The horrors of the Stalingrad captivity

Memorandum to V. Abakumov to A. Vyshinsky on the atrocious attitude of German servicemen towards Soviet prisoners of war
September 2, 1943
To the People's Commissar of the USSR, Comrade Vyshinsky
In mid-January 1943, squeezing a ring of encirclement around the 6th German army, our troops captured a transit prisoner of war camp, located near the village of Alekseevka near Stalingrad, the so-called "Dulag-205."
Captured Red Army soldiers who died from hunger and cold in a prisoner of war camp in the village of Bolshaya Rossoshka near Stalingrad. January 1943
In connection with this, the Smersh General Directorate conducted an investigation, during which it was revealed that the German officers and soldiers, performing the installations of the German military command, treated prisoners of war mockingly, brutally exterminated them by mass beatings and executions, created unbearable conditions of detention in the camp and starved. It was also established that a similar brutal attitude of Germans towards prisoners of war also took place in prisoner of war camps in Darnitsa near Kiev, Dergachi near Kharkov, Poltava and Rossosh.
German camps for Soviet prisoners of war.
The immediate culprits of the deaths of Soviet people were currently under investigation in the Smersh General Directorate:Kerpert Rudolph, former commandant of the Dulag-205 camp, colonel of the German army, born in 1886, a native of the Sudeten region (Germany), from a merchant family. He was taken prisoner on January 31, 1943 in the city of Stalingrad.Von Kunovsky Werner, former chief quartermaster of the 6th German army, lieutenant colonel of the German army, born in 1907, native of Silesia, nobleman, son of a major general of the German army. He was taken prisoner on January 31, 1943 in the city of Stalingrad.Langheld Wilhelm - a former counterintelligence officer (Abwehr officer) at the Dulag-205 camp, captain of the German army, born in 1891, a native of the mountains. Frankfurt, from the family of an official, a member of the National Socialist Party since 1933. He was taken prisoner on January 31, 1943 in the city of Stalingrad.Meder Otto, former adjutant of the Dulag-205 camp commandant, lieutenant of the German army, born in 1895, native of Erfurt district (Germany), member of the fascist party since 1935. He was captured on January 31, 1943 near Stalingrad.The testimonies of Kunovsky, Lyangkheld and Meder established that there was a direct instruction of the high command of the German army about the extermination of Soviet prisoners of war - officers and privates, as "inferior" people.
Column of Soviet prisoners of war near Stalingrad, September 1942, captured picture
So, a former counterintelligence officer at the camp, Captain Lyangheld, during an interrogation on September 1, 1943, testified:“The German command considered the Russian prisoners of war as working cattle, necessary for the performance of various works. Russian prisoners of war held in the Alekseevsky camp "Dulag-205", like in other German prisoners of war camps, were fed starving only so that they could work for us.... The atrocities that we repaired over prisoners of war were aimed at exterminating them as extra people. In addition, I must say that in our behavior with Russian prisoners of war we proceeded from a special attitude to all Russian people that existed in the German army.
Column of Soviet prisoners of war near Stalingrad, September 1942, captured picture
In the German army there was a belief in relation to the Russians, which is the law for us: “Russians are an inferior people, barbarians who have no culture. The Germans are called upon to establish a new order in Russia. ” This belief was instilled in us by the German government. We also knew that there are many Russian people and they need to be destroyed as much as possible in order to prevent the possibility of any resistance to the Germans after the establishment of a new order in Russia.... Bullying of Russian prisoners of war was repaired by both soldiers and officers of the German army who had anything to do with prisoners of war. ”This explains that in the Alekseevsky camp, designed for 1,200 people, up to 4,000 Soviet prisoners of war were imprisoned, placed in incredible cramped conditions and in terrible unsanitary conditions.
In the camp for Soviet prisoners of war, captured picture, September 13, 1942
As shown by German officers Kerpert, Kunovsky, Lyangkheld and Meder, Soviet prisoners of war, being in the "Dulag-205", were starving, and from the beginning of December 1942 the command of the 6th German army, represented by the chief of staff, Lieutenant General Schmidt, completely stopped the camp supplies. food, as a result of which among the prisoners of war there was a mass mortality due to hunger. From December 5, 1942, mortality among prisoners of war from starvation reached 50-60 people per day, and by the time the camp was liberated by the Red Army, about 3,000 people died.The former Chief Quartermaster of the 6th German Army, Lieutenant Colonel Kunovsky during interrogation on August 25-26, 1943 testified:“... I personally, like the chief of staff of the 6th German Army, Lieutenant General Schmidt, like other German officers, treated the Soviet prisoners of war as inferior people.When prisoners of war, exhausted by hunger, lost value to us.On the territory of the camp and near it were discovered thousands of corpses of prisoners of war of the Red Army and commanders who died of starvation and cold, and also released several hundred tormented, starved and extremely tormented ex. members of the Red Army.

