Friday, February 14, 2014
72 Years Since GKO Order 1281ss
By February 1942, the Soviet government had already exhausted the original cohort of deported Russian-German men ages 17-50 subjected to mobilization in the labor army under GKO Order 1123ss issued on 10 January 1942. This decree had a quota of 120,000 men, but the Soviet government only managed to conscript about 93,000 deported Russian-German men by the middle of February. In response the Stalin regime issued GKO Order 1281ss on 14 February 1942 subjecting Russian-German men aged 17-50 who had been living in Siberia, Kazakhstan, Central Asia and other eastern regions of the USSR before 1941 to induction in the labor army. This decree resulted in the conscription of an additional 40,864 Russian-Germans into the labor army. These men mobilized from Siberia, Kazakhstan, Central Asia, and the Urals were sent to work on the South-Ural Railroad, and in the Bogoslovlag and Tagillag labor camps as well as other places. Already by the summer of 1942 the NKVD was reporting extremely high mortality rates among the Russian-Germans conscripted into the labor army and sent to work in labor camps in the Urals. Because the victims of this particular crime against humanity were ethnic Germans and the perpetrator the Soviet Union it has received almost no attention in the English speaking world.