Fire in the Storehouse

This is the story about the death, suffering, feats and martyrdom. The story about the Soviet Union human losses in the Second World War.

We will start with the things simple and harmless. With a mathematical paradox which is called "a small difference of large values".

1,000-999 = 1.

Any objections? No objections. Now we'll slightly, by just one percent, increase the first number.

And the second number we will decrese just a tiny bit, just by one percent. What happened?

1,010-989 = 21. .....

This is exactly what is called the "effect of a small difference of large values". Just a dab here, just a dab there but a difference increased twenty one times! Incidentally, this paradox is not at all an abstract mind game. Any designer knows that it needs to be accounted for when posting sizes on a drafting, i.e., a 5 mm-wide gap at a distance of 670 mm from the end of the part must be measured individually and specifically, otherwise in posting two sizes (670 mm and 675 mm) anything may appear except for 5 mm needed for the assembly...

What's the drift of all this? It's still the same thing, 27 million. Which were 20 million before. Where are these numbers from? Why did Stalin say 7, Khrushchev, 20 and Gorbachev, 27 million perished?

You maybe are thinking that the state, in the persons of its specially trained clerks went to all houses, villages, towns, cities and mega-polices, checked, counted and recounted all filing cabinets of all "passport desks"1 (it is interesting if this word combination may be translated into any European language), and then, SUMMING UP the data for each village came up with the total SUM of the losses for all the country. Quite frankly, that was exactly how I was thinking. Even I, after so many years spent reading the compositions of the domestic "historians", did not expect such shamelessness and such hockey-pockey which were discovered in actuality.

It turns out that nobody summed up anything. It turns out that sacral number which was in all textbooks, in all newspapers, which sounded in all meetings and solemn gatherings ("20 million of perished") and which in 1990 suddenly, without the explanation of reasons took off and grew by 7 million was arrived at not through the summing up but through the DEDUCTION. The deduction of the two huge and absolupely arbitrary numbers. In a total compliance with "a small difference of large values".

And now I will shut up and you carefully read THIS: "The estimate of the USSR population number as of 22 June, 1941 was derived by way of moving to this date of the results of the previous census (of 17 January, 1939) with the correction of births and deaths numbers for 2.5 years expired between the census and the attack of the Fascist Germany. The USSR population number at the end of 1945 was calculated by way of moving back the age data of the All-Union census of 1959... This number was derived as a result of broad statistical studies by the scientists-demographers and the subsequent work (in the end of 1980's) by the state commission on the fine-tuning of the Soviet Union's human losses in the Great Patriotic war".

That is it, "as a result broad statistical studies" the central issue of the USSR military history was solved simply and easily. "The USSR population number at the end of 1945 was calculated by way of moving back the age data of the All-Union census of 1959". Is there a need to prove that in this way it is possible to get any number of the losses given in advance? What kind of accuracy can it be in the case of the movement of the census data 13 years back? 13 years, and what years they were!

Who, which scientists-demographers can know how to "move back" the census data if these 13 years were absolutely unique? Where and when in the civilized human history did a similar slaughter take place? Sure, at the time of the medieval brutality even greater murders happened (it is believed that in the Thirty Years' War each third perished in Europe, and each second in Czechia) but then nobody conducted the demographical statistics with the accuracy and detail accepted in the XXth century. How, on what statistical basis was it possible to compute the quantitative effect on the demographic parameters (birth rate, mortality, population increase) of such phenomena as mass mortality of marriable age males (at that, the number of these deaths in not known, it is exactly what needs to be determined by way of arithmetical games of "moving"!), of the mass involvement of the child-bearing age women in the back-breaking physical work, of the mass child homelessness, unusually high number of incomplete families ("fatherlessness"), giant, unseen from the times of the "Great Migration of Peoples" population movement?...

In my view, the absolutely incontestable conclusion from the said is that the USSR human losses in the Second World War are known to nobody. It is quite possible that the normal study, i.e., based on addition, not subtraction of the "average from-the-wall values" was conducted immediately after the war but its results are strictly secret up to this day.

I did not take from the wall this suggestion (of the existence of a real, relatively reliable demographic statistics). In the series "Documents of the Soviet history" was published a collection ("Everyday Soviet Life and the Mass consciousness, 1939—1945", Moscow, ROSSPEN, 2003) wherein, with the reference to an earlier top secret report of 1959 "People's economy of the USSR in the Great Patriotic War", was published broad demographic statistics of 1943—1945. It included almost everything: marriages, divorces, births, mortality, infant mortality, men/women ratio by the age groups... The rural population, urban population in the territories occupied and unoccupied by the enemy... There was some accounting. There was. Those who survived were counted. Strictly speaking it could not be otherwise in a country where the people simply could not exist without the "propiska" (residence permit) or registration with the village council ("selsovet"): the foodstuff coupons, kindergarten, school, job, burial — not even one of these activities could be conducted without the stamp of the residence. The problem was that all published demographic data were in percentages. Or in such terms as "per one thousand born", "per one thousand marriages"... But those who calculated the percentages and coefficients could not but know the absolute numbers!

In the absence of a reliable information the society was offered to believe in the beginning the number of 20, then 27 million. These numbers are derived in a floutingly-nonsensical way by subtraction of two large values obtained as a result of the totally arbitrary manipulations with the 1937 and 1959 all-union census data. Such methodology enabled the derivation of ANY number in the range between 10 and million. Actually, the only sensible question in this situation sounds like this: "Why did Khrushchev want for the war victims' number to be 20 million and it was needed to Gorbachev to increase this number to 27 million?" This chapter is an attempt to find an answer to this question. I am not going to intrigue you and will tell you right away that both these numbers are OVERBLOWN. The number of the war victims is fewer than 20 million and even more so, fewer that the "Gorbachev's 27".

In the most general sense the people loss comprises two parts: loss of the armed force personnel and victims among the civilians. Relatively orderly is only the first part, the Red Army losses. That is where we will start. We'll start with a traditional school problem "about the pool": it flows in through one pipe; it flows out through the second pipe... We'll try to isolate ourselves from the ocean of the human suffering which hides behind the following numbers and will deal with a pure arithmetic.

By June, 1941 4,901,852 people served in the Red Army, airforce, in the navy and in the military formations of civilian ministries (here and thereafter, unless stated otherwise, all numbers are from the statistical collection "The secrecy label is removed" put together in 1993 by the collective of military historians from the Russian army General Headquarters, the editor Colonel General F.Krivosheyev). Within the framework of the hidden mobilization ("great training drill") by 22 June, 1941 767,750 more people entered the forces. During the four war years 28,807,150 people were mobilized. Total: 34,476,750 people. This is the total "manpower resource" used in the armed forces. These numbers are quite accurate and reliable as they are based on the activities of the military commissariats and other services located in the rear, which conducted the rigid accounting.

As of 1 July, 1945 (i.e., about 50 days after the end of combat activities in Europe) the headcount of armed forces and military formations of other ministries was 11,793.8 thous. people. 1,046 thous. of military personnel were treated in the hospitals. I do not see grounds to doubt sufficient accuracy and reliability of these numbers. During 50 days of peace the commanders at all levels could count their subordinates and put together the corresponding reports to the higher headquarters. Those wounded who were doomed to die have already died (military-medical statistics indicate that the life or death issue of the wounded in absolute majority of cases was solved within a few days after the trauma). At the accuracy level at which the other numbers will be stated it is possible to believe that out of 1,046 thous. wounded alive as of 1 July, 1945 nobody died. As for the combat activities against Japan begun 9 August, 1945, the irretrievable Red Army losses in this operation were 12 thous. people. This number is less than one tenth of one percent of the losses in the war with Germany and its allies, so from now on we will be disregarding the "Japanese war" losses.

34,476.8 - 11,793.8 - 1,046 = 21,637.

For the entire war the USSR armed forces decreased by 21,637 thous. people. The decrease and loss are two different words with different meanings in the military vernacular. Over the war years the armed forces decreased by 8,007.1 thous. live people. Namely:

— 3,614.6 thous. transferred for the work in the industry and to military formations of the civilian ministries;

— 3,798.2 thous. decommissioned because of wounds or sickness;

— 594.3 thous. convicted but not shot and not sent to penal detachments.

The last category requires an explanation. It includes two possible situations. A first one: the person was not guilty of any infraction but was sent from the arm to GULAG because of a "wrong ethnicity/nationality" (the German, Finn, Rumanian, Kalmyk, Chechen), wrong birthplace (born in the "former Poland"), unclear social origin (the sun of a repressed person). Out of harm's way weapons were taken away from such people and they were sent felling forest or in Vorkuta to heck the coal "for the front, for the victory". Another option: the person perpetrated something especially dangerous in the view of the "special department". For instance "voiced terroristic intents against the leader of the peoples... slanderously stated that peasants in the areas liberated from the German occupants are against the restoration of kolkhozes... in 1928 voted for the anti-party Trotskyite resolution..." (I hope you understand, these are not wicked jokes but exact quotations from SMERSh2 documents). The identified "enemies of the people" were not shot on the spot and were not sent to penal battalions "to redeem their guilt with blood" but were arrested and handed from the army to the NKVD for the investigation and subsequent conviction. The sentence may have been shooting but this death was not counted against the armed forces losses (which is, strictly speaking, justified as the perished was not a war victim).

I believe these three numbers are sufficiently accurate. The event that occurred outside the combat action zone, was rigidly recorded and monitored. At that, it was monitored from at least two sides: the army delivered - the military industry's undertaking or NKVD organs accepted. The wounded were demobilized on the decision of the commission; the decision was entered in the protocol, upon returning home the invalid presented the documents to the military commissariat for getting his allowance. Errors and imprecision were possible but relatively they are rater small.

There is one more category of military servicemen, who departed from the field force but were without any doubt alive as of 1 July, 1945. Those were prisoners of war who survived to the end of the war. Nobody knows their exact or even approximate numbers but there is one quite reliable quantity: the number of prisoners of war who went through "filtration points" and were accounted for in the documents of the Directorate of the repatriation matter. I repeat again, there were many more live ones, far from all former prisoners of war wanted to turn out at the threshold of the "filtration point", some tried to remain in the west, and some tried to forge their documents and to return home avoiding the encounter with the NKVD organs. But those recorded and personally accounted for were 1,836 thous. people.

21,637-8,007-1,836= 11,794.

11,794 thous. military servicemen perished or left the USSR expanses forever and unknown. This is the result, a sufficiently reliable and accurate result of the solution of the problem "about the pool". It means that the total irretrievable demographic loss of the military servicemen in the USSR armed forces even in theory cannot be greater than 11,794 thous. people. Any excess is no more than unsubstantiated hand-wringing on the theme "piled-up with cadavers". The names of the present-day hand-wringers are well known to the experts and there is no need to encumber the memories of the other people with garbage. Try to remember the main thing: nobody had yet cancelled the matter preservation law and any delirium about "25..., 37..., 43... million perished soldiers" may be safely thrown into the dustbin. Farther down appear numbers ever less reliable as it will be a matter of the events which occurred under fire, directly on the front line and sometimes beyond it in the enemy-controlled territory.

— 5.23 million military servicemen of the Red Army, navy, airforce, border and internal forces of the NKVD killed or died in the course of the sanitary evacuation. That is exactly the number derived by a group of historians under the leadership of Krivosheyev by way of summing up the forces reports. Of course, it does not include all cases of a Soviet soldiers killed in combat (mainly due to the chaos and panic in the first months of the war when entire groupings vanished together with their headquarters and all headquarter documentation);

— 1.10 million people died of wounds in hospitals (it may sound savage but the terrible number of a million dead people is a testimony to the highest qualification and self-sacrificing accomplishment of their human and warrior's duty by all workers of the Soviet military medicine, a rank-and-file hygiene instructor to the chief surgeon; out of 22 million cases of wounds 21 million ended up in saving the wounded; taking into account the absence of the simplest, by the present day standards, medications and monstrous case load of all medical institutions these numbers look like a real miracle);

— 0.40 million died of illnesses, perished as a result of an accident or emergency (noncombat losses).

For a comparison, the noncombat losses in the Wehrmacht over the 6 years of the war were 200 thous. people.

— 0.16 million executed under the sentences of the military tribunals or decision of the higher commanders;

— 0.22 million perished in combat fighting on the side of the enemy. It is not worth even discussing the accuracy of this figure. Nevertheless, in the Krivosheyev's book (pg. 392) this number of losses by the "volunteer formations" in the Wehrmacht and SS manned by the former Soviet citizens is included.

