Military Review

Typhus 1941-1944: bacteriological warfare


Today, in the era of a pandemic and the battle of Western and domestic vaccines, it is worth remembering that relatively recently (in historical terms) epidemics were used in wars as weapon mass destruction. Especially at the stage when there were no drugs for infectious diseases, and Western and domestic scientists, just like now, on the threshold of World War II, were still fighting and fiercely competing for primacy in the invention of effective vaccines.

In our cycle about losses in the Great Patriotic War in the previous parts of the review ("Aesopian language of loss: the pan-European empire VS Russia" и "Losses of Russia / USSR in the war against fascism: language of numbers" it was stated that Europe of those years (in a thirst for superiority and reprisals against the barbaric Slavs in the East) united against a common enemy - Russia.

In the third part Civilian casualties in 1941-1945: fakes and facts documents and figures were considered about the huge and inexplicable by nothing other than the inhuman cruelty and atrocities of punishers, casualties among the civilian population of our country in that war.

However, in the course of studying the topic of the methods of deliberate extermination of the civilian population of Russia / USSR by the Nazis, among other tortures and punitive inventions of the Nazis, we drew attention to the evidence and documents published by the Extraordinary State Commission for Investigation of the Crimes of the Nazis that the Nazis deliberately infected the inhabitants of Russia / USSR with typhus (and a number of other dangerous and contagious infections).

Not much is written about this. Epidemiologists and doctors tend to view such versions, most likely, as conspiracy theories. The military are silent, perhaps because of the secrecy labels that have not been removed so far. But at the Nyurberg trial, the ChGK documents on this topic were heard. And the evidence for the "accident" of such a scale of typhus epidemic, as in the Great Patriotic War, is somehow too much.

So we decided to try to figure out whether the Germans really used the typhus infection for military purposes in 1941-1944, that is, as a biological weapon against Russia? Did the fascists have an antidote, medicine or vaccine for this infection? And also who and how promptly neutralized this biological weapon of the fascists then in our Russia?

Но обо всем по порядку.

At first a little stories.

Typhus against the new Russia

Let us recall that in the First World War it was the infection with typhus that, among other factors, became a very effective weapon of the West against Russia. According to various sources, about 30 million Russians then had this infection. And over 3 million of them have died. Typhus was especially rampant at that time in war zones.

Accident? Maybe.

Typhus in the young state of the Soviets at the beginning of the twentieth century was then also considered as a kind of weapon of the West to fight the revolution and communism. Moreover, the leader of the proletariat in December 1919 pointed out the incredible effectiveness of this murderous infection:

“Comrades, all attention is paid to this issue. Either lice will defeat socialism, or socialism will defeat lice! "

In the territory controlled by the Soviet government, the typhus epidemic was then unprecedented and widespread. They brought the disease to Russia from abroad, from Europe, including through Ukraine, from where various private speculators smuggled food, bread, flour, cereals, and with them typhus. The incubation period of typhus is at least 5 days, and during this time the patient could have gone very far into Russia. It seems that this was the calculation of the West.

In Moscow, then almost all doctors became infected, half died out, especially the elderly and with a weak heart. The population of the young Land of Soviets was left alone with typhus imported from the West. Mortality then from this scourge was about 20% (17,3%).

Between the two world wars, typhus subsided slightly, but did not stop.

However, typhus acquired a special scale on the territory of the USSR with the beginning of the Great Patriotic War.

European contagion

Typhus then again came to us from the West - from Europe. The Nazis infected them with almost 70% of the entire civilian population, which then ended up in the territory temporarily occupied by the Nazis and became, in fact, "live bombs" both for the rest of the country and for the soldiers of the Red Army.

Perhaps the Germans needed to maintain a constant focus of infection? To spread it through moving carriers to the East to the rear of the Russian troops? And reduce the population and army of Russia and in this way?

Indeed, in the rest of the USSR, railway stations are becoming one of the sources of the epidemic. Over 50% of all reported cases of typhus were imported. Passengers arriving in the rear of the trains suffered massively from typhoid lice and spread the infection inland to the East. And the local authorities then could not ensure the sanitization of all arrivals there.

When the Red Army cleared the occupiers of Ukraine and Belarus, it turned out that in comparison with 1940 in Ukraine, the incidence of typhus in the Germans increased 28 times, and among Belarusians 44 times.

A real nightmare was happening in the Nazi concentration camps. Due to the disgusting conditions of detention and unsanitary conditions, thousands of prisoners died of typhus.

But in fairness, it should be noted that many sources also indicate that often the cause of infection in those years was not fleas and flies at all, but atrocious experiments by Nazi executioners, who specially infected prisoners and villagers.

In those days, after all, different countries were racing to find a cure and a vaccine for typhus. Here are the Nazis and experimented on people. During the war, the Germans did not need any special permits for the use of new drugs or vaccines, nor did they need their certification. Whatever they wanted, they could try out on forced Soviet citizens, who then turned into the guinea pigs of the Nazis.

A special calculation was that the Russian army, liberating its lands from occupation, would inevitably become infected with typhus and weaken.

This is why the Germans really needed a population of 70 percent typhoid-infected civilians on the western outskirts of Russia. Infected Soviet citizens were supposed to become a living buffer and protection for a united Europe. How could this be an accident? No, it was a well-organized and planned sabotage.

Forced typhoid infection certificates

Compilation reports of the Extraordinary State Commission on the atrocities of the German fascist invaders and their accomplices (1946) contains acts, testimonies, statements, expert opinions, photographs, trophy documents and evidence that are formidable accusatory material against German murderers, stranglers of culture, civilization and progress.

And most importantly, these documents prove that it was a carefully worked out, well thought-out program of the German fascist state, which sought to destroy the Soviets and exterminate the Soviet people. Including this brutal plan included the infection of citizens of Russia / USSR with typhus.

