What happened to officers captured by the Soviets in WWII

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,293
#1
Were they killed, as the Polish officers were at Katyn? In the "Pianist", it says the German officer who discovered the pianist and brought him food died in Soviet POW camp in 1952. I knew someone who had a relative who was from a lower middle class German background and was made an officer because he went to a "special school". He did not survive POW camp, and his sister blamed it on his education.
 

Asherman

Forum Staff
May 2013
3,378
Albuquerque, NM
#2
Most apparently died in one way or another during Soviet captivity. At least some were held in Siberian concentration camps until long after the war ended. I'v saw some newspaper reports (?) many years ago that claimed a tiny fraction of Germans believed held as POWs had been repatriated to ... East Germany (?)

Since you've pricked my interest, I look forward to hearing more about the fate of those who had the misfortune to fall into Soviet hands.
 

Pendennis

Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
3,386
Kirkcaldy, Scotland
#3
Ah but if you read German Panzer leader Hans Von Luck's bio as I've done you discover that in his Soviet Pow camp they had a jazz band so conditions were not uniformly bad for Nazi officers Far from it. Von Paulus -vanquished at Stalingrad- in exchange for anti Nazi radio broadcasts did very well being well looked after.After 1945 he went back to Eastern Germany post 1945 and lived there comfortably until his death.
I can recall clearly aged 13 watching the 1955 British cinema newsreels featuring the returning Nazi Wehrmacht POWS to West Germany-several thousand of them.
There were on the railway platforms many more mothers with little placards with photographs of their missing sons fathers bros who had gone into the Red Army POW BAG as a result of ther criminal and unprovoked attack on June 22 1941 which cost 20 million largely innocent Soviet citizens their lives so back in 1955 with memories of when the Soviet people were our allies against Nazism just ten years before there was scant little pity among those of us in that cinema audience for these returning would be Nazi supermen.
Besides, they were really lucky. These German Nazi Army returnees in 1955. No Soviet Doctor subjected them to the inhuman freezing experiments that the Nazis subjected ordinary Soviet POWS to in Dachau under S.S. Doctor Rasch.
No Soviet POW Commanders forced ordinary German prisoners into the gas chambers as guinea pigs -as the Nazis did at Auschwitz to ordinary Red Army soldiers.
 

beorna

Ad Honoris
Jan 2010
17,473
-
#4
Ah but if you read German Panzer leader Hans Von Luck's bio as I've done you discover that in his Soviet Pow camp they had a jazz band so conditions were not uniformly bad for Nazi officers Far from it. Von Paulus -vanquished at Stalingrad- in exchange for anti Nazi radio broadcasts did very well being well looked after.After 1945 he went back to Eastern Germany post 1945 and lived there comfortably until his death.
I can recall clearly aged 13 watching the 1955 British cinema newsreels featuring the returning Nazi Wehrmacht POWS to West Germany-several thousand of them.
There were on the railway platforms many more mothers with little placards with photographs of their missing sons fathers bros who had gone into the Red Army POW BAG as a result of ther criminal and unprovoked attack on June 22 1941 which cost 20 million largely innocent Soviet citizens their lives so back in 1955 with memories of when the Soviet people were our allies against Nazism just ten years before there was scant little pity among those of us in that cinema audience for these returning would be Nazi supermen.
Besides, they were really lucky. These German Nazi Army returnees in 1955. No Soviet Doctor subjected them to the inhuman freezing experiments that the Nazis subjected ordinary Soviet POWS to in Dachau under S.S. Doctor Rasch.
No Soviet POW Commanders forced ordinary German prisoners into the gas chambers as guinea pigs -as the Nazis did at Auschwitz to ordinary Red Army soldiers.
Another disgusting posting by you. Jazz bands, live comfortable and then Nazi officers, criminal attack etc. They were Wehrmacht officers, not nazi officers. And yes the officers lived under better conditions than common soldiers, but not all officers, because the Soviets differentiated between officers and staff officers (major and higher). Yes, the camps had sometimes bands, there were sometimes football matches, there was sometimes cinema or theatre. All this had Auschwitz, too and nobody would call it a comfortable place. Some of the officers mentioned above changed the side and worked for the Soviets. They lived widely under good conditions, common officers not. They usually got not bigger rations of food than the common soldiers, some cigarettes more. 300 gramms of black bread, water soup, fish heads. They had to work. In an officers POW camp in the baltics, the officers had to orhanize wood for fire in winter even with temperatures below 20 degrees. Sibirian camps were worse. before they arrived in these camps, they had to march days and weeks, robbed, beaten by civilians, humiliated by the guards, some shot in place, the weak executed. More than 30% of all soldiers did not get home.
And in contrast to pendennis' steady claim, did the SU use German POWs as well for human experiments, see Mairanowski.
 

