German soldiers: infantryman and landsturmist. German drawing. Adj. gas. New time. 10. 1914.
Atrocities were practiced on both the Western and Eastern fronts. Many of them have been documented.
Not lagged behind the Austrians.
We want to consider the atrocities of the Austro-German troops on the Russian front of the First World War. They may not be as total as in World War II, but also quite revealing. In this article we will not consider the use of new species. weaponssuffering (bursting bullets, asphyxiating gases) or bombing of hospitals, ambulance trains and steamboats, as well as atrocities against civilians and in prisoner of war camps - devoting to this the following articles of the cycle.
We will consider the atrocities of the German and Austro-Hungarian troops against the Russian servicemen who were in the hands of the enemy on the battlefield. That is, in the period that envisioned an 3 exit: death, flight, or prisoners of war sent to the camp.
The sources for the article were documents, materials of the Extraordinary Investigation Commission and the press data of the Great War era.
Note that historically the attitude of the Russian soldier and his opponents to their opponents has always been different. So, during the Seven Years' War 1756 - 1763. the difference in the morale of the Russian and Prussian armies was enormous. I. Arhengol'ts wrote about how the Prussians, after one of the battles of many seriously wounded Russian soldiers left on the battlefield, were buried along with the dead — burying alive. Whereas even the lightly wounded Russian warriors of the seriously wounded enemy soldiers not only carried themselves on, but also gave them their bread and water — which they themselves then needed.
From the part of Russian soldiers and officers, during the battles of the First World War fell into the hands of the enemy, information was required. How did you try to get it?
Thus, the infantry corporal Vasily Water, captured by the Germans, the noncommissioned officer of the enemy demanded to provide information about the location of the headquarters and the number of opposing Russian infantry. After the corporal refused to report this information, the non-commissioned officer pulled out the dagger and cut off V. Water to the lobe of one ear and then the upper edge of the other. After that, the Germans squeezed the lance of the corporal with his hands - and the latter fainted. Waking up from a faint lasting several hours, V. Vodyany realized that his tongue had been cut out.
Similarly, Porfiry Panasyuk's ears were also cut. The truth in this case, the executioners were not the lower ranks, and officers. The document stated that a group of about 10 officers began to interrogate P. Panasyuk about the deployment of Russian formations. And he was promised a reward. After the prisoner refused to answer the questions, one of the officers brought small scissors - and with their help, the officer of the General Staff, who conducted the interrogation directly, cut off the ear lobe from P. Panasyuk. After and after that P. Panasyuk did not provide the necessary information, he had one cut out, and then two more pieces of the same right ear — above the lobe. Then the officer grabbed P. Panasyuk by the nose (with such force that he twisted his nose) and hit the interrogated person in the face.
The interrogated Cossack Ivan Pichuyev was hung up by the arms and legs - upside down. And then the German officer and privates cut off the upper part of the left ear of the Cossack, cut the ear and cut the longitudinal strips on the thigh of the 4 - in the form of a strip. I. Pichuev was examined by doctors of the Russian Red Cross.
Such methods of obtaining information from the Austro-German “Ukhorezov” are by no means an exception, as evidenced by the case of Alexei Makukha. Now Austrian officers took part in the execution: when Makukha refused to answer questions, he was thrown flat on the ground and his hands were twisted behind his back. Then one officer sat on A. Makukha, and the second, turning his head back, opened his mouth with the help of a bayonet-dagger, stretched out his tongue with his hand and slashed the latter twice with this dagger. Then the bloodied A. Makukh was led to the Austrian trenches. But along the road, taking advantage of the fact that the torturers began to smoke, A. Makukha fled. After this torture, A. Makukh actually lost the ability to properly swallow food and talk. Sliced deep wounds of the tongue and heavy bruises of the larynx were installed. He could speak now only in a whisper.