Hitler, in his speech on January 30, 1942, cynically boasted to the German people of the destruction of Soviet cities and towns. He said:

"Where the Russians managed to break through and where they thought they had reoccupied settlements, these settlements are no longer there: there are only ruins."

Indeed, there were ruins. But another gift from Hitler awaited Soviet soldiers there - typhus in 70% of the concentration in the local population and even higher in the prisoners of the camps.

Let us quote some of the published evidence.


In the collection of documents for the Nuremberg trials (the trial of the fascists) there is a chapter "The extermination of Soviet people by the Nazis by infection with typhus."
(ChGK, pp. 183-193)

“It has now been established that the German-fascist scoundrels, in connection with the defeats of the German army on the Soviet-German front and with the changed situation, began to widely practice new brutal methods of extermination of Soviet people. One of these methods is the spread of the epidemic of typhus among the Soviet population and units of the Red Army, for which the Nazis, as it turned out, were organizing special concentration camps at the front edge of their defense.

On March 19, 1944, the advancing units of the Red Army in the area of ​​the town of Ozarichi, Polesie region, the Byelorussian SSR, found three concentration camps on the front line of the German defense, in which there were more than 33 thousand children, disabled women and old people ... Together with the exhausted and disabled population who in unsanitary conditions, they housed thousands of typhus patients in camps, specially removed from various temporarily occupied regions of the Byelorussian SSR. "

There is also a chapter in this collection on the deliberate infection of the local population. It is called "The deliberate spread of the epidemic of typhus among the Soviet population by the German fascist executioners."

“Based on the materials of the above commission, a member of the Extraordinary State Commission, Academician I.P. Trainin and the forensic medical expert commission carried out an additional investigation, which established that the German military authorities deliberately, with the aim of spreading typhus, placed typhus patients along with a healthy population imprisoned in concentration camps at the front edge of the German defense. Sypnotiphoid patients were taken by the Germans to these camps from the settlements of Polesskaya, Minsk, Gomel and other regions of the Byelorussian SSR.

In order to maintain a high percentage of the infected, the Germans specifically hunted for new patients. Thus, a resident of the village of Zabolotye M.B. Labeznikova, who was held in the camp, told the commission:

“The Germans came to our house. Having learned that I was sick with typhus, they sent two soldiers on the same day and took me to the camp on horseback.

Instead of the separation and isolation recommended in epidemics, the Nazis, on the contrary, sought to mix the healthy with the infected.

O. A. Sheptunova from the village of Solodovoye said:

“The Germans drove the entire population of our village to the village of Vorotyn, where there were many patients with typhus. Then all the inhabitants of the village of Vorotyn, together with the patients, were sent to a concentration camp located in the area of ​​the town of Ozarichi.

People did not always understand where and for what purpose they were taken. For example, P.S. Mitrakhovich, a resident of the village of Novo-Belitsa, testified:

"We, sick with typhus, were taken to the area of ​​the village of Mikul-Gorodok, to a camp fenced with barbed wire."

And a resident of the town of Novogrudok, 3.P. Gavrilchik said:

“For 3 days, typhus patients were brought to the camp by cars, as a result of which many healthy prisoners in the camp fell ill. On the night of March 15-16, many prisoners died of typhus. "

A resident of the village of Pgantsy E. Dushevskaya testified:

“The Germans transported us, sick with typhus, to the camp from the village of Kovchitsy, Parichsky district. We knew that we could infect the healthy, we asked the Germans to separate us from the healthy, but they paid no attention. "

The Nazis placed in camps at the front line of the defense not only the healthy and sick, transferred from the transfer points, but also specially imported Soviet citizens with typhus from hospitals and infirmaries to them.

Patient N.P. Tretyakova from the village of Zamoschany said:

“I fell ill in the middle of February, after which I was admitted to the hospital in the village of Leski. In the hospital, she lay on the floor, did not undress. There was no cure. Then the Germans left me from the hospital (they sent me to a concentration camp near the village of Dert. "

G.S. Shirokov, a resident of the city of Zhlobin, gave the following testimony:

“On March 12, 200 people with typhus were taken out of the Zhlobin hospital. All the patients were sent to the camp. "

AND ABOUT. Romanenko told the commission:
“While imprisoned in a concentration camp, I saw a large group of residents of the town of Zhlobin, sick with typhus. They lay on the wet ground, in the mud. Among them were the dead. Several people, delirious, crawled through the mud. There were no doctors. Among the patients I saw the citizens of the city of Zhlobin, Shchuklin and Turskaya. They told me that they, who were sick with typhus, were taken to the camp from the city hospital. "

Similar testimony was given to the commission by former prisoners of concentration camps, Soviet citizens: Zhdynovich D.G., Zaitseva O.A. Rusinovich Kh.T., Reshotko T.I., Anisimova M.T., Drobeza I.R., Novik L. K., Veros P. Ya., Kovalenko A.E., Bondarenko V.F., Davydenko M.V. and many others.

Thus, the deliberate export of typhoid patients by the Germans to the camp, in order to spread the typhus epidemic among the Soviet population, irrefutably proven numerous testimonies of Soviet citizens who were forcibly sent by the German authorities to concentration camps on the 5th, 7th, 8th, 9th day of typhoid fever.

Here are a number of documented cases of this kind, which, however, constitute an insignificant part of all the numerous recorded facts:

Boleiko E.P. from the village of Barbara was sent to a camp on the seventh day of typhoid fever, and her four children: Nikolai, 11, Nina, 9, Lyubov, 7, Vasily, 5, fell ill on the way to the camp. On the 5-9th day of illness with typhus, Krek was sent to the camp from the village. Sloboda, Novik L.K. from s. Yurki, Kovalenko A.E. from s. Lomovichi, Parkhomenko A. from the village of Zamoschany, Reshetko M.M. from s. Khomichi, Get N.E. from the village of Detbin, M.I. from s. Podvetki, Crook T.P. from s. Godwin, Evstratovskaya from the village. Kovalki and many others.

