• This is a stand-to for an incoming competition, one of our most expensive yet.
    Later this week we're going to be offering the opportunity to Win £270 Rab Neutrino Pro military down jacket
    Visit the thread at that link above and Watch it to be notified as soon as the competition goes live

British POWs in Soviet GULAG

#1
It is a very interesting theme for me. However I don't know much about it. Let's discuss it.
 
#2
I can't say that this specific subject is something I know a great deal about, but for a general discourse I can recommend Gulag : A History by Anne Applebaum - a very well researched and written book; whilst not presented in an overly dramatic style, such is the subject matter that you should prepare yourself for laughter and tears. I've just done a Google search and it appears that The Iron Cage by Nigel Cawthorne is the definitive work on the subject of Allied prisoners in the gulag system.
 
#3
Without any real knowledge it is probably likely that:

Large groups ie US/UK/CW in organized camps/marches were returned (eventually), Certainly of Aus POW(G) reported to Red Cross (no known cases where this didn't happen) very few (tens?) were subsequently missing.

Individuals - assigned to farms, escaped and took up with the the wrong partisans, happened to finish up with USSR POW's or whatever who finished up in Russian hands may have ended up in the system. With these unfortunates a couple of years later (or in 1953) they would be a bit of an embaressment and records may have been destroyed.

A similar fate would have awaited the Korean boys and the cold war aircrew prior to Powers
 
#4
DozyBint said:
I can't say that this specific subject is something I know a great deal about, but for a general discourse I can recommend Gulag : A History by Anne Applebaum - a very well researched and written book; whilst not presented in an overly dramatic style, such is the subject matter that you should prepare yourself for laughter and tears. I've just done a Google search and it appears that The Iron Cage by Nigel Cawthorne is the definitive work on the subject of Allied prisoners in the gulag system.
Nigel Cawthorne? Are his books a reliable source of information? Look at them

http://www.nigel-cawthorne.com/

Sex Lives of the Popes, Sex Lives of the US Presidents, Sex Lives of the Great Dictators, Sex Lives of the Hollywood Goddesses, Sex Lives of the Hollywood Idols, Sex Lives of the Great Artists, Sex Lives of the Great Composers, Sex Lives of the Famous Gays, Sex Lives of the Famous Lesbians and Sex Lives of the Roman Emperors.
As for the mentioned book then at least British MoD doesn't trust the author.

I published The Iron Cage which shows that 31,000 British prisoners of war held by the Germans in 1945 disappeared into the Soviet Gulags and never returned. the British Ministry of Defence claims it is still investigating this issue.
 
#5
KGB_resident said:
DozyBint said:
I can't say that this specific subject is something I know a great deal about, but for a general discourse I can recommend Gulag : A History by Anne Applebaum - a very well researched and written book; whilst not presented in an overly dramatic style, such is the subject matter that you should prepare yourself for laughter and tears. I've just done a Google search and it appears that The Iron Cage by Nigel Cawthorne is the definitive work on the subject of Allied prisoners in the gulag system.
Nigel Cawthorne? Are his books a reliable source of information? Look at them

http://www.nigel-cawthorne.com/
Never having read any of his work, I don't have a view on how reliable his information is, however:

Nigel Cawthorne is the author of over thirty books. These include The Bamboo Cage: The Full Story of American Servicemen Still Held Hostage in Southeast Asia (which Today called 'the book America dare not publish'). He is an international expert on the fate of prisoners of war and servicemen labelled 'missing in action' (MIA) and was called to testify before the US Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA affairs in 1992.
For full text see here.

Obviously someone in the US Senate decided he was worth listening to.

As for "look at them", I too noted (with raised eyebrow) the titles of his other works, but that's not to say that he isn't an expert in this field.
 
#6
I'll have to get reading, his book 'The history of the SS cricket team' sounds fascinating!

