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The death notifications in USSR during WW2

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  • pp(est)
    replied
    The western allies hated communists too, they had even sent troops to fight it during the Russian civil war. Still they allied with Stalin the minute Stalin's alliance with Hitler was broken and the alliance with Soviets broke almost as soon as the ink had dried on the German capitulation (actually preparations for the next war against Soviets were already being made by OSS and SIS). You don't have to be in love to have an alliance. Common (even if limited) interests suffice.


    The first definition in the online dictionary is as follows:
    a. A close association of nations or other groups, formed to advance common interests or causes:
    b. A formal agreement establishing such an association, especially an international treaty of friendship.

    The MRP was a formal agreement forming a close association between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia whereby the allies agreed to divide the countries between them and further agreed on economic and military cooperation then they acted upon their agreement. The alliance reflected immediately upon Soviet propaganda, even including schoolbooks. If you find Soviet propaganda material from 1940 and early 1941 it can be quite hilarious read.


    Given the specific actions agreed and taken you could even argue it was more of an alliance than NATO is. Japan-German alliance was really not an alliance at all. It was just a piece of paper to offer moral support. Unlike the alliance with Soviet Union, the Japanese-German alliance produced no effective cooperation.
    Last edited by pp(est); 28 May 07, 18:04.

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  • maian
    replied
    Originally posted by pp(est) View Post
    Fareasterner, you seem to be confusing several different countries and issues. However, I will gladly discuss with you any matter related to Estonia, (including the causality involved in occupying a country, committing atrocities and getting the population to hate you) if you wish, but please start another thread for it.

    As to Hitler and Stalin not being allies, you can spin it any way you like. In my book, if two countries decide to divide territories of third countries between themselves, coordinate military and diplomatic actions to act on it and even arrange supply to each other then that is an alliance. If you've read material about Hitler published in Soviet Union in 1940 and early 1941 about Germany you'd have no doubt Soviet Union considered Germany its ally.
    No they didnt consider them an ally. Call it an alliance if you want, but it really is no alliance. Hitler hated the communists. Stalin was expecting war by 42 or something wasnt he? They both knew they were going to be attacked. Yes, for some reason Stalin did not believe they were invading. That is believe they were invading that early. He did not expect it to come that early. Germany wouldnt attack their ally. Look at Japan, they signed that Axis Alliance, and they followed them in war. They did not abandon their ally.

    Now the Soviet Union is a nation they hated. Maybe the Soviet Union did consider Germany it's ally, but the other did not consider them a real ally. Which I dont see how you can call it an alliance.

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  • Kunikov
    replied
    Originally posted by Andrey View Post
    To the point, death notifications of WWII are cpming even right now.

    In WWII whole armies were encircled and destroyed.

    So special groups of civilians-volunteers have been searching the former battlefields for the remnants of non-buried Soviet soldiers. Such groups are called "Poiskoviki" ("Searchers"). If they found remanats of a soldier they try to identify him. "Posmertny medallion" ("Death medallions") are the main source of the info about those soldiers. The "Poiskoviki" operate mainly in the regions of Rzhev and in St. Petersburg.

    On May, 9th Russian TV showed about ceremonial burial of the remnants of a few soldiers which had been found nearly Rzhev recently. One of those soldiers was indentified due to his medallion. And Russian TV showed a granddaughter (a 45-50 years-old woman now) of the soldier. Russian Ministry of Defence found her, handed the death notification to her and invited her to the burial ceremony. The granddaughter was in that ceremony and she cried and spoke thank you to the people who helped her to know the place of her grandfather's grave...
    I saw the program, I'm glad there are people who are still out there looking for missing soldiers.

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  • pp(est)
    replied
    Ironically some of those death notifications may be sent out once the dna studies of the remains dug from under the trolley stop are complete.

    IIRC just last month tens of remains found in the blue hills were given a proper burial.
    Last edited by pp(est); 26 May 07, 03:12.

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  • Andrey
    replied
    To the point, death notifications of WWII are cpming even right now.

    In WWII whole armies were encircled and destroyed.

    So special groups of civilians-volunteers have been searching the former battlefields for the remnants of non-buried Soviet soldiers. Such groups are called "Poiskoviki" ("Searchers"). If they found remanats of a soldier they try to identify him. "Posmertny medallion" ("Death medallions") are the main source of the info about those soldiers. The "Poiskoviki" operate mainly in the regions of Rzhev and in St. Petersburg.

    On May, 9th Russian TV showed about ceremonial burial of the remnants of a few soldiers which had been found nearly Rzhev recently. One of those soldiers was indentified due to his medallion. And Russian TV showed a granddaughter (a 45-50 years-old woman now) of the soldier. Russian Ministry of Defence found her, handed the death notification to her and invited her to the burial ceremony. The granddaughter was in that ceremony and she cried and spoke thank you to the people who helped her to know the place of her grandfather's grave...

    Leave a comment:


  • Kunikov
    replied
    Originally posted by Andrey View Post
    So a Western author wrote the rubbish that ONLY Party members were notifed well about the fate of their relatives.

    From the context it is seen it is about official notifications.
    Well, obviously that's incorrect. I simply listed the various ways people might find out, that's all.

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  • Andrey
    replied
    Originally posted by Kunikov View Post
    I never said anything about 'official' or 'unofficial' I simply stated how various people found out about their dead relatives.
    Look on the forst message of this thread.

    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."
    So a Western author wrote the rubbish that ONLY Party members were notifed well about the fate of their relatives.

    From the context it is seen it is about official notifications.
    Last edited by Andrey; 25 May 07, 22:34.

