POLYAKOV V.G., NAZAROVA M.P., VOROBYEV E.P. The Attitude to War Prisoners in the USSR in the Initial Period of Captivity (on the Materials of Stalingrad and the Stalingrad Region)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2018.1.7 

Vladimir G. Polyakov

Doctor of Sciences (Economics), Professor, Dean of the Faculty of Construction and Housing and Communal Services,

Volgograd State Technical University,

Prosp. Lenina, 28, 400005 Volgograd, Russian Federation

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9464-0994 

Marina P. Nazarova

Doctor of Sciences (Philosophy), Professor, Dean of the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Development,

Volgograd State Technical University,

Prosp. Lenina, 28, 400005 Volgograd, Russian Federation

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4602-9154 

Evgeniy P. Vorobyev

Candidate of Sciences (History), Associate Professor,

Department of Economic Theory, History and Law, Volgograd State Technical University,

Prosp. Lenina, 28, 400005 Volgograd, Russian Federation

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3022-7519 


Abstract. The paper analyzes the attitude of soldiers and officers of the Red Army, local population and authorities to the prisoners of war in Stalingrad. The historical sources verified by V.G. Polyakov are represented by the official documents from the Archive of Federal Security Service of Russia in the Volgograd region, memories of the Soviet and German parties involved in the events. These materials allow assessing the condition of war prisoners of Stalingrad in military camps. After the victory in the battle on the Volga tens of thousands of enemy soldiers of different nationalities were captured: Germans, Romanians, Italians and Poles. Their survival depended not only on the policy of the Soviet Command, but also on the specific actions of servants at distribution points and camps. The methodology proposed by M.P. Nazarova made it possible to determine the complex causes of high mortality of war prisoners at the initial stage of their captivity: grave malnutrition and diseases, cruel treatment, lack of food and water, difficulties of reception, transportation, accommodation and medical care. Stalingrad was heavily damaged, and there was a lack of resources for the organization of military camps. The sources of personal origin, reviewed by E.P. Vorobyev, reveal the change for the better attitude of both camp administration and residents to former soldiers and officers of the Wehrmacht. The compassion and help let many war prisoners survive. Many years later they retained vivid memories of the most tragic period in their life. Today the study of the fate of war prisoners in Stalingrad and in the Stalingrad region is an important aspect of preserving the historical memory about the events of World War II both in Russia and abroad.

Key words: World War II, Stalingrad, prisoners of war, military camps, oral history, historical memory.

Citation. Polyakov V.G., Nazarova M.P., Vorobyev E.P. The Attitude to War Prisoners in the USSR in the Initial Period of Captivity (on the Materials of Stalingrad and the Stalingrad Region). Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4, Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2018, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 67-78. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2018.1.7.

Лицензия Creative Commons

The Attitude to War Prisoners in the USSR in the Initial Period of Captivity (on the Materials of Stalingrad and the Stalingrad Region) by Polyakov V.G., Nazarova M.P., Vorobyev E.P. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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