to the 90th Infantry Division, and we were

placed in a barbed wire camp. The conditions were terrible. Many men

decided to escape, and some were assisted by the guards. We went eight days

without any food, and then were told we were to be moved. All of us, even

women and children were taken to an open field. The trucks stopped and there

were Soviet troops there waiting for us. The Russians then separated the

women and girls from the men, and the most horrible things happened, which

you know and I cannot say here. We saw this; the Americans saw this, and we

could do nothing to stop it. Men who fought like lions cried like babies at the

sight of complete strangers being raped repeatedly. A couple of girls managed

to run to a truck and the Americans pulled them in, but the Russians, most

were drunk pointed their guns at the allies and fired a few shots. Then the truck drivers decided to drive away quickly. Some women were shot after the

rapes. Others were not so lucky. I remember a twelve year old girl whose

mother had been raped and shot being raped by several soldiers. She died from

these acts soon afterward. Then more Russians came, and it began all over again and lasted through the night. During the night entire families committed suicide, men killing their wives and daughters, then themselves. I still cannot believe these things as I speak now. I know many will never believe this story, but it is true. Soon a Russian general came and issued orders for all of this to stop. He was serious, because some of the Russians who did not stay away and came to rape were executed on the spot by their own men by hanging.

Q: What was your internment like in Russia?



A: Well, I was somewhat famous, or infamous, depending upon your perspective,

and the Soviets were very interested in making an example of me. I was never

badly beaten and tortured, but I was starved and threatened for several years.

The interrogations were the worst. I know that you have interviewed several

Germans who experienced the same thing. The stories are pretty much the same, so I won’t go into details. The first thing they did was give us physical exams to determine how fit we were for hard labor. Then they put us on a train which was diverted from Vienna to the Carpathians in Romania. We were placed in another wired prison with Romanian Communist guards. This lasted a week and then we boarded another train. There was no room in these small train cars, so not all could sit, so we took turns. Finally we arrived near Kirov and disembarked in a swamp. This was our home for a while. Of the 1,500 POWs who were dropped at this place about 200 lived through the first winter. This I know from some who survived. They were not fed, just worked to death. I was sent to Gryazovets where Assi Hahn was already. He had been a POW since 1943.


Q: Which camp were you in as a POW?

A: I was in several camps, Shakhty, Novocherkassk, where they kept me in
solitary confinement, and Diaterka. I had gone on a hunger strike to protest the

slave labor conditions and the fact that the Soviets were simply working men

to death out of spite. I was ironically placed in a camp at Kuteynikovo where

my squadron had been based in 1943.



Q: Which camp had the revolt?



A: That was Shakhty. This was when I and others refused to work, invoking the

Geneva Convention. They placed me back in solitary. This was a work camp

for mining and many men were tired of it, and I think my being gone started

the problem. Within a few days the POWs jumped the guards, cornered the

camp commandant and freed me. It was quite exciting. Then they sent me to the other camps, and at Diaterka there 4,000 men there.



Q: Describe a camp, how was it laid out?



A: A fine example was Diaterka. There was a high fence, then a dead zone with a

walkway for guards and dogs, then another fence with watch towers with more

guards and machine guns. There were long rows of barracks which were not

insulated against the cold, and the winters were quite cold I can tell you. Each

barrack held between 200 and 400 prisoners depending on its size, and there

were rows of wooden bunks in tiers of three to four. The camp was divided

into maximum and minimum security sections, with us being in the most

secure section. The ultra maximum security section housed elite members of

the Third Reich and special Soviet political prisoners, which was another

section even within our part within its own wired enclosure. This was where

Hitler’s SS adjutant Otto Gunsche and Count von der Schulenburg were held,

among others. I stayed there until 1954 when I was sent back to Novocher-

kassk. This was my last camp.



Q: Did the Soviets try and recruit you, as they did others?



A: Yes, they offered me the opportunity to return home if I worked as an agent

for them, which was out of the question. They did not like this either. I was

assigned kitchen duties as an inducement to become a converted Communist. I

think that if they could get us high ranking and highly decorated officers to

convert their job would be made much easier. They converted Graf, which was

a shame, but he did not embrace Communism. He looked at it as a pragmatist-

it was either the western way or Soviet way, and he was already there. They

did release him in 1950, but I would not be so lucky. Those of us who resisted

were punished much longer. They wanted me as an informer and even gave

me a list of names of officers they wanted information on. They promised me

early release if I did this. I refused. They placed me in solitary a few times, for

a long time.



