Military Post Number 12 827D writes to local Group leader Kemmel in Altenau (Mainfranken):
In the East, 30.7.1941
Dear Comrade Karl!
I write this letter from the desolation of a Ukrainian forest village, 40 kilometers from Kiev, which we hope to capture in a few days. The fruitful land of the Ukraine is all around us, but 20 years of Bolshevist mismanagement have brought it to ruin. The poverty, misery and filth we have seen and experienced in the past weeks is indescribable.
You back home cannot imagine the terrible results of Bolshevism in this fruitful land.
Everything that we formerly read in newspapers and books pales in the face of the terrible reality. Our eyes look in vain for some sign of construction, for a trace of progress, for a bit of culture. We yearn for the sight of a clean house, an orderly street, a few tended gardens, a few trees! Wherever we look there is filth, decay, desolation, misery, death and suffering! Everywhere we see the ghost of Bolshevism in the tortured look of farmers, the blank stares of captives, the hundreds of murdered people, the farm houses of impoverished buildings and ruined houses. I sometimes think it is all the work of the devil.
The land was rich when it was inhabited by German, Ukrainian, Czech and Polish farmers. Then Bolshevism came, and with it enormous misery. Everything that was prosperous or cultured was killed or burned. I spoke with dozens of people whose family members, fathers, husbands, brothers and sons perished somewhere in Murmansk, Siberia or the icy north. Thousands died during the great famine, particularly in 1932-1933. Thousands more ended up in prisons and jails. The misery of those freed from Bolshevism is indescribable. Any free expression was prohibited, any movement banned. Everything in nature that was beautiful, good and free was destroyed. Everything created by God was exterminated! They took the blessing from the land and the soul from the people. They reduced them to the level of animals, impotent, miserable enslaved animals with no hope of life who did not know if they would be alive tomorrow, who lived from hand to mouth, and were happy only when someone killed them. Hell can be no worse that this "Soviet paradise." There is no hope of salvation. What Bolshevism has done to humanity is a sin against God, a crime one cannot begin to understand. Every German who formerly thought Bolshevism was a worthy idea and who threatened we National Socialists with death and bloodshed only because we didn't believe in this nonsense should be ashamed!
We were right! We are all shaken and moved as we face this misery, this suffering, this hopeless Bolshevist life. They stole everything from these people except the very air they breathed. The land they inherited from their fathers became a collective, the property of the state, and they became slaves worse than those of the darkest Middle Ages in Germany. They had a tiny plot of land of their own, and even that was heavily taxed. They had to report to the collective's commissars each morning, work the whole day, even Sunday, with no free time. They belonged to the state. They were supposedly paid, but rarely saw the money. They got 33 kopeks a day, about a third of a Mark. They owned no plow, no spade, no wagon, no yoke. Everything supposedly belonged to everyone, everything belonged to the state. The Jews and party bigwigs lived in prosperity, the farmers had only hunger, misery, work and death. No one felt himself responsible for the soil, no one felt the love we Germans have for our homeland, for the soil that is ours. The knowledge of blood and soil had died out. I spoke with 30-year-olds who did not understand the concept of property. They had been educated in Soviet schools. That explains why they had no sense of culture, no need for it. Their homes are empty, cold and desolate, much poorer than in Poland. No pictures, no flowers break the desolation.
The art of cooking also disappeared, given the food shortages. The daily diet consists of milk and bread, along with a bit of honey and a few potatoes. When one see this dismal poverty, one is reminded that these Bolshevist animals wanted to bring culture to us industrious, clean and creative Germans. How God has blessed us! How justified is the Führer's claim to European leadership! The poorest German village is a pearl in comparison to these ruined Russian villages. Sometimes as I face the thousands of murdered people that we found in the cities and villages, and in the numerous occasions where we found women and children wailing over the corpses of their family members, or when they asked us to free their men who had been hauled off just before we arrived, I see the Führer before me. He saved an enslaved and raped humanity, giving it once more divine freedom and the blessing of a worthy existence. The last and deepest reason for this war is to restore the natural and godly order. It is a battle against slavery, against Bolshevist insanity. I am proud, deeply proud, that I may fight against this Bolshevist monster, fighting once again the enemy I fought to destroy during the hard years of struggle in Germany. I am proud of the wounds I suffered during the election battles in Germany, and I am proud of my new wounds, and of the medal that I now wear. It is as if the people here are awakening from a deep sleep. They cannot yet believe in their new freedom; they do not know where to begin. They sit down and wait for orders. Now they have them: "Go back to work, harvest the fields, now you have your own home." That is what all the posters say, and one sees the masses at work in the fields. Man and nature are free again, God has his place once more, his eternal order has been restored. We National Socialist soldiers of Adolf Hitler have restored the godly order, though some call us heathens. That is the way life is. And what did those who spoke about God do? Ask them!"
