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Old July 17th, 2012, 04:10 PM   #1

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The Occupation of Kharkov


Does anyone know anything about this or read anything in books about it (can you tell me what book)? The occupation began on November 25th, 1941. The city (Kharkov, Ukraine) was under the control of regular German forces and, according to a doc I saw, they sealed the city at one point and starved the people living there. I'd appreciate any help. I have done plenty of research on the Eastern Conflict but I haven't got much on this event. Any help would be appreciated. As I understand it, this event can help me understand the attitudes of regular army Germans towards Slavic civilians and, more broadly, the psychology of soldiers and the great drama of war in general.
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Old July 17th, 2012, 07:34 PM   #2
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It was general policy. Isolate the big cities., prevent food from entering, this happened at a number of cities, Kiev as well. The Nazi policy was destruction of the Urban population, and reduction of the rural population. Policy before the invasion, it was like most of their policies implemented half arsed so I doubt it was universal. But it was a per-invasion deliberate policy. Keiv's population was reduce to a third of what it was before. I have not read any real detail, did they starve? flee to the country? (I imagine a mixture but do we have figures?)
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Old July 18th, 2012, 12:06 AM   #3

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When the 6th army conquered the town, it was divided into 4 parts, to controll and avoid movements between these parts. Nobody was allowed to move into the city, to avoid partisan infiltrtion, the escape to the east was allowed and wished. The city center should not be engaged with troops. It was ordered not to put out blazes, as long as no barracks were threatened, after the experience in Kiev, where the Russians set buildings on fire or blew up with detonations from the distance. The Wehrmacht wanted to get control over the city, but had no interest to care for its inhabitants.

For a control of the inhabitants of Charkov the Sk 4a of the Egr C were responsible. Women and children should be promoted to leave the city, people who were able or necessary to work should stay within the city. Renegade should be hanged in public. The Stadtkommandantur ordered the Sk 4a to arrest hostages and jews and to install a concentration and POW camp. For the controll of the inner city the Nazis establshed a troup of 1000 Ukrainians.

On november 4th it was ordered, that civilians should be allowed to get food even from outside the city. Jews should be arrested, cos they were expected to be the greatest trouble-makers and brough to the KZ.
The Ic of the AOK 6 was against theses decision, because he feared a movement of inhabitants of Charkov to the west could cause trouble with the local population, especially because many Charkovians were Russians, the rural population ukrainian. it was as well feared, that the Charkovians could join the partisans.

On november 14th, the commander of the 68th ID was blown up with parts of his staff. 1200 hostages were immediately imprisoned and for every further explosion should be executed. The hostages were arrested by soldiers of the 57th and 68th division. 50 hostages were immediatelly executed in public. 150 followed some time later. the rst was brough to the KZ, the former Hotel International.

On november 28th, the number of hostages was reduced to 400 people, because of further explosions. The threat of further executions brought an effect. Sk 4a and GFP got a lot of denunciations.

In the end of 1941 the germans feared a counter attack of the Red Army. The town itself could not be pacifised. So since november inhabitants were transported to the west. At the same time Sk 4 a and GFP brought unnecessary people to the east. The Wehrmacht supported with personal these mission.

On december 5th the 1./PRB 314 arrived in Charkow. They had already participated in the final solution of the jews in Dnjepopetrovsk. with their arrival the military commander ordered the arrest of the jews of charkov and their concentration in the tractor factory. In the end of december the murders of the jews began. The number is unknown, but was probably around 15,000.

During this time, the food situation of the other inhabitants of Charkov worsened. The food supply of the Wehrmacht was organized by requisition from the occupied territories. That should improve the civilian food situation in the Reich and avoid long support ways. the farmers in the Korück of the AOK 6 were forced to deliver goods to them and this first of all to them. the rest should be used by the rural population. So a defoliation area of 42km was established behind the front.

The nazis had already planned to siege and starve the city of Charkov, but then decide to take it. The most industrial facilities were destroyed by the red Army, the food brought to the east. A lot of the male population was recruited and had moved east, whereas 450,000 remained.
After the occupation the military administration showed no interest to feed the inhabitants, but ordered it to the civilian administartion of the mayor. But the small food that was available in Charkov was often requisitioned by the Wehrmacht. So the only way to get food was to get it from the surrounding. But even here requisition lessened the available food and as well the prizes for it rose extremely. As well such foraging trips of the inhabitants of charkov were limited and not wished by the Wehrmacht. so the population of Charkov was dedicated to starve. Only a few wanted to avoid it, but saw a solution in a expulsion of the inhabitants to the east, but this failed, because of the weather and not enough tramsport capacities. Another way to solve this problem was the executio of communists and jews.