Q: How did you maintain your sanity when others did not?



A: I thought of my Ushi. She kept me going, and the thought of my family

waiting for me. They threatened to kill my wife and son, or forcibly bring

them to Russia, and they spoke about doing terrible things. All of this was to

break you down.



Q: Did you have mail or communication with Germany?



A: We were allowed only twenty-five words on a post card to send out, some-

times a lot less, and this was not often. The letters I smuggled out with

returning POWs provided the information they needed. I received about fifty

letters from Ushi in the ten and a half years, but she wrote over 400. Getting a

letter was the greatest morale boost you could imagine.



Q: You and Graf had a parting in Russia. Why was that?



A: Well, we had agreed never to surrender our Diamonds to the Soviets. My

originals were with Ushi, and a copy was taken by an American, and another

copy I had also. I threw them away, although they were worthless, rather than

surrender the, Graf and had given his, and they were on the table of the NKVD

officer when I was called in. He wanted mine also. He did not get them. They

also wanted detailed information on the Me-262, which they had several

captured machines they wanted to evaluate. I did not help them.


source http://www.hotlinecy.com/hartmann.htm

Egorka
11-06-2009, 11:08 AM
I read parts of this text in Russian some time ago.
It is captioned as the last interview of Hartmann before his death. The question is who and when took this interview? Where was it published?

Anglo-Saxon-Viking
11-06-2009, 11:36 AM
Yep. They look just like American women. Hairstyles and all. However they are pretty as
most of the Scythian women are.

Carl Schwamberger
11-06-2009, 09:21 PM
Does anyone know how the defeated German armed forces were treated by the Allied occupying authorities immediately after the war? I read somewhere that German soldiers were incarcerated for two years! This seems hardly fair, imprisoning an 18- or 19-year-old draftee, although I can understand why the Allies wanted to weed out dangerous SS men.

Then, what was going to happen to all these young men--wander around, unemployed, homeless, across a defeated Reich? Again, they were needed to get Germany back on its feet again--who can imagine Europe without Germany?
. .'

I recomend the relevant chapters of:

Siegfried Knappe 'Soldat'

Werner Adamcyzk 'Feruer'

Sajer 'The Forggoton Soldier'

All three describe their experience after the the surrender of 1945.

Knappe, a officer of the Gerneral Staff was taken prisoner by the RKKA. He spent over a year as a Soviet prisoner, then was sent back to Germany & released. Went back to work in the family business soon after release.

Adamcyk was taken prisoner by the British, held prisoner for several months & released to a work program cleaning up bombing damage. Paid in food ration tickets for that work. Within the year he returned to work as a production manager of a soap factory near Hamburg

Sajer also taken prisoner by the British was released after several months & sent back to his home in Alsace. This province was returned to France, so Sajer was required to enter the French army as a conscript.

Carl Schwamberger
11-06-2009, 09:33 PM
The above is correct. I would add to that though that there was a general feeling that certain parts of the US Army were institutionally incompetent and senior officers that were relieved on the battlefield were often sent to perceived "soft," lessor important stateside duties to be commandants of camps and training schools. This was done of course as to not embarrass the Army and said officers and the overall War effort. At the end of the War, I think some were finally pushed out of the Army to make way for the ones who had proven themselves and wanted to stay in. I think there was also a general resentment of the populace who thought that while it was commendable that the Germans were treated very well by WWII standards (and it worked out in the long run), stories of Nazis still running things in the camp periodically surfaced and incidents of dead German POWs committing "suicide"--despite the fact that they were obviously beaten up prior to death--were not possible to completely hush-up. And yes, the atrocity stories contributed to a harder line of "De-Nazification" and a more rigorous screening of suitable candidates who would inevitably have to run what became of West Germany...

What the nazis got away with in these camps varied widely with the leadership of the guards. Some quickly came to understand the nature of the nazi leaders and segregated them. It became general policy to seperate the fanatic nazi leaders in their own camps, but doing so required a time consuming search of records and interrogations. People qualified to do those tasks correctly were usually assigned to more important tasks far away from the PoW camps. So, segregation of the nazi leaders was never complete. I have read newspaper storys of German prisoners hanged for murder, but have no idea how many or where.