In concentration camps, they fell ill with typhus: Zemzhetskaya M.D. from s. Buda, Romanov I. from the village of Belitsa, Ventsov I. from the village. Zapolye, Belko P. from the village of Volosovichi, Poschen M.3. from the village. Piggland, Drozdova V.S. from the village of Komadovka, Yashchur A.M. from the village of Ivanishche, Patsay M.I. from the village of Gar, Daineko F.D. from the village of Pruzhilische, Kozlova T. from the village of Novosyolki, Shkutova FS from the village of Godinovichi, Gryzhkova A.S. from the village of Raduzha, Antonik E. from the village of Treltsy, Udot A. from the village of Zakerichi and many others.

The command of the German army specially sent its agents to the camps at the front line of defense, who were charged with monitoring the spread of the epidemic of typhus among the population, as well as among units of the Red Army. Pre-vaccinating these spies against typhus with a special vaccine.

The detained German agent of the reconnaissance group 308 F. Rastorguev said:

“On March 11, 1944, accompanied by the chief lieutenant of the German army, the head of group 308 Kerst, I was taken by car to a railway station located 40–45 kilometers south of the town of Glusk. In the evening, he told me that I was going to a civilian camp 30 kilometers from this station for a while. Kerst explained to me that there are up to 40 thousand peaceful Soviet citizens in this camp, of which up to 7 thousand patients with typhusthat in the next 3-4 days up to 20 thousand civilians will be thrown into this camp. Here I was vaccinated against typhoid.

The task given to me by the head of Group 308 was as follows: to arrive at the camp located west of the village of Ozarichi, and be there, remaining unnoticed by the masses. I had to establish what the Red Army units would do with the civilian population when the camps were located in the Red Army units, where women and children would be sent, what would be done with the sick. After I complete the task given to me, I will have to return to the side of the Germans and report on the information I have collected. "

That is, the Germans were engaged in epidemiological reconnaissance in our rear and left special spy agents for this. It was necessary for them to understand the scale of the spread of the artificially formed typhus epidemic in Russia / USSR in the period after their retreat.

On the deliberate infection with typhus left by the Germans during the retreat of Russian territory, an official conclusion of the forensic medical examination of the Extraordinary State Commission was drawn up:

Deliberate spread of the epidemic of typhus among the peaceful Soviet population, imprisoned by the German troops in concentration camps near the front line of the defense, is also confirmed by the data of the forensic medical examination.

The forensic medical expert commission consisting of the army epidemiologist Lieutenant Colonel S.M. Yulaev, army forensic medical expert Major N.N. Alekseev and the head of the army pathological and anatomical laboratory Major V.M. Butyanina found that in order to infect Soviet people with typhus:

“A) the German authorities placed healthy and typhus sick Soviet citizens in concentration camps (Epidemiological Anamnesis Nos. 158, 180, 161, 164, 178, 183, etc.);

b) for a faster spread of typhus in the camps, the Germans practiced the transfer of typhus patients from one camp to another (data of an epidemiological anamnesis, clinic and serological studies for Nos. 2, 8, 10, 15, 16, 17 and others);

c) in cases where typhus patients refused to go to the camps, the German authorities used violence (interrogation protocols nos. 269, 270, 271, 272);

d) German invaders transferred typhus patients from hospitals and mixed them with a healthy population in the camps. This is confirmed by epidemiological anamnesis for Nos. 138, 139, 149, 166, 175, 180, 40, 49, 50 and survey protocol No. 273;

e) the infection of the Soviet population with typhus was carried out during the second half of February and the first half of March. "

After the liberation of the Ozarichi area of ​​the Polesie region from the German invaders, from March 19 to March 31, 1944, the command of the Red Army units hospitalized 4 Soviet citizens, of which 052 children under the age of 13.

Based on the investigation of the special commission, the conclusion of the forensic medical examination, documentary materials, as well as on the basis of the investigation carried out by the member of the Extraordinary State Commission, Academician I.P. Trainin, the Extraordinary State Commission established that the creation of concentration camps at the front line of defense with the placement in them of healthy and typhus patients, the German authorities tried to deliberately spread the epidemic of typhus among the Soviet population and units of the Red Army, which is a gross violation of the laws and customs of warfare recognized by civilized peoples.

To the answer of the German fascist executioners!
The Extraordinary State Commission considers the Hitlerite government, the high command of the German army, as well as the commander of the 9th Army, General tank Harpe troops, the commander of the 35th Army Corps, Infantry General Wiese, the commander of the 41st Panzer Corps, Lieutenant General Weidman, the commander of the 6th Infantry Division, Lieutenant General Grossman, the commander of the 31st Infantry Division, Major General Exner, the commander of the 296th Infantry Division, Lieutenant General Kulkhotmer, commander divisions of Major General Weisshaupt, commander of the 110th Infantry Division, Lieutenant General Richard, commander of the 35th Infantry Regiment Colonel von Kapf, Commander of the 34th Infantry Regiment Major Rogilain, Chief of Abertrupp 109, Ober Lieutenant Hirst.
All of them must bear severe responsibility for the crimes committed against the Soviet people.
Published in the newspaper "Izvestia" No. 103 dated April 30, 1944 on the basis of the Resolution of the Extraordinary State Commission dated April 29, 1944, Protocol No. 29. p.193 "

Typhus in the army

Hitler's plans partially worked. For the advancing Soviet army, typhus came first among the epidemic diseases in the front troops.

Some high-ranking military personnel of the Main Military Sanitary Directorate
The Red Army were confident of epidemiological sabotage and indicated that a bacteriological war was being waged against the USSR, including through the deliberate spread of typhus by the Nazis among civilians in the temporarily occupied territories.

“We, employees of the GVSU, after examining the former fighters who were in the camps and taking into account the combat situation there was no doubt about the deliberate actions of the fascist German command.