As to POWs in USSR, I've also heard that over 20,000 US POWs were kept by the russians after the war. No idea if it's true or not, but if true it's a wonder WW3 didn't kick off straight away!
 
#8
DozyBint said:
For full text see here.

Obviously someone in the US Senate decided he was worth listening to.
But had the allegations been accepted as truthful by the Senate? I doubt. Why he was allowed to speak in the Senate? Probably American lawmakers were impressed by this

Then there is sex. Available here are The Secrets of Love and the definitive sex book ­ The Vulva: An Exploration of the Female Genitalia through Art and Literature.
Suppose that somebody claims (without any evidence) that 231564 Soviet POWs were tortured to death in American and British camps. What would be a cost of his 'investigations'? Zero.

No matter would he be allowed to speak in Russian parliament or not.
 
#10
KGB_resident said:
DozyBint said:
Obviously someone in the US Senate decided he was worth listening to.
But had the allegations been accepted as truthful by the Senate? I doubt. Why he was allowed to speak in the Senate? Probably American lawmakers were impressed by this
You're making a rather doubtful - and dismissive - assumption there Sergey; on what basis do you doubt (pro-Soviet prejudice perchance?). Cawthorne was allowed to speak before the Senate because he was called to give evidence in a Senate investigation.

KGB_resident said:
Suppose that somebody claims (without any evidence) that 231564 Soviet POWs were tortured to death in American and British camps. What would be a cost of his 'investigations'? Zero.

No matter would he be allowed to speak in Russian parliament or not.
But there is documentary evidence Sergey, so stop trying to discredit evidence which does not appeal to you by recourse to the 'suppose' school of history. Doesn't Putin have a habit of silencing journalists, writers, and historians, which may explain why they do not speak before the Duma?
 
#11
gallowglass said:
KGB_resident said:
DozyBint said:
Obviously someone in the US Senate decided he was worth listening to.
But had the allegations been accepted as truthful by the Senate? I doubt. Why he was allowed to speak in the Senate? Probably American lawmakers were impressed by this
You're making a rather doubtful - and dismissive - assumption there Sergey; on what basis do you doubt (pro-Soviet prejudice perchance?). Cawthorne was allowed to speak before the Senate because he was called to give evidence in a Senate investigation.

KGB_resident said:
Suppose that somebody claims (without any evidence) that 231564 Soviet POWs were tortured to death in American and British camps. What would be a cost of his 'investigations'? Zero.

No matter would he be allowed to speak in Russian parliament or not.
But there is documentary evidence Sergey, so stop trying to discredit evidence which does not appeal to you by recourse to the 'suppose' school of history. Doesn't Putin have a habit of silencing journalists, writers, and historians, which may explain why they do not speak before the Duma?
Gallowglass, I don't believe a word you're saying.

Oh, hang on.

Please help they beat me they beat me somebody tell the British Embassy anybody please they beat me

Still, I imagaine it's all for the best though.
 
#12
gallowglass said:
Cawthorne was allowed to speak before the Senate because he was called to give evidence in a Senate investigation.
And what were decisions of the Senate?

gallowglass said:
But there is documentary evidence Sergey, so stop trying to discredit evidence which does not appeal to you by recourse to the 'suppose' school of history. Doesn't Putin have a habit of silencing journalists, writers, and historians, which may explain why they do not speak before the Duma?
You speak about 'documentary evidences' unknown to me. Are they secret? If not then how is it possible to look at them?

I met mr.Putin briefly this Summer, however I'm absolutely unaware about his habits. But one thing is obvious, he haven't much time to hear all nutters. 'Journalists, writers, and historians' have right to publish their thoughts in newspapers and magazines, in their books. Btw, there is a Russian writer - Sorokin. In one of his pseudo-historian book he described sexual act between Stalin and Khrushchev. But I doubt that the Duma would call him for hearings.
 
