The truth and the heresy of Russian prisoners of war

One of the stereotypes, obsessive introduced into the public consciousness, has become a myth about the fate of Russian prisoners after their release from German captivity. "Democratic" historians and journalists Renders some harrowing picture of how former Russian soldiers liberated from German concentration camps, almost without exception leaves at Kolyma camps or, at least, in battalions.

Actually, plain common sense gives a hint that the soldiers who returned from captivity, should be subjected to inspection authorities counterintelligence — at least since the middle of them in advance there is a certain amount of enemy agents. The Germans heavily used this channel to the sending of its own agents. Here's what he wrote about it in his memoirs V.Shellenberg:

The truth and lies about the Soviet prisoners of war

"In the camps for thousands of Russian prisoners of war were taken, after which the training pelted by parachute into the Russian countryside. Their primary role, along with the transfer of the current disk imaging, it was the expansion of the population and political sabotage. Other groups were intended to fight the guerrillas, why they were thrown in as our agents to the Russian partisans. To quickly reach of success, we began to recruit volunteers from the Russian POW right in the front line "1.

So Makar, the establishment in late 1941 on the orders of Defence Commissar number 05212 filtration camps to check released from captivity was a necessity.

Check in these special camps were not only prisoners of war. Flow to the contingent was divided into three user groups:

1st — prisoners of war and encircled;

2nd — the rank and file police officers, village chiefs and other civilian persons suspected of treasonable activities;

3rd — civilian persons of military age who lived in the area occupied by the enemy3.

But perhaps of filtration camps of former prisoners en masse really drove the Kolyma? Make out featured on this topic archived data.

According to the information given members of the "Memorial" A.Kokurinym and N. Petrov in the journal "Free Idea"4, on March 1, 1944 by the NKVD were tested 312594 ex-soldiers of the Red Army who were taken prisoner or in the environment. The upcoming their fate was as follows:


departed in the military enlistment office for the upcoming trends in reddish Army

transferred to work in the defense industry

by guards manning the NKVD

departed in hospitals


on the formation of the assault battalions (ie battalions)
















So Makar, 75.1% of former prisoners successfully tested and who were targeted in the army, who in the economy who are being cured. Another 0.6% were lost, not surprisingly, given the conditions of life in the German concentration camps, where they were released. Were also repressed (arrested or deported to penal battalions) of just 6.2%.

The careful reader may have already noticed that the above categories do not embrace the entire amount of the former prisoners. The fate of 56403 military personnel (18.1%) is not indicated. In general, you can be sure that these people did not get lost in the vast expanses of Siberia — a democratic conscience of the creators not allowed them to silence such an unfortunate fact. Most likely these people simply to 56403 had not yet been tested and continued to be in special camps. It is true there is Kokurin Petrov and write that check in the special camps of the NKVD at the time held 75,314 people. But we will not achieve a great deal from them — people who lived and supporting the myth of the 10 framework of the millions of victims of Stalin's repressions, just have to suffer pathological ignorance of mathematics.

Almost immediately, the same information has also led to A.V.Mezhenko "Military History journal"5:


Data on the former prisoners of war detained in special camps

in the period from October 1941 to March 1944


Total received

Tested and passed to reddish Army

in the escort troops of the NKVD

in the defense industry

Departed in hospitals


In the assault battalions


Continue to be checked



















Unlike A.Kokurina and N. Petrov, A.Mezhenko have come together to make ends meet, in addition, it shows the archive source, where he took his data6.

So, in March 1944 inspection of the NKVD were 256,200 ex-prisoners. Of these:

successfully tested — 234863 (91.7%)

oriented battalions — 8255 (3.2%)

arrested — 11283 (4.4%)

dead — 1799 (0.7%).

A similar ratio was maintained and to illumine 1944. Here is an excerpt from the document:


Information about the audit b / encircled and b / POW as of October 1, 19447


1. To test the ex-soldiers of the Red Army, in captivity or surrounded by the enemy, the decision GFCS number of 1069ss 27.XII-'41 made the special camps of the NKVD.

