The history of war — is not only a story of battles, diplomacy, victories, defeats, orders, command and deeds, it is also the story of war. The fate of Russian prisoners of war during the second world war is one of the most tragic pages of our past. Russian prisoners of war fell into the captivity on their own land, protecting the land, and the prisoners of war Hitler coalition and taken prisoner in a foreign land, in which they came as invaders.
In captivity you can "prove" (having been wounded, falling into a state of unconscious, not having guns and ammunition for the resistance) or "surrender" — to raise their hands, and when you can have something to beat. Why is sworn allegiance to the country armed man stops resistance? Maybe this human nature? After all, he obeys the instinct of self-preservation, which is based in a sense of horror.
"Naturally, the first in the war was terrible. Very much so. Is this young guy constantly create, as the shells are broken, bombs, mines, comrades die, they maim shrapnel and bullets. But later, I saw, no longer terrified, but something else urged to bite into the ground, to find refuge in hiding. I would have referred to it a sense of self-preservation. Indeed, horror immobilizes the will and sense of self-preservation leads to find ways out of seemingly hopeless situations "- as recalled this sense of stateliness Russian war veteran — Ivan Petrovich Vertelko.
In life there is a partial horror, the horror of some phenomenon. But there is also an absolute horror when man is at the brink of death. This is the most powerful enemy — it disables thinking, does not allow to take a sober reality. The person loses the ability to think critically, to consider the situation, to control their behavior. Having suffered a shock can break as a person.
Horror — mass illness. According to some professionals, now ages 9 million Germans suffer bouts of panic terror, and more than 1 million experience it constantly. And it is in times of peace! Oh so responsive second in the global psyche of those born later. Each laid its resistance to the horror: the threat of a fall into a stupor (a sharp mental suppression to complete stupor), the other — in a panic, and the third coolly finds a way out of the situation. In combat, under enemy fire, afraid of everything, but behave differently: some are struggling, and others take even naked hands!
The behavior in combat affects the physical condition, sometimes people "just can not have." Not long ago, a healthy young man tormented by hunger, cold, non-healing wounds, enemy fire without the ability to escape … A striking example of this — a message from the environment 2nd Shock Army of the Volkhov Front (Spring 1942): "Swamp melted or trenches or dugouts eat very young leaves, birch bark, leather of ammunition, small animals … 3 weeks received 50 grams of crackers … finished his last horses … The last 3 day or not eating at all … People are exhausted, there is a group deaths from hunger. " War — The constant hard work. The soldiers dug up millions of tons of earth, usually a small entrenching shovel! A little moved position — dig again, about a respite in the fighting criteria can not be considered. Does any army of sleeping on the move? And here it was commonplace on the march.
In the U.S. Army has a bizarre kind of loss — "overwork in battle." During the landing in Normandy (June 1944), it was 20 percent of total departures from the battle. In general, during the second world war the U.S. lost due to "overwork" amounted to 929,307 people! Russian soldier remained in combat formations to death or injury (and sometimes a change of units, but only because of the huge losses or judgments of the strategy).
We all war was not to rest. Beat the German war machine could not stand the only force in the world — our army! And our exhausted, sleeping on the march, if need soldiers who have eaten horses peremogli well equipped with experienced enemy! Not only the men, and the generals … For our people, who have won in the most terrible war in the history of mankind, the freedom and independence of the country were most important. For her at the front and in the rear of people sacrificed themselves. Sacrificed, and therefore defeated.
According to various estimates, the number of Russian fighter in German captivity in 1941-1945. ranged from 4,559,000 to 5,735,000 people. The numbers really big, but impartial circumstances such mass trapping many people. His role in this was played by a surprise attack. In addition, it was massive: the border with the Soviet Union on June 22 ran across some 4.6 million people. The war began 152 divisions, one brigade and two motorized regiment of the Wehrmacht, 16 Finnish divisions and 3 brigades, four Hungarian brigades, 13 Romanian divisions and 9 brigades, three Italian divisions, two Slovak divisions and one brigade. Most of them had the experience of warfare were well equipped and armed — on Germany by the time she worked almost the entire industry in Europe.
