German Soldiers in the Soviet Union: Letters from the East

Published by carolyn on Sun, 2018-03-04 18:41

Front and back cover of the 1941 booklet "German Soldiers in the Soviet Union" by Wolfgang Diewerge.

By Carolyn Yeager

I RECEIVED AN EMAIL FROM 'ROGER' with a link to a Third Reich book of soldiers' letters from the East, titled “German Soldiers in the Soviet Union: Letters from the East” (Deutsche Soldaten sehen die Sowjet-Union. Feldpostbriefe aus dem Osten) by Wolfgang Diewerge, published in 1941. I don't recall seeing this particular page in Randall Bytwerk's Calvin College “German Propaganda Archive” before now. The page is copyrighted, so I will only reproduce a few of the letter excerpts here, in order to draw your attention to them.

Roger wanted to know if there was an English translation of the full 60 page booklet. Not that I know of, so if anyone out there is interested in producing a translation, please do contact me.

After reading it, I was inspired to write the following few paragraphs on what ideas it brought to my mind on this Sunday morning:

The current government in Germany is fully approved by the global ruling class, and continues the policy since the death of Adolf Hitler and the consequent end of the war in Europe to stifle even the smallest recognition of him as being representative of the will of the German people. He is portrayed as criminal, and his political party also as criminal. Laws were immediately put in place to punish use of the symbols of his 12-year government and party rule. Historians are required to follow this dictate in their writings or they are not published. This is not history but political repression. And it represents the victory of the Communists, and the Jews, which overlap.

World Jewry officially announced itself as the enemy of the NSDAP with an international boycott as soon as Adolf Hitler took office as Chancellor in January 1933. They were implacable, in spite of some Zionists accepting the party's help in relocating Jews living in Germany to Palestine. Most Jews had it so good in Germany they didn't want to leave; it was a hard sell to entice that portion who were willing.

While that was going on during the 1930's, along with Hitler's great domestic successes, World Jewry was firmly establishing itself with the “democratic” governments around the world that resented and feared the strength of a re-united German state under a highly popular, nationalist leader. The decisions and actions of these “democratic” governments were being substantially directed by their many influential, behind-the-scenes, often crypto Jews. Hitler and his party were correct to name the Jew as their enemy in the war, and to name leaders such as Churchill and Roosevelt as the Jews' enablers. The other enemy (that wasn't always separate) was the Communists/Bolsheviks, with their headquarters in the Soviet Union and their international network. They had managed to take over that entire, huge country, and its government, and were starving and murdering wholesale the Russian population.

When the German troops and their Allies went into the Soviet Union in a massive invasion on June 22, 1941, they soon found the primitive and poverty-stricken conditions in which the Russian peasants and “kulaks” were living. In their letters to the homeland, they attempted to describe what they were seeing. Because it was such a powerful argument against the spread of communism/bolshevism into Europe, the Reich Propaganda Ministry determined to publish these letters. A 60-page booklet was produced, written by Wolfgang Diewerge, containing excerpts from these letters, classified under subject headings.

*    *     *

In Chapter 1, Diewerge wrote:

[T]he best and most personal source of news in war is and remains the letter. That which the husband or son, the brother, or the bridegroom puts on paper during a brief rest. […] Every family carefully preserves these letters. In party local groups, within National Socialist organizations and in factories, these letters from comrades are passed from hand to hand as eyewitness reports of upright German men.


There are millions of German citizens who do not have that direct contact with the front. They need to read these letters. They all deal with a theme that is particularly relevant today for the entire German people: What does the Soviet Union really look like?


Some soldiers do not conceal the fact that they were not always National Socialists. There are even letter writers who faced legal penalties for their support for communism in the past. Nearly all of them remember the communist phrases and doctrines of the System Era [before 1933]. They did not march into the Soviet Union expecting to find everything bad, but rather they were eager to see how things really were in the land of Lenin and Stalin.


Those Germans who read these letters, and those who wrote them, ask the question: “What would have happened to our women, mothers and children if the Bolshevist tanks and murderers had overrun our homeland?”


That is why these letters move us so deeply. They demonstrate that this decisive battle did not come from the lust for power or conquest, from political vanity or excessive fanaticism. That is what our enemies say. But these letters show that the culture of Germany and of Europe hang on this battle. It will decide whether subhuman Bolshevism destroys all that which is noble and holy to Germans, or whether the German soldier and his brave allies will build the foundation of a new era of peace and freedom.