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  • Kunikov
    replied
    Originally posted by Andrey View Post
    there was only ONE official way - Soviet Ministry of Defence (People Commissariat of Defence) sent to families official notification by mail. There was the net of Militatry Commissariat in the USSR, sometimes their chiefs themselves gave those notifications.

    There was no any differebce between party members and ordinary citizens.

    All the stories from friends, miss of letters and so on were unofficial methods to know about the fate of a soldier.
    I never said anything about 'official' or 'unofficial' I simply stated how various people found out about their dead relatives.

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  • Egorka
    replied
    Originally posted by Andrey View Post
    It is not about getting additional sausage.

    There was the SYSTEM of how to inform people about the fate of their relatives-soldiers.

    I don't see HOW it was possible to do something better for party members.

    Lists of killed, died and missing were sent from units to superior headquarters. Hedquarters sent those lists to those who printed death notifications. I don't know exactly how it worked in details. I know that the death notifications were received by people from postmen.
    Andrey put in a right manner. The official system for the notifications was not tailored to distinguish between the people. It worked as a michine (good or bad) for everyone. That is it.
    The rest is complexity of life.

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  • Andrey
    replied
    Originally posted by pp(est) View Post
    Laws and real life had often only a passing connection in Soviet Union. No matter what the regulation prescribed, the fact is that deaths were not always notified. Given that party members were treated differently from common people in life it isn't that much of the stretch to think that it might have happened in death too.
    It is not about getting additional sausage.

    There was the SYSTEM of how to inform people about the fate of their relatives-soldiers.

    I don't see HOW it was possible to do something better for party members.

    Lists of killed, died and missing were sent from units to superior headquarters. Hedquarters sent those lists to those who printed death notifications. I don't know exactly how it worked in details. I know that the death notifications were received by people from postmen.

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  • Egorka
    replied
    Originally posted by pp(est) View Post
    Laws and real life had often only a passing connection in Soviet Union. No matter what the regulation prescribed, the fact is that deaths were not always notified. Given that party members were treated differently from common people in life it isn't that much of the stretch to think that it might have happened in death too.
    Yes. But concidering how few were the party members in the total population of USSR one can get an idea what the impact on the death notifications were - one or two tousand cases or so.

    Concider all other options when people in charge gave extra treatment (something that is not prescribed by official regulations) to the public. For example would it be unheard that a person in charge whould give something extra to a guy/family from the same little town he comes from? A person in charge being from national manority gives extra to his fellow national? A person in charge without a leg would assist more to an other invalid and provide him with more help than prescribed by formal regulation? There are NUMEROUS scenarious in real life like that. And this kind of "discrimination" based on the Communist membership was just a tiny brick in the big structure called LIFE.

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  • pp(est)
    replied
    Laws and real life had often only a passing connection in Soviet Union. No matter what the regulation prescribed, the fact is that deaths were not always notified. Given that party members were treated differently from common people in life it isn't that much of the stretch to think that it might have happened in death too.

    Leave a comment:


  • Andrey
    replied
    Originally posted by Kunikov View Post
    There were a few ways in which families were notified that I know of. One would be by the state, another would be when letters would simply stop coming from the front, which happened with my grandfather's brother. And lastly if a soldier whose friend dies goes to the family and tells them what happened, that is if they haven't gotten a notification or they were still hoping against hope when the letters stopped coming.
    there was only ONE official way - Soviet Ministry of Defence (People Commissariat of Defence) sent to families official notification by mail. There was the net of Militatry Commissariat in the USSR, sometimes their chiefs themselves gave those notifications.

    There was no any differebce between party members and ordinary citizens.

    All the stories from friends, miss of letters and so on were unofficial methods to know about the fate of a soldier.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kunikov
    replied
    There were a few ways in which families were notified that I know of. One would be by the state, another would be when letters would simply stop coming from the front, which happened with my grandfather's brother. And lastly if a soldier whose friend dies goes to the family and tells them what happened, that is if they haven't gotten a notification or they were still hoping against hope when the letters stopped coming.

    Leave a comment:


  • Egorka
    replied
    Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
    Of course the first, key step in notification to a family is identification of the body.

    Thanks for the example of the paper slips. I had the impression that they were self made on anything available. I have heard "death locket" which may be literary; you used 'medallion'. Was there an official term for the containers of these slips of personal identification?

    Again, thanks for the terrific example.

    rna
    The official name was "MEDALLION". The firt directive regarding them was issued by order #856 on 14 August 1925 "On implementation of document "Instruction on usage of medalions with personal data of soldiers of the RKKA and RKKF" (О введении в действие "Инструкции по использованию медальонов с личными сведениями о военнослужащих РККА и РКВМФ".). This directive introduced the medalions of rectangular flat shape (most left on the picture). As they were not germetical they were very poor quality and did not protect the paper inside from the influence of the nature.

    In 1937 this directive was canceled. It was made previously by an enemy of the state.

    The order #138 on 15 March 1941 issued by the Kommisariat of Defense actuated "Regulation on personal staff losses and burial procedures for the soldiers killed in RKKA at war time" ("Положение о персональном учете потерь и погребении погибшего личного состава Красной Армии в военное время"). It was in force during the whole war.

    The new medalion shapes were introduced. They were hexagone shaped tubes made of ebonite (see middle of the picture). They were not very good either. The ebonite let the humid sip trough and the papar was affected a lot, especially after 50 - 60 years in the soil.

    Soldiers also widely used the cartridge-cases. Preffeably from a rare wepon, so that it would be easier noticed by the burial squad.

    Unfortunately, very many soldiers never got medallions and were burried without any identification or record. Also some soldier purpusefully avoided filling in the personal info - if you do you get killed - they said (superstition).

    Source: http://www.soldat.ru/doc/search/med.html

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