Soviet war crimes


Soviet war crimes

Soviet war crimes gives a short overview about serious crimes committed by the Red Army's (1918-1946, later Soviet Army) leadership and an unknown number of single members of the Soviet armed forces from 1919 to 1990 inclusive including those in Eastern Europe in late 1944 and early 1945, particularly murder and rape. Neither by any international military jurisdiction nor the Red Army’s leadership have any of its members have ever been charged with war crimes by a court of law.

Background

On the part of the Axis powers an ethnic superiority ideology played a primary role in starting World War II and led to immediate, constant and systematic war crimes against the Soviet civilian population during the German invasion and occupation of Russia (1941-45). An estimated 20 million civilians in the Soviet Union lost their lives during the war as a direct or indirect result of combat operations and a policy of systematic annihilation. Fact|date=July 2008

On the Soviet side, the Red Army was ideologically oriented and indoctrinated from its first day. [ [http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1918/military/ch30.htm The Military Writings] ofLeon Trotsky Volume 1, 1918] It was created in 1918 by the communist Soviet regime in order to defend the new regime in the bloody Russian Civil War. Leon Trotsky, founding father of the Red Army, used propaganda, indoctrination and ruthless terror to defeat the White Army. [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwone/eastern_front_05.shtml Documentary] on BBC] As a result of severe famine that started during World War I and disease, the deaths of civilians in the Russian Civil War were several times higher than those of combatants. [The Economic Transformation of the Soviet Union: 1913-1945, ed. R.W. Davies, Mark Harrison, S.G. Wheatcroft.] Some sources state that the number of civilian dead in this conflict was 9 times higher than that of troops in the field. [ [http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat1.htm#Russian List of Losses in Russian Civil War] ] The Soviet Union did not recognize Tsarist Russia's assent to the Hague Conventions (1899 and 1907) as binding on the new regime and refused to sign it until 1955. [ [http://www.pca-cpa.org/ENGLISH/CSAI/] List of the Signatory and Contracting Powers of The Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 and Dates on Which the Convention(s) Took Effect for Each of Them]

Following the repulse of the German attack on the Soviet Union and Soviet troops entering Germany and Hungary in 1944, the number of war crimes, plunder, murder of civilians, and especially rape, reached a level of previously unknown proportions. In Soviet and present Russian history books on the "Great Patriotic War" these war crimes are hardly mentioned. [ [http://www.hrono.ru/dokum/194_dok/19410816.html Order No 270 in Russian language at internet-school.ru] ] [ [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2002/01/25/wruss25.xml Russians angry at war rape claims] Telegraph.co.uk 01/25/2002] With rare exceptions (notably Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Lev Kopelev) this evidence was found and published by Western historians after some of the Soviet archives were opened to the public following the Cold War.

Crimes committed by the Red Army in occupied territories (Poland, the Baltic states, Romania, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovenia) between 1939 and 1941 and the follow-up atrocities of 1944–1949 have been present in the historical consciousness of these countries since the crimes were committed. Nevertheless, a systematic, publicly controlled discussion could begin only after the fall of the Soviet Union. [ See also [http://www.am.gov.lv/data/file/e/HC-Progress-Report2001.pdf The Progress Report] of Latvia's History Commission] . This is also true of the territories occupied by Soviet forces in Manchuria and the Kuril Islands after the Soviet Union breached its neutrality pact with Japan in 1945. [http://hnn.us/roundup/comments/22336.html see also] : Mark Ealey, article on "History News Network"]

Civilian casualties

During the Continuation War

The Continuation War was fought between Finland and Soviet Union between 1941 and 1944. During the war Soviet commando units conducted raids into Finnish territory and attacked mostly civilian targets, such as isolated houses and villages. In November 2006, pictures showing atrocities were declassified by Finnish authorities. The pictures include images of slain women and children. They had been kept secret for so long in order not to disturb relations with the powerful neighbor to the east. [http://www.hs.fi/English/article/Too+awful+an+image+of+war/1135223124092] [http://www.iltalehti.fi/osastot/kuvagalleria/data/yleinen/544/1.shtml] [http://www.iltalehti.fi/osastot/kuvagalleria/data/yleinen/546/4.shtml]

1939–1942

The Red Army invaded and occupied the eastern part of Poland in accordance with the secret protocols of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Later it occupied the Baltic States and parts of Ukraine and Bessarabia.