Everything is very shaky with the estimation of this ategory: on the one hand, prisoners of war and deserters were major but far from the only source of personnel for the "volunteer formations", on the other hand, this figure, 0.22 million, does not include the losses of those sidekicks of the occupants from the former military servicemen of the Red Army who fought the Soviet partisans as part of the "police battalions" and other penal units and detachments.

The total is 7.11 million killed and died whose death does not cause doubts. Most doubtful and fuzzy is the statistics associated with the captivity and desertion as the very nature of these shameful phenomena excepts a possibility of a precise personal recording.

The Krivosheyev's data indicate that the total of unaccounted for and "unrecorded losses in the first months of the war" was 4,559 thous. people. But at that the total "credit-debit" of the armed forces' personnel does not match by a huge number, 2,186 thous. people (see pg. 140—141). The collection's authors themselves explain the discrepancy, in particular, by a "large number of unfound deserters". In order for the arithmetic (not the military-historical but simply arithmetic) balance to agree, it is necessary to admit that the total number of all unaccounted for (captives, deserters, killed not recorded in the headquarters' reports, the wounded abandoned in the enemy-occupied territory) is 6,745 thous. people (4,559 + 2,186). This is a huge number. As you see, it is greater than the number of the killed and those who died in hospitals. Such was the price of a catastrophic crush in the first months of the war...

In the estimation of the German historians, the total number of the Soviet prisoners of war was at least 5.2 million people. I am repeating again, these are the most cautious numbers (some authors raise the numbers to 5.7 — 5.8 million). One may consider as relatively accurate only the number of the released from captivity: 319 thous. were released in the summer-fall of 1941 (Ukrainians, Baltic people, ethnic Germans); 504 thous. more were released prior to 1 May, 1944 (mostly due to the enlistment in the Wehrmacht's and SS "volunteer formations"). For those for whom it is a surprise I can indicate the page number (Krivosheyev, pg. 334).

The number of the perished prisoners of war during many decades was a matter of political speculations. In the beginning the Sovinformburo communiqus stated unrealistically low numbers of the unaccounted for Red Army men, then, at the Nuremberg process, 3.9 million of the destroyed prisoners of war was stated; the Krivosheyev collection underestimates the total number of the captured and states a surprisingly low number of 1.3— 1.7 million perished in the German captivity; the German military statistics says about 0.67 million of perished after February, 1942 but this ignores the most terrible and most mass dying of the Soviet prisoners of war in the fall and wither of 41th. The present-day German historians, analyzing the Wehrmacht's and SD documents, come up with the estimate of 2.2 — 2.6 million including about 1.5—2.0 million who perished in the first military winter. Not pretending to be especially accurate I propose to count it this way: subtract the number of those captives released by the enemy and having returned to the Motherland from the total number of the captured. Total: 5.2 — 1.84 — 0.82 = 2.54 million.

Summing up the above number of the killed and perished for wounds (7.11 million) with the suggested number of those who perished in the German captivity (2.54 million), we are getting some number of 9.65 million. This is a number of the military servicemen who, most likely, did not live to the end of the war. Comparing this number with the maximum possible number of the irretrievable demographic loss of military servicemen by the armed forces of the USSR (11.79 million) (this number was derived by way of solving the "problem about the pool"), we discover the arithmetic discrepancy of 2.14 million. Two million people about whose fate nothing definite is known. And most likely will never be known. Without philosophizing, I suggest just to half this number: one half to attribute to the category of killed in combat but not recorded in the headquarters' reports, and another half to consider as "not found deserters" and captives who left for the West or hid their past under the fake names and remained in the USSR territory.

Now we just have to present all the numerical abundance as a table:

Killed in battle and died of wounds in hospital

7.40 million

Perished in captivity

2.54 million

Non-combat losses (emergencies, ilnesses, accidents)

0.40 million

Executed by shooting or perished fighting for the enemy

0.38 million

Total perished military service personnel

10.72 million

Assumed alive (fled to the West, deserted)

1.07 million

Additional confirmation of reliability of the quoted calculations may be the accounting of condolence letters ("funeralkas") received by the military commissariats during the entire war. 12,401 thous. such letters accumulated. No wonder that the number turned out greater by 600 thous. than the total of all loss categories in the table. The letters were coming on the killed as well as on those who, according to headquarters documents were unaccounted for. Which means that about 13.6 million letters were issued. There were unavoidable duplications (when on request from the relatives due to their forced moves several letters about the same persons were sent to different military commissariats). So there may have been even more "funeralkas". In other words, the summary numbers in the table are not at all undercounted. Maybe even somewhat overblown.

Most likely, esteemed reader, the derived results surprised you by its "smallness". And I very well understand you: during the recent 20 years our domestic publicists conducted a desperate "run of the coffins" deafening themselves by hysteric shrieks - "piled up the cadavers... one rifle per two... twenty our soldiers for one killed German..." Nobody agreed to accept fewer than 20—25 million perished — and this is only from the military servicemen. But we will not scare ourselves by yelling. The ill-fated "one rifle per three", even if it has some relation with the real events, occurred as a result of a criminal disorganization in the summer-fall of 1941. And even then such situations happened not due to the objective shortage of the weapons as the available infantry weapons were sufficient to arm according to the full norms of the military time about 450—750 divisions... In 1944—1945 the Red Army piled up on the enemy not cadavers but artillery projectiles. The Soviet military science not without reason was proud that at the final stage of the war the Red Army implemented into practice such term as the "artillery offensive". The average norm was 150—200 guns per 1 km of the offensive front and 50 thousand shells, 122-mm and greater, for the suppression of defenses of a single Wehrmacht's infantry division (which means three projectiles, at least 22 kg each, per one German soldier). And this is just the average. In the largest end-of-the-war offensive operations much greater densities have been created. For instance, in breaking through the German defenses in the course of the Vistula-Oder operation (January, 1945) in the corridor of the main strike were created fantastic artillery densities of 420 guns per 1 km of the front. Within each meter of the German force defenses exploded 15 shells of medium and large caliber. Within the 5th Shock army offensive corridor 23 kilotons of ammunition was expended in one hour - this is greater than the Hiroshima atom bomb.

For the completeness of the picture of the final war stages it is necessary to take into account multiple Red Army advantage in tanks and absolute numerical advantage in the air. Since the fall of 1944 it was rare that a German flier appeared in the skies over the Eastern front, and a German bomber, practically never (the remnants of the German aviation, on the last gulps of the aviation gasoline, tried to prevent the destruction of the German industry and transportation network by continuous massive raids of the American "Flying Fortresses" B-17). The fact that at such overwhelming fire advantage the losses of the Red Army personnel were a few times (not tens of times but a few times) of the enemy losses is not surprising. This is, I beg your pardon for my cynicism, "normal". The losses of the advancing party must have been higher than the losses of the defending party, especially if the defending party manifests the highest discipline, stamina and courage.

Here I have to divert from the subject of the discussion for a minute as I know from my personal experience that the phrase about the stamina and courage of the German soldiers causes in some readers the immediate loss of hearing and vision. In March of 2008 I had a privilege to speak in front of the most decent gathering of the St. Petersburg's intelligentsia. And even in that selected company after the words of the stamina and courage I was immediately asked literally the following: "You said that the Wehrmacht's soldiers fought for the just cause..." I did not say and did not write such a thing. I have no idea what for a specific Hans or Fritz was fighting. Maybe for the Fuehrer and Great Germany, maybe in the dreams about the estate with farm laborers in the conquered Russia, maybe for his best friend Kurt who was killed a week ago... I do not know and it is not my business. I am not a poet, not a writer, not a philosopher. As a historian, my duty is to state the fact: the Germans fought with the greatest tenacity, not giving away without a fight even a single shred of our land; they would be fighting several months in a total encirclement; at the slightest opportunity they would carry a skillfully organized counter-offensive. In order to break the resistance of such enemy and throw him 3,000 km from the Volga to Elba the Red Army soldiers had to exercise no smaller stamina and courage. And to bear substantial losses.

Several specific examples.

Practically the only sample of a successful strategic offensive operation of the Red Army in the initial war period was the counteroffensive at Moscow. During a month (5 December trough 7 January) the irretrievable losses (killed and unaccounted for) were 139.6 thous. people. The German lost in the battle of Moscow 77.82 thous. killed and unaccounted for, but this was for the entire length of the operation, 3 October through 10 January, i.e., taking into account the losses during two months of unsuccessful attempts to reach to the Kremlin walls. With accuracy acceptable for this case we can assume the German losses in December of 41st at one third of the total irretrievable losses. Under this assumption the ratio between the losses of the parties would be 5.35 to 1. The losses of the advancing Red Army were five times greater than the losses of the Wehrmacht. But this was December of 1941. This was an offensive only on enthusiasm, waist-deep in the snow, in the ferocious frost, almost without the artillery. As G.K.Zhukov (at that time the Western front commander) writes in his memoirs, "we had to set the norm for the ammunition usage, 1—2 rounds a day per gun. And this, mind you, on the offensive!"

Now let us take the statistics for the second half of 1943. That was a period of the Red Army's large-scale offensive operations (the Battle of Kursk, liberation of Smolensk and Donbas, crossing the Dnieper, liberation of the left-bank Ukraine and Kiev). Total (killed, unaccounted for, wounded) Red Army losses were 4,809.3 thous. people. Total Wehrmacht's and SS forces losses for the same period were 1,413.2 thous. people. The total losses ratio is 3.4 to 1.

It makes sense to review individually the third quarter of 1943 (July, August, and September). This was a period when the Battle of Kursk occurred, one of the largest battles of the Second World War. The total loss of the Red Army was 2,748 thous. people including irretrievable losses (killed and unaccounted for) of 694 thous.

The Wehrmacht's and SS forces losses: total, 709 thous. people, including irretrievable 231 thousand. The total losses ratio is 3.8 to 1.

The second half of 1944. The Red Army practically continuously advances on the entire front. This period includes three grandiose strategic offensive operations: the "Bagration" (the crush of the German army group "Center" in Belorussia), the Lvov-Sandomir and the Yassy-Kishinev. The absolute losses by the Red Army (compared with the second half of 1943) are noticeably lower: 3,258.8 thous. total and 690.2 thous. irretrievable. The Germans lost 1,300.3 thous. people, including 650.4 thousand irretrievably. For the first time a huge fraction of the enemy losses are unaccounted for (463.3 thous.). The total loss ratio is 2.5 to 1. When estimating the ratio of irretrievable losses, a problem occurs to determine the number of killed Germans in the total of the "unaccounted for". Here we are forced to enter the guessing area. Taking into account that there was in the Wehrmacht no mass capturing comparable with the situation in 1941, we can very-very tentatively assume that half of the "unaccounted for" German soldiers were killed. Under such assumption the ratio of the killed declines, it is now 1.7 to 1.

Directly in the operation "Bagration" (and this is the largest, both in terms of the number of the Soviet forces and the achieved success, strategic offensive operation) Red Army losses were: total, 765.8 thous. including the irretrievable 178.5 thous. people. The enemy losses: 26.4 thous. killed, 263.1 thous. unaccounted for, 109.7 thous. wounded. The total loss ratio: 1.9 to 1.

The ratio of the killed (under the same assumption about the number of perished) is 1.13 to 1.

Certainly, the accuracy of each of the included numbers can be contested. There are not even two sources in which the losses (by the periods or operations) did not differ by 10—15%. However, these provisos do not significantly change the total picture which is clear and obvious: the loss ratio was continuously changing in favor (if at all possible to find something "favorable" in the death of millions) of the Red Army. And although it is customary in the irresponsible journalism of the last decades to stigmatize the "bungling and bloody Stalin Generals", it must be admitted that the loss ratio achieved in the operation "Bagration" can be considered exemplary (although, of course, the best paragon for the imitation is not this monstrous bloodshed but the piece and accord achieved in Europe over the last half century).

On the whole, between 22 June, 1941 and 31 December, 1944 the Wehrmacht and SS forces irretrievably (including the unaccounted and captives) lost on the Eastern front 2.62 million people. In particular, the army group "Center", whose officers in November, 1941 were looking through the binoculars on the Moscow streets, irretrievably lost 844 thous. people (including 401 thous. killed and 443 thous. unaccounted for). For comparison, between 1 September, 1939 and 31 December, 1944 the Wehrmacht and SS forces losses on all fronts were 3,360 thous. killed and unaccounted for (of those, about 2,850 thous. people by the beginning of the 1950's were considered killed). In other words, the losses on the East front accounted for 78% (over three quarters) of the total German losses, which is a very eloquent answer to the question which army "broke the spine of the Fascist brute".

