Thursday, November 08, 2012

More on Camps in the Urals

Most of the Russian-German men mobilized into the labor army worked in Corrective Labor Camps (ITL) rather than for civilian commissariats. While there were labor army contingents at labor camps in Siberia, Kazakhstan, and other places, the largest number worked in the Urals. The Russian-Germans in the labor army formed a very large contingent of the forced laborers in some of these camps ranging from 9% to 86.8% of the work force. Unlike the prisoners that made up most of the remainder of the labor force at these camps the labor army conscripts were never charged or tried for any crimes. Instead they were sentenced to indefinite terms of forced labor under conditions nearly identical to those of prisoners solely on the basis of their German ancestry. Below is a list of the main camps in the Urals with Russian-German labor army contingents in the spring and summer of 1942. I have noted the number of Russian-German labor army men in each camp and the percentage of the total work force they constituted.

Bakallag - 26,480 (86.8%)
Ivdel'lag- 12,899 (40.4%)
Sevurallag - 8,441 (46.3%)
Bogoslovlag - 12,311 (42.9%)
Solikamlag - 2,537 (56%)
Tagillag- 3,371 (9%)
Tavdinlag - 1,918 (46.7%)

Source: N.V. Mateeva "Vliianie uslovii truda i zhizni  na vnuternnii mir rossiiskikh nemtsev-trudarmeitsev v gody Velikoi Otechestvennoi voiny," in A.A. German (ed.)., Grazhdanskaia identichnost' i vnuterenii mir rossiiskikh nemtsev v gody Velikoi Otechestvennoi voiny i v istoricheskoi pamiati potomkov (Moscow: MSNK Press, 2011),  pp. 145-154.


Anonymous said...

Me too, I (like everybody else) was conscripted and sent to 'camps' to work "under conditions nearly identical to those of prisoners" several times in my life, back in the 70s and 80s.

The longest was the "labor semester" in 1976, at the university. They actually sent us to Siberia for a month, to build a railroad. BAM, Baikal-Amur Magistral (artery).

Many times I was sent to a Sovkhoz, harvest time, sometimes for a few days, sometimes for a couple of weeks. Very, very bad conditions there. Sometimes to a warehouse, to sort vegetables, for a day. Very unpleasant too.

Hey, that's life. This is how conscription works, where it's practiced.

J. Otto Pohl said...

Data your comment is offensive and typical of people denying Stalinist crimes. The labor conscription of ethnic Germans during WWII into GULag ITLs was not in anyway comparable to what you experienced. The death rate was extremely high due to the fact that the regime refused to feed them or give them winter clothes was over 20% just in the camps. When you factor in how many of the 30% of the people they released prematurely as invalids due to "emaciation" the numbers increase substantially.

I am going to have to request that you not post here anymore unless you post your full name and place of work. If your employer wants to be associated with your claims that mobilization on ethnic basis into GULag camps under the worst years of Stalin is anyway equivalent to what you describe above that is fine. But, I am not going to allow you to post under a fake name anymore.

Anonymous said...

I haven't denied any Stalinist crimes. Just tried to provide some context.

My experience has nothing to do with Stalinism, I was born years after Stalin's death. Mine was a much more liberal period. And not the war or immediate post-war period.

But there is a certain common theme that connects my experience with their experience. The place was authoritarian, totalitarian under Stalin. And messianic: ends justify the means. And this is how things work, in such environments.

I don't see what this has to do with my name, but okay, I won't comment anymore.

Anonymous said...

...incidentally (sorry, this is the last one, definitely), I was building that railroad only for a month, and I was young and healthy, but I did lose two molars there. And ligaments (or something) in my hands got damaged forever from pulling a metal rod 16 hours a day; I can't peel potatoes anymore, for example, too painful.

And, from those harvest exercises, I'd had chronic bronchitis for many years.

So, it's not a joke, y'know.