A forgotten genocide

13 Aug

A forgotten genocide

   This hecatomb, the slaughter of millions healthy men and mostly young, Russian POW´s, took place in a few months – of famine one person dies soon – and the guilties were the practical totality of the Germans, not only what the propaganda of the postwar period has tried, with enough success, to spread, that there were a minority of Nazi those who committed all the crimes and that the others did not know anything, like it was an amnesia collective, also they had to be blind and dull, then, for example, of more than 10.000 more German concentration camps 600 were in Berlin, what was a practically impossible not to see them every day.
  As we were saying in this slaughter that there collaborated not only the  SS units, the police or the groups of extermination, Eintsatzgruppen, these groups of killers who were going behind the first line killing entire populations including elders, women and children – no western people has done similarly at all in the last two thousand years – but, principally, the German army, the Werchmatch. Since it is logical this slaughter was carried out by partial slaughters and murders and in numerous locations since all the prisoners were not grouped in the same place.
The origin of this immense number of prisoners was the German advance in summer  and autumn 1941, which was not even so rapid as they have made us believe. The French Napoleon army came earlier on horseback in the XIXth century to Moscow, that the Germans to engine in the XXth century, not so victorious, the German losses were enormous and the consequence is that the companies came decimated to what would be his first big defeat in Moscow in December of the same year, 1941. That is to say the “triumphal and rapid” German advance lasted less than six months before stepping back before Moscow.
  They have contributed several causes to the ignorance of this genocide, to the Germans, logically like the killers who committed the crime, it was not interesting to them by no means to spread it. The cold war put to everything Soviet under suspicion and to spread this horrible crime might do that public opinion feel pity and that was not of interest by no means when the intention of the propaganda was of presenting them like devils before the western public opinion, task that continues the same direction curiously, and finally something not easy of telling that it can be a miscellany of pride and complexes on the part of the Russians, who have not given the publicity that owed to these most serious facts, during the communism perhaps because it would be to admit the consequences of the defeats of 1941, and why after 1990 it continues and this is not publicized as it had to, it me escapes, on the contrary the Poles from the slaughter of Katyn of approximately official 30.000 and intellectuals of his country, less than one 1 % of the Russian POW´s dead, they have given them many more world resonance.
Many students of the holocaust scarcely mention this slaughter, centring, as it is logical, in the slaughter of civils, especially Jews, in these years, but some mentions appear, for example, in the book “Hitler’s willing executioners. Ordinary Germans and the holocaust”, of Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, on his page 290 mentions that motives purely ideological, since they were considering the subhuman Slavs, “… there led the Germans to kill, principally of famine, 2,8 million young and healthy Soviet war prisoners, in less than eight months”. Later, from 1942 as the manpower needs of the Germans were increasing, they began using the survivors as slaves in diverse industries, slaves to whom 2,7 millions would join especially from 1944 of civil Soviet, kidnapped of his countries mostly and also used and treating as slaves. The Germans resuscitated the slavery in Europe, forgotten almost from times of the Romans, but in contrast to these that were taking care of the slaves like “expensive objects”, the Germans were treating them mercilessly, without importing for them that they were dying since they were replacing them with others.
  Certainly in his book Mr Goldhagen exhibits in detail the complicity of everything the German people, in major or minor measurement in the holocaust and as Hitler only gave free rein to what the German people was wishing from centuries, the slaughter of the Jews. Although the slaughter of 2,7 million human beings only occupies three lines of his 631 pages. Logically it centers on the holocaust of the Jews.
  I believe that in this author and others that treat the holocaust, happens something similar to what during the Soviet epoch happened, trying to minimize or not to individualize the Jewish holocaust inside the big slaughter committed by the Germans in the Soviet Union, “not to divide the dead persons”, they were saying. With these authors rather the opposite happens centred on the Jewish holocaust they forget what was happening in his environment. The numbers are forceful, the murdered Jews are approximately 5 millions, the dead persons in Russia range between 25 and 30 millions, 2,7 million war prisoners murdered (other sources code them in more than 3 millions) it is more than 50 % of the Jewish holocaust and in only a few months.
In any case there are enormous numbers that exceed the human comprehension, for example we would need a book of more than 1400 pages and of small letter so that every letter was represented by a Russian prisoner murdered by the Germans. think it whenever you read a book, as if a human being was representing every letter, with his aspirations, his desires, his childhood and adolescence, the happiness of the parents on having been born, the holidays of the baptism, the worries of his mother when it was falling ill, his first love,… all take off in a cruel way by a  bloodthirsty killers, and the sadness of his parents, of his mothers, of his sons and daughters after there never knew anything  any more of they, sadness aggravated by the Soviet system in which, on having lacked medals of identification, they were considered to be missing persons, or worse still, traitors to the homeland for having allowed to capture and their families were not receiving any pensions  and had many difficulties later to be able to work and receive meal.
  The treatment of the Soviet prisoners for the Soviet government was deplorable and many  gone straight from a German concentration camp to the Soviet gulag, trains full of these prisoners crossed Russia towards Siberia, while the POW´s were throwing role pieces of paper from the narrow windows of the cars at the stations with his names and the directions of his family so that at least these knew that they were alive. They were treated like traitors and while some of them were deserving it like Vlasov, the immense majority they were absolutely innocent,
                                                 The massacre

