“So many? Really?” Germans do not know how many Russians were killed by their ancestors

In 2015 I translated Georgij Zotov’s article Repentance of Berlin. After 70 years, the Germans have an unambiguous attitude towards the Soviet victory.

This year it elicited the following comment:

LaRock on March 6, 2019 at 19:50 said:
The war is over stop punishing Germany

To which I replied:

Stanislav on March 12, 2019 at 20:02 said:
This comment should be addressed to the USA, who are still occupying and punishing Germany. If you read the article, you’d see that it’s about remembrance and reconciliation.

However, a better reply would have been a translation of an even earlier article by Zotov, one from 2013. I am translating it below, followed by a translation of two reader comments from AiF and my thoughts on them and what Zotov wrote in one particular paragraph.

Today, with racism and calls to war and genocide being the norm on the pages of the Western MSM (“racism” is a common-root synonym of “russophobia”) and the number of the Western troops and war hardware right on the Russian border being the highest since the June of 1941, it is time to remember. For while the West is collectively shrugging off 1941-1945 as “just another invasion of Russia” and preparing for a new one, Russia remembers, watches closely and prepares to defend its land once more.

In this today’s context remembrance is the key to preventing another invasion of Russia by the West, and prevent this time hundreds of millions people being killed – both defenders, attackers and bystanders…

“So many? Really?” Germans do not know how many Russians were killed by their ancestors

Argumenty i Fakty, 05.05.2013

“AiF” correspondent talked in Germany with a lot of people, including the grandson of Rudolf Hess. And found out that the Victory Day is respected, but most residents of Germany do not know how many lives we lost in The War.

The 15-year-old Gunther suddenly had a seizure – an hour after the start of the tour. He fell to his knees beside the barracks and began to sob, smearing tears on his cheeks. A crowd gathered around the boy. Someone from his high school was calling on a cellphone, someone searched the pockets for pills. “Why?!” Gunther shouted. “How could the Germans do THIS to people?! Do we even deserve forgiveness?”

Rally participants of the Youth caravan of peace in the former Nazi concentration camp Dachau. 1986 meeting of participants of the Youth caravan of the world in the former Nazi concentration camp Dachau. 1986 Photo – RIA Novosti

Nervous breakdowns of German teenagers in the ex-concentration camp of the SS Dachau near Munich are quite common. Despite this, a visit to the memorial is included in the compulsory school curriculum for high school. Children are shown the crematorium ovens, where tens of thousands of prisoners burned, gas chambers and photos of savage experiments of SS doctors. “It is necessary in order for this not to happen again,” the Museum employee told me. “After all, the worst of evils is forgotten over time.” That’s, probably, the case. According to polls, 80% of Germans now do not know that their grandfathers killed 27 million people in the USSR…

“Land of ice and snow”

“What do I think about the Victory Day? Oh, the Russians seem like mysterious heroes from science fiction films to me. That’s, probably, how the people, who overturned Hitler should appear. Many Germans still do not understand why Germany decided to fight with you. We have much in common as peoples – take, for example, at least a love for sausages and beer!»

73-year-old lawyer Rolf Clement was a child when the war began. His cousin, an officer of the Wehrmacht, froze to death in Stalingrad. He says, there can be no hard feelings: “We attacked, you defended. Fair enough.” But Rolf has a different attitude towards the Americans and the British: “In the Summer of 43, their aircraft completely burned Hamburg, killing 42 thousand people. Is this the right kind of war?” The Germans often emphasized in the interviews: Hitler was a monster, but they also had hard times when he was in power. They remember the death of Paulus’s army, the bombing of the cities, and the fall of Berlin. They are well aware of the Holocaust and the millions of Jews killed in concentration camps. However, the inhabitants of Germany do not know much about the seas of blood, which flooded the Soviet Union.

“For the Germans,” says historian Gerhard Büchlein “Russia is a country of ice and snow, where “General Winter” froze poor boys dressed in a uniform with a swastika. But in Germany they shy to argue on the topic that the Wehrmacht and the SS perpetrated on the occupied territory of the USSR. On TV and in press they do not forget to mention: only 6 thousand soldiers (from 100 thousand taken as POWs in Stalingrad) have returned home. However, few people know that 3 million Soviet prisoners of war were tortured in the SS concentration camps. We are horrified by the allied air raids – 600 thousand Germans buried alive under the rubble of buildings in Berlin, Dresden, Regensburg. And we have no idea that exactly the same number of people died from hunger and shelling because of the siege of Leningrad.”

