- Forced labor of Germans in the Soviet Union
Forced labor of Germans in the Soviet Union was considered by the
Soviet Unionto be part of German war reparations for the damage inflicted by Nazi Germanyon the Soviet Union during World War II. Poland, France, the United Kingdomand the U.S.also made heavy use of Germans as forced labourin order to rebuild several regions from enormous destruction made by Nazi Germany, see articles Eisenhower and German POWsand Morgenthau Planfor details and references.
Information about this was suppressed in the Soviet Bloc until the
collapse of the Soviet Union. Before that, however, it was known in the West through statistics and recollections of the internees.
The use of German labor was analyzed by the Soviet government beginning in 1943, and the issue is present in the paperwork of the
Yalta Conference, but the Potsdam Conferencedid not discuss it. In fact, the USSR began forcing labor of Germans in 1944.
NKVDtook the lead role in it via its department, Chief Directorate for Prisoners of War and Internees' Affairs (Главное управление по делам военнопленных и интернированных, ГУПВИ, transliterated as GUPVI).
Order 7161(December 1944) issued by USSR State Defense Committeemade possible the internment of all adult Germans from Romania, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Bulgariaand Czechoslovakia. In January 1945 100,000 ethnic Germans, women aged 18-30, men aged 17-45 were sent to the Soviet Union from Romania. 10% died in the camps or in the train transports. [The Expulsion of 'German' Communities from Eastern Europe at the end of the Second World War] , Steffen Prauser and Arfon Rees, European University Institute, Florense. HEC No. 2004/1 p. 65] . (See also Flight and expulsion of Germans from Romania during and after World War II).
After Christmas 1944 between 27,000 to 30,000 ethnic Germans (aged 18-40) were sent to the USSR from Yugoslavia. Women made up 90% of the group. Most were sent to labor camps in the
Donbass(Donez basin) where 16% of them died. [The Expulsion of 'German' Communities from Eastern Europe at the end of the Second World War] , Steffen Prauser and Arfon Rees, European University Institute, Florense. HEC No. 2004/1 p. 55]
Order 7467( February 3, 1945) of the State Defense Committee called for the mobilization of able-bodied male Germans aged 17-50 from Upper Silesiaand East Prussia, "to prevent terrorist acts and diversions" in the rear of active Soviet fronts. Those who served in the regular army or in " Volkssturm" were considered POWs and deported into NKVD POW camps. The rest had to form labour battalions to be interned into the Soviet Union for reconstruction works, primarily in the Ukrainian SSRand Byelorussian SSR. Implementation was under the control of the commanders of the corresponding Soviet Army Fronts, with further processing by the NKVD.
According to some sources, in early 1945 close to 165,000 Germans were deported to the Soviet Union from the German territories that were de-facto annexed by Poland. [The Expulsion of 'German' Communities from Eastern Europe at the end of the Second World War] , Steffen Prauser and Arfon Rees, European University Institute, Florense. HEC No. 2004/1 p. 29]
In total, there were 155,262 civilian internees from Germany, according to the official Soviet sources. Together with the internees from
Eastern Europe, the total number of internees by 1945 was about 267,000. They were assigned different status based on their geographical origin: those from Eastern Europe were classified as "mobilized internees," while those from Germany itself were "arrested internees".
From the group "mobilized internees" by October 1, 1946 35,775 had died out of an original 208,239. From the group "arrested internees" which in May 1945 numbered 94,601 by 1946 some 21,250 were repatriated and 25,889 likely died ("or withdrew for other reasons") ["Against their will" English translation, p.266] [Note: The groups also include "Poles", possibly ethnic Poles from Upper Silesia]
The majority were placed within the European USSR. Over 75% worked within Ukraine (
Donbassand its mining and metallurgical neighborhood) and 11% in the Urals.
Forced labor turned out to be inefficient and unprofitable.
Repatriationstarted as early as 1945-1946. Notably, Romania refused to take back its former German citizens.
However, selective internment of skilled workers and engineers continued until 1949, when East German communists asked Stalin to discontinue the practice.
The reported death rate was 19% among "mobilized internees" and 39% among "arrested internees".Fact|date=April 2007
Thanks to opening of the Russian archives the fates of some of these civilians have been made known, by late 1996 the German Red Cross had received from Russia 199,000 records of deported German civilians who had either been repatriated or died in Soviet captivity. An example of a case record is that of
Pauline Gölner; her records reveal that she was born in 1926 in Wolkendorf in Transylvania, was arrested on January 15, 1945 and sent to forced labor in the coal mines of Chanchenkowo(Ukraine) where she died on February 26, 1949, only 23 years old. [ [http://www.icrc.org/web/fre/sitefre0.nsf/html/5FZGSQ La recherche des Allemands prisonniers ou portés disparus au cours de la Seconde Guerre mondial] 30-06-1999 Revue internationale de la Croix-Rouge No. 834, p. 387-401 par Monika Ampferl]
A number of German scientists worked in the Soviet Union, e.g.
Helmut Gröttrupwith his group.
The majority of German forced labor after WWII was represented by 2.3 million German
POWs left by the end of the war, see POW labor in the Soviet Union.
The last Germans (those who were sentenced for
war crimes, sometimes without sufficient reasons) were repatriated in 1956.
