Illustrations to the text ЂInstead of prefaceїPictures 1-2
The newspaper Westfalischen Volksblattes of July 10, 1941, issued in the city of Padeborn, contains this picture and information under the title Уbolschewistisches UntermenschentumФ ("Bolshevistic Undermen") which is about arrival of two transports with prisoners of war from the Eastern front to the Stalag 326 (Schtugenbrock prisoner-of-war camp). Such transports kept arriving till October, 1941. Later on prisoners of war have been conveyed in closed goods wagons which were also jammed up.
Try to imagine yourself in the crowd of people pushed into the wagon in such a way that you could only stand? The train from a 1941 battle zone to the Western part of Germany ran no less than 2 days during which people were deprived of food and water. If the train was braking or was passing through a turning Ц they accidentally fell down one on another, those standing were pressed to the boards and fell down to the feet of standing people, and were trampled down to death (a person lying takes more place and people standing have no other place to put their feet). At the terminal station people could hardly get off the wagon. They were dragged out by policemen and hospital attendants, they could neither stand nor walk (4 km to the prisoner-of-war camp), their feet swollen and lost any sensitiveness. Thrown to horse carts and trucks they were delivered to the prisoner-of-war camp. Corps of those who perished during the way, those trampled down, exhausted and fainted are left on the dirty floor of the carriage.
In 1941 not only in the occupied lands but also in Germany itself Soviet war prisoners were put to zones separated with barbed wire where they were forced to dig holes in the ground to shelter themselves from bad weather.
Typical look of Soviet war prisoners Ц hungry, ragged, ready for anything to get something in addition to paltry dietary of a prisoner-of-war camp. Those who lacked such possibility because of either wounds or diseases were doomed to death (pic. 7)
One of the most popular methods of surviving was УhandicraftФ. German escorts eagerly played the role of dealers between the population and war prisoners exchanging handicraft wares to food stuffs. The British, the Americans and the French also gladly exchanged these wares to the remnants of their dinners and breakfasts.
At the same prisoner-of-war camps, where Soviet war prisoners suffered from shocking malicious insults and where thousands of them were dying from starvation, wounds and diseases, war prisoners from other countries drank beer, did amateur arts and did not starve. Very often in the neighboring zones separated from the Russians with the only row of barbed wire watching our УbrothersФ-allies way of life we have been asking ourselves: УWhy?Ф
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