We are publishing an excerpt from a thesis written and defended under the supervision of Dr. L.A. Molchanov at the Russian State University for the Humanities, History and Archives Institute, Department of Archives, Department of Historiography and Auxiliary Historical Disciplines (Moscow, 1999).
This subject is important for an understanding of the identity of the ROCOR, if only because we learn from it that the name of the Russian Liberation Movement (ROD in Russian) was coined by the First Hierarch of the ROCOR – Metropolitan Anastasii. A number of members of the clergy of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia were connected with General Vlasov’s Russian Liberation Army (ROA) either through direct participation or family ties. This work is published in abridged form, omitting the third chapter on “Sources of the Silver Ribbon Propaganda Campaign.”
Chapter I. Definition of the Vlasov Movement: questions relating to the sources
- 1. The Russian Liberation Army
- 2. The Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia
- 3. The Russian Liberation Movement
Chapter II. Russian newspapers published by the Propaganda Department of the Supreme Command of German Forces on the territory of the USSR temporarily occupied by German troops
- 1. The historical conditions of the emergence of this source
- 2. Specificities of periodical publications: external criticism of the source
- 3. The question of authorship. Critique of content
Chapter III. The Manifesto of the Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia.
- 1. The reasons for the creation of the Manifesto
- 2. The problem of authorship
- 3. An analysis of the content of the source
List of sources and literature
In the context of recent Russian historiography, the presentation of a paper containing the name of General A. A. Vlasov is not only possible but also important. This importance is determined by the specific nature of the body of research that has accumulated on this topic both in the West and in Russia (or the USSR).
Until now, information on General Vlasov (the Vlasovtsy, the ROD, RОА) has been found in works published in the West: both in studies devoted directly to the problem itself and in ones examining it in the context of the history of the whole of the Second World War. In Soviet historiography, the story of General Vlasov was never considered a phenomenon worth studying; a simple transmission of information was felt to be sufficient to deal with the topic.
The history of the Second World War is not just a subject of research for historians. The fact that this event is still relatively recent allows it to be used in contemporary domestic and foreign policy by the countries who participated in it. War criminals are reviled by society and subject to prosecution by the law, so attempts to exonerate them and establish their innocence are legitimate. The precarious domestic situation of many countries raises the possibility of the reconstruction and return of a national-socialist regime. Alongside tendencies towards integration in international politics, the opposite trend also exists, so that the question of territories and borders becomes of current relevance. As a result, history experiences considerable influence from the modern world.
Where the domestic situation in Russia is concerned, the historian comes up against the same problems. Nonetheless, factors substantially influencing and characterizing Russian national historiography of the Second World War must be identified.
- The history of the Second World War is military history, and therefore there is a very strong tendency towards a substitution of universal humanist values with military priorities.
- Analysis of the history of the Second World War is usually undertaken in isolation. The totality of objective and subjective processes in the country and in the world that had an impact on the period both during and after the war is not sufficiently taken into account.
- The localization of the Second World War on the territory of the USSR: the foreign political aspect is not sufficiently developed and accounted for when drawing conclusions.
- Prejudice with regard to certain topics and personalities makes it difficult to introduce them into academic discussion, imposes limits on the field of interest for researchers, and on the analytical and source basis of the academic process.
The latter thesis is confirmed by the history of A. A. Vlasov, a discussion of which in the press has found ever growing resonance in Russia and in the world in recent times. A study of the Vlasov movement is impossible without its sources. At the present time, real and usable sources on the history of General A. A. Vlasov are the memoirs of the German officers of Russian origin in his entourage: V. K. Strick-Strickfield, S. B. Frelikh, H. Herwarth, and K. Kromiadi.K. G. Kromiadi, Za zemliu, za voliu… (For the motherland, for freedom…) (San-Francisco, 1980). S. Frelikh, General Vlasov. Russkie i nemtsy mezhdu Gitlerom i Stalinym (General Vlasov. Russians … Continue reading Everything written on Vlasov in the West is based on these documents. They have also not been ignored by Russian historiography, but used as support and proof for theses already established and defined by the conditions of the political situation.
The importance of literary memoirs consists first of all in the hard facts they communicate, and secondly in the subjectivity of the bearer of information, that is in the very point of view from which these facts are perceived. Distinguishing features of any source, including a memoir, are its polemics, its dialogicity; the means by which the author occupies an attacking or a defensive position. The officers on A. A. Vlasov’s staff who were authors of memoirs on him write emotionally of the events of their lives during the war not only due to the character of the sources themselves, but also because in a situation of dialogue with the past they find themselves in the position of apologists. This is conditioned by their own contradictory position of “Russian Germans” in the service of the armed forces of Germany – the side that suffered a crushing defeat in the Second World War; and at the same time the bearers of a moral and civil idea of protest against Bolshevism, the state embodying which ideology emerged as a victor in that war.
A number of unifying traits may be identified in the biographies of the memoirists: their social origins (other than Kromiadi), the position they occupied in the Civil War, and the voluntary desire of each of them to serve on A. A. Vlasov’s staff in the Second World War, to serve the Vlasov cause. Proceeding from the notion that Germany’s aim in the war was the liberation of Russia (the USSR) from Bolshevism (only Hitler declared war on Stalin), they counted on winning it with Hitler in the name of Russia. The emergence of a leader of a nationalist movement who did not have a background in the emigration could mean a number of things: the exhaustion and futility of the institutions, ideological norms, and sense of purpose on which their lives in imperial Russia and their struggle with revolutionary Russia in the Civil War had been based; given the impossibility of uniting all the nationalist forces against Bolshevism, the idea of a Soviet general in the role of such a leader was symbolic for the Russian émigrés (A. A. Vlasov – a man of peasant stock, ergo a representative of the common people – who had come to know the Soviet system in all its diversity, was appealing to them, the erstwhile masters of Russia, to take up arms against Bolshevism); and the conscious activity on the German side (using a popular Soviet general for goals of propaganda on occupied territory and the removal of Red Army soldiers from a state of willingness to fight). The paradoxical nature of their own role and place in the process of the Second World War is transferred by these “Russian Germans” to the personality they are characterizing (A. A. Vlasov), explaining the tragic outcome of their venture by the precarity of their position between two tyrants: Stalin and Hitler.
S. B. Frelikh’s memoirs should be singled out from the said series of literary memoirs on A. A. Vlasov. They were written over an extended period and published only after the author’s death. Frelikh himself did not manage to compile a book of memoirs imbued with a single authorial conception; what remains are notes put together in a book by friends in a way that is not sufficiently complete and is altogether contentious. S. B. Frelikh’s archive is still in need of selection and elaboration by interested researchers.
Frelikh’s memoirs were the last to be published – in the 80s, when most of the literature on Vlasov had already accumulated in the West. He wrote his own notes and, of course, took an interest in and collaborated in their compilation, as a result of which his account to some degree takes into consideration already existing knowledge. For this reason, his memoirs are of interest to historians not only for their factual but also their evaluative information. The popular historiographical notion of the proximity or even identical nature of the views of all three German officers close to Vlasov should be categorically rejected.
While very much sympathizing with Vlasov, Frelikh is far from idealizing him. In contrast to Kromiadi and Strick-Strickfield, who omit some controversial aspects of Vlasov’s biography in their accounts or offer a very meagre characterization of them, Frelikh is more factual, detailed, even brutal, first of all in his understanding of the new situation that arose when Vlasov received the opportunity to form Russian divisions under his command, but was unable to make use of it, in Frelikh’s opinion not as a result of the prevailing situation on the fronts (favorable to the USSR), but owing to the Vlasov’s own character, the very essence of his personality.
In Russia, S. B. Frelikh’s memoirs were immediately taken into consideration and are actively quoted down to the present day; at the same time, the system of citation by recent researchers is formalist and even primitive: the information they offer is, as it were, divided into chunks, where one section serves to reinforce one thought, and another the completely opposite. Distrust of these sources is thus still present among Russian historians.
The main reason for this is that a large number of official sources on General Vlasov and his movement created in the West in 1942-1943 are unavailable – in the sense of unobtainable by Russian researchers. Much material perished in allied bombing raids or was destroyed by members of the movement themselves for fear that important documents could fall into Soviet hands. In particular, the minutes of the meetings of the KONR (Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia), and also the list of its members and of people who wished to sign-up for sections of the KONR were destroyed for this reason. Lev Rahr, a member of the Vlasov secretariat, said that for two full days before the evacuation from Berlin he burned such documents, subsequently washing away the ashes. Documents from Vlasov’s personal office suffered the same fate. The train in which Colonel Kromiadi was accompanying them was bombed, and all the papers were destroyed.
Documents bearing A. A. Vlasov’s signature have been published on a number of occasions that may be denoted as programmatic, as they mark all the stages in the evolution of the “Vlasov theme” in the military and political structures of Germany, beginning with the “Comrade commander! Soviet intelligentsia” appeal of September 10, 1942, signed by Vlasov at the unfounded instigation of V. Strick-Strickfield, and ending with the “Manifesto of the KONR” of November 14, 1944, which combined the most varied ideological influences. Reasons for the publication of such documents could be constituted by anniversary dates: for example, the proclamation of the Prague Manifesto; the execution of Vlasov and his associates; the end of the Second World War (typical of post-war periodicals published by public organizations such as SBONR (“Union for Struggle for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia”) and NTS (“People’s Trade union of Russian Solidarists”), who saw Vlasov as one of their ideological leaders. Another possibility was the publication of documents in the context of academic research or memoirs whose composition were based on such sources. There is no single, systematized edition gathering together all the four central documents signed by Vlasov: the first being the aforementioned leaflet of September 10, 1942; the Appeal of the Russian Committee to the warriors and commanders of the Red Army (Smolensk, December 27, 1942); A. A. Vlasov’s open letter, “Why I have taken the path of struggle with Bolshevism?” (March 3, 1973); and the Manifesto of the Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia (Prague, November 14, 1944). The absence of such an edition complicates and impedes the research process. Often documents are inexplicably published in abridged form (for example only the policy section – the 13 points of the Smolensk Declaration), or without signatures (under the Prague Manifesto). In spite of the presence of these documents (especially the Prague Manifesto) in every archive collection, and also in a number of private collections, there is a tendency towards directly reprinting earlier publications without reference to the original source, which leads to mistakes and the loss of important information or meaning, to a need to cross-check, which is frequently impossible because of the existence of only one publication. On a positive note, publications of these documents exist in German, specifically the Prague Manifesto, which opens the field of research interest to German historians of the Second World War, for whom the “Vlasov theme” is not of such pressing relevance as, for example, the subject of the Resistance Movement; the contact of its activists with Vlasov has not been studied at all, making German language publications all the more important in this regard.
The collection and concentration of the remaining documents in the archives of the ROD was from the very outset the work of the members of the movement themselves; their noble mission, however, has a negative aspect: subjectivity in the selection of information. M. V. Shatov’s publication, “Materials and documents of the ОДЫР in the years of the Second World War” is indicative of this, as well as two anthologies of documents and memoirs by Colonel V. Pozdniakov, “The Birth of the ROA” and “A. A. Vlasov.” The compilers set themselves a goal: to collect materials and documents connected with the history of the Liberation Movement, and to involve anyone capable of presenting documents and testimonies in recreating a full picture of this historical phenomenon, as well to recover lost documents. Characteristically, there is a mention of the desirability of using the materials of the collections and of reprinting – ergo for further publication. Great significance was attached to the search for documents from the “Soviet zone,” which is understandable because of their inaccessibility and insufficient quantity. The attention of the apologists of the Vlasov movement to all publications on Vlasov in the USSR is unusual: everything that appeared on Vlasov in the USSR was identified and immediately published in émigré journals, taken into circulation, used in the academic process, and received corresponding evaluation and commentary. An adherence to principles of classification and systematization of documents when compiling the anthologies is not observable. The documents are usually arranged in chronological order, grouped in thematic blocks, and provided with commentary (annotations) and publication data. Shatov’s collection (that is the “RОА Archive itself) constituted part of the “Archives of Russian and Eastern-European culture” at Columbia University in 1966; Pozdniakov’s materials were deposited in the Freiburg military archives.
“Materials on the history of the Russian Liberation Movement,” prepared for publication by the founders of the RОА archive in Moscow, A. V. Okorokov and S. I. Drobiazko, demonstrate on the one hand the succession of works by figures from the Russian emigration attempting to restore the good name of General A. A. Vlasov and the movement that bears his name, and on the other, an academic approach to published sources accompanied by highly qualified articles based on archival documents frequently of a primary nature.
- From the archives of the Russian Federation;
- Memoirs of members of the Liberation Movement, donated to the ROA archive in the form of cassette recordings or authorized manuscripts;
- From the anthologies of Pozdniakov and Shatov (unfortunately without reference to them);
- Photographs and facsimiles of copies of newspapers and cards from the collection of the ROA archive.
The fact of the appearance of these “Materials…” (I am aware of four editions) testifies to fundamental shifts in attitudes, evaluations, and approaches in study of the Second World War: not having an “individual memory” of the events in question, the authors are free in their evaluations from the emotional pressure authors of the older generation are prone to. Such a view allows them to examine historical facts in a more unbiased and dispassionate way.
But alongside such positive tendencies characterizing the activity of the younger generation of historians, there is an opposite movement that, in its unsubstantiated and extreme assessments, is more characteristic of the “show trials” or public scourging and condemnation of the Stalinist era. In the fourth issue of the journal Источник (“Source”) from 1988, N. Peremyshlennikova published “Personal letters from Vlasov to his wives” from 1941-1942 from the FSB archives.N. Peremyshlennikova, “Portret generala. ‘Ty u menia odna…ʼ Pis’ma generala Vlasova zhenam (1941-1942),” (Portrait of a general. “You are my one and only…” Letters of General … Continue reading Proceeding from the criterion of objectivity, which calls for the recognition of the right to exist and be used of all sources without exception independently of the character of the information set forth in them, the publication in question deserves attention, and its necessity is indubitable. However, the nature of the commentaries on it leads us to take stock of a “party line” of ideological institutions (the FSB) towards certain topics in history. Published personal letters of A. A. Vlasov are material on the basis of which it would be possible to make important observations on the history of the Second World War, but they were used simply once again to expose Vlasov’s amorality. The conclusion made by the researcher who prepared the publication is unfortunately an example of the pursuit of non-academic goals in the work conducted and a general lack of information both on the topic in question as a whole and with regard to the level of research carried out on it in Russia and abroad. Consciously retaining Vlasov’s orthography and syntax, N. Peremyshlennikova demonstrates his illiteracy. Without attempting to prove the contrary, I nevertheless think it necessary to analyze the level of education of the whole officer staff of the Red Army (which so far has not been described by anybody) and desirable not simply to present a negative fact without explanation (one which is incidentally not a vice – the great Russian writers often made gross grammatical errors and did not use punctuation marks), juxtaposing the “bad name” of one nonetheless historical personality to polished and edited official heroes, but to have recourse to a detailed characterization of its origins (that is his social background, historical realia for obtaining education etc.). Where the “spiritual impurity of the bigamist Vlasov” is concerned, “by all the laws of logic, psychology, and plain common sense” of war as a critical situation, his conduct represents nothing exceptional or out of the ordinary. Under the conditions of the constant reality of death, a desire for the continuation of one’s lineage arises instinctively. As such, what in times of peace would be regarded as unnatural and unacceptable sexual activity, in wartime appears normal and is justified by society. And that without even speaking of the fact that it is difficult to demand from a Soviet officer conformity to high moral ideals in a country where these (by moral ideals I mean the legacy of Orthodoxy) were being eliminated and replaced by unfounded and therefore molded and shifting, often mutually exclusive principles proclaimed by the authorities, for whom the greatest sin – murder, had become a normal form of self-fulfilment. Equally incomprehensible to N. Peremyshlennikova and her ilk is the evolution of Stalin’s favorite general into his enemy. This question has often been touched on by Vlasov’s so-called apologists – among then S. Frelikh,S. Frelikh, General Vlasov), 18-21 and Iu. Aichenwal’d,Iu. Aikhenval’d, “Dve pravdy generala Lukina” (The two truths of General Lukin), Strana i mir, № 1, (Munich, 1992): 67 using the assistance of psychological associations.
Iu. Aichenwal’d attempts to explain the two-facedness of General M. F. Lukin, who to the mind of N. Peremyshlennikova “conducted himself worthily in the face of the enemy.”N. Peremyshlennikova, “Portret generala. ‘Ty u menia odna…ʼ Pis’ma generala Vlasova zhenam (1941-1942),” (Portrait of a general. “You are my one and only…” Letters of General … Continue reading Having at his disposal a transcript of an interrogation by army group Center of December 12, 1941, where General Lukin made among others the following statements: “Bolshevism is an international and Jewish invention that is foreign to the Russian people”; and on the necessity for the creation of a Russian government: “if then the Russian people took the side of their so-called enemy, then this means that defecting to them is not a betrayal of the motherland, but only a departure from the system. This gives rise to new hopes!”; and the memoirs of the chairman of the Union of Veterans M. F. Lukin published by the latter in the journal Ogoniok shortly before his death, where he maligns Vlasov in every possible way, Iu. Aichenwal’d traces an inverse evolution of a Soviet general (Lukin) to that of Vlasov and comes to a conclusion of a “complex of saving two-facedness” of Soviet people – “their loyalties are divided, are evasive on either side, are naturally opportunistic. As such there is treason in their very loyalty. To choose between two things for them is immediately to choose both: one out loud, the other only to themselves privately, just in case… This ability to combine the incompatible removes the problem of choice, and through it the problem of freedom,” and is therefore characteristic of despotic regimes. S. Frelikh’s thoughts, based on examples from personal experience of the Soviet system (dialogue with his daughter; the role model of the informer and parricide Pavlik Morozov; unanimous votes for death sentences), on the whole confirm and illustrate what has been said above: “Lies, fear, and the system of denunciation were the bases of the Bolshevist state,” whose system of education “led to the adoption of a masked behavior that became second nature… And at the same time a desperate resistance to the adoption of this behavior, which completely contradicts the nature of man, and which the Bolsheviks could only achieve by the application of systematic terror. These two psychological phenomena explain how it was possible that many thousands of Soviet citizens opted for a German uniform in the Second World War, to fight against the Stalinist regime with guns in their hands, even against their brothers and friends.”