#13
KGB_resident said:
gallowglass said:
Cawthorne was allowed to speak before the Senate because he was called to give evidence in a Senate investigation.
And what were decisions of the Senate?
A direct quote from Cawthorne's own website (which you appear to have missed?...)

"In 1992, I was called to testify to the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, who agreed with my conclusion. They admitted that American prisoners of war had been left behind in Communist hands in 1973. However, their conclusion was hidden away in a 1,000-page report no one was going to read. They also concluded that the MIAs were now all dead, which may be true. But strangely the U.S. Senate did not feel that it was their duty to discover when and how U.S. servicemen that had sent to fight to foreign war might have died."
Also, see here: http://www.aiipowmia.com/testimony/bellveith.html

and here: http://www.vvnw.org/Educational_Material/pow_mia.htm


KBG_resident said:
gallowglass said:
But there is documentary evidence Sergey, so stop trying to discredit evidence which does not appeal to you by recourse to the 'suppose' school of history. Doesn't Putin have a habit of silencing journalists, writers, and historians, which may explain why they do not speak before the Duma?
You speak about 'documentary evidences' unknown to me. Are they secret? If not then how is it possible to look at them?
They are unknown to you because you don't seem to have been aware of their existence, and you rubbish the men who have presented the facts they took from these same archives. Just because you haven't heard of an archival source does not therefore mean that it is 'secret' and automatically suspect in your manner of thinking. Beevor is a foreigner and yet he managed to gain admission to Russian archives; I therefore imagine that you as a Russian might also be able to gain access to these resources (look at his books for what these archives are called and where they are).

KGB_resident said:
I met mr.Putin briefly this Summer, however I'm absolutely unaware about his habits. But one thing is obvious, he haven't much time to hear all nutters. 'Journalists, writers, and historians' have right to publish their thoughts in newspapers and magazines, in their books. Btw, there is a Russian writer - Sorokin. In one of his pseudo-historian book he described sexual act between Stalin and Khrushchev. But I doubt that the Duma would call him for hearings.
Come on Sergey, the surpression of the independent media - print, radio, and television - in Russia is a fact that has been widely reported upon and investigated in the West (or are all such reports a tissue of lies?). It strikes me that Putin doesn't listen to either 'nutters' or anyone else for that matter....unless they happen to have served in the KGB with him of course.

For all the running about after facts Sergey, I ought to be charging you for my time! :D
 
#14
gallowglass said:
A direct quote from Cawthorne's own website (which you appear to have missed?...)
"In 1992, I was called to testify to the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, who agreed with my conclusion. They admitted that American prisoners of war had been left behind in Communist hands in 1973. However, their conclusion was hidden away in a 1,000-page report no one was going to read. They also concluded that the MIAs were now all dead, which may be true. But strangely the U.S. Senate did not feel that it was their duty to discover when and how U.S. servicemen that had sent to fight to foreign war might have died."
And what? Where are facts, names, regiments? Can it prove anything? I don't see even a mention about British POWs in your quote.

You propose to read this

http://www.aiipowmia.com/testimony/bellveith.html

I tried to find a word 'British' and failed. Why don't you propose to read a fairy-tale about Red Cap?

You also propose to read this http://www.vvnw.org/Educational_Material/pow_mia.htm

Francis Scott Key wrote the words while imprisoned on a British battle-ship off Fort McHenry during the War of 1812.
Do you suggest that Francis Scott was a prisoner of Soviet GULAG?

My conclusion: there are no any evidences that even one British POW was held in the Soviet GULAG.

And you don't know even one name (with details: age, birthplace, regiment and so on).
 