Hamburg 1943. Photo: globallookpress.com

Munich (like Hamburg) was also bombed, though less so. Some “significant places” of the Third Reich survived, but then they were destroyed by the Germans themselves. For example, a demolished pub “Burgerbraukeller”, where Hitler pushed speeches (for the avoidance of pilgrimage for neo-Nazis). The man I’m interviewing is taking me downtown.

“You know,” I say to my companion. “If my grandfather had seen us, he would not have liked it.”

“Hmm,” he says in reply. “And mine even less so. I’m sitting next to a Russian!”

“Did we kill so many?!»

My grandfather was a Soviet military pilot, was shot down in late 1944 and remained in captivity until the German surrender. The grandfather of my interlocutor, 34-year-old engineer Wolf Hess, was Hitler’s Deputy for the party, obergruppenführer Rudolf Hess. Wolf himself is anti-fascist and sincerely believes that May the 9th is the liberation of his country from dictatorship. “I want to know,” he asks. “If I come to Russia, will I have any difficulties?” “Of course not,” I say. “Even those who fought forgave the Germans.” Wolf nods: “I never felt that the Russians were our enemies. And… how many civilians died in the USSR?” I answer him – about 18 million. Executions of hostages, mass executions in Babi Yar, punitive actions, automated suffocator machines in Krasnodar. Wolf pales. “Really that many?!»

Photo: globallookpress.com

This phrase is one that I often hear in Germany. “Do you want to see photos on the Internet?” I enquire. “There are SS men posing next to the mountains of corpses. There are thousands of pictures in the archives.” My companion is lost in thought. “We rarely talk about it,” he sighs. “The main theme of the atrocities of the Nazis is Holocaust.”

In my opinion, we should not forget the Holocaust. It’s the insane destruction of an entire nation, from babies to old people. Another thing – it turns out that repentance for the atrocities of the German army is very selective. Films, talk shows and TV shows are devoted to one fact, while the others are kept under wraps. Even in Austria, in a town near the former SS Mauthausen concentration camp, when I asked passers-bys about who had been killed in the barracks, the opinions are divided. “Jews, I think,” said one man. “Communists,” remembered the second. No one named the Russians, but 39% of the prisoners of Mauthausen were Soviet prisoners of war. The image of the Eastern front in the thinking of modern Germans is the snow, the horrors of storming of the burning Berlin and the the soldiers in Stalingrad, devoid of human appearance. Marking May the 9th as the day of the defeat of the Third Reich, Germany still did not realize the scale of the victims among the population of the USSR. No, we don’t need to be apologized to endlessly. It would be nice to just remember…

Prisoners of the German concentration camp Mauthausen, Austria. May 5, 1945. Photo source – RIA Novosti

One of the students, who arrived in Dachau in a group with Gunther, talked to me while his classmate was given a sedative. “You are from Moscow? Must be a big city. But I don’t even know – were the Germans in Moscow during the war?” “A lot of them,” I said to the boy. “They built a bunch of houses around the “Forum” cinema, helped to build Moscow State University, restored the factories”. “So they were prisoners?” the boy was embarrassed. “Oh… excuse me for asking.” “No problem,” I smiled. “But now you know the truth.”

The following line in Zotov’s article:

“Even those who fought forgave the Germans.”

sparked righteous anger with two of the AiF readers, resulting in the following comments, which I think are important to translate:

Alksander Stepanko, 08.05.2013:

I didn’t fight [in that war]… born in 1957. Comrade Zotov! Who gave You the right to speak for everyone!? How can we forgive the torturers?! … the killed, buried alive, perished 27 million !!!…. How can this be forgiven?! Did you even understand what you wrote?!


Alla Rybkina, 11.02.2015:

I am from 1949 and neither I nor my children will ever forgive the GERMANS, they buried my grandmother and her children alive in a huge pit of, and forced my grandfather to dig them in, he was Polish. My mother miraculously survived. And my mother-in-law lost all her teeth in the Blockade when she was 30, but rescued two daughters. How can this be forgiven??????????????.

These are very powerful testimonials, and one can collect millions of such testimonials throughout the country that once was USSR. I think, however, that neither Zotov nor these commentators are right. Forgiveness cannot be bestowed upon a Nation as a whole – it can be given to the actual German perpetrator of the war crimes. But what they did cannot be forgiven nor forgotten. The contemporary Germans, the young and those who never fought in that war – there is nothing to forgive them for. We can only hope to build common relations, remember and ensure that the atrocities of WWII are never repeated. Together.