Anglo-Saxon-Viking
11-06-2009, 11:28 PM
I guess my remark should have been "sausages", perhaps Mettwurst or Bratwurst. Well at any rate my point was that here in the states the "Bratwursters" did alright. They weren't treated like THEY treated innocent and helpless people who happened to be of a different kind. Hitler and all of his perverted criminals and henchmen were insane and under the control of the devil. No sane human being would do what that "paper hanging
SOB" did.

Rising Sun*
11-07-2009, 06:38 AM
It was very significant in some camps in the US, to the extent that the Nazis in some camps ruled the roost and at times killed their opponents. I read a well documented book about it some time ago but I can't recall the title or author. I'll post it if I can track it down.


The book is Arnold Krammer's "Nazi Prisoners of War in America" http://www.amazon.ca/Nazi-Prisoners-America-Arnold-Krammer/dp/0812885619

Here's a couple of Amazon reader reviews which indicate the breadth and detail of the book.


By SereneNight (California, USA)

I found Nazi Prisoners of War to be a fascinating look into the little known (and explored) history of American POW camps. This book really put a human face on the soldiers of Germany who weren't always Nazi sympathizers. I felt the author presented quite a balanced view of both the anti-Nazi prisoners and the pro-Nazi officers and enlisted men.

Of particular interest was the discussion of how the camps were run, the photographs of the prisoners and the stories of their escapes. Also, some stories were quite humorous: the story where the Americans tell the Germans to clean their barracks/common rooms and the German POWS refuse. The Americans perform a trick by telling them a high-ranking German officer would be imprisoned there to get them to comply without the use of force. This was quite clever.On the flip-side I found it disturbing that the American army officials preferred to supervise hard-core nazis in prisons because they were easier to manage, rather than anti-nazis. At times these officials encouraged nazism!

I recommend this book for a different and balanced look into the past. http://www.amazon.ca/Nazi-Prisoners-America-Arnold-Krammer/dp/0812885619



By Joseph Haschka (Glendale, CA USA)

At age 55, I've finally learned something about an American experience that ended two years before I was born. About time, don't you think?

NAZI PRISONERS OF WAR IN AMERICA is a concise and (apparently) comprehensive overview, which describes the incarceration of the roughly 375,000 captured members of the German military in 500+ camps and branch camps thoughout the United States from May 1942 to July 1946. The book's eight chapters summarize the process from initial capture and dispatch westward across the Atlantic through repatriation and return to Europe. In between, author Arnold Krammer depicts the general layout of the camps, the life behind barbed wire, the work and re-education programs, the escapes, and the ideological tensions between the ardently Nazi minority and non-Nazi majority that generally resulted in internal control of a camp's inmate population by the former prisoner group. Each chapter has a 4 to 8 page photo section relevant to its topic. The 44 pages of notes, based on a 15-page bibliography, indicate a commendable and thorough level of research.

As an informative exercise about an interesting topic, I can't find fault with NAZI PRISONERS OF WAR IN AMERICA. As a work of popular history for one casually interested in the subject, it's completely satisfying in all respects.

At times, there's even humor of a sort. In the chapter "Escapes", the author relates the incident wherein three U-boat submariners fled into the hills of Tennessee, where one was subsequently shot dead by an old granny defending her water pump. When told by the local deputy sheriff whom she'd killed, she broke down saying she'd never have fired if she'd known the men were Germans. Asked who she thought the intruders were, she replied:

"I thought they wuz Yankees." Bobbie Lee would have been proud. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Nazi-Prisoners-America-Arnold-Krammer/dp/0812885619

Rising Sun*
11-07-2009, 07:20 AM
I guess my remark should have been "sausages", perhaps Mettwurst or Bratwurst. Well at any rate my point was that here in the states the "Bratwursters" did alright. They weren't treated like THEY treated innocent and helpless people who happened to be of a different kind.

You assume that every German POW was some sort of Nazi beast.

They weren't, and perhaps most weren't even Nazi supporters, as you'll find if you read the book in my last post.



Hitler and all of his perverted criminals and henchmen were insane and under the control of the devil. No sane human being would do what that "paper hanging
SOB" did.

