previous efforts to address this question. We can be fairly certain that the number is between 150,000 and 300,000. We are never going to be able to establish an exact number for these losses. That type of information simply does not exist. Nor should this be surprising. Such a number does not even exist for the Holocaust which has been studied to a much greater extent than the Stalinist deportation of the Russian-Germans and their subsequent mistreatment as special settlers and labor army conscripts. From an historical point of view it does not matter a whole lot if the number of victims in this particular crime was 225,000 people or 250,000. Suppose a list of all such premature deaths could be found. How would it effect our judgement of the Stalinist regime or the wartime experience of the Russian-Germans? In point of fact it does not alter our interpretation of the nature of the USSR or the suffering of Russian-Germans in the 1940s at all. One either believes that the regime was evil and the treatment of the Russian-Germans criminal or one does not and neither opinion is dependent upon the exact number of corpses involved.
Viktor Krieger, Bundesbuerger russlanddeutscher Herkunft: Historiche Schluesselerfahrungen und kollektives Gedaechtnis (Muenster: LitVerlag, 2013).