Intro to POW in Russia

Sponsored by the Michigan Family History Network

Primary investigator: Alan Newark

Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Moscow, Russia, March 2, 2003

"In USSR 800,000 people were officially recorded as shot during the Soviet period. But up to 30 million people are estimated by Western historians to have died between 1918 and 1956 in Stalinist repression, civil war, famine and collectivization, although the true figure may never be known."

How many people did the Soviets massacre?
"Some time after the second war foreign offices began to compute just how many humans Stalin had ordered killed. Nothing to do with World War II casualties.

The British guessed perhaps seven, eight millions. Progressive liberal people in both Britain and America were reluctant to believe that he'd ever executed anybody except genuine, dangerous party plotters.

The US State Department, of course riddled with its fear of Communism, its guess was 20 millions. Not until the collapse of Communism in 1991 did the Russians open up their own archives. The correct, Kremlin figure was 27 millions. "

"Everything must be locked away - every image of the slave labour camp, torture chamber, execution squad, even pictures of the daily, dreary life of the people, the daily bread and soap queues, everything except the model farms dolled up for showing off to foreign visitors."

"Stalin's forcible resettlement of over 1.5 million people, mostly Muslims, during and after World War II is now viewed by many human rights experts in Russia as one of his most drastic genocidal acts. Volga Germans and seven nationalities of Crimea and the northern Caucasus were deported: the Crimean Tatars, Kalmyks, Chechens, Ingush, Balkars, Karachai, and Meskhetians. Other minorities evicted from the Black Sea coastal region included Bulgarians, Greeks, and Armenians." More of this at:

70th anniversary of the deportation of the population of Western Ukraine to Siberia

Operation West - see History Of Ukraine Page 7

"...The 'secret war" Tolstoy goes on to vividly describe was the fierce campaign Stalin waged against the Russian population - a struggle which often took priority over pressing military problems. For example, Stalin tied up much of the rail network in western Russia with slave trains of captives from the Baltic states, instead of devoting all rolling stock to the reinforcement of the frontlines. At L'vov, where the Soviet 4th Army was fighting desperately to prevent its surrender, Stalin's major concern was that the NKVD finish liquidating potential Ukrainian opponents of the regime rather than order the local security forces to join in the battle against advancing Axis units. While Stalin pleaded with the British to rush more aid and take further action, the NKVD labor camp guards were doubled in number from 500,000 to one million heavily armed men.

"Standard treatments of this period always claim that the Soviet Union lost over 20 million people during the Second World War. Tolstoy makes a convincing case that the actual total is probably closer to 30 million, maybe even more - with about a third of these deaths attributable to Axis actions. The blame for as many as 23 million deaths is placed with Stalin and his NKVD henchmen...." Taken from Stalin's War: Victims and Accomplices by CHARLES LUTTON

..."at the Yalta conference, FDR not only allowed nations such as Poland to become slaves of the Soviet Union, he actually agreed to "repatriate" those Eastern Europeans who had fought against the Soviets. (On this point, see Julius Epstein's book Operation Keelhaul, and visit the Museum of Communism). Many Russians eagerly fought alongside the German troops on the Eastern front - the crimes against the Russians, Ukrainians and Cossacks which the Communists had perpetrated demanded retribution. Similarly, it was the violation of Polish sovereignty which had brought Britain and France to declare war on Germany. Yet now that the war was coming to an end, Poland was not to be a sovereign nation. Instead, Poland was to be raped by the Communists. The Soviets are estimated to have shipped one million Poles to death camps in Siberia. Similar fates greeted the formerly hopeful residents of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania..." Excerpt taken from

Kresy (POWs from Poland) The Kresy-Siberia list brings into contact people from countries around the world with a special interest in the tragedy of the 1.7 million Polish citizens of various faiths and ethnicities (Polish, Ukrainian, Belorussian, Catholic, Orthodox, Jewish, etc.) deported from eastern Poland (Kresy) in 1940-42 to special labour camps in Siberia, Kazakhstan and Soviet Asia. Some 115,000 of these were evacuated through Persia in 1942 as soldiers of Anders Army and their families . . . Film and info: A Forgotten Odyssey.

The Kresy-Siberia Memorial Wall

Siberia -
"From 1944 to the late 1950's, the Berianist Soviet government repressed the Ukrainians. A total of three million Ukrainians (out of a 1950 population of 53 million) were eventually deported to Siberian labour camps, while another million Ukrainians died as a direct result of political terror."