Would any sane human being launch an atomic bomb on defenceless civilians, or would those defenceless civilians be sane if willing to defend themselves by pitting their women and children with bamboo spears against the best military weaponry and troops of the time?

How about we just accept that in extreme circumstances people do extreme things?

However, if you want to introduce the devil into human affairs, he must have been pissing himself laughing when Dresden, Hamburg and Tokyo created his inferno on earth, not to mention the ovens at Auschwitz etc. But, unlike the (supposed) real hell, those infernos consumed countless innocents. While the (supposed) real God, omnipotent and omnipresent and the fount of love for all humans which He created in His image, let it happen, as He does every day in Rwanda, Kampuchea, the former Yugoslavia, Somalia, Sudan, and the endless list of places where brutality and inhumanity plumb new depths of depravity.

So how about we just leave your devil and his counter-God and every other god, goddess, God, Allah, Yahweh, Shiva, and every other non-existent ****ing deity and devil out of attempts at an informed and rational discussion about the actions of human beings in history?

Gary D.
11-07-2009, 09:17 AM
I recomend the relevant chapters of:

Siegfried Knappe 'Soldat'

Werner Adamcyzk 'Feruer'

Sajer 'The Forggoton Soldier'

All three describe their experience after the the surrender of 1945.

Knappe, a officer of the Gerneral Staff was taken prisoner by the RKKA. He spent over a year as a Soviet prisoner, then was sent back to Germany & released. Went back to work in the family business soon after release.

Adamcyk was taken prisoner by the British, held prisoner for several months & released to a work program cleaning up bombing damage. Paid in food ration tickets for that work. Within the year he returned to work as a production manager of a soap factory near Hamburg

Sajer also taken prisoner by the British was released after several months & sent back to his home in Alsace. This province was returned to France, so Sajer was required to enter the French army as a conscript.

This information is helpful--I thought two years were too long for a regular German soldier. I am surprised that Knappe spent just over a year in the USSR--seems, it usually dragged on for a decade, when they survived.

A large POW camp was once situated in what is now the Phoenix, Arizona, city limits. All traces, of course, are long gone. The Germans actually received better rations and medical treatment than their families in the beleaguered Reich, and many applied for U.S. citizenship after the war.

Once upon a time, I recall reading a book entitled something like The Swastika and the Cactus--some of you might be familiar with it. A couple of young Germans escaped from a camp (Phoenix?) and made their way to an Indian reservation. They were smitten with Wild West and Indian lore. As was Hitler, I guess, because of his favorite author, Karl May. I always intended to read some of these books, but they'd probably be as outdated as Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan books. Burroughs never sat foot in Africa. Did May in America, the west or otherwise?

Egorka
11-07-2009, 12:44 PM
This information is helpful--I thought two years were too long for a regular German soldier. I am surprised that Knappe spent just over a year in the USSR--seems, it usually dragged on for a decade, when they survived.5 year, not 10.
99% of German POWs were repatriated by Dec 1949.
Those who were released in 1946 were released on the ground of poor health conditions.

Nickdfresh
11-07-2009, 04:31 PM
...The Germans actually received better rations and medical treatment than their families in the beleaguered Reich, and many applied for U.S. citizenship after the war.

...

True. But it should be noted that the treatment of German POWs in the US changed drastically after the end of the War with their rations halved and hard labor now mandatory...

George Eller
11-07-2009, 08:47 PM
-

http://members.iinet.net.au/~gduncan/index.html

http://members.iinet.net.au/~gduncan/massacres.html

-

http://members.iinet.net.au/~gduncan/massacres_axis.html

STARVATION AT REMAGEN

After the capture of the Remagen Bridge, the US Army hastily erected around 19 Prisoner of War cages around the bridge-head to hold an estimated one million prisoners. The camps were simply open fields surrounded by concertina wire. Those at the Rhine Meadows were situated at Remagen, Bad Kreuznach, Andernach, Buderich, Rheinbach and Sinzig. The German prisoners were hopeful of good treatment from the GIs but in this they were sadly disappointed. Herded into the open spaces like cattle, some were beaten and mistreated. No tents or toilets were supplied. The camps became huge latrines, a sea of urine from one end to the other. They had to sleep in holes in the ground which they dug with their bare hands. In the Bad Kreuznach cage, 560,000 men were interned in an area that could only comfortably hold 45,000. Denied enough food and water, they were forced to eat the grass under their feet and the camps soon became a sea of mud. After the concentration camps were discovered, their treatment became worse as the GIs vented their rage on the hapless prisoners.