Checking in special camps are soldiers of the Red Army counterintelligence departments conducted "SMERSH" NGO in special camps of the NKVD (at the time of the decision it was to particular departments).

Just went through the special camps of former soldiers of the Red Army, who came out of the environment and released from captivity, 354592 people., Including officers of 50441 people.

2. Of this number, tested and passed:

a) Reddish Army 249416 people.


to military units across draft boards 231034 — "-

of them — 27042 officers — "-

on the formation of the assault battalions 18382 — "-

of them — 16163 officers — "-

b) in the industry according to the judgments GFCS 30749 — "-

including — officers 29 — "-

c) the formation of the convoy of troops and special camps 5924 — "-

3. Arrested by the "Smersh" 11556 — "-

of their intelligence and counterintelligence agents opponent in 2083 — "-

of them — officers (for various atrocities) 1284 — "-

4. Departed for various reasons, for always — in hospitals, hospitals, and died in 5347 — "-

5. Are in the special camps of the NKVD of the USSR in check 51601 — "-

including — Officers 5657 — "-

Of those remaining in the camps of the NKVD officers formed in October 4 assault battalion to 920 people each.

In fact, the same number of leads in his book and V.F.Nekrasov:

"In accordance with the provisions of the T-bills December 27, 1941 and SNK on January 24, 1944, surrounded by all the former prisoners and soldiers of the Red Army through the box-transit points received in the NKVD special camp for review, where tested passed to send a reddish Army through military conscription, in part to work in the industry, and partly arrested by authorities "SMERSH." So, by October 20, 1944 in these special camps of the NKVD received 354590 people, of them after the check is returned to reddish Army 249416, was under test 51615, transferred to industry and protection 36630, arrested by the "Smersh" 11566, or losses for various other reasons, including hospitals in the People's Commissariat of Defense, and killed 5347 people "8.


Since the "Help" provide more detailed data than V.Nekrasova, analyze them specifically. Thus, the fate of former prisoners of war, vetted before October 1, 1944, followed by distributed as follows:


Oriented man %
to military units through military conscription

in the assault battalions

in the industry

in the escort troops


in hospitals, hospitals, died













Total checks 302992 100%

Since the document cited above for most categories also specified the number of officers who will calculate the data separately for the enlisted men and officers separately for:


Oriented ordinary and


% officers %
to military units through military conscription

in the assault battalions

in the industry

in the escort troops


in hospitals, hospitals, died

























Total checks 258208 100% 44784 100%

So Makar, among other ranks successfully tested greater than 95% (Or 19 out of every 20) of former prisoners of war. A little differently was the case with the prisoner of war officers. Been arrested from their less than 3%, but in the summer of 1943 to 1944 illumine significant fraction was directed as enlisted men in the assault battalions. And it is completely understandable and justified — to demand more officers than privates.

In addition, keep in mind that the officers trapped in the battalions and redeem himself, restored in rank. For example, the 1st and 2nd assault battalions formed to August 25, 1943, within 2 months fighting proved to be a good side and the Order of the NKVD were disbanded. Fighters these units back in rights, including the officers, and then sent to wage war on in the Red Army9.

In November 1944, T-bills adopted a resolution according to which the liberated prisoners of war and Russian citizens of military age right up to the end of the war were sent specifically to military spare parts, bypassing the special camp10. Among them was and more than 83 thousand officers. Of them after checking the 56160 people have been laid off from the army, more than 10 thousand troops face in 1567 denied the officers' titles and demoted to the ranks 15241 transferred to rank and file11.

So, after meeting with the facts, including those housed notorious anti-Stalinists, the myth of the disastrous fate of the liberated Russian POWs burst like a soap bubble. In fact right up to the end of the war, the vast majority (over 90%) of Russian soldiers liberated from German captivity, after the necessary checks in special camps of the NKVD vorachivalis in operation or were sent to work in the industry. Petty amount (about 4%) were arrested and about the same oriented in battalions.