The Worker's Paradise – most frequent theme

Lieutenant Otto Deissenroth, Military Post Number 12 827D writes to local group leader Kemmel in Altenau (Mainfranken)

In the East, 30.7.1941

Dear Comrade Karl !

I write this letter from the desolation of a Ukrainian forest village, 40 kilometers from Kiev, which we hope to capture in a few days. The fruitful land of the Ukraine is all around us, but 20 years of Bolshevist mismanagement have brought it to ruin. The poverty, misery, and filth we have seen and experienced in the past weeks is indescribable. You back home cannot imagine the terrible results of Bolshevism in this fruitful land. Everything that we formerly read in newspapers and books pales in the face of terrible reality. Our eyes look in vain for some sign of construction, for a trace of progress, for a bit of culture. We yearn for the sight of a clean house, an orderly street, a few tended gardens, a few trees! Wherever we look there is filth, decay, desolation, misery, death, and suffering! Everywhere we see the ghost of Bolshevism in the tortured look of farmers, the blank stares of captives, the hundreds of murdered people, the farm houses, desolate buildings, and ruined houses. I sometimes think it is all the work of the devil.


The poorest German village is a pearl in comparison to these ruined Russian villages. Sometimes as I face the thousands of murdered people that we found in the cities and villages, and in the numerous occasions where we found women and children wailing over the corpses of their family members, or when they asked us to free their men who had been hauled off just before we arrived, I see the Führer before me. He saved an enslaved and raped humanity, giving it once more divine freedom and the blessing of a worthy existence. The last and deepest reason for this war is to restore the natural and godly order.

Houses and Roads

Staff Sergeant Kurt Hummel, Military Post Number L 31 605 Lg Pa. Paris, to his local group

Northern Russia, 12 August 1941

Bolshevist conditions are indescribable. I had never imagined that such misery was possible. People here know nothing about electric lights, radio, newspapers, and the like. One can’t call what they live in houses. There are only shanties with rotten straw roofs. Huge neglected fields lay around. We haven’t yet found even a small shop.

Soldier Heinrich Stähr tells his work mates at the Hamburg Hochbahn A. G. about conditions:

The roads. We in the infantry are probably the best judge of good and bad roads, since we have to march for kilometer after kilometer on them. Here too the Soviets haven’t lifted a finger. The main roads are no better than field paths. […] it is 30-35 degrees C. in the shade, and huge clouds of dust make it almost impossible to breathe. Swamps, forests, and bad roads make military action unpleasant, but we keep moving forward.

Rule by Bigwigs and Jews

Soldier Reinold Mahnke, Military Post Number 02 179 to Supervisor Borrmann at the Otto Kloss Company in Hamburg:

Dünaberg, 8 Aug. 1941

Dear Hermann, You have to have seen what people called the Bolshevist Paradise! It is poor, Hermann, incredibly poor. Only Jews and functionaries lived well. The people didn’t earn enough to buy a pair of socks or anything like that. They earned 1 ruble a day, about 10 German pfennig, and that for a full day’s work. Only the Jews lived well. Each city is about 40% Jewish.

Bolshevist Atrocities

Soldier Fred Fallnbigl to his Parents in Salzburg, 17.7.41

But a bit more from the Soviet Paradise. [...] I saw the prisons in Lemberg, and saw things that struck me deeply. There were men with their ears and noses cut off, etc. They had nailed children alive by their hands and feet to the wall, butchering them. The blood was ankle deep. It didn’t make any difference if they were alive or dead. They doused the piles of bodies with gasoline and set them on fire. The stench was terrible. I saw similar things in Tarnopol and Tromborla. In T. seven Ukrainians were hauled out of their beds after the Germans had arrived. The next morning their bodies were found in the woods, beaten until they were unrecognizable. I have seen all of this myself, they are not matters I heard about. Feel free to tell them to others, particularly those who may still think well of the Soviet Union. […] I don’t think that even years of preparation would make Germans capable of such atrocities.

Sergeant Paul Rubelt, Military Post Number 34 539 F, to Miss Grete Egger, Lebring 71, Steiermark:


I was in Lemberg yesterday and saw a bloodbath. It was terrible. Many had their skin stripped off, men were castrated, their eyes poked out, arms or legs chopped off. Some were nailed to the wall, 30-40 were sealed into a small room and suffocated. About 650 people in this area must have died in such ways. The stench can be endured only if one smokes a cigarette and keeps a handkerchief over one’s nose. The Jews did most of it. Now they have to dig the graves. The culprits will be shot. Many already died because of the stench. In this city they even opened graves and defiled the corpses. It is terrible. One can hardly believe that such people exist.