In connection with the latter quote, it is telling to compare it with N. Peremyshlennikova’s assertion: “True soldiers do not desert their comrades-in-arms in battle and do not betray their homeland.” In 1944, around a million Soviet citizens served in the German armed forces. Of course a large role for these people was played by fear of death from starvation in German PoW camps, and the fact of treason did exist. In an absence of moral ideals, a state of complete internal chaos arises, and instinctive behavior aimed at an animalistic preservation of life is therefore understandable. It is impossible to demand from a generation that was denationalized, secularized, and non-Orthodox in their self-consciousness the self-sacrifice and personal valor by which the Russian army had distinguished itself from Prince Alexander Nevskii until the “White” heroes. The threefold creed of the Russian soldier, “For Faith, Tsar, and Fatherland!” during the Second World War took the form, “For the Homeland, for Stalin!” But it is impossible to reject one element of the triad without at the same time losing the others. Stalin understood this in his efforts to catch up with events when during the war he opened twenty thousand churches, the Trinity Saint Sergius and Kiev Caves Lavras; he permitted the greeting “May God be with you” to be pronounced before battle; he met with the locum tenens of the patriarchal throne Metropolitan Sergii Starogorodskii and declared that the government would place no obstacles to his election as patriarch. While restoring the patriarchate, however, Stalin organizes strict oversight of the Church: it is supervised by the Council for Church Affairs. Formally, the Council was formed as part of the government. At the head of the Council he places Colonel G. Karpov – the chief of the 5th department of the NKVD for struggle with counter-revolutionary clergy.E. Radzinskii, Stalin (Moscow, Vagrius, 1997), 505, 548 Stalin’s authority could not measure up to that of a tsar, because a Christian monarchy is formed and develops under the direct leadership and grace-filled sanctification of Christ’s Church, and therefore has a special spiritual content and corresponding educational significance. The “Five-year plan of godlessness,” during the final year of which (1943) the last church was to have been closed and the last priest liquidated, but in the end under external threat the fact of the existence of the Russian Orthodox Church was restored with relative rights – this successive alternation of mutually exclusive events reveals the true, self-serving nature of a regime that used the Church as an ideal element of propaganda to raise the patriotic mood of the masses, but in no way presented her (the Church) to them as a model and basis for existence. Here a quote from A. A. Vlasov’s open letter, “Why I have taken the path of struggle with Bolshevism?” may be mentioned: “In recent months, seeing that the Russian people does not desire to fight for the international goals of Bolshevism that are alien to it, Stalin has made cosmetic changes to his policies towards the Russians. He has destroyed the institution of the commissars and has tried to create a union with the corrupt leaders of the hitherto persecuted church; he is attempting to restore the traditions of the old army… He wants to claim that he is fighting for his Homeland, for the fatherland, for Russia… Only the blind can believe that Stalin has rejected the principles of Bolshevism. What a pitiful hope! Bolshevism has forgotten nothing, has not departed and will not depart by a single step from its programme.”“Pochemu ia stal na put’ bor’by s bolshevizmom?” Zaria, № 17 (1943) Even denying Vlasov’s authorship (the opinion has been voiced that it was written by M Zykov) and placing this document among the ranks of similar productions of the Propaganda Department, it is clear that it is not a cheap propaganda trick aimed at eliciting an emotional response, but the result of a deep knowledge and understanding of Soviet reality: every word in it resounds with meaning. In such a short period of time, it was not possible on demand to restore the broken connections of time, as Orthodoxy is conditioned by an unbroken chain of experience and inheritance from one’s forebears. In this regard, the spiritual ministry to prisoners of war and Ostarbeiter “eastern workers” by priests of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (ROCOR) was justified because it was founded on the spiritual and confessional legacy of Patriarch Tikhon and the New Martyrs, and did not conform to the sanctions of the German authorities.A. K. Nikitin, Natsistskii rezhim i russkaia pravoslavnaia obshchina v Germanii (1933-1945) (The Nazi regime and the Russian Orthodox community in Germany 1933-1945) (Moscow, 1998), 324-339. In his sermon at a moleben (“prayer service”) for the victory of the armed forces of the KONR (Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia) at the Berlin cathedral on November 19, 1944, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad Metropolitan Anastasii emphasized this “historical link between the great enterprise of the liberation of Russia, … the members and leaders of the Russian national movement… with the deeds of their fathers and grandfathers.”Materialy po istorii Russkogo Osvoboditel’nogo Dvizheniia (1941-1945 gg.): Sb. statei, dokumentov i vospominanii (Materials on the history of the Russian Liberation Movement 1941-1945) . Issue … Continue reading This spiritual renewal of formerly Soviet subjects became possible in eastern regions occupied by the Germans, that is precisely on the borders of the German Reich, even despite existing directives from Hitler forbidding the expansion of the diocese of Berlin and Germany at the expense of occupied territories of the USSR, and the spiritual nourishment of Soviet prisoners of war by priests of the Russian Church Abroad.A. K. Nikitin, Natsistskii rezhim i russkaia pravoslavnaia obshchina v Germanii (1933-1945) (The Nazi regime and the Russian Orthodox community in Germany 1933-1945) (Moscow, 1998), 325.
“Betrayal” and “patriotism” are above all moral criteria for the self-identification of a person in society, therefore their use as a characterization of a historical personality is possible taking into account spiritual processes in their historical perspective.
The source base for the “Soviet” period of A. A. Vlasov’s biography is relatively limited; documents are published selectively or in excerpts, and are chosen tendentiously. Of fundamental significance is the absence of search data for the document (an index). All of this makes it impossible to trace the thought processes of the publisher and makes them vulnerable to criticism.
In Russia, there is no memoir literature on A. A. Vlasov. Very few of the people who knew him dared to include lines about him in their accounts of the war: I. Erenburg, who talked with Vlasov after the battle for Moscow; Meretskov, who knew Vlasov from the Volkhov front; N. S. Khrushchev; in G. K. Zhukov’s memoirs there is only one line on Vlasov, though their careers before the war developed in parallel and at the same time. All these authors examine episodes of Vlasov’s life from a point of view of explaining the facts behind the failure of the movement he headed. The factual side of these sources is very valuable and can compensate for unavailable material, and is therefore actively used by both Russian and Western researchers.
A study of the Vlasov movement is impossible without an analysis of its sources. This paper uses materials contained:
— in the archives of the Institute of Modern History (Institut für Zeitgeschichte, Muenchen): the collection of J. Thorwald, a collection on Vlasov and the KONR from German newspapers between 1943-1945, reports, official correspondence, leaflets from 1942-1944 in the papers of the Eastern Ministry;
— in the State Archives of the Russian Federation (GARF): the “All-Cossack union of the German Empire in Prague” collection;
— in the Russian State Library: newspapers from the occupied Eastern territories.
Sources of a personal origin are used to cross-check information in documentary material, and in a number of cases to obtain more detail on them.
In 1952, the German writer Jürgen Thorwald (nom de plume Heinz Bongartz) published the book Whom do they want to destroy? (Wen sie verderben wollen?), where he tried to shed light on the history of the existence of General A. A. Vlasov and the ROD from the point of view of the of the movement’s “German friends,” and also to acquaint readers with the attitude of German headquarters and institutions towards the goals of Germany’s war with the USSR and the official policy of occupation.
E. Andreeva writes that “it is impossible to separate factual material from romanticized inserts” in this book. Nonetheless, before writing the book J. Thorwald worked conscientiously from 1949-1951 to collect an extensive quantity of source material. In these first post-war years, he met with people who by virtue of their office or rank had contact with A. A. Vlasov and his entourage, and coordinated the resolution of questions of “the Vlasov cause” at different levels of German institutions. Jürgen Thorwald’s collection, held in the archives of the Institute for Modern History in Munich, is made up of letters, testimonies, reports from witnesses to the events of the Second World War connected with the ROD, verbatim records of conversations the writer had with them.
The significance of this collection may be explained by:
1) the fact that the material was obtained from a large number (49) of direct participants in the events in question, who made statements on the same topics corresponding to the degree of their involvement with them, which allows us to observe these events from two points of view: official intention and action, and personal perception;
2) the authors of the documents being mainly Germans who served in the institutions from which the events concerning Vlasov emanated. Their personal role is ignored in conclusions and evaluations, and the attention shifted to the object of these measures. Their actual content and motivation is not described at all.
3) its temporal proximity to events, making it easier to bring details to mind, and also to retain documents, which usually get lost in personal collections.
The authors of these materials were officers in the service of the following German institutions during the Second World War:
1) The Propaganda Department of the High Command of the Armed Forces of Germany;
2) The department of the General Staff Foreign Troops East.
The documents cover a time span from 1941 to 1945. They may be divided into the following thematic blocks:
I. Factors in the formation of Eastern policy, the role in this of different agencies of the Reich, stages, the results of this process.
II. Volunteer formations, efforts to facilitate them, the role of different agencies and people.
– his personal characteristics;
– attempts to write his biography;
– as a propaganda tool;
– as the head of the Liberation Movement;
– his mutual relations with representatives of military circles and different institutions;
– his attitude to the national question.
IV. Like-minds to Vlasov – other Soviet generals – in the context of their contact with the German authorities, how they were used, the search for a leader.
V. National committees and military units.
VI. The NTS and the Dabendorf propaganda school.
VII. The history of the Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia.
VIII. The role of representatives of the German resistance movement (von Stauffenberg, Tresckow, Kluge), and also Baltic Germans in the formation and execution of policy in the Eastern regions of the German Reich and with regard to prisoners of war.
Thorwald refers to the materials collected as “Written sources and verbatim notes,” which characterizes the system of preparatory work he undertook to write his book. The documents came into being in two ways: either they were the result of independent literary creation by their authors (diaries, letters, memoirs), or notes of testimonies given by figures of interest to Thorwald and taken down by him from dictation. Unfortunately, it does not seem possible to distinguish the two groups; there is no indication of the nature of how the information was obtained in the documents, and the materials themselves were deposited in the archive in typewritten form. All the documents are written in German, naturally enough, as Thorwald did not know Russian. In some cases, a special German translation was made for him of authors whose first language was Russian (for example, Kazantsev’s memoirs).
Also included in the research are items from the German press from 1943-1945 (the Völkischer Beobachter and Ost-Korrespondenz newspapers) deposited among the papers of the Eastern Ministry.
Materials from the Chancellery of the All-Cossack Association of the German Reich in Prague (correspondence on the issue of Cossack formations joining the KONR) also form part of this study.
Newspapers published by the Propaganda Department of the High Command of the Armed Forces of Germany on the occupied territories of the Soviet Union were an object of research; they are an essential source for studying the directions and mechanisms of Eastern policy and the contradictions that existed with regard to the Eastern regions in the government and High Command of the Third Reich.
Another object of research were interviews taken by us from figures from the Vlasov movement (among them A. N. Artemov – the senior lecturer at the Dabendorf propaganda school and one of the authors of the KONR Manifesto, and Archpriest Alexander Kiselev – the confessor of the Russian Liberation Army).
Also studied was the central document of the Vlasov movement – the KONR Manifesto – the history of whose creation and content has not been sufficiently researched.
Research papers analyzing the documents in question do not exist either in Soviet, émigré, or foreign historiographies.
Researchers of the history of General A. A. Vlasov have achieved a great deal in terms of concrete historical study of the problem.
At the present time, of the literature on Vlasov published in the West, the historian may obtain in the central libraries Joachim Hoffman’s well-known book The History of the Vlasov Army (Russian translation in the “Research into modern and contemporary history” series under the editorship of A. I. Solzhenitsyn, Paris 1990), and the less in demand in Russian academic circles dissertation by Ekaterina Andreeva, “General Vlasov and the Russian Liberation Movement” (translated from English, London 1990). Other books that have achieved resonance worldwide are Sven Steenberg’s biography of Vlasov, considered the most detailed, and Stanislav Auský’s paper “The troops of General Vlasov in Bohemia” – a unique, detailed and objective illustration of a hitherto unexplained, controversial page of the history of the Second World War. The factual background of these books is relatively complete, and they are cited unreservedly by both Western and Russian historians.
In émigré journals from the beginning of the 50s there are memoirs, observations, reactions to Soviet publications both from the “Vlasovites” themselves, émigrés of all colors, and contemporary academics. A. I. Solzhenitsyn also published an addition to The Gulag Archipelago in the form of a chapter dedicated to General Vlasov in the Russian Christian Movement Gazette (1975). As one Russian historian remarked: “Not a single piece of research on A. A. Vlasov and the Russian Liberation Movement can be published nowadays without a quote from Solzhenitsyn.” His sympathies for Vlasov are obvious: it is well-known that Alexander Isaevich welcomes any attempt to “efface the disgrace of treason” from the Soviet general Vlasov. However, his own thoughts do not stray far from familiar opinions of the general in Soviet literature. According to Solzhenitsyn, Vlasov is not to blame for his action, just as the millions of imprisoned Soviet soldiers who went to serve in the Russian Liberation Army are not guilty. They did not betray their Homeland: their Homeland betrayed them (this thesis may be borne in mind, but it still does not explain anything – M.S.). Vlasov was condemned by Stalin when he was assigned to command the Volkhov caldron operation. This hopeless position (in the author’s opinion Vlasov would certainly have suffered for the failed operation) forced Vlasov to make the most noble choice (not suicide like the tsarist general Samsonov – the Soviet general had no reason to die): to fight with Stalin. His tragedy consisted in the fact that Hitler was not interested in an end to the war under the conditions proposed by Vlasov. The influence of western authors on Solzhenitsyn’s thought may clearly be discerned (by the 70s the memoirs of V. K. Strick-Strickfield, Colonel Pozdniakov, and Osokin had been published, and K. G. Kromiadi was actively published in journals). His attitude is not critical enough, and he compensates for the absence of information from Soviet sources (which at the time were still silent) with emotion. Nonetheless, Solzhenitsyn was the first “Soviet” to accept and appreciate literature from the West, and not to reject its right to exist.
Despite its variety, one trait is typical of Western historiography on this problem: no matter how many books are published on Vlasov, each one is either a variation on the memoirs left by the officers close to Vlasov (S. B. Frelikh, V. K. Strick-Strickfield, K. G. Kromiadi), or a generalization, a development of views already present in historiography. The limitations of the work of Western authors is, of course, connected with the overall lack of documentary material, in the first instance for the “Soviet” period of Vlasov’s biography. One may also speak of the tendentiousness of these works, it seems to me, as it is no accident that they all have a tendency to justify Vlasov: war criminals are pursued by the law worldwide, and especially in Germany, and public opinion towards them is exceptionally severe. Nevertheless, the statement of General Vlasov as a theme and its introduction into academic discourse is without doubt down to Western authors, and this can only be to their credit. Their main theses are:
1) All Western researchers unanimously agree that at the beginning of and during the Second World War there was no unified view of the goals of Germany in the war with the USSR in the German general staff or among the officers and ruling elite.
2) In this regard, the appearance of General Vlasov, taking the path of struggle with communism, and the public sympathy he evoked were natural.
3) The idea of Vlasov as fighting with Stalin and not in agreement with Hitler (to whom he was in the end incomprehensible) absolves him of responsibility for treason against the USSR.
4) The hypothesis that in the Second World War Vlasov was between Stalin and Hitler is reinforced by the connections that General Vlasov had with Colonel Klaus von Stauffenberg – the organizer of the assassination attempt on Hitler of July 20, 1944.
5) In the final analysis, the fact of treason is not examined at all by the authors or is evaluated as ideological opposition; many publications base their conceptions on an attempt to prove that: “General Vlasov’s liberation movement was an exceptionally dangerous challenge to the Soviet regime and is entirely worthy of occupying a place of honor in the history of Russia” (J. Hoffmann).
In the USSR, General Vlasov’s name was not mentioned for a long time. His fate (trial and execution) was regarded as legitimate. As a result, the topic of General Vlasov was felt to be exhausted at the level of a simple communication of factual information. In spite of this established negative stereotype, nonetheless, Russian historiography is not unanimous in its definition of the place and role of General Vlasov in the Second World War.
The creation of the story of Vlasov the traitor-general began during the war itself in the USSR as a reaction to the active use of Vlasov’s name by German propaganda. In 1940-1941, the Soviet press had written a great deal on the military accomplishments of the general; his name was well known, and his portrait occupied a place of honor next to Zhukov’s. Articles from 1943 reflect the obvious confusion of the Chief Political Administration. The wartime conditions and the high level of tensions in society made it impossible to try to understand the reasons for the defection of a successful Soviet general to the enemy and collaboration with the latter. Consequently, the basic idea of Soviet propaganda was the moral destruction of A. A. Vlasov.
On April 5, 1943 E. Alexandrov’s article “Bargainers with their Homeland” appeared in the Leningrad Partisan newspaper; on April 29 L. Kokoto’s “The pseudo-Russian committee” in the paper For our Soviet Homeland; on May 15 the same paper published A. Pavlov’s “Vlasov the little Judas”; lastly on May 4, 1943 the article “Death to the contemptible traitor Vlasov, a vulgar spy and agent of the ogre Hitler” was published in a series of papers for the front (For a Just Cause, For the Honor of the Homeland, For the Destruction of the Enemy), which reflected the official position of the GPU (“State Political Administration”). It is clear that all these articles were a reaction to A. A. Vlasov’s open latter of March 7, 1973, “Why I have taken the path of struggle with Bolshevism.”
In August 1946, Pravda and Izvestia published a notice on the execution of Vlasov and eleven of his associates. From that time on, his name was precluded from literary use – whether fictional, academic, or journalistic.
Of significance is the appearance in the pages of the journal Moskva of Arkadii Vasil’ev’s historical novel At One in the Afternoon, Your Excellency; written in the genre of a political thriller, this novel is worthy of the historian’s attention both by the very fact of its publication and its content, as it is the first instance of an attempt to portray the “Vlasov affair” on a documentary basis. A comparison with archival documents published much later on (in the 90s) permits us to postulate their use by the author when writing his novel. Of course, Vasil’ev’s novel is not academic research but a work of fiction, impossible without elements of fantasy, but it should be taken into account that the possibility for the author to raise problems connected with Vlasov’s story 20 years after the last mention of his name in print could practically only have been allowed by the Soviet secret services (Iulian Semenov’s famous novels were written with the knowledge of the MGB-KGB). This means that Vasil’ev’s approach reflected the opinion of Soviet propaganda, an opinion in which a significant transformation could be noted in the 60s. In general terms, Vasil’ev depicts Vlasov and his “Vlasovites” as clueless, unprincipled cowards. This continued the line of moral denigration of the Soviet general already elaborated in wartime publications. Nevertheless, the following important admissions may attract the attention of the historian:
1) Vlasov could have escaped from the encirclement. He could have escaped, but did not do so; he defected to the Germans entirely voluntarily.
2) The reason for Vlasov’s conscious treason lay in his social background. Vlasov (according to Vasil’ev) was the son of kulak: “We sometimes fail to take account of an arithmetic that I would call social. I am, however, of course far from thinking that a person should not be trusted just on this formal principle – that his background was from the so-called ‘formers’; this would be politically incorrect. At the same time, it is impossible to close one’s eyes to this: that, at a critical moment for the Homeland, there turned out to be traitors among us, and that these were in the first instance and above all the boys of kulaks, landowners, factory owners, merchants. When the Trukhin’s estate was taken away, Fëdor was 20 years old. No longer a child – so he remembered.”
3) Hence, treason is a political problem: a sort relic of the civil war, the class struggle and counter-revolution.
4) Vlasov had a political idea, a programme that Vasil’ev calls “a mix of Essero-Menshevist ideas.”
5) Prague was liberated by Vlasov’s divisions.
The last five years have been marked by active publications of an academic nature. Some, such as the articles by A. F. Katusev and V. G. Oppokov in the Military-Historical Journal, only reproduce the myth dating from the Second World War of Vlasov the traitor. While exposing Vlasov, the authors continue to insist on the adequacy for the academic process of proving the moral degradation of the personality of a general they confess to despise. A. F. Katusev and V. G. Oppokov’s other reflections may be summed up as follows:
1) Vlasov’s anti-Soviet leanings cannot have been formed either in the pre-war period, when he was focused on making his military career, or in the initial phase of the war, when the operations under his command were accompanied by, albeit variable, success.
2) Vlasov’s capture took place out of a motivation to save his own life.
3) In the same way, Vlasov conducted the operation for the liberation of Prague in order to curry favor with the Americans and obtain the possibility of escaping from Soviet justice in the USA.
It should be noted that the authors back-up their conclusions with the publication of documents in all probability from the legal dossier on Vlasov and his associates from 1939-1943.
In 1995 – the 50th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War, two articles were published: those of V. Filatov in the pages of Молодая Гвардия (“The Young Guardsman”) and N. Koniaev in the journal Подъем (“Rise”), where the latter’s interpretation of the story and persona of General A. A. Vlasov differs significantly from the usual opinions both in Western and Russian literature on the subject.
