Posted 12 августа 2022,, 14:07
Published 12 августа 2022,, 14:07
Modified 24 декабря 2022,, 22:37
Updated 24 декабря 2022,, 22:37
The wishes of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky to Western countries, expressed in an interview with the American edition of The Washington Post , about not only banning Russian citizens from issuing Schengen visas, but also deporting those who managed to come to Europe, caused a strong reaction on social networks. The Russian oppositionists are shocked and offended by these words, they reproach Zelensky with both cruelty and short-sightedness, reminding him that since they declared their support for Ukraine, returning to their homeland threatens them with prosecution and prison terms. At the same time, many remind Zelensky of the story of the deportation of Soviet citizens from Europe to the USSR after World War II. And she's really dramatic.
In Western historiography, the transfer by British, American and other allied troops to the Soviet side of citizens of the USSR and other Russian-speaking persons who were in the territory under their control (Ostarbeiters, collaborators, prisoners of war, internees, refugees, emigrants of the tsarist and post-revolutionary times, illegal migrants in neutral countries, as well as other persons) is called "Operation Keelhaul" (eng. Keelhaul from keel, that is, to drag under the keel).
In a number of cases, this operation directly violated the Geneva Accords, but Western governments then gave priority to the later Yalta Accords with their very specific interpretation of the provisions that concerned prisoners and civilians.
The agreement on repatriation was reached at the Yalta Conference and applied to all displaced persons who in 1939 were citizens of the Soviet Union, regardless of their desire to return to their homeland. The wildest thing was that a part of the former subjects of the Russian Empire was also extradited to Stalin, that is, emigrants of the first wave, who either never had Soviet citizenship at all, or renounced it in favor of a foreign one, or were born abroad.
In many respects, this step of the American-British occupation administration is explained by the fact that it faced the serious problem of maintaining a huge number of people who needed to be provided with housing, food and clothing, sanitary and medical care, and so on. But the same was required in relation to the local German population, which, for obvious reasons, perceived such a neighborhood without enthusiasm. So the extradition was in its own way a logical and economically justified step, regardless of the then political situation and relations with the Stalinist USSR, which, by the way, was also in a very sad state of post-war devastation, and could hardly resettle and feed such a large number of the arrived population. True, the displaced persons could at least partially compensate for the gigantic human losses of the country of the Soviets in the war.
In addition, the Allies feared that Stalin might otherwise prevent the return of their citizens, prisoners of war, to the territory controlled by the Red Army. Yalta did not even prescribe a definitely forced return. In Britain, the Cabinet has met four times to discuss this topic. The Minister of Foreign Affairs eventually convinced the opponents of the forced transfer of its necessity. He argued this not only by the fact that Stalin might not return some of the British prisoners of war, but could also stop the offensive. Stalin and Molotov demanded that everyone be handed over, while refusing to sign an agreement on the return of Allied prisoners of war.
Heated debates were also going on in the US administration. The Americans were strongly influenced by the British decision. Eisenhower promoted the idea of the need to meet Stalin halfway. Without a doubt, the decision to deport was a shameful page in the history of these countries.
The bulk of the repatriates arrived in 1945: by March 1, 1946, 4,199,488 people had been repatriated to the USSR from all countries!
Similar measures to seize the non-indigenous population were carried out on the territory of Yugoslavia, the countries of Eastern and Central Europe, controlled by Soviet troops.
A very small part of the total was eager to return to the USSR as soon as possible (those who aspired to this did not stop themselves from getting to the Soviet zone of occupation in the first days after the end of the war). The bulk of those moved relatively without problems were concentration camp prisoners, who were simply taken out of the former German concentration camps in an organized manner and placed in Soviet filtration camps.