Recently the General Staff of the Wehrmacht war reports on the state of the Red Army noted that its weakness lies in front of horrified officers liability, which was caused by pre-war cleanings in the army. Alignment of Stalin that the Red Army soldier is better to die than to be in the enemy's captivity was enshrined in the Russian legislation. "Regulations on Military sins" in 1927 was set equal terms "surrender" and "voluntary desertion to the enemy," which was punished by execution and confiscation of property.
Apart from this, the will of the defenders influenced the lack of reliable rear. Even if the Russian soldiers and officers against all odds kept the death, in the rear of them were already burning the town, which mercilessly bombed the German planes. Warriors apprehensive about the fate of loved ones. Refugee flows replenish the sea captives. The atmosphere of panic the first weeks of the war also played into the hands of the attackers and did not allow a sober assessment of the current situation and make the right decisions to fight the invaders.
In the order of People's Commissar of Defense of the USSR № 270 of August 16, 1941 stated: "Commanders and political workers during a bout frustrate insignia and deserters in the rear of surrendering or captured enemy be considered malicious deserters whose families are subject to arrest as relatives violated the oath and betrayed their homeland deserters … To oblige every soldier, regardless of his or her position on the claim of a superior, if part of it is surrounded, to fight to the ability to make your way to his own, and if any part of the head or the Red Army instead of organizing resistance to the enemy would prefer him to surrender in captivity — To destroy them by all means, both terrestrial and aerial, and families who have surrendered to the Red Army captured deprive municipal aid and assistance. "
Since the beginning of the war, it became clear that the destruction of not only the prisoners, and civilians perceived more devastating scale. Trying to correct the situation, June 27, 1
941 Commissar foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov telegraphed the chairman of the ICRC (International Committee of Reddish Cross) of the Union of Russian readiness to be exchanged lists of prisoners of war and the ability to review the case to the Hague Convention "On the Laws and Customs of War on Land." We must not forget that the particular failure of the USSR to join the Geneva Convention Hitler explained his calls are not used for Russian prisoners of war norms of international law. In the month prior to the Russian invasion of the Alliance High Command of the Wehrmacht (OKW) has prepared a summary of the appeal with the captured members of the political power that are in the Red Army. One of the proposals was the need to further destruction of political commissars during wartime camps.
July 17, 1941, Vyacheslav Molotov, a special note of the Embassy of Sweden and the Reddish Cross brought to the attention of Germany and its allies to do the consent of the USSR requirements of the Hague Convention of 1907 "On the Laws and Customs of War on Land." The paper emphasized that the Russian government will comply with the Convention against Nazi Germany, "only in so far as this convention will be followed Germany itself." The same day the order is dated by the Gestapo, which included the liquidation "of all Russian prisoners of war who were either would be unsafe for National Socialism."
The ratio of the prisoners in Russia for a long time it was human. Mercy to the vanquished sought "Council Code" Capital of Russia (1649), "Enemy, begging for mercy, have mercy, do not kill unarmed, with the women do not wage war; Maloletkov not touch. Act humanely with prisoners to be ashamed of barbarism. Equally striking tools enemy for mankind. warriors must crush the power of the enemy, and not unarmed strike. " And so did the centuries.
Since 1945, we have a captive was 4,000,000 Germans, Japanese, Hungarians, Austrians, Romanians, Italians, Finns … What was the attitude towards them? They spared. Prisoners of the Germans have survived two-thirds of our camps in German — the third part! "In captivity we were fed better than eating themselves Russian. In Russia I left a part of his own heart" — shows one of the German veterans who survived Russian captivity and returned to his home in Germany. Daily diet of ordinary prisoner of war according to the norms of the boiler rations for prisoners of war in the camps of the NKVD was 600 grams of rye bread, 40 grams of meat, 120 grams of fish, 600 grams of potatoes and vegetables and other products of the total energy value of 2,533 kcal per day.
