Tag Archives: Prisoner of war

Commissar Order (USEAAR, #17)

This post is part of a mostly fictitious after-action report of Unconditional Surrender! (Salvatore Vasta, GMT Games) . The document in question, however, is authentic. The Commissar Order detailing the execution of Soviet prisoners of war was given to the Wehrmacht in preparation for the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941. The translation from the German original is mine. The emphases in the original (underlined) have been preserved.

Guidelines for the Treatment of Political Commissars

In the struggle against Bolshevism, it is not to be expected that the enemy conforms to the principles of humanity or international law. Especially the political commissars of all kinds as the real agents of resistance are to be expected to treat our prisoners hatefully, cruelly, and inhumanely. Continue reading

Letter by Valdis Bumbulis to his mother Inese Bumbulis (#USEAAR, #5)

This post is part of an after-action report of Unconditional Surrender! (Salvatore Vasta, GMT Games) and therefore entirely fictitious.

Letter written in a POW camp in Daugavpils, delivered by a fellow soldier from the same regiment as Valdis Bumbulis who was discharged from the camp

Daugavpils, April 17, 1940

Dearest mother!
In all brevity: I am alive, I am as well as is to be expected under these circumstances. Everything is a bit makeshift, but we are fed regularly. Even more regularly, the politruks educate us, as we citizens of the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic have much to catch up on – after all, the LSSR is only two weeks old, whereas the comrades from Russia who are my age have lived all their lives in the Soviet Union and therefore know everything about socialism and the great vozhd Stalin. Once we have learned enough, we are discharged from this educational institution to go back to our homes or join the Red Army in its mighty struggle to liberate the workers in Romania and Finland as they have liberated the Latvians. As I have been much miseducated by my bourgeois uncle, the process might take longer for me. Still, I hope to be home soon. Until then, I remain your loving son
Valdis

 

1940-04-06-03-01

Grin and bear it: Latvian civilians bear signs welcoming the incorporation of their country into the Soviet Union. The signs read “Long live socialist Soviet Latvia” (left sign, in Latvian) and “Long live the leader of the working people, comrade Stalin” (right sign, in Russian). The original picture was taken in Riga in 1940, but it is not known if before or after the Red Army had occupied the country.