I fell into the hands of the Germans and the gunner Semen Pilyugin. The officer began to ask the prisoner about the number of shells in the troops. S. Pilyugin said that the details will not speak (does not allow the oath), but the shells in general is enough - to beat the foe. Angry Germans hit the gunner, saying that his long tongue should be shortened. And when S. Pilyugin promised that even if 25 of the German corps arrived, they would not be able to calculate how many troops there were in the 25 years, torture began. By order of an officer, a German soldier with a stick opened Pilyugin’s mouth, and the officer pulled out Pilyugin’s tongue with some tweezers. As a result, the end of the tongue was cut off. S. Pilyugin also managed to escape and report his torments.
Another martyr, ordinary Anpilogov, was also cut off his toes during interrogation.
Sometimes torture was carried out without a specific goal. And it didn't matter who was being tortured - an officer or a soldier. In November, 1914, during a battle, Lovich was injured and contused by second Lieutenant Alexei Neklyukov - and captured by the Germans. They took him to the rear, and when the second lieutenant fell from weakness, they started beating him. Then the German took off the boots of the officer’s injured leg, tearing off his bandage, and began to cut his leg — across the wound. When the officer began to rush from severe pain, the German grabbed his little finger and, putting a thin metal object under his nail, tore off his full leg. Recovering, A. Neklyukov saw that the nails on all fingers were torn off.
Another document contains the following lines: “I donate that 26 of April of this year in vil. Vershi was delivered to the Cossack 5 of the special Don Cossack reserve, hundreds of General Potapov's detachment - Fedor Tsepin, 38 years old, wounded and, after being wounded, mutilated by the Germans under the following circumstances. 18 April of this year, in 8 - 10 versts from der. Tops, at night, the Germans suddenly attacked the village, whose name the Cossack Tsepin does not remember. While on patrol, Tzepin shouted: “Germans, Germans”, but he was hit by a bullet and fell to the ground. Immediately, several lower ranks of the enemy approached him, who began to beat him, already wounded, with their legs and butts, and then with some sharp tool, but not with a sword, cut his throat and threw him. He lost consciousness from blood loss. When he woke up, the enemy was already dropped, and our orderlies handed him help. He gives indications in writing, since he cannot speak at all, due to the cut of the respiratory neck and the anterior wall of the esophagus. Chief Medical Officer College Advisor Oat. Senior resident doctor of medicine Eliasberg ".
All of the above has been included in the report of the head physician of the infirmary number 1 38 Infantry Division.
The Cossack later died from brutally inflicted wounds - in one of the military-medical institutions, where he suffered for a long time.
It should be noted that the above-mentioned persons managed to get back to their own people, such as, for example, Makukha, Panasyuk, Vodyan, who managed to escape from the executioners. But how many similar cases remained unknown due to the fact that the tortured remained in the hands of the Austro-Germans?
Many fallen into the hands of the enemy Russian soldiers waited for an even more terrible end. Not content with torture in order to learn military secrets, the Germans and Austrians very often tortured and killed Russian soldiers without a specific goal - as a reward for the bravery of the latter. After all, nothing more than revenge can not explain the case of the poisoning of a captive Russian officer. The Germans laid a wounded man in a peasant hut on the floor and began to laugh together. Then the doctor approached the prisoner, despite the resistance of the wounded man, poured white powder into his mouth - and after 20 minutes the poisoned man died in terrible agony. The corpse was thrown over the fence, and Russian troops entered the village, buried the corpse, establishing the fact of poisoning.
Another witness recalled:
The messenger enters the room and hesitates:
- Your Excellency. Let me report ... They brought a soldier without a belly and without ... and he was silently confused.
- And without what? Well!?
The soldier is silent for some time, and then ... in his own way reports on "without which" they brought the unfortunate lower rank.
In the middle of the courtyard, slightly to the right of the line of the staff giggles ... there are sleighs harnessed by a pair of horses ... In the sleigh, across them, lies something strange and long, covered with a gray overcoat, from under which stick only the ossified legs with warm socks .
Raise overcoat ...