For him (Hitler), the offensive of our troops could not be unexpected. The proximity of the camps to the front line forced the enemy to evacuate prisoners to the west, depriving the Red Army of a source of replenishment. However, this was not done, and it seemed to us impossible to consider it an accident ”.

“There was there is one of the forms of bacteriological warfare».


There was a bacteriological war. The Red Army occupied a number of settlements that were under temporary occupation. Among the civilian population there were massive cases of typhus. Contacts with the local population caused typhus in the army as well. If we take the number of diseases in February as 100%, then in March they were 555%, in April - 608%, in May - 378%.

During the counter-offensive near Moscow, the number of typhus patients in February, compared with January, increased 3 times, and in March - 5 times. After the end of the onset, the number of diseases quickly decreased by 2 times.

During the liquidation in March 1943 of the Rzhev-Vyazemsky bridgehead of the enemy, the number of diseases increased 10 times compared to February. This was facilitated by the fact that the epidemic of typhus was raging among the civilian population in the temporarily occupied territory. The reason for such a large increase in the incidence was the contact with the local population. As a result, the number of cases of typhus rose from 51% in February to 90% in March.

Ukrainian vaccine for fascists

How did the Germans themselves survive among the 70% infected population in the territories of Russia occupied by them?

It turns out that the Germans had a typhus vaccine. By the way, at that time, both the Americans and the Chinese already had a vaccine against this infection.

From the very beginning of the war, the Nazis already from July 1941 had the opportunity to vaccinate the soldiers of the Wehrmacht against typhus. It turned out that the Polish professor of German origin Rudolf Weigl, together with his Ukrainian colleagues and Ukrainian volunteers, produced it for the entire war in Ukraine in Lvov for the Germans.

Rudolf Weigl

Weigl invented his typhus vaccine before the war. But as soon as the Germans entered Lviv, the Weigl Institute for Typhus Research and Virology immediately took over the new Nazi rule and began to produce a typhus vaccine for the army of the Third Reich. So it was Ukraine that supplied German soldiers and officers with the typhus vaccine throughout the war.

Of course, the production method of the Weigl vaccine was complicated, since the lice for it (raw materials) had to be grown right on the body of human volunteers. At first, Weigl had about 1000 such Ukrainian volunteers.

And when the Reich at the end of 1941 needed even more doses of typhus vaccine, Weigl opened another, the second in Ukraine, a plant-institute for its production. To do this, then Weigl recruited another 1000 new Ukrainian donors, who, growing lice on their own bodies, fed them with their own blood. And all this for the production of the vaccine for the Reich. For this, all Weigl's employees and donors received benefits unheard of for those times in the then occupied Ukraine.

It turns out that, on the whole, thousands of Ukrainian donors, as well as doctors and medical staff, voluntarily forged the Germans' resistance to typhus throughout the war?

And what about Russia?

Let us recall that the USSR annexed Western Ukraine in 1939. And Weigl received an offer to work in Moscow, and there to produce his typhoid vaccine. But the Polish German refused. Later, the Nazis promised him the Nobel Prize for putting the vaccine on the conveyor belt for the Reich. True, then they will deceive, and the "Nobel" for his faithful service to Hitler still will not be given.

When, in connection with the offensive of the Red Army, the Germans evacuated both their Lviv plants for the production of vaccines against typhus to the West, Weigl would move to Poland. And then Warsaw will open its own production of typhus vaccine there under his leadership.

The attitude towards Weigl is controversial. On the one hand, a scientist-inventor, on the other, an accomplice of the fascists. History will judge. It is important for us that Ukraine throughout the war was a laboratory for the production of a kind of "antidote" for those fascists who set out to infect almost the entire USSR with typhus.

So, it was the very same Lvov vaccine of Weigl that became the salvation for the Wehrmacht from their own biological weapons on the Eastern Front.

Russian vaccine

Russian epidemiologists also did not sit idly by, but fought with all their might in domestic laboratories against the "invisible army" of the Wehrmacht. If it were not for these epidemiological fighters in white coats, then millions of Russians would not have lived to see Victory.

Of course, the fact that the Germans at the very beginning of the war were also waging a biological war with Russia / USSR was not announced to the people.

But the epidemic of typhus in the USSR was then prevented by our domestic scientists, who promptly created two Soviet anti-typhoid vaccines.

We repeat once again, by that time Germany, the United States and China already had a similar vaccine. But nobody was going to share it with the USSR then.

The causative agent of typhus - Rickettsia Provachek, was isolated independently in different years by the American scientist Ricketts and the Czech Provachek. The harmful bacteria killed both discoverers. And about 30 years after the identification of the pathogen, there were no vaccines for typhus. Difficulties were created by the unusual nature of the causative agent of typhus: it survived and multiplied only in the organisms of carriers: lice or rodents. There was no way to grow these typhus pathogens in an artificial environment in the laboratory at that time.

Russian typhus vaccine. Source:

The sample of the Russian typhus vaccine presented in the hall of the Military Medical Museum was developed by Soviet scientists Maria Klimentievna Krontovskaya and Mikhail Mikhailovich Mayevsky, researchers at the Central Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology.

M.K. Krontovskaya and M.M. Mayevsky managed to infect white mice with typhus through the respiratory tract. At the same time, rickettsia abundantly accumulated in the lungs of mice. The typhus vaccine began to be prepared from the lungs of infected mice crushed and treated with formalin.

Already in 1942, the production of a Russian vaccine against typhus was launched. The People's Commissariat for Health of the USSR recognized this remedy as effective and decided to use a new serum. This allowed for large-scale vaccination.

This vaccine quickly reached the front. The inoculation should be carried out subcutaneously and three times.

But this domestic typhus vaccine was not the only one in the USSR.

There was also a second group of developers.

At the same time, Perm scientists Aleksey Vasilyevich Pshenichnov and Boris Iosifovich Raikher invented their own method of producing a vaccine against typhus.

