Volksturm. The boys and old men — cannon fodder

Volksturm.  Boys and old men - "cannon fodder"July 15, 1944, Hitler received a telegram from Rommel. Here are excerpts from it: "The situation at the front in Normandy is becoming more difficult. Own loss so great that combat-ready divisions is rapidly falling. Recharge comes from the rear of a very greedy. In a hostile party to the front every day come new troops and the mass of war material. "

Change is on the eastern front

Even worse for Germany incident took shape in the East. It is here that the action took place, which had a decisive significance for the entire second world war. Our troops are from June to August 1944 had a massive coming in Karelia, in Belarus, western Ukraine and Moldova. As a result of active promotion of Russian troops in Karelia, the Finnish Government on 19 September signed an armistice with the Soviet Union, and the small Nordic country out of the war, unleashed, in the end, with his raging ally.

Against the background of all these events, Hitler made desperate efforts to save his empire. One of these was a desperate attempt to create the German People's Militia — Volkssturm. Thought the full mobilization of all the boys between the ages of 16 and 60 belonged to the Minister of Propaganda Goebbels. She shared it with Artur Axmann, who held the post then rayhsyugendfyurera — the leader of the youth organization of the Nazi Hitler Youth. That in turn introduced that are capable of waging war, and 12-year-olds. The main thing, is not to approach this issue from the standpoint of propaganda. The idea was reported to Hitler. He was ready to grasp at any opportunity, and September 25, 1944 issued a decree on the development of the Volkssturm.

Goebbels wrote the text of the decree — the master of "patriotic" verbiage: "After five years of hard struggle, as a result of failure of all our European allies, the enemy on some fronts is near the German border or on their own. It strains all their strength to defeat our Reich, kill the German people and its social system. His ultimate goal — the liquidation of German people. For the short term we have the first major implementation of our German folk force to solve important military prepyadstviya Reich, and even the whole of Europe for many years. While the enemy thinks he can inflict the final blow to us, we are committed to fulfill the second great introduction of all the forces of our people. We will not only break the enemy, and again fold it and store Reich so that he was able to secure the future of Germany and Europe in order to ensure lasting peace. "


Volksturm.  Boys and old men - "cannon fodder"Initially, the militia men were taken only from 16 to 60 years. Although the assembly points which were 12-13-year-old men were taken to the Patriots, not paying much attention to age. Since February 1945, the army has recruited and ladies over 18 years old.

Record of the population in the Volkssturm wore a "voluntary" nature. Naturally, no one drove the people with the power to recruiting stations, but turn away from joining the militia was tantamount to suicide. The case when four teenagers from Hitler staged a lynch the 16-year-old man who refused to be recorded in the Volkssturm. "The Court" concluded the murder: young Nazis, who were able to have contact with the instrument, without the help of others shot "traitor."

First, people's militia entrusted guard airports, bridges, city streets and main buildings. In addition, members of the Volkssturm had to perform police functions, such as the oppression of possible uprisings in the middle of war or foreign workers. But the situation has changed, war dictating their conditions. Only on the Soviet-German front during the summer and autumn of 1944 the Germans had lost 1.6 million soldiers and officers. Russian army at that time was completely destroyed 20 Nazi divisions and 22 brigades. The front is very tightly close to the borders of Nazi Germany, and in East Prussia even skipped them. So soon Volkssturm members began intensively replenish the armed forces personnel.


Volksturm.  Boys and old men - "cannon fodder"It was planned that the new recruits by field officers will undergo a 48-hour program from training. It was believed that such training will be enough to get the appeal of abilities with a rifle, rocket-gun, anti-tank grenade launcher and hand grenades. But most of the training took only a few hours. Besides guns lacked not only to study, and to combat acts. As a result, many militiamen armed with hunting rifles or an old rifles and sent out as "cannon fodder" on the front — to make war with the Russian forces personnel and allied forces.

With outfit things were even worse than with a gun. From warehouses to shovel the remains uniform odezhki various types of troops, preserved since the First World War. In most of their own elderly and kids were going to front in civilian clothes.

Despite the fact that all members of the Volkssturm accountable like real soldiers, in other words, left the military unit was waiting for the shooting in the middle of the militia were many deserters. This was especially true Volkssturm battalions that were sent to the Western Front. The German people did not want to fight a war or to Europe or to America. Militias whole units surrendered the Allied troops, or thrown weapon and forests and swamps vorachivalis home.

"Eastern hordes come"

Volksturm.  Boys and old men - "cannon fodder"Completely different scene reigned in the East. But they are not determined by the fact that German people eager to wage war with Russia. The initial formulation of propaganda Joseph Goebbels, defining goal second world war as a "fight for the actual space of the German people" had already been replaced by a "crusade against Bolshevism", "protection of Europe from the Asian hordes" and "salvation of Western civilization from the reddish danger" . Hitler's propaganda spared dark colors, describing "a terrible future," which is prepared Bolsheviks defeated Germany.

To play a role in the long-standing vdalblivanie head of the German people of the myth of "racial inferiority" Slavs. Back in July 1942, Goebbels stated: "What we have here is opposed to the soul of the Russian media, is nothing other than the essence of primitive animal Slavs. There are live creatures that are very capable to resist because they are just
as defective. Street pooch too hardier thoroughbred Shepherd. But this street mongrel not become full. " And here are excerpts from Wagner's treatment krayslyaytera to Konigsberg Volkssturm soldiers from February 5, 1945: "Those who surrender to the Bolsheviks, condemns himself to death. The Bolshevik German fighter even worse. Retreat before him or give him — stupid and criminal. "

But the closer to the end of the war, the greater the change in the eyes of the Germans propagandistic image of the underdeveloped Russian going on the attack just as the Communists urged on him in the back with their bayonets and guns. By 1945, the Nazi propagandists presented the image of the German people fanatically convinced of their own rightness, Stealther, and mercilessly bitter enemy, ready to wipe out the Aryan race and kill Germany as the country as a whole.

Related criminal propaganda acted on the people very well, and it caused terrible consequences. On the Eastern Front, German children were shot with bazookas Russian tanks themselves were killed by the bullets. An old and sick people, not being a professor of war, often poorly armed, tried to stop the Soviet army personnel, protecting, as they thought, from a total defeat for their families and loved ones, not knowing that their lives are put on the altar of war criminal power.

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