It is hard to tell with what, with which numbers of the Red Army losses it makes sense to compare the number of Germany's land force irretrievable losses. Would it be right to compare them with the total irretrievable losses of the Red Army most of which are those perished in captivity, perished by the bullet of the Soviet soldiers or the NKVD shooting execution team? In the most general form it may be stated that the Red Army losses were three-four times of the enemy losses. It would hardly make sense to fine-tune this number. Three to four times. These proportions realistically enough reflect what was going on in the fields of the grandiose battle.

I am forced to state at the conclusion of this subject that the Krivosheyev's collective still managed to pour a handsome ladle of pitch into the results of their unique and highly professional labor. It is possible that somebody made to Krivosheyev "the offer which was impossible to refuse". I don't know. But in page 390, after a detailed and quite correct (i.e., on the whole corresponding with the results of the fundamental studies of the German historians) analysis of the structure and amount of the German losses all of a sudden, as deus ex machina, appears the following phrase: "Analysis of some archive materials and publications in the Soviet and foreign press shows that..." After that Germany's irretrievable losses only on the East front grow to an incredible number of 6,923.7 thous. people! And this is only a beginning.

Then added to them are equally overwhelming losses of Germany's allies to a total of 1,725.8 thous. people. Hungary alone, it appears, "managed" to lose on the East front 864 thous. people! About nine times that of Italy and exactly ten times of Finland (see pg. 392), although the Finns exposed against the USSR 16 divisions, which in the summer of 41th and summer of 44th conducted multi-month bloody engagements that could not be even remotely compared with the "feat" of the Hungarian force at Stalingrad. But even that appeared to be too little, and in the general amount of the "irretrievable losses of the enemy" appear the Japanese, Chinese and Koreans in rather modest (for them) amounts of 723.8 thous. people. As a result of all these manipulations they were able to come up with the ratio of the Red Army and enemy losses as 1.3 to 1.

The answer to the puzzle was quite simple. The war ended for Germany in the total and unconditional capitulation. After this any German military serviceman (such as the guard at the ammunition storage in Germany who did not make a single shot during the entire war) could have been on formally legal basis be considered a prisoner of war. This legal equivocation opens wide opportunities for the numerical manipulations (it should not be forgotten that both in the USSR and Germany for each two soldiers of the active army there were "one and a half persons" in various rear and auxiliary services). The aforementioned numbers were arrived at exactly by summing up the real Wehrmacht's combat losses with a colossal number of the "May prisoners of war". The same trick was performed with respect to Hungary. But Finland did not capitulate, the 2nd Soviet-Finnish war ended up in signing of the Armistice agreement (19 September, 1944), and that is exactly why in pg. 392 the real Finnish army losses turned out 10 times smaller than the speculative number of the Hungarian "losses". And the appearance in the calculation of 640 thous. Japanese and Chinese captured in Manchuria (mostly already after Japan capitulated) cannot be called anything else but the "humor noire"...


27-11 = 16

Any objections? I believe there are. And it is not coincidental that the number 20 (later 27) million Soviet people perished in the war years is known (or at least they heard) to everybody, the armed forces losses (9—10—11 million) are known to any reader of the military-historical and publicist literature — but practically never and nowhere the obvious and incontestable arithmetical difference between the number 27 and number 11 is mentioned. And this is easy to understand — even those who ordered the number 27 million did not have enough guts to suggest openly and loudly that the German annihilated 16 million civilians. This is too much — even for the late-Soviet as well as for the current, "imperial", propagandists. That is why the arithmetical difference between the imperially set number of 27 million and the number of irretrievable losses of the Red Army exists as the Kantian "thing-in-itself". It is not talked about aloud — even when, it would appear, it is impossible not to notice.

For instance, in 2001 the same very collective of the military historians headed by the Colonel General F.Krivosheyev published a new, corrected and amended variant of their statistical collection ("Russia and USSR in wars of the XXth century. Losses of the armed forces. A statistical study", Moscow, Olma-Press). The compilers left the number of the irrevocable military personnel loss the same, i.e., 8.7 million people. Correspondingly, to get to 27 they needed to "add" 18.3 million. Through desperate efforts (about these, later) they managed to crawl to 13.7 million. After that follows this phrase: "The number of civilians who perished in the war years as a result of the German-Fascist occupation accounts for more than half of all Soviet Union human losses (compare 13.7 million people and 26.6 million people)". The collection authors prudently do not call for a comparison of the stated number of 13.7 with the arithmetically necessary number 18.3 and discuss a huge "shortage" of 4.6 million...

Certainly, even the civilian population loss of 13.7 million people is terrible. Fortunately, it is significantly overblown. 13.7 million were collected as follows. After the uncontestable and not causing any objections statement of the tragic fact ("the barbarian annihilation of civilians was conducted in all USSR republics subjected to the enemy invasion") immediately follows the final conclusion: "The total of intentionally annihilated civilians in the occupied territory was over 7.4 million people". The reference to the source No 526. What is 526? It is the encyclopedic reference book "Great Patriotic war. 1941 — 1945" published in 1985. I am not even mentioning the fact that in a fundamental monograph of 2001 the very reference to the encyclopedic reference book published in the years of the total censorship looks quite strange. About the same as a reference to the Jules Verne novel in a modern monograph on the submarine design. Another thing is important: in 1985 the number of 20 million perished was considered the truth about the war. How can these numbers tie-up with the "new truth" about 27 million? They indeed do not tie-up. Because of that the collection compilers without a blink of an eye add to the number of victims of the Hitler's terror the excess of the actual population mortality in the occupied territories over average peace-time values obtained from some "sociological studies". As a result they get 4.1 million more. Who and how determined this "excess" if even the population numbers under the occupation are known with the accuracy of "plus or minus 5 million"? And if there are, it appears, the specific statistics of violent and nonviolent deaths in the occupied territory, then what for all this game with "movement" of the population census results by 13 years? To these questions there is a brief and convincing response: "According to the

available data".

Additional 2.16 million of the perished the collection compilers discovered among the so-called "Ost-Arbeiters", the Soviet citizens taken for a compulsory job in Germany. The technique of arriving at this number is traditional: subtraction instead of addition. The number of those "Ost-Arbeiters" who returned to the Soviet Union is known. The documents of the Repatriation Directorate give the number of 2,654 thous. people. The huge scatter exists in the estimate of the number of those taken for the compulsory job. Under the German data it is no more than 2.8—3.0 million people (and this number includes both civilians and prisoners of war transferred under the auspices of the German industrialists). The Extraordinary State Commission for the establishment and investigation of the atrocities of the German-Fascist invaders (thereafter, ChGK) states that the occupants took for the compulsory job 4.3 million people. The compilers of the collection provide the "accurate number" of 5,269,513 people. Further down, the number of the perished is derived by way of the subtraction.

The compilers of the collection did not pay attention to the fact that the ratio they presented of the perished prisoners of war (1.78 million) and of the perished "Ostarbeiters" (2.16 million) is against the common sense. Certainly, the labor and living conditions of the forced laborers were very hard. Especially if compared with the idea of "labor" for a present-day office clerk. For instance, I read recently in one of the Moscow newspapers a story which described in the most dramatic tone two Ukrainian girls forcefully taken to Germany. They got on a farm where the owner assigned them to take care of a herd of 40 cows. In the head of the Moscow journalist it is a forced labor camp. Alas, a man with a full belly thinks no one is hungry. 40 cows in the household of a good German "kulak" is at least 400 liters of milk per day. The milk river with the shores of oat thin jelly. Even if this "kulak" was a soulless evil brute for whom the poor girls torn from their home were just a variety of domestic animals, his private-property viscera would have prompted him that the domestic animals needed to be fed. A Soviet prisoner of war dying of starvation, shot in the summer of 1941 for an attempt to crawl to the puddle and drink the rain water and beaten even without a pretext could not even have dreamt of such a "forced labor camp"...

The compilers of the "new Krivosheyev" support amazing numbers associated with the number and the fate of the "Ostarbeiters" by the reference No 537. This is an article in the magazine "Sociological studies" No 12, 1991. The collection's compilers accompany this reference with a very notable comment: "Beside those perished in the forced labor in Germany, included in the number of the total civilian losses are 451.1 thous. of so-called "asylees" from the Ostarbeiters who, with the active participation of the English, USA and French military authorities were recruited as a cheap work force in the countries of the Western Europe, Latin America, USA and Australia".

Here it is, the brutal scowl of capitalism: lured simple-minded kolkhozniks and used them as a "cheap work force". The number of the deceived was computed by the "sociologists" with enviable accuracy, give or take 100 people. Surely they traveled over the entire Australia, Canada and the USA. It is a pity they did not report with the same accuracy the size of the wages of these "cheap laborers"...

Returning to the "new Krivosheyev", the last and the major thing must be noted: the collection's compilers referred only once to the most important, official and definitive source of information about the victims among the USSR civilian population. In the very beginning of the article about the human losses appears the reference to the ChGK documents. Of course, this source was involved not at all in order to find there albeit minimally reliable loss numbers. The ChGK repute was used to confirm the time-worn and, I believed, long ago thrown into the garbage dump fake, the notorious "Check-list of the German soldier". My age mates should still remember this text: "... Eliminate in yourself any pity and compassion, kill any Russian, do not hesitate if in front of you is an old man or woman, girl or boy. Kill; that will save you of the death and provide the future of your family and will glorify you forever..."

Of course, nobody has ever issued or seen such a "check-list". In front of us is quite "normal", standard specimen of the military propaganda of the military time. Its objective does not change from one century to the next: to represent the enemy soldier as a devil incarnate. A normal combat work: the team of the fire throwing tank -130 burns the enemy with the fire-

mixture , the military propagandist "burns the hearts of the people"3 with a fiery word. To speak the truth here is the same treason of the Motherland as a deliberate substitution of a shampoo for fire-mixture. At war is as at war. But what is this fake doing in a solid military-historical study of 2001?

Of course, the year 2001 is in the past. Taking into account the speed of changes happening in Russia, far in the past. We take from the shelf a book of the first-rate freshness. Published in 2007 . .Dyukov, "What for the Soviet people fought", Moscow, Yauza-EKSMO. The book is new, the author is quite young. The publisher's abstract maintains: "In front of us is a book-reminder based on the documents of the Extraordinary State Commission for the establishment and investigation of the atrocities of the German-Fascist invaders, materials of the Nuremberg process, numerous eyewitness testimonies on the both sides. The first book in many decades, it should be read be everybody!" And here is the view of the author himself about his composition: "The book you are holding in your hands is a first domestic work which is in a relatively integrated manner reviewing the major aspects of Nazis' extermination policies in the occupied Soviet territory".

A few pages down the road A.Dyukov frankly shares his creative method with the reader. He retells a sad episode from .Simonov's memoires: in the city of Chernovtsi (Northern Bukovina) liberated from the Germans a miraculously survived Jew, yelling and weeping at the same time, told Simonov about the horror of eradication the Jewish population of the city; the poor thing could not stop "and continued to shout all the same that he yelled at me, at some other people who were crowded before that near our car...". Having retold this, Dyukov makes the following conclusion: "This is how — to yell and weep — we have to behave telling about the Nazi genocide of the Soviet people".

I am ready to agree but with one, essential and inalienable clarification: the yelling and weeping are appropriate in any text (a novel, a story, a poem, a movie script, even a philosophic essay) except the science-historical text. Where the reader is strung-up by the "yelling and weeping", the historical science ends. And propaganda begins. And a shrill propaganda, at that camouflaging as "the integrated reviewing of the major aspects", is especially harmful. Which is immediately demonstrated by the A.Dyukov book. The book has 500 pages of the author's text plus 76 pages of attachments. But everything related to the central and quite specific issue of the history of the exterminatory (without any quotation marks) Nazis' policies in the occupied Soviet territory takes less than half a page. Here is this "everything" in toto:

"To this day it is not known how many peaceful civilians were killed in the occupied territories. The Soviet historians talked about 10 million (772), the present-day Russian researchers indicate the number 13.5—14 million of civilians, to which should be added 2.5 million eradicated prisoners of war (the latter number is clearly underestimated) (773). There is, however, another, even more terrifying estimate. According to these calculations before the war in the provinces subjected to the occupation resided in total 88 million people, and by the time of the liberation only 55 million people remained there (774). Even if we introduce the correction for the evacuation of some population, for the draft in the Red Army, for those who were lucky enough to return subsequently from the Nazi camps, the number of the civilian losses will exceed 20 million".

Strange that with all his respect of Comrade Stalin (each chapter in his book A.Dyukov embellished with an epigraph borrowed from the leader of the peoples' speeches) the author forgot to quote the known Stalin's words that "as a result of the German invasion the Soviet Union irretrievably lost in combat with the Germans and due to the German occupation and hijacking of the Soviet people to the German hard labor about seven million people". Seven million together with the losses in the armed forces, not "in excess of 20 million civilian losses". We'll keep in mind that A.Dyukov does not trust even his idol in everything and will carefully look at the sources he used.