Soviet prisons
10/8/1970 Soviet author Alexander Solzhenitsyn was named winner of the Nobel Prize for literature. ref#34919
12/28/1973 Alexander Solzhenitsyn published "Gulag Archipelago" in Paris. It was an expose of the Soviet prison system. ref#36013

Interfax News Agency
Moscow, Russia, 5 Mar 03
BBC Monitoring Service
United Kingdom; Mar 05, 2003

Moscow, 5 March: Academician Aleksandr Yakovlev: "Recalling Stalin's oppression, Yakovlev said that after the Great Patriotic War [World War II] 1.8 million prisoners of fascist concentration camps, upon their return to Russia, were thrown into GULAG camps on charges of high treason. Many of them died." Actual figures are not known, as documentation is scarce, per Stalin's instructions.

Russia Opens Biggest WWII War Cemetery - For German Soldiers
By Konstantin Trifonov


Gdansk - Nowy Port ul. Starowislna 3, Poland On April 12, 2003, members of Franciscan Environmental Movement opened an exhibition 'SYBIR PRO MOMENTO' about prisoners of soviet labour camps in Siberia. The Official opening ceremony was started by Senator Anna Kurska and Vice-Mayor of Gdansk, Waldemar Nocny

Members of Union of Siberian Prisoners also took part in opening - Mrs Riedl, prof. Zgierski and dr Sochacki (scientific chief of the Exhibition)

The Exhibition contains pictures and other evidence on the deportations of Polish people to Siberia and on soviet concentration camps. We also collect evidence of other communist crimes like the big artificial Famine in Ukraine in thirties. In future we will create a library here. This place is the beginning of a Museum on communist crimes and the struggle of Polish people against totalitarianism.

We will be grateful for any help in collecting of photos and other documents (best sent in 'tif' format)
Jerzy Jaskowski

Klaudiusz Wesolek

Nikolai Getman
In 1946 an artist named Nikolai Getman was imprisoned in the Soviet Union's GULAG. During the 1920s, the Soviet Union developed a system of extreme repression and terror that inflicted forced famines, purges, executions, and arrests on the people of the Soviet Union. Under Josef Stalin, forced-labor camps in Siberia became the pillar of that system. They were one of the principal techniques by which Stalin exerted absolute control over the lives and decisions of the Soviet people. An estimated 50 million people died as a result of Stalin's inhuman policies of terror and repression.

Texel Georgians
Dear Olga
Great website..power to your efforts..can you help?

On 16 June 1945, 1st Canadian Corps transferred 226 Georgians, survivors of a mutiny staged on the Dutch island of Texel by the Wehrmacht's 822nd Georgia Infanterie Battalion, to the Dutch mainland port of Den Helder and from there, in trucks, to Wilhelmshaven.

On 12 September 1945, minus 12 of their number, the Georgians arrived at a Red Army transit camp in Goldberg, near Stettin /Szczecin, Poland.

Where were they between those two dates?

I know that they were reportedly handed over to un-named Soviet Liaison Officers at Wilhelmshaven but this does not necessarily mean that they were immediately sent Eastwards?

The Canadian 2 Corps had overall responsibility for the Wilhelmshaven / Emden region. On 11 July 1945, 2 Corps formally transferred jurisdiction to the British 30 Corps / 3 Canadian Inf Division - CAOF.

The latter formation subsequently conducted most of the Candian Sector's East-bound repatriation convoys from a Soviet DPs ' camp 'somewhere near Wilhelmshaven' and at Ohmstede-Osternburg in Stadt. The Oldenburg Soviet DPs 'POWs camp had at least 3,000 occupants in June 1945. In June-July, repatriation began of, for example, Chechen and other North Caucasians...were the Texel Georgians among these returnees?.....By late-August, most of the 'Russians' had gone from Oldenburg with a large contingent leaving in the last week of that month.

If the Georgians were at Oldenburg, they most likely travelled to and may have spent some time at the large DPs' camp at Adelheide near Delmenhorst. From there they probably went to Ludwigslust / Magdeburg. Would the Wilhelmshaven camp residents have followed a similar route...?

Whether Ludwigslust, Magdeburg or Stendal...the three main Frontier posts used for repatriations by 30 Corps or some other FCP...where, when and guarded by / handed to whom were the Texel Georgians transferred to Soviet custody?

Continuation of Texel Georgians
This is for a planned, so far unfunded / but drawing attention, book..please, if you can, help me?

Yours Aye, Alan Newark, E-mail, 34 Rossefield Parade, Leeds, LS13 3RW, West Yorkshire, England, UK.

