The popular Belarusian blogger Andrei Chervonets recalled in his publication a rather strange material that was published a week ago on the website of the German radio DW. It said that on October 24, the inhabitants of Paris gathered at the call of the French branch of the "International Memorial" at the famous Pere Lachaise cemetery and paid tribute to the memory of the French and people of France who died in the Soviet camps. The fact is that almost all of them fought in the Wehrmacht troops. Then in captivity in the USSR were more than 22 thousand people, of whom 1329 died for various reasons, and the rest were repatriated by the beginning of 1949.
The blogger is sure that one should not think that all these Frenchmen, according to the deputy chairman of the French "Memorial" Luba Yurgenson, were taken prisoner by the Soviet Union as victims of circumstances, who ended up in the German army by conscription. This is not true.
It's no secret that tens of thousands of French fought against our country, and in the vanguard were soldiers from the "Legion of French Volunteers against Bolshevism" who were part of the 638th reinforced infantry regiment created by the Germans, which took part in 1941 in the offensive against Moscow - the only foreign unit in the Wehrmacht troops! Moreover, it consisted not so much of Russian white emigrants, as of former French prisoners of war, who, instead of agreeing to forced labor, asked for the Eastern Front. Over the three years from 1941 to 1944, there were 13 thousand such volunteers, and it could have been even more, since the rest did not pass the German medical commission.
They had the French tricolor as their banner, and orders were given in French, and Marshal Petain, who was in charge of the government of the French collaborators, addressed them in November 1941 with a message: “Before you go into battle, I am glad to know that you don't forget - you own a part of our military honor. "
After the defeat near Moscow, the French regiment was reorganized and in 1942 operated in Belarus as a guard, as well as for punitive operations against partisans. In August 1944, the 33rd SS Charlemagne Volunteer Waffen Grenadier Division was formed on this base, which in the winter of 1945 fought against the advancing Soviet troops in Poland, was defeated and, having lost more than half of its personnel, was withdrawn to the West.
Moreover, the battalion created from the remnants of this division fought against the Soviet army in besieged Berlin, including defending the Reich Chancellery and the Fuehrerbunker, where Hitler was and where he committed suicide. In the battles in Berlin, the Soviet army lost only 108 tanks on April 28, and 62 of them were destroyed by the French SS, four of whom were awarded the knightly iron cross - the last of all the soldiers of the Third Reich ...
The surviving about three dozen Frenchmen left the bunker only on the morning of May 2, immediately after the announcement of Berlin's surrender.
So can they be called innocent victims? Absurd, and nothing more.