In the five camps around Bretzenheim, prisoners had to survive on 600-850 calories per day. With bloated bellies and teeth falling out, they died by the thousands. During the two and a half months (April-May, 1945) when the camps were under American control, a total of 18,100 prisoners died from malnutrition, disease and exposure. This extremely harsh treatment at the hands of the Americans resulted in the deaths of over 50,000 German prisoners-of-war in the Rhine Meadows camps alone in the months just before and after the war ended. It must however be borne in mind that with the best will in the world it proved almost impossible to care for such a huge number of prisoners under the strict terms of the Geneva Convention. The task of guarding these prisoners, numbering around 920,000, fell to the men of the US 106th Infantry Division. The Remagen cage was set up to accommodate 100,000 men but ended up with twice that number. On the first afternoon 35,000 prisoners were counted through the gate. About 10,000 of these required urgent medical attention which in most cases was completely absent. All roads leading to the camps were clogged with hundreds of trucks bringing in even more prisoners, sent to the rear by the advancing 9th US Army. By April 15, 1945, 1.3 million prisoners were in American hands. At war's end, 1,056,482 German prisoners were held in US camps in Europe, 692,895 were classified as Prisoners of War and 365,587 classified as DEF's (Disarmed Enemy Forces) In May, 1945, the number of prisoners held in Allied camps in northern Europe numbered 5,235,700.

Tourists, cruising down the Rhine today can pick out a small memorial and plaque built on the site of the former POW cage. In the Remagen cemetery there are 1,200 graves and at Bad Kreuznach, 1,000 graves.

http://members.iinet.net.au/~gduncan/massac1.jpg
Conditions at the Sinzig Camp

HOW MANY?

Just how many German POWs died in Allied camps? For over forty years we have been told that many hundreds of thousands of German soldiers had died in Soviet prison camps while at the same time keeping quiet about the number of prisoners who had died in American, French and British camps. In 1997, around 1.1 million German soldiers were still officially listed as missing. According to the recently opened Soviet archives, which have been proved to be extremely precise and detailed, the Red Army captured 2,389,560 German soldiers. Of these, 423,168 died in captivity. In October, 1951, the West German government stated in the United Nations that 1.1 million soldiers had not returned home. In other words, we were led to believe they had died in Soviet camps. If we subtract the proven number of deaths in Soviet camps from the missing in Germany we arrive at the figure of around 677,000. Where are these men?. They must have been interned by the western Allies, the greatest majority being held in American and French camps where they died in their thousands through deliberate starvation, disease and hard work.

The standards set by the Geneva Convention were, in most cases, totally ignored by the Americans and French in relation to their treatment of German prisoners-of-war. The French deliberately starved many of their POWs in order to force them to join the French Foreign Legion. Thousands of Legionnaires who fought in the Vietnam conflict were Germans, handed over by the Americans to the French in 1945/46 to work as slave labourers in the rebuilding of France's war damaged cities. Conditions in the French camps were just as bad if not worse than in the American camps. It is estimated that at least 167,000 German soldiers died in French captivity between 1945 and 1948.

ARCHIVE RECORDS

In a large building in the former French Sector of Berlin is housed the military records of every German soldier who served in World War II. There are kilometres of shelves holding about eighteen million files on every man and woman in the German armed forces. Run by a Director and 364 staff members, they receive around 18,000 requests each year inquiring about family members of whom they have heard nothing since 1945. In a Russian archive at Podolsk, south of Moscow there are names of 700,000 German POWs once held in Soviet prisons, yet the whereabouts of 480,000 of these men remain unresolved today.

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Nickdfresh
11-07-2009, 09:13 PM
George, I have a problem with your source on all this. His account of the "Dachau Massacre" by US Army troops is patently silly, discounted by credible journalist inquiries such as those done by The Boston Globe in the early part of this decade as well as other historians, and typical of the hyperbole of those seeking to manufacture and exaggerate a massacre that never happened in the manner, nor on the level of dead, as purported. In fact, less than 20 German SS troops were shot in front of a wall that day. No coupe de grâce shots were administered by GIs, and in fact their commander halted the massacre by threatening to shoot his own officers if they continued...