#15
KGB_resident said:
gallowglass said:
A direct quote from Cawthorne's own website (which you appear to have missed?...)
"In 1992, I was called to testify to the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, who agreed with my conclusion. They admitted that American prisoners of war had been left behind in Communist hands in 1973. However, their conclusion was hidden away in a 1,000-page report no one was going to read. They also concluded that the MIAs were now all dead, which may be true. But strangely the U.S. Senate did not feel that it was their duty to discover when and how U.S. servicemen that had sent to fight to foreign war might have died."
And what? Where are facts, names, regiments? Can it prove anything? I don't see even a mention about British POWs in your quote.
Sergey, this - as you well now - has nothing to do with British POWs. If you recall, it was you who started questioning the validity of Cawthorne's appearance before the US Senate. If anyone is guilty of dragging the discussion away from the subject of British POWs, it is you.

You propose to read this

http://www.aiipowmia.com/testimony/bellveith.html

I tried to find a word 'British' and failed. Why don't you propose to read a fairy-tale about Red Cap?
Again, this is related to Cawthorne's Senate appearance (something you are questioning) - are you suffering from short-term memory loss? And who the hell is Red Cap (do you mean OldRedCap?)

KGB_resident said:
You also propose to read this http://www.vvnw.org/Educational_Material/pow_mia.htm

Francis Scott Key wrote the words while imprisoned on a British battle-ship off Fort McHenry during the War of 1812.
Do you suggest that Francis Scott was a prisoner of Soviet GULAG?
Honestly Sergey, you really are something else. You take one line from the following paragraph...

When we hear the Star Spangled Banner, we are reminded that our National Anthem, symbol of freedom and liberty was written by a prisoner of war. Francis Scott Key wrote the words while imprisoned on a British battle-ship off Fort McHenry during the War of 1812.
...on the introductory home page of the Veterans of the Vietnam War, and ignore the references to Cawthorne and US POWs in Soviet hands. Brilliant. Tell me, when are you being conferred with your degree from the University of Selective Amnesia?

KGB_resident said:
My conclusion: there are no any evidences that even one British POW was held in the Soviet GULAG.

And you don't know even one name (with details: age, birthplace, regiment and so on).
If memory serves Sergey, some names were mentioned to you at the beginning of this thread (I stand to be corrected). However, as with other evidence presented to you, you either rubbish it as either 'lies' or 'estimates' concocted by 'vulgar' historians, or dismiss it as insignificant. Your 'conclusion' is based on a refusal to accept any facts presented to you, and a rather dodgy interpretation of sources I have directed you to in an attempt to discredit these same sources - I might suggest that it would constitute a wonderful interrogatory or prosecuting tactic for a show trial, but it's worthless in the area of historical debate. I had considered going to the trouble of getting Cawthorne's The Iron Cage out of my university library and quoting it to you chapter and verse...but then I thought what's the point? We reached this point on another thread, and PTP pulled the plug, and quite rightly so. The fact is Sergey, you seem to have an aversion to those facts that make you uncomfortable and/or paint the USSR as anything less than the Workers' and Peasants' Paradise which its propagandists tried to portray it as being. In short, you believe what you wish. I - and others like me - are quite simply wasting our time.
 
#16
Gallowglas!

I propose to continue this discussion in a soft, academic manner.

I could not regard as a proof of your point any personal remarks toward me. So it would be a waste of time from your side to repeat them.

Let's define our positions.

1. I guess that there were no British (British citizen) POWs in Soviet GULAG. As maximum, there could be one, two or few exceptions. What do you think about it?

2. Concrete names. I don't know even one name of British POW who was imprisoned in Soviet GULAG (with birthplace, rank, regiment and so on). Are you aware about it?

3. Has British Parliament discussed the theme about British POWs in Soviet GULAG? I tried to find and failed. If the theme was not discussed then why? What is your opinion?
 
#17
There was a bloke called Kelly, a private in the Para Field Ambulance with 1st Airborne Division, who was taken prisoner at Arnhem and escaped from a POW camp near Dresden at the end of the war. He seems to have taken up with a German lass or three and not been in any great hurry to get in touch with The Authorities (by his account, he had essentially been a thief in civil life), until the NKVD came a-knocking, and he ended up in the Lubyanka via an old concentration camp (probably Buchenwald), where he stayed until Stalin's death.
 
