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11 Comments | Vintage
Germany deliberately starved occupied Soviet territories by plundering their food for German use. This was the “Hunger Plan”, which starved to death millions of people. It was in part a practical decision to have German forces live off the land, but it also fit nicely into German plans to exterminate the population of the Soviet Union. And this makes this photo particularly poignant. This is a good man who has no idea that his role will ultimately make his gesture futile and starve them to death anyway. This photo was taken in 1941 by the photographer of the 291st Division of the Wehrmacht George Gundlach. One of the many, out of the photo album “Volkhov’s battle. Documents of horror 1941-1942″.
The soldier in the picture was part of 291st Division of the Wehrmacht. The tents were made from shelter quarters, which each man carried, with an aluminium central pole that fitted through rings in the corner. The tent wasn’t so waterproof, and that’s why the helmet is resting on the pole, to prevent the rain going inside.
The Wehrmacht engaged in plenty of deliberate mass killings, especially on the Eastern Front. Hitler literally declared the war with the Soviets a war of extermination, and gave every Wehrmacht officer the power to execute without trial. The Wehrmacht also often closely cooperated with the SS in the rounding up and execution of Jews under the guise of anti-partisan actions. The “Guidelines for the Conduct of the Troops in Russia” issued by the OKW on May 19, 1941 declared “Judeo-Bolshevism” to be the most deadly enemy of the German nation, and that “it is against this destructive ideology and its adherents that Germany is waging war”. The guidelines went on to demand “ruthless and vigorous measures against Bolshevik inciters, guerrillas, saboteurs, Jews, and the complete elimination of all active and passive resistance”. For example, the Wehrmacht would mass execute civilians if one soldier was killed by a partisan (civilian fighting guerrilla warfare).
thanks to Rarehistoricalphotos for this information.
despite what Hollywood movies are trying to mak e the world think of German soldiers during ww2..they were not monsters their were humans who thought they were fighting for the right cause
Don’t mind me, just waiting for the Wehraboo bootlickers to come in here mouthbreathing about their "Innocent Wehrmacht" again. Anyone want some snacks while we wait?
Oh no how dare a German Wehrmacht Soldier is being humanized on reddit, we all know that each one of them committed war crimes! /s
Fuck. The tragedy of war is incomprehensible to me.
I don’t need to see those propaganda photos. I know would havr been the aftermath of the fall of the USSR and it would be the nearly total aniquilation of the slavic people by those motherfu*****.
Such kindness they weren’t all brutes the Germans
My father was born in 1931 in the Ukraine, specifically Ternipol. He often shared stories of the brutality of the Nazis when they invaded their town. Soon only to be ship to Siberia to die. One story he told me in regards to starving was he and his brother use to steal saw dust from the local saw mill to be mixed into my Bobchas home made bread to provide more filler. It amazes me to this day that his family got out alive.
A rare moment of humanity on the worst war front ever
Anyone who admires Nazis deserves to be treated like one.
Can’t wait to see the "clean wehrmacht" myth pop up in the comments. Yes, not all German soldiers were bad; this photo is proof of that. Yes, the Nazis as a whole also tried to destroy the Jewish and Slavic races and populate their lands with Germans.