Friday, June 20, 2008

Russian-Germans from Kyrgyzstan during World War II and the Labor Army

The Russian-German population of Kyrgyzstan avoided deportation during World War II as a result of its distance from the front. They did not, however, avoid induction into the forced labor battalions known as the labor army. On 14 February 1942, the Stalin regime began the conscription of Russian-German men in Kyrgyzstan into the labor army. Here they joined Russian-Germans deported from European areas of the USSR to Kazakhstan and Siberia and mobilized into the labor army. On 7 October 1942, the Soviet government expanded this mobilization to include women. This often resulted in children being abandoned without anybody to care for them. Only in 1946 did the Soviet government begin to dismantle the labor army, placing the released survivors under special settlement restrictions.

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