Unfortunately, most of the provisions of the Geneva Convention "On the appeal of prisoners of war" remained only on paper. German prisoners — one of the most somber events the second world war. It is very weighty was the picture of Nazi captivity, the war atrocities continued. Everyone knows what they did during the second world war "cultural" Germans and citizens of the country of the rising sun, carrying out experiments on humans, mocking them in death camps … Oh wrote KD Sparrows in his own story, "It's us, O Lord …", that he had a chance to survive in Nazi captivity: "Kaunas camp "G" was the send quarantine Fri Not because it was a special "Landscaping" typical standard camps. But there were SS men, armed with shovels … steel. They were already lined up in a row, has died down leaning on his "gun battle." Have not had time to close the gates of the camp exhausted Major Velichko, as SS men with inhuman whooping crashed into the thick of the prisoners and began to kill them. Sprinkle the blood flew Shmatko wrong oblique oblique stroke shovel skin. The camp was filled with the roar osatanevshih assassins murdered moans, weary tramp of feet in terror meta people. "
Or here's another: "food rations issued to the prisoners, was 150 grams of moldy bread made of sawdust and 425 grams of soup a day … in Siauliai is the huge building — the bullpen. Courtyard, corridors, four hundred cameras in the attic — wherever it may be, were sitting, standing, hooks people. them there was not one a thousand. They were not fed. Plumbing Germans dismantled. who died of typhus and starvation was removed from the ground floor and the yard. in the chambers and corridors of the other floors littered with corpses for months, corroded myriad of lice. 6 in the morning gunmen came into the yard bullpen. Three van filled with the dead and still breathing, were taken from the bullpen to the field. Each vehicle was dragged 50 prisoners. place where dumped into a huge ditch semi-corpses, defended the town 4 miles away. Of the 100 fifty people carrying a terrible burden, reached back 100 20. Vorachivalis eighty — ninety. Others were shot on the way to the cemetery and back. "
Still, many who were taken prisoner tried to escape: groups, alone, from the camps during shipment. Here are the figures of German sources, "On 9/1/42, the (up to 14 months of war) escaped from captivity 41300 Russian." Further — more. Economy Minister Speer, Hitler's Germany, the Fuhrer, "Runaways was rampant: each month, the total number of escaped manage to find and return to the places of work and 40000 man. "By 01.05.44, the (yet to be year war) while trying to escape killed 1 million prisoners of war. Our grandfathers and fathers!
In Germany and the USSR during the second world relatives of the missing denied support (not paying benefits, pensions). Surrendered captured man was perceived as an enemy, not only was the position of power, and the attitude of the society. Hostility, lack of compassion and social support — with all these ex-prisoners face daily. In the Land of the Rising Sun captivity preferred suicide, in an embarrassing case of close prisoner persecuted in their homeland.
In 1944, the return flow in Russian Alliance of repatriated prisoners of war and sharply. This summer has been developed, and then put brand new filtration system and check all the organs of state security of returnees. To check the "ex-soldiers of the Red Army, held captive and surrounded by the enemy," was created by a network of special camps. In 1942, not counting the pre-existing Yuzhsky special camp was created 22 more camps in the Vologda and Tambov, Ryazan, Kursk, Voronezh and other areas. In fact, these special camps were a serious bullpen military regime, and for prisoners who are in the vast majority have not committed any crimes.
Freed from the special camps prisoners of war were limited and special battalions were sent to remote areas of the country to a permanent job at the enterprises of the coal and timber industries. Only 29 June 1956 the Central Committee of the CPSU and the USSR Council of Ministers adopted a decree "On elimination of the consequences of gross violations of the law in respect of former prisoners of war and their families." Since 1956, all the files of the former prisoners of war have been revised. The vast majority of them — were rehabilitated.
Impartially, captivity — it is always a defeat, submission to the will of the enemy. But coupled with the fact — that the right to the naked. While in captivity, soldier must rely on the protection of their rights on the part of the country, who sent him to the front. The government should stick to the 1st of the old international principles — the return of prisoners of war to their homeland and restore it in all the rights of a citizen. Apart from this, the part of
the country that has captured the soldier in captivity, must be respected norms of international law.
Fascinating facts follow. In 1985, the United States has established a medal "for meritorious service in captivity." She rewarded fighter, prisoner of war, including post-mortem. A 9 April 2003 the South American president announced a brand new municipal prazdnichkom — Those Days memory of American prisoners of war. Addressing on this occasion to civilization, he said: "They are the heroes of the state, and their service to our country will not be is forgotten." All it says in the fighters confidence that will take care of them. In the minds of the American fighter firmly entrenched idea that the homeland of their own at war forgets nothing and do not blame if they are at war "unlucky." In Western countries, people think differently: "The most valuable thing in life — life itself, giving only once. And you can go to do anything to save her." Such expressions as "to die for their country," "sacrifice," "honor more than life," "you can not betray" has long been not for their measure of a fighter and a man.