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The death notifications in USSR during WW2

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  • The death notifications in USSR during WW2

    Hello!

    In another forum ( http://www.wargamer.com/forums/tm.as...4&key=&#220574 ) a guy told me that "IIRC a dead soldiers family wasnt even notified of the death unless they were a party member."
    I never heard of it before. IMO it is just nonsense.

    Am I nuts?
    Kind regards
    Igor

    * My grandfathers WW2 memoirs - Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Hungary, 1944-1945.
    * On the question of "2 mil. rapes" by RKKA
    * Verdicts of RKKA Military Tribunals for crimes against civilians in 1945

  • #2
    Originally posted by Egorka View Post
    Hello!

    In another forum ( http://www.wargamer.com/forums/tm.as...4&key=&#220574 ) a guy told me that "IIRC a dead soldiers family wasnt even notified of the death unless they were a party member."
    I never heard of it before. IMO it is just nonsense.

    Am I nuts?
    What an idiotism...

    Alex
    If you fire a rifle at the past, the future will fire a cannon at you.....

    Comment


    • #3
      Especially considering that the Communist party in 1941 was app. 2 million strong. So the wast majority of the RKKA soldiers could not be party members.
      And the death notifications were vital for the families becasue they provided ground for receiving the material help from the state.

      Bzw, that is why I like these forums - they force you to read. Now I am going to read the ordr #138 from 15-March-1941 about the accounting of the casualties that covers this issue.
      Kind regards
      Igor

      * My grandfathers WW2 memoirs - Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Hungary, 1944-1945.
      * On the question of "2 mil. rapes" by RKKA
      * Verdicts of RKKA Military Tribunals for crimes against civilians in 1945

      Comment


      • #4
        I believe the families of most Estonian casualties were not notified, not even after Estonia was again occupied. Of course many of these casualties occurred in the training aka hard labour camps. For many of them no records were even kept. It was an immense strain on the families not knowing for sure what had happened to their loved ones, but there were occasional happy endings. I recently heard a story about a family reunion after 50 years when it was found that a man shanghaid to the Soviet army had managed to escape from the labour camp with a small group, cross to Afganistan on foot and finally after several years managed to end up in Australia.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by pp(est) View Post
          ... a man shanghaid to the Soviet army had managed to escape from the labour camp with a small group, cross to Afganistan on foot...
          boo-oo-oo!
          stories like that is a bullshit.
          once again - mass media coverage of an outright hoax.

          Comment


          • #6
            Stalin, perhaps, but not impossible. My grandfather who had an arrest warrant on him, managed to both escape from Soviet prison and hide out in Kazakhstan until the general amnesty in the fifties.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by pp(est) View Post
              ... My grandfather who had an arrest warrant on him, managed to both escape from Soviet prison and hide out in Kazakhstan until the general amnesty in the fifties.
              btw, did your grandfather or other ancestors ever used to support nazis?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by stalin View Post
                btw, did your grandfather or other ancestors ever used to support nazis?
                No, Nazis locked the same grandfather in the same prison the Soviets did for exactly the same reason. They did let him out without him having to escape though through legal proceedings (after they failed to raise charges). If you wish I can relay his experiences with Gestapo and NKVD. Both were nasty, but the style was completely different. My grandfather was a stout supporter of democracy and market economy just like most Estonians as proven time and again in elections.

                For your information, Estonian Nazis is a very rare phenomen (although not completely unknown), there are definitely more Nazis in Russia. In fact the Germans had to change the oath sworn by Estonian Waffen-SS units because the men simply refused to swear the Nazi oath. Estonian fascist-leaning political movement, which planned for a coup, before the war was banned just like communist party and its members received the same treatment as communists - after a trial the ringleaders were executed and the rest imprisoned.

                Antisemitism in Estonia today is a Russian import. Before the war we were the first to allow Jews cultural autonomy in handling their own matters (despire their small numbers), what happened during war I have discussed at length elsewhere, after the war during the occupation it was well known fact that Russian Jews chose to study in universities here as well as spend their vacations here (they still do btw) because here there would be no discrimination or harassment.