A young head with a face disfigured by a scream of agonizing death is thrown back and hangs from a sled. On the face, on the pyks and on the tortured body, already uneven, gray-blue spots, a terrible seal of decomposition are roaming. On the hands - a series of deep cuts, caused, obviously, with a blunt knife, bayonet, or, perhaps, a serrated saber. Instead of the abdomen, there is a bloody abyss with entrails falling out.
But that's not all ...
In the place where the genitals of the unfortunate were - a deep hole with ulcerated edges ...
A deaf murmur of indignation flies through the rows of people who surrounded the sleigh with the corpse:
- Murderers ... Murderers ... Torturers ...
- Do not pass you this gift ...
- What a sin, forgive my God ... To think only ... Man to man ... and suddenly he did "that" ...
I immediately left ...
After all, even moments are enough for him to be imprinted in the soul with indelible signs that will sound all his life as a call to pay. ”
An inquiry was carried out at headquarters, the information on which is given below.
“Inquiry: on the case of the disfigurement by the ranks of the German army of the body of the dragoon squadron of Her Imperial Highness, 3 of the Dragoon Novorossiysk Her Imperial Highness of Grand Duchess Helena Vladimirovna of Britvin's regiment.
Britvin Afanasy Alekseevich, comes from the peasants of the Vyatka province, Orlovsky district, Kovrizhsky parish, the village of Zaytsy. As a result of the verbal orders of Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna of the Temporary Commander of 3 Novorossiysk, the regiment I made an inquiry into the German case of the disfigurement of the body of the Dragoon squadron of Her Imperial Highness Britvin.
The junior officer of Her Highness’s squadron of the same regiment, Cornet von Trautfeter Pavel Ernestovich, 26 years, showed: “I temporarily commanded the escort. 7 March March 1915, my squadron was sent to patrols, and only the first platoon remained with me. The regimental commander ordered me to travel with this platoon, indicating the direction of reconnaissance. When it got dark, when I reached the final destination, I decided to spend the night, in view of the darkness and strong blizzard, choosing the village of Aukshtakalke for an overnight stay. At dawn the next day, I was awakened by a podchask, who reported to me that the German rider 2 was noticed by fasting, moving in our direction. In order to clarify the situation, I sent two or three horsemen, including the dragoon Britvina, to meet the German riders. Approaching the opposite outskirts of the village, they were shelled from close range. One of these shots was slightly wounded by a bullet of dragoons Britvin, who fell off a horse. The second watchman, the dragoon Yegorin, rode up to me with a report. I walked away from the village to a separate hamlet located half a verst behind the village, sending people to find out whether Britvin couldn’t be taken out. As it was more squadron against me, it was impossible to rescue him. Then the sentinel instructed the local to find out in detail about what happened to Britvin. After some time, local residents ran back and told my sentinel that the Germans, having pulled Britvin into the hut, cut his stomach and cheeks, and also cut his genitals.
Similar testimony was given by the dragoons, who were on patrol with Britvin.
A terrible incident occurred in the village. Khilichka of the Warsaw Province in October 1914. The Germans burned alive the Russian shooter, having previously tied his legs. The officers and volunteers, who turned out after the Germans left Khilichki, found a charred corpse - under the last remains of a campfire and a mass of cartridges from exploded cartridges. It was not possible to establish the circumstances of the torture - but on the subjects of uniforms and equipment they found out that it was a Russian shooter. Bound legs and the remains of a campfire were more eloquent than words.
German soldiers were burnt down by the Germans and in December 1914 near Dareim (East Prussia). Before 8, German soldiers grabbed a lost Russian fighter, stripped him naked and, putting down a fire, put him at the last.
The document also recorded a terrible case of mass burning of Russian soldiers 18 in February 1915 G .: the Germans, seizing 30 wounded Russian soldiers, placed them in a house, which, leaving the village, was set on fire. Most of the injured (only 10 people were saved) who could not move independently, were burned alive.
The nameless Russian Cossack was burned alive, right by the road along which the prisoners were driven. Locals reported - how unhappy shouted wildly at the stake, which the “civilized” barbarians of the 20 century had laid for him.