A problem for the Wehrmacht arose, when it became obvious, that the starvation would as well reduced the labourers for the Wehrmacht. So since nvember 1941, the wehrmacht started to support them with food, but still too less. In january 1942 by this only 26,000 of the reamaing 420,000 were supported by this way. First since autumn 1942 the Wehrmacht started to supply as well non-working people. But it was not enough and too late. So till september 1942 around 12,000 people starved. for the total number of victims there are only estimations. Around 60,000 were transported to the Reich as forced labourers, together with deseases, extermination and the starvation perhaps around 100,000 died during the occupation. But there are as well higher estimations. Of course the liberation of Charkov in february 1943 caused further casualties, as well the re-conquest by the Wehrmacht and the next and final liberation by the red Army in august 1943.

Last edited by beorna; July 18th, 2012 at 12:17 AM.
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Old July 18th, 2012, 11:44 AM   #4

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Quote:
Originally Posted by beorna View Post
When the 6th army conquered the town, it was divided into 4 parts, to controll and avoid movements between these parts. Nobody was allowed to move into the city, to avoid partisan infiltrtion, the escape to the east was allowed and wished. The city center should not be engaged with troops. It was ordered not to put out blazes, as long as no barracks were threatened, after the experience in Kiev, where the Russians set buildings on fire or blew up with detonations from the distance. The Wehrmacht wanted to get control over the city, but had no interest to care for its inhabitants.

For a control of the inhabitants of Charkov the Sk 4a of the Egr C were responsible. Women and children should be promoted to leave the city, people who were able or necessary to work should stay within the city. Renegade should be hanged in public. The Stadtkommandantur ordered the Sk 4a to arrest hostages and jews and to install a concentration and POW camp. For the controll of the inner city the Nazis establshed a troup of 1000 Ukrainians.

On november 4th it was ordered, that civilians should be allowed to get food even from outside the city. Jews should be arrested, cos they were expected to be the greatest trouble-makers and brough to the KZ.
The Ic of the AOK 6 was against theses decision, because he feared a movement of inhabitants of Charkov to the west could cause trouble with the local population, especially because many Charkovians were Russians, the rural population ukrainian. it was as well feared, that the Charkovians could join the partisans.

On november 14th, the commander of the 68th ID was blown up with parts of his staff. 1200 hostages were immediately imprisoned and for every further explosion should be executed. The hostages were arrested by soldiers of the 57th and 68th division. 50 hostages were immediatelly executed in public. 150 followed some time later. the rst was brough to the KZ, the former Hotel International.

On november 28th, the number of hostages was reduced to 400 people, because of further explosions. The threat of further executions brought an effect. Sk 4a and GFP got a lot of denunciations.

In the end of 1941 the germans feared a counter attack of the Red Army. The town itself could not be pacifised. So since november inhabitants were transported to the west. At the same time Sk 4 a and GFP brought unnecessary people to the east. The Wehrmacht supported with personal these mission.

On december 5th the 1./PRB 314 arrived in Charkow. They had already participated in the final solution of the jews in Dnjepopetrovsk. with their arrival the military commander ordered the arrest of the jews of charkov and their concentration in the tractor factory. In the end of december the murders of the jews began. The number is unknown, but was probably around 15,000.

During this time, the food situation of the other inhabitants of Charkov worsened. The food supply of the Wehrmacht was organized by requisition from the occupied territories. That should improve the civilian food situation in the Reich and avoid long support ways. the farmers in the Korück of the AOK 6 were forced to deliver goods to them and this first of all to them. the rest should be used by the rural population. So a defoliation area of 42km was established behind the front.

The nazis had already planned to siege and starve the city of Charkov, but then decide to take it. The most industrial facilities were destroyed by the red Army, the food brought to the east. A lot of the male population was recruited and had moved east, whereas 450,000 remained.
After the occupation the military administration showed no interest to feed the inhabitants, but ordered it to the civilian administartion of the mayor. But the small food that was available in Charkov was often requisitioned by the Wehrmacht. So the only way to get food was to get it from the surrounding. But even here requisition lessened the available food and as well the prizes for it rose extremely. As well such foraging trips of the inhabitants of charkov were limited and not wished by the Wehrmacht. so the population of Charkov was dedicated to starve. Only a few wanted to avoid it, but saw a solution in a expulsion of the inhabitants to the east, but this failed, because of the weather and not enough tramsport capacities. Another way to solve this problem was the executio of communists and jews.

