Русские добровольческие отряды в составе Вермахта

ROA, Russian Army of Liberation, KONR, Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia, Eastern Troops, Russian Defense Corps, Russian National Committee, General Vlasov, Russian National Army of Liberation, Vlasov, Andrey Vlasov, Dabendorf, Prague, Эмиграция, Русская Прага, Русская эмиграция, Чехословакия, Mochola, Мохоля, РОА, РОД, КОНР, Власов, Власовцы




Фотоархив | Библиотека | Acta Rossica | Энциклопедия Зарубежной России | Форум 

Russian Volunteers in the German Wehrmacht in WorldWar II

by Lt. Gen. Władysław Anders and Antonio Muňoz [ed.]


The only possible solution, suggested by an American officer, was that soldiers of KONR might try to cross over to the American zone individually. General Bunyachenko immediately disbanded the division, advising subordinates to try their luck on their own. During the flight however, many were shot by Soviet troops, the majority were captured by the Red Army, and others were handed by the Americans [Ibid., pp. 117-118.]. Some 17,000 of them are said to have been deported to Russia, where they met death or imprisonment for life. General Vlasov fell into Soviet hands on May 12th, 1945. After the change in demarcation line, he was going by car from Schuesselburg to the American zone. There are various versions, not much different from each other, as to the circumstances under which he was captured, but all agree that he was a victim of ill luck, and was not purposely handed over by the Americans [Ibid., pp. 117-118. In addition, this region was controlled by the Third U.S. Army, which was led by General George S. Patton, whose anti-Communist beliefs were widely known. In fact, Patton's wish to continue the war (this time against the Soviets) was a much publicized "scandal," which was played up in the papers. - the Editor.].

The 2nd KONR Division split in two parts; the greater part, together with the Cossack Corps of General von Pannwitz, surrendered to the British on May 12th, in Austria, to be interned in the area of Klagenfurt - St. Veit. One regiment of the 2nd Division and the Army's Headquarters reached the American zone after a long and weary journey, and were interned at Landau, in western Bavaria. The commander of the 2nd Division, General Zverev, had fallen into Soviet hands on May 11th, 1945. Wanting to stay with his dying wife, he had locked himself in his quarters with his aide-de-camp and decided to fight it out. In the exchange of shots with Soviet soldiers, the aide-de-camp was killed, and General Zverev [was] wounded and captured [Wen Sie Verdeben Wollen, p. 564.].

On May 27th, in accordance with the agreement signed in Vienna by British and Soviet authorities, the British began to hand over to the Soviets the interned soldiers of the Eastern formations as well as the Cossacks. On that day, in Graz, there were handed over the generals von Pannwitz, Krasnov, and Shkuro. All three hoped to the last that they would be spared this fate, for the first was a German, and the other two old [Czarist] Russian emigrants [In fact, international law specifically stated that only those people who were Soviet citizens as of June 22nd, 1941 were to be handed back. This excluded most of the men who had formed the Russian Guard Corps (in Serbia); but apparently, the Communists and British had their own agenda about who qualified for this law! - the Editor.].

At the same time, the British commander arrived at the command post of the 2nd KONR Division and announced that on the following day the prisoners would leave the camp in national groups. Asked whether this was the first step on the way to Siberia, he replied in the affirmative and began to explain that politics sometimes compel a soldier to perform actions with which he does not agree in his soul [Personally, this sounds very much like the alibi that many Germans gave regarding the Jewish holocaust. To these wretched and dejected men, their handover by Britain and the US to the "tender" mercies of Stalin and his henchmen, represented a 2,000,000-man "holocaust," and is very well documented in Nicholas Bethell's classic study: The Last Secret, Basic Books, Inc.: New York, 1974.- the Editor.]. During the night, the Germans from the liaison section [of the Division] and a few hundred prisoners, mainly Cossacks, escaped from the camp with the help of a British officer and some British soldiers. 

The majority remained, because they either could not make up their minds or lacked the strength to risk such an adventure. In the morning they were loaded on trucks and handed over to the NKVD. On their way, already in the Soviet zone, many tried to escape, but almost all were shot, either by the members of the convoy or by Soviet patrols in the country. After the arrival in Vienna, the surviving prisoners were sent by rail to Russia [Wen Sie Verdeben Wollen, p. 571-572.]. The number of Cossacks delivered to the Soviets, reported in a written statement of a Cossack immigrant, merits special attention. The delivery of the interned to the Soviet authorities began on May 28th. 

On this day a conference was called in the little town of Spittal in Austria, to which the British commander had invited the entire officers' corps from the Cossack camp: 35 generals, 167 colonels, 283 lieutenant-colonels, 375 captains, 1,752 subalterns, 136 military functionaries and doctors, two chaplains, two band leaders, two photographers, and two interpreters, in all 2,756 persons. At the time of the departure from the camp, 2,201 reported ready for the journey, the remainder having refused to be loaded on the trucks, or having disappeared. 