The tortured fighter of the Red Army, February 1943, Stalingrad Alekseevka, "Dulag-205"

This is also confirmed by Lieutenant Meder, who also stated that he repeatedly reported to the Quartermaster 6 of the German army Kunovsky about the situation in the camp, but he did not take any measures to supply the camp and once told Meder that prisoners should be shot. During the interrogation of August 27, 1943, Meder testified:
Victims of the Alekseevsky prisoner of war camp "Dulag-205"
“... Colonel Kerpert never went to the army headquarters in order to personally demand food for prisoners of war, and wrote only memos on hunger and mortality in the camp. He sent these notes through me and other camp staff to Kunovsky’s headquarters....December 5 or 6, 1942, during one of the reports to Kunovsky, I asked him if I should talk about the situation in the camp with the chief of staff of the army. To this, Kunovsky answered me that the chief of staff was absent and in general direct appeal was unnecessary, since he himself reported to the command. To my categorical question: “What do you order us to do in two days, when the prisoners of war will not have a single gram of food?”,Kunovsky shrugged and said: “We will have to shoot prisoners of war then.” Then there were about 4,000 prisoners of war in the camp.
The bodies of the dead in the concentration camp "Pitomnik" Gorodishche district
Continuing his testimony, Kunovsky on this issue stated that he had informed the chief of staff of the 6th German Army Lieutenant General Schmidt about the situation in the camp, but at the same time they did not take any measures to facilitate the fate of prisoners of war. In addition, Kerpert, Lyangkheld and Meder showed that German officers and soldiers beat Soviet prisoners of war for minor misconduct, for lethargy at work, and also without any faults.Prisoners of war, driven by hunger to madness, during the distribution of food prepared from different carrion, were poisoned by dogs to establish "order". Langkheld said that, interrogating prisoners of war, he, his sergeant major and translator, in order to obtain military intelligence from them, beat Russian prisoners of war. The prisoners of war also systematically beat prisoners of war - soldiers and officers.
The bodies of the dead in the concentration camp "Pitomnik" Gorodishche district
Langheld admitted that he provoked through his agents attempts to flee prisoners of war, as a result of which they were shot. A similar practice of violence, bullying, murder and provocation was widely used not only in the Alekseevsky camp, but also, as Kunovsky, Lyangkheld and Meder know, in other prisoner-of-war camps.Langheld testified:“I usually beat prisoners of war with sticks with a diameter of 4-5 cm, but this was not only in Alekseevka. I worked in other POW camps: in Darnitsa near Kiev, Dergachi near Kharkov, in Poltava and in Rossosh. In all these camps, the beating of prisoners of war was practiced. The beating of prisoners of war was common in the German army.... In the Poltava camp, German soldiers from among the guards fired from small-caliber rifles at prisoners of war for the fact that they urinated in the wrong place where it was provided. "On the atrocious appeal to prisoners of war by the German authorities, Kunovsky showed:“In the spring of 1942 in Kharkov, in the camps of prisoners of war, typhus raged. No quarantine measures were provided, and a high mortality rate occurred in these camps. This was reported to me by doctors.... Soviet prisoners of war worked on the restoration of the Chir railway station. According to the commander of the battalion, who led these works, among the prisoners of war, due to exhaustion, diseases and high mortality occurred.The inhuman and criminally German military authorities also treated the civilian population of the occupied regions. So, for example, in June 1942, mobilized workers were sent to work in Germany from Kharkov. Transportation of these workers was carried out in terrible conditions. The food was exceptionally poor, and there was even no straw