N. Koniaev, using published documents and the experience of Soviet scholars and journalists, illustrates A. A. Vlasov’s biography in detail up until July 1942 – that is until his defection to the enemy. His thoughts lack the emotionality of many of the researchers dealing with Vlasov; an objective selection of documents may be noted. The conclusion the author comes to consists in the idea that General A. A. Vlasov knew Soviet reality well enough to be dissatisfied with it. What is more, now and again he had the opportunity to be its creator (in 1937-1938 A. A. Vlasov was a member of the military tribunal in the Leningrad and Kiev military districts). By defecting to the Germans, he was guided by the desire to save his own life, perhaps to make a new career. His new hypostasis as the “savior of the fatherland from Bolshevism” was proposed to him by German propagandists (the same Strick-Strickfield). N. Koniaev assesses the role of A. A. Vlasov and the Russian Liberation Movement he headed positively, linking Vlasov’s name with the Russian question, which at the end of the war was already being decided by I. V. Stalin, defending Russian interests and not allowing Western powers into the sphere of interest of the USSR.
N. Koniaev’s last thesis is shared by V. Filatov. In his article, “How many faces did General Vlasov have?” he proposes an interesting interpretation of the role played by the Soviet general A. A. Vlasov in the Second World War. The author does not copy the order of research of Soviet scholars, nor is he persuaded by Western publications. V. Filatov’s version is unconvincing, almost fantastical, but the scrupulous insistence with which he attempts to defend it deserves our attention. According to Filatov, A. A. Vlasov was the Soviet Union’s most important spy, infiltrated into Berlin by the Main Intelligence Agency with the personal knowledge of Stalin and executing certain strategic functions, for example the creation of a “second” or “third” front behind enemy lines made up of imprisoned soldiers (to the tune of 4.5 million). The Germans, just like the English, the Americans, and the French, sought to enslave the USSR (Russia), and for this reason, in his genius as a commander, Stalin countered them with Vlasov’s Russian national units. If we accept this version of events, then all of General Vlasov’s actions become comprehensible. The only weak point in this conception is its ending: according to the author, A. A. Vlasov was not executed and is perhaps alive and well to this day. This hypothesis, of course, does not stand up to criticism: the photograph of the hanged officers of Vlasov’s staff and A. A. Vlasov with them has been published many times. Also improbable are the destinies of the soldiers of the Russian Liberation Army: they were extradited to the USSR for their own good and did not serve sentences in prisons and camps as traitors, but were dispersed to their own homes. “The main contingent of those writing about Vlasov are people who judge him by their own standards, according to their own agendas and the measure of their own depravity or purity”: V. Filatov’s revelation here may, it seems to me, be applied to him himself; his agenda is the “Russian question, which has been consigned to oblivion.” Today’s opposition has amusingly conflated the Russian Empire and the USSR, the tsars and Stalin as the guarantee of national independence. The inculcation of the cultures of the countries of Europe and America is perceived as occupation. Under the conditions of today’s reality emerges a new Vlasov, whose patriotism is juxtaposed to the patriotism described in Western literature.
Thus, the story of General Vlasov is presented by Russian literature in two thematic blocks: 1) “Vlasov before Vlasov” – that is up until his defection to the enemy; 2) the operations commanded by Vlasov on the Volkhov front. It is important that in recent times the place and role of Vlasov in the period of his life in question have undergone a significant re-evaluation. The authors note that his rapidly developing military career was a consequence of his talent, that he conducted himself with merit in certain events (the defense of Kiev, the battle for Moscow); when analyzing his failure on the Volkhov front, scholars reach the conclusion that A. A. Vlasov was not to blame for this.
Vlasov’s further biography in the interpretation of Russian historians is based on sources in literature published in the West. Here the dialogue of two historiographies develops in the following directions: 1) a simple transmission of factual material (a retelling): 2) the subordination of factual material to authorial hypotheses that are already clear at the beginning of the work. Overall, a double and contradictory situation has arisen in how Western historiography is used, where on the one hand Soviet authors treat it with distrust, and on the other present it almost uncritically as proof of their own hypotheses.
Attempts at a comprehensive study of the sources on A. A. Vlasov and the ROA have not been ventured, and the documents from the archives of the Federal Republic of Germany have not been developed at all.
The aim of the present research paper is an analysis of the entire collection of sources on the story of General Vlasov and the ROA contained in the FRG archives. In order to achieve this aim, the following tasks must be accomplished:
1) to analyze documentary materials where the nature, political specificities, and social basis of the Vlasov movement are investigated;
2) to explore the composition and content of Russian-language newspapers published on the occupied territory of the USSR;
3) to devote particular attention to an analysis of the origin and content of an exceptionally important document from the Vlasov movement: the “Manifesto of the Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia” from 1944.
The paper consists of an introduction, four chapters, and a conclusion.
The first chapter, entitled “A definition of the Vlasov movement: a study of the source” is devoted to an analysis of the nature, political direction, and social basis of the movement.
In the second chapter, “Russian newspapers published by the Propaganda Department of the High Command of the Armed Forces of Germany on the territory of the USSR temporarily occupied by German forces,” Russian newspapers published on the occupied territory of the USSR are subjected to investigation.
In the fourth chapter, “The Manifesto of the Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia,” we take a look at the little-studied history of the creation of the Prague Manifesto.
Chapter I. Definition of the Vlasov movement: a study of the sources
The Russian Liberation Army
The use of definitions and terms denoting historical events focuses, limits and directs the work of the historian towards a targeted search.
The question of the definition of the phenomenon which became known by the name of Lieutenant-General A. A. Vlasov (the Vlasov-affair, the Vlasov movement), and also formulated in terms of organizational units (the Russian Liberation Army [ROA], Russian Liberation Movement [ROD], the Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia [KONR], the Armed Forces of the KONR [VS KONR]) is examined with the aim of producing a legitimate terminology with regard to the events of the Second World War to which this work is dedicated. Attempts have been made to explain this terminology; for example, by M. Tomashevskii in his introductory article to his translation of J. Thorwald’s book:
the “Vlasovites” were not just the officers and soldiers of the ROA with the St. Andrew’s cross on their sleeves and an old Russian army cockade on their fur hat – it was millions of our “Ostarbeiter” with the humiliating ‘OST’ badge pinned to their breast, driven by Hitler into labor or concentration camps, who decorated portraits of Vlasov with flowers in their barracks as their leader and liberator. It was also those who had been torn from their homeland and forced to work as farmhands for the German “Bauers.” All of them were Vlasovites;Ocherki po istorii Osvoboditel’nogo Dvizheniia Narodov Rossii. Po knige Iurgena Torval’da, 1965, s. 1,2.
and by Colonel V. V. Pozdniakov:
Vlasov was the initiator, organizer and leader of the ROD;V.V. Pozdniakov, Andrei Andreevich Vlasov, (Siracuse: 1973), 5.
By A. Hilgruber:
Vlasov was the symbol and leader of hundreds of thousands of Russian soldiers who, from the very beginning of the German-Soviet war – that is from June 1941 – having fallen into German captivity, turned out to be ready to fight side by side with German soldiers against the Stalinist regime.A. Hilgruber, Preface to S. Frelikh’s book, General Vlasov, (1990), 5.
A. I. Solzhenitsyn writes about “Vlasov’s people” as of
true opponents of the regime. In their dreams and hopes, regarding themselves as a Third Power between Stalin and Hitler. For the allies, they were a strange category of Nazi collaborators, no better than their masters;A.I. Solzhenitsyn, Arkhipelag GULAG, 87, 238.
E. Andreeva takes a detailed look at use of terminology and comes to the conclusion that:
The most accurate definition for Soviet citizens who found themselves in the jurisdiction of the Third Reich and tried to create a viable military anti-Stalinist movement is the generalised appellation “the ROD”… “The ROD” covers a whole series of phenomena: military and civilian, collective and individual, in German and Russian areas, whose common denominator was opposition to the Stalinist regime;E. Andreeva, General Vlasov i Russkoe Osvoboditel’noe Dvizhenie (General Vlasov and the Russian Liberation Movement), (London: 1990).
The ROD was not a military opposition of Russians against Russians, as testified to by the mass nature of the movement and its unprecedentedness in Russian history, but a political struggle of three ideas: communism, German national-socialism, and a Russian national-socialist movement;Materialy po istorii Russkogo Osvoboditel’nogo Dvizheniia (1941 -1945) Sb. statei, dokumentov i vospominanii (Materials on the history of the Russian Liberation Movement [1941-1945]. An … Continue reading
The spectrum of opinion above may be reduced to the following conclusions:
1) an initial statement of the fact that A. A. Vlasov and the movement surrounding him are an indelible fact of the Second World War;
2) his place between Stalin and Hitler in the guise of a “Third Power” consisting of military and civilian fugitives from society under the Soviets, the bearers of a distinct political conception;
3) the undeniable link between this “Third Power” and Vlasov, who was its symbol, ideologue, and leader.
The earliest term is the “Russian Liberation Army,” which became well-known among Soviet citizens living on occupied territory and soldiers of the Red Army thanks to the Appeal of the Russian Committee in Smolensk of December 27, 1942: “The Russian Committee calls troops and commanders of the Red Army and all Russian people to defect to the side of the Russian Liberation Army acting in collaboration with Germany.”“Obrashchenie russkogo komiteta k boitsam i komandiram Krasnoi Armii, ko vsemu russkomu narodu i drugim narodam Sovetskogo Soiuza” (Address of the Russian committee to the soldiers and commanders … Continue reading It is a fact that the Russian Committee in Smolensk never existed, and the idea of declaring it emanated from the Propaganda Department of the High Command of the Armed Forces of Germany with propaganda aims, the successful achievement of which, according to the authors of the idea, would transform Nazi policy on the territory of the USSR.Heinz Danko Herre, Colonel, “Die Aktion ‘Silberstrief ʼ,” I. Z. Thorwald Material.
The mention of the ROA in this document is no coincidence. In October 1942, Major-General Henning von Tresckow made an attempt to form a Russian brigade in the region of the German army group Center.Kurt von Kraewel, Colonel. “Der Empfang der Vertreter der Heeresgruppen der Ostfront im Ostministerium am 18.12.1942,” 28 257/7-15, Thorwald Material. This brigade was to have a Russian officer staff and remain in contact with German divisions. The commander of the brigade was General Zhilenkov, and the chief of staff General Boiarskii. Tresckow gave a name to this first Russian brigade: “Trial Russian military division of the central front.” Its formation consisted of Russian prisoners of war in the small town of Osintorf, and its numbers amounted to roughly 200,000 people.Eugen Durksen, “Auszug aus dem Bericht zweier ehemaliger sowjetrussischer Offiziere (General Schilenkow, Oberst Bojarskie) über Erfahrungen mit ihrer russischen Freiwilligen Einheit … Continue reading However, when ready to join the front on December 16, it was separated into battalions after inspection by General-Field Marshall Kluge (on his order). The reason for the general’s decision, though he had supported and permitted this idea from the beginning, were reports that a hostile attitude and virulent criticism of German intentions in the East were rife in the ranks of the brigade. This was confirmed by Zhilenkov’s statements in his address to the brigade: “This brigade is a division of the future free Russian army, and as such will continue to fight. The brigade holds to its purpose: the liberation of Russia and realization of all the hopes of the people. The brigade considers itself an equal partner of the German army…”Ibid., 8 37. See also: 12. W. Strick-Strickfield “Der Versuchsverband Mitte,” ZS 419/8-10, Thorwald Material. The battalions were moved back 30km behind the front lines and left as a basis until the question of the creation of the ROA was finally resolved. A.S. Kazantsev, Tret’ia Sila (The Third Power), 2nd edition (Frankfurt am Main: 1974), 132.
Von Tresckow’s attempt to create a formation under purely Russian command was not the only one of its kind; from time-to-time units would arise and exist for a short period under such names as: the RNNA – “Russian National Popular Army”; the RNOA – “Russian Popular Liberation Army”; Дружина – the “Military Union of Russian Nationalists.”Frelikh, General Vlasov, 56.
The Smolensk declaration gave rise to a necessity for information about the Russian Committee and the Russian Liberation Army. Neither the one nor the other had received legal status and did not actually exist, but had been worked out on a “paper” and theoretical level. E Andreeva writes of the fragment “of a memorandum with the signatures of Vlasov (the chairman), Malyshkin (secretary), and Zhilenkov (member of the Russian Committee).”Andreeva, General Vlasov, 151. See also: A. Dallin, German Rule in Russia 1941-1945: A study in occupation Policies (London: 1957), 61. The memorandum insists on the official use of the designation ROA for all Russian divisions: this will give them the consciousness of a common goal. The purpose of this army is the same as the purpose of the Russian Committee: struggle with Stalin and the formation of a new Russia. Interesting is the authors’ conviction that all anti-Stalinist forces should be united and all national divisions included in the ROA. The necessity of a Russian general staff and Russian troop commanders is emphasized, as well as their own distinct insignias and military uniforms. E. Andreeva considers that the authors of the memorandum composed it in order to explain their own point of view, and the addressee was the Eastern Ministry, whose support they sought to gather for the business of the organization of the Russian Committee and the ROA. The interest of central figures of the Propaganda Department in this question may be explained and confirmed by the content of the negotiations that Vlasov conducted at the same time in the POW camps of Wuhlheide and Hammelburg with senior officers of the Red Army; those who were prepared to cooperate (for example, the generals Vetlugin and Lukin)W. Strick-Strickfield, “Die Bemühungen um die Bildung des russischen Komitees.” ZS 419/13-15. demanded guarantees of immunity of an independent Russian government and liberation army. Vlasov could not provide such a guarantee.
The next attempt to change the position of the Nazis was the Siblerstreif (“Silver ribbon”) campaign, marked by the appearance of a whole series of leaflets,Freiwillige Verbande IV-1. Wlassow. Flugblatter (und deren Übersetzungen) des Kd o’s d. Russ Befreiugsarmee, MA 542, 862-903, Thorwald Material. where the ROA and its command are presented as an “established fact,” whose danger to itself the Soviet government was attempting to hide. The leaflets, signed “The ROA Command” or “Volunteers of the ROA” were in reality published by the Department of the General Staff Foreign Troops EastHeinz Danko Herre, Colonel, “Die Aktion ‘Silberstrief,ʼ” ZS 406 /II, 16, Thorwald Material. under the aegis of Order No. 13 of the Supreme Command of the German Army “On soldiers of the Red Army who voluntarily defect to the German army” of April 21, 1943, in which the following choice was offered to those who “voluntarily defected”: “the ROA, one of the national liberation regiments (Ukrainian, Cossack, Turkestani, Tatar), as a volunteer in the rear or for work in the regions freed from Bolshevism.”Freiwillige Verbande IV-1. Wlassow. Flugblätter … Prikaz № 13 Verkhovnogo Komandovaniia Germanskoi Armii “O voennosluzhashchikh Krasnoi Armii dobrovol’no perekhodiashchikh na storonu … Continue reading The success of this campaign, the significant number of POWs, and the tragic experience of the winter of 1941-1942, when over two million Soviet prisoners of war were killed or died of famine and illness because of the “inapplicability” to them of norms of international law, including the Geneva Convention on prisoners of war of July 27, 1929, left the initiators of this campaign no right to scatter words into the wind, but on the contrary demonstrates a solid basis for its practical fulfilment.
As S. I. Drobiazko has shown in his thorough article, “Eastern troops and the Russian Liberation Army,” from the end of 1942 the use of “voluntary assistants” in various construction tasks and their participation in military action alongside German soldiers became normal on the Eastern front. They had neither a clear organizational structure, nor a staff, nor a strict system of subordination and control from the German administration; they were guard and anti-partisan formations created by local instances of command of the Armed Forces of Germany, destined to fill the lack of German troops that had become palpable by the end of 1942.
On January 7, 1943 by order of Hitler the Headquarters of the General of Eastern Troops was set up.RTsKhIDNI, f. 69, Op. 1, d. 10, l. 42. Lieutenant-General H. Hellmich was appointed to the post of General of Eastern Troops. These eastern troops consisted of national legions, Cossack divisions, all the guard and anti-partisan divisions in the rear regions of the front, and “volunteers of the auxiliary service” in German divisions. According to statistics mentioned in a dispatch from February 2, 1943 by Dosch, an officer of the Headquarters of the General of Eastern Troops, their overall number was 750 thousand people, of whom roughly 250 thousand were in army formations participating in military action.Voina Germanii protiv Sovetskogo Soiuza, (Berlin: 1992), 145.
The definition ROA was given in a declaration on volunteers published on April 29, 1943 signed by the chief of the General Staff of the Army High Command (Oberkommando des Heeres, OKH) Brigadier-General Zeitzler. The declaration states that all Russian volunteers used in German divisions or in the make-up of separate units form the Russian Liberation Army (ROA), all Ukrainian volunteers the Ukrainian Liberation Army (UOA), representatives of Turkish and Caucasian peoples – Georgian, Armenian, Azerbaijani, North-Caucasian and Tatar legions; and Don, Kuban, and Terek Cossacks also corresponding formations.TsKhIDK, f. 1303, Op. 4, d. 10, l. 42.
In this way the name ROA became an officially accepted fact of how the war was being fought, although from the very moment of its formulation its definition was accepted as not homogenous and not the same in its essence and content for potential and real Russian volunteers and for the ranking officers commanding them. The status of the ROA as a legal entity was regulated by order No. 5000/43 of the Organizational Department of the General Staff and came under the purview of the German command (Headquarters of the General of Eastern Troops).Ibid. l. 42. Judging from the leaflets of spring 1943, the “Silver Ribbon” propaganda campaign carried out “as a development of Order No. 13” had inculcated into the population of the former Soviet territories and soldiers of the Red Army the idea of an indubitable connection between General A. A. Vlasov’s Russian Committee and the ROA, who “shoulder to shoulder” with the German armed forces were putting the programme of the Russian Committee into effect.Freiwillige Verbande IV-1. Wlassow. Flugblatter… Flugblatt Nr.692 Was weißt Du über Smolensker Aufruf des Russischen Komitees? MA 542, 886, Thorwald Material. An “Open letter of the volunteers of the ROA to Red Army soldiers and Soviet officers” written in answer to Soviet propaganda campaigning against the ROA reads:
We are glad that Stalin has ordered leaflets in Russian to be dropped over German trenches. This proves to us that we have become a dangerous force for him. This means that our presence can no longer be kept silent. This means that there (on Soviet territory) it has become known that the Russian Liberation Army, which consists of Russian people under Russian command and is fighting against Bolshevism shoulder to shoulder with its friend Germany, is a genuine reality.Ibid. 8 887.
A. A. Vlasov’s signature is not present on this series of leaflets, and the use of his name under the aegis of the “Silver Ribbon” campaign was not discussed with him. As a political authority, General A. A. Vlasov was not admitted to participation in the campaigns of German institutions with regard to the Russian (former Soviet) population for more than a year: from March 1943 to July 1944. For this reason, this Russian Liberation Army as declared by Germany may not be called “Vlasov’s” or defined as a phenomenon belonging to the Vlasov movement.
The Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia
The formation of the Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia marks the introduction into circulation of the appellation the “Russian Liberation Movement” (ROD) and a new stage in the basis for the existence of the ROA.
In the KONR Manifesto (November 14, 1944), the ROA is mentioned as the guarantor of the “successful conclusion of the struggle against Bolshevism” together with the Ukrainian National Forces, Cossack troops, and national divisions.“Manifest Komiteta Osvobozhdeniia Narodov Rossii” (Manifesto of the Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia), in E. Andreeva, General Vlasov, 343. The document thus confirms the already established presence of the ROA and other national units.
Nevertheless, with the change of the political situation, the ROA began to acquire another significance. As a result of a meeting with SS Reichsführer Himmler, A. A. Vlasov obtained permission to unite under his command all the Russian units, and for the formation of two divisions of a potential future ten.A. Kiselev, Oblik generala Vlasova (New York: 1980), 175-178.
On November 14, the foundational congress of the KONR took place in Prague, at which the decision was taken to form the Armed Forces of the KONR headed by Lieutenant-General A. A. Vlasov, who were to receive the status of the armed forces of a state allied with Germany.