On the way to Linz, 55 of them committed suicide; 2,146 were handed over to the NKVD. Among them were 1,856 Cossack officers, 176 Russians, 63 Ukrainians, 31 Caucasians, and a handful of other nationals. As to the fate of those delivered: 12 generals were sent to Moscow, 120 officers were shot on the way to Vienna by Soviet soldiers of the convoy, 1,030 officers died during the interrogations by the NKVD, 983 officers were "passed along"; many of this group were sent to mines in the Urals, and deprived of the right to come out to the surface of the earth. 

Two Cossack generals were killed in their quarters on the day of delivery to the Soviets. On June 1st, about 25,000 people were handed to the Soviets from the Cossack camp in Linz which held 32,000 persons, mainly old men, women, and children who were in fact refugees, though among them were also Cossack soldiers. Even after the specified period of the delivery of prisoners, Soviet military missions made unexpected raids on Displaced Persons camps in the American and British zones, and took from them many people by force. In all, over 150,000 Cossacks were handed over to the USSR. 

The fate of the Cossacks was shared by the 162nd Turkoman Division which surrendered to the British in Italy [Soviet Opposition to Stalin, p. 116.] and by almost all prisoners - Soviet citizens - from other Eastern formations. As late as February 1946, the same happened to that part of the 2nd KONR Division which together with the Army's Headquarters, had been interned by the Americans in Landau. The commanders of these formations tried to persuade the American authorities to sponsor the remnants of the KONR Army, keeping their character of anti-Soviet formations. The Americans explained that this was quite impossible, and often pointed out that there was always the possibility to escape from the poorly guarded camp. 

Many of the interned availed themselves of this opportunity, but some 3,000 decided to stay put. In the autumn, the prisoners were moved to Regensberg and later to Platting. There, one Sunday at 6 o'clock in the morning, began the forcible delivery of the prisoners to the Soviets. This was a terrible surprise to the prisoners, who did not think they would be forcibly handed over. The camps at Kempton, Landshut and other places were liquidated in a similar way [Ibid, pp. 116-117.]. Half of the leaders of the Vlasov movement were handed over to the Soviets [Ibid, p. 119.]. The statement of the Cossack emigrant mentioned before quotes the impressions of a British sailor given here without alteration: 

"I took part in the evacuation of Dunkirk. Our soldiers felt very badly. I helped to fish out Germans from the sunken Bismarck, which received the greatest number of torpedoes in history. I saw the population of Malta sitting in the cellars for many weeks. I saw Malta being bombed incessantly and deafened by explosions of bombs and shells. They were exhausted from constant explosions and alarms. I lived through the sinking of my own ship. I know about jumping into the water at night, dark and without bottom, and the terrifying shouts for help of the drowning, and then the boat, and looking for the rescue ship. It was a nightmare. I drove German prisoners captured during the invasion of Normandy. They were almost dying from fear. But all that is nothing. The real, terrible, unspeakable fear I saw during the convoying and repatriation of people to Soviet Russia. They were becoming white, green and gray with the fear that took hold of them. When we arrived at the port and were handing them over to the Russians, the repatriates were fainting and losing their senses. And only now I know what a man's fear is who lived through hell, and that it is nothing compared to the fear of a man who is returning to the Soviet hell." 

The Russian Defense Corps of Serbia which surrendered to the British escaped the terrible fate. Its soldiers were saved by the fact that they were old Russian emigrants or sons of such emigrants [Although as mentioned earlier, this "law" was circumvented by the Allies and Russians whenever it suited them, as in the case of Germen General von Pannwitz and Czarist-era Cossacks like Shkuro, Krasnov, Klych, and Girey. Shkuro was a well known officer even to the British, who had awarded him a senior British military honor in 1919, so it wasn't that the British were un-awares of who he (and the rest of these men) were. Yet, they were handed over to the Communists anyway.- the Editor.]. In a similar way the soldiers of the Ukrainian Division were saved. As the majority of them were Polish citizens and the others claimed the same privilege, they did not, in the eyes of the Western governments, fall into the category of "traitors" to the Soviet Union. 

However, before this decision was reached, in May 1946, the Ukrainians lived through a dreadful period of uncertainty. Nor were the soldiers of the Estonian and Latvian formations delivered to the Soviets, since they were citizens of states whose annexation by the Soviet Union in 1939 was not formally recognized by the Western powers. On August 2nd, 1946 the first mention of the Vlasov movement appeared in the Soviet Press. The last page of Pravda, Moscow's greatest newspaper, announced the death by hanging of the following: Vlasov, Malyshkin, Zhilenkov, Trukhin, Zakutny, Blagoveshchenski, Meandrov, Maltsev, Bunyachenko, Zverev, Korbukov, and Shatov. "All accused admitted their guilt in the charges made against them... The sentence has been executed" [Soviet Opposition to Stalin, p. 120.].

The Fall of VlasovThe Vlasov Movement








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