Nemowork

Ad Honorem
Jan 2011
8,446
South of the barcodes
#5
Most apparently died in one way or another during Soviet captivity. At least some were held in Siberian concentration camps until long after the war ended. I'v saw some newspaper reports (?) many years ago that claimed a tiny fraction of Germans believed held as POWs had been repatriated to ... East Germany (?)

Since you've pricked my interest, I look forward to hearing more about the fate of those who had the misfortune to fall into Soviet hands.
It depends when they were captured.

The Stalingrad troops had been starved to the point where their heart muscles were degenerating and men dropped dead of sudden heart attacks at the age of 19 and 20, then due to lack of food and transport for the Soviet troops never mind prisoners they ended up being marched into captivity in prison camps.

They had a 10% chance of survival.

On the other hand later war prisoners where the Soviets had established camps, routines for prisoner treatment and adequate supplies coming in either from the west or from reorganised food production including some of it by the prisoners themselves tended to do better.

It kind of depended where, how and by who they were taken prisoner, assuming they even were taken prisoner in the first place.

SS and NKVD troops tended to be killed on the spot unless they were part of a large surrender, Italian, Rumanian and Hungarian troops had better chances.
 

funakison

Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
5,381
Between a rock and a hard place
#6
According to soviet figures over 350,000 out of 2,000,000 German Pow`s died.

[ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_prisoners_of_war_in_the_Soviet_Union]German prisoners of war in the Soviet Union - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]
 

beorna

Ad Honoris
Jan 2010
17,473
-
#7
According to soviet figures over 350,000 out of 2,000,000 German Pow`s died.

German prisoners of war in the Soviet Union - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Yes according to soviet figures. Of the 110,000 POW in Stalingrad only 5000 came home. From the 115,000 POWs of the jassy-Kishinew operation already 55,000 died before they left Romania. Today still 80,000 are missed. Ca. 75000 of the 150,000 POW of bagration didn't come home. That's 260,000 dead POWs of only three battles. In total ca. 1.1 million Germans out of ca. 3.1 million soldiers.
 
Oct 2014
5,123
On the prowl.
#8
Another disgusting posting by you. Jazz bands, live comfortable and then Nazi officers, criminal attack etc. They were Wehrmacht officers, not nazi officers. And yes the officers lived under better conditions than common soldiers, but not all officers, because the Soviets differentiated between officers and staff officers (major and higher). Yes, the camps had sometimes bands, there were sometimes football matches, there was sometimes cinema or theatre. All this had Auschwitz, too and nobody would call it a comfortable place. Some of the officers mentioned above changed the side and worked for the Soviets. They lived widely under good conditions, common officers not. They usually got not bigger rations of food than the common soldiers, some cigarettes more. 300 gramms of black bread, water soup, fish heads. They had to work. In an officers POW camp in the baltics, the officers had to orhanize wood for fire in winter even with temperatures below 20 degrees. Sibirian camps were worse. before they arrived in these camps, they had to march days and weeks, robbed, beaten by civilians, humiliated by the guards, some shot in place, the weak executed. More than 30% of all soldiers did not get home.
And in contrast to pendennis' steady claim, did the SU use German POWs as well for human experiments, see Mairanowski.
Thank you for responding to that ridiculous post. I think that person has a problem. I will say that he made it sound so good to be a German POW in the USSR that I wanted to call a travel agent to try and book tickets at one of those camps for my next vacation!
 

beorna

Ad Honoris
Jan 2010
17,473
-
#9
Thank you for responding to that ridiculous post. I think that person has a problem. I will say that he made it sound so good to be a German POW in the USSR that I wanted to call a travel agent to try and book tickets at one of those camps for my next vacation!
Indeed, I wanted to suggest that, too :) German camps for Soviet POWs were inhuman, KZ were inhuman. But there is no need to declare Soviet POW camps as holiday resorts.
 

funakison

Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
5,381
Between a rock and a hard place
#10
Yes according to soviet figures. Of the 110,000 POW in Stalingrad only 5000 came home. From the 115,000 POWs of the jassy-Kishinew operation already 55,000 died before they left Romania. Today still 80,000 are missed. Ca. 75000 of the 150,000 POW of bagration didn't come home. That's 260,000 dead POWs of only three battles. In total ca. 1.1 million Germans out of ca. 3.1 million soldiers.
Point taken, to make matters worse i am not sure how reliable the MIA figures are either.