What Soldiers Want to Do with Grumblers

Soldier Walter Sperath writes to the [NSDAP] county office Hamburg 6

Everything I have seen of the so-called workers’ paradise is everything but lovely. One should send every citizen who even slightly criticizes our efforts here. He would thank the Führer and the movement that these conditions are not found in our fatherland. Animals by us live in better conditions than the people here.

NCO Alfred Rothe, Military Post Number 27 643 to his Wife in Kostermannsfeld, Burgstr. 5:


....even without the war, the people here were impoverished and exhausted. Only the bigwigs lived well in palaces. Now the people’s eyes are being opened. Anyone in Germany who still does not believe in communism’s terrible crimes should see for himself, and listen to the people.

Former Communists Talk

Flyer W. M., Res.-Lazarett Salzlwedel to his Cell Leader Schroeder

I have seen the “wonderful workers’ paradise” in the Soviet Union with all its terrible misery, and wish that those who thought differently could spend a few weeks here to see and experience what we have. The misery and horror of Bolshevism is terrible.

I hope that volunteering for our proud army may atone for my earlier sins, and that when I am back home, you, dear party member, will accept me as an honest person. In that hope, I send you my warmest greetings. Heil Hitler!

Corporal Otto Kien, Military Post Number 18, 756, to the Factory Leadership of the Conrad Scholtz Factory, Barmbeck

Russia, 8 August 1941

Anyone who earlier had different opinions of the Soviet Union is quickly cured of them here. The poverty is terrible. Not even the farmers have anything to eat. They beg from us. There are lice and filth everywhere. One has to be careful one doesn’t get them from the inhabitants.

These people don’t know anything else. They sit in their huts and remove lice from each other. They don’t mind if anyone watches. I’ve had my fill of this workers’ paradise. We’ll be glad to be out of here. In the past we saw pictures of malnourished children. They were not exaggerated. One can’t believe it if one hasn’t been here.

*      *       *

From these few examples, we can understand why the Soviets tried so hard to pin atrocities on German troops—they needed to draw attention away from themselves. Same with the Americans, British and French. To have pretended that the Soviet Union was a great nation, with a great leader, Stalin, was the height of lying through your teeth to the people. And the media of the day, the newspapers, radio and film, conspired with the backers of Bolshevism to hoodwink the public. They were then, as now, headed and staffed mainly by Jews.

The extent and earliness of Allied weapons delivery to the Soviet Union has recently come to light which rightly questions the "advanced state" of Soviet industrial capability that has been so much touted by them.

[T]he first 20 British tanks arrived at the Soviet tank training school in Kazan on October 28, 1941, at which point a further 120 tanks were unloaded at the port of Archangel in northern Russia.


The tanks reached the front lines with extraordinary speed. Extrapolating from available statistics, researchers estimate that British-supplied tanks made up 30 to 40 percent of the entire heavy and medium tank strength of Soviet forces before Moscow at the beginning of December 1941, and certainly made up a significant proportion of tanks available as reinforcements at this critical point in the fighting. By the end of 1941 Britain had delivered 466 tanks out of the 750 promised.

The British Military Mission to Moscow noted that by December 9, about ninety British tanks had already been in action with Soviet forces. The first of these units to have seen action seems to have been the 138th Independent Tank Battalion (with twenty-one British tanks), which was involved in stemming the advance of German units in the region of the Volga Reservoir to the north of Moscow in late November. In fact the British intercepted German communications indicating that German forces had first come in contact with British tanks on the Eastern front on November 26, 1941.


A steady stream of British-made tanks continued to flow into the Red Army through the spring and summer of 1942. Canada would eventually produce 1,420 Valentines, almost exclusively for delivery to the Soviet Union.


Lend-Lease aircraft deliveries were also of significance during the Battle of Moscow. […] A total of 699 Lend-Lease aircraft had been delivered to Archangel by the time the Arctic convoys switched to Murmansk in December 1941. Of these, 99 Hurricanes and 39 Tomahawks were in service with the Soviet air defense forces on January 1, 1942 … About 15 percent of the aircraft of the 6th Fighter Air Corps defending Moscow were Tomahawks or Hurricanes.