The reference source 772 is the text-book "History of the CPSU" published in 1970. 773 is the very same "new Krivosheyev" I mentioned earlier. But the most interesting is 774. The source of the "horrifying estimate" of the population numbers in the occupied territories before and after the war turned out to be Signore J. Boffa ("History of the Soviet Union", translated from Italian, Moscow, Progress, 1980). Where from could an Italian obtain in 1980 the information which we did not allow the Soviet historians to see? And of course, what kind of "Signore" is he? It is more accurate to say "Comrade Giuseppe". The Moscow correspondent of the "Unita" newspaper. The unique numbers he could get in the only place, at the next instruction session of the organization which supported the Italian Communist party all these years.

Let us go back, however, from the "horrifying estimates" of Comrade Giuseppe to Comrade Dyukov. If the first priority question ("how many civilians were killed in the occupied territories") takes half a page then what is filling up the entire book? From the first sight it is filled up with what was promised, yelling and weeping. At that, the "reminder-book" sometimes degenerates into a short course for the beginning sadists: "on the outskirts of a village near Bialystok five women cadavers were impaled with five sharpened stakes. The cadavers were naked, with ripped bellies, cut breasts and heads. The women's heads lay around in a puddle of blood together with the corpses of the killed children..." And sometimes into some exercise in humor noire. How about such a passage, for instance: 

"... They held long daggers in their teeth, rolled up the sleeves of their tunics and held their weapons on the ready. Their appearance was abominable. Like mad, loudly hooting, with frothy mouths, with goggled eyes, they rushed in the streets of Lvov..."; "Loudly hooting, with frothy mouths and long (therefore, heavy!) daggers in their teeth..."

The very first days of the war, in A.Dyukov's description, look so:

"...The soldiers spread in Baranovichi as locust. They broke into houses - to feast with the loot. Where the doors were open they killed for an oblique glance; where the houses were locked from inside, they killed everybody. An evil fate awaited the first Soviet prisoners of war who got into the German hands. In the Pioneer Street the Wehrmacht's soldiers tied-up four captured Red Army men to the poles, put the hay under their feet, poured fuel on them and burnt them alive (12)".

Number 12 is the reference to pg. 169 of a book by .Shneyer "Captivity". It is possible that an imperfection in printing occurred there and the other page was shown in Dyukov's manuscript but the copy of the "Captivity" which is sitting on my shelf with author's presentation inscription does not have the indicated words in page 169. But it is not this trifle that is important. The other thing is important. By a strange coincidence, the following may be read in pg. 169:

Usually gathering points held tens to hundreds and even a few thousand people. The guards at these points were just 2 to 10 soldiers. This paucity was because according to the NKVD spy reports "decadent mood occurs among the prisoners of war, and the prisoners of war, having plentiful opportunity to escape, do not leave the camps... in the Krivopolye village they are guarded by a team of just six. There are many prisoners of war in Uman. They are guarded so that they could easily leave ".

How is it possible to believe that several hundred (or even thousand) of young males held by a couple of guards and "having plentiful opportunity to escape" were sitting and patiently waiting for the moment when they would be burnt alive or impaled on the stake? For all that the terrifying case with burning of four captives in Baranovichi could have actually happened. I totally accept it for a simple reason that in the 3 million-strong invasion army unavoidably, statistically unavoidably must be a few thousand psychically unbalanced sadists who, under the strongest stress of war, completely "lost the roof". However, Comrade Dyukov "by tears and shrieks" tries to push his readers into the loony state, and all for a purpose of presenting these cases, very rare in the environment of Wehrmacht's triumphant advance in the first weeks of war, as the NORM. General rule. A rule at that ostensibly ordered by the German Command.

Dyukov's book starts with "live pictures" of this kind:

"...Erich Von Manstein was thinking about all beautiful German land; fondness squeezed his throat. His duty to the motherland demanded him to leave it. General and his soldiers would have to go fighting in the wild eastern land populated with numerous hordes of Untermenschen (. Dyukov is repeating, almost on every page, with maniacal stubbornness, as if in the name of the German soldiers and generals who are speaking about the Russians, this word: "Untermenschen", "Untermenschen", "Untermenschen"...). General Von Manstein remembered his beautiful motherland. At that very time the Command order of the mandatory elimination of all political workers, Jews and the Soviet intelligentsia was read in the divisions of his 56th tank corps (emphasis added. — M.S.)".

I do not know what Manstein was thinking in the evening of 21 June, 1941 and what was it that "squeezed his throat". I am not involved in communications with spirits. On the other hand, the well known Manstein's memoir ("Lost victories") is available for reading to anybody willing.

"... Several days before the offensive we received the OKW4 order, which later was known as "the order of Commissars". Its substance was that it prescribed immediate shooting execution of all captured Red Army political commissars — carriers of the Bolshevik ideology. From the point of view of the international legality the political commissars hardly could use the privileges covering military servicemen. Of course they were no soldiers. I would not view as a soldier a Gauleiter assigned to me as a political turnkey... But no matter our view regarding the commissars' status from the position of the international legality, their shooting after the capturing contradicted any idea of the soldier's moral.

The implementation of this order threatened not only the honor of the forces but also their morale. For this reason I was forced to report to by boss that this order would not be implemented in my forces. I was doing it with the consent of the unit commanders and it was done so in my corps. Incidentally, my bosses were in complete agreement with my view (emphasis added. — M.S.). The attempts to cancel this order succeeded only much later (the order was canceled in March of 1942. — M.S) when it became clear that the only result of "the order of Commissars" was that the commissars used most cruel methods to force the units to fight to the bitter end..."

Of course, one may not believe to what Manstein is writing.

But then it is completely incomprehensible - why do we have to believe Dyukov's phantasma? In any case, the notorious "order of Commissars" prescribed to shoot not at all the "Soviet intelligentsia" and not even the Communists as such, but exclusively and only the captured Red Army political workers, i.e., armed men who, by the force of a party word and TT pistol had to prevent even the smallest thought about captivity among the rank-and-file Red Army men. At that, 8 June of 1941 (i.e., before the beginning of combat operations on the East front) the Land Forces Commander Brauhich issued the Amendment to "the order of Commissars" under which "the prerequisite for taking measures with respect to each political commissar is openly manifested or intended actions directed against the German armed forces".

And as long as you started reading the Manstein's memoirs, it makes sense to turn two more pages:

"... During the very first day we had to familiarize with those methods used to conduct war from the Soviet side. One of our intelligence patrol isolated by the enemy was found by our forces; it was slaughtered in the most brutal way. My adjutant and I went quite a lot in the areas where the enemy units may have still been remaining so we decided that we would not surrender alive to this enemy..."

From Manstein the flight of the creative fantasy takes Dyukov to the disposition of the 2nd Tank Group of the Wehrmacht:

"...In front of company files of the sapper regiment the commander read Fuehrer's and Oberkommando der Wehrmacht order. It was difficult to read under the rapidly thickening dusk, and the Hauptman was lighting the paper with a flashlight; the uneven light gave his face a fuzzily-ominous expression...

The soldiers knew: at the same time the same words were being pronounced all along the Eastern front. Fuehrer's order was being read in the adjacent infantry divisions, in the tank units prepared to strike...

... Private Otto Tyschler was looking onto the east bank of the Bug. All over a huge front from the Baltic to the Black sea millions of the German soldiers were looking east. There, beyond the border markers spread a rich generous fruitful land. By the whim of history this beautiful land was populated with dumb and dirty Russians cross mixed with endless Asian savages... these degenerate Slavs... Judeo-Bolshevik Untermenschen... Slavic-Asian hordes..."

Now we will carefully close Dyukov's book, drop it into a garbage basket, clean the hands, rinse the throat and nose, air the room. After that we will try to find out about these orders which have been read (or have never been read) to the soldiers of the Wehrmacht as a whole and to the soldiers of the Guderian's Tank Group in particular. The words "find out" (as opposed to "yell and weep") presume certain mental effort, so I apologize, the esteemed reader, the quotations will be long and heavy.

Each soldier had to be appraised of the requirements of the "Directive on the forces behavior in Russia" (approved by the Obercommando der Wehrmacht 19 May, 1941; the text is held in the State Military Archive of Germany, accounting number -, RW4/v. 524). Here is this document, from the first to the last word:

"Das Obercommando der Wehrmacht. Directive on the force behavior in Russia.

1. Bolshevism is the mortal enemy of the National-Socialist German people. Germany conducts the fight against its harmful Weltanschauung and its carriers.

2. This fight demands unceremonious and energetic reaction against the Bolshevik instigators, partisans, saboteurs, Jews and total elimination of any active and passive resistance.

3. Especial caution and the most acute vigilance should be exercised with regards to all Red Army servicemen — and also to the captives — as it is necessary to take into consideration the cunning methods of the struggle. The Red Army Asian soldiers are especially impenetrable, unpredictable, cunning and insensible.

4. When a military detachment is captured its leadership must be immediately separated from the subordinates.

5. A German soldier does not encounter a homogenous population in the Soviet Union. The USSR is a state formation which unifies numerous Slavic, Caucasus and Asian peoples held together by the violence of the Bolshevik rulers. The Jewry is very common in the USSR.

6. Substantial portion of the Russian population, especially the rural population impoverished due to the effect of the Bolshevik system, shows internal antagonism to Bolshevism. In the non-Bolshevik Russians the ethnic self-consciousness associated with a deep religious feeling will most often find joy and thankfulness for the liberation from Bolshevism in religious forms. Do not stop or hinder in any way benedictory prayers or processions.

7. Greatest caution must be exercised in conversations with the population and in the behavior with women. Many Russians understand German but cannot speak. The enemy intelligence will be particularly active in the occupied [by the Wehrmacht] territory in order to obtain important data about the military equipment and measures. Thus, any want of judgment, underestimation of the enemy and gullibility may have very serious consequences.

8. Material valuables of all kind and military trophy, especially the food and fodder products, fuel and attire effects should be preserved and protected. Any misappropriation or loss is harmful for the forces. The robbery is punished by the heaviest sentences under the military laws.

9. Exercise particular caution in using the seized food products! The water may be used only boiled (typhus, cholera). Any touch of the population is fraught with medical danger. Protection of own health is the duty of the soldier.

10. The Reichsbanknotes and coins as well as the German change of 1 and 2 pfennigs as well as 1, 2, 5 and 10 Reichspfennigs are mandatory for the acceptance. It is forbidden to pay with the other German money".

Where are the "Untermenschen", "degenerate Slavs", "dirty Russians"? The "Bolshevism" is clearly determined as deadly enemy, "its harmful Weltanschauung and its carriers". The subject of the fight is determined not as the "Russian Untermenschen" (there are no such words in the text) but the "Bolshevist instigators, partisans, saboteurs". Well, is there an army in the world which would not demand from the soldiers the "unceremonious and energetic reaction against the instigators, partisans, saboteurs"? The only ethnic group unambiguously listed as the enemies are the Jews. With regards to the others it is prescribed to exercise "greatest caution", literally "not to touch" the local residents, respect religious customs of the population. "The heaviest sentences" are promised for the robberies. I do not know about you but I believe that if the Russian army was strictly sticking in Chechnya to a similar "directive for the forces behavior" (of course with the substitution of the word "terrorism" for "bolshevism"), there would be tens of times less blood spilled there...

It makes sense to quote one more document. Although it does not have direct bearing on the events in the beginning of the war, the document is interesting in that it demonstrates the evolution of the Wehrmacht Command views of the interaction methods with the population of the occupied USSR areas. It is a matter of the instruction booklet "Ten commandments of the German soldier" distributed in the forces in 1943 by the Command of the army group "South". Each "commandment" was accompanied by a brief explanation but I omit all comments due to the lack of space:

1. Always uphold your standing among the local population.

2. Be fair.

3. Encourage the Russian if he is working well.

4. Do not beat the Russians.

5. Avoid any utterances with regards to the Russians, which would make them understand that the Germans are the superior race as opposed to them.

6. Respect Russian women and girls exactly as you respect the German ones.

7. Refuse arbitrary confiscations and illegal requisitions of the food stuff and property.

8. When speaking with the Russians, always distinguish between the Russians and the Bolsheviks.

9. Be restrained when speaking with Russians about the religion.

10. When communicating with the Russians, display composure and self-esteem: this will advance you better than bark and abuse.