                BTW my intention in replying to this thread was not to again talk about my country per se. My intention was to share my knowledge, about death notifications of Soviet troops in Soviet occupied territories which I believe were relevant to the initial question. However I've no intention to let insults (commies and nazies are just as bad in my book) or snide allegations past, so it would be better to continue discussing the topic at hand.

                Having discussed the topic with more knowledgeable people I've heard that death notifications were not issued to most of those who were snatched in 1941 and who died before late 1944 (i.e. most of the men lost). Later on, after Estonia was occupied there apparently was some kind of official notification system. Incidentally a very high number of the men surviving until late 1944 were members of the communist party and were thoroughly brainwashed (including my other grandfather - the brainwash bit according to his own admission).
                Last edited by pp(est); 05 Apr 07, 10:44.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by pp(est) View Post
                  In fact the Germans had to change the oath sworn by Estonian Waffen-SS units because the men simply refused to swear the Nazi oath.

                  I've read this elsewhere also. I think in one of the SS books I have.

                  Interesting that the Germans would allow that.
                  Scientists have announced they've discovered a cure for apathy. However no one has shown the slightest bit of interest !!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by pp(est) View Post
                    ... after Estonia was occupied...Incidentally a very high number of the men surviving until late 1944 were members of the communist party and were thoroughly brainwashed (including my other grandfather - the brainwash bit according to his own admission).
                    why ''brainwashed''?
                    simply, at that time - most of estonians were a communism supporters.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Stalin, since you insist let me remind you that the number of Estonians fighting for the Soviets was quite small and for the 1940 coup Russia couldn't find even 100 trustworthy local communists to man the parliament. They had to bring the communists in from the Estonian villages near Vladivostok and other such places. Often the only thing Estonian about those communists were their name. BTW the import of russified Estonians to "leadership positions" was continued throughout the occupation - Karl Vaino was born in Russia and couldn't speak Estonian. The only Estonian thing about him was his name.

                      The former communist party still exists in Estonia - I believe they managed to gather something like 300 votes in the last election.

                      As to why my grandfather thought he was brainwashed at the time - I guess it must have been because of the realisation that what he was told for 4 long years by political officers and the reality he saw with his own eyes once he returned were completely different. Many Estonians fighting in the Soviet ranks even believed that Soviet Russia would restore our independence (or at least they have claimed that they believed that).

                      Tigersqn, Estonian SS-division was formed mostly by transferring wehrmacht units to waffen-ss. The troops disliked the move greatly, as SS was considered more political. Germans more closer to the front understood perfectly well that the only reason Estonians were fighting for them was to try and hold the Soviets out of Estonia. Since at the time they desperately needed Estonian troops they were prepared to make many allowances not really approved by Berlin, including allowing Estonians to take much more senior positions in their units, use their own tactics, etc.