The Soviet policy in all newly controlled areas was ruthless, showing strong elements of ethnic cleansing. NKVD task forces followed the Red Army to clean the conquered territories of "Soviet-hostile elements." The Polish historian Tomasz Strzembosz has noted parallels between the German Einsatzgruppen and these units. [ [http://www.dpg-brandenburg.de/nr23/die_verschwiegene_kollaboration_strzembosz.pdf Interview] with Tomasz Strzembosz: "Die verschwiegene Kollaboration" Transodra, 23. Dezember 2001, P. 2 ] Many tried to escape from the Soviet NKVD, and those who failed were mostly taken into custody by the Red Army and afterwards deported to Siberia and/or vanished in the "Gulag". Thomas Urban "Der Verlust", P. 145, Verlag C. H. Beck 2004, ISBN 3406541569 ]

During 1939-1941, for example, nearly 1.5 million inhabitants of Soviet-controlled areas of former Poland were deported, of whom 63.1% were Poles or other nationalities and 7.4% were Jews. Only a fraction of these deportees survived the war. [ Poland's Holocaust, Tadeusz Piotrowski, 1998 ISBN 0-7864-0371-3, P.14]

According to the American professor Carroll Quigley, at least 100,000 out of 320,000 Polish prisoners of war captured by the Red Army in 1939, were exterminated. Carroll Quigley, "Tragedy & Hope: A History of the World in Our Time", G. S. G. & Associates, Incorporated; New Ed edition, June 1975, ISBN 094500110X]

Deportations, executions, torture as well as numerous other crimes against the population (murder, hostage taking, burning down of villages) increased when the Red Army was forced to retreat from the advancing Wehrmacht in 1941. Many political prisoners arrested by the NKVD were massacred in order to prevent their falling into German hands. In the Baltic States, Byelorussia, the Ukraine, and Bessarabia, imprisoned opponents were executed by the NKVD and attached units of the Red Army rather than left behind. These actions by the Soviets increased the hatred of those who had helped the Soviets, or were suspected of being Soviet allies, in particular the Jews. As another result, in these countries the Einsatzgruppen could rely heavily on volunteers, willing to participate in their brutal operations, and tip-offs, especially in the Baltic States. [ [http://www.historisches-centrum.de/forum/musial01-1.html articel] by Bogdan Musial: "Ostpolen beim Einmarsch der Wehrmacht nach dem 22. Juni 1941" on website of „Historisches Centrum Hagen“] [Bogdan Musial: "Konterrevolutionäre Elemente sind zu erschießen", Propyläen 2000, ISBN 3549071264 (German)] ("See also" NKVD prisoner massacres.)

1943–1945

From the turning point of the war on, the Red Army did not give up territories to the Wehrmacht, but mainly regained lost ground on the Eastern Front. This resulted in revenge actions against all those who were accused of being collaborators during the German occupation, similar to the trials of collaborators in liberated France in France after D-Day. While in France this part of history is documented, debated and subject of many scientific reviews, very little is known today about what happened in the path of the Red Army, re-conquering former Soviet territory of the Baltic States.

In Poland, Nazi atrocities ended in late 1944, but Soviet oppression continued. The role of the Red Army during the Warsaw Uprising remains controversial and is still disputed by some historians. Soldiers of Poland's Home Army (Armia Krajowa) were persecuted, sometimes imprisoned, and often executed following staged trials (as in the case of Witold Pilecki, the organizer of Auschwitz resistance). (See also Lack of outside support in the Warsaw Uprising.)

Germany 1945

"For further information see Flight and expulsion of Germans during and after WWII. German exodus from Eastern Europe. Evacuation of German civilians during the end of World War II."