It is obvious that there always is some gap between the orders and their practical implementation. And although the discipline is justifiably considered a typical German national feature, it would be reckless to make conclusions about the behavior of the Wehrmacht's soldiers only based on the "directives" and "testaments". We are lucky to have survived to the times when both the stories of simple people who outlived the German occupation and earlier secret reports of the military commanders may be published. In the absence of time and space we'll limit ourselves by two testimonies. They refer to the events of the first war weeks and are especially remarkable in that they were written by the enemies — in the most primordial sense of the word "enemy". They were fighting almost opposite to one another: the 9th army corps (Army group "Center") was advancing in the corridor from Bialystok to Minsk, and the remains of the crushed 3rd army of the Western front were trying to break through the encirclement in the direction to Minsk — Mogilev.

In the end of June, 1941 the 9 artillery corps commander General Gayer reported to the higher Command:

"...Most soldiers treat the population good-naturedly although the need to take away the foods and horses and other reasons may promote some acts of cruelty.

The population's attitude ranges between a surprising indifference and usually timid gullibility. Due to large destruction there are many refugees moving together with their things but no robberies of the houses were noticed. In the territory that earlier belonged to Poland (i.e., in the so-called "Western Belorussia".― M.S.) the German soldiers were enthusiastically welcomed as liberators. But in the former Russian territory it happens that they throw the flowers and welcome in a friendly way. The population trust is exemplified first of all in that the dug-in foods and other property are dug out when we come as the German soldier will certainly not take it away.

There were no sabotage acts by the population noticed in the corps' corridor. On the contrary, when the scared population dares at all to speak anything, much unhappiness is expressed with the kolkhoz regime and all Bolshevik bossing. On the whole, the corps command estimates the danger of a partisan war with the participation of the population as small. The people in the areas we went through in their way of life and speaking do not impress as those who can stick to some idea ".

And here is an excerpt from the report submitted 1 August, 1941, to the Red Army Main Political Directorate by the member of the 3rd Army Military Council, 2nd rank Army Commissar N.I.Biryukov after getting out of the encirclement:

"...From the first days of the war and to the engagements at the Dnieper the Germans tried to conduct in the villages policies which would not embitter the peasants against Germans. That is why the first period, if it can be called that, was typical in that the Germans did not perpetrate robberies and violence in the villages. During this period the Germans would say to the peasants that "they are also for the Socialism but without the Communists and kikes". During this period the Germans took from the peasants only eggs, milk, sometimes also the chicken but not the livestock. Did not get into peasants' chests and did not rob peasants..."

As we see, the German General is describing the attitudes of the German army to the population even more critically ("the need to take away the foods and horses and other reasons may promote some acts of cruelty"), whereas the Soviet commissar maintains that in the first weeks of the war the Wehrmacht soldiers took from the peasants only what could have been eaten and drunk in action (a mug of milk, a raw egg...). Against this reality Dyukov's delirious visions ("Where the doors were open they killed for an oblique glance; where the houses were locked from inside, they killed everybody") look absolutely wild.

Now we will turn to the sadly-famous order of 13 May, 1941 "On the application of the military jurisdiction (sometimes it is translated as "on the special order of jurisdiction") in the "Barbarossa" area". Under .Dyukov version it was this exact order that a nameless Hauptman was reading to the Guderian soldiers, and "the uneven light gave his face a fuzzily-ominous expression". Poor job, Comrade Dyukov. A slipshod job. "That is not how they worked under Comrade Stalin..." He should have placed the unknown Hauptman with a flashlight in some other area of the Eastern front. Because at the mention of the 2nd Tank Group the following fragment from Guderian's memoires immediately comes to memory:

"...Shorty before the beginning of the war in the East an order from the Armed Forces Supreme Command concerning the treatment of the civilian population and prisoners of war came directly to the corps and divisions. This order cancelled a mandatory application of the military-criminal laws to the military servicemen guilty of robberies, murders and rape of the civilian population and prisoners of war, and transferred the application of punishment to the discretion of the direct commanders (here and thereafter, emphasis added. — M.S.). Such order could only promote the disintegration of the discipline. Apparently it caused the same feeling in the Supreme Commander of the land forces as Field-Marshal Von Brauhich attached the instruction to the order which allowed not to apply this order in a case there is a danger of the discipline subversion.

In my view and in the unanimous view of my corps commanders, the order in advance created such danger, so I prohibited its distribution into the divisions and ordered to send it back to Berlin. This order was never applied in my Tank Group... Looking back into the past I only can regret with the heartache that both these orders (he means also the "order of Commissars". — M.S.) were not stopped by the Supreme Command of the land forces. Then many brave and irreproachable soldiers would not have to experience the greatest shame which fell on the Germans..."

Beaten Hitler's General is lying and trying to whitewash his past? Maybe. And maybe no. In any case, the Brauhich's "disciplinary order" where he emphasized that "the main task of the forces is fight with the armed enemy" and actually passed the issue of the application "of the special order of jurisdiction" to the discretion of the army and corps commander, indeed existed. Moreover, already in the end of July, 1941 the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht ordered the destruction of all copies "of the special order of jurisdiction" in all service echelons.

The order "of the special order of jurisdiction" certainly promoted the decomposition of the discipline. And without any doubt it was criminal in the part which prescribed reprisals on the civilian population ("When the circumstances do not allow for a speedy determination of individual culprits, collective reprisals will be conducted against the settlements, from which the Wehrmacht was insiduously and traitorilly attacked, on the orders of the officer in the position not below the battalion commander").

And the fact that the Wehrmacht not at all was the only army in the world which reacted by "collective punishment" to the assaults by the unknown people does not change this estimate at all: a criminal order contrary to all norms and concept of the legality. But even this (soon canceled and in a number of groupings never implemented) criminal order did not release the Wehrmacht's soldiers of the responsibility for arbitrary punishment of the civilian population and not at all called for robberies and rapes:

"...The judge determines whether, in case of calling the military serviceman to account, a disciplinary punishment is sufficient or judicial interference is needed. The judge is dealing with proceeding for the actions against the local population in the military-judicial order only in the cases when maintaining the discipline of the force protection is needed. It is a matter, for instance, of a serious misbehavior based on sexual depravity, is result of the criminal leaning or an indication that the forces are in danger of running wild. Subject to punishment are the crimes which, to the detriment of the own forces, senselessly destroy the housing, food supplies or other captured property..."

Almost at the same time with "the special order of jurisdiction" 7 June, 1941 the stats-secretary of the Germany's Ministry of the food supplies and agriculture Bakke signed the Directions for workers of the civil administration in the east. It is a voluminous document but even some fragments give a clear picture of the plans for the forced colonization and exploitation of Russia. Colonization and exploitation. No less but also no more:

"...Do not talk, act. You will never be able to out-talk a Russian and persuade him by the words. He can talk better than you as he is a born dialectic and inherited a "penchant for philosophizing"... You must be the people of business; you set up and conduct necessary measures without any debates, long fruitless talks and philosophizing. Then the Russian will willingly submit to you.

...Keep distance from the Russians, they are not Germans, they are Slavs. Do not make parties with the Russians. Do not enter in any liaisons with women and girls in the outfits subordinate to you. Take care to maintain the standing of a German. Raise it by your quiet businesslike orders, firm decisions, ridiculing the debaters and ignorant.

...The Russian youth were brought up in the spirit of Communism for two decades. They do not know any other upbringing. It would not make sense to punish them for the past. We do not desire to convert the Russians to the ways of the National Socialism; we just want to make them a tool in our hands. You must conquer the youth by showing them their tasks, energetically take them and mercilessly punish if they sabotage or do not fulfill their tasks..."

"And what about the "General plan "Ost""? Indeed, how could we get by without it...? Not a single article and not a single book could get by without a reference to this cannibalistic plan of physical eradication of the Russian people. And so the compilers of the "new Krivosheyev" in 2001 are writing about the "General plan "Ost" — a monstrous program document of Hitler's genocide ".

The General plan "Ost" (East) never existed as a directive document. Moreover, — it did not exist at all in any finished form. Under this name is usually listed one of the documents (the only one found and presented at the Nuremberg process) for the development of a plan of the POST-WAR!!! arrangement of a huge East-European territory in the interests of the Third Reich. We are talking about the "Notes and proposals for the General plan "Ost" signed 27 April, 1942 by some E.Wetzel, the head of the Colonization Department at the 1st Main Political Directorate of the "Eastern Ministry". I cannot quote this document in its totality for two reasons. First, it is very long and very boring in its form. Second, the extensive dissertations of the comparative "racial-biological value" of different East-European peoples are not only disgusting but also directly chargeable under the articles of the FR Penal Code. That is why I will restrict myself to a few fragments of the specific proposals by the compiler of the "Notes and proposals". So:

"... Currently it is already possible to set more or less definitively as the eastern border of the colonization (in its northern and middle portions) the line running from the Lake Ladoga to the Valday Highlands and farther to Bryansk. It can be understood from the plan that it is not a matter of the program for immediate implementation but, on the contrary, the population of this space by the Germans should occur within about 30 years after the end of the war (here and thereafter, emphasis added. — M.S.). Under the plan 14 million local residents should remain in this territory. However it is more than doubtful that they will lose their ethnic traits and become Germanized during the allotted 30 years as, again under the plan under consideration, the number of the German settlers is very insignificant...

Besides, as it appears to me, the plan does not take into account that the local population of a non-Germanic origin will rapidly procreate over the period of 30 years... Taking all these into account we have to proceed based on the assumption that the number of residents of a non-Germanic origin in these territories will significantly exceed 51 million people. It will be 60—65 million people. Therefore, a conclusion suggests itself that the number of people who will either remain in the said territories or will have to be evicted will be much higher than the plan envisions... It is necessary to briefly review the issue of the attitude toward the Russians as almost nothing is said about in the General plan".

First of all, the subdivision of the territory populated by the Russians needs to be envisioned into different political districts with their own administrative organs in order to provide for the independent national evolution...A feeling should be implanted in a Russian from the Gorky General Commissariat that he is different in something from a Russian of the Tula General Commissariat. No doubt, such administrative fragmentation of the Russian territory and a deliberate individualization of different areas will be one of the means to fight the strengthening of the Russian people... In these areas we must conscientiously conduct the policy of shrinking the population. Using the propaganda means, especially through the press, radio, cinematograph, leaflets, brief brochures, presentations, etc., we must continuously inculcate the population with the thought that it is harmful to have many children. We should demonstrate how costly the children's upbringing is and what could be purchased for this money... In parallel, the broadest propaganda of birth control means must be unfolded. Large production of these means should be started. In no case wide distribution of these means and abortions should be restricted. We should by any means promote the broadening of the network of the abortion clinics...

Together with the conduct of these measures in the health care area no obstacles for the divorces should be erected. No help to the out-of-wedlock children should be rendered. No privileges for the multiple children families should be allowed, no material help in the form of salary mark-ups... It is important for us, the Germans, to weaken the Russian people to such an extent that it is no longer is in a position to hinder us to set up the German domination in Europe. This goal may be achieved through the aforementioned means..."

Yes, this is a COLONIZATION program. Forced colonization. No Bavarian beer with Hanover franks for the aborigines in this program. It also DOES NOT include gas chambers, mass shooting executions and crematoria.

The propaganda of abortions and dispensing condoms for the purpose of shrinking the Russian population in the interests of the German colonists, as well as the fracturing of the single Russian people into the populations of pseudo-independent "Bantustans" is totally exposing selfish plans of the colonizers. Could it be called "the monstrous program document of the genocide"? A disputable question. Although if many people, religious persons and political parties consider abortion to be a version of murder then why not to call the "plan Ost" a genocide program? I am not interested in the legal justifications of using in this case the term "genocide". It appears much more important to me to emphasize the following completely indisputable fact: the memorandum of a second-rate bureaucrat written in April of 1942 has and could have no relation whatsoever with the events of 1941.

And if the huts burned in the occupied territory and the blood ran in torrents, it was not at all because a clerk from the "Eastern Ministry" wrote proposals of the "broadest propaganda of birth control means" for a period of 30 years "after the end of the war".

This is all very strange. From the first sight. Why invent fictitious crimes when Hitler and sidekicks committed so many real most heavy crimes that even to count them 576 pages in 576 books would not be enough? Why try so hard to invent fantastic numbers of the civilian losses in the USSR when even the most minimal estimates say that the occupants and their helpers eradicated millions of people? Millions. What - say, 5 million killed children, women and elderly, is it too few? Is it "mandatory" to have 15 or 25 million in order to recognize Hitler a cannibal? Any Wehrmacht soldier, even the one who did not touch a Russian woman with his finger and gave a chocolate candy to her kid (and there were such soldiers, and quite a number of them), is guilty. Guilty in that he came armed where nobody asked him. Guilty in that he brought with him punishers from the SS. This guilt was recognized by the German people. Why stress the morbid fantasy inventing "long daggers in their teeth, with frothy mouths, with goggled eyes"?