#18
Sergey -- why don't you provide the "birthplace, rank, regiment and so on" of the NKVD agents "allegedly" killed in Bad Nenndorf? If you fail to provide these, can we just discredit you as you are attempting to do to us?

Solzhenitsyn talks of at least one British servicemen that he personally was aware of in Gulag.

You must remember that in the time immediately after the war, you know, when the NKVD was arresting people for "praise of American technology" and other such things, the Western governments were still trying to pretend that the country we had been allied to was not in fact a terrible oppressive state and indeed even worse than the terrible oppressive state that we had just destroyed. To keep up this illusion, we repatriated many Soviets who didn't want to go -- knowing full well that they would end up in Gulag. This was a terrible thing that we did, and is thoroughly inexcusable. If it had got out that the Soviets had been keeping western prisoners of war, it could have caused problems, given that many people were expecting that the Soviets would keep on rolling West past the agreed ceasefire line.

Your entire argument hinges on " you cannot provide exact details of everyone allegedly kept, therefore the whole thing is entirely untrue!"
 
B

benjaminw1

Guest
#19
I am suprised that nobody has mentioned Anne Applebaum's history "Gulag" (Penguin, 2004: ISBN-0140283102.)

British prisoners - page 416

Fainter even more tantalising rumours float around the Komi region as well. According to a local legend another group of Englishmen, or at least English speakers, were also incarcerated in another lagpunkt - Sevodzh, also near Ukhta - in the 1940's. As one local man tells the story, the Englishmen were spies, parachuted into Germany at the end of the war... Evidence of their presence is slim: a lagpunkt locally nicknamed Angliiskaya Koloniya, the English Colony, and a single reference to "ten Scotsmen", whatever that may mean, in a prisoner of war camp in the area (Russian State Military Archives 40/1/71/323)

As to Katyn - page 389

In April 1940, the NKVD secretly murdered more than 20,000 of the captured Polish Officers, shooting each one in the back of the head, following Stalin's direct orders (Pikhoya, R. G., et al, eds, Katyn:dokumenty, Moscow 1999) Stalin murdered the officers for the same reason he had ordered the arrests of Polish priests and schoolteachers - his intention was to eliminate the Polish elite -and then cover it up.
As to numbers - page 515

The number of prisoners in the Gulag on 1 January each year (Zemskov, V. N., Arkhipeleg Gulag:glazami pisatelya i statiski, Argumenti e Facty no 45, 1989)
1930 179,000
1931 212,000
1932 268,700
1933 334,300
1934 510,307
1935 965,742
1936 1,296,494
1937 1,196,369
1938 1,881,570
1939 1,672,438
1940 1,659,992
1941 1,929,729
1942 1,777,043
1943 1,484,182
1944 1,179,819
1945 1,460,677
1946 1,703,095
1947 1,721,543
1948 2,199,535
1949 2,356,685
1950 2,561,351
1951 2,525,146
1952 2,504,514
1953 2,468,524
As to deaths by Soviet Authorities in the Gulag- page 520

... a number based on archival sources is available, although even the historian who compiled it points out that it is incomplete, and does not cover all categories of prisoner in every year. Again, I reluctantly cite it 2,749,163 (Pohl, J. Otto, The Stalinist Penal System, London, 1997)
And on a personal note if all these numbers make you a little numb.

The father of a Russian friend of mine, Irena, who comes to Church with us was picked up from work by the NKVD in 1936 and was released in 1956, his family were denied all knowledge of his existance by the Soviet Authorities, it was fortuituous that he was seen being arrested by a friend.

His crime - He was an Christian Old Believer (A Russian Orthodox Sect)who was seen making the sign of the Cross...

So in moral relativity terms The Communist Soviets and all who served them were exactly the same as the NAZIs
 
#20
And that, as they say, is that.
 

Similar threads

Top