A.V. Pshenichnov

They designed a special “feeder” for lice. Human blood with rickettsia was poured into its lower part, insects were planted in the upper part, and a thin upper layer of skin removed from the corpse was stretched in the middle. The lice stuck to the epidermis and became infected, which is important, naturally. The bacteria were supposed to be no different from those that multiplied and caused disease outside the laboratory. In the future, lice could feed in the same feeders, which made it possible to keep them away from donor people.

In 1942, the Pshenichnov and Reicher vaccine was ready: scientists used a suspension of crushed lice larvae infected with rickettsia.

The Pshenichnov-Reicher vaccine was used to prevent typhus in the civilian population of the USSR.

Both Russian vaccines did not create one hundred percent immunity, but when they were used, the incidence decreased by three times, and the disease in the vaccinated was easier.

The widespread use of domestic vaccines in the USSR made it possible to prevent a typhus epidemic in the active army and in the rear, and also reduced the incidence rate by 4-6 times during the Great Patriotic War.

Epidemiological reconnaissance

In addition to vaccines, the epidemiological well-being of the troops during the Great Patriotic War was ensured by epidemiologists.

Already 7 months after the start of the war, on February 2, 1942, the People's Commissariat of Health approved a resolution "On measures to prevent epidemic diseases in the country and the Red Army." The decree provided for the following activities:

- Carrying out the arrangement of epidemiologists, bacteriologists, sanitary doctors in connection with the complicated epidemic situation.

- Guaranteeing universal immunization against acute intestinal infections in large settlements, as well as preparing immunization for conscripts of the population.

- Provision of timely diagnosis and rapid hospitalization of patients with epidemic diseases, the creation of mobile epidemiological units at district health departments and epidemiological departments, equipped with means for quick sanitization of people, clothing and property in epidemic foci.

- Strengthening attention and control over the presence of infectious diseases at major railway stations and during the evacuation stages.

- Was organized and received recognition of the sanitary and epidemiological reconnaissance "ahead of the troops."

Subsequently, military sanitary and epidemiological reconnaissance was carried out throughout the entire territory from the front line to the rear of the division by all medical personnel of units, units and formations (a sanitary instructor in a company, a paramedic in a battalion, a doctor in a regiment and division).

In May 1942, the position of deputy chief physician for epidemiological work was introduced in each polyclinic. And also organized the training of activists - sanitary inspectors, who conducted house-to-house rounds, sent all fever patients to hospital, disinfected foci of infectious diseases.


By the end of the war

In general, the hygienic and anti-epidemic institutions of the military medical service during the Great Patriotic War, according to far from complete data, examined 44 696 settlements, revealed 49 612 foci of typhus, 137 364 patients with typhus, of which 52 899 people were hospitalized in army and front-line hospitals.

By the beginning of the transition of our troops to the offensive on all fronts in 1944, the medical service of the Red Army had a powerful and orderly organization that made it possible to ensure anti-epidemic reconnaissance and epidemic protection of our troops.

In addition to the medical units of military units, at the medical battalions of rifle divisions, tank and cavalry corps, sanitary platoons were created, equipped with the necessary transport and a laboratory that made it possible to perform sanitary-chemical and hygienic analyzes.


Whether or not Hitler organized a bacteriological war against the civilian population of the USSR is for experts to figure out.

But the facts of intentional infection of thousands and thousands of Russians with this dangerous infection are documented and do not cause doubts.

The typhus pandemic, which the Nazis dreamed of, during the Great Patriotic War in Russia was prevented solely through the prompt creation of its own domestic effective vaccines, as well as through the formation of epidemiological units in the troops.

In the next part, we will consider various versions of the enemy's losses in the Great Patriotic War.

To be continued ...
Articles from this series:
Aesop's Language of Loss: the Pan-European Empire VS Russia
Losses of Russia / USSR in the war against fascism: language of numbersCivilian casualties in 1941-1945: fakes and facts

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  1. tasha
    tasha 24 January 2021 05: 42
    For the advancing Soviet army ... moving carriers to the East to the rear of the Russian troops

    This .. This is ... "Pot, don't cook ..."
    that relatively recently (in historical terms) epidemics were used in wars as weapons of mass destruction

    In the Old Testament, as a punishment for various sins, epidemics are repeatedly mentioned: "And I will bring a vengeful sword on you ... and I will send a pestilence on you ..."; "And I will punish those who dwell in the land of Egypt, as I punished Jerusalem, with sword, famine and pestilence."

    In the period 264 - 146 BC between slave-owning Rome and Carthage there were wars for the Western Mediterranean, which went down in history as the Punic. Roman troops besieged Carthage, whose defenders staunchly resisted. It seemed that it would not be possible to capture the city. Then the Romans began to throw plague corpses into besieged Carthage. Victory, which they could not achieve in battle, was won by cunning.

    In the 14th century, Tatar troops laid siege to the Genoese fortress of Kafu (Feodosia). The siege dragged on for several years. The soldiers began to die from a deadly disease, for in the camp there was complete unsanitary conditions. Just like the Romans once, the Tatars began to throw the corpses of those killed from the plague into the fortress, for which they adapted throwing weapons.

    The Spanish conquistadors, donating clothes that belonged to smallpox patients to the Indians, caused an epidemic, which killed about three million Indians.

    The topic is interesting and important. Execution ...
    1. Aerodrome
      Aerodrome 24 January 2021 06: 40
      In the Old Testament, as a punishment for various sins, epidemics are repeatedly mentioned: "And I will bring a vengeful sword on you ... and I will send a pestilence on you ..."; "And I will punish those who dwell in the land of Egypt, as I punished Jerusalem, with sword, famine and pestilence."
      Your boh, and forbade trading in the churches, why did you disobey that? there is a shop in every chapel ... and America was captured by convicts ... with the help of typhus and smallpox. And Australia too.
    2. Olgovich
      Olgovich 24 January 2021 09: 31
      Quote: tasha
      The topic is interesting and important. Execution ...

