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The Hellish Environment of German Stalag #352 in Belarus

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  • #16
    Originally posted by AurimasLT View Post

    People are also forgetting that things weren't any better or maybe even worse on other side. Out of ~91000 German POWs captured in Stalingrad only ~6000 (~6.5%) returned to Germany alive.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German...e_Soviet_Union
    Loving this Nazi apologism.
    Oh yeah yeah not Nazi apologism but 'pointing out Soviet crimes'.
    That's why you played pick and choose to try and pass off some horseshit statistics.

    70% of captured Germans survived captivity; and many if not most of them were probably incarcerated for around 8-10 years, not the 2 or 3 years that Soviet POWs in their majority - did not survive.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by muck View Post
      AurimasLT

      Your objection is unsubstantiated. Aforesaid report was commissioned by the pro-Soviet Brandt administration which intended to normalize West Germany's relationship with the USSR ("change through rapprochement"), so much so that Nixon feared West Germany might wish to declare herself neutral or pro-Soviet. We're talking about the same Brandt here who famously fell to his knees in Warsaw.

      Besides, one of the report's objectives was to quantify the number of MIA's families potentially eligible for social hardship allowances and if there's one thing all governments have in common, it's their unwillingness to pay stuff. Brandt had no stake in receiving a report painting the object of research worse than it really was.

      Having said all this – make no mistake folks: the Nazis had no regard for the lives of captured Soviet troops. While the initial lack of an infrastructure for a great many Soviet POWs could've been explicable if it wasn't for the horrors that would follow, it's a well-established fact that from late 1941 onwards Hitler destined most Soviet POVs to die one way or another. Even those exceptions that were made (e.g. for Soviet troops from ethnicities hostile towards Stalin's regime) proceeded not from humanitarian reasons but from callous realpolitik. The Soviets had no such policy in place.
      @muck
      Unsubstantiated, more or less
      It depends from the source (i am not talking especially about the Brandt report)
      Some were recognized as biased later (after the fall of the Iron Curtain) in the context of the CW to paint the soviet as the enemy. Of course soviet reports would have been questionable also during CW for the opposite reason

      However, I ll take the HIAG reports (to whitewash SS) or the reports piling up MIA and dead POW with a truckload of salt and rather see NKVD archives opened between 1991 and 1999 including to western historians (detente era) more accurate

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      • #18
        Just a point here. Yes, many of the archieves were opened, but many also remain closed to this day.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by muck View Post
          DasVivo
          Regarding the question 'How could've Solzhenitsyn known?' – it's widely accepted among anti-Fascist thinkers (and rightfully so) that the German public was more or less aware of the KZ system, and so were the Russians of their government's crimes for the same reason. A reason, I hasten to add, that flies in the face of all modern conspiracy theories: It is virtually impossible to keep governmental activities with tens of thousands of participants and innumerable numbers of potential eyewitnesses a permanent secret. Sorry, Alex Jones.

          Aware of it? They mostly approved of it.
          KZs were highly publicized as a way of getting the losers of the Communist/Nazi war out of the way and picking up the workshy, street trash, degenerates and others out of the way for some short sharp re-education but they were basically an auxiliary to the existing German civil prison system.
          Joe Arpaio did the same thing to the same public reaction.

          What the public was less aware of was the extension of the KZs as prisoner of war camps

          Then you have state run labour camps

          Theres also Ghettoes and other places where jews and others are stored until a decision is made on their fate.

          Theres also privately run labour camps set up by manufacturing companies at Himmlers instigation, Oskar Schindlers Emilia Werke at Plaszow is a famous example.

          All of these have some form of public awareness and are run with varying degrees of brutality and benign care and some facilities act in multiple different capacities so ghettoes and POW camps as have sections acting as factories and labour camps.

          Then you have secret projects like the extermination camps. everybody knows about the concentration camps, many people know about brutality and deaths in labour or POW camps.

          Extermination camps had small manpower, were isolated from all contact in military zones and generally weren't even talked about on the phone only by courier. Administrators and guards might know the population of Lublin has been reduced by 10,000 people who have been sent by train to Belzec and theres nowhere at Belzec for them to be housed and no requests for food but officially speaking they've just been moved.

          Theres a big, messy interlinked system out there but that bit of it was ultra-secret. Think how well the US managed to keep the Manhatten project secret and that involved tens of thousands of people, the Rheinhart camps probably only involved a few hundred men actively plus administration support, many of whom were deliberately killed off in anti-partisan fighting at the end of the war.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Nemowork View Post

            Aware of it? They mostly approved of it.
            KZs were highly publicized as a way of getting the losers of the Communist/Nazi war out of the way and picking up the workshy, street trash, degenerates and others out of the way for some short sharp re-education but they were basically an auxiliary to the existing German civil prison system.
            Joe Arpaio did the same thing to the same public reaction.

            What the public was less aware of was the extension of the KZs as prisoner of war camps

            Then you have state run labour camps

            Theres also Ghettoes and other places where jews and others are stored until a decision is made on their fate.