"If the stars are kindled it means somebody needs it5. It means it must necessary..." I believe all previous abundance of the question marks may have quite specific answers. There are at least THREE REASONS why the Soviet and post-Soviet propaganda passionately desired to exaggerate the number of civilian victims in the occupied areas of the USSR and find nonexistent "plans of Hitler's genocide of the Russian people". These reasons "weigh" very differently, from almost a whim, a paltry penny-pincherism to the major connecting link in the entire Soviet mythology. I propose to review them in a reverse order, from the third-rate to the major one.

The third in significance (but at that chronologically first) should be recognized the "Jewish question". Yes, yes. That very question. Ilf and Petrov made a big mistake. Everything was exactly the other way around: there are already almost no Jews in Russia but the ill-fated "Jewish question" is still there.

I understand well that for a normal person, especially not familiar with the "circumstances of the case", my suggestion may appear very strange. I am prepared to excuse the normal person in advance for him thinking of me as wacky. Indeed, in the position of a normal person's mind it is difficult to understand why there is in the Great Soviet Encyclopedia an article "Auschwitz" but there is no in this article the word "Jew". The normal person would never be able to guess what a strange sign was placed on the tombstone in the city of Nevel (Pskov Province). And this was the six-pointed "Star of David" over the mass grave of the Jews tortured to the death which was "circumcised" by the vigilant authorities to a five-point status. Because "do not stick it out..."

The normal person (unless he saw it himself on TV) will never believe that 19 April, 2001 several dozens of the State Duma deputies ("best people of the country") refused to rise and hold a minute of silence in memory of the genocide victims (19 April, 1943 began the rising in the Warsaw ghetto). The minute of silence did not happen anyway as the entire room was full of a noisy squabbling, wild squeal of Zhirinovsky and Shandybin, and the amplified voice of the chair-woman, our incomparable L.Sliska called on everybody "find one's position independently ".

And how? How to find one's position in "this issue" if the need to honor the memory of five million guiltlessly murdered people is a question? Most deputies and electorate have not read anything beyond the history textbook. In a school (as well as in any Soviet college) textbook there was not a single word about the genocide of the Jews. Most inquisitive ones could purchase a collection published exactly in 2001 "Russia and the USSR in the XXth century wars".

And what could they read there? This is what:

"...The war unleashed by the Hitlerites against the USSR was a war of extermination of entire peoples, first of all Slavic, Russian population... Barbaric actions of the German-Fascist occupiers in the extermination of the Soviet people, especially Slavic peoples took millions of human lives... Subject to the extermination were not only the Slavic peoples but also other peoples that populated the territory of the USSR. Most cruel was treatment of the Jews who the Germans exterminated in the first place, together with the Communists..."

If professional historians, assistant professors and PhD's indeed believe that the Jews were exterminated "together with the other peoples" and "together with the Communists", they are no scientists, they are ignoramuses and impostors. If they know the truth but still write about "the extermination of entire the Slavic people and first of all the Russian population", they are liars.

Hitler did not hatch plans of "shrinking the numbers of the Jewish population during 30 years after the end of the war by way of dispensing condoms and propaganda of abortions". He had no intention at all to "shrink" this population. The Jews, all of them, young and old, from baby to gray-haired old man were doomed to the total, house-to-house extermination. This sentence was not associated with any economic or political expediency. Nothing was considered, either the victim's religion or behavior or even the consent to cooperate. Mass murders of the Jews began in the very first days (not in the first weeks, days!) after Hitler's invasion of the USSR territory. Wherever the house-to-house extermination of the people, in whom even the executioners did not see any guilt except the Jewish origin, was conducted with the German discipline and methodicalness, the victims could count on a quick and "light" shooting. Wherever the local "activists" took the initiative, the Jews could only dream of the shooting...

By 22 June, 1941 in the territories, which were later occupied, lived about 4 million Jews (including 1.9 million in the annexed in 1939—1940 territories of Baltic, East Poland and Bessarabia). About 1 million Jews were able to evacuate East (mostly from the areas of the Left-Bank Ukraine and central Russia where the Germans came only by the fall of 1941).

From 3 million Jews who remained at the disposal of the occupiers perished at least 2.83 million people. The 150—200 thous. Jews who remained alive (about 5% of their initial numbers) survived not at all because the Germans exercised leniency toward some of them. It was just that within the framework of complicated political games Hitler returned Bessarabia with Bukovina to Romania and presented it with the so-called "Transnistria", i.e., the Ukrainian territory between the Dniester and Southern Bug. And if in the beginning of the war the extermination of the Jews by the Romanian forces and gendarmerie was mass and extremely fiendish, after the defeat at Stalingrad the Romanian leadership stopped the mass murder and even allowed the delivery into the Jewish ghettos of the food help from the international organizations. As for the Germany-occupied zone, practically all Jews who did not have time to evacuate, perished.

In the hero city of Brest before the war lived 25 thousand Jews. Nineteen survived to the liberation. Not 19 thousand, 19 people (six of them were saved by the family of Polina Makarenko who hid them in their house). Such families of "righteous gentiles" existed in almost any occupied city or village. By this time the Israeli memorial-research center "Yad-Vashem" recorded over 18 thousand of the names of people who saved Jews in the genocide years. This greatest and unprecedented in history feat of self-sacrifice (for hiding Jews the punishers unconditionally shot all culpable) statistically results in small fractions of one percent. Plus a few tens of thousands of Jews survived fighting in the partisan teams.

By equating the Jews with the Communists ("Germans exterminated the Jews together with the Communists"), the historians from the General Headquarters showed, in the best case, a crass ignorance. The Communists in the occupied territories had to register with the local kommandatura. That was it. If they did not bother the Germans they could have relatively quietly survived till the Red Army arrival. After that they were registered again, this time by the NKVD. The order of the NKVD USSR No 001683 of 12 December, 1941 as amended 18 February, 1942 prescribed just to "provide the secret observation" of such doubly-registered Communists. The Jews were not rounded-up at the anti-tank ditches for the purpose of "the secret observation"...

In this issue the Russian historians in the year 2001 just continued the 60-year-old traditions. In the very first days of the war the Soviet propaganda lost its head under the hailstorm of the German leaflets with a brief but expressive slogan: "Crush the kike-politruk, his mug is asking for a brick". Nothing better than the pose of a scared ostrich was contrived. Any mentions of the genocide of the Jews began to be carefully deleted from the newspaper articles. Today we know in detail the history of "editing" the ChGK information about the brutality of the German-Fascist occupants in Kiev. 25 December, 1943 the text of the official communiqu was put together and approved by the ChGK Chairman Shvernik. The text said about the Baby Yar that the "Hitler bandits conducted a brutal mass extermination of the Jewish population". Then, under a rigidly-set procedure the text of the ChGK communiqu went for the approval by the CC VKP(b). 2 February, 1944 (after a whole month!) the text was returned to the ChGK with the editing entered in the hand of the Head, agitation and propaganda directorate of the CC, Comrade F.Alexandrov (a future venerable scientist, Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR). The "Jewish population" was crossed out and replaced with "thousands of peaceful Soviet citizens". Shvernik understood the prompt and never again any Jews were mentioned in the ChGK information (only in the act for Minsk where 100 thous. Jews were exterminated the ghetto was mentioned).

27 January, 1945 the forces of the 1st Ukrainian front liberated Auschwitz extermination camp. The fact that Jews were being killed in Auschwitz in hundreds of thousands was immediately established by the army command. The front's political department created a special commission, which by 5th of February submitted a detailed report in which, in particular, the destruction in Auschwitz in the summer of 1944 of 600 thous. Jews from Hungary was noted. However the official ChGK communiqu was issued only three months later, 7 May, 1945. It followed from it that not the Jews but "millions of citizens from the entire Europe" were exterminated in Auschwitz.

Who lied once has to lie further and more. If in the Baby Yar and hundreds of other such places were shot not the Jews but "peaceful Soviet citizens", an explanation must have been invented, some motivation for this brutality. In the Soviet epoch a "class treatment" was in fashion. The Fascism was proclaimed "the terrorist dictatorship of the monopolistic bourgeoisie" and according to this logic: "Tens of thousands of workers-Stakhanovites and progressive kolkhozniks became victims of the Hitler's executioners". As in our days a mention of the "Stakhanovites and progressive kolkhozniks" will rather cause a wry sneer, the falsifiers had to switch on the "ethnic rails", i.e., ascribe to the Germans the intent to physically eliminate the Russian people.

Compared to such nonsense even the classic Soviet formula ("wanted to turn the freedom-loving Soviet people into the slaves") is much closer to the truth. And if one removes the inappropriate epithet "freedom-loving" and does not pay attention to the fact that the legal status of a Soviet kolkhoznik was somewhere in-between a slave in the ancient China and a bond serf in the end of XVIIIth century, everything falls into place. Yes, that is exactly what Hitler wanted, to turn Russia into a colony and to drive the Russians into the position of "white niggers". All resisting were killed for the achievement of this criminal goal. Not everybody (only and exclusively the Jews were murdered all, house-to-house), only the resisting.

The fraction of the Jewish genocide of the total amount of repressions by the occupants varied in space and time. In the first months of the war the extermination of the Jewish population was the only component of the Hitler's and his accomplices' mass terror in the occupied territories. Almost all descriptions of shootings and executions in the spring-summer of 1941 (unless they are invented) in actuality relate to the muss murder of the Jews. Down the road, in connection with the deployment of the partisan movement, ever more non-Jewish population was becoming the victims of the punishers. But even in Belorussia, in this "partisan republic" where the total number of civilian victims, according to the ChGK, was 1,547 thous. people, half of the perished (on the order of 730 thous.) were the Jews. In the Baltic and Moldavia the notions "terror by the occupants" and "Jewish genocide" may practically be considered equal. In the East Ukraine and in the occupied areas of Russia the fraction of the Jews in the total population was much lower, besides many managed to evacuate. In these areas of the occupied USSR territory the non-Jewish population dominates the total number of the victims.

Having thus ended the discussion of the "Jewish component" we'll now switch to a second, incomparably more important cause of the desperate attempts to find the nonexistent plan of "the genocide of the Russian people", which exhibited and continue to exhibit the Communist and neo-Stalinist historical propaganda.

Even the paranoid Hitler was not a clinical idiot, he perfectly understood that loaves of bread and francs would not stick out of the soil just by themselves, somebody must work the land. But the replacement of the Russian (Ukrainian, Belorussian, Moldavian) peasants with the German colonists, if even planned, would be "within 30 years after the end of the war", and in no way in the summer of 1941, at the very heat of the combat activities. Pragmatism and frugality are justly considered the German national trait, and the simplest and obvious calculation prompted that they would be easier and cheaper to provide for the quiet in the rear without unnecessarily aggravating the relations with the local population. Even if somebody in the Wehrmacht's leadership and in the German occupation administration considered the Russians to be "Slavic-Asiatic degenerates", the demands of the discipline forced him into restraining his trashy feelings. At least until the time when Russia is really and finally crushed.

The causes why the occupied territories were eventually drenched in blood are impossible to understand without accounting for the actions of the second participant of the war, and the fabrications like the notorious "check-list of the German soldier" ("kill any Russian, do not hesitate if in front of you is an old man or woman, girl or boy") were contrived specially for a purpose to distract the attention from the intents and actions of the Soviet leadership.

If not the "Hitler's plan Ost", at least individual written documents of its development were preserved and presented at Nuremberg. Stalin was much more circumspect, he did not entrust to paper his thoughts of the fate he had in store for the population of the Germany-occupied western areas of the USSR. Nevertheless, a plethora of documents and witness testimonies exist which allow to reconstruct the "Stalin plan West" quite reliably.

3 July, 1941, in the twelfth day of the war Stalin at last addressed a large speech to his subjects. Refusing to admit even the smallest error on his part he honestly warned: "The war with the Fascist Germany cannot be considered a usual war. It is not only the war between the two armies". And that was the honest truth. The two totalitarian despotisms had already time to gather a bloody experience of mass repressions which they cast both on their own people and on the population of the enslaved European countries. There was no doubt that the former accomplices in the violent brigandism will try in the equal measure to turn the armed collision of their armies into the slaughter unprecedented in its brutality. In the same speech of 3rd July, 1941 sounded a phrase giving a first idea of which methods Comrade Stalin intended to use in this unheard-of war:

"...In the retreat, of necessity, of the Red Army units, not to leave to the enemy a single kilo of bread, a single liter of fuel. The kolkhozniks must drive away all the livestock, to submit the bread to the state organs for safekeeping and removal to the rear areas. All valuable property including non-ferrous metals, bread and fuel which cannot be taken way must be unconditionally destroyed ".