According to historian Norman Naimark, the propaganda of Soviet troop newspapers and the orders of Soviet high command were jointly responsible for excesses by members of the Red Army. The general tenor in the writings was that the Red Army had come to Germany as an avenger and judge to punish the Germans. Norman M. Naimark Cambridge: Belknap, 1995 ISBN 0-674-78405-7] The Soviet author Ilya Ehrenburg wrote on January 31, 1945: "The Germans have been punished in Oppeln, in Königsberg and in Breslau. They have been punished, but yet not enough. Some have been punished, but yet not all of them" ... [ [http://militera.lib.ru/prose/Russian/erenburg_ig3/216.html original text] „Day of the Account“ (Russian language)]

Calls of Soviet generals spurred on the soldiers, in addition. On January 12, 1945, army General Cherniakhovsky turned to his troops with the words: "There shall be no mercy - for anyone, as there was no mercy for us... The land of the fascists must become a desert …" Antony Beevor, "Berlin: The Downfall 1945", Penguin Books, 2002, ISBN 0-670-88695-5]

On the German side, any organized evacuation of civilians was forbidden by the Nazi government to boost morale of the troops, now for the first time defending the "Fatherland," even when the Red Army entered German territory in the last months of 1944. German civilians, however, were well aware of the way the Red Army was conducting war against civilians from reports by friends and relatives who had served on the eastern front and feared the Red Army. Also, Nazi propaganda--originally meant to stiffen civil resistance by describing in gruesome and graphic detail Red Army atrocities such as the Nemmersdorf massacre--backfired and created panic among civilians.

As a result and whenever possible, when Nazi officials had already left, civilians began to flee westward at the last moment and on their own initiative. , "Berlin: The Downfall 1945", Penguin Books, 2002, ISBN 0-670-88695-5]

Those who did not flee suffered by taking the burden of Red Army's occupying rules: Murder, rape, robbery, and expulsion. For example, in the East Prussian city of Königsberg, in August 1945 there were approximately 100,000 German civilians still living there after the Red Army had conquered the city. When the Germans were finally expelled from Königsberg in 1948, only about 20,000 were still alive ("see also" expulsion of Germans after World War II).

The rampage which the Red Army in Germany went on during the occupation of the rest of Eastern Germany often led to incidents like Demmin, a small city conquered by Soviet forces in the spring of 1945. Despite the unconditional and complete surrender of Demmin to the Red Army without any prior fighting in or around the city, nearly 900 people committed suicide after Demmin had been declared open for looting and pillaging for three days by Soviet commanders. Antony Beevor, "Berlin: The Downfall 1945", Penguin Books, 2002, ISBN 0-670-88695-5]

Although mass executions of civilians by the Red Army are not reported on a regular basis, there is a known incident in the Treuenbrietzen, where at least 88 male civilians were rounded up and shot on May 1, 1945. This atrocity took place after a victory celebration of Soviet soldiers, at which numerous girls from Treuenbrietzen were raped and a lieutenant-colonel of the Red Army was shot by an unknown person. Some sources claim even up to 1,000 executed in this event. [ Regina Scheer: "Der Umgang mit den Denkmälern." Brandenburgische Landeszentrale für politische Bildung/Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kultur des Landes Brandenburg.(Documentation of State headquarters for political education / ministry for science, research and culture of the State of Brandenburg, p. 89/90 [http://www.politische-bildung-brandenburg.de/publikationen/pdf/denkmaeler.pdf] ] [ [http://www.berlinonline.de/berliner-zeitung/archiv/.bin/dump.fcgi/1998/0508/blickpunkt/0003/index.html article in "Berliner Zeitung" of 1998] ]