The testimony of the corporal Shpilyovy and Private Tikhenko allowed to establish the fact that the captured Russians were thrown into the San River: raising to bayonets, the Austrians threw prisoners into the river.
Wounded Russian soldiers were cold-blooded on the battlefield.
Thus, Pavel Kravchenko, an ordinary 102 Infantry Regiment, after an unsuccessful 26 battle. 08. 1914, being wounded, remained lying on the battlefield. And before his eyes, the Germans, who captured the remainder of his company, lined up the prisoners - and then they all were shot. The wounded man lay on this field for 2 days and witnessed how the German soldiers examined the lying Russians - and those who were still alive were pinned up with bayonets.
Another fighter reported: “When we attacked enemy positions, from which the Austro-German troops retreated, a few steps behind the enemy trenches, we found the 18 corpses of our intelligence officers - the lower ranks of the Finnish Infantry Regiment. These bodies were covered with stab wounds and black spots, apparently from blows with butts; some of those killed had their eyes poked out and their ears cut off, others had stomachs and genitals cut off. The sight of the dead was terrible, especially since they lay almost naked, without trousers and boots, which were removed and carried away by the enemies. ”
It happened that the Russian wounded Germans were buried alive.
From the testimony of Private Ya. M. Lukovnikov: “I was wounded by a bursting bullet in my left leg in the battle with the Germans 23 September 1915 of the year under Vilna. Lying on the battlefield, I saw how German soldiers raised a soldier of my regiment who was badly wounded in the shoulder, laid him on a cloth from a tent, and carried him to the pit into which the dead were buried. Despite the screams of the wounded man, he was thrown into a pit with corpses and covered with earth. I clearly heard his groans out of the ground. ”
And there are a lot of cases similar to the above.
And it is not for nothing that a captured lieutenant of an Austrian infantry regiment is being interrogated by 06. 06. 1915, stating that his division, already 2, is acting together with the Germans (mainly the Prussian Guard) for the month, said that if the Russians knew what many of them were suffering and terrible death, they wouldn’t be captured alive gave up. The lieutenant recalled how in April-May (when the Russians retreated to the San river and beyond), soldiers (Czechs, Ruthenians and Poles) repeatedly resorted to him and, in horror, reported how in the neighborhood German and partially Austrian soldiers engaged in torturing Russian prisoners. the latter were tortured to death. The lieutenant hurried in the indicated direction and saw terrible pictures - the corpses of disfigured, disfigured Russian soldiers. To the officer’s question, the German soldiers explained that they were following orders from commanders. The German officers, on the other hand, said that “this is the way” should be done with all Russian prisoners — after all, only a brutal soldier fights well, and cruelty should be exercised on prisoners. The lieutenant, noting that he saw dozens of corpses of tortured Russian soldiers on a relatively small front, said: how many corpses of tortured Russian prisoners are scattered throughout the territory of Galicia - it is terrible to think.
And all the more, it was not worth falling into the hands of the enemy to the sisters of mercy. The fate of the sister of the 6 Riga head dressing squad is a clear proof of that. As the document states, Sister Petrovskaya accidentally fell into German captivity in Courland, and then “was found unconscious in a forest near the city of Shavel, one of our troops who took her to the hospital ... Having been taken prisoner, the Germans drove her to bringing in ocopes ... Here she was stripped naked and during 1,5 weeks they were published above her, raped her by tens and hundreds, and not only the lower ranks but also the officers of the German army took part in it ... The patient complains of lower abdominal pain. .. The temperature has risen to 42 degrees, more whether vomiting appeared in the stomach. A complete picture of the inflammation of the peritoneum and the tissue surrounding the uterus has developed ... the first seizure occurred in the patient, manifested in severe tonic convulsions throughout the body, drooping of the head, prolonged stupefaction ... During one of the later, often following one after another seizures, the patient often repeated the phrase: "My God, for what you torment me, better kill me." To all this, one must add that the unfortunate is infected with a fatal disease. ”
The enemy has violated the laws and customs of war. And this was true not only of military personnel, but also of the civilian population - as we will see in the next article of the cycle.
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