Practically the entire work of organizing the division was placed on the main command of the army and the general of the voluntary units. Colonel H. Herre, a former chief of staff of the General of Eastern Forces, was appointed as chief of staff of the 1st Russian division; he was entrusted with the task of “collaborating with the central and local army services to create a material base for the formation of the division and to consult with the Russian staff on questions of equipping and making the regiments ready for battle.”J. Hoffmann, Die Ostlegionen 1941-1943 (Freiburg: 1976), 49-50. The formation of the 1st Russian division (the 600th infantry in the German nomenclature) began according to an order of November 23, 1944 from the organizational department of the General Staff of the High Command of the Armed Forces of Germany on the training ground at Müsingen (Würtemberg). Colonel S. K. Bunchenko was appointed as commander of the division. The personal staff of the Eastern units, transferred from the active army, were used to form the division. The size of the division during the period of the completion of its formation (roughly April 1945) reached 18 thousand soldiers and officers. On January 17, 1945 an order was issued for the formation of the 2nd Russian division (the 650th infantry) on the training ground at Heuberg (Würtemburg), of which Colonel G. A. Zverev was appointed commanding officer.
The formation of a 3rd division under the command of M. M. Shapovalov (the 700the infantry) remained at a preparatory phase.Ibid., 58.
On April 28, 1945 Hitler appointed A. A. Vlasov as commander-in-chief of the newly formed Russian units, which completed the process of the separation of the armed forces of the KONR from the German armed forces.“Vstupitel’naia rech’ generala A. A. Vlasova 14 noiabria 1944,” Volia naroda, no. 1 (January 15, 1944): 3. The personal staff of the KONR armed forces included not only former Soviet citizens (POWs, Ostarbeiter, and volunteers), but also Russian émigrés. For example, on February 16, 1945 all soldiers and officers of the Russian guard corpus were required to wear the insignia of the ROA on their sleeves; a little earlier its commander Lieutenant-General B. A. Shteifon had stated his readiness to join up with the armed forces of the KONR. As far as the national committees represented in the KONR are concerned, they formed their own armed forces and were not under the command of A. A. Vlasov.
Another result of Vlasov’s meeting with Himmler was the creation of an organ embodying the Russian government in exile. In the entourage of Vlasov’s leadership (A. N. Artemov remembers from the words of General Trukhin that this was right up until the publication of the Manifesto of November 14, 1944), this government was designated as the Russian Liberation Committee. Only just before it was signed was a compromise name found – Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia (KONR), reflecting the will of all the national anti-Bolshevist forces.
The essence of the KONR was defined by Vlasov in his introductory speech – “The ideological, political, organizational center of anti-Bolshevist struggle”“Vstupitel’naia rech’ generala A. A. Vlasova 14 noiabria 1944,” Volia naroda, no. 1 (January 15, 1944): 3. – and its status (that is its mutual relationship with Germany) in the Manifesto: “The KONR welcomes the aid of Germany under conditions that do not infringe the honor or independence of our Homeland.” The struggle against Bolshevism proclaimed in the Manifesto was called “The Liberation Movement of the Peoples of Russia” (ODNR) and was not just of a military but also of a civilian nature: on December 23, 1944 the KONR stated that “the fate of the movement will be decided not only at the front, but also through work in the rear.”Hoffmann, Die Ostlegionen, 123.
The Russian Liberation Movement
Hence, in all the policy documents of the KONR, speeches at the official meetings for its foundation, publications in newspapers dedicated to this event, the terms “Liberation Movement of the Peoples of Russia” and “Russian Liberation Army” are used, which were known colloquially by their abbreviations ODNR and ROA.
Among historians dealing with the subject of Vlasov, however, a strong mutual connection has been established between them, where they often come into contact in the form of the ROD and ROA.
A detailed study of the documents connected with the activity of A. A. Vlasov, and also of the structures above, allows us to confirm that the title “Russian Liberation Movement” (ROD) was used publicly only once during the entire war.
On November 18, 1944 in his sermon at the Berlin Cathedral at a prayer service for the granting of victory to the armed forces of the KONR, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad Metropolitan Anastasii named the initiative he was giving his blessing to the “Russian Liberation Movement” (ROD).“Homily of Metropolitan Anastasiia” (radio-recording) in Materials on the history of the Russian Liberation Movement, (ed. A.V. Okorokova), 136.
That this formulation was his personal invention and was entirely conscious is confirmed by the following:
1) Vladyka Anastasii was present at the official meeting of the KONR in the Europa-Haus (Berlin) that took place before the prayer service and, of course, listened to the speech of the chairman of the KONR A. A. Vlasov, as well as the speeches of members of the Committee who welcomed the Liberation Movement of the Peoples of Russia on all sides and made comments on its policy document. It is possible that the text of the sermon of the First Hierarch of the ROCOR was prepared in advance. But even in that case it was an answer to the events in Prague, where there are also no sources containing the definition he used.
2) A. N. Artemov recalls that the acronym “ROD” was not used in Vlasov circles or among the lecturers at Dabendorf; only towards the end of the war, after the proclamation of the KONR Manifesto, did this abbreviation appear from time to time, but was pronounced by its separate letters “R-O-D” and not as the single word “ROD” as became usual after the war. This pronunciation also confirms that “ROD” could only have emerged after “ODNR” pronounced according to its constituent letters as “O-D-N-R”: this combination of sounds must have established itself before serving as the basis for the pronunciation “R-O-D.”
3) By “ROD,” Vladyka Anastasii understood “National Liberation Movement.” The national, Russian component had the same meaning for him as nаRODnоst‘ “national character” – a component part of the threefold foundation of Russian statehood formulated by Uvarov: Pravoslavie. Samoderzhavie. NаRODnоst‘. “Orthodoxy. Autocracy. National Character.” For Metropolitan Anastasii as a genuinely religious, Orthodox person, these widely used terms may often have had a different content. This may be seen in the example of the word nаROD “people,” which in the speeches of the KONR activists and corresponding abbreviations is understood as “nationality.” Their movement was international though, meaning that the plural form nаRODy “peoples” emerges, grouped together around a single power – Russia. For an Orthodox person, the term nаROD “people” does not denote nationality; the differentiation takes place according to religious confession. Such was the convention in Rus’: representatives of any nation could be in the service of the tsar, whether Tatar or Lithuanian; the deciding factor was whether they were Orthodox or not. All the Russian lands around Moscow were united by this principle. Russian and Orthodox were synonyms. The expression “non-Russian peoples” designated the peoples of the non-Orthodox borderlands that adjoined to Russia. NаROD “people,” natsia “nation” was a characterization of a single entity, wherein lay its force. For this reason, Vladyka did not hesitate to use the word “Russian” to define the movement. By this he did not mean nationality, nevertheless.
The speeches of the members of the KONR repeat each other in unison and do not diverge in any regard from the official position, the view of the German authorities who permitted these events. The KONR activists had learned from bitter past experiences, and so “did not make irresponsible declarations.” Their words were thoroughly thought through, as if copied from an original. Their attitude fully coincides with the position of the German commentators of these events in the central newspaper the Völkischer Beobachter and others.FreiwilligeVerbande, IV-1. Wlassow. Ausschinitte aus Völkischer Beobachter, MA 542, s. 840-847, Thorwald Material. A place on its own is occupied by the speech of Father Alexander Kiselev,A. Kiselev, Oblik generala Vlasova (A portrait of General Vlasov), (New York: 1980), 187-189. who attributed a humanist, humanitarian, moral value to what was taking place.
He calls the KONR a “committee of salvation,” using a strong word from traditional Orthodox lexicon. Vladyka sticks to the word “liberation,” but both priests’ understandings are the same: the liberation of mankind from the most terrible yoke, the salvation of the human soul from the fiercest oppression. During his whole speech, Father Alexander does not make mention even once of the new structures proclaimed at the meetings of November 14 and 18 – the ROA, KONR, and ODNR. It is important that both for him and Vladyka the joy of the event and its responsibility are defined as a “unification of the forces of the people,” and not “of the peoples of Russia.”
Hence, the appellation “Russian Liberation Movement” could only have been invented by an Orthodox person thinking in an Orthodox way. At the moment of the foundation of the KONR, for its activists to have thought in terms of nationality would have equated to making themselves irrelevant. The author of this appellation could only have been Metropolitan Anastasii, whose sermon is the only document from the whole history of the Second World War containing it.
This analysis of terms and acronyms has been carried out on the basis of juridical sources. The point of this approach consists in bringing to light and taking stock of the real content of these terms, identified at a public level and fixed in corresponding documents of the Second World War by the institutions on which their existence depended, and also to remove from them layers that were added subsequently leading to a confusion of meanings. The present work makes use of the acronyms in question as follows:
ROA (Russian Liberation Army), from December 27, 1942 (first mention) to January 7, 1943 – a propaganda phenomenon designating a military formation under Russian command of equal status to the Germany army; from January 7, 1943 to November 14, 1944 – the so called Voluntary Eastern Troops, who really existed as an organizational unit under German command (the Headquarters of Eastern Troops); from November 14, 1944 – the armed forces of the KONR led by Lieutenant-General A. A. Vlasov with the status of soldiers of a sate allied with Germany.
KONR (Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia), during the period of the preparation of the Manifesto (September – October 1944) – the Russian Liberation Committee. In the Manifesto of November 14, 1944 the KONR took the form of an ideological, political, organizational center of anti-Bolshevist struggle uniting all the peoples of Russia.
ODNR (Liberation Movement of the Peoples of Russia) – the definition of the anti-Bolshevist struggle with the armed forces of the ROA proclaimed in the KONR Manifesto of November 14, 1944, and also the civil opposition of the Ostarbeiter and POWs.
ROD (Russian Liberation Movement) – declared for the first time by Metropolitan Anastasii on November 18, 1944. One may consider that by this given definition of anti-Bolshevist struggle, the church expressed its position with regard to the events of the end of the war, in which it saw the succession of the inheritance of the patriotic movements of Rus’ and Russia with the Russian Liberation Army.
Chapter II. Russian newspapers published by the Propaganda Department of the High Command of the Armed Forces of Germany on the territory of the USSR temporarily occupied by German troops
1. The historical circumstances of the emergence of the source
By the end of 1941, no fewer than 3.8 million Red Army soldiers had been taken as prisoners of wars by Germany; over the whole war this figure reached a total of 5.24 million people.J. Hoffmann, Istoriia Vlasovskoi armii (The history of the Vlasov army), (Paris: 1990): 6. In autumn 1942, the period of the greatest eastward advance of the German armies, about 80 million people lived on the occupied Soviet territories, which represented 40% of the whole population of the USSR.M.I. Semiriaga, Tiuremnaia imperiia natsizma i ee krakh (The prison empire of Nazism and its destruction), (Moscow: 1991), 40. The number of our citizens forced to go to Germany as Ostarbeiter “Eastern workers” comprises 5 million.V.I. Andriianov, Pamiat’ so znakom 0ST. (Memory with an OST badge), (Moscow: 1993), 10.
Right up until the present time, publications in Russia demonstrate instances of the total destruction of the citizens of the USSR in the course of the war,Ibid. which are confirmed by researchers with the concept of Ostpolitik “Eastern policy,” and also Germany’s colonial aim in the war with the USSR.
The contradictoriness of Hitler’s notions of Eastern policy have been remarked on by many Western scholars of the Second World War (J. Hoffmann, E. Andreeva, J. Thorwald, among others), and is also reproduced consistently and with insistency in the memoirs of German officers and émigrés in the service of the German armed forces (K. Kromiadi, V. K. Strick-Strickfield, S. B. Frelikh).
The general outline of his Ostpolitik was set out be Hitler in Mein Kampf:
When we speak of the conquest of new lands in Europe, of course in the first instance we can mean only Russia… This gigantic Eastern state is inevitably doomed to destruction… The end of Jewish hegemony in Russia will also be the end of Russia as a state.
Hitler asserted that the German nation was in need of space to live (Lebensraum), and the only place this could be obtained was in the East. In Russian Bolshevism he saw the incarnation of the pretensions of worldwide Jewry to world domination.A. Hitler, Mein Kampf, (Munich: 1927), vol. 2., 324. The initial project for the resolution of the “Eastern question” presupposed the formation on the territories of the European part of the Soviet Union of a series of national states with their own governments (the Ukraine, Belarus’, Lithuania, Latvia), who would serve as a separate buffer between the German empire and the Asiatic part of the USSR, which in this case would have broken up into a series of “peasant republics.” At the same time, the danger of a replacement of Bolshevist Russia with a nationalistic state that in the end would become an enemy of Germany was highlighted.V.I. Dashichev, Bankrotstvo strategii Germanskogo fashizma (The bankruptcy of the strategies of German fascism), (Moscow: 1973), 22. However, soon after the beginning of the war Hitler rejected the idea of buffer states on the grounds that it was essential to hinder the emergence of any national aspirations whatsoever that could bear within themselves danger for German dominance. The new conception stipulated the transfer of all power on the occupied territories of the USSR to the German administration with the aim of optimal management. Such regions were to become four imperial commissariats: Ostland (the Baltic lands and Western Belarus), Ukraina, Moskovia (Central Russia), and Kavkaz (“Caucasus”).
Further designs with regard to the USSR and the peoples making up its population found expression in the general plan “OST” representing a long-term programme of colonization of Eastern Europe. According to this plan, the Soviet Union was to be liquidated as a state, depriving its peoples of an independent existence as a state for all time. The aim of the new policy was the destruction and banishment of the population of the conquered eastern territories and their gradual replacement with German migrant colonizers. It was envisaged that over 30 years, around 31 million Slavs would be eradicated and in part evicted to German lands; 14-15 million native inhabitants were to be left in their “homeland” and Germanified over the course of time.Ibid., 30-31. Subject to eviction were 65% of the population of West Ukraine, 75% of the population of Belarus, and also 50% of the population of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. Deutschland im Zweiten Weltkrieg, vol. 2, (Berlin: 1982), 118. Territories populated by Russians were to be divided into administrative regions under the management of German general commissars. By implementing such measures as the destruction of the intelligentsia as the bearer of national culture, its scientific and technological knowledge, and the artificial reduction of natality in order to sharply decrease the size of the population, the Nazis intended to “undermine the strength of the Russian people” and thus to “maintain German dominance for a long time.”Dashichev, Bankrotstvo, 36-38. This policy and these views were supported by the Nazi hierarchy: the journal of Himmler’s agency Der Stürmer serves as a source of propaganda proof on the denigration of the Slavs under the influence of plan “OST”.
On the other hand, the following aphorism was making the rounds in Hitler’s headquarters: “Russia can only be defeated by Russia.”J. Thorwald, Wen sie verderben wollen, (Stuttgart: 1952), 82-83. It bore reference to a characterization of different sides of the Soviet state: to the possibility of using in their own interests such phenomena as the multi-national make-up of the population of the country, people’s dissatisfaction with various unpopular measures taken by the organs of Soviet authority, the terrible consequences of the Stalinist repressions. After the assault of the Third Reich on the USSR on June 22, 1944, German propaganda proclaimed the war against the Soviet Union as a “European crusade against Bolshevism” and an “all-European war of liberation.”Kromiadi, Za zemliu, za voliu, 12. Fanatical anti-communism – as Hitler repeatedly said, communism should be extirpated by pitilessly smashing the enemy’s skull into pieces – became an important component of the so-called Ostpolitik. From this, representatives of the Russian emigration drew the conclusion that it was possible for Russia to “emerge from the war neither German nor communist, but Russian.” At the same time, at a conference of representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the High Command of the Wehrmacht, the main administration of the SS and the department of external political relations of the NSDAP on June 30, 1941, dedicated to the elaboration of common directives regarding the examination of applications by foreign volunteers who wished to take part in the fight against the Soviet Union, the decision was taken not to accept applications from Czech and Russian émigrés, on the basis that the participation of Russian White Guards in the war would give Soviet propaganda the opportunity to speak of intentions of restoration on the part of the Germans.Ibid., 52. Notwithstanding, already in the first months of the war Ostpolitik began to gain critics among the higher ranks of the German officer corps, who understood that the triumphal procession of the German armies deep into Russia would inevitably get bogged down in the bitter resistance of a population that did not wish to come to terms with the harsh treatment it was being accorded. Official policy gradually “sprouted” a whole series of “interpretive” documents that did not always accord with it. For reasons of expediency or conscience, along with many who had been appointed as senior commanders and staff officers on the Eastern front, the authors and bearers of this criticism were most of the leaders of the army general staff, above all General Wagner, officers of the propaganda department of the army staff, the chief of German military counter-espionage Admiral Canaris, and a group of diplomats under the leadership of the former ambassador to Moscow Count Schulenberg.Der Angriff auf die Sowjetunion, (Frankfurt am Main: 1991), 1083.
Many aspects of Ostpolitik were reflected on the pages of newspapers published on the occupied territory of the USSR. The towns of Smolensk (abandoned by the Red Army on July 16, 1941 and liberated on September 25, 1943),S. Steenberg, Vlasov, (Melbourne: 1974), 41. Roslavl’ (abandoned on August 3, 1941 and liberated on September 25, 1943),Velikaia Otechestvennaia voina, 1941-1945: Slovar’ – spravochnik (The Great Patriotic War: Dictionary), (Moscow: Politizdat, 1985), 397-398. Klintsy (abandoned on August 20, 1941 and liberated on September 25, 1943),Ibid., 383. Orel (abandoned on October 3, 1941 and liberated on August 5, 1943),Ibid., 213. Viaz’ma (abandoned on October 7, 1941 and liberated on March 12, 1943),Ibid., 320. were part of the Third Reich for about two years and thus had nothing to do with the Soviet Union. Former Soviet citizens became the object of German propaganda. They experienced the new “German order” at first hand; some of them saw with their own eyes how people lived in Germany, that is they were convinced of the falsity or truth of the Soviet propaganda they had earlier been exposed to. A historian writing about contacts (or confrontations) of Soviet citizens with the German army finds themselves in the middle of contradictory but nonetheless real events and phenomena of wartime.
“The advance,” writes an unknown officer of the 29th motorized division of the 2nd tank group of Brigadier-General Guderian (army group Center), “has failed… On the opposite bank the Russians are sitting among burning buildings and firing from every type of weapon they have.”Ibid., 121-122. Apart from this, from July 10 – September 10, 1941 about 300 thousand laborers from the Smolensk region took part in defensive construction works along the lines of the Western front.Nemtsy o russkikh: Sbornik (The Germans on the Russians: an anthology), (Moscow: Stolitsa, 1995), 21. During autumn 1942, about 1770 partisan detachments and units numbering about 125 thousand people in total were active against the occupying powers.Velikaia Otechestvennaia voina, 398.
Nonetheless, the welcoming of soldiers of the German army after they had set foot on Soviet territory with flowers and “bread and salt” as liberators from Bolshevism is not a propaganda invention of Rosenberg’s Eastern Ministry or a later period. Here, for example, is how one report notice to the headquarters of the partisan movement describes the situation in the western regions of the Orlov region on the eve of the German occupation:
For the first months of the Patriotic war in the regions of Komarich, and especially of Brasov, several dozen exiles and former kulaks returned. Counting on the rapid arrival of the occupiers, they already had an eye on their former property, estimating how much it would cost to redo their home, how to use “their” land, whether it was worth restoring the mill etc., without in any way concealing their attitudes from those around them. The evacuated families of the party and Soviet bodies were accompanied by whistling and unambiguous threats from the unabashed anti-Soviet elements, and a part of the employees of the institutions stubbornly avoided evacuation under various pretexts.Semiriaga, Tiuremnaia imperiia natsizma, 308.