Poland 1944-1953

Upon seizure of Polish territories occupied by German forces, Soviet soldiers often engaged in plunder, rapes and banditry against Poles, turning the attitude of population to dislike, fear, and even hate the Soviet regime. Grzegorz Baziur –Armia Czerwona na Pomorzu Gdańskim1945-–1947 „Biuletyn Instytutu Pamięci Narodowej” 2002, nr 7] Janusz Wróbel –"Wyzwoliciele czy Okupanci Żołnierze Sowieccy w Łódzkim 1945-1946"„Biuletyn Instytutu Pamięci Narodowej” 2002, nr 7] Łukasz Kamiński "Obdarci,głodni,żli, Sowieci w oczach Polaków 1944-1948" Biuletyn Instytutu Pamięci Narodowej” 2002, nr 7] Mariusz Lesław Krogulski "Okupacja w imię sojuszu" Poland 2001] Red Army troops participated in anti-Polish actions (e.g., in Augustów region, where about 600 perished). For more information about this subject, look at Cursed soldiers.

Rapes and pacifications

; Germany

Following the Soviet capture of Berlin in 1945, one of the largest and most horrible cases of mass rape occurred. Soviet troops raped German women and girls. Estimates of the total number of rape victims range from tens of thousands to two million [Hanna Schissler "The Miracle Years: A Cultural History of West Germany, 1949-1968" [http://books.google.com/books?id=00fCzJKt1QMC&pg=PA28&lpg=PA28&dq=soviet+estimates+rape+tens+of+thousands&source=web&ots=xzyKzJm1sj&sig=cy2AfPmp7ZvT7K9YSWPRkXoyp6E] ] . After the summer of 1945, Soviet soldiers caught raping were usually punished to various degrees, ranging from arrest to execution. [Norman M. Naimark. "The Russians in Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945-1949." Cambridge: Belknap, 1995 p. 92 ISBN 0-674-78405-7] The rapes continued, however, until the winter of 1947-48, when Soviet occupation authorities finally solved the problem by confining the Soviet troops to strictly guarded posts and camps,“ [Naimark. "The Russians in Germany", p. 79] completely separating them from the residential population of Eastern Germany.

; Consequences

Norman Naimark writes--in "The Russians in Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945-1949"--that not only had each victim to carry the trauma with her for the rest of her days, [but] it [also] inflicted a massive collective trauma on the East German nation (the German Democratic Republic). Naimark concludes "The social psychology of women and men in the Soviet zone of occupation was marked by the crime of rape from the first days of occupation, through the founding of the GDR in the fall of 1949, until, one could argue, the present." [Norman M. Naimark. "The Russians in Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945-1949." Harvard University Press, 1995. ISBN 0-674-78405-7 pp. 132, 133.]

; Hungary

Just during the occupation of Budapest, (Hungary), it is estimated that 50,000 women and girls were raped in this city alone. [ Mark, James "Remembering Rape: Divided Social Memory and the Red Army in Hungary 1944-1945"Past & Present - Number 188, August 2005, pp. 133] ["The worst suffering of the Hungarian population is due to the rape of women. Rapes - affecting all age groups from ten to seventy are so common that very few women in Hungary have been spared." Swiss embassy report cited in Ungváry 2005, p.350. (Krisztian Ungvary "The Siege of Budapest" 2005)]

Hungarian girls in general were taken to the Soviet quarters where they were incarcerated, raped and sometimes also murdered. The nationality of the rape victims meant nothing to the soldiers, who even attacked the Swedish legation.Norman M. Naimark. "The Russians in Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945-1949." Cambridge: Belknap, 1995, ISBN 0-674-78405-7, pp. 70-71 ]

; Yugoslavia

Although the Red Army only crossed a very small part of Yugoslavia in 1944, the northeastern corner, its activities there caused great concern for the communist partisans that feared that the resulting rape and plunder by their communist allies would weaken their standing with the population.Norman M. Naimark. "The Russians in Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945-1949." Cambridge: Belknap, 1995, ISBN 0-674-78405-7, pp. 70-71 .] At least 121 cases of rape were documented later, 111 of which also involved murder.Norman M. Naimark. "The Russians in Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945-1949." Cambridge: Belknap, 1995, ISBN 0-674-78405-7, pp. 70-71 ] In addition 1,204 cases of looting with assault were documented.Norman M. Naimark. "The Russians in Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945-1949." Cambridge: Belknap, 1995, ISBN 0-674-78405-7, pp. 70-71 ] Stalin responded to a Yugoslav partisan leader's complaints at the Red Army's behaviour by saying, "Can't he understand it if a soldier who has crossed thousands of kilometers through blood and fire and death has fun with a woman or takes some trifle?"Norman M. Naimark. "The Russians in Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945-1949." Cambridge: Belknap, 1995, ISBN 0-674-78405-7, pp. 70-71. ]