      The execution is bad, alas.

      Some of the author's statements, in my opinion, testify to his incomplete knowledge of the subject, but the desire to adjust reality to his point of view, for example:
      Recall that in the First World War, it was the infection with typhus that became among other factors aboutvery effective weapon of the West against Russia.
      In the territory controlled by the Soviet government, the typhus epidemic was then unprecedented and widespread. They brought the disease to Russia from abroad, from Europe, including through Ukraine

      We also remind the author that typhus existed in Russia long before WWI- the most massive outbreaks were, for example, in the OV of 1812, the Crimean War, 1891-1892, etc.
      Isolation of typhus into an independent nosological form was first done by Russian doctors Y. Shchirovsky (1811) Y. Govorov (1812).

      The causative agents of the disease - Rickettsia, can live in the human body for many decades. Having bitten a person, the louse will become infected by itself. The bite of an infected louse does not directly lead to infection; infection occurs when scratching, that is, rubbing into the bite of lice intestinal secretions rich in rickettsia.

      Unsanitary conditions - the base companion of war and conflicts, leads to mass lice and, accordingly, to the mass incidence of typhus.

      Therefore, no one from the West brought anything to WWI - everything was in place, waiting in the wings.

      But no less terrible epidemic of the Spanish flu, yes, really came to us from the West in 1918, through Little Russia, with the German invaders who got there through the Brest betrayal.

      At the same time, of course, the Nazis conducted a variety of experiments on humans.
      1. tihonmarine
        tihonmarine 24 January 2021 10: 29
        Quote: Olgovich
        But no less terrible epidemic of the Spanish flu, yes, really came to us from the West in 1918, through Little Russia, with the German invaders who got there through the Brest betrayal.

        This was already a real pandemic that mowed down millions of our people.
      2. bubalik
        bubalik 24 January 2021 21: 40
        According to Krivosheev's statistics,
        in 1919, there were already more than 587 thousand infectious patients in the Red Army: 319 thousand Red Army men fell ill with typhus, more than 182 thousand - recurrent, almost 26 thousand more - typhoid (the rest - cholera, dysentery, malaria, smallpox, scurvy). Almost 74 thousand people from these cases died.
        But the most terrible year for the Red Army turned out to be 1920: infections then knocked down 1 million 660 thousand Red Army soldiers, of whom more than 208 thousand died. Most of them fell ill with typhus: typhus - 834,5 thousand fighters, recurrent - almost a million, abdominal - 46,5 thousand, and almost 93 thousand - typhus, the type of which could not be determined. The rest are cholera, dysentery, malaria, scurvy, smallpox ...
        According to those statistics, from 1918 to 1920 there were 2 million 253 thousand 405 infectious patients in the Red Army, of which 283 079 people died. According to other data, at least 407 thousand Red Army soldiers died from infectious diseases (primarily from typhus) in the hospitals of the Red Army. In total, in 1918-1920, over three million Red Army soldiers fell ill with typhus and other infections in the army in the field, and more than 700 thousand fell ill in the military districts.
        Almost 75% of all losses of the Red Army are sick.
      3. Kronos
        Kronos 24 January 2021 22: 48
        By the way, the Russian Empire was the leader in mortality from various diseases.
    3. Maki Avellevich
      Maki Avellevich 26 January 2021 07: 36
      Quote: tasha
      The Spanish conquistadors, donating clothes that belonged to smallpox patients to the Indians, caused an epidemic, which killed about three million Indians.

      smallpox is not transmitted through clothing or known blankets. you need direct contact with the patient or microdroplets (cough, etc.)
      this most likely did not prevent the Spaniards and new Americans from trying to infect the locals in this way.
      and they responded by working with syphilis. :)
      1. tasha
        tasha 26 January 2021 07: 41
        smallpox is not transmitted through clothing or known blankets

