Talk:Forced labor of Germans in the Soviet Union

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With all due respect, I don't think a picture of the book really adds to the article, not least when there's a separate article on the book itself.Daniel Case 17:02, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

This is a kind of logo for a series of articles based on this book. It is pretty much expressive: Stalin's arm (recognizable by his famous smoking pipe) casually herding people. So far I typed five: Order 7161, Involuntary settlements in the Soviet Union, Not by Their Own Will, Population transfer in the Soviet Union, and this one. mikka (t) 17:53, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
OK, but wouldn't it be nice eventually to get a picture of some of these Germans, or involuntary settlers, or whatever? Daniel Case 00:34, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

Book title[edit]

(moved to Talk:Not by Their Own Will. mikka (t) 01:57, 23 December 2005 (UTC))

I do not understand why there is nothing about etnic Germans. 28 of August 1941 there was the first big deportation of the WWWII, deportation of Volga Germans and in the next winter everybody over fifteen with exception of woman who has children under three were 'mobilized' to the labor crews of GULAG NKWD. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Celasson (talkcontribs) 04:02, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Upper Silesia[edit]

Upper Silesia was in Poland, at least partially, and many interned miners had Polish citizenship. The majority of 25 000 miners haven't returned. The miners worked in Upper Silesia and the SU obtained (almost free) coal. The SU preferred to make the workers starve. They were replaced by unqualified prisoners or soldiers. Xx236 11:48, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Forced Labor of Germans in the West[edit]

Russia was not the only nation using Germans as forced labor!

The U.S. “Morgenthau Plan” for the occupation of Germany contained provisions for “forced German labour outside Germany”.


  • John Dietrich, The Morgenthau Plan: Soviet Influence on American Postwar Policy (2002) ISBN 1-892941-90-2ISBN 0-7432-4454-0

Page 120 In the Yalta Conference of February 1945 President Roosevelt sanctioned the use of slave labour. They were actually brought up by the President.

Yalta protocol: “2. Reparations in kind is to be extracted from Germany in three following forms:…(c) Use of German labour.”

Page 121 The issue was dropped by Truman at the Potsdam conference, as he apparently did not want to put his signature on a document authorizing the use of slave labour.

Page 122 However, the policy had been set, and like many policies of the Roosevelt administration, the Truman administration followed through with it.

Page 125 Brittish Field Marshal Montgomery wrote a memo to General Zhukov on November 30, 1945 stating, “Ex Wehrmacht personnel were not described as prisoners of war because we did not wish to apply the Geneva Convention to them”. In the U.S. Eisenhower changed his POW into “Disarmed Enemy Forces”.

The British Government required 225,000 Germans as reparations labour for the United Kingdom. U.S. forces were using over 500,000 prisoners in Military Labor Service Units.

Page 127 France requested 1,700,000 prisoners of war to be used as “enforced labourers”. In July 1945 SHAEF agreed to provide 1,300,000 prisoners for labour in France. The figures of Germans that were delivered to the French range from 440,000 to 800,000. Patton wrote in his diary, “ I am also opposed to sending PW’s to work as slaves in foreign lands (in particular to France) where many will be starved to death.

Page 134 On March 13, 1947 our government announced that an agreement had been reached with the French under which approximately 450,000 prisoners, including those captured by French forces, would be released at the rate of 20,000 per month.

If going to the library and borrowing this or any other book touching on the subject does not appeal, there are always reliable sources on the internet…

In 1947 President Truman sent former President Hoover on a fact finding mission in Germany, primarily to determine the state of the German food situation. Hoover felt it necessary to branch out from this directive in his situation reports. Here he mentions the number of prisoners in “work camps” in different countries.

3,000,000 in Russia, 750,000 in France, 400,000 in Britain and 10,000 in Belgium.

Herbert Hoover's press release of The President's Economic Mission to Germany and Austria, Report No. 1: German Agriculture and Food Requirements, February 28, 1947

And the British national archives have courteously made available the transcripts of Churchill’s War cabinet meetings.

In the meeting on May 18th 1945, the U.K. Prime Minister Winston Churchill discusses the amount of German labour they will request for use in the British agriculture.

In the meeting on June 11th 1945 they discuss the provisions made for Slave Labour in the Yalta protocol, and how many slaves the Russians should get.

