POW labor in the Soviet Union

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Systematic POW labor in the Soviet Union is associated primarily with the outcomes of World War II and covers the period of 1939-1956.

This form of forced labor was handled by the Chief Directorate for Prisoners of War and Internees Affairs (Главное управление по делам военнопленных и интернированных, ГУПВИ, transliterated as GUPVI) of the NKVD, established in 1939 (initially as the "Directorate for Prisoners' Affairs", управление по делам военнопленных) according to the NKVD Order no. 0308 "On the Organization of POW Camps" to handle Polish POWs after the Soviet Invasion of Poland. The first POW camps were formed in the European part of the USSR. It was noted[1] that Polish military could not have been formally classified as POW, since there was no war announced by either side, and with some exceptions Polish forces did not resist to Soviet invasion.

By the end of World War II, the Soviet Union amassed a huge number of German and Japanese POW and interned German civilians. In 1946, the POW and internees occupied 267 labor camps, 392 labor battalions and 178 "special hospitals" over the whole territory of the Soviet Union.

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  1. ^ POW in the USSR 1939-1956:Documents and Materials Moscow Logos Publishers (2000) (Военнопленные в СССР. 1939-1956: Документы и материалы] Науч.-исслед. ин-т проблем экон. истории ХХ века и др.; Под ред. М.М. Загорулько. - М.: Логос, 2000. - 1118 с.: ил.)