; Slovakia

The Slovak communist leader Vlado Clementis complained to Marshal I. S. Konev about the behaviour of Soviet troops in Slovakia.Norman M. Naimark. "The Russians in Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945-1949." Cambridge: Belknap, 1995, ISBN 0-674-78405-7, pp. 70-71. ] The response was to blame the activities mainly on Red Army deserters.Norman M. Naimark. "The Russians in Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945-1949." Cambridge: Belknap, 1995, ISBN 0-674-78405-7, pp. 70-71. ]

; Bulgaria

Thanks to the better discipline in Marshal Tolbukhin's army, the relative similarity in cultures, a century of friendly relations, and an open welcome of the Soviet troops, there was a relative absence of rapes in Bulgaria, especially when compared with the situation during the occupation of Romania and Hungary.Norman M. Naimark. "The Russians in Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945-1949." Cambridge: Belknap, 1995, ISBN 0-674-78405-7, pp. 70-71. ]

; Poland

The Red Army cooperated with the NKVD against Polish partizans and civilians. During the Augustów chase 1945, more than 2000 Poles were captured, and about 600 of them perished.

; Manchuria

A number of rapes committed by the Soviet soldiers were recorded. Where Soviet soldiers advanced, girls and women fled from their villages and small towns, leaving only boys and men to be found by the Soviet soldiers.

Destruction of cities and looting

In general, Red Army officers declared all cities, villages and farms open to pillaging and looting in Romania, Hungary and Germany. Antony Beevor, "Berlin: The Downfall 1945", Penguin Books, 2002, ISBN 0-670-88695-5] A written order, though, does not exist. But there are several documents in which the way the Red Army’s behaviour pattern is described. One of them is a report of the Swiss legation in Budapest, describing the events when the Red Army entered the city in 1945. It states, for example: "During the siege of Budapest and also during the following fateful weeks, Russian" (Soviet) "troops looted the city freely. They entered practically every habitation, the very poorest as well as the richest. They took away everything they wanted, especially food, clothing and valuables. Every apartment, shop, bank, etc. was looted several times. Furniture and larger objects of art, etc. that could not be taken away were frequently simply destroyed. In many cases, after looting, the homes were also put on fire, causing a vast total loss. Bank safes were emptied without exception--even the British and American safes--and whatever was found was taken". [ [http://historicaltextarchive.com/books.php?op=viewbook&bookid=7&post=3 Report] of the Swiss legation in Budapest of 1945 ]

Walter Kilian, the first mayor of the Charlottenburg district in Berlin after the war, who was brought into office by the Soviets, reported extensive looting by Red Army soldiers in the area: "Individuals, department stores, shops, apartments ... all were robbed blind." [ Hubertus Knabe: Tag der Befreiung? Das Kriegsende in Ostdeutschland (A day of liberation? The end of war in Eastern Germany), Propyläen 2005, ISBN 3549072457 German). ]

In the Soviet occupied zone, party members of the SED reported to Stalin that looting and rapes by Soviet soldiers could possibly result in a negative reaction of the German population in the respect of the Soviet Union and for the future socialism in East Germany in general. Stalin reacted to the worries of his German comrades with the words "I shall not tolerate anybody dragging the honour of the Red Army through the mud." Wolfgang Leonhard, "Child of the Revolution" ,Pathfinder Press, 1979, ISBN 0-906133-26-2] [Norman M. Naimark. "The Russians in Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945-1949." Harvard University Press, 1995. ISBN 0-674-78405-7]