  • Ch. a) Only reparations worth havg = G. export markets.

Directive takes a/c of that, but shd. state it specifically. b) Also wd. like to omit last sentence in para 15. If we count against R. claim the labour they take, we cd. get the total figure up to $20 billion. $16.000 m. value cd. be assigned for 4 m. slave labour.

  • P.M.

At Yalta R. made it clear tht. their claim was exclusive of labour.

Stor stark7 22:35, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Order 7467[edit]

To incorporate:

  • № 7467. 3 февраля.

Постановление. [О мерах очищения тыла действующих фронтов от террористов и диверсантов.] Д.369, л.2-5 ("About Measures for Cleansing of Rears of the Acting Fronts from Terrorists and Diversants". )

в докладной записке МВД на имя Сталина и Берии, «в соответствии с постановлениями ГКО от 16 декабря 1944 года № 7161сс и от 29 декабря 1944 года № 7252сс, все трудоспособные немцы в возрасте — мужчины от 17 до 45 лет и женщины от 18 до 30 лет, находившиеся на освобожденной Советской Армией территории Румынии, Венгрии и Югославии, были мобилизованы и интернированы с направлением в СССР <...> По постановлению ГКО от 3 февраля 1945 года № 7467сс, в целях пресечения террористических выступлений и диверсионной деятельности немцев, оставленных немецким командованием в тылу продвигающихся частей Советской Армии, дополнительно были интернированы все годные к физическому труду и способные носить оружие немцы — мужчины, находившиеся в тылу 1-го и 2-го Белорусских и 1-го Украинского фронтов (Верхняя Силезия и Восточная Пруссия) — с направлением их на работы на предприятия Наркоматов, нуждающихся в рабочей силе и имеющих возможность обеспечить прием, размещение и трудовое использование этого контингента. Организационно мобилизованные находились в ведении НКВД и были объединены в рабочие батальоны по 1 000 человек под руководством 12 кадровых армейских офицеров каждый». «Отечественные записки» 2003, №3, Модест Колеров, Военнопленные в системе принудительного труда в СССР (1945–1950)

Военнопленные в СССР. 1939-1956: Документы и материалы `'mikka 02:46, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Forced labor of Russians[edit]

Is there a parallel article about Forced labor of Russians in Nazi Germany? --Ghirla-трёп- 13:07, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

  • Ostarbeiter. I see you've found it yeself. I don't think Russians were specifically separated. `'Míkka 15:33, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

Do we have any good definition of "Forced labor"?[edit]

I came to think of this when I saw the article Ostarbeiter mentioned above. It links to Unfree labor.

As far as I know there are two main categories of labor in this context, the pure "slave labor" that for example jewish concentration camp inmates were forced to perform, where the only thing they got for it was (insufficient) food.

Then we have various shades of forced labor, the key difference between Slave and Forced labor being that as a forced laborer you are somehow paid, even if you cant refuse to work.

As far as I understand it the foreign (civilian) laborers in Nazi Germany were paid for their work, although not as much as the Germans themselves. They were even free to return home on holidays. In that sense they were not forced laborers, since they had come voluntarily after being convinced by posters such as the one in the article (correct me if I'm wrong).

Then we have the captured soldiers, such as Polish and Soviet. Millions of Soviet soldiers died in the camps, but I do not know if any of the soldiers instead lucky enough to be used for labor received even symbolic compensation for their work. Although soldiers working in German farms cant have had it too bad:

To sum it up, I have the nagging feeling that there is some confusion about who was a slave-, foreign-, forced-, unfree-, etc laborer.--Stor stark7 Talk 22:34, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

Germans ?[edit]

Many forced workers come from the border area, the Soviets didn't check their ethnicity.Xx236 (talk) 07:13, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Xx236 is partly on to something. The English translation of the Russian book on the topic is partly viewable on google books, and I spotted that in relation to the civilian Germans doing forced labor in the SU there was a diferentiation between Germans and Poles in the tables of those civilians released by the SU in 1946. Should hopefully be expanded upon by someone with access to the full book.--Stor stark7 Speak 12:37, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

In Upper Silesia there existed whole spectrum from German nationalists through Upper Silesians to Polish nationalists. Only now such problems are openly discussed. The data you quote probably inform about the state, where the person wanted to return - Poland or Germany.Xx236 (talk) 06:56, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Stalin and Potsdam[edit]

I've reverted this edit by User:Mosedschurte, what he claims the source contains is not what it actually contains. page 22 does mention 4 million, but nothing about a rejection of Stalins demands at Potsdam. This is the only relevant from page 22.