Another document communicates that:
In the first days of the occupation, in villages in the Orlov region a whole anti-Soviet inclined element rose to the surface: kulaks and their cronies, people who to some degree or another felt themselves to have been wronged. Among them was also a section of the rural intelligentsia – teachers, doctors. These people greeted the arrival of the Germans in their own way, incited the remaining unsteady element in the village to accept the new order as truly in the interests of ordinary people, free from the oppressions of the communists.RTsKhIDNI, f. 69, op. 1, d. 913. l. 69, ob.-70.
Hence, collaborationism in the occupied territories of the USSR was an important social-political process that none of the conflicting sides could afford not to take into account.
2. Specific traits of periodical publications: external criticism of the source
In the regions occupied by the Germans, a logical incarnation of this necessity was the appearance in the first months of the occupation of a multitude of anti-Soviet periodical publications, the following characteristics of which allow us to assume that they were part of a prior developed programme on the basis of earlier targeted attempts at a holistic understanding of Russian people, how the latter were influenced by geopolitical circumstances and so on, and that they did not arise naturally as it were simply in response to the situation:Ibid., d. 1027, l. 80-81.
1) The popular character of the newspapers. Each social group of the population was encompassed by a publication aimed specifically at them: for the peasants, once every two months from March 22, 1942 to June 30, 1943 the newspaper The Bell was published in Smolensk; for workers once a month from June 1942 to July 1943 there was the newspaper Rebirth; the newspaper The New Era, dedicated to the domestic life of workers, was published twice a week in Viaz’ma from February 20, 1942 to September 16, 1942; for potential soldiers of the Russian popular army, the newspaper For Freedom was published weekly in Smolensk between January 1943 and August 21, 1943. Officials and also the local intelligentsia (teachers, doctors) could read several informative newspapers: the Smolensk Gazette – the official journal of the Smolensk city administration – was published twice a week between October 15, 1941 and November 26, 1941; from December 1, 1941 the paper increased its format and was published until February 11, 1943 in Klintzy under the name The New Way; In the town of Roslavl’ between February 1942 and July 17, 1943 there was the weekly The New Life; for street distribution the Weekly News came out in in large format in Smolensk from December 1942 to September 5, 1943; for women, as a supplement to the newspaper The New Way, from June 1942 to October 1942 the Women’s Sheet was published.
2) Correspondence to level of education. Here two traits of Russians’ knowledge were taken into account:
a) one-sidedness and limitedness. For example, sub-lieutenant Gogoff wrote: “Russians love large numbers and are also fond of statistics… Someone who managed to manipulate figures could easily confuse them…”See, for example: Memo to the German High Command of W. Strick-Strikfield, “Russkii chelovek” (Russian people), Nemtsy o russkikh, 178. Not for nothing did the titles of articles (in the central columns) invariably contain figures in large print (for example, the losses of the Red Army in military force or the number of those repressed during the years of Soviet rule), which were illustrated by the convincing texts of the articles;
b) on the other hand, an ability and striving for knowledge of a mainly practical nature due to the wartime conditions (this characteristic and demand made the content of newspapers for the population of the Eastern regions largely practical). Important questions of agricultural work were discussed depending on the time of year: “Checking the state of winter crops,” “Infectious diseases in animals, “On different vegetable cultures,” and so on.
3) A correspondence to level of development. In Russia many things did not exist that to a German mindset belonged to the category of essential objects (water pipes, door locks, spring mattresses), and this was characterized by the expression “nix Cultura.” Typical living conditions were unprepossessing owing to their poverty and lack of hygiene. Staff officer Ernsthausen writes: “We have long since got used to lice. Russia is as unthinkable without them as without the seeds that the people here are constantly chewing, spitting out the shells onto the floor.” German printed propaganda for the Eastern regions acted by means of practical advice showing ways of correcting such situations. Tales of the life of German laborers, a comparison of Russian and German villages of the Soviet and new German order were to underpin the authority of the German authorities and army, reinforcing the thought that the jurisdiction of Germany in this area was not a temporary phenomenon, but that they required effort and disciplined cooperation with the new authorities in the name of the construction of a truly prosperous society for the population. The motivation of expediency here is obvious, since, as the German historian K. G. Pfeffer remarked, “The German front-line troops and services in the rear could not have been in a condition to continue the struggle for a long time if a significant part of the population had not been working for the Germans and was not helping the German troops.”Ibid. 144.
4) An understanding of national feelings expressed by Russians in their special love for the countryside, for music and dancing. In articles in the newspapers in question, this particularity was on the one hand developed (see biographies of Russian writers, poets – Kol’tsov, Pushkin, Tolstoy etc.), and on the other hand this can be understood as a sort of propaganda trick similar to speculation of Soviet party and state leaders on the national consciousness and heroic traditions of the Russian people in order to mobilize forces to repulse the enemy.
3. The question of authorship. Criticism of content
The publishers were situated in buildings belonging to the local organs of administration, whose officials were also the main authors of articles. It is noteworthy that if the articles were signed, then this was exclusively with Russian surnames, often very simple ones such as Borisov, Vasil’ev, Efimov, Tarasov, Larionov. There are no representatives of the native émigré community, and also almost no Germans.
The average newspaper set out its publications on four pages. The central column was reserved for reports from the German High Command from the fronts, publications of Eastern Ministry legislation concerning the Eastern regions and explanations of these (with a continuation over two or three pages), and articles devoted to official dates and public holidays (the birthday of A. Hitler on May 1, for example). The second and third pages contained permanent columns: “News from the Bolshevist hell”; “Short communications” (world news); “Conversations between Grandpa Know-it-All and Grandma Milan’i” (explaining German political questions in the Eastern regions in verse); letters from readers and analytical articles on the broadest possible range of subjects (on domestic problems, implementation of new law at a local level, the role of different social groups – for example women – in society, on the cruelty of the Soviet regime, on life in Germany); documents signed by Lieutenant-General A. A. Vlasov and a reaction to them. The final page was dedicated to events from local life: here local administration directives were published; there were permanent columns for “Announcements” (sales, purchases, loss), and “Missing” (loved ones who had gone missing in the course of military action or evacuation); a large amount of space was reserved for articles on cultural questions (biographies of historical or cultural figures commemorating the dates of their birth or death), practical advice on agricultural work. The newspapers ended with a “Humor corner,” where ditties on the Soviet “past” were printed. The circulation of the publications showed a tendency towards growth from 3000 in 1941 (see the Smolensk Gazette) to 37000 in 1943 (see the New Way).
The newspapers of the occupied regions offer extraordinarily valuable material on how the life of centers of population was organized, mainly in the form of publications of the legislative directives of the Ministry of Eastern Regions and the local organs of power. One can follow the whole gamut of questions that concerned the population at different times in the periodical editions: from the organization of local administration institutions to the organization of worker and peasant labor, to systems of education and centers of culture and learning.
From the Smolensk Gazette, founded immediately after the occupation of Smolensk by German troops, we learn the names of city administration officials (directors of the city and regions, administrative secretaries, heads of department – for example for the city markets, and the administration and parish priests of the churches that had been opened). The data of a population census from the first of November 1941 (by gender, age, nationality and profession) is worthy of attention. It is unlikely to be unreliable: it was essential for the German authorities to register and account for the population, as this determined the resolution of many questions in territory they had acquired (the formation of a workforce for the German economy, the probability of opposition, disorder). The importance of this census and the particular attention that was accorded to it is confirmed by corrections that were published a number of times later on.
Many publications were devoted to local statistics and regular reports on the population (the number of registered marriages and wedding ceremonies, of officially disabled people in the care of the state, of open hospitals, food banks and the scope of their work measured by quantity of patients and meals dispensed). The published figures of so-called “industrial initiatives” require special explanation. For people who had experienced industrialization and been brought up on the grandiose victories and records of heavy industry, the notion “industrial initiatives” evoked associations with large-scale production, and so the figures for the growth rate of “production” under the new German order were all the more impressive. Nevertheless, by “industrial initiatives” what was meant in reality was a large number of smaller producers in the main processing the results of peasant labor: oil mills, cheese dairies, windmills, bakeries, cobblers and so on. Here we are confronted with an example of the manipulation of figures for the purposes of propaganda for the “new order.”
Statistics were used to create fear mainly by reminding people of the brutality of the Bolshevist regime. In one “piece of research” published in the paper New Life “on the basis of materials from Soviet secret statistical data,” the number of people liquidated between 1917 to 1941 was declared as 33 million people. It is clear that this figure is without basis (although a full calculation is presented in the article), but it is important that the population of the occupied areas were in possession of knowledge about events, facts, and measurements constituting part of the Soviet past and present that Soviet man had been trained not to notice, to keep secret, to be afraid of. It was precisely during the war years that the readers of newspapers published in the occupied regions learned – for the first time (!) – of the martyrdom of Emperor Nicholas II and his family, of the victims of Katyn’, of the scale of Stalin’s repressions.
Also of interest are publications of legislation dealing with the Eastern regions of the Third Reich: “On the new agrarian reform” of February 15, 1942; the “Declaration of the German government on the land property rights of peasants” of June 3, 1943; “On soldiers of the Red Army voluntarily defecting to the German Army” of June 1, 1943; “On equipping volunteers” from March 1943; a “Directive on labor duty and the allocation of laborers to work in the regions of military operation in the liberated eastern regions” of July 1943, among others. However, pride of place was not given to the publication of documents, but to accompanying explanations so extensive that the document itself could go completely unnoticed. Explanations came down to an idea of the practical side of the law, how it was implemented and the benefits it brought. The reason for this “concealment” of the documents did not consist (going by a comparison of their texts and the commentaries on them) in a desire to deny the population their right to an acquaintance with them. Scholarly literature has described on a number of occasions attempts at the preparation and implementation of laws, brochures, measures and their publication by representatives of that part of the German Armed Forces who tried, in spite of the general line of Ostpolitik, to change Hitler’s plans of annexation with the aim of creating a Russian national state.Ocherki k istorii Osvoboditel’nogo dvizheniia Narodov Rossii, 26. It is well-known that some service orders for the Eastern regions were prepared by von Stauffenberg and Freytag-Loringhoven,S. Steenberg, Vlasov, 120. both participants in the assassination attempt on Hitler of July 20, 1944. It was they who unconditionally supported General A. A. Vlasov, whose speeches were thus “hidden” in the newspapers (that is published unobtrusively) mainly from the government and “upper circles,” where the proponents of the official Ostpolitik were to be found.
Hence, the newspapers of the occupied territories are an essential source for studying the directions and mechanisms for implementing Ostpolitik, and the contradictions in the attitudes to the Eastern regions in the government and High command of the Third Reich.
This source gives exhaustive information on the question of the organization of administration and life in the occupied Soviet regions in the war years, as it was published for the whole time of the presence of the occupying authorities in them.
A study of the topics and information on which the population of the occupied regions was nourished allows us to explain why those who had been in occupation or prisoners of war were considered disloyal to the Soviet system. The inclusion of these sources is essential to guarantee the completeness of future historical research on World War II.
Chapter III. The Manifesto of the Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples
of Russia, 1944
1. The reasons behind the creation of the document
The Manifesto of the Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia is the policy document of the Russian Liberation movement, a summative document, a sort of resumé of everything that came from the pen of forces sympathetic to the movement, including that bearing the signature of A. A. Vlasov. The text of the manifesto absorbed the most varied historical, political, and personal influences, but was the product exclusively of Russian (including Soviet) authors,Kromiadi, Za zemliu, za voliu…, 172. which determines its uniqueness against the background of the mass-circulated propaganda work carried out by Rosenberg’s Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories.N.I. Makarov, Nepokorennaia zemlia Rossiiskaia (The unsubjugated land of Russia), (Moskva: Politizdat, 1976), 201; see also Ocherki k istorii Osvoboditel’nogo Dvizheniia Narodov Rossii, 59
By July 1944, an opportunity had appeared for Vlasov to be recognized as the head of the “liberation movement” at the highest level. Rosenberg stated that he agreed with Vlasov’s “great-Russian way of thinking, as this was in line with his own views.”Ocherki k istorii Osvoboditel’nogo dvizheniia Narodov Rossii, 59. The movement became particularly important in Himmler’s headquarters, which to all intents and purposes took the Vlasov problem over from the opposition after their assassination attempt on Hitler on July 20, 1944.Ibid., 56; see also Frelikh, General Vlasov.
The meeting between Reichsführer H. Himmler and A. Vlasov took place on September 16, 1944. Its result was Vlasov’s appointment as Supreme Commander of the Russian Liberation Army, and also the obtainment of permission to set up the Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia. This committee was to unite “all the peoples of Russia” living on the territory of the USSR.Ocherki k istorii, 69. Hans von Herwarth designated this idea as a “continuation of the great-Russian policy (großrussische Politik) of the tsars and Stalin.Hans von Herwarth, Zwischen Hitler und Stalin, (Frankfurt am Main: 1982), 211. In this connection, a conflict arose between Rosenberg, who had long since given his sanction and recognition to many national committees and representations, and Himmler, who was distrustful of separatists and considered separatism to be a relic of the past incited mainly by the emigration.Ocherki k istorii, 69; 76-80. The idea of uniting all anti-communist forces on a federal basis belonged to Vlasov himself: he voiced it to Himmler as the new German authority.Ibid. By this time, nobody considered Rosenberg a “serious minister” any more,Ibid., 57. but he was still relied on by the nationalists who refused to negotiate with or support Vlasov. It is known that, with the mediation of Kaltenbrunner, meetings were organized for Vlasov by the SS with the “Caucasian leader” – the representative of the Georgian committee Misha Kedia, “the Belarusian president Ostrovskii and the leader of the Turkestanis Khan Yomud”: all three stated that they were “not fighting on the side of Germany in order to place their necks under the sword of a new Russian imperialism.Ibid., 79; Frelikh, General Vlasov, 177; Kromiadi, Za zemliu, za voliu…, 177. P. N. Krasnov, the director of the main administration of Cossack troops, also had a negative attitude towards the creation of the KONR, seeing in it a threat to the concessions made to the Cossacks by the German government on November 10, 1943.GARF, f. 5761, op. 1, d.14, l. 365. Hence, where potential allies in the form of national associations were concerned, Vlasov found himself in political isolation. Himmler had his own aims with regard to Vlasov’s undertaking (to undermine the advancing Red Army, strengthened by its victories, and to replenish the exhausted German army with human resources), which was to attempt to decide the issue of the war in his favor. Here Vlasov figured as in the past as a propaganda pawn, with the only difference that he received official recognition and a certain status. In these conditions, Vlasov and his entourage showed an exceptional understanding of the situation and used it to the full.
2. Problems of authorship
After Vlasov’s meeting with Himmler in Dabendorf, work began on developing the text of the manifesto. When General Vlasov was asked how much time he would need for this, he answered “From two to two and a half weeks,” as S. Frelikh reports in his memoirs.Frelikh, General Vlasov, 172. The proclamation of the manifesto took place on November 14, 1944,Ibid. more than two months after permission was obtained from Himmler. All the internal discussions and agreements essential for producing a final draft did genuinely take the whole two months. A large number of people took part in this work, which later on was to give rise to debates about the authorship of the manifesto and differing versions of the history of its creation.Referred to is a debate between A.N. Artemova and H.A. Nareikis.
So, according to A. N. Artemov (Zaitsev) work finally started in September 1944, when General Zhilenkov summoned to himself the threesome of N. V. Koval’chuk (Granin) – the editor of the newspaper Dawn, N. A. Nareikis (Troitskii) – an employee of the newspaper The Volunteer, and A. N. Artemov (Zaitsev) – the senior lecturer at Dabendorf.A.N. Artemov, “U istokov Prazhskogo manifesta” (At the sources of the Prague Manifesto), Posev, no. 6 (1996), 57. G. N. Zhilenkov stipulated the direction the work was to take using Vlasov’s words: “The creation of a political document of the KONR, which must be called a manifesto rather than a declaration, and contain within itself some sort of historico-philosophical introduction, programme, and appeal.”Ibid., 57. The shortest possible deadlines were set: “Zhilenkov said that he would not let us out of the house until the document was ready,” N. A. Nareikis recalls,“Vospominaniia N.A. Troitskogo o rabote nad tekstom Manifesta Komiteta osvobozhdeniia narodov Rossii” (Memories of N. A. Troitskii of the work on the text of the Manifesto of the Committee for … Continue reading and this is confirmed by A. N. Artemov.Artemov, “U istokov,” 57. N. A. Nareikis wrote his draft “then and there, before lunch,” writes only N. A. Nareikis. Zhilenkov commented on it as an “excellent editorial for a newspaper.”N.A. Troitskii, “Trudnyi put’ k istine,” in sb. Materialy po istorii Osvoboditel’nogo dvizheniia 1941-1945 (collected Materials on the history of the Liberation Movement 1941-1945), … Continue reading N. A. Nareikis believes that the layout of the final version of the Manifesto remained basically his, although many changes of a practical nature were made subsequently. In any case, after this “pen test,” N. A. Nareikis did not take any further part in the work on the Manifesto.GARF, f. 10015.
N. N. Artemov – N. A. Nareikis’s main rival in the debate on the authorship of their project – goes into much more specific detail in his memoirs. In essence, Artemov does not contradict his opponent (and one-time colleague) in the slightest. In the case in question, an attempt may be felt on the part of Nareikis to exaggerate his role in the composition of the “famous document,”Troitskii, “Trudnyi put’ k istine,” 323. which does not have sufficient basis, nonetheless. He writes of his complicated personal relations with Koval’chuk and as a result passes over the latter’s role in silence.GARF, f. 10015. At the same time, according to K. G. Kromiadi, the “group of ideologues from the school at Dabendorf” worked under Koval’chuk’s leadership.”Kromiadi, Za zemliu, za voliu…, 172. In the evidence he gave at his trial from July 31 – August 1, 1946, G. Zhilenkov names Koval’chuk and Zaitsev (Artemov) as members of the editorial committee and “forgets” (?) Troitskii (Nareikis).A. Kolesnik, ROA – vlasovskaia armiia. Sudebnoe delo A.A. Vlasova (The ROA – the Vlasovite army. The trial of A. A. Vlasov), (Khar’kov: 1990), 57. N. V. Koval’chuk was executed in the city of Dessau after the war by the Soviet secret services.Kazantsev, Tret’ia Sila, 322. After the war, N. A. Nareikis and A. N. Artemov became active and influential figures in the “second wave” of the emigration. Nareikis was voted chairman of the Council of the Union for the Struggle for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia (SBONR), organized and headed an institution for the study of the history and culture of the USSR, and published and edited the journal The Literary Contemporary.Materialy po istorii ROD, gen. ed. A.V. Okorokova, 395. To start with, A. N. Artemov was a member of the Council of the NTS (National Labor Union), and from 1972 became its chairman; he was in charge of the ideological and political commissions of the NTS, was an author of its programmatic documents, was an editor of the journal Seeding.Komentarii K. Aleksandrova k publikatsii “Iz zapisnoi knizhki general-maiora V.F. Malyshkina (1945-1946)” (Commentaries by K. Alexandrov to the publication “From the notebook of Major-General … Continue reading The SBONR and NTS were rival organizations. The tradition of the NTS, in spite of having a significant number of former Soviet citizens among its membership, belonged to the “first wave” of the Russian emigration, whose activity bore a markedly intellectual character, concentrating its efforts in the main on ideological struggle with communism, in contrast to SBONR, which “fought with the Soviet regime using any means available.”D. Konstantinov, Archpriest, “‘Vtoraia volna’ – vospominaniia i razdum’ia emigratsii, ” in the anthology V poiskakh istiny: Puti i sud’by vtoroi emigratsii: Sb. Statei i … Continue reading
The political friction between the two unions spilled over into personal animosity between their leaders,Artemov, “U istokov,” 59. which colored their accounts of the historical events in their past. A general remark by N. A. Nareikis in the epilogue to his memoirs of the work on the text of the KONR Manifesto (July 1995) confirms this: “The role of the NTS and the denigration of the role of the second emigration in the process of the creation of the Manifesto are personal inventions.”GARF, f. 10015.