Any evidence, such as reports, pictures and other documents of looting, rapes, burning down of farms and villages etc. by the Red Army was therefore deleted from all archives in the Soviet occupied zone in Germany, which later was to become the GDR. Wolfgang Leonhard, "Child of the Revolution", Pathfinder Press, 1979, ISBN 0-906133-26-2] In private memories, diaries and photo albums, however, the events of 1945 had been kept as far as possible or thought to be worth preservation. [See, e.g., Prussian Generalfeldmarschall Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher's [http://wroclaw.hydral.com.pl/67611,foto.html ransacked tomb] at Krieblowitz, now Krobielowice, Silesia, in Poland. Von Blücher had been buried there in 1819. Soviet soldiers exhumed his body and used his head as the ball for soccer/football.]

On many occasions Soviet soldiers set fire to buildings, villages and parts of cities, shooting anybody trying to extinguish the flames, such as on May 1, 1945, when Soviet soldiers set fire to the city centre of Demmin and stopped anyone from extinguishing the fire. Of all the buildings around the marketplace only the steeple survived the inferno. Antony Beevor, "Berlin: The Downfall 1945", Penguin Books, 2002, ISBN 0-670-88695-5] Most Red Army atrocities took place only in what was regarded as hostile territory ("see also" Przyszowice massacre). Nevertheless, soldiers of the Red Army together with members of the NKVD frequently looted transport trains in 1944 and 1945 in Poland. Thomas Urban "Der Verlust", p. 145, Verlag C. H. Beck 2004, ISBN 3406541569. ]

Treatment of prisoners of war

The Soviet Union did not recognise the entry of the tsarist Russia to the Hague Conventions (1899 and 1907) as binding for itself and refused to sign it until 1955. [ [http://www.pca-cpa.org/ENGLISH/CSAI/] List of the Signatory and Contracting Powers of The Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 and Dates on Which the Convention(s) Took Effect for Each of Them] This had already led to barbaric treatment of POWs on both the Polish and the Soviet side during the Polish-Soviet War of 1919-21. Moreover, the Soviet Union did not sign the Genevan Prisoners of War convention of 1929 until 1955. Accordingly, the Red Army treated at first Polish and later prisoners of war from Germany, Germany's allies and Japan in a cruel way from the first days of World War II on.

During 1941 emergency landing German flight crews were shot frequently after the capture. Torture, mutilation, murder and other violations of international law were carried out on German aircrews frequently . [Bergström 2007, p. 18.] [Hall and Quinlan 2000, p. 53.] During the winter of 1941/42 the Red Army took approximately 10,000 German soldiers as prisoner each month, but the death rate became so high that the absolute number of the prisoners decreased (or was bureaucratically reduced). Hubertus Knabe "Tag der Befreiung? Das Kriegsende in Ostdeutschland", Propyläen 2005, ISBN 3549072457] The murder of the prisoners was arranged every now and then by instructions, reports and statements of Soviet commanders. Throughout the war, 300,000 German POWs in Soviet captivity died, a loss rate of 14.9%. By contrast, some 3.3 million Soviet POWs died in German captivity, a loss rate of 65%. [cite book |title=The Dictators |last=Overy |first=Richard |year=2004 |publisher=W. W. Norton & Company |isbn=ISBN 0393020304 |pages=523 ] German prisoners were not released after the war but many were kept in captivity until as late as 1956 under similar conditions as before.