Even the direct and up-to-the-point implementation of this order (Stalin by that time had already appointed himself Chairman of the GKO so his speech was a mandatory order) meant the death from starvation for millions in the occupied territories. Of course, "the severity of the Russian law is alleviated by their non-fulfillment"6. The order to destroy all food and fuel reserves was not totally complied with, but huge and diverse destruction of the population life-support system (water-lines, power stations, elevators) was implemented in many locations.

You cannot take breath away from a Russian dude by hunger. The endless succession of wars, mutinies, invasions, poor harvests taught the people to "make wind-pudding". But a cold weather happened in Russia, and the winter of 1941—1942, as ill luck would have it, was very early and very frosty. This circumstance was also taken into account. 17 November, 1941 Stalin personally signed the order of the Supreme Command No 0428:

"... I am ordering:

1. To destroy and burn to the ground all settlements in the rear of the German forces to a distance of 40—60 km in depth from the front line and 20—30 km right and left of the roads. For the destruction of settlements within the stated radius, immediately throw the aviation; widely use the artillery and mortar fire, spy teams, ski-men and prepared sabotage groups provided with bottle with incendiary liquid, grenades and explosive means..."

Cold and starvation did not exhaust the list of "plagues of Egypt" which Stalin decided to send onto the civilian population in the occupied areas. Even the mass burning of houses after which the people turned in the minus 30o frost with their children may be considered harmless entertainment compared with the "people's war"7 which the Soviet leadership unleashed by all means available to it.

Already 1 July, 1941 CC KP(b) of Belorussia issued a directive which called for the "destruction of the enemies everywhere they can be reached, killing them with whatever is at hand: an ax, a scythe, a crowbar, a hay-fork, knives... In killing the enemy, don't be afraid to use any means: strangle, hack, burn, and poison the Fascist fiends...". The military bosses were not far behind the party bosses. 6 August, 1941 a former Narkom of defense Marshal Timoshenko — this time as the Western front commander — addressed "all residents of the enemy occupied territories". The Marshal who lost his entire army, lost tens of thousands of tanks, aircraft, guns was now demanding from the unarmed people such actions: "Attack and destroy the German transports and columns, burn and destroy bridges, burn houses and forests... Beat the enemy, torture him to the death by hunger, burn him in fire, and destroy him by the bullet and the grenade... Burn the store-houses; destroy the Fascists as mad dogs..."

Yes, I know what it should be correctly called: "The ground burnt under feet of the occupants". It is just that the ground did not burn by itself; it burnt together with the population. I also know the slogan "Everything is for the front, everything is for victory". I just want to understand how far is this "everything" going? Completely everything? We won't spare ANY price? And if turning own country into a scorched desolate desert is compatible with the notion of the "victory", whose victory is it?

To achieve the victory, the Royal Airforce Command elected the tactics of massive night-time raids on the German cities. Hundreds of thousands of civilians perished under the ruins of houses, in the flame of fires. Barely the war ended as fierce social polemics began in England on the issue of the acceptability of such inhuman treatment of enemy's women and children. The incandescence of the discussion was such that the British bomber aviation Commander General Harris had to leave the country and move to the South Africa. They refused to enter the names of perished bomber pilots on the lists of the war heroes... Why is it that we don't believe it possible to even think of the acceptability of sacrificing OWN women and children?

At least doubtful is also military-operative value of the partisan war conducted with crow bar, hay fork, scythe and knife. Certainly, acting like this (and paying for each stabbed German swivel-chair warrior with lives of hundreds of the Soviet people) some damage could have been incurred on the enemy troops. But was this the main task of the armed struggle in the enemy's rear? The Wehrmacht conducted combat activities on the front removed thousands of kilometers from German factories. And if it was possible to take "yayki and mleko" (eggs and milk) away from the local population, the bullets, shells, mines, gasoline had to be delivered by thousands of echelons on the railroads from Bavaria and Saxony to the Volga, Don and Kuban. The entire Wehrmacht's military machine was actually hanging on a dozen of the railroad "steel threads" running through huge forest massifs in the Belorussia and Bryansk Province. The systematic destruction of these communications could have put the Germans into the heaviest situation. But that was not a task which could be fulfilled by unarmed peasants with axes and hay forks...

Isn't it the time to at last admit that in the eyes of Comrade Stalin the population in the occupied areas became spent cinders without any value: these people could not be used either as the work force or as the "draft contingent"? Worse yet, these people were out of his control, they could now have their own opinion and could share it with the neighbor, they could see live foreigners and at list through the sign language and gestures communicate with them, and they could be used by the enemy for work and for recruiting into anti-Soviet armed formations. Decades elapsed after the war but the question "Have you lived in the enemy-occupied territory?" is still on the questioners which millions of the Soviet people used to fill up, and the positive response was considered "a black spot in the biography". And then, in the heat of the war, Stalin did not intend at all to beat around the bush with this "cinders" so he considered a village burnt together with its residents as perfectly acceptable price to pay for the murder of a couple of heedless German vacationers.

It may be argued if there would be an army in the world whose command would not have responded with the ferocious repressions to such calls and actions ("strangle, hack, burn, poison as mad dogs"). It was no need at all to guess how the Wehrmacht and SS Command would react. However, the Soviet leadership not only was aware of the fact that ruthless mass punishment of the population would be the result of their selected partisan war tactics; they used any means to push the enemy to the maximum-severe actions.

Wehrmacht's documents, unfortunately too numerous, testify that in the first days of war, already in June of 1941, the advancing German forces found in many places the cadavers of their soldiers who for various reasons were taken prisoners (fell behind; was wounded; teams of the downed planes). They were tortured with unimaginable sadist cruelty. It seems absolutely improbable to me to suggest that the Red Army men (mostly the yesterday's Russian, Ukrainian, Byelorussian peasants) in the very first days of the war had time to develop such mad hatred. Much more realistic is the hypothesis that these crimes were committed by special NKVD teams for the purpose of intentional provocation of the German forces for the reciprocal punishment of the civilians and prisoners of war.

The "partisan teams" dropped into the enemy rear acted the same way; these "partisan teams" (if we are talking about the situation in 1941) were practically 100 percent operative NKVD personnel and not at all teenagers and an old man with a Berdan rifle8 descended from the picture of a Soviet painter. By the nature of tasks they solved they were punishment-sabotage groups which not only provoked the Germans by their actions to the reciprocal repressions against the local population but also ruthlessly punished the peasants who did not show enough readiness to help these people's avengers".

The population which turned to be "between the rock and hard place" began spontaneously arming themselves and creating self-defense groups for the protection against the "partisans" and the bands of armed deserters infesting the forests. The only thing left to the Germans was to take these armed groups under their control and convert them into the police subordinated to them. Stalin's directions about turning the occupied territory into a scorched desert very much facilitated the growth in the number of the policemen. The legendary patriarch of the Soviet saboteurs, participant of four wars Colonel I.Starinov wrote in an article of 2000: "It so happened that we ourselves nudged the local population to the Germans... After the slogan "Drive the German into the frost" the Germans formed a 900 thous.-strong police force". The number itself (900 thous.) is blown many times over but it clearly reflects personal impressions of the partisan war practitioner that "the policemen were at every turn...".

The following numbers horrible in their eloquence show the population's attitude toward the "partisans from NKVD". In the Ukraine the state security organs left in the enemy rear and dropped in there 778 groups, total of 28,753 people. As of 25 August, 1942 listed as active were 22 groups with 3,310 people. In Belorussia, out of 437 groups dropped in the enemy rear by the end of January, 1942 412 groups ended their existence. The Leningrad Province NKVD Directorate sent into the enemy rear 287 groups (total of 11,733 people). By February, 1942 only 60 of them (1,965 people) were still there. Al these have one short name - collapse.

By November, 1942 total headcount of the "auxiliary police" increased to 320 thous. people, 48 thousand more were in nonintegrated police (the kind of activities — penal) battalions. Larger formations were also created, for instance the so-called "Russian liberation people's army", 10 thous. people in number, which was assigned by the Germans the functions of fighting the Soviet partisans in the large territory of Bryansk and Orel Provinces. It may take a long time to argue whether the use of the term "second civil war" is appropriate as applied to what was going on in 1942— 1943 in the occupied Russian territory. Not the terminology is important but that under the morose noise of the Bryansk forest the groups of armed Russians killed each other with abandon. Killed each other, burnt villages, punished those whom each party in its own way considered "turncoat", not sparing either old or young. And later unfolded in the Western Ukraine a full-scaled, monstrously atrocious civil war with the participation of the Polish Army Krainova, Bandera's Ukrainian Rebellious Army, Soviet partisans, Ukrainian "polizai", and there was no argument.

"...And shooting was from all sides. And burning already. We hid but neighbors' Galya did not. And my uncle was not here, he earlier went to the barn... When everything got quiet, we learnt: those were Pertovtsi who encircled the Old Rafalovka and fought the Banderovtsi. They killed several Banderovtsi and, reckon, totally destroyed our village. And how many people they killed, I won't tell you, I don't know. They threw Galya into the fire alive. We found next to the barn the burnt cadaver of our uncle. And in the yard, next to the house, six more burnt cadavers.

In our household, only cellar survived. There, we found Olezhka, the neighbor. He had on new, grandmother-made shoes and with his little belly cut open by a bayonet..."

Staraya Rafalovka is a village in the Ukrainian Woodlands, near the Kovel — Sarny railroad. The "Petrovtsi" are partisans from "Uncle Pete" (colonel Anton Brinsky) partisan unit. Three months after the successful operation in Rafalovka colonel Brinsky was made a Hero of the Soviet Union; presently, a street and a children's library in Nizhny Novgorod are named after him. A St. Petersburg historian A.Gogun (from his book the story of the Rafalovka massacre was quoted) found a few more mentions of this event and of this Hero. So, on 20 June, 1943 the head of headquarters of the partisan movement in the Rovno Province Comrade Begma in his memorandum-report to the names of Malenkov and Khrushchev wrote:

"...In the Rovno Province the Intelligence Directorate left in the beginning of the war small special groups with radio transmitters for purely intelligence purposes. As the partisan movement evolved in the Ukraine these groups began to grow rapidly with the inflow of the local population..., for instance, Colonel Brinsky — "Uncle Pete" — grew to 300 people, Captain Kaplun — to 150—400 people, Major Medvedev — to 600 people... All people in these groups guard the headquarters; deal with food procurement, combat operations - not a single one over a year and more... The people are being corrupted; many cases of unauthorized shooting executions of innocent population, mass drinking, disorderly conduct, etc."

In a report from the URA9 headquarters of the "Zagrava" district the events in the Old Rafalovka are mentioned as rather an ordinary event: "The Bolsheviks attacked the Old Rafalovka, burnt it. Killed 60 people including 8 district's activists. Killed also the political referent Teterya". Nothing out of the ordinary. In the report from the "Dunay10" district of November, 1943 the following episodes are noted: "The village Karpilovka was during the night attacked by Red bands, they robbed, burnt and killed at that 183 our peasants. Encirclrd the village Dert, robbed, took away 300 heads of cattle. 3 November attacked again the village Borovoye, burnt the houses which remained unburnt by the Germans, and killed 20 peasants..." Altogether in the fall of 1943 Red partisans punished the population of 29 villages in the Ukrainian Woodlands, the German in the same period burnt there 77 villages...

Of course, Hitler (meaning by this the entire machine of the Fascist totalitarian despotism) was the main culprit in this tragedy. All those perished in the bloody bacchanalia of mass terror in the occupied USSR territory must be considered the victims of the Fascist aggression — even if the murderers spoke Russian or Ukrainian. That was exactly Hitler's aggression that made this multi-year slaughter possible, that was exactly Hitler who gave them the weapons, directed and kindled the fire of the fratricidal war. I do not subject it to even a slightest doubt. I only want to ask: didn't Comrade Stalin have anything to do with it? Is there no his guilt for this blood? Was not it the Stalin regime which plunged the people in such madness where the foreign armed enemy appeared for a moment to be a liberator?

And now we'll switch to the main reason. To the fire in the storage.

A fire in the storage happens when a thief-bursar needs to hide the loose ends of his multi-year machinations. Mature crooks understand that the fire must be large, "massive" and, the main thing, documented with the MVD11 and fire protection unit. Then anything may be written off on this fire. And if the fire occurred by itself, especially if the cause does not provoke any suspicions of arson - such as from a lightning bolt, this is even a more hilarious day in the life of the crook...