A problem for the Wehrmacht arose, when it became obvious, that the starvation would as well reduced the labourers for the Wehrmacht. So since nvember 1941, the wehrmacht started to support them with food, but still too less. In january 1942 by this only 26,000 of the reamaing 420,000 were supported by this way. First since autumn 1942 the Wehrmacht started to supply as well non-working people. But it was not enough and too late. So till september 1942 around 12,000 people starved. for the total number of victims there are only estimations. Around 60,000 were transported to the Reich as forced labourers, together with deseases, extermination and the starvation perhaps around 100,000 died during the occupation. But there are as well higher estimations. Of course the liberation of Charkov in february 1943 caused further casualties, as well the re-conquest by the Wehrmacht and the next and final liberation by the red Army in august 1943.
Where did you get this information?
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Old July 18th, 2012, 12:13 PM   #5

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One account I read described the surviving population of Kharkov as "starving wraiths begging for food from soldiers passing by who gave whatever they had, until they had nothing themselves".

The Nazis did not treat the population well. Disease. deportations, starvation, forced labor ensured a large part of the population did not survive the war. Chuikov references Kharkov I believe when referring to the problems they were having getting "tongues" (German soldiers to interrogate) on raids. It seems that Russian soldiers were highly inclined to shoot Germans instead of apprehending them.

The policy in Kharkov was also a product of the German mindset at the time. They felt they could not be beat and the war was already won so no one would hold them accountable for their extreme measures against the sub humans.

Talk about counting your chickens before they have hatched.
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Old July 18th, 2012, 01:43 PM   #6

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Quote:
Originally Posted by hisstoryin View Post
Where did you get this information?
There are several sources. e.g Angrick, A., Das Beispiel Charkow: Massenmord unter deutscher Besatzung; Kunz, N., Das Beispiel Charkow: Eine Stadtbevölkerung als Opfer der eutschen Hungerstrategie 1941/42; Hartmann, C., Verbrecherischer Krieg - verbrecherische Wehrmacht? Überlegungen zur Struktur des deutschen Ostheeres 1941-1944; Pohl, D., Schauplatz Ukraine. Der Massenmord an den Juden im Militärverwaltungsgebiet und im Reichskommisariat 1941-1943; Müller, RD, Das Scheitern der wirtschaftlichen Blitzkriegsstrategie; Hamburger Institut für Sozialforschung (Hrsg.), Verbrechen der Wehrmacht. Dimensionen des Vernichtungskrieges 1941-1944; you can find documents of the HGr B, HeWiFü, AOK 6, the LV.A.K, LI.A.K, of the 57. ID, 68. ID, PKp 637, PRB 314, WiKdo Charkow in Bundesarchiv-Militärarchiv Freiburg and Politisches Archiv des AA.
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Old July 18th, 2012, 03:58 PM   #7

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There are several sources. e.g Angrick, A., Das Beispiel Charkow: Massenmord unter deutscher Besatzung; Kunz, N., Das Beispiel Charkow: Eine Stadtbevölkerung als Opfer der eutschen Hungerstrategie 1941/42; Hartmann, C., Verbrecherischer Krieg - verbrecherische Wehrmacht? Überlegungen zur Struktur des deutschen Ostheeres 1941-1944; Pohl, D., Schauplatz Ukraine. Der Massenmord an den Juden im Militärverwaltungsgebiet und im Reichskommisariat 1941-1943; Müller, RD, Das Scheitern der wirtschaftlichen Blitzkriegsstrategie; Hamburger Institut für Sozialforschung (Hrsg.), Verbrechen der Wehrmacht. Dimensionen des Vernichtungskrieges 1941-1944; you can find documents of the HGr B, HeWiFü, AOK 6, the LV.A.K, LI.A.K, of the 57. ID, 68. ID, PKp 637, PRB 314, WiKdo Charkow in Bundesarchiv-Militärarchiv Freiburg and Politisches Archiv des AA.
Any english sources?
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Old July 18th, 2012, 10:17 PM   #8

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Any english sources?
sorry, not yet.
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