George Eller
11-07-2009, 09:22 PM
George, I have a problem with your source on all this. His account of the "Dachau Massacre" by US Army troops is patently silly, discounted by credible journalist inquiries such as those done by The Boston Globe in the early part of this decade as well as other historians, and typical of the hyperbole of those seeking to manufacture and exaggerate a massacre that never happened on the manner or on the level of dead as purported. In fact, less than 20 German SS troops were shot in front of a wall that day. No coupe de grace shots were administered by GIs, and in fact their commander halted the massacre by threatening to shoot his own officers if they continued...
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Yes, unfortunately George Duncan doesn't seem to have cited many of his sources.

I would not discount all of his stories though.

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Nickdfresh
11-07-2009, 09:32 PM
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Yes, unfortunately George Duncan doesn't seem to have cited many of his sources.

I would not discount all of his stories though.

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I don't discount all of his stories. And I am in no way apologizing for US, French, and British atrocities that certainly occurred against "disarmed German forces" or civilians. However, I think Duncan is getting a lot of his statistics from a largely discredited work of revisionist pseudo-history called Other Losses (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Other_Losses) IMO.

Rising Sun*
11-08-2009, 07:47 AM
STARVATION AT REMAGEN

In the five camps around Bretzenheim, prisoners had to survive on 600-850 calories per day. With bloated bellies and teeth falling out, they died by the thousands. During the two and a half months (April-May, 1945) when the camps were under American control, a total of 18,100 prisoners died from malnutrition, disease and exposure.

Disease quite possibly; disease exacerbated by exposure quite possibly; and disease and exposure exacerbated by poor rations equally possible, but not malnutrition on its own causing so many deaths on those rations in that short time.

Unless they were already seriously malnourished before they went into the camps.

A moderately well nourished Westerner of military age in halfway reasonable health at time of capture in WWII could survive for at least a year on severely reduced rations, down to 500 to 1,000 calories a day at times, while being worked very hard and beset by tropical diseases and brutal treatment as some Allied POWs on the Burma railway showed.

The German POWs in the quote weren’t even being worked. They should have been able to survive for a couple of months on those severely reduced rations, assuming they were in reasonable health and reasonably nourished when put into the camps.

A good number of Irish republican prisoners between the 1920s and 1980s died on hunger strikes with no calorific intake, never mind 600 to 850 calories a day. Death occurred between about 6 and 10 weeks for most, but up to about 12 weeks in some cases.

It is most unlikely that any, and certainly not thousands, of the German POWs in the quote would have had their teeth falling out as a consequence of a couple of months of captivity and insufficient rations. That takes a very long time if it is going to happen at all. It was not a symptom experienced by the vast bulk of Allied POWs in Japanese captivity despite three and a half years of miserable rations and negligible or no dental care and treatment.

The quote sounds like a bit of florid journalism completely removed from fact and science as an example of 'Never let facts get in the way of a good story.'

Nickdfresh
11-08-2009, 08:03 AM
The numbers of a million German soldiers being starved to death by the US and the French is silly and some of the biggest critics of the 'Eisenhower death German POW camp conspiracy' are in fact German military historians who, according to Wiki, state that no more than 57,000 German soldiers perished in (Western) Allied custody. Though, it should be stated that atrocities were committed by overzealous anti-Nazi US Army officers and by vindictive French ones as well...

The numbers of a "million" largely comes from a misread document on "Disarmed Enemy Forces" (DEF) pertains to released Volkssturm militia members (about 600,000-700,000) who simply were allowed to go home and weren't starved to death as stated in Other Losses...


Academic Analysis

Other Losses received initial support from some historians, including Richard Overy and Desmond Morton. Jonathon Osmond, writing in the Journal of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, said: "Bacque...has published a corrective to the impression that the Western allies after the Second World War behaved in a civilised manner to the conquered Germans... The voices of those who suffered give harrowing accounts of cruelty and suffering... It is clear that he has opened up once more a serious subject dominated by the explanations of those in power. Even if two-thirds of the statistical discrepancies exposed by Bacque could be accounted for by the chaos of the situation, there would still be a case to answer."[1] Joan Beaumont, writing in the December, 1995 issue of The Journal of Modern History, discussed the reactions to the book and concluded "(T)he landscape of the history of the Second World War, and of prisoners of war, remains permanently changed by Bacques's work."

