13. Juni 1946
|approximate position of Bridge Camp 350/II (350/2) in Riga, suburb Sarkandaugava|
13 June 46 arrival at bridge camp 350/II near Riga. Here I meet two former company members: Stefan and Schulz(?). Driving through Riga, a somewhat sad mood creeps over me. Earlier I was running here freely, and now after 14 months I am still here, but as a prisoner. Life in the town is reasonably peaceful, but poor. You don't see happy faces.
The tone in the camp is comradely. The German camp administration is kind, the Russian commandant's office is correct, the food is sufficient and tasty, but monotonous. Millet and barley. Payment for work poor and completely opaque. It is something like this: The prison camps are supposed to maintain themselves by lending the prisoners of war as labourers to enterprises, factories, etc., in return for payment. Here, for example, we were presented with the following bill:
|The company pays the camp per worker
From this the camp retains for lodging, food, etc.
In addition, the camp keeps 30 % (for what ?)
|Remains theoretically payable to the prisoner of war||56||roubles,|
In our workplace, everyone gives different orders. The result is confusion and slow progress of the work. Poor planning causes repetition of work, waste of labour and time. Russian indifference - Niechevo! - hinders the progress of the work. Improved only by German skill.
A transport of prisoners of war from Königsberg arrives at the camp. They tell: In September 1945, a man is released from American captivity into one of the the Western Zones and wanted to visit his relatives in the Soviet Occupation Zone. On the way he is stopped by Russians. They tear up his American release papers and take him to Königsberg. Case 2: One released from Russian captivity is arrested again one day and taken back to Russia for work. These are only 2 of hundreds of such incidents. Again and again breaches of international law, abductions, kidnapping. The German prisoners of war are nothing but lawless labour slaves in the USSR. Of course, the Ivans stole all the valuables, watches and wedding rings from the people of Königsberg, as they did everywhere, and sold them to civilians on the way. Making money is just as important to the Soviets as it is in the West. And these people talk about capitalist exploiters in the West! The Russians have given us a perfect demonstration of how to exploit!
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- Quelle: Findbuch
- 1944 as a company chief in a marching battalion, see there
- From the preface: I cannot necessarily vouch for the truthfulness of the "Comrades recount" sections. With such reports, exaggerations and pomposity on the part of the narrators cannot be ruled out, although I personally do not doubt the truth of these reports in principle from my own knowledge and experience.