I have not found any book in English that treats exclusive this topic. The most detailed thing that I have found is in the book “Harvest of Despair. Life and Death in Ukraine under Nazi Rule“, of Karel. C. Berkhoff, in his chapter 4 :
Prisoners of war
In the capital of the Third Reich, Lev Dudin, former editor of Kiev´s German-sponsored newspaper, Poslelnie novosti. ( Latest news), often met with highly ranked Germans. One day he hard from them that during the winter of 1941-1942, “about two million” Soviet prisoners of war had dioed in German captivity. The Germans – whom he does not identify by name or rank- mentioned it “with complete calm, as if the topic was not human beings, but livestock “.Their comment shows that the soviet POW mortality figure reported by the Wehrmacht Supreme Com­mand in May 1944, a figure well-known to historians, was hardly a well­ kept secret before then. Dudin adds to his memoirs a general observa­tion: “Indeed most Germans, and certainly almost all party members, did look upon the Russians as livestock, undeserving of pity if a million of them died. This generally held attitude, and not the sadism and cruelty of some individuals, was the main reason for the millions of deaths.”
Wermacht callousness toward “Russians” accompanied and facilitated the shooting and starvation of millions of German-held Soviet POWs. But that callousness in turn resulted to a large degree from racist orders by German policymakers who thought of the multi ethnic Soviet prison­ers as Russians,” and who tried to eliminate most of them in a chain of events that can be considered genocidal. Slavic sources enable us to learn that civilian Soviet population side of the story and reveal a little­ known phenomenon: the myriad attempts by civilian bystanders to save the lives of the prisoners. These attempts usually came to naught, but they suggestcontrary to what some historians have assumed, that the mass mortality of these POWs probably could have been avoided.z 

I submit that the shootings of the Red Army commissars and other Soviet POWs, along with the subsequent starvation of millions more ­constituted a single process that started in the middle of 1941 and lasted until at least the end of 1942. Moreover, we may call it a genocidal ­massacre. It was a massacre because it was “an instance of killing of considerable number of human beings under circumstances of atrocity or cruelty.” And although this massacre was not full-blown genocide, it ­was genocidal-“tending toward or producing genocide.”Indeed, the treatment of the non-Jewish Soviet prisoners of war, identified by their: overseers as “Russians,” came very close to the parameters of the United Nations’ definition of genocide: of being intended to destroy many or all of the members of a “national, ethnical, racial or religious group”, in this case, an imaginary community of “Russians.” From the Nazi perspective, the inferior Slavs could be useful, and that was why POW´s identified as Ukrainian often were released, especially in 1941. As “the ­Russian,” however, many soldiers in the Wehrmacht evidently assumed that Bolshevism, the vicious ideology and political party created by “Jewry,” had irreversibly “infected” him. In this Nazified frame of mind “Russians” were either superfluous or positively dangerous. In short racism drove the deliberate mission of destroying most of the “Russian” POWs.

An analysis of this kind needs to pay close attention to nomenclature. German propaganda labeled the captured Red Army soldiers and commanders “Bolsheviks,” with the connotation that they were zealous ­adherents of the Communist ideology, and thus mortal enemies. But most members of the Wehrmacht, when writing or speaking, called them ­”Russian” prisoners of war or simply “Russians.” Many Western historians also use the ethnic adjective, thereby imposing on the prisoners an  identity that would have sounded strange to many of them. Russifing ­the prisoners in this way was and is no small matter, and at least as significant as labeling them “Bolsheviks.” As I shall argue here, during 1941 and 1942 the very imposition of a Russian identity in the multiethnic Soviet POW´s was crucially important in shaping their fate. The local population of Ukraine was the most precise in calling the soviet POW´s “Red Army soldiers” or simply “our prisoners”.
Little by little more books appear that  report the extermination of the Russian prisoners, till now ignored. Although for the time being they are exceptions, since even in 2012 historians’ books keep on appearing reporting last months of the war and full of admiration towards this killers army. It is difficult to understand.

In “Bloodlands” of Tymothy Snyder. Vintage books, 2011, treats often the topic.

” The Germans shot, on a conservative estimate, half a million prisoners of war. By way of mistreatment during transit, they killed about 2.6 million more. All in all, perhaps 3,1 million Soviet prisoners of war were killed….” Page 184.

An useful link :


Most of the prisoners in this video wll die in the next months of hunger and mistreatment for the Germans, not the nazis, the ordinary Germans. Poor Russian people !, and of all the URSS. 



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