According to A. N. Artemov’s memoirs, Zhilenkov divided the work on the document: N. V. Koval’chuk was assigned the task of writing the introduction, Artemov himself was given the programmatic section, and N. A. Nareikis the concluding part – the rallying cry or appeal.Artemov, “U istokov,” 57. The final version of the Manifesto clearly demonstrates a corresponding structure,Manifest Komiteta Osvobozhdeniia Narodov Rossii” (Manifesto of the Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia), Volia naroda, no. 1 (1944): 1. which confirms Artemov’s claims and illustrates Zhilenkov’s own influence in the composition of the Manifesto. Zhilenkov’s reaction to Nareikis’s promptly produced work, “an editorial in a newspaper,” is symbolic. If we bear in mind the approximate parity of the contents and styles of Soviet editorials and Soviet appeals, then Nareikis may be credited with the true authorship of the appeal section of the Manifesto, which came into being either involuntarily out of an attempt to strengthen the text of the whole document, or from a direct assignment from Zhilenkov to write only an appeal section.
Where the programmatic section assigned to Artemov is concerned, the story of how it was written in his memoirs does not give rise to any cause for doubt. His approach to the work, the care taken in its execution, the concreteness of the account all present the reader with the critical mind of a thinker. This is confirmed by: a) his pre-war biography/participation in the Marxist-Leninist seminar for doctorate students of the Academy of Sciences at the Institute of Philosophy RAS, directed by the academic M. B. Mitin, his exclusion from the Komsomol for criticizing collectivization in 1930, his autodidactic study of philosophy, sociology, and law whilst a prisoner of warArtemov, “U istokov,” 57.; b) an analysis of his post-war excursions in print as the author of articles on historical themes and policy documents of the NTSBibliography, A.N. Artemov, A.N. Redlikh, Posev… ; c) my personal impressions taken from a meeting with him in June 1997Tape-recorded interview with A. N. Artemov, 1997. ; d) N. A. Nareikis’s own testimony of the moment when Zhilenkov proposed that they write the text of the document without any delay: “Zaitsev started saying roughly the following: he could not work under such conditions, he needed sources, the consultation of many countries, the US Declaration of Independence, and so on – only after studying this preparatory material could he begin working.”Troitskii, “Trudnyi put’ k istine,” 323.
During the evening of the same day and the following night, using the necessary materials at his own home, A. N. Artemov wrote the programmatic section of the Manifesto.Artemov, “U istokov,” 57 In Artemov’s draft, it consisted of three sections within which points were grouped according to their significance. The first point read as follows: “The equality of all the peoples of Russia and their right to national development and self-determination.” In the second point, the author tried to draw a link between a sort of heritage of the ideological traditions of the NTS and the Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia. To start with it looked like this: “The establishment of a national-labor structure, in which all the interests of the state are subordinated to the task of increasing the prosperity and development of the nation, and the position of a person in society is not defined by his origins, wealth or party membership, but his moral and professional qualities, his abilities and labor.”Ibid., 58. The final words (“nation,” “labor”) deciphered the key concept of a “national-labor structure.” The word “nation” denoted the whole population of the country; it implied and united all the nationalities of Russia, but at the same time was juxtaposed to communist internationalism, which fully matched Vlasov’s initial precepts. The labor criterion of the position of a person in society was typically NTS-ish. In his list of civil liberties (point 11 of the future Manifesto), Artemov took as his model a phrase by S. Iu. Witte from his 1905 Manifesto:Ibid. “freedom of conscience, word, gathering, and union.” By freedom of conscience, Artemov – in agreement with Witte – also understood freedom of religion and religious expression.
N. N. Artemov gave the text of his draft to Zhilenkov the following morning, and the latter accepted it without comment. “I had no further contact with this until the discussion of the entire Manifesto at the assembly of the members of the KONR on November 12, three days before its proclamation in Prague,” writes Artemov.Ibid., 57.
Among the other authors of the Manifesto, the sources name I. G. Shtifanov, Captain Galkin – both from Dabendorf – D. E. Zakutny, and also Malyshkin, Trukhin, and A. A. Vlasov himself.Kolesnik, ROA – vlasovskaia armiia, 57. A.F. Katusev, V.G. Oppokov “Dvizhenie, kotorogo ne bylo” (The movement that never was), Voenno-istoricheskii zhurnal, no. 9 (1991): 45. Andreeva, General … Continue reading It was a matter of collegial work on the Manifesto involving the “best prepared” “academic, political, and ideological” forces. There is information on a number of meetings to discuss the preliminary materials.K. G. Kromiadi, “Prazhskii Manifest” (The Prague Manifesto), Informatsionnyi listok SBONR, (SBONR: 1973), no. 147, 3-4. The final text of the Manifesto was presented to Vlasov, who convened a special commission of 30 people, academic and public figures from the new and old emigrations.Kromiadi, Za zemliu, za voliu. The subject of their discussion was the seventh point of the Manifesto: “The establishment of the inviolability of private labor property (… and so on).” A group of the Russian economists did not agree with the said treatment of the issue. They recommended keeping a state monopoly on trade (as per the Soviet principle). They found an ally in a German economist attached to the committee as an advisor. He justified his opinion on the convenience for Germany of trading with Russia through one centralized body. Vlasov upheld the initial phrasing based on future trade relations with England and the USA, that is with free nations whom the Bolshevist principle would alienate from Russia. As a result, the question of a monopoly was removed thanks to the steadfastness of Vlasov’s opinion.Strick-Strickfield, Protiv Stalina i Gitlera, 353-354. The draft text of the Manifesto was sent to a series of German institutions, including to Himmler, but not to Rosenberg.Frelikh, General Vlasov, 172. On Himmler depended the decision whether or not to publish it. Himmler returned the text strewn with his own handwritten annotated additions to the text in the following directions: 1) anti-Jewish struggle; 2) struggle with plutocrats.Kromiadi, Za zemliu, za voliu, 173. Himmler’s antisemitic precept was immediately rejected as the Manifesto proclaimed the “equality of all the peoples of Russia…” On the question of the “plutocrats” England and the USA, Vlasov made a compromise with Himmler. The evidence for the authenticity of these attitudes is contradictory. B. Nikolaevskii confirms that Vlasov had anti-British views, which he acquired during an official voyage to China, and that it was hard to shake these.B.I. Nikolaevskii, “Porazhenchestvo 1941-1945 gg. i general Vlasov A.A.” (Defeatism 1941-1945 and General Vlasov A. A.), Novyi zhurnal XVIII (1948): 225. This is partly confirmed by a pronouncement by A. A. Vlasov in May 1943 during an official visit to the Eastern divisions of the 16th army. In a speech at a meeting of the heads of the Russian regions on 5 May in the town of Dno, he called England a “historical and constant enemy of Russia.”Bundesarchiv- Militararchiv, Freiburg im Breisgau, Pozdniakov Collection ZS. 305. See also, V. Pozdniakov Andrei Andreevich Vlasov, 98. In the text of a leaflet dated December 1944 and signed by the KONR (no. AM -1402), a negative attitude to Stalin’s allies is also evident.Materialy po istorii ROD, 163. On the other hand, the first letter written by Vlasov and Boiarskii on August 3, 1942 points to their willingness to cooperate with the English and Americans.Pozdniakov Andrei Andreevich Vlasov, 46. Repeated attempts at negotiation with England and the USA in the last months of the war bear witness to the fact that Vlasov and his entourage believed that the allies would not only understand the aims of the ROD and the motives behind its creation, but that after the destruction of the Third Reich they would start a campaign against the communist regime in the USSR.Frelikh, General Vlasov, 227. This point on “plutocrats” provoked criticism from A. N. Artemov (supported by professor F. P. Bogatyrchuk) at a preliminary meeting of the KONR on November 12, 1944,Artemov, “U istokov,” 58. who insisted on its removal and the shortening of the introduction. Artemov suggested after the end of the second paragraph, “The present world war is a mortal struggle between two opposing political systems” immediately to start paragraph six: “What are the peoples of Russia fighting for in this war?” Zhilenkov explained that what was being talked about were “plutocrats,” and not peoples. His statement that “This must stay” did not admit any further objections on possible corrections to the text. Himmler and Koval’chuk edited the final version.Kromiadi, Za zemliu, za voliu, 172.
The initial draft of Artemov’s programmatic section differed from the final version of the Manifesto. Zhilenkov broke the program down into 14 points, comparing them to the 13 points of the Smolensk Declaration.“Obrashchenie russkogo komiteta k boitsam i komandiram Krasnoi Armii, ko vsemu russkomu narodu i drugim narodam Sovetskogo Soiuza” (Address of the Russian committee to the soldiers and commanders … Continue reading This allows us to suppose that the declaration signed by Vlasov on December 27, 1942 in the name of the non-existent Smolensk committee had been taken as its basis; the author of these 13 points was Nikolai von Grote, “the leader of a special unit, subsequently a captain who from March 1942 led a so-called “propaganda team.”Ocherki k istorii Osvoboditel’nogo dvizheniia Narodov Rossii, 18, 27. The text of the programmatic points of the Prague Manifesto constitutes a direct borrowing of phrases and figures of speech frequently quoting von Grote’s 13 points. To illustrate this, I will attempt to reproduce the parallel passages in both documents:
The “Smolensk Committee” Declaration (text in italics).
1. The abolition of forced labor and guarantee for the worker of a true right to work for his own material prosperity:
KONR Manifesto  Manifesto of the Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia, The People’s Will, No. 1 (November 15, 1944): 1
5. The abolition of forced labor and guarantee for the worker of a true right to work for his own material prosperity, the establishment for all types of labor of a remuneration adequate to guarantee an acceptable standard of living
2. The abolition of collective farms and the planned transfer of land to being the private property of peasants:
6. The abolition of collective farms and the payment-free transfer of land to being the private property of peasants. Freedom of forms of working use of land. Free use of the produce of personal labor, the cancellation of compulsory shipments and liquidation of debts to the Soviet authorities;
3. The reestablishment of trade, privately owned businesses, and the provision to private enterprises of the opportunity to participate in the economic life of the country;
7. The definition of a profession as inalienable private labor property. The reestablishment of trade, privately owned businesses, and the provision to private enterprises of the right to participate in the economic life of the country;
4. The provision to the intelligentsia of the opportunity to work freely and creatively for the good of their people;
8. The provision to the intelligentsia of the opportunity to work freely and creatively for the good of their people;
5. To guarantee social justice and the protection of workers from all exploitation;
9. To guarantee social justice and the protection of workers from all exploitation, independent of their origins and past activity;
6. The introduction for workers of a true right to education, to recreation, to a secure old-age;
10. The introduction for all without exception of a true right to a free education, to medical treatment, to recreation, to security in old-age;
7. The abolition of the regime of terror and violence, the introduction of true freedoms of religion, conscience, speech, and press. Guarantees of the inviolability of person and place of habitation;
11. The abolition of the regime of terror and violence. The cessation of forced migration and mass exiles. The introduction of true freedoms of religion, conscience, speech, and press. Guarantees of the inviolability of person, property, and place of habitation. The equality of all before the law. The independence and transparency of the judiciary;
8. Guarantees of national freedom;
1. The equality of all the peoples of Russia and their true right to national development, self-determination, and state independence.
9. The release of political prisoners of Bolshevism and return from prisons and camps of all those subjected to repressions for their struggle against Bolshevism;
12. The release of political prisoners of Bolshevism and return from prisons and camps of all those subjected to repressions for their struggle against Bolshevism. No revenge and persecution to those who cease to work for Stalin and Bolshevism, no matter whether they did so out of conviction or obligation;
10. The reconstruction of towns and villages destroyed during the war with state means;
13. The reconstruction of public patrimony, towns and villages, plants, and factories destroyed during the war with state means;
11. The reconstruction of plants and factories belonging to the state.
12. A refusal to make payments according to the oppressive treaties signed by Stalin with Anglo-American capitalists;
13. The provision of an adequate allowance for war invalids and their families;
14. A state minimum for war invalids and their families;
2. The establishment of a national-labor structure in which all the interests of the state are subordinated to the task of increasing the prosperity and development of the nation;
3. The maintenance of peace and establishment of friendly relations with all countries and the worldwide development of international cooperation;
4. Far-reaching state measures for the strengthening of the family and marriage. True equal rights for women.
The question of the authorship of the Smolensk Declaration requires elucidation. E. Andreeva considers that “von Grote’s 13 points were laid out in an overly Germanic way and formulated too generally. As a result Zykov and Vlasov decided to compose their own political programme, which was intended to be more comprehensible and acceptable to the Soviet populace.Strick-Strickfield, Protiv Stalina i Gitlera, 211. Grote produced his ‘13 points’ at the end of September 1943 and gave them to Vlasov,Ocherki k istorii ODNR, 27. which does not mean that the latter was involved in their re-working and the final text was printed in Vlasov’s version. Grote used the whole of October to bring his ‘propaganda plans’” and also the text of a proposed leaflet to the attention of Field-Marshall Keitel and the Führer himself;Ibid., 27. at the same time, V. K. Strick-Strickfield was trying to convince Vlasov to sign these “points.”Ibid., 27 On September 10, 1942 Vlasov had already signed a leaflet composed by Strick-Strickfield, entitled, “Comrade commanders! Soviet intelligentsia!”Strick-Strickfield, Protiv Stalina i Gitlera, S. 121. M. A. Zykov arrived in Berlin on April 26, 1942, and by May 5 he had completed an “Organizational plan for the mobilization of the Russian people against the Stalinist system,” with which Grote and the NTS member Kazantsev were acquainted.Ocherki k istorii ODNR, 20.
The final version of the Declaration of the Smolensk Committee had absorbed thoughts and considerations by Vlasov, Zykov, and Kazantsev, but was based on “13 points” of Grote, who was the best informed about the situation around Vlasov and the possibility of the creation of a Russian Committee. E. Andreeva’s scepticism regarding von Grote’s ideas about Soviet people should also be subjected to criticism. Nikolai von Grote, V. Strick-Strickfield, and S. Frelikh all came from Baltic German ancestry. His family had been close to the imperial court; during the First World War he had served in the Ingushskii regiment in the so-called “Dikoi” division, whose commanding officer was Grand-Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich, the brother of the last tsar Nikolai II. Despite the fact that members of six warlike Caucasian peoples served in its ranks, the division was distinguished by strict discipline and a familial simplicity in its relations. S. Frelikh writes: “How the Balt captain von Grote belonged to the category of those rare German officers who knew the mentality of Russian people well, and especially that of Russian soldiers and officers. Hence, the purview of his duties on the Viktoriastrasse corresponded exactly to his knowledge and abilities, and thanks to this at least a certain part of his propaganda initiatives turned out to be effective.”Frelikh, General Vlasov, 91-92.
A comparison of the texts of both documents – the Smolensk Declaration and the Prague Manifesto – it is not hard to reach the conclusion that the basis for the composition of the latter was taken precisely from the document signed by Vlasov on December 27, 1942. Its points were adopted as part of the text of the Prague Manifesto practically without any changes. Point 4 of the Smolensk Declaration is absolutely identical to point 8 of the Prague Manifesto; points 10 and 11 of the Smolensk Declaration constituted point 13 of the Prague Manifesto; points 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14 of the Prague Manifesto, while retaining the exact phrasing of points 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 9, 13 of the Smolensk Declaration, are completed with additions of what appear to be definitions resulting from the work from September to November 1944; point 8 of the Smolensk Declaration is rephrased; finally new conceptions emerged that were fixed in points 2, 3, and 4 of the Prague Manifesto.
The authors of the said additions are without doubt Russian: lecturers at Dabendorf, members of the NTS, Soviet officers (that is Vlasov and those close to him), who thus formulated their interpretation of German policy in the war with the USSR, and as it were commented on the official point of view; presented their vision of the problem/the future of Russia, bearing in mind the historical legacy from the Bolshevist revolution to the most recent Second World War. This is confirmed by critical analysis of its content.
3. Analysis of the content of the source
The addition relating to the first point of the Smolensk Declaration which found expression in point 5 of the Prague Manifesto is clearly the impression of a former Soviet citizen from living in Germany. The following statement made by Vlasov is well-known: “You Germans defeated me twice – once on the Volkhov, and a second time here in the heart of Germany”;Ibid., 330. he made it in reaction to the smooth course of life in a German village. This addition illustrates and confirms the impressions of Soviet people, immersed in German life as Ostarbeiter, who wrote rapturous letters to their relations and friends on occupied territory, and at the end of the war refused to return to the USSR. Their letters were published in newspapers circulated in the occupied territories and were obviously not written under pressure or fabricated by German propagandists.See, for example: “My vernemsia na Rodinu-obzor pisem voennoplennykh” (We will return home – a review of letters from PoWs), Zaria, no. 17 (March 3, 1943).
Point 6, on the abolition of collective farms, is significantly expanded by comparison with point 2 of the Smolensk Declaration, and made more concrete by the addition of the basic features of the future land reform. Aside from this, a replacement of the word-definitions of the method of “transfer of land into private property” takes place. In the Smolensk Declaration, its “planned” nature is indicated, which confirms the sole authorship of Rosenberg’s ministry (von Grote) in this point. “The German land position,” in force on the occupied eastern territories under the jurisdiction of this ministry from February 15, 1942, envisaged the creation of agricultural associations as a transitional measure that was to lead from the abolished collective farms to the separate peasant estate. This association would represent a union of all the peasant households of a certain district, where the plots of land were allocated for individual cultivation and individual use.“Zemledel’cheskoe obshchestvo II” (Agricultural society II), Novoe vremia 1942, no. 9, (March 21, 1942), Viaz’ma. In the Prague Manifesto, instead of “planned,” “payment-free” is written, which rejects the German focus on Russian wealth, by the possession of which the Russian peasant could serve the purpose of the creation of a German state.“Na rabotu v Germaniiu” (Off to work in Germany), Kolokol (The Bell), A newspaper for peasants on the occupied territories, no. 3 (April 26, 1942), Smolensk. The sharpness and definiteness of the formulation (payment-free) of the transfer of land to private property echoes point 7 on the necessity for the “establishment of… private labor property,” where this is seen as “inalienable.” Here a “hidden hand” may be felt, the fear of a Soviet citizen hoping once and for all to rid themselves of the aggressive claims of the state on the fruits of his labor. If we remember that A. N. Artemov (Zaitsev) was thrown out of the Komsomol precisely for criticism of collectivization and take into account the fulness and significant breadth with which the sixth point of the Prague Manifesto on the land question is set out, where in essence there is a critique of the existing norms of agriculture put in place by the Soviet authorities, then the authorship of the additions in question may be attributed to him. The unconditionality of this position on the whole confirms the NTS-ish character of the additions and corrections to points 6 and 7 of the Prague Manifesto, as compared to von Grote’s original points. In point 7, what is at issue is not only “the provision to private enterprises of the right to participate in the economic life of the country,” which would indicate a simple awareness of the rejection of the aberrations of the Soviet regime, and the necessity for its destruction. The editors of the Prague Manifesto consider that the provision of a legislative guarantee of economic matters is a primary concern of the state and can ensure the immutability of the norms announced; for this reason the word “right” replaces “opportunity.” In its turn, point 4 of the Smolensk Declaration remains without any changes in the Prague Manifesto: freedom of creativity cannot be regulated by the state, and a synonym for the “provision of opportunity” is non-interference.
