Thursday, February 28, 2013

Russian-German Labor Army Conscripts from Central Asia

The Soviet government mobilized about 9,000 men or about two thirds of the adult male Russian-German population of the four Central Asian republics of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan into the labor army in early 1942 as a result of GKO Order 1281ss. They were sent out of the region to construct rail ways. As a result of this mobilization for forced labor in other parts of the USSR the Russian-German population in Central Asia plummeted. Between 1939 and 1942 the Russian-German population in Uzbekistan shrank by 2,805 (28%), Turkmenistan 1,424 (43%), Kyrgyzstan 3,305 (28%), and Tajikistan 1,076 (53%). In October 1942, the Stalin regime mobilized more Russian-Germans with GKO Order 2383ss. During this second mobilization the NKVD unmasked 1,165 "anti-Soviet elements" among the Russian-Germans living in Central Asia. This number included 456 in Uzbekistan (6.3% of their total population), 76 in Turkmenistan (4%), 431 in Kyrgyzstan (5.1%), and 202 in Tajikistan (21.3%!). A large number of these men and women were arrested, tried,  and transferred to corrective labor camps to serve sentences as prisoners. Despite their small population, many thousands of Russian-Germans from Central Asia worked as forced laborers during and after World War II in various regions of the USSR.


A.A. German and D. Inojatowa, "Deutsche Trudarmeisten in Mittelasien" in A.A. German and O. Silantjewa, (Hrsg.), "...In Arbeitskolonnen fur die gesamte Zeit des Krieges". Zeitzeugen und Forscher berichten uber die Deutschen in der Trudarmee (Moscow: IVDK-Medien, 2012), p. 280.

A.A. German and D. Inoyatova, "Nemtsy-Trudarmeisty v srednei Azii" in  A.A. German and O. IU. Silant'evoi (eds.), "...V rabochie kolonny na vse vremya voinny". Ochevidtsy i issledovateli o nemtsakh v trudovoi armii (Moscow: MSNK-Press, 2012),  p. 281.

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