After the war began a general release of Russian prisoners of war and civilian persons deported to forced labor in Germany and other countries. According to the directive Bets number 11086 on May 11, 1945, to receive repatriated Russian people liberated by the Allies, the People's Commissariat of Defense had cooperated 100 camps. In addition, there were 46 teams Fri to receive the Russian people, Russian troops liberated12.

May 22, 1945 T-Bills issued a ruling in which the initiative Beria installed the 10-day deadline for registration and verification of returnees after civilian persons to be sent to a place of constant residence, and military — in parts13. But due to the massive influx of immigrants 10 days was a mystic and was increased to one or two months14.

The final results of verification Russian prisoners of war and civilian persons released after the war, see following manner. By March 1, 1946 were repatriated Russian 4,199,488 people (1,539,475 2.660.013 civilians and prisoners of war), 1,846,802 of them came from areas of the acts of the Russian troops abroad and 2,352,686 taken from the Anglo-Americans and come from Other States15.


The results of inspection and filtering of returnees

(As of March 1, 1946)16

Categories of immigrants Civilians % prisoners of war %
Oriented to the residence 2,146,126 80.68 281,780 18.31
Drafted into the army 141,962 5.34 659,190 42.82
Enrolled in the work battalions 263,647 9.91 344,448 22.37
Handed over to the NKVD 46,740 1.76 226,127 14.69
Was on the box-transit under Fri

and used to work in Russian

military units and institutions abroad

61,538 2.31 27.930 1.81

So Makar, prisoners of war, released after the end of the war, reprisals were only 14.69%. Usually it would Vlasov and other accomplices occupiers. Thus, according to the instructions available to the Chiefs of screening, the number of immigrants to be arrested and the court:

— Steering and commanders of the police, "people protection", "militia", "Russian Liberation Army", the state of the legions, and other similar organizations;

— the rank and file police officers and rank and file members listed organizations who took part in punitive expeditions or are active in the implementation of commitments;

— former soldiers of the Red Army, voluntarily defected to the enemy;

— mayors, large Nazi bureaucrats, members of the Gestapo and other German punitive and intelligence agencies;

— village elders, who were active accomplices of the occupiers17.

What was the impending fate at the hands of the NKVD "freedom fighters"? Most of them have announced that they deserve the most terrible punishment, but because of the victory over Germany Russian government showed leniency to him, relieved of criminal responsibility for treason and sent to special settlements was limited for a period of 6 years.

This manifestation of humanism was to Nazi collaborators complete surprise. Here's the relevant episode. November 6, 1944 in Murmansk return two British ships, carrying the 9907 former Russian soldiers who fought in the German army against the Anglo-American forces and taken captive. According to article 193 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR then for the transfer of troops to the enemy in time of war provided only one punishment — the death penalty and confiscation of property. Because many of the "passengers" were waiting for their shot at once on the Murmansk pier. But Russian officials explained to the representatives that the Russian government has pardoned them, and that they not only will not be executed, and generally exempt from verbovaniya prosecuted for treason. More than one year, these people have been tested in the special camps of the NKVD, and then focused on the 6-year banishment. In 1952, most of them were released, while in their questionnaires means no criminal record, and the work in special settlements were credited in the seniority18.

Total in 1946-1947. to banishment received 148079 Vlasovtsev and other accomplices occupiers. On January 1, 1953 in special settlements remained Vlasovtsev 56746, 93446 were released in 1951-1952. after serving term19.

What's all the same for the supporters of the occupiers, stained ourselves to certain crimes, they were oriented to the Gulag camps, making it worthy company Solzhenitsyn.

A few words should be said about the former Russian prisoners of war who are enrolled in the work battalions. Many careless researchers and writers include them in the discharge of the repressed. Meanwhile, it is not so.