"Stalin's demand for four million Germans to be used as forced labor to repair the destruction by their armies, his demand for preparations, even for the killing of fifty thousand offices, were no more than he required of any other country under Soviet control, including his own."

What we do have, which is far more relevant is at page 121. "In accordance with the Yalta agreement, the Russians were using slave labor of millions of Germans and other prisoners of war and civilians"--Stor stark7 Speak 01:07, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

The title an euphemism[edit]

The article's title is "Forced labor of Germans in the Soviet Union". Well, instead the title would be called "Slavery of Germans in the Soviet Union". Why to use the euphemism "Forced labor" instead of "Slavery"?Agre22 (talk) 01:04, 23 August 2009 (UTC)agre22

POV text in the POW section[edit]

In the Section on Prisoners of War an editor has added a long paragraph on the high mortality rate of Soviet prisoner in Germany and a comparison of death rates. I think it has no place in this article about "Forced labor of Germans in the Soviet Union".

No referenced information information has been provided as to how this new paragraph is directly relevant to this article, e.g. for example that the Soviet chose to use German POWs as forced labor because the Germans had done so, or that the high mortality rate of Germans was due to the high mortality rate of Soviet prisoners earlier.

Also, if you make the argument that it is indirectly relevant, then you must also start including information about other equally indirectly relevant items, for example the French use of German prisoners after the war, and the Russian use of German prisoners after World War I.

I dont like this apparent tendency by some to equate German and Allied crimes by comparing them all over articles. I think it is called relativism.

Also, if we include this paragraph on Soviets in Germany in an article on Germans in the Soviet union, them we must also include a section on the up to 1 million German POW (not to mention civilians) killed in the SU into the article on "Forced labor in Germany during World War II", and I am surprised that the author of the paragraph has not been consistent and chosen to do so. --Stor stark7 Speak 07:00, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

@Stor stark7: World War I? Why not include Julius Caesar's or Napoleon's campaigns as well? The comparison here was between the survival rate of POWs between two opposing forces in the SAME war. Cheers! Meishern (talk) 05:27, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
I am a bit confused. Seems like something got removed but the paragraph that followed was left intact. "By comparison, between 374,000 and 1 million German prisoners of war died". Comparison to what? Cheers! Meishern (talk) 05:19, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
The Scientists subsection needs to be expanded or merged. Cant dedicate a whole section to 1 sentence of 15 words. Cheers! Meishern (talk) 05:22, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Of 5 million foreign laborers in the Reich,only 200,000 came by choice. Cf. William Shirer,the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Aaron Carine (talkcontribs) 14:37, 12 February 2011 (UTC)


I added the official German Red Cross figures today. As for the Soviet figures I will add them soon. I have ordered the Pavel Polian book Against their Will and expect to recieve it in the mail soon. Google books has only a partial snippets of Polian. Stay tuned---Woogie10w (talk) 14:36, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

From Upper Silesia[edit]

People were deported to the SU from Upper Silesia, from both German and Polish (1937) parts. They were German, Polish and Uppersilesians. It's not exactly Forced labor of Germans but the Soviets probably regarded the other workers as Germans. pl:Deportacje z terenów Śląska do Związku Radzieckiego w 1945 rokuXx236 (talk) 11:37, 5 October 2016 (UTC)

Manfred von Ardenne was one of several[edit]

The nuclear research has been ignored.Xx236 (talk) 07:51, 6 October 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^ Perry Biddiscombe "Dangerous Liaisons: The Anti-Fraternization Movement in the U.S. Occupation Zones of Germany and Austria, 1945-1948", Journal of Social History 34.3 (2001) 611-647
  2. ^ Perry Biddiscombe "Dangerous Liaisons: The Anti-Fraternization Movement in the U.S. Occupation Zones of Germany and Austria, 1945-1948", Journal of Social History 34.3 (2001) 611-647