Foreign forced labor in the Soviet Union
Forced labor in Germany during World War II
Journey Back to Youth"
Eastern workers, about foreign forced labor in Germany
* Polish forced labor camps
Not by Their Own Will
* [http://cadmus.iue.it/dspace/bitstream/1814/2599/1/HEC04-01.pdf The Expulsion of 'German' Communities from Eastern Europe at the end of the Second World War] , Steffen Prauser and Arfon Rees, European University Institute, Florense. HEC No. 2004/1 (The section "The "expulsion" of the German speaking minority from Yugoslavia" contains info on their deportation to the SU for forced labor)
* [http://books.google.com/books?id=8ktrYux1gTMC&pg=PP1&dq=Against+Their+Will:+The+History+and+Geography+of+Forced+Migrations+in+the+USSR&sig=ACfU3U1jC3DGllzoflRP5cwblSjYkg3FKg Against Their Will: The History and Geography of Forced Migrations in the USSR] Partial preview of the book at
Google Book Search
* [http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documents/cab_195_3_transcript.pdf Transcripts of UK
War Cabinetdiscussions] Provided by The National Archives. The meetings of May 18th 1945, and June 11th 1945 discuss the provisions made for slave labor in the Yalta protocol, and the value to be extracted from the workers.
* Павел Полян, "Не по своей воле..." (
Pavel Polian, " Against Their Will... A History and Geography of Forced Migrations in the USSR"), ОГИ Мемориал, Moscow, 2001, ISBN 5-94282-007-4
* Dokumentation der Vertreibung der Deutschen aus Ost-Mitteleuropa./ Bearb. von T. Schieder. Bd. 1–5. Wolfenbattel, 1953–1961
* Die Deutschen Vertreibungsverluste. Bevolkerungsbilanzen fuer die deutschen Vertreibungsgebiete 1939/50. Wiesbaden, 1958
* Rhode G. Phasen und Formen der Massenzwangswanderungen in Europa. // Die Vertriebenen in Westdeutschland. Bd. 1. Kiel, 1959.
* Karner, Stefan, "Im Archipel GUPVI. Kriegsgefangenschaft und Internierung in der Sowjetunion 1941-1956." Wien-München 1995.
* Sharkov, Anatoli, "GUPVI Archipelago: Prisoners of War and Internees on the Territory of Belarus: 1944--1951"(in Russian) (2003), Minsk, Belarus, ISBN 985-463-094-3
* Gerhard Reichling. "Die deutschen Vertriebenen in Zahlen", Bonn 1995, ISBN 3-88557-046-7
* Ivan Chukhin, " [http://www.memo.ru/memory/KARELIA/ Interned Youth] ", a history of the NKVD Camp 517 for interned female Germans,
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Forced labor of Hungarians in the Soviet Union — The topic of forced labor of Hungarians in the Soviet Union in the aftermath of the World War II was not researched until the fall of Communism and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. While exact numbers are not known, it is estimated that up to … Wikipedia
Forced settlements in the Soviet Union — took several forms. Though the most notorious was the Gulag labor camp system of penal labor, resettling of entire categories of population was another method of political repression. At the same time, involuntary settlement played a role in the… … Wikipedia
Population transfer in the Soviet Union — may be classified into the following broad categories: deportations of anti Soviet categories of population, often classified as enemies of workers , deportations of nationalities, labor force transfer, and organized migrations in opposite… … Wikipedia
POW labor in the Soviet Union — Systematic POW labor in the Soviet Union is associated primarily with the outcomes of the World War II and covers the period of 1939 1956. This form of forced labor was handled by the Chief Directorate for Prisoners of War and Internees Affairs… … Wikipedia
Foreign forced labor in the Soviet Union — was an important part of the Soviet economy during and in the aftermath of the World War II, which continued up to 1950s. There have been two categories of foreigners amassed for forced labor: prisoners of war and civilians. Both of them were… … Wikipedia
History of Germans in Russia and the Soviet Union — Catherine the Great the most famous Russian Empress of German descent The German minority in Russia and the Soviet Union was created from several sources and in several waves. The 1914 census puts the number of Germans living in Russian Empire at … Wikipedia
Hero of the Soviet Union — The title Hero of the Soviet Union (Russian: Герой Советского Союза, Geroy Sovyetskovo Soyuza ) was the highest distinction in the Soviet Union, awarded personally or collectively for heroic feats in service to the Soviet state and… … Wikipedia
History of the Soviet Union (1927–1953) — This period of the Soviet Union was dominated by Joseph Stalin, who sought to reshape Soviet society with aggressive economic planning, in particular a sweeping collectivization of agriculture and development of industrial power. He also… … Wikipedia
Deportation of Koreans in the Soviet Union — Deportation of Koreans in the Soviet Union, originally conceived in 1926, initiated in 1930, and carried through in 1937, was the first mass transfer of an entire nationality based on their ethnicity to be committed by the Soviet Union. Almost … Wikipedia
Collectivization in the Soviet Union — was a policy pursued under Stalin between 1928 and 1940. The goal of this policy was to consolidate individual land and labour into collective farms (Russian: колхоз, kolkhoz, plural kolkhozy). The Soviet leadership was confident that the… … Wikipedia