        Thanks I'll know.
        There is an interesting article on this topic:
        It was a very good resource, sorry, it froze ...
  2. Andrey Zhdanov-Nedilko
    Andrey Zhdanov-Nedilko 24 January 2021 06: 01
    Very interesting article. I knew nothing on this topic, alas. Now I am convinced that a bacteriological war was waged against us. Definitely. Yes, history reveals more and more secrets of the Second World War ...
    1. Crowe
      Crowe 24 January 2021 06: 27
      I also read with interest. That Hitler did not dare to use chemical weapons knew, but that the Nazis deliberately used bacteriological weapons did not know. Thanks for the article!
      1. ee2100
        ee2100 24 January 2021 10: 11
        On chemical weapons, there was an agreement on their non-use.
        1. Andrey Zhdanov-Nedilko
          Andrey Zhdanov-Nedilko 24 January 2021 23: 53
          No, everything was different there - both Churchill's statement and reports to Hitler about his huge quantities from the Red Army. Yes, and the realization that the USSR would apply OV in Germany, where the population is very densely settled, sobered the Fuhrer. Although now, I don’t know whether it’s a lie or true, but ours thought in the event of a failure in the defense of Moscow in the fall of 1941, to use OV against the Germans, but, thank God, Stalin did not make such a decision. And how can this be explained to the whole world later? Apparently, that's why I didn't use it.
          But the Germans in 1942 against the encircled remnants of the Law Firm in the Adzhimushkay quarries (the area of ​​Kerch) used the OV and this is a fact.
          1. ee2100
            ee2100 25 January 2021 07: 34
            For the Adzhimushkai caves - yes, OM was applied, but which one has not been established exactly.
            Information that the agreement on the non-use of weapons during military operations between the USSR and Germany is indirect from diplomatic sources in Sweden.
            Relations between the parties during the Second World War were maintained through Stockholm.
            When Katyushas were used for the first time, there was napalm in the missile. After this, the Germans said that if the USSR uses napalm, they will withdraw from the agreement on the non-use of agents.
            Until the end of the war, this agreement was respected.
            1. tolancop
              tolancop 25 January 2021 12: 55
              Post-war ears are already sticking out about agreements on the non-use of weapons, trying in every possible way to whitewash the Nazis. And OV was not used because of a real threat to receive a response. In the memoirs of Saburov, it is mentioned that chemical ammunition was captured by his partisan unit. True, they were captured from the Hungarians (yeah, from the Germans and bribes are smooth ...). And the shells were overloaded by the Soviet. So the partisans carried chemical ammunition in the train for some time, until they drowned them in a suitable swamp. And once these chemical ammunition even came in handy: the "inconvenient" enemy garrison was warned in advance that it would be better not to disturb the partisan unit passing by.
              Incl. the situation was "on the brink" throughout the war.
            2. Andrey Zhdanov-Nedilko
              Andrey Zhdanov-Nedilko 25 January 2021 14: 34
              Thank you, I agree, but it seems to me that Germany's non-use of OV was after a rather spiteful statement by W. Churchill that the Allies would simply flood the cities of Germany with OV.
              As for napalm, I'm not sure; in my opinion, napalm is an invention of the 1950s, and not of the times of the WWII, although maybe there are many types of napalm and something was already there in those years? But I don’t know and I will not argue. I had nothing to do with this in the army.
              1. ee2100
                ee2100 25 January 2021 19: 11
                Maybe it's another incendiary mixture. But I read about it for a long time.
                In context with Kolontai.
                1. Andrey Zhdanov-Nedilko
                  Andrey Zhdanov-Nedilko 25 January 2021 20: 51
                  Thanks for the tip! Wiki writes that napalm (or rather, its early versions) were actually created in 1942 and tested by the US Air Force in Western Europe and the Pacific theater of operations. So I admit I was wrong.
                  And about Kollontai you will have to look for something new and refresh the forgotten.
                  1. ee2100
                    ee2100 25 January 2021 20: 54
                    Everything new is good - forgotten old!
      2. bk0010
        bk0010 24 January 2021 11: 17
        Quote: Crowe
        Hitler did not dare to use chemical weapons
        Used when it was effective. Adzhimushkay quarries were poisoned, for example. just chem. weapons in World War II against ready troops, turned out to be less effective than high-explosive ammunition of the same mass.
    2. nsm1
      nsm1 24 January 2021 06: 52
      The USSR was also noted with tularemia at Stalingrad, k-fever in the Crimea.
      Work has been carried out since the 30s.
      1. Andrey Zhdanov-Nedilko
        Andrey Zhdanov-Nedilko 25 January 2021 20: 52
        I think that the whole world has carried out similar works and experiments. Funding and results were simply different for everyone.
  3. The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins 24 January 2021 09: 35
    But it still seemed to me that the author deviated somewhat and the side of her mentioned conspiracy theories.
    Yes, no one has canceled quotes and memories. But this cannot be the basis for a theory of biological warfare.
    I am not trying to justify the crimes of the Nazis. But I remember that typhus, like head lice, like disinfection, is a "trench disease." Especially manifested during protracted hostilities in crowded places in the absence of normal hygiene and sanitation.
    And from there, by visiting the rear, these diseases are transmitted to civilians.
    The Japanese were preparing for biological warfare.
    Laboratories, experiments on prisoners, options for delivering infected parasites to the rear (ceramic amphorae), this is an irrefutable evidence base.
    1. Olgovich
      Olgovich 24 January 2021 11: 14
      Quote: Leader of the Redskins
      But I remember that typhus, like head lice, like disinfection, is a "trench disease." Particularly manifested during protracted hostilities in crowded places in the absence of normal hygiene and sanitation.

      That's right: no lice, no typhoid. And lice are the constant companion of the unsanitary conditions of war
  4. ee2100
    ee2100 24 January 2021 10: 10
    The author, before writing an article about typhus as a tank weapon, needed to familiarize himself with the epidemiology of this disease. Infection occurs from direct contact of a sick person with a healthy person. The principles of using tank weapons are somewhat different.
    This type is a disease arising from the deterioration of social living conditions. And the war with its huge migratory masses naturally contributes to the spread of typhoid.
    The article provides only relative figures for the incidence, which is fundamentally wrong.
    Naturally, the Germans did not give a damn about who and under what conditions were being held in concentration camps.
    Drawing an analogy with typhus, it can be assumed that syphilis was also a tank weapon of the Second World War.
  5. Doctor
    Doctor 24 January 2021 10: 32
    At Frolova's, the further into the forest, the thicker the partisans. laughing
    Especially the passage about the fact that the Nazis removed typhus patients from the villages and took them to the camps to infect them. Like now they are being taken to kovidny hospitals. wink

    In general, folk art gives a recipe for salvation:

    My friend, it's time to go to the farm!
    There, among the dull, gray heri,
    There are no most dangerous bacteria
    For our gut with you.

    We will cook the mash there,
    Let's cut bacon, bread, onions,
    And not a single sore, "doggy"
    The throne will not undermine the health! "

    P.S. For modders, you can't throw out words from the song, I mean a female dog. love
    1. Alexga
      Alexga 24 January 2021 12: 46
      Especially the passage about the fact that the Nazis removed typhus patients from the villages and took them to camps to infect them.

      This is not a passage, it was. An epidemic center was created in the Red Army's offensive zone. Read about the camp in Ozarichi. Previously, they were silent about this, something emerged from the memoirs of Gomel partisans, and now a large collection of documents about this has been posted in the Museum of the History of the Second World War in Minsk.
  6. nsm1
    nsm1 24 January 2021 11: 19
    The attitude towards Weigl is controversial. On the one hand, a scientist-inventor, on the other, an accomplice of the fascists.
    In 2003, he was posthumously awarded the title of Righteous Among the World.
    From the wiki.
    This is from the Jews, if anyone does not understand.
    So it looks like a mess with an accomplice.
    And the article itself is strange.