But those Germans who in 1941-1945 came to Russia to kill and conquer, those who inspired them, like Hitler, and those who financed them, like Henry Ford and grandfather of two American presidents – Bush, those Western powers (Britain, France among others) who during the Munich Conspiracy of 1938 gave their active blessing to the start of WWII, thinking that it would not touch them, but would only become a battering ram against the USSR (much like the 2014 neo-Nazi coup in Ukraine).

Lavrov: If We Are to Learn From History, Then Secret Munich Betrayal By US/UK a Good Lesson, 20.09.2018, Vesti News, censored by YouTube

These are the forces deserving the righteous anger of the Russian people, not the Germans as a whole. It should also be remembered that many Germans themselves perished while trying to fight and stall the rise of Nazism.

9 thoughts on ““So many? Really?” Germans do not know how many Russians were killed by their ancestors

  1. Pingback: “So many? Really?” Germans do not know how many Russians were killed by their ancestors | Futurist Trendcast

  2. I have always been very interested of your Historical posts. The “Slavic Traces” one, the “Fabricating Ukraine” one. In addition, the articles about US and NATO aggression, the atrocities against the Serbs etc.

    But this post? No. Germany is under alien occupation. Their past has been falsified. There was never any “Holocaust”. That was vile Wartime prpaganda.

    In fact, the first victims of “six million Jews to be exterminated” propaganda were the Russians. Google “six million open gates” for more.

    World War II was a tragedy, started by Britain and France. Tens of millions of innocent people died. But who didn’t die were victims of a fictitious “Holocaust”, the LIE of which plagues Germany and Russia alike to this day.

  3. In reality, how COULD a country, fighting on multiple fronts, outnumbered by what, ten?, twenty?, to one, with very limited resources, and also allegedly undertaking a “mass extermination programme”, kill 18 million people in a couple of years?

    Didn’t the USSR defeat the Germans in multiple military engagements? Stalingrad, Leningrad etc.

    As with the Scaligerian History, when you apply Science and Reason to the Official Story of World War II, a very different picture emerges.

  4. I am well aware of the “magic number” and that it was silently downgraded over the recent years.
    However, if you actually read the article – both my pre- and post-comments as well as the translation, you’d have known that it was not about the Holocaust, but about Russians. that it is also about how Holocaust is publicised to overshadow the other events, which “perfectly fine” according to the Western establishment – like killing tens of millions of Russians.
    If you read my opening comment, you’d see the I mentioned that Germany is now under the foreign occupation. And if you’d read my closing comments you’d see that I quite explicitly mentioned the Mucinch Conspiracy, to which you allege in your comment.

  5. You come out as confused as to the not so recent history, and that is scary – how easy it is to change the perception of what happened over so short a period of time!
    It wasn’t a couple of years, it was 4 gruelling years with a lot of battles, and USSR was losing up until the Stalingrad battle, which alone cost a million lives alone. Leningrad was a 3-year long siege costing 630 thousand civilian lives in that one city alone according to the numbers from Nuremberg trials! Later estimates bring this number to 1.5 million (97% of people in Leningrad died of starvation).
    Go to Minsk. 99% of it was rebuilt after WWII. The whole of the city was demolished by the Germans during the first months of the war. That fate befell all of what is today Belorussia and Ukraine, with whole villages and towns being killed off if they showed any resistance or helped partisans.
    18 million is the number of the non-combatant civilians of USSR – Slavs, Asians, Jews. The total number of losses is closer to 27 million.
    And Germany was not fighting on multiple fronts until after the battle for Stalingrad. UK and USA did not open the second front despite multiple pleas from Stalin until after they were sure that Germany would not win. The largest number of the Soviet casualties fell on that time, when whole armies were surrounded and captured/killed. By the end of the war the villages in Russia had about 10-20 women for each surviving man.

  6. Where precisely do the “18 million” or “27 million” figures come from?

    And even if we were to take these numbers to be accurate, were these people killed by the Germans in the same way that the Katyn Massacre was blamed on the Germans?

    In fact, there was only ONE regime that had the time, reach and capability of massacring tens of millions of Russian Christians. It wasn’t the Germans. It was the Communist Regime that orchestrated the Holodomor, destroyed Churches, and orchestrated a massacre of millions of Germans after the War had already ended.

