Soviet Prisoners of War

During the war with the Soviet Union, more than 5 million Red Army soldiers were taken prisoner by the Germans between 1941 and 1945. The soldiers were first housed in makeshift camps and systematically undernourished. Well over three million died. Fearing the spread of "Soviet propaganda", the initial plan did not call for their labour deployment in the German Reich. But as the labour shortage grew, soldiers were brought to Germany and assigned to labour detachments. Companies could report their labour needs and assign prisoners of war to work in their factories. The conditions remained dramatic.

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