    The problem with CP is that during the cultivation of bacteria it is impossible to keep the pathogen of an infectious disease in a virulent state for a long time.
    Their generations change quickly and the evolutionary advantage is gained by fast-growing strains that do not spend resources on the production of toxins, do not have adaptive mechanisms to resist the immune system, etc.
    The Japanese killed more prisoners during reseeding in an attempt to maintain the virulence of the plague than during combat use, the epidemic did not work out.

    So about typhoid fever rather fabrications, it has always been.
    Moreover, carriers are capable of infecting others for decades, Typhoid Mary is a vivid example of this.
  7. Undecim
    Undecim 24 January 2021 12: 23
    The autoressa in her propaganda dance on the bones does not shun outright lies.
    The policy of the site, which attracts authors with such low-quality products, is not clear.
  8. A. Privalov
    A. Privalov 24 January 2021 13: 00
    The anger and philippics of the article are clear. I am the last one to whitewash the crimes of the Nazis, and I regret that after the Nuremberg trials, the execution of the leaders of the Nazis was possible only once.

    However, it is impossible to falsely denigrate and accuse everyone, especially Professor Weigl.

    For his successes in the scientific research of typhoid, in 1920 he was appointed professor of general biology at the Jan Casimir University in Lvov. Together with a group of employees, he set up a research laboratory in the old university building, which also produced small quantities of typhoid vaccine.

    Weigel was famous for his typhus vaccination campaign in Catholic Belgian missions in China. Thanks to him, not only many missionaries were saved, but also thousands of Chinese. For this he received a papal award - the Order of St. Gregory the Great, a Belgian award - the Order of Leopold, membership in many scientific institutions, and his candidacy was repeatedly nominated for the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (75 nominations in 1930-1939). Scientists from all over the world came to the Lviv Institute of Professor Veigl to study the methods and results of his research.
    Since 1930, he is a full member of the Polish Academy of Sciences, since 1933 he is a full member of the Warsaw Scientific Society. In the local elections in 1934, he was appointed a member of the Lviv City Council.
    In 1939 he left for Abyssinia, where he helped to cope with the typhus epidemic. Due to the threat of war, he decided to stop working and return to Poland.

    The problem of fighting typhus was of great importance. After the annexation of the territories of Western Ukraine to the USSR, the production of anti-typhoid vaccine in Lviv was significantly expanded. For this purpose, in the building of the women's gymnasium. Queen Jadwiga's laboratory was housed and production established. The Red Army left Lvov already on June 29, 1941, and neither the production nor the employees of the institute and laboratory could be evacuated.

    After the Germans entered Lviv on June 30, 1941, on the night of July 3-4, they shot a group of 25 Polish professors and about a dozen members of their families. The situation in which the scientific community of Lvov found itself became very difficult. This prompted Weigl to continue work on the further maintenance (as scientific director) of the Institute for Research on Typhus and Viruses. He saw this as an opportunity to help a large number of professors and assistants. He imposed on the Germans the right to complete freedom in the choice of personnel, taking full responsibility for them. The Institute began to grow exponentially. Professors Stefan Banach, Bronislav Knaster and Vladislav Orlic found work at the Institute along with new identity cards that protected them from reprisals. He saved, according to today's estimates, about 5000 people: representatives of the Lviv scientific community (including Jewish scientists, including Ludwik Fleck and the Meisl couple), youth from universities and high schools who are facing deportation to Germany, a number of resistance fighters.
    The vaccine created in his laboratory was secretly distributed among civilians, partisans and in the Warsaw ghetto.
  9. Gvardeetz77
    Gvardeetz77 24 January 2021 13: 21
    The Nazis committed many crimes against humanity, but here, according to the author, they "poisoned the well from which they themselves drank, but for some reason, unlike the Soviet people, they did not die"
    And at Stalingrad then it turns out that our 6th Army was infected with typhus?
    It is correctly noted that lice are satellites of wars at all times, at the end of the twentieth century, our entire BTGr in the mountains suffered from armored personnel carriers, only there were no synthetic sleeping bags, they did not understand any rank or rank, they seized everyone :)
  10. DrEng527
    DrEng527 24 January 2021 13: 49
    So interesting and important! Reshpectus to the author for the names of vaccine developers in the USSR! The country should know its real heroes, who risked their lives during the research, in essence, as at the front .. love
    However, it is a pity that the author has slipped to such propaganda materials as:
    "Let us recall that in the First World War, it was the infection with typhus that, among other factors, became a very effective weapon of the West against Russia."
    Let me remind the author that in WW1 Russia was part of the Entente ... hi
  11. bubalik
    bubalik 24 January 2021 22: 06
    Concentration camp Bergen-Belse.
    ,,, for 1943-1945 about 50 thousand prisoners died here, of which 35 thousand became victims of typhus.

    The Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp site burned by British forces during the disinfection of the area while dealing with a serious outbreak. The operation was attended by British flamethrower tanks "Churchill-Crocodile" (7th Royal Tank Regiment) from the 7th Royal Tank Regiment. For disinfection purposes, 25 gallons of the combustible mixture were used.
  12. Cure72
    Cure72 25 January 2021 12: 47
    Samsonov got the readers so much that the editorial board renamed him Frolova?
  13. alekSASHKA-36
    alekSASHKA-36 27 January 2021 09: 23
    "to the rear of the Russian troops?" can still Soviet?
  14. Mikhail Valeev
    Mikhail Valeev 31 January 2021 17: 32
    That is, the author really believes that the Germans infected the civilian population in the rear of their own troops.
    Well, okay, the German soldier is supposedly protected, but is the author aware that up to 500 thousand of our compatriots worked in the maintenance of railways alone? And all of them, too, deliberately with typhus, to ruin their entire supply? And what about the local police, what if all this will return to Germany with the same trains? The Einsatz teams coped with their tasks quite well, there was no need to turn the terrain in their rear from more or less controllable into a contaminated desert.