                      Among the Germans what exactly to do with us was hotly disputed. There were several reports that warned Hitler that we were preparing for a revolt against the Germans and hence our units should be kept separated from each other. OTOH Narva front commander had a deal with Uluots that should his forces be cut off from Germany he would transfer all troops under his command under Estonian flag and Uluots would ensure that the troops would be granted Estonian citizenship by the to-be-formed Estonian government (Latvia did something similar with von der Golz' division in their war of liberation, but that plan backfired), which would sue for separate peace like Finland did. however once Finland exited war and Hitler decided to evacuate from Estonia the opportunity for this never came. Some Estonian units were formed in the wake of Germans which battled both the retreating Germans (to capture equipment) and the advancing Soviets. This last defence was short-lived though, but for three days before the arrival of Soviets Tallinn was our city.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by pp(est) View Post
                        ... the only thing Estonian about those communists were their name. BTW the import of russified Estonians to "leadership positions" was continued throughout the occupation...
                        hey!
                        the history repeating itself - isn't it?
                        except that,
                        now they bring the estonian leaders in from democratic west!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Stalin, you forgot the quite notable exceptions that Ilves was born Estonian citizen, he speaks Estonian as his mother tongue, he enjoys considerable support among the population and he was elected in accordance with the laws. Not one of those was true with regard to Karl Vaino.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by pp(est) View Post
                            Stalin, since you insist let me remind you that the number of Estonians fighting for the Soviets was quite small and for the 1940 coup Russia couldn't find even 100 trustworthy local communists to man the parliament. They had to bring the communists in from the Estonian villages near Vladivostok and other such places. Often the only thing Estonian about those communists were their name. BTW the import of russified Estonians to "leadership positions" was continued throughout the occupation - Karl Vaino was born in Russia and couldn't speak Estonian. The only Estonian thing about him was his name.
                            .
                            Never heard about Estonian villages near Vladivostok. Here were many Ukrainian and Russian villages, several Korean, many China names for rivers, mountains, but no slightest Estonian traces. I cannot distinguish Estonian from Latvian or Lithuanian, because have not seen them around.
                            Have seen somewhere that after WW2 NKVD fought with Baltian partisans for 7-8 years. No wonder, that some of them were deported.
                            To make pill sweeter, Baltian countries in USSR were fed from budget much better, than Russia. USSR dissolved in 1991 because population of Russia wanted sovereignty from brotherly republics; Russian peoples were tired of Internationalists Communists, who fed numerous brothers and friends at the expense of Russian population.
                            BTW, Baltian cinema and theater actors, pop stars during occupation where very popular in USSR. I do not know, if there is big progress in Estonian culture, science, education in last 15 years. Or demographic situation is better, than in old days. We hear almost nothing about life in former Soviet Republics.

                            Attachment: Deported Baltian family in Yakutia, year 1959. Labour camp near mika mine.
                            Attached Files

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Fareasterner, there used to be Estonian villages near Vladivostok which were established some time in the late 19th century. Most of the inhabitants fled those villages already in 1921 before the reds took them (they moved to China, where there was a small Estonian enclave in Shanghai). These days there is only an Estonian club in Vladivostok for people who trace some heritage to Estonia. I don't think any of them are really Estonians as none of them speak the language. Functional Estonian villages where some of the older folk reportedly still speak the language exist in the Crimean peninsula (I think one was called novoestonija or smg and they should have an Estonian school there), in Abkhazia, Georgia (I think some of them were evacuated a few years ago), near Krasnodar, quite a few are in Siberia near Omsk, Tomsk, etc. According to Wikipedia there should be villages named Uusküla, Rosental, Koidula, Lilliküla, Vana-Viru in those places.

                              I don't really know what Latvians and Lithuanians have to do with this topic. I have no doubt you couldn't distinguish us from them as you probably wouldn't be able to distinguish us from Finns, Hungarians, Danes or any number of the people residing in Northern Europe you haven't seen or heard before.

                              During our occupation most of our production was sent to Russia, the balance of trade was definitely not in our favour. Most heavy infrastructure investments made during the occupation that people like Stalin like to bring up were of little use to us - all workforce for heavy factories was imported from Russia and the manufacture was of such nature that there has been no use for the factories in a market economy - what do you do with a factory specialised in making low quality tank towers in very high quantities? Most such facilities are still empty and unused or they have been refurbished to be used for something completely different - like one factory which has been turned to ice skating rink.

                              Given that our living standard was quite a bit higher than Russian before the war, our living standard did remain higher also after the war despite the draining of our resources by Russia. After we got our freedom back we have been doing quite well in pretty much all areas. There are now a lot more Estonian books published and the number of students enrolled in universities has skyrocketed (which is actually becoming a problem). The demographic situation has been bad as in all former communist countries, but it is showing clear signs of improvement.

                              As to deportations, I would again like to point out that the first mass deportation happened before the guerrilla war started and before the Germans had ever attacked Russia at a time when Russia and Germany were allies. The order was given on 14 May 1941 and it was carried out between 13 to 17 June, i.e. several days before the surprise attack by Hitler shattered the alliance.
                              Last edited by pp(est); 06 Apr 07, 13:12.

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