Treuenbrietzen massacre

The Treuenbrietzen massacre took place during the last days of April and the first days of May 1945, after a tough battle in which the Red Army took and lost control of the village on more than one occasion; the Red Army rounded up around 1000 (mostly male) civilians and executed them in the nearby forest. These executions were allegedly made as retaliation for the death of a high-ranking Soviet officer during the battle for control of the village. [ Claus-Dieter Steyer, "Stadt ohne Männer" ("City without men") , Der Tagesspiegel at [http://www.tagesspiegel.de/berlin/archiv/21.06.2006/2610181.asp] ]

The Hungarian Revolution (1956)

According to the United Nations Report of the Special Committee on the problem of Hungary (1957): [cite book |title=United Nations Report of the Special Committee on the problem of Hungary |year=1957 |url=http://mek.oszk.hu/01200/01274/01274.pdf] Soviet tanks fired indiscriminately at every building from which they believed themselves to be under fire.The UN commission received numerous reports of Soviet mortar and artillery fire into inhabited quarters in the Buda section of the city despite no return fire.The UN commission received reports of "haphazard shooting at defenseless passers-by." According to many witnesses Soviet troops fired upon people queuing outside stores. Most of the victims were said to be women and children. Many cases of Soviet fire upon ambulances and red cross vehicles were reported.

see|Prague Spring of 1968

see|April 9 tragedy Tbilisi 1989

see|January Events in Vilnius, 1990

see|GRU operations

Discussion by historians

For decades, Western scholars have generally explained these atrocities in Germany and Hungary as revenge for German atrocities in the territory of the Soviet Union and for the mass killing of Soviet POWs (3,6 million dead of total a 5,2 million POWs) by the German army. This explanation is now disputed by military historians such as Antony Beevor, at least in regard to the mass rapes. Beevor claims that Red Army soldiers also raped Russian and Polish women liberated from concentration camps, and contends that this undermines the revenge explanation. [ [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;jsessionid=MONM4PR45A5UNQFIQMGCFGGAVCBQUIV0?xml=/news/2002/01/24/wbeev24.xml Red Army troops raped even Russian women as they freed them from camps] ] Beevor's claims have encountered vast criticism from historians in Russia and the Russian government. [ [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2002/01/25/wruss25.xml telegraph.co.uk] ] The Russian ambassador to the UK said "It is a disgrace to have anything to do with this clear case of slander against the people who saved the world from Nazism." [ [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2002/01/25/dt2506.xml telegraph.co.uk] ] O.A. Rzheshevsky, a professor and President of the Russian Association ofWorld War II Historians, has charged that Beevor is merely resurrecting thediscredited and racist views of Neo-Nazi historians, who depictedSoviet troops as subhuman "Asiatic hordes." [ [http://gpw.tellur.ru/page.html?r=books&s=beevor Review of Berlin: 1945] (Russian)] Other prominent historians such as Richard Overy have criticised Russian "outrage" at the book and defended Beevor. Overy accused the Russians of refusing to acknowledge Soviet war crimes, "Partly this is because they felt that much of it was justified vengeance against an enemy who committed much worse, and partly it was because they were writing the victors' history" [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/1939174.stm Red Army rapists exposed] Polish sources claim that there are cases of mass rapes in Polish cities taken by Red Army, that in Kraków Soviet entry brought mass rapes on Polish women and girls, as well as plunder of all private property by Soviet soldiers. According to them, this behaviour reached such scale that even communists installed by Soviets were preparing a letter of protest to Joseph Stalin himself, while masses in churches were held in expectation of Soviet withdrawal."Alma Mater 64(2004) – "OKUPOWANY KRAKÓW- z prorektorem Andrzejem Chwalbąrozmawia Rita Pagacz-Moczarska"] .

See also

* German war crimes
* War crimes of the Wehrmacht
* Einsatzgruppen
* War crimes and atrocities of the Waffen-SS
* Japanese war crimes
* Japanese POWs in the Soviet Union
* List of Soviet Union perpetrated war crimes
* Nemmersdorf massacre
* Demmin
* Evacuation of East Prussia
* "A Terrible Revenge"
* Red Scare
* Soviet Occupation Zone
* Forced labor of Germans in the Soviet Union
* Operation Frühlingserwachen
* Soviet occupation