The Soviet Northern Fleet was also a major and early recipient of British Hurricanes. … As early as October 12, 1941, the Soviet 126th Fighter Air Regiment was operating with Tomahawks bought from the United States by Britain. Tomahawks also served in defense of the Doroga Zhizni or “Road of Life” across the ice of Lake Ladoga, which provided the only supply line to the besieged city of Leningrad during the winter of 1941–42. By spring and summer of 1942 the Hurricane had clearly become the principal fighter aircraft of the Northern Fleet’s air regiments; in all, 83 out of its 109 fighters were of foreign origin.


Substantial quantities of machine tools and raw materials, such as aluminum and rubber, were supplied to help Soviet industry back on its feet: 312 metal-cutting machine tools were delivered by convoy PQ-12 alone, arriving in March 1942, along with a range of other items for Soviet factories such as machine presses and compressors.


[T]he speed at which Britain in particular was willing and able to provide aid to the Soviet Union, and at which the Soviet Union was able to put foreign equipment into frontline use, is still an underappreciated part of this story. During the bitter fighting of the winter of 1941–1942, British aid made a crucial difference.

It certainly detracted from the impact made by the element of surprise that Hitler counted on for a successful early conclusion to the Soviet campaign. From this, it seems highly likely that without that substantial British support (in some cases for special machine tools that Russia did not and would not have had, otherwise) the Red Army would not have been able to 'come back' as it did at Moscow, in particular. The fall of Moscow in December 1941 would have changed history.


Last week in his address to the nation, besides threatening the West with new wonder nuclear weapons - real or imagined- Putin lamented that Russia lost 20% of its territory after that "fall" of the Soviet Union, despite Russia still being double in size compared to America. 
Russia under the cleptocratic/oligarchic regime under Putin - a gangster dressed up as a head a state- is no better or worse than Russia under the bolsheviks or the tsars. If Jews really ruled bolshevik Russia, as some naively claim, why all the Soviet leaders were non-Jews and the Soviet Union and the East Block always supported the Arabs against the Israelis?
Collectivism and despotism have always been the main characteristic of russian slavic society - under tsarism the russian serfs were not better off than under supposedly "jewish" bolshevism. I understand that's more glamorous to blame everything on Jews.

Gilson - I can say about this particular comment that nothing you have said is true. The Bolshevik revolution was led by Jews. Why did one of the first laws they passed make anti-Semitism a crime? Stalin didn't purge the Jews until the early 1950's, because of the Cold War and the Jewish stronghold in the USA. You've really lost it with your last sentence.

Totally agree with you Carolyn. Even the Stalin death raises many doubts. Some say that was Lavrenti Beria his murderer, but anyway his death was coincidentaly with the increase in the persecution of jews...

You know how I hate the use of "some say" instead of taking responsibility for what you say or naming who says. This goes for everybody.

Hitler certainly believed that Stalin was just using the Jews. As far as I'm aware, there were at least four moves conducted against Jews by Stalin. The first with Trotsky, another during the pact with Germany, then the transfer of Jews into Siberia, and finally the post-war purges (particularly the Prague trial).

What is your reason to say that Hitler believed that? I think, as with Fabio, you should always link to where the information can be found. Or say where it is, if not easily found on the Internet.

As we see in these letters, German soldiers were aware of the Jewish Problem, and of the work of the Jews in Russia. Whether Stalin "used  them" doesn't take away from their venality. Stalin was a Georgian, not actually a Russian, something I meant to say earlier. His loyalty was to the Communist Party, never to the Russian people. He actually used the Russian people.

I'll remember to do that next time. The basis for my claim were the Table Talks, entries Jan. 5-6, 1942 and August 24, 1942. I checked both in Jochmann's translation.
The letters were insightful, certainly backs up the claim from former soldiers that they were fighting to protect Europe from Bolshevism. The letters reminded me of what Degrelle reported in his Campaign in Russia, about how every village, town, and city in Poland was filled with Jews. Rosenberg describes them in the same way in The Track of the Jew (about their numbers in Alexandria and Rome). Tacitus wasn't kidding when he observed that the Jews make sure that their numbers increase.
That is a good point, Stalin had no sincere link to Russia, he would have readily abandoned it if it jeopardized him. It is as you said, Stalin used the Russians too.