in the cars so that the workers could lie down during the long journey. ”Adjutant of the commandant of the camp "Dulag-205" Meder, being questioned, testified:“... Before mobilization in the army, I lived in the city of Burg, where Russian prisoners of war were brought for agricultural work. These prisoners of war were extremely exhausted and exhausted. Judging by the fact that the Russian soldiers whom I subsequently had to see looked well-fed and healthy, I believe that prisoners of war who arrived at our place in Burg, at the camps and during transportation, were extremely poorly fed.... In Alekseevka, in “Dulag-205”, where I served, there were several angry dogs. Dogs were used to restore order among prisoners of war. During the distribution of food (when the kitchens were still working), prisoners of war lined up to get a little pottage. Sometimes hungry people (some of them went from hunger to insanity) broke the queue, then dog breeders set dogs on them. ”In the course of the investigation in the case of Kerpert, Kunovsky, Lyangkheld and Meder, former Red Army soldiers were installed and questioned in the Stalingrad special camp - Krupachenko KS, Pisanovsky KK, Kasinov ID, Kucheryaev S.M. and Alekseev A.A., who were held captive by the Germans for a long period of time, were held in "Dulag-205." These persons showed mass mortality among prisoners of war from starvation and atrocious treatment of Russian prisoners of war by the German command.
The bodies of the dead in the concentration camp "Pitomnik" Gorodishche district
So, ex. serviceman of the Red Army Alekseev A.A. during interrogation on August 10, 1943 he testified:“... There was a great death rate in the camp, the reason for this was the following: prisoners of war for all the time of my stay in the camp did not at all get bread, water ...Instead of water, dirty, bloodied snow was scooped up in the camp area, after which there were massive prisoners of war diseases. There was no medical assistance. I personally had 4 wounds and despite my repeated requests - no help was provided, the wounds fester. German sentries shot at prisoners of war without warning. I personally saw one prisoner of war, I don’t know his last name, while distributing food, I tried to cut off a piece of horse skin with a knife - I was noticed by a sentry who shot the prisoner of war at point blank range and shot him. There were many such cases.We slept on the ground in mud, there was absolutely no place to warm ourselves from the cold. Boots and warm clothes from prisoners of war were taken away, in return they were torn shoes and clothes removed from the dead and dead ...Many of the prisoners of war, not having endured the horrors of the camp environment, went crazy. 150 people died a day, and in the first days of January 1943, 216 people died on the same day, as I learned from the workers of the camp medical unit. The German command of the camp was poisoning prisoners of war by dogs - shepherds. Dogs knocked weakened prisoners of war from their feet and dragged them through the snow, while the Germans stood and laughed at them. The camp practiced public executions of prisoners of war ... "Life serviceman of the Red Army I. Kasinov during interrogation on July 23, 1943 he testified:"... In the prisoner of war camp for the slightest violations: noise in the queue when receiving food, failure, being late for work - the prisoners were systematically beaten with sticks, indiscriminately."Similar testimonies, illustrated by the facts of German atrocities over prisoners of war, were given by other ex. soldiers of the Red Army.Kerpert, Kunovsky, Lyangheld and Meder pleaded guilty to the crimes they committed.The investigation is ongoing. I raised a question before the Government about the advisability of organizing a vowel process in the case, with its coverage in the press.

Prisoner of war camp in the village of Bolshaya Rossoshka Stalingrad


TSA FSB RF, f. 14, op. 5, d. 1, l. 228-235 (original)
A source:
Stalingrad saga: documents of the NKVD and military censorship. M.: "Belfry-MG", 2000