Academic reviewers question three major aspects of Bacque's work: his claims that there was no post-war food shortage; Bacque's estimate of the number of German deaths; and the allegation that Eisenhower was deliberately vindictive. Bacque's critics note many of the German soldiers were sick and wounded at the time of their surrender, and say his work does not place the plight of the German prisoners within the context of the grim situation in Western Europe in 1945 and 1946.

Writing in the Canadian Historical Review, David Stafford called the book "a classic example of a worthwhile investigation marred by polemic and overstatement."[2] R.J. Rummell, a scholar of 20th-century atrocities, has written that "Bacque misread, misinterpreted, or ignored the relevant documents and that his mortality statistics are simply impossible."[3]. More recently, writing in the Encyclopedia of Prisoners of War and Internment, S. P. MacKenzie states, "That German prisoners were treated very badly in the months immediately after the war...is beyond dispute. All in all, however, Bacque's thesis and mortality figures cannot be taken as accurate".[4]

Eisenhower biographer Stephen Ambrose, who helped edit Other Losses, wrote I quarrel with many of your interpretations, I am not arguing with the basic truth of your discovery and acknowledged that Bacque had made a "major historical discovery", in the sense that very little attention had hitherto been paid to the treatment of German POWs in Allied hands. He acknowledged he did not now support Bacque's conclusions, but said at the American Military Institute's Annual Meeting in March, 1990: "Bacque has done some research and uncovered an important story that I, and other American historians, missed altogether in work on Eisenhower and the conclusion of the war. When those millions of Wehrmacht soldiers came into captivity at the end of the war, many of them were deliberately and brutally mistreated. There is no denying this. There are men in this audience who were victims of this mistreatment. It is a story that has been kept quiet. [5]

A book-length disputation of Bacque's work, entitled Eisenhower and the German POWs, appeared in 1992, featuring essays by British, American, and German historians. In a 1991 New York Times book review, [b]Ambrose claimed: "Mr. Bacque is wrong on every major charge and nearly all his minor ones. Eisenhower was not a Hitler, he did not run death camps, German prisoners did not die by the hundreds of thousands, there was a severe food shortage in 1945[6], there was nothing sinister or secret about the "disarmed enemy forces" designation or about the column "other losses." Mr. Bacque's "missing million" were old men and young boys in the Volkssturm (People's Militia) released without formal discharge and transfers of POWs to other allies control areas."

One of the historians in support of Bacque was Colonel Ernest F. Fisher, 101st Airborne Division, who in 1945 took part in investigations into allegations of misconduct by U.S. troops in Germany and later became a Senior Historian with the United States Army. In the introduction to the book he states "Starting in April 1945, the United States Army and the French Army casually annihilated one million [German] men, most of them in American camps . . . Eisenhower's hatred, passed through the lens of a compliant military bureaucracy, produced the horror of death camps unequalled by anything in American history . . . an enormous war crime."

Despite the criticisms of Bacque's methodology, Stephen Ambrose and Brian Loring Villa, the authors of the chapter on German POW deaths, conceded the Allies were motivated in their treatment of captured Germans by disgust and revenge for German atrocities.[7] They did, however, argue Bacque's casualty figures are far too high, and that policy was set by Allied politicians, not by Eisenhower.[8]

Nevertheless, Stephen Ambrose conceded, "we as Americans can't duck the fact that terrible things happened. And they happened at the end of a war we fought for decency and freedom, and they are not excusable."[9]

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

Egorka
11-08-2009, 08:14 AM
http://beobaxter.users.photofile.ru/photo/beobaxter/96045168/106849968.jpg

George Eller
11-08-2009, 09:40 PM
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Well, it looks like it stirred up the pot at least. Thanks for the input guys.

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George Eller
11-08-2009, 10:16 PM
http://beobaxter.users.photofile.ru/photo/beobaxter/96045168/106849968.jpg
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Very interesting Egorka. The description reminds me of similar conditions that occured in POW camps during the American Civil War over 80 years prior. The infamous Andersonville camp in Georgia comes to mind.

Thanks for posting this.

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