Persons who voluntarily expressed a desire to cooperate with the US-British administration and were of interest to foreign intelligence agencies (professional military, scientists, writers and publicists, as well as anti-Soviet elements) avoided forced repatriation. From among them, several organizations were created that were actively engaged in anti-Soviet activities, partially reanimated curtailed or "dead" projects (such as the NTS, for which at the same time they created a branch structure throughout West Germany and in Berlin, which was not divided at that time), radio stations were created that broadcast in Russian and the languages of the peoples of the USSR, the magazines Posev, Grani, Thought, Our Days, Free Word, etc. Hundreds of books and brochures of anti-Soviet content by the authorship of former Soviet citizens began to be published.
The persons handed over to the Soviet side, without exception, were placed in filtration camps and points, where they were questioned and interrogated. After that, they were either sent to places of punishment, or to settle in remote regions of the USSR with restrictions on the right to move around the country, or were taken to their pre-war place of residence.
In those days, among the defectors (who did not want to return to the USSR), the phrase “The Motherland is waiting for you, bastards!
The attitude towards the newcomers was different, they often went through many ordeals and humiliations in order to return to normal life.
The Red Army soldiers officially transferred to the Gulag camps belonged to the category of "German fascist villains, spies, traitors to the Motherland." Hard labor was introduced for them, the working day for them was extended by an hour, one day off per month was reduced.
A direct consequence of the operation to evacuate captured Red Army soldiers to Soviet camps was the so-called "bitch war", which resulted in a real criminal terror, which gave rise to ferocious civil strife between thieves' groups of different "colors".
Remembering this story, the Meister channel writes about Zelensky's statement:
“What can be said? Firstly, despite the fact that the demands are wild, they should not be considered unrealizable - the situation is no less wild, anything can come to mind, especially if the crisis in relations worsens (and it will worsen). Secondly, if Europe decides to really take care of this, it will mean throwing into the dustbin the last illusions about European law and order. These illusions at one time made up a fair part of the dream of a Soviet person (and even a post-Soviet one) about “life like in the West”, and their nationwide funeral in such a situation as it is now will rather deprive Europe of the last trump cards than somehow help them ... "
Publicist Marina Shapovalova gives impressive data on the qualitative composition of the Russian emigration:
“In 1917, the Russian Empire collapsed and disappeared. With the Civil War and the formation of a new type of statehood on its territories, Russia fell out of the global process. The people who inhabited the country, at the same time, remained what they were: peasants - peasants, doctors - doctors, artists - artists, professors - professors. In the changed conditions, the choice of lifestyle and further activities remained with them - until the closure of the borders by the growing Bolshevik regime. Emigration, with all its difficulties, made it possible to make a choice: to become a “Soviet” person who shares the fate of the country, or to become / remain a European, having lost his home forever.
There were no objections or obstacles on the part of Europe-Americas. No one helped the refugees, but no one interfered with them either. Whether a former Russian professor, merchant-factory, officer or engineer would find a job in a foreign country was their personal problem. And over time, it became a fortune or profit for those countries that accepted the poor fugitives.
Not only Zworykin, Sikorsky, Vernadsky, Leontiev, Ayn Rand, Balanchine, Nabokov, Berdyaev, Frank, Messner, Mikhail Chekhov became Americans and Europeans - hundreds of thousands of famous and unknown people brought their knowledge, education, talents, experience, their labor, their children, finally - and their descendants for centuries to come.
No one, except the USSR and Russia, as a result, lost from this.
When Germany went off the rails in the 1930s, the states had already adjusted to assign people to each other. This cost the lives of many thousands of Jews who tried to flee the Nazi regime. After the war, the civilized countries seemed to be horrified, but they drew conclusions only within the framework of the “Jewish question”, and at the same time, Stalin was forcibly returned his slaves. Not everyone managed to escape from forced deportation to the “Soviet homeland”.
No one today wants to answer for the dead, rejected by the "free world" before and after the Second World War?
But we could know the names of scientists, inventors, musicians who never became world famous, if they had a chance for free immigration to countries where they were not threatened by inevitable death or half-human extinction in captivity. We could find out the names of their children or grandchildren, who would not be proud of Germany and the USSR, but other countries and peoples. But they did not become or were not born. Because other, mediocre and soulless people came up with “reasons” not to save them ... "