In 1945, after the transfer to the Red Army in store those ages that are covered by the order to demobilize, have been released from house to house prisoners of war enlisted men of corresponding ages. Completely natural and fair that the other prisoners, peers who continued to serve in the military should return to military service. But the war is over, and now the country were needed workers, not fighters. Therefore, in accordance with the decision of T-bills from August 18, 1945 most of them were enrolled in the work battalions20.

According to the directive of the General Staff of the armed forces of the USSR of July 12, 1946, these battalions, which were analogous to today's construction battalion were disbanded21, and their personnel has received the status of "translated into constant footage industry." According to the Resolution of the Council of Ministers on 30 September 1946 on there were quite vserasprostraneno existing laws on labor, as all the rights and privileges which benefited the workers and employees of the respective companies and construction sites22. They kept the status of full of people of the USSR, but without the right to leave the place of work set by the state.

In 1946-1948. of Red Army soldiers were demobilized several ages. Accordingly, their peers, previously enrolled in the work battalions, were allowed to return to the places where they lived before the war23.

Let's sum up. As we have seen, of prisoners of war liberated during the war, was subjected to repression Least 10%, from the liberated after the war — Least 15%, with most of the "repressed" fully deserved their fate. There were also innocent victims, but this was the exception to the rule, and not the rule.

In conclusion, a few words about the moral side of the issue. Generally speaking, voluntary surrender — it shameful act, regardless of whether it is punishable by the Criminal Code or not. And therefore declare former prisoners of war heroes — means to mock the memory of the Russian soldiers and officers who chose to die rather than surrender.


1. Schellenberg B. Memories / Per. with it. M.: "Prometheus". 1991. P.215.

2. TSHIDK. F.1 / n Op.23a. E.2. L.27.

3. V.N.Zemskov. Gulag (historical and sociological nuance) / / Sociological Research. 1991, № 7. C.4.

4. A.Kokurin, N. Petrov. -NKVD-KGB, SMERSH: structure, functions, and personnel. Article 4th (1944-1945) / / Free the idea. 1997, № 9. P.96.

5. A.V.Mezhenko. Prisoners of war vorachivalis in order … / / Military History magazine. 1997, № 5. C.32.

6. TSHIDK. F.1 / n Op.23a. E.3. L.44.

7. V.N.Zemskov. Gulag (historical and sociological nuance) / / Sociological Research. 1991, № 7. C.4-5.

8. Nekrasov, VF Thirteen "steel" commissars. M.: "Milestones". 1995. P.231.

9. A.V.Mezhenko. Prisoners of war vorachivalis in order … / / Military History magazine. 1997, № 5. C.33.

10. Ibid.

11. A.A.Shabaev. The loss of the officer corps of the Red Army in the Russian war majestically / / Military History Archive. 1998, № 3. P.180.

12. SARF. F.9408. Op.1. Building 15. L.6-8.

13. Ibid. E.1. L.40.

14. TsAMO. Feeder 3. Op.11556. D.18. L.142.

15. SARF. F.9526. Op.4a. E.1. L.62, 223-226.

16. SARF. F.9526. Op.3. D.53. L.175; Op.4a. E.1. L.62, 70, 223.

17. SARF. F.9408. Op.1. E.1. L.31-34.

18. V.N.Zemskov. Repatriation of Russian people and their impending fate / / Sociological Research. 1995. Number 5. C.6.

19. V.N.Zemskov. Prisoners special settlers, deportees, exiles and exiled (statistical-geographical nuance) / / History of the USSR. 1991, № 5. P.155, 164.

20. V.N.Zemskov. Repatriation of Russian people and their impending fate / / Sociological Research. 1995. Number 6. C.10.

21. SARF. F.9526. Op.7. D.44. L.251.

22. SARF. F.5446. Op.52. D.6723. L.34.

23. V.N.Zemskov. Repatriation of Russian people and their impending fate / / Sociological Research. 1995. Number 6. C.10.

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