In the year 1937 so memorable for the country an All-Union census was conducted. The population, however, did not find out anything about the results of this large-sale job. The census results were recognized to be "wrecking", the final reports were classified, and the leaders of the collective that conducted the census were arrested. In January of 1939 a repeat census was conducted, and even prior to the calculation of its final numbers Comrade Stalin made public the "correct" result: 170 million people are living in the country of the victorious Socialism.

Presently, monographs and hundreds of newspaper articles are written about the "shooting census" of 37th. It is believed that the real population numbers from the results of the 1937 census were 162 million. Taking into account some population increment in 1938 (although that year, the year of the culminating mass repression, was hardly "fertile" with the people), the announced official results of the 1939 census were overblown by 6—7 million people. In other words, the real number of Stalin's repressions victims in the 1930th (and those were not only the "Great terror" of the 37th but also dekulakization, golodomor of the collectivization period, cleansing the cities of "non-labor element", ethnic cleansing) is measured not in those hundreds of thousands supported by the documents of the party and penal organs but in many millions of people.

That is how the shortage of 6—7 million formed in the storage. The war and the post-war "reconstruction period" did not weaken at all both the pressure of ruthless exploitation of the "labor" and the scale of the state's repressive policies. Millions of people rounded-up in "special settlements" or so-called "labor battalions" continued under absolutely inhuman conditions to dig canals, build roads, heck the coal and erect the next "giants of Stalin's industry". We will quote only one of the unending series of testimonies, a letter from an unnamed worker to M.I.Kalinin of 18 June, 1945:

"... To describe everything in detail about the life of labor army workers on the railroad Bystrovka - Rybachye construction site would take writing a book like "Uncle Tom's cabin" but now I will limit myself to this shred of paper... The meals are made much worse than a good master would do to the pigs. The labor force is used not only on the track but even more for any amenities for the foreman, construction supervisor and other bureaucrats... It would not be extraneous to say here a few words about the children to whom it came down, as to their parents, to drag miserable existence. The toddlers get nothing but 300 grams of black bread (from which it even crackles behind the ears12). Once every 3 months they bring sugar to the store but even then, for various dark reasons, it is not distributed in totality... Last winter the workers, not just hungry but literally naked were forced to work on the track at the freeze of up to minus 20 degrees, some of them perished totally, some others remained with the limbs frostbitten..."

How many people remained forever on these "construction projects of a century" — only God knows. And what not a single man knows is whether Stalin trusted in God and whether he was preparing to give account at the Heaven's Court. What is known for certain is that Stalin did not plan on appearing before the earthly court; he did not expect an "auditing committee" and did not intend to account to the "rag-tag thin-necked leaders" who surrounded him. Stalin believed it unnecessary to use sophisticated techniques to hide the "shortage" of many millions of his slaves, so he without a shadow of embarrassment stated the number 7 million of perished in the war — about the same as in Germany. And that was that.

Khrushchev was also not preparing to the arrival of an "inspection committee" (and this unpreparedness eventually led him to the October, 1964 CC Plenum...), and the drastic — by the factor of three at once — increase in the number of victims he needed for a very external usage. In effect Khrushchev was the first one who began to conduct the normal foreign policy. Normal in the form: he travelled abroad, top leaders of the other countries came to him; Moscow hosted the International youth festival and bourgeois movie producers with bourgeois movies. Normal in the content: the surrounding world was no longer considered the "hostile imperilistic encircling", and even the word "peace" stopped being treated as a brief period of preparation to a new war. In this new reality of the international relations a huge, overwhelming number of USSR's human losses (20 million) was needed by Khrushchev as the "ideological boot" which he could at any moment bump on the negotiation table.

To all "inconvenient" questions, beginning with shy reminders of the need to return the hardware obtained under the lend-lease and to the demands to provide the freedom of choice to the countries of the Eastern Europe, sounded one deafening retort: "Twenty million human lives! What kind of money? We saved the world! We paid in our blood..." I clearly remember as in August of 1968 the Soviet people was boiling of a sincere indignation: "But we liberated them! So many of our people died, and now they want to drive us away?"

And then came the fiery epoch of the "perestroyka and glasnost". Reviewing the inheritance he got Gorbachev (or somebody of his advisors) could not but notice the "miracles" of Stalin's demographic statistics. Thus, it was decided, as a component of measures for "rejuvenating socialism and democratizing the internal party life", to put some order into the issue of counting people.

That is probably how the figure of 27 million appeared. It was decided to burn the "shortages" of the All-Union census of 1937, the horrifying mortality growth in the rear and the mass repressions during the post-war years in the undoubtedly real "fire" of World War II. In a word, it was decided to write off Stalin's crimes on Hitler.

A prestigious commission was created from the reliable and party-mature docents and PhD's chaired by a corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR Yu.A.Polyakov. One of the leading commission members Doctor of historical sciences ..Shevyakov published a very interesting article (in "Sociological Studies", 213 / 1991) wherein the commission work and its results were described. To be more accurate, how the commission fought to come up with the assigned result of 27 million. It turns out that there are some "data from the Gosplan14 and CSU15 USSR" but so far "they could not be discovered". What does it mean "could not be discovered"? What does it mean "to discover"? I understand why the expeditions could not so far discover the fragments of the "Tunguska meteorite" in the wild uninhabited taiga. But what does the verb "to discover" mean as applied to the work of a State commission with the Gosplan documents?

It follows from Shevyakov's article that the ChGK communiqus were and remain the only documental base. These communiqus indicate that in the occupied territories perished 6,390 thous. people. As the commission (not the ChGK but the Polyakov commission) already knew that the armed forces losses were determined at 8.7 million and the military department is unwilling to raise this number, it had to gather 18.3 million to get the assigned-by-command 27 million. Sure, the only relatively reliable source, the ChGK documents, was immediately subjected to the accusation that its numbers were "significantly underestimated". As appropriate for the doctor of sciences, Shevyakov not only stated the fact of the underestimation but gave an explanation. Three causes were named. One better than the other. The first two sound so: "intense population migration" and "unfinished repatriation of the Soviet citizens from abroad".

Strange. Either one may result in the overestimation but in no way underestimation of the number of victims. For instance, the punishers burned a Byelorussian village and shot its residents. The ChGK included them all as perished. But somebody survived, went to the partisans, was wounded, brought to a hospital on the Volga River, after the recovery he married and went with his young wife to the Far East as a result of the organized recruitment. The people are actually alive, but nobody in Belorussia knows about it. This is exactly the very same "intense population migration" and its effect on the ChGK report data. The same effect, the overestimation of the numbers of victims, caused the "unfinished repatriation of the Soviet citizens from abroad": a person is considered perished but in actuality he was caught in a roundup, forcefully taken to Germany and will be back home soon.

But the most interesting third cause of the mythical "underestimation" of the number of perished in the ChGK reports is, after the version of the Science Doctor Shevyakov, in that the ChGK employees "did not have the political feeling and methodology for the identification of the Fascist atrocities". But I have to categorically disagree with it. Maybe not something else but the "political feeling" was very much developed in the Soviet bureaucrats of the Stalin era. Without any extra reminders the ChGK attributed to the Germans the shooting and identified the "Fascist atrocities" in the cases of mass shooting executions by the NKVD of inmates in the prisons of Lvov and Vinnitsa. And each ChGK report, prior to the publication, went through the multi-step approval procedure "at the very top". So, if the task to "inflate" the number of victims to 18 million was assigned in 1945, the ChGK workers would have perfectly "smelled" it. Otherwise they would have entered the general list of the "victims of the German occupants". But they did not know which exact task would be set before the Soviet historians in the late 1980's. And they could not guess then about the "Socialism with a human face". But could it be a pretext for the accusations in the loss of vigilance and feel?

To be serious, the numbers derived from the ChGK reports indeed bring home very-very big doubts. Shevyakov lists the data for each USSR republic, and at that he includes the percentage of the perished relative to the pre-war population numbers (for the RSFSR16 — relative to the number of those who got under the occupation, which number was determined at 28 million). That is how it looks in the summary Table:


Thousand people























Can it be true? Certainly not. The Lithuanian population before the war was 2.9 million people/the Latvian, 1.95 million people. And the number of the civilian victims in these two republics in the absolute values turned out to be greater than in Russia? And the percent of perished in Latvia is greater than in any other republic including Belorussia (the area of the most active partisan activity)? How should we understand it? And what are the "victims of the occupants" as applied to Latvia? There was no partisan movement there at all. Moreover, Latvia was the "exporter" of the penal police battalions which committed atrocities in the territory of the adjacent Belorussia and Russia. There was no other "terror of the Fascist occupants" in Latvia except for the genocide of the Jews, but there were not 3,414 thousand but only 94 thousand Jews there before the war (in the adjacent Lithuania, 250 thousand). Very strange looks also the ratio of the losses in the Ukraine and in the occupied RSFSR territories. Strange even taking into account about 1.5 million Jews who perished in the Ukraine...

It is sad that we have to guess with such an issue but, most likely, the secret of the absurd numbers is in that the ChGK reports (at least many of the published ones) state total numbers of the perished local residents and prisoners of war. But Shevyakov interprets them as the number of the perished local residents without the consideration of prisoners of war. With this suggestion everything falls into place right away: the Baltic was a region where both prisoners of war and "Ostarbeiters" where driven into the concentration camps. Yes, it sounds strange but the "Soviet" Baltic was a receiver (!!!) of the forced work labor. Data from the Repatriation Directorate indicate that in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia 227,044 civilians and 56,363 prisoners of war brought there for the forced labor from other areas of the occupied USSR territory were recorded by the end of the war. Huge camps for the prisoners of war were also constructed in the Ukraine where the number itself of the Wehrmacht's prisoners of war was tremendous (over 1.1 million only in five "pockets": Uman, Kiev, Melitopol, Kerch and Kharkov).

It remains to assume that due to the erroneous (if not to say intentional) summing up prisoners of war together with the perished (and we included the prisoners of war in the total count of the perished military servicemen) even the number 6,390 thousand civilians is overblown. The further Shevyakov's dissertation that Hitlerites intentionally spread in the occupied territories (i.e., in the rear of their own forces) lethally dangerous epidemic diseases, that many "Ostarbeiters" came back home with incurable diseases including syphilis and honoree, that the occupants secretly irradiated males with X-rays to lower the birth rate are interesting only in that a serious Academy journal was not ashamed to publish such...

So, what do we have as a result of discussing this utmostly sad subject? The tragedy experienced by the Soviet people is terrible and with no analogs in the history of the civilized world.

a) 11 million perished military personnel.

b) 5-6 million civilians killed and tortured to the death by the Fascist occupants.

c) over 1 million civilians perished in the besieged Leningrad and totally destroyed Stalingrad.

d) unknown precisely but huge (on the order of 6-9 million) numbers of victims of Stalin's repressions.

And the boundless sea of lies.

1 The actual Russian expression is "passport table". It is adequately translatable into at least English. I believe the author is not so much against the words as he is against the concept; MG.

2 SMERSh () ("Death to spies") is the name of several independent counter-intelligence bodies in the USSR during WWII (at the Narkomate for the Defense, subordinated directly to Stalin; at Narkomat of the Navy, subordinated to N.G.Kuznetsov; at Narkomate for the Internal Afairs; subordinated to Beria). Yandex.ru.

3 It refers to a line from Pushkin's poem "The Prophet": «, , , , , , , ». MG

4 Oberkommando Wehrmacht; MG
5 From a poem by Mayakovsky, "Listen!": "If the stars are kindled it means somebody needs it"
, -
- - ?
- - , ?
- -
6 Reference to a phrase by the Russian writer Saltykov-Shchedrin (" "); MG
7 See footnote 29; MG
8 The Berdan rifle (Vintovka Berdana in Russian) is a Russian rifle created by famous American firearms expert and inventor Hiram Berdan in 1868. Standard issue in the Russian army from 1869-1891; Vikipedia.
9 Ukrainian Rebel Army, ; MG
10 Danube; MG
11 Ministry of Internal Affaires; MG
12 My attempt on translating the expression " "; MG
13 ??? Maybe vol. 2? MG
14 State Planning Commission; MG
15 Central Statistical Administration ; MG
16 Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, the largest among the sixteen USSR republics; now Russia; MG.

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Fire in the Storehouse
This is the story about the death, suffering, feats and martyrdom. The story about the Soviet Union human losses in the Second World War. We will start with the things simple and harmless. With a mathematical paradox which is called "a small difference of large values". 1,000-999 = 1. Any objections? No...
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