POW Records
Hi, I'd like to find out about my deceased grandfathers' WW II POW records. He was a German captured by Russians in Europe, I think in1945? How would I go about finding out info on him? It's important to me. Thanks

From the table of contents this website, click on captured German records at NARA National Archives. Ask them about their Russian collections.

3/24/05 Dear Madam
My father-in-law was a Ukrainian refugee named Fredir Lysen, possibly spelt Lizen or some other way. He never contacted his family for fear the Russians would persecute them . He never got to know whether they lived or died. He was captured in 1940 in the village? He lived near Lviv. He was put in labour camps and whilst there, there was a fire in his billet which destroyed all the family photographs--one or two he'd been carrying in his wallet. I felt it was a sign that they may all be dead? His mother was called Parasceavia. We think his father was called Dmitr i/ Dmetrie. He spoke so little of the war that we know very little except that he was beaten, starved, etc.; he still had the flogging marks on his back. He came here and made friends with another expatriate, Gregor Pywowarkzuk, in 1947. They were put work camps for nearly four years in this country before they had their freedom and went to live in Bolton Lancashire where they both married and remain friends till their deaths.

I have been trying to look for Red Cross sites on the Web or a telephone number or anything to contact the people of authorities--anyone who might know how to get hold of the information we need, which would be anything from what happened to his family to where he was held? Please can you help us in any way clues contact. Yours truly Stuart Cook

Russia archives
ArcheoBiblioBase Russian Archives
International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam's guide to the Russian archives
University of Toronto guide to Russian archives
Russian archive links provided Olga E. Glagoleva, Ph.D.
Center for Russian and East European Studies, University of Toronto

Russia libraries

Moscow Library Association
The All-Union State Library of Foreign Literature
Uljanovskaja Street 1
103031 Moskau
Tel. u. Fax 007/095/925-6018

Russian Federation of Library Associations
öffentliche Historische Bibliothek Russlands
Starosatzki per. 9a
101000 Moskau
Tel. 007/095/202 4056 Fax 007/095/200 2255

Russian Federation of Library Societies and Associations
State Historical Library
Starosadski #9
101000 Moskau

Russian Library Association
ul. Sadovaja, 18
191069 St. Petersburg
Tel. u. Fax 007/812/110 5861 E-mail:

Ukrainians in Russia Brama links

The Gulag
Submitted by Alan Newark

© WebTeam Moosburg - Stalag VII A: Archives and Tracing Services

Bundesarchiv-Militärarchiv Bundesarchiv (Abteilung Militärarchiv)
Wiesentalstr. 10
79115 Freiburg
Tel. 0761-478170
Fax 0761-47817900

The federal archives - military archives don't have any personal files or POW lists, but only the following (German) documents about Stalag VII A and the army district VII:

RH 49/49 General orders for the 2nd POW work company at Munich (forms), 1942/44 Medical care for POWs (printed material of the troop and camp doctor)

RH 49/50 Punishments; correspondence with the Geheime Staatspolizei (Secret State Police) about the selection of Soviet POWs; reports about actions against Soviet POWs; police reports about captured POWs (with names and personal data), 1943/44

RH 49/129 Planning and development of Stalag VII A at Moosburg from Sept. 1939 to Dec. 1940 (report of camp commander Colonel Nepf), 1941 See: History 1939-1945

RH 53-7 POW affairs: planning of POW camps; organization; staff; orders for the 'high commander of the POWs in the army district'; reorganization of POW affairs, 1939/45

RH 53-7 Accomodation and work for POWs in the army district VII. - Report of 13 Dec 1939

RH 53-7 Proceedings against the commander of Oflag VII A Murnau, Colonel Oster, because of alleged grievances in this POW camp, 1943

Bundesarchiv (Abteilung Deutsches Reich)
Finckensteinallee 63
Tel. 01888-7770411
Fax 01888-7770111

The Berlin federal archives have files from Third Reich ministries and offices containing material on POWs and their work kommandos. We don't know if this includes information about Stalag VII A:

R 41 Reichsarbeitsministerium (Reich Ministry of Labour)

R 58 Reichssicherheitshauptamt (Reich Security Central Office)

R 10 VIII Reichsvereinigung Kohle (Reich Coal Association)

R 14 Reichsministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft (Reich Ministry for Agriculture)

R 16 Reichsnährstand/Reichsbauernführer (Reich Farmers' Association)

R 22 Reichsjustizministerium (Reich Ministry of Justice)

Zentrale Stelle der Landesjustizverwaltungen
Schorndorfer Str. 58
71638 Ludwigsburg

The investigation and trial files of the central office of the law administrations will be accessible for researchers in the near future.