    I am in no way denying that many Russian people died during the German campaign in the 1940’s. But I am sceptical of the Germans having killed “18 million civllians”.

  7. This is the last comment I approve from you, but only because it’s quite educational for other readers, being such a collection of misconceptions, misrepresentations, half-truths and lies about WWII and USSR.

    Where to start?

    – “Golodomor” (“Holodomor” means “death by freezing”) was in no way “orchestrated” by the Communists. That is a popular line in Ukraine, backed by the US State Department. In fact famine was widespread in these years throughout southern USSR (my great-grand-mother died of starvation in Altai Krai, Siberia) with the largest number of deaths in the southern regions of Russia. Reasons for that were several: failed collectivisation, need to purchase industrial hardware to rebuild Russia’s industry, and the demand by the Western powers, USA, that USSR should pay for said hardware in grain (rejecting payments in gold). For USSR it was a choice of 1) re-industrialise at the cost of people starving or 2) don’t re-industrialise and be an easy target when WWI continued (as it did in 1938). As history shows, decision 1 was correct.
    – “massacre of millions of Germans” was an outright lie, though if you want to find the truth, you should look at Eisenhower’s death-camps:
    – “destroying churches”. Interestingly, there were several active monasteries in USSR and only some churches were destroyed during the turbulent years after the revolution. WWII saw a rise of silent, unadvertised support for the Church by the state.
    – “Katyn Massacre” I am still not entirely convinced that it wasn’t a German provocation. The documents that Yeltsin suddenly unearthed came suspiciously conveniently timed, when his American handlers were asking for such proofs. But even if the accounts are true, those killed in Karyn were Polish officers – a military personnel, while you in your comments compare it to the extermination of the civilian population by the Germans. Moreover one question seems to never have been asked – why were those Polish officers (between 5000 and 10000 out of a million Polish PoWs) executed? Was it because it was dangerous for them to fall into German hands – Poland was, after all, not an innocent by-stander in the start of WWII, but one of its instigators.
    – “Where precisely do the “18 million” or “27 million” figures come from?” Military records and archives, like https://pamyat-naroda.ru/, graveyards and mass graves where were unearthed after the war on the liberated territories (and which are still being found!). You should remember that USSR by 1941 had an accurate census of its population, so all the perished people could be accounted for after the war. And then there is a huge demographic dip, which plagued USSR for several generations until the Wild 90s, when a new disaster struck (about 30 million people died from crime, starvation, NATO invasion in Chechenia and assorted civil wars), creating another demographic dip.

    You will find an extensive compilation of the accounts of the German massacres of the whole villages and towns here, both in USSR and on the other occupied territories:

    And just one more point for you to ponder:
    During the whole of the GULAG’s existence, it had fewer prisoners and convicts (the majority of them being non-political) than what USA has now at this moment in time in its prison system.

  8. As promised, I am not approving any more comments on that topic, but I’ll reply to you:
    No, I do not accept Soviet or even more powerful present-day Western propagandas (no need to write propaganda with a capital ‘P’, btw). Having lived in USSR, I can tell you that compared to the present propaganda in the West, the one in USSR was a child’s play. And I do not reject everything negative about the USSR (as should be obvious from my other replies).
    I go by the facts. One of them being that USSR in 30-40′ was in no position to want, let alone, start a war. (Russia never wanted wars, trying to prevent WWI, and it took a murder of Rasputin by the British and the insidious 5th column to draw Russia into it, to its almost demise.) By the time USSR was attacked by Germany it just barely fended off a Japanese aggression coming through Mongolia. If you look at the history in the whole, “massacring of people” and “starting of wars” has been a Western past-time, with Russia being its favourite victim about once every 50 years (last time was an economic genocide of Russia in the 90s).
    If you want to read some alternative books, I’ve read and cannot recommend the defector Rezun’s (aka “Suvorov”‘s) books which he published in the 90s, peddling the line that USSR wanted to attack poor Germany and the rest of Europe. I’ve read them all. Those books, while sensationalistic, do not stand up to closer scrutiny.
    As for Stalin, he saved USSR/Russia from extermination by the Western powers (Germany being the willing ramming tool), but he did so at a great cost to the Russian people.

  9. Pingback: New Re-Writing of History Underway! | Futurist Trendcast

Comments are closed.