Ok, one of those who said it was Beria was Khrushchev

I think he would have been too afraid of Stalin to take such a chance, as they all were. From Wikipedia:

Khrushchev wrote in his memoirs that Beria had, immediately after Stalin's stroke, gone about "spewing hatred against [Stalin] and mocking him." When Stalin showed signs of consciousness, Beria dropped to his knees and kissed his hand. When Stalin fell unconscious again, Beria immediately stood and spat.[33]

Stalin's aide Vasili Lozgachev reported that Beria and Malenkov were the first members of the Politburo to investigate Stalin's condition after his stroke. They arrived at Stalin's dacha at Kuntsevo at 03:00 on 2 March after being called by Khrushchev and Bulganin. The latter two did not want to risk Stalin's wrath by checking themselves.[34] Lozgachev tried in futility to explain to Beria that the then-unconscious Stalin (still in his soiled clothing) was "sick and needed medical attention." Beria angrily dismissed his claims as panic-mongering and quickly left, ordering him, "Don't bother us, don't cause a panic and don't disturb Comrade Stalin!"[35] Calling a doctor was deferred for a full 12 hours after Stalin was rendered paralyzed, incontinent, and unable to speak. This decision is noted as "extraordinary" by the historian Simon Sebag-Montefiore, but also consistent with the standard Stalinist policy of deferring all decision-making (no matter how necessary or obvious) without official orders from higher authority.[36]

Beria's decision to avoid immediately calling a doctor was tacitly supported (or at least not opposed) by the rest of the Politburo, which was rudderless without Stalin's micromanagement and paralyzed by a legitimate fear he would suddenly recover and wreak violent reprisal on anyone who had dared to act without his orders.[37]

Shortly after Stalin's death, Beria announced triumphantly to the Politburo that he had "done [Stalin] in" and "saved [us] all", according to Molotov's memoirs. Notably, Beria never explicitly stated whether he had initiated Stalin's stroke or had merely delayed his treatment in the hope he would die (as argued by Sebag-Montefiore).[39] Sebag-Montefiore does not dispute the possibility of an assassination by poison masterminded by Beria, whose hatred for Stalin was palpable by this point, but also notes that Beria never made mention of poison or confessed to using it, even during his later interrogations, and was never alone with Stalin during the period prior to his stroke (he always went with Malenkov to defer suspicion).[38]

Stalin died of pulmonary edema brought on by the stroke.

"The basis for my claim were the Table Talks, entries Jan. 5-6, 1942 and August 24, 1942 - Jochmann's translation."

I don't have Jochmann, but found this in the Cameron and Stevens translation. I think you have to be very careful about making such a sweeping statement as "Hitler certainly believed that Stalin was just using the Jews" from only two comments he made during his talk at table. I think it would have been better to say: Hitler said on a couple of occasions that ....

I would say Stalin joined the Jews and over time managed to wrest control over them. It wasn't that he felt separate from the Jews but just that he wanted to reign supreme bc he didn't trust anyone.

Night of 5th-6th January 1942

Stalin pretends to have been the herald of the Bolshevik revolution. In actual fact, he identifies himself with the Russia of the Tsars, and he has merely resurrected the tradition of Pan-Slavism. For him Bolshevism is only a means, a disguise designed to trick the Germanic and Latin peoples.

22nd August 1942, evening

Had he been given the time, Stalin would have made of Russia a super-industrialised monster, completely contrary to the interests of the masses, but justified by demagogic pedantry and designed to raise the standard of life for his own particular partisans. His final objective would have been the absorbing of the whole of Europe into the Bolshevik ring. He is a beast, but he's a beast on the grand scale. He made use of the Jews to eliminate the intelligentsia of the Ukraine, and then exported the Jews by trainloads to Siberia. I think it quite possible that he will go off to China, when he sees no other way of escape open to him.

It is interesting that he said this, but he also said on many occasions that Bolshevism was Jewish. You should also give us the quote if you have it, not make us go hunt it down. Most readers are not able to do that.

Alright, I'll be more cautious about such claims next time and remember to provide the direct quotations. "I think it would have been better to say: Hitler said on a couple of occasions that" I agree.

Nikita Khrushchev said in his memoirs that Stalin told him several times in private conversations that they Russia couldn't beat Germany one on one without the help of America and the lend lease program.

Of course they could not. No one could. They had to gang up 3 or 4 countries to one, OR get the USA with all it's productive capacity and natural resources on their side. Those Slavs who like to brag that Russians whipped Germans are leaving that out!