Documents concerning the treatment of Soviet POWs were analyzed by Alfred Streim; see: Soviet POWs, Captain Wilhelm H., Major Meinel (all German). Deutsche Dienststelle (WASt)

Deutsche Dienststelle
Eichborndamm 179
13403 Berlin
Tel. 030-41904-111
Fax 030-41904-100

The "Deutsche Dienststelle für die Benachrichtigung der nächsten Angehürigen von Gefallenen der ehemaligen deutschen Wehrmacht" (German office for the notification of next-of-kin of members of the former German Wehrmacht who were killed in action) ist the successor of the 'Wehrmachtsauskunftstelle für Kriegerverluste und Kriegsgefangene - WASt' (Wehrmacht information office for war losses and POWs). Inquiries about individual POWs can be directed to this office. It must be noted that the files about allied POWs were confiscated by US and Soviet troops in 1945. Nevertheless, the Deutsche Dienststelle still has some 1,500,000 files on foreign POWs in German custody. Inquiries can be submitted online by visiting the homepage of the Deutsche Dienststelle.

Internationaler Suchdienst (ISD)
Internationaler Suchdienst
Grosse Allee 5-9
34454 Bad Arolsen
Tel. 05691-6037

The International Tracing Service of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has also personal files, mainly on people detained in concentration and labour camps, on forced labourers and on displaced persons. An inquiry form is available on the homepage of the Deutsche Dienststelle (WASt) (>= Links).

Henry Bühm / Gerd R. Ueberschär: "Aktenberlieferung zu sowjetischen Kriegsgefangenen im Bundessarchiv-Militärarchiv". In: Die Tragüdie der Gefangenschaft in Deutschland und in der Sowjetunion 1941-1956. Ed. Klaus-Dieter Müller, Konstantin Nikischkin, Günther
Wagenlehner. Cologne - Weimar: Bühlau 1998, p. 267-279.
Bundesarchiv Online.
Letter of the Bundesarchiv-Militärarchiv Freiburg to Moosburg Online, 22 Mar 2000. Deutsche Dienststelle.
Information of the Deutsche Dienststelle Berlin, 7 Apr 2000
Excerpt from: Soviet Special Detention Camps in East Germany / GDR

No. 3 - Berlin-Hohenschönhausen
The special camps of the Soviet military administration in the former Soviet occupation zone were located with the following designations:

* Special Camp No. 1 Mühlberg (September 1945-October 1948) (Mu)
* Buchenwald Special Camp No. 2 (August 1945-February 1950) (Bu)
* Special Camp No. 3 Hohenschönhausen (May 1945-October 1946 (Ho), and later Stasi - Labor Camp X)
* Special Camp No. 4 Bautzen (May 1945 to February 1950, 1948 No. 3) (ba)
* Special Camp No. 5 Ketschendorf / Fürstenwalde (April 1945-February 1947) (Ke)
* Special Camp No. 6 Jamlitz (September 1945-April 1947, before May 1945 to August 1945 in Frankfurt / Oder) (Yes)
* Special Camp No. 7 Weesow (May 1945-August 1945, then moved to Sachsenhausen) (We)
* Special Camp No. 7 Sachsenhausen (August 1945-March 1950) (Sat)
* Special Camp No. 8 Torgau (Fort Zinna) (August 1945-March 1947) (To)
* Special Camp No. 9 Five Oaks (April 1945-October 1948) (R & D)
* Special Camp No. 10 Torgau (Seydlitz barracks) (May 1946-October 1948) (To)
Then became Polish territory in a special camp was located also in use with German prisoners:

* Special Camp No. 4 Landsberg (Warta) (to January 1946) (La) and the appointment with "no 4 "is probably the most applicable to special camps located in Poland numbering.

The attached two-letter abbreviations in parentheses are for the camps in the list of known occupants used.
Submitted by: Alan Newark

May 1, 2014 Dear Olga,
My name is Benjamin Karp. I am working on a book about the DP Camps after WWII. I have been trying to interview people who were there in a greater understanding of this time period.

At the present time, I still have several areas that need to be address. More specifically, views from the British and Soviet Zones about life and daily activities in those camps. Is there a way that this can be posted on your website, and/or could you direct me to someone who could help with my research questions.

I want to thank you in advance for your help. It is greatly appreciated.
Kind regards,
Benjamin E. Karp
3 Versailles Blvd.
New Orleans, LA 70125
tel: (504) 451-3467

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