In all probability, the authorship of the addition in point 9 may be attributed to émigrés of the first wave making reference to the history of the revolution, when the change in structure was accompanied by repressions and persecutions of “former elements”, that is those who had privileges under the old regime. The authors of the second part of this addition – the words on “past activity” – were evidently former Soviet generals. The addition to point 12 expands the theme of “persecution for the past.” The insertion of this addition had a double significance: on the one hand it guaranteed an influx of defectors from the Eastern front; on the other it made it possible to sweep under the carpet pages from the past of key figures of the KONR that were undesirable for publication.“V 1937-1938 gg. Vlasov byl chlenom voennogo tribunala v Leningradskom, Kievskom voennykh okrugakh” (In 1937-1938 Vlasov was a member of the military tribunal in the Leningrad and Kiev military … Continue reading
A. N. Artemov’s proposed quote from S. Iu. Witte on the four freedoms of “conscience, speech, assembly, and unions” did not make it into the eleventh point of the Prague Manifesto; the latter was based on a line from point 7 of the Smolensk Declaration on the “introduction of freedoms of religion, conscience, speech, assembly, and press” that Artemov considered juridically illiterate. Defending his opinion, he writes, “By freedom of conscience, jurisprudence understands freedom of religion, of religious confession. Freedom of speech could include in itself freedom of press and radio broadcasting; freedom of assembly also that of demonstration and protest. Freedom of unions could signify different associations, up to and including political ones.”Artemov, “U istokov Prazhskogo manifesta,” 58. The absence of the last freedom in both documents was connected with suggestions at a multi-party system that met with official disapproval. Artemov did not manage to push through any corrections, or the inclusion of his version of the correction to point 11 of the Manifesto. Zhilenkov left point 7 of the Smolensk Declaration unchanged, considering it clearer and more representative.
Points 1, 2, 3, and 4 of the Prague Manifesto are completely new and do not correspond to the articles of the Smolensk Declaration. A. N. Artemov implies that he was the author of the second point, which appeared in a significantly truncated form in the final version. Nevertheless, even despite this the basic principles and concepts of the future regime were adopted from the NTS. Point
1 is borrowed directly from a 1942 NTS model of a Russian federal state where different peoples would be able to create “self-governing state formations” that would have their own constitutions and would pass a part of their state sovereignty over to a central government.”NTS: idei i politika (The NTS: ideas and politics), (Moscow: Za Rossiiu, 1995), 10.
“The subordination of the interests of the state to the task of the increase of the prosperity and development of the nation” (point 2) in no way contradicts the title of the Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia itself.
The idea of a “national Russia” mirrors the definition of a “nation” in the understanding of the NTS: “An indissoluble union of people that is whole by its shared culture, state and economic interests, historical past, and common aspirations for the future.”Ibid., 10. This phrasing fully accords with attitudes that were current in the circles of those who drafted the Manifesto, and in the end made this document popular in several national configurations.
Point 4 calls for the strengthening of the family and equal rights for women. The influence of the NTS may also be seen here: right up until the present in their policy documents they see the family as a fundamental microcosm of society, a bearer of moral principles.NTS: idei i politika, 6. On November 12, 1944 a conference of members of the KONR took place under the chairmanship of Zhilenkov, where all the above alterations were discussed and the final text of the Manifesto was approved.Artemov, “U istokov Prazhskogo manifesta,” 58. 50 copies of this text were made as guidance for negotiations with people wishing to join the movement.Kromiadi, Za zemliu, za voliu, 73.
The Manifesto was made public in Prague on November 14, 1944. Originally, the plan had been to assemble on the anniversary of the October Revolution in a Russian city, but Smolensk had already been abandoned by German troops, and the preparation of the Manifesto was delayed.
As a result, Zhilenkov’s proposal to organize the announcement of the Manifesto in a Slav city was adopted.Frelikh, General Vlasov, 173. The text of the Manifesto was read aloud by A. A. Vlasov and confirmed at a constituent assembly of the KONR. The document was signed by the chairman of the Committee – A. A. Vlasov, 36 members of the Committee, and 12 candidates for membership. An analysis of the signatures to the document permits us to make a few additions to the history of its creation and the organization of the KONR.
1) The document was signed by representatives of different social groups of the population: prevalent were soldiers (17) and scholars (11), which shows the commitment of the organizers and their capability for positive action, as well as their solid foundation in academic thought. The roughly equal number of workers (4), professionals (3 – one doctor and two engineers), public figures (5), creative workers (4 – two journalists, one writer, and an artist) – as it were illustrates the introductory part of the Manifesto, which enumerates the catastrophes to which the Bolsheviks subjected all the layers of the population of Russia. At the same time, the significant gap in quantity between representatives of educated professions (13) + (11) academics as compared to workers and peasants (only 5 in total) draws our attention.
2) Multi-nationality. In spite of the anti-Russian propaganda against Vlasov carried out by the Eastern Ministry by means of the national committees, the final document included representatives, and in some cases heads, of many national associations, for example Shamba Balinov, the chairman of the Kalmyk National committee, while the following joined on a personal basis: F. Bogatyrchuk, a Ukrainian; Professor A. C. Tsagol, an Ossetian; the non-commissioned officer F. Saakian, an Armenian; the writer Iu. A. Muzychenko, a Ukrainian; Kh. Tsymbal and I. Chanukh, from the mountain tribes; Lieutenant-General F. Abramov and E. Balabin, Cossacks… The surnames of some members and candidates for membership of the Committee were not made public. According to K. G. Kromiadi, the Committee was made up of 50 members and 12 candidates for membership,Kromiadi, Za zemliu, za voliu, 175. among whom there were representatives of 15 peoples of Russia. Missing from the document are the signatures of two further Ukrainian representatives, the professors Iu. Pis’menny and Grechko, and of the Georgian general Shalvi Maklagelidze, who were later to hold key offices in the institutions of the KONR.Frelikh, General Vlasov, 173. Analyzing the signatures does not allow us to establish whether the members and candidate members of the KONR belonged to other national and political associations, and thus to distinguish between personal and public initiative. The difficulties that the authors of the document came up against in interviews for the recruitment of national minorities to the Committee are reflected in the memoirs of figures from the Russian Liberation Movement. The story of the entry of the generals F. Abramov and E. Balabin into the KONR illustrates the contradictory position in which all the representatives of national associations found themselves. Officially, the lieutenant general of the headquarters of Cossack troops F. Abramov and the ataman of the General-Cossack Association of the German Empire in Prague E. Balabin joined the KONR on a personal basis, of which they were repeatedly asked for confirmation by S. N. and P. N. Krasnov and the Main Administration of Cossack troops.GARF, 57616 op. 1, d. 14, ll. 346, 371. As may be seen from E. Balabin’s correspondence, in spite of the opinion of the head of the Main Administration of Cossack Troops P. N. Krasnov, highly prominent representatives of the Cossack emigration declared their solidarity with Vlasov, including the atamans of the Don and Kuban Cossack troops G. V. Tatarkin and V. G. Naumenko, and the commander of the Cossack troops reserve A. G. Shkuro: … “The Krasnov’s are trying to frighten us with a schism, but there cannot be a schism, as all the Cossacks, both the old émigrés and the Soviets, and even the Krasnovs’ whole staff, are unconditionally behind Vlasov. This means that only three people can separate off – the two Krasnovs and the Kuban Ataman Naumenko […].”GARF, 57616 op. 1, d. 14, l. 400. The response among the Cossacks to the organization of the Armed Forces of the KONR was so great that, aside from personal declarations of wishes to sign up for the Armed Forces of the KONR, already on November 25, 1944 a meeting of the local atamans of the Cossack units in Germany took place that: 1) condemned any Cossack separatist movement; 2) welcomed General A. A. Vlasov; 3) requested Generals E. Balabin and F. Abramov to express to the Committee the wishes of the unified Cossacks and their representatives.GARF, 57616 op. 1, d. 14, l. 352-353 obr. In the end this forced P. N. Krasnov into a compromise in order not to sew discord among the Cossacks, and to meet with Vlasov in Berlin at the beginning of 1945. The old general proposed to his “Red” opposite number to fight together against the communists under the conditions that the Cossacks, whose relations with Germany were defined by the Declaration of November 10, 1943, would remain independent from the KONR, and he would institute a special division for communications attached to the staff of the ROA.“Otkrytoe pis’mo generala ot kavalerii N. N. Krasnova glavnokomanduiushchemu VS KONR general-leitenantu A.A. Vlasovu” (Open letter from Cavalry General N. N. Krasnov to the commander of the … Continue reading In the end, a Directorate of Cossack Troops was set up attached to the staff of the Armed Forces of the KONR and a Council of Cossack Troops was created. This Council, which became the supervisory organ of the united Cossacks, consisted of a mobile staff of atamans of Don, Kuban’, and Terek troops, and representatives of the Orenburg, Ural, Astrakhan, Siberian, and other Cossacks. The members of the Council were simultaneously members of the KONR and answered to General Vlasov as the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and president of the KONR. The ataman of the Don troops in emigration Lieutenant-General G. M. Tatarkin was elected as chairman of the Council of Cossack Troops on March 23, 1945. He was confirmed in this office by Vlasov with directive No. 061 of March 28.I.A. Poliakov, Krasnov – Vlasov…, 73. Ideologically, the Cossacks thus unanimously followed the lead of Vlasov, who formalized their presence in the KONR sphere of influence by founding the Council of Cossack Troops, alongside the fact that nobody abolished the Main Administration of Cossack Troops under the leadership of P. N. Krasnov. At an internal level, the reason for the situation of double authority that had arisen could be put down to the personal conflict between two generals. However, as General A. I. Poliakov remembers, Krasnov met with Vlasov on his own initiative: “They both strove to find a path to mutual understanding.”Ibid. 56. Notwithstanding, the regularization of the question of unification turned out to be impossible due to pressure from Dr. Himpel, the plenipotentiary of the Eastern Ministry in essence running the affairs of the Main Administration of Cossack Troops for Krasnov. Krasnov’s real feelings are revealed in his open letter to Lieutenant-General A. A. Vlasov, which was printed in the newspaper The Cossack Land on March 16, 1945: “The Cossacks should distance themselves from their leaders and commanders working with the Germans, and go over to you, who are working for Russia without the Germans.”“Otkrytoe pis’mo…”: 1. Apart from the Main Administration of Cossack Troops, on December 17, 1944 at a meeting of the KONR a Russian National Council, a Ukrainian National Council, a Belarusian National Council, a National Council of the Peoples of the Caucasus, and a National Maslakhat of the Peoples of Turkestan were founded.Pozdniakov Andrei Andreevich Vlasov, 304. Hence, the issue of nationality found its further elaboration in accordance with the principle proclaimed in the Manifesto: “The equality of all the peoples of Russia and their true right to national development, self-determination, and state independence.”GARF, 57616 op. 1, d. 24, l. 1,2. The tenacity with which the leaders of the Russian Liberation Movement united the national committees under the aegis of the KONR gives the lie to the presence of any great-Russian chauvinist element in the activity of the movement. What took place was a unification of purely anti-Stalinist forces; the fact that in the consciousness of its descendants the movement engraved itself as “Russian” is the result of a self-identification of all the participants in the ROD contrasting themselves to the Germans, who regarded them as an inferior race (Untermensch).
3) Political representation. The National Labor Union, although an active association, was an illegal one. “The leadership of the NTS was sitting in the prisons and camps or with the Gestapo,” writes A. N. Artemov, explaining a situation where he was obliged to take decisions on including national-labor terminology in the KONR Manifesto practically on his own.A Artemov, “U istokov Prazhskogo manifesta,” 58. Among the signatories to the Manifesto were at least six members of the NTS: Colonel M. Meandrov, the lecturers A. Zaitsev and E. Tenzorov, Major-General F. Trukhin, the journalist A. Kazantsev and the social activist D. Levitskii. An addendum on surnames that were not published also concerns members of the NTS who were in hiding (see “for reasons of their personal safety”), but in reality this was due to doubts on the expediency and possibility of a connection between the ROD and the NTS.
1) The KONR Manifesto was created on the initiative of General A. A. Vlasov. Work on the text was headed by General G. Zhilenkov; a large number of people were involved in this, in the first instance lecturers from the Dabendorf school. They were all Russian or former Soviet citizens. The diversity in the descriptions of the history of the Russian Liberation Movement by its participants does not allow us to speak of a special organization of the working group or systematization of its functioning.
2) As the basis of the KONR Manifesto was taken the Smolensk Declaration of December 27, 1942, the author of whose points on policy was Captain Nikolai von Grote, who headed the “propaganda team” from March 1942.
3) The main additions distinguishing the two historical documents from 1942 – 1944 are coherent with the ideas of the NTS, the participation of whose members in the work on the project of the KONR Manifesto is evident and leaves no room for doubt.
4) From the German side, the text of the Manifesto did not undergo any significant changes; on Himmler’s insistence a criticism of the “forces of imperialism led by the plutocracies of England and the USA” was included in the introductory section, which was agreed on in order to avoid the Jewish question.
5) A significant role in the preparation of the document was allotted to the national question, the principles of whose resolution were to bring into the KONR a multitude of national committees, unite them against the Bolshevist threat and oppose them to or remove them from subjection to Rosenberg’s Ministry for the Eastern Occupied Territories and its so-called “Eastern conception” of dividing Russia into national districts with the idea of inhibiting the revival of the Great-Russian idea. It is worthy of note that the definition of the national question was expanded by comparison with the corresponding point of N. von Grote and was the work of Russian authors.
The story of General A. A. Vlasov and the Russian Liberation Army is a problem that began to be studied in the Russian diaspora. As a result of the limitations and one-sidedness of the sources (in the main literary memoirs), certain stereotypes have taken root and become consolidated in its space that have had an influence on historiography on the issue in question up until recently. The image of A. A. Vlasov and the ROA as a phenomenon were created during the period of the ideological and military conflict of the systems of socialism and capitalism. It was not the dubious role of the allies (England and the USA) in the fate of the soldiers of the ROA, A. A. Vlasov and the officers of his staff that led to this topic being passed over in silence in the democratic world. As a result of her guilt complex, Germany could only condemn and regret everything that connected her with Nazism. Those witnesses and participants in the Vlasov movement who were still alive found themselves essentially in isolation and set about affirming the authenticity of the position they had taken in the war, making A. A. Vlasov into a guiding star, placing him at the cornerstone of events with which he hardly had any real connection and endowing him with qualities that he did not possess.
In the USSR, the history of the Second World War was localized on its own territory. The periodization of the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945) rather than (1939-1945) was also changed in favor of covering up the true plans of the Soviet side in this war, the creation of a heroic image of the people-martyr bearing unheard-of sacrifices and suffering, but defending their homeland. This image went hand in hand with Russian history, and examples for imitation were brought forward from ancient Church times. The exploits and actions of the military and civilian population were evaluated according to these (for example, the institution of Russian army medals and awards in the name of the Russian national heroes Suvorov, Kutuzov, Nakhimov, and the idea of the need for behavior requiring self-sacrifice). Surrender and existing under enemy control without resistance were excluded. The war lasted five years, and 40% of the population of the Soviet Union (80 million people) lived on occupied territory (that became the Eastern Regions of the German Empire for two years); 5,734,528 prisoners of war and eastern workers (Ostarbeiter) were in direct contact with the enemy authorities. All of them, who lived through the tragedy of the war in their own way, were neutralized by the Soviets and forced into silence when it ended. As a result, their descendants were deprived of testimonies of personal experience, and what was published corresponded to the official narrative of suffering from and heroic resistance to the enemy. The difference between true experience and what was written in memoirs is demonstrated by the story of General M. F. Lukin. In this regard, surviving copies of newspapers from the occupied territories recount elements of day-to-day life, in which the contact with the new administration could not have had a permanently confrontational character.
The phenomenon of collaboration with the enemy in the history of the Great Patriotic War is denoted by the word власовщина “Vlasovism” from the name of Red Army Lieutenant-General A. A. Vlasov. The main element of discussion is Vlasov’s conscious decision and his own attitude and role in phenomena of the Second World War defined as “Vlasovite” (the ROA, KONR, ODNR, ROD).
No documents from Vlasov’s office have been preserved, and for this reason the sphere of scholarly interest passes over to documents from the German institutions overseeing Vlasov, national and political associations that were in contact with him during different stages of the movement bearing his name. In the present work, use has been made of materials from: 1) the Department of the General Staff Foreign Troops East, and the Propaganda Department of the High Command of the Armed Forces of Germany (for the period 1942-1943); the office of the General Cossack Association of the German Empire in Prague; figures from the NTS (for the period 1944-1945); 4) newspapers from the occupied territories of the USSR.
An analysis of the above sources has led to the following main conclusions: the phenomenon of A. A. Vlasov is unique, because in the Second World War he appeared in three hypostases – those of a Soviet general, a general in the service of the Germans, and a mythologized leader of Russian anti-Stalinist forces. In each area (be it Soviet society, German military and political circles, or the Russian emigration), his existence and activity were underpinned by practical good sense and evoked a lively response, interest and support. The sources on the Vlasov movement reveal that General A. A. Vlasov was never the personal initiator or motivator of the policies that he signed his name under. Then what were the factors that became the “Third Force” in the Second World War? The fact of the movement is undeniable, that is it is reflected in the sources. First of all, it was a group of senior German staff officers (von Stauffenberg, Tresckow, Kluge, and others who participated in the assassination attempt on Hitler on July 20, 1944), and the “Balts” who joined them from the Propaganda Department of the High Command of the Armed Forces of Germany. By launching campaigns in Vlasov’s name, counting on a powerful propaganda effect, they hoped to bring about a rethinking of the war, that is to turn it from one of subjugation into an anti-Bolshevist war. They considered that the result of these actions, undertaken especially and in the main during the course of major military operations, should be to foster in the Führer’s entourage an idea of the Nazi regime as the antithesis of Bolshevism, serving to change the official point of view on the aims of the war with the USSR and policy on its territories with regard to Soviet citizens who found themselves within the German Empire. The attitudes of this group were based on knowledge of pre-war Soviet reality, partly from their own experience of this, and therefore they could be sure that they would find among the population of the USSR social and political support for cooperation. When they lost faith in finding a response and support for their ideas from Hitler, they tried to assassinate him. Hence, all the measures of the said institutions connected with Vlasov’s name were the realization of a hidden opposition to Hitler. As has been shown, Vlasov was not the author of the documents distributed on the fronts in his name, but they were composed depending on the mood of the Führer, who was interested in Vlasov only as a famous name. Secondly, they are the national representatives and representations that became part of the Liberation Movement of the Peoples of Russia (whose chairman A. A. Vlasov was) at the end of 1944. The national movements were supervised by the Eastern Ministry, which by its support simultaneously opposed them to the threat of the “great-Russian policy” of a Russian national government. The Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia was set up in the form that the Germans wanted to see it in, that is not a “Russian government led by a white tsar,” but a union of peoples over which the Russians did not have the right to take upon themselves a leading and directing role. Thirdly, it was the NTS, émigrés and former Soviet citizens, the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. A consciousness of their activity is confirmed both by its content (the teaching work in the Dabendorf propaganda school, the care taken of Ostarbeiter) and by the theoretical postulations that found their expression in part in the Prague Manifesto. They desired the fall of the Stalinist regime, worked to expose it, sketched out a design for a new form of Russian statehood. During the war, the NTS found itself in a position of illegality; members of the clergy of the Church Abroad and émigrés encountered serious difficulties in their missionary and educational work on the occupied territories owing to the position of the Nazi authorities, so it was only possible to fulfil their true aims in officially sanctioned undertakings, such as the creation of the Prague Manifesto, or the celebrations on the founding of the KONR in Prague and Berlin. Vlasov was in the foreground of these events, as during the years of his name being used by the propaganda activists an idea had formed of him as leader of the Liberation Movement.
Consequently, the sources have provided the opportunity to garner valuable information material on the Vlasov movement; its scholarly reconstruction is impossible without them.