            Theres also privately run labour camps set up by manufacturing companies at Himmlers instigation, Oskar Schindlers Emilia Werke at Plaszow is a famous example.

            All of these have some form of public awareness and are run with varying degrees of brutality and benign care and some facilities act in multiple different capacities so ghettoes and POW camps as have sections acting as factories and labour camps.

            Then you have secret projects like the extermination camps. everybody knows about the concentration camps, many people know about brutality and deaths in labour or POW camps.

            Extermination camps had small manpower, were isolated from all contact in military zones and generally weren't even talked about on the phone only by courier. Administrators and guards might know the population of Lublin has been reduced by 10,000 people who have been sent by train to Belzec and theres nowhere at Belzec for them to be housed and no requests for food but officially speaking they've just been moved.

            Theres a big, messy interlinked system out there but that bit of it was ultra-secret. Think how well the US managed to keep the Manhatten project secret and that involved tens of thousands of people, the Rheinhart camps probably only involved a few hundred men actively plus administration support, many of whom were deliberately killed off in anti-partisan fighting at the end of the war.
            On the bold thing, yes and no
            You had a big turn over of camp guards as well as a connection with SS combat units and later with the regular army
            Whilhem Schafer for example operated in Buckenwald (overseen the extermination of 7K of soviet POWs) then was transfered to the 20th SS Grenadier Division in Estonia
            SonderKomando Kumhlof (the one that organized truck gasing of jews in Poland) was included in the 10th mountain SS division Prinz Eugen
            Mid 43, a lot of camp guards were changed by slovakia volkdeutches and transfered to waffen SS units
            And once volkdeutches were low in number, it was the whermacht that operated the camps (estimated to around 20-25 K of regular soldiers)

            In short, there was not a so big separation between the camps staff and the waffen SS division and between the camp staff and the regular whermacht in the end

            Last edited by Mordoror; 02-07-2018, 12:10 PM.

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            • #21
              Dachau, Buchenwald, Belsen and the others were concentration camps, they were prison camps that had to be guarded. They turned into hellholes because of overcrowding, incompetence, lack of food and so on, people got worked to death, shot or just died of in epidemics because more and more people got crowded into limited facilities.

              But the rheinhard camps where the gas chambers were was a seperate entity, with limited manpower until 44 when the temporary camps like Belzec, Chelmno and sobibor got shut down and everything switched over to Birkenau.

              Sobibor ran with 30 Germans and a few hundred eastern european guards, theres probably only a few hundred men in total passing through T4 and Trawnicki into the system.

              Theres a lot of bad infomation in Holocaust history, the US army virtually built a gas chamber in Dachau after the war because they believed they were reconstructing something the Nazis had destroyed when in fact there had never been one at Dachau. The fake gas chamber is the sort of thing that allows conspiracy nuts to claim the holocaust never happened because if that gas chamber is a fake then they all were.
              Or people hear about the holocaust and assume every camp was a Rhenhard camp then they cant find gas chambers at Buchenwald

              Thats why i was commenting on the Alex Jones thing, Holocaust denial thrives from confusing KZs and labour camps with the extermination camps, i probably overcompensate in trying to keep them seperate

              As an distraction i was watching Christopher Browning over the weekend, he does a great lecture on one of the civilian run commercial labour camps run by Billy Althof (check spelling) who was a contemporary of Oskar Schindler and decided it was his job in life to execute any sick prisoner personally on the grounds he wasnt paying 5 Zloty a day renting prisoners from the SS only to have them sick in their beds with Typhus for 2 months.

              Nothing to do with the SS, just one murderous idiot on a power trip.

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDo_Z6_30yA

              From 47.25 onwards

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Kilgor View Post
                Just a point here. Yes, many of the archieves were opened, but many also remain closed to this day.
                Also quite a lot of data in those known is missing or incomplete.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Asheren View Post

                  Also quite a lot of data in those known is missing or incomplete.
                  Yeah I remember you lot moaning about the archives being closed back on mp.net

                  And then Russia opened its archives not long ago to release some compromising historical information on Poland during WW2 and you were all calling for them to be closed again : )

                  Sorry man, our archives - our rules.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by flamming_python View Post

                    Yeah I remember you lot moaning about the archives being closed back on mp.net

                    And then Russia opened its archives not long ago to release some compromising historical information on Poland during WW2 and you were all calling for them to be closed again : )

                    Sorry man, our archives - our rules.

                    Yawn was speaking more about not keeping as detailed records as Germans whenever that information was simply lost or destroyed on purpose is another story.

                    Originally posted by Kilgor View Post
                    There is also another difference. Soviet POWs who somehow did survive went straight to the NKVD and gulag for "disobedience" to order 270. Many camps simply changed administration from German to Soviet. Conditions improved, not again for Soviet morality, but to exploit every pair of capable hands in rebuilding, for the least cost.
                    Not to mention Soviets holding western POWs hostage to force allies to hand over Soviet POWs who fought on Nazi germany side.

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