Epifanov A.E. History and Legal Status of the Restricted Camps for War Prisoners of the Wehrmacht in Stalingrad (1947-1949)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/lc.jvolsu.2018.3.10

Aleksandr E. Epifanov, Doctor of Sciences (Jurisprudence), Professor, Department of Constitutional and Municipal Law, Volgograd State University, Prosp. Universitetsky, 100, 400062 Volgograd, Russian Federation, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Introduction: in the article from the standpoint of history and law, on the example of the city of Stalingrad, the author considers the organization and activities of the restricted camps of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR for the Wehrmacht war prisoners formed in the second half of 1940-ies in order to avoid the repatriation to the homeland of the persons involved in war crimes during the Great Patriotic War. For this purpose, through the use of the archival materials, the author analyzes such forms and methods of these camps’ activities as the strict isolation of their population with the establishment of reinforced regimen; carrying out the operational search and investigative actions aimed at identifying and bringing Hitler’s war criminals to criminal responsibility, as well as the persons who served in the organizations recognized as criminal ones during the war; labor use of the prison population to restore the Soviet economy destroyed during the war, as well as the construction of the largest domestic and industrial facilities. With the help of the methods of scientific knowledge, especially the method of historicism, the order of accounting and registration of prisoners of war, allotted from repatriation, their maintenance and labor, resistance and opposition to the camp administration were generalized. Results: the author summarizes and analyzes the order of the organization of the restricted camps of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR for the Wehrmacht prisoners of war, allotted from repatriation, as well as the practice of its implementation; identifies and introduces into scientific circulation the normative legal acts, including the departmental ones concerning the organization and activities of these camps; analyzes the reports and statistical data on the studied problem; shows the reasons and conditions that caused unjustified repression for political reasons of prisoners of war, without proper proof of their guilt, which in turn led to the need for rehabilitation measures in their cases at the present time. Conclusions: in the second half of 1940-ies in the Soviet Union a significant part of the POWs of the Wehrmacht was allotted from repatriation to the homeland, under the pretext of their participation in Nazi atrocities during the Great Patriotic War and service in the organizations recognized as criminal ones. For their maintenance, operational and investigative analysis and labor use a number of specialized restricted camps were organized by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR, and for a large part – on the territory of Stalingrad and its environs. The detention of the prisoners of war in the restricted camps was in itself one of the measures of extrajudicial repression against them, and for a large part – also a preliminary stage of criminal prosecution, mainly on charges of war crimes.

Key words: war criminals, prisoners of war of the Wehrmacht, Stalingrad, Internal Affairs Bodies, camps, filtration.

Citation. Epifanov A.E. History and Legal Status of the Restricted Camps for War Prisoners of the Wehrmacht in Stalingrad (1947-1949). Legal Concept, 2018, vol. 17, no. 3, pp. 70-78. DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/lc.jvolsu.2018.3.10

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