External links

* [http://www.usm.Maine.edu/crm/faculty/jim/raphael.htm The forgotten victims of WWII] : Masculinities and rape in Berlin, 1945, James W. Messerschmidt, University of Southern Maine
* [http://dir.salon.com/story/books/review/2005/08/18/berlin/index.html?pn=1 Book Review] : "A Woman in Berlin: Eight Weeks in the Conquered City", ISBN 0-8050-7540-2
* [http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/lawofwar/hague04.htm Laws of War: Laws and Customs of War on Land (Hague IV); October 18, 1907]
* [http://historicaltextarchive.com/books.php?op=viewbook&bookid=7&post=3 Swiss legation report of the Russian invasion of Hungary in the spring of 1945]
* [http://observer.guardian.co.uk/Europe/story/0,11363,742434,00.html German rape victims find a voice at last] , Kate Connolly, The Observer, June 23, 2002
* [http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,3604,707835,00.html "They raped every German female from eight to 80"] , Anthony Beevor, The Guardian, May 1, 2002
* [http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/past_and_present/v188/188.1mark.html Remembering Rape: Divided Social Memory and the Red Army in Hungary 1944–1945] , James Mark, Past & Present (2005) (The crimes during the Battle of Budapest)
* [http://www.randomhouse.ca/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780385497992&view=excerpt Excerpt, Chapter one] The Struggle for Europe: The Turbulent History of a Divided Continent 1945-2002 - William I. Hitchcock - 2003 - ISBN 0-385-49798-9 ( The occupation of East Prussia)
* [http://alfreddezayas.com/Chapbooks/Flucht_de.shtml Description of the atrocities of the Red Army in East Prussia] , quotations from Ilya Ehrenburg, poems by anti-cruelty Red Army officers and details of suicides and rapings of German women and children in East Prussia.
* [http://hungarianconsulate.co.nz/mszo82/82_en_4.html Book Review: The Siege of Budapest: 100 Days in World War II]
* [http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.cgi?path=12108851401777 HNet review of "The Russians in Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945-1949."]
* [http://hnn.us/roundup/entries/22336.html Mark Ealey: As World War II entered its final stages the belligerent powers committed one heinous act after another] History News Network (Focus on the Asian front)

References

References

* [http://observer.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,1056125,00.html Marta Hillers] , "A Woman in Berlin: Six Weeks in the Conquered City" Translated by Anthes Bell, ISBN 0-8050-7540-2
* Antony Beevor, "Berlin: The Downfall 1945", Penguin Books, 2002, ISBN 0-670-88695-5
* Bergstrom, Christer (2007). "Barbarossa - The Air Battle: July-December 1941". London: Chervron/Ian Allen. ISBN 978-1-85780-270-2.
* Hall and Quinlan (2000). "KG55". Red Kite. ISBN 0-9538061-0-3
* Max Hastings, "Armageddon: The Battle for Germany, 1944-1945", Chapter 10: Blood and Ice: East Prussia ISBN 0-375-41433-9
* Fisch, Bernhard, "Nemmersdorf, Oktober 1944. Was in Ostpreußen tatsächlich geschah." Berlin: 1997. ISBN 3-932180-26-7. (about most of the Nemmersdorf atrocity having been set up by Goebbels)
* John Toland, "The Last 100 Days", Chapter Two: Five Minutes before Midnight ISBN 0-8129-6859-X
* Norman M. Naimark, "The Russians in Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945-1949." Harvard University Press, 1995. ISBN 0-674-78405-7
* Catherine Merridale, "Ivan's War, the Red Army 1939-1945", London: Faber and Faber, 2005, ISBN 0-5712-1808-3
* Alfred-Maurice de Zayas, "The Wehrmacht War Crimes Bureau, 1939-1945". Preface by Professor Howard Levie. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1989. ISBN 0-8032-9908-7. New revised edition with Picton Press, Rockland, Maine, ISBN 0-89725-421-X
* Alfred-Maurice de Zayas, "A Terrible Revenge. The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans, 1944-1950" , St. Martin's Press, New York, 1994, ISBN 0-3121-2159-8
* * Elizabeth B. Walter, "Barefoot in the Rubble" 1997, ISBN 0-9657793-0-0


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