List of sources and literature used
- V poiskakh istiny. Puti i sud’by vtoroi emigratsii: Sb. Statei i dokumentov (In search of truth. Paths and destinies of the second emigration: an anthology of articles and documents), comp. B.C. Karpov, A.B. Popov, H.A. Troitskii; general editor, A.B. Popova. Moscow: RGGU, 1997.
- B.L. Dvinov. Vlasovskoe dvizhenie v svete dokumentov (The Vlasov movement in light of documents). New York: 1950.
- Materialy po istorii Russkogo Osvoboditel’nogo Dvizheniia (1941-1945 gg.): Sb. Statei, dokumentov i vospominanii. Vyp. 1 (Materials on the Russian Liberation Movement (1941-1945): an anthology of articles, documents and memoirs), general editor, A.B. Okorokova. Moscow: Graal’, 1997.
- Nemtsy o russkikh: Sbornik (The Germans on the Russians). Moscow: Stolitsa, 1995.
- V.V. Pozdniakov. Andrei Andreevich Vlasov. Siracuse, 1973.
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|↵1||K. G. Kromiadi, Za zemliu, za voliu… (For the motherland, for freedom…) (San-Francisco, 1980). S. Frelikh, General Vlasov. Russkie i nemtsy mezhdu Gitlerom i Stalinym (General Vlasov. Russians and Germans between Hitler and Stalin) (1990). V. K. Strick-Strickfield, Protiv Stalina i Gitlera (Against Stalin and Hitler) (Frankfurt am Main, 1975).|
|↵2||N. Peremyshlennikova, “Portret generala. ‘Ty u menia odna…ʼ Pis’ma generala Vlasova zhenam (1941-1942),” (Portrait of a general. “You are my one and only…” Letters of General Vlasov to women), Istochnik, № 4 (1998): 89-118|
|↵3||S. Frelikh, General Vlasov), 18-21|
|↵4||Iu. Aikhenval’d, “Dve pravdy generala Lukina” (The two truths of General Lukin), Strana i mir, № 1, (Munich, 1992): 67|
|↵5||N. Peremyshlennikova, “Portret generala. ‘Ty u menia odna…ʼ Pis’ma generala Vlasova zhenam (1941-1942),” (Portrait of a general. “You are my one and only…” Letters of General Vlasov to women), Istochnik, № 4 (1998): 116|
|↵6||E. Radzinskii, Stalin (Moscow, Vagrius, 1997), 505, 548|
|↵7||“Pochemu ia stal na put’ bor’by s bolshevizmom?” Zaria, № 17 (1943)|
|↵8||A. K. Nikitin, Natsistskii rezhim i russkaia pravoslavnaia obshchina v Germanii (1933-1945) (The Nazi regime and the Russian Orthodox community in Germany 1933-1945) (Moscow, 1998), 324-339.|
|↵9||Materialy po istorii Russkogo Osvoboditel’nogo Dvizheniia (1941-1945 gg.): Sb. statei, dokumentov i vospominanii (Materials on the history of the Russian Liberation Movement 1941-1945) . Issue 1, gen. ed. A. V. Okorokov (Moscow, Graal’, 1997), 135.|
|↵10||A. K. Nikitin, Natsistskii rezhim i russkaia pravoslavnaia obshchina v Germanii (1933-1945) (The Nazi regime and the Russian Orthodox community in Germany 1933-1945) (Moscow, 1998), 325.|
|↵11||Ocherki po istorii Osvoboditel’nogo Dvizheniia Narodov Rossii. Po knige Iurgena Torval’da, 1965, s. 1,2.|
|↵12||V.V. Pozdniakov, Andrei Andreevich Vlasov, (Siracuse: 1973), 5.|
|↵13||A. Hilgruber, Preface to S. Frelikh’s book, General Vlasov, (1990), 5.|
|↵14||A.I. Solzhenitsyn, Arkhipelag GULAG, 87, 238.|
|↵15||E. Andreeva, General Vlasov i Russkoe Osvoboditel’noe Dvizhenie (General Vlasov and the Russian Liberation Movement), (London: 1990).|
|↵16||Materialy po istorii Russkogo Osvoboditel’nogo Dvizheniia (1941 -1945) Sb. statei, dokumentov i vospominanii (Materials on the history of the Russian Liberation Movement [1941-1945]. An anthology of articles, documents and memoirs), 1st edition, gen. ed. A. Okorokov (Moscow: 1997), 6.|
|↵17||“Obrashchenie russkogo komiteta k boitsam i komandiram Krasnoi Armii, ko vsemu russkomu narodu i drugim narodam Sovetskogo Soiuza” (Address of the Russian committee to the soldiers and commanders of the Red Army, to the whole Russian people and other peoples of the Soviet Union), in E. Andreeva, General Vlasov i Russkoe Osvoboditel’noe Dvizhenie (General Vlasov and the Russian Liberation Movement), (London: 1990), 331.|
|↵18||Heinz Danko Herre, Colonel, “Die Aktion ‘Silberstrief ʼ,” I. Z. Thorwald Material.|
|↵19||Kurt von Kraewel, Colonel. “Der Empfang der Vertreter der Heeresgruppen der Ostfront im Ostministerium am 18.12.1942,” 28 257/7-15, Thorwald Material.|
|↵20||Eugen Durksen, “Auszug aus dem Bericht zweier ehemaliger sowjetrussischer Offiziere (General Schilenkow, Oberst Bojarskie) über Erfahrungen mit ihrer russischen Freiwilligen Einheit (Veruchsverband) auf deutsche Seite vom 15.1.43,” ZS 402/36-38, Thorwald Material.|
|↵21||Ibid., 8 37. See also: 12. W. Strick-Strickfield “Der Versuchsverband Mitte,” ZS 419/8-10, Thorwald Material.|
|↵22||A.S. Kazantsev, Tret’ia Sila (The Third Power), 2nd edition (Frankfurt am Main: 1974), 132.|
|↵23||Frelikh, General Vlasov, 56.|
|↵24||Andreeva, General Vlasov, 151. See also: A. Dallin, German Rule in Russia 1941-1945: A study in occupation Policies (London: 1957), 61.|
|↵25||W. Strick-Strickfield, “Die Bemühungen um die Bildung des russischen Komitees.” ZS 419/13-15.|
|↵26||Freiwillige Verbande IV-1. Wlassow. Flugblatter (und deren Übersetzungen) des Kd o’s d. Russ Befreiugsarmee, MA 542, 862-903, Thorwald Material.|
|↵27||Heinz Danko Herre, Colonel, “Die Aktion ‘Silberstrief,ʼ” ZS 406 /II, 16, Thorwald Material.|
|↵28||Freiwillige Verbande IV-1. Wlassow. Flugblätter … Prikaz № 13 Verkhovnogo Komandovaniia Germanskoi Armii “O voennosluzhashchikh Krasnoi Armii dobrovol’no perekhodiashchikh na storonu germanskoi armii (Order No. 13 of the High Command of the German Army “On military personnel of the Red Army voluntarily defecting to the German army”), 21 aprelia 1943,” MA 542, 881, Thorwald Material.|
|↵29||RTsKhIDNI, f. 69, Op. 1, d. 10, l. 42.|
|↵30||Voina Germanii protiv Sovetskogo Soiuza, (Berlin: 1992), 145.|
|↵31||TsKhIDK, f. 1303, Op. 4, d. 10, l. 42.|
|↵32||Ibid. l. 42.|
|↵33||Freiwillige Verbande IV-1. Wlassow. Flugblatter… Flugblatt Nr.692 Was weißt Du über Smolensker Aufruf des Russischen Komitees? MA 542, 886, Thorwald Material.|
|↵34||Ibid. 8 887.|
|↵35||“Manifest Komiteta Osvobozhdeniia Narodov Rossii” (Manifesto of the Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia), in E. Andreeva, General Vlasov, 343.|
|↵36||A. Kiselev, Oblik generala Vlasova (New York: 1980), 175-178.|
|↵37||J. Hoffmann, Die Ostlegionen 1941-1943 (Freiburg: 1976), 49-50.|
|↵39||“Vstupitel’naia rech’ generala A. A. Vlasova 14 noiabria 1944,” Volia naroda, no. 1 (January 15, 1944): 3.|
|↵40||“Vstupitel’naia rech’ generala A. A. Vlasova 14 noiabria 1944,” Volia naroda, no. 1 (January 15, 1944): 3.|
|↵41||Hoffmann, Die Ostlegionen, 123.|
|↵42||“Homily of Metropolitan Anastasiia” (radio-recording) in Materials on the history of the Russian Liberation Movement, (ed. A.V. Okorokova), 136.|
|↵43||FreiwilligeVerbande, IV-1. Wlassow. Ausschinitte aus Völkischer Beobachter, MA 542, s. 840-847, Thorwald Material.|
|↵44||A. Kiselev, Oblik generala Vlasova (A portrait of General Vlasov), (New York: 1980), 187-189.|
|↵45||J. Hoffmann, Istoriia Vlasovskoi armii (The history of the Vlasov army), (Paris: 1990): 6.|
|↵46||M.I. Semiriaga, Tiuremnaia imperiia natsizma i ee krakh (The prison empire of Nazism and its destruction), (Moscow: 1991), 40.|
|↵47||V.I. Andriianov, Pamiat’ so znakom 0ST. (Memory with an OST badge), (Moscow: 1993), 10.|
|↵49||A. Hitler, Mein Kampf, (Munich: 1927), vol. 2., 324.|
|↵50||V.I. Dashichev, Bankrotstvo strategii Germanskogo fashizma (The bankruptcy of the strategies of German fascism), (Moscow: 1973), 22.|
|↵52||Deutschland im Zweiten Weltkrieg, vol. 2, (Berlin: 1982), 118.|
|↵53||Dashichev, Bankrotstvo, 36-38.|
|↵54||J. Thorwald, Wen sie verderben wollen, (Stuttgart: 1952), 82-83.|
|↵55||Kromiadi, Za zemliu, za voliu, 12.|
|↵57||Der Angriff auf die Sowjetunion, (Frankfurt am Main: 1991), 1083.|
|↵58||S. Steenberg, Vlasov, (Melbourne: 1974), 41.|
|↵59||Velikaia Otechestvennaia voina, 1941-1945: Slovar’ – spravochnik (The Great Patriotic War: Dictionary), (Moscow: Politizdat, 1985), 397-398.|
|↵64||Nemtsy o russkikh: Sbornik (The Germans on the Russians: an anthology), (Moscow: Stolitsa, 1995), 21.|
|↵65||Velikaia Otechestvennaia voina, 398.|
|↵66||Semiriaga, Tiuremnaia imperiia natsizma, 308.|
|↵67||RTsKhIDNI, f. 69, op. 1, d. 913. l. 69, ob.-70.|
|↵68||Ibid., d. 1027, l. 80-81.|
|↵69||See, for example: Memo to the German High Command of W. Strick-Strikfield, “Russkii chelovek” (Russian people), Nemtsy o russkikh, 178.|
|↵71||Ocherki k istorii Osvoboditel’nogo dvizheniia Narodov Rossii, 26.|
|↵72||S. Steenberg, Vlasov, 120.|
|↵73||Kromiadi, Za zemliu, za voliu…, 172.|
|↵74||N.I. Makarov, Nepokorennaia zemlia Rossiiskaia (The unsubjugated land of Russia), (Moskva: Politizdat, 1976), 201; see also Ocherki k istorii Osvoboditel’nogo Dvizheniia Narodov Rossii, 59|
|↵75||Ocherki k istorii Osvoboditel’nogo dvizheniia Narodov Rossii, 59.|
|↵76||Ibid., 56; see also Frelikh, General Vlasov.|
|↵77||Ocherki k istorii, 69.|
|↵78||Hans von Herwarth, Zwischen Hitler und Stalin, (Frankfurt am Main: 1982), 211.|
|↵79||Ocherki k istorii, 69; 76-80.|
|↵82||Ibid., 79; Frelikh, General Vlasov, 177; Kromiadi, Za zemliu, za voliu…, 177.|
|↵83||GARF, f. 5761, op. 1, d.14, l. 365.|
|↵84||Frelikh, General Vlasov, 172.|
|↵86||Referred to is a debate between A.N. Artemova and H.A. Nareikis.|
|↵87||A.N. Artemov, “U istokov Prazhskogo manifesta” (At the sources of the Prague Manifesto), Posev, no. 6 (1996), 57.|
|↵89||“Vospominaniia N.A. Troitskogo o rabote nad tekstom Manifesta Komiteta osvobozhdeniia narodov Rossii” (Memories of N. A. Troitskii of the work on the text of the Manifesto of the Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia), GARF, f. 10015.|
|↵90||Artemov, “U istokov,” 57.|
|↵91||N.A. Troitskii, “Trudnyi put’ k istine,” in sb. Materialy po istorii Osvoboditel’nogo dvizheniia 1941-1945 (collected Materials on the history of the Liberation Movement 1941-1945), (Moscow: 1997), 323.|
|↵92||GARF, f. 10015.|
|↵93||Troitskii, “Trudnyi put’ k istine,” 323.|
|↵94||GARF, f. 10015.|
|↵95||Kromiadi, Za zemliu, za voliu…, 172.|
|↵96||A. Kolesnik, ROA – vlasovskaia armiia. Sudebnoe delo A.A. Vlasova (The ROA – the Vlasovite army. The trial of A. A. Vlasov), (Khar’kov: 1990), 57.|
|↵97||Kazantsev, Tret’ia Sila, 322.|
|↵98||Materialy po istorii ROD, gen. ed. A.V. Okorokova, 395.|
|↵99||Komentarii K. Aleksandrova k publikatsii “Iz zapisnoi knizhki general-maiora V.F. Malyshkina (1945-1946)” (Commentaries by K. Alexandrov to the publication “From the notebook of Major-General V. F. Malyshkin (1945-1946), Russkoe proshloe, (Saint Petersburg: 1996), book 6, 413. Also: tape-recorded interview with A. N. Artemov.|
|↵100||D. Konstantinov, Archpriest, “‘Vtoraia volna’ – vospominaniia i razdum’ia emigratsii, ” in the anthology V poiskakh istiny: Puti i sud’by vtoroi emigratsii: Sb. Statei i dokumentov (In search of truth: paths and destinies of the second emigration: an anthology of articles and documents, general editor A.V. Popova (Moscow: RGTU, 1997), 66.|
|↵101||Artemov, “U istokov,” 59.|
|↵102||GARF, f. 10015.|
|↵103||Artemov, “U istokov,” 57.|
|↵104||Manifest Komiteta Osvobozhdeniia Narodov Rossii” (Manifesto of the Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia), Volia naroda, no. 1 (1944): 1.|
|↵105||Artemov, “U istokov,” 57.|
|↵106||Bibliography, A.N. Artemov, A.N. Redlikh, Posev…|
|↵107||Tape-recorded interview with A. N. Artemov, 1997.|
|↵108||Troitskii, “Trudnyi put’ k istine,” 323.|
|↵109||Artemov, “U istokov,” 57|
|↵113||Kolesnik, ROA – vlasovskaia armiia, 57. A.F. Katusev, V.G. Oppokov “Dvizhenie, kotorogo ne bylo” (The movement that never was), Voenno-istoricheskii zhurnal, no. 9 (1991): 45. Andreeva, General Vlasov, 175-176.|
|↵114||K. G. Kromiadi, “Prazhskii Manifest” (The Prague Manifesto), Informatsionnyi listok SBONR, (SBONR: 1973), no. 147, 3-4.|
|↵115||Kromiadi, Za zemliu, za voliu.|
|↵116||Strick-Strickfield, Protiv Stalina i Gitlera, 353-354.|
|↵117||Frelikh, General Vlasov, 172.|
|↵118||Kromiadi, Za zemliu, za voliu, 173.|
|↵119||B.I. Nikolaevskii, “Porazhenchestvo 1941-1945 gg. i general Vlasov A.A.” (Defeatism 1941-1945 and General Vlasov A. A.), Novyi zhurnal XVIII (1948): 225.|
|↵120||Bundesarchiv- Militararchiv, Freiburg im Breisgau, Pozdniakov Collection ZS. 305. See also, V. Pozdniakov Andrei Andreevich Vlasov, 98.|
|↵121||Materialy po istorii ROD, 163.|
|↵122||Pozdniakov Andrei Andreevich Vlasov, 46.|
|↵123||Frelikh, General Vlasov, 227.|
|↵124||Artemov, “U istokov,” 58.|
|↵125||Kromiadi, Za zemliu, za voliu, 172.|
|↵126||“Obrashchenie russkogo komiteta k boitsam i komandiram Krasnoi Armii, ko vsemu russkomu narodu i drugim narodam Sovetskogo Soiuza” (Address of the Russian committee to the soldiers and commanders of the Red Army, to the whole Russian people and other peoples of the Soviet Union), Smolensk October 27, 1942, Bor’ba, (1976), November 75/76: 17-20.|
|↵127||Ocherki k istorii Osvoboditel’nogo dvizheniia Narodov Rossii, 18, 27.|
|↵129||Strick-Strickfield, Protiv Stalina i Gitlera, 211.|
|↵130||Ocherki k istorii ODNR, 27.|
|↵133||Strick-Strickfield, Protiv Stalina i Gitlera, S. 121.|
|↵134||Ocherki k istorii ODNR, 20.|
|↵135||Frelikh, General Vlasov, 91-92.|
|↵137||See, for example: “My vernemsia na Rodinu-obzor pisem voennoplennykh” (We will return home – a review of letters from PoWs), Zaria, no. 17 (March 3, 1943).|
|↵138||“Zemledel’cheskoe obshchestvo II” (Agricultural society II), Novoe vremia 1942, no. 9, (March 21, 1942), Viaz’ma.|
|↵139||“Na rabotu v Germaniiu” (Off to work in Germany), Kolokol (The Bell), A newspaper for peasants on the occupied territories, no. 3 (April 26, 1942), Smolensk.|
|↵140||“V 1937-1938 gg. Vlasov byl chlenom voennogo tribunala v Leningradskom, Kievskom voennykh okrugakh” (In 1937-1938 Vlasov was a member of the military tribunal in the Leningrad and Kiev military districts): N. Koniaev, “Vlasov do Vlasova (sud’ba generala),” Pod’em, no. 1-2 (1995): 140.|
|↵141||Artemov, “U istokov Prazhskogo manifesta,” 58.|
|↵142||NTS: idei i politika (The NTS: ideas and politics), (Moscow: Za Rossiiu, 1995), 10.|
|↵144||NTS: idei i politika, 6.|
|↵145||Artemov, “U istokov Prazhskogo manifesta,” 58.|
|↵146||Kromiadi, Za zemliu, za voliu, 73.|
|↵147||Frelikh, General Vlasov, 173.|
|↵148||Kromiadi, Za zemliu, za voliu, 175.|
|↵149||Frelikh, General Vlasov, 173.|
|↵150||GARF, 57616 op. 1, d. 14, ll. 346, 371.|
|↵151||GARF, 57616 op. 1, d. 14, l. 400.|
|↵152||GARF, 57616 op. 1, d. 14, l. 352-353 obr.|
|↵153||“Otkrytoe pis’mo generala ot kavalerii N. N. Krasnova glavnokomanduiushchemu VS KONR general-leitenantu A.A. Vlasovu” (Open letter from Cavalry General N. N. Krasnov to the commander of the VS KONR Lieutenant-General A.A. Vlasov), Kazach’ia zemlia, no. 12 (1945): 1.|
|↵154||I.A. Poliakov, Krasnov – Vlasov…, 73.|
|↵156||“Otkrytoe pis’mo…”: 1.|
|↵157||Pozdniakov Andrei Andreevich Vlasov, 304.|
|↵158||GARF, 57616 op. 1, d. 24, l. 1,2.|
|↵159||A Artemov, “U istokov Prazhskogo manifesta,” 58.|