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Staff Sergeant Kurt Hummel
Military Post Number L 31 605 Lg Pa. Paris, to his local group:
Northern Russia, 12 August 1941
Bolshevist conditions are indescribable. I had never imagined that such misery was possible. People here know nothing about electric lights, radio, newspapers and the like. One can't call what they live in houses. There are only shanties with rotten straw roofs.
Huge neglected fields lay around. We haven't yet found even a small shop. This is what people call the Soviet paradise. I wish the few outsiders who still remain in Germany could be shipped here. There is misery wherever one looks. One has to see it to realize how beautiful Germany is.
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Medical corporal Paul Lenz
Military Post Number 7 14 628 Posen, to the local group of the NSDAP, Arneburg:
Only a Jew can be a Bolshevist; for these bloodsuckers there is nothing better to be, for there is then nothing to stop them. Wherever one spits there is a Jew, whether in a city or a village. As far as I know (we asked the people, wanting to know the truth) not a single Jew every worked in the workers' paradise. Even the littlest bloodsucker had a post with big privileges. He lived in the best buildings, if one can call them buildings. The real workers lived in small buildings, or better, in animal stalls, just like day laborers in old Russia. It makes no difference whether one is in a village or in a city like Minsk with over 300,000 inhabitants, the stalls are everywhere. Even before the war, most workers knew nothing but hunger, misery and slavery. Some may be interested to know that there were theaters, operas, etc., even big buildings for them, but only those with money got in, and they were the blood suckers and their lackeys.
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Sergeant Paul Rubelt
Military Post Number 34 539 F, to Miss Grete Egger, Lebring 71, Steieirark:
I was in Lemberg yesterday and saw a bloodbath. It was terrible. Many had their skin stripped off, men were castrated, their eyes poked out, arms or legs chopped off. Some were nailed to the wall, 30-40 were sealed into a small room and suffocated. About 650 people in this area must have died in such ways. The stench can be endured only if one smokes a cigarette and keeps a handkerchief over one's nose. The Jews did most of it.
Now they have to dig the graves. The culprits will be shot. Many already died because of the stench. In this city they even opened graves and defiled the corpses. It is terrible. One can hardly believe that such people exist.
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NCO K. Suffner
Military Post Number 08 070 to his work mates:
There was a gray cloud over Lemberg as we arrived. The stench was scarcely tolerable.
The Russians had been thrown out of the city after a hard battle. Two hours later I found the source of the stench. The Bolshevists and Jews bestially murdered 12,000 Germans and Ukrainians. I saw pregnant women hanging by their feet in the GPU's prison. They had slit the noses, ears, eyes, fingers, hands and arms and legs of other women. Some even had their hearts cut out. 300 orphans between the ages of 2 and 17 had been nailed to the wall and butchered. After they were done with the torture, they threw the people, most of whom were still alive, into a 3 meter deep pile in the basement, doused them with gasoline, and lit them on fire. It was terrible! We could not believe that such human beasts existed. Our propagandists do not say enough about the real face of Bolshevism. The day we marched into Lemberg, the surviving Ukrainians gathered 2,000 Jews in jail and took terrible revenge. The Jews then had to carry out all the dead and load them on wagons.
The police kept the people back. It was a heartrending sight to see the women lamenting their husbands and children, and the men clenching their fists with bitter, pale faces. One can't describe the dreadful scenes here. It is what the German people would have suffered if Bolshevism had reached us. The complainers and know-it-alls that we still have in the Reich should see this. Then they would know what pure Bolshevism looks like. They would fall to their knees and thank the Führer for saving Germany from such things. I and many other German soldiers have seen this. We all thank the Führer that he let us see the Bolshevist "paradise." We swear to extirpate this plague root and branch.
Since I have some time today, I thought it my duty to write this so that my work mates at home can read it. We soldiers at the front have seen this with our own eyes. We will be able to tell a lot more later.
We are fighting until final victory.
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Lieutenant Lorenz Wächter
to a Political Leader in Neunkirchen:
...I really can't describe what we saw in Lemberg. It is much, much worse that the German newspapers were able to describe. One has to have seen it. Even the stench of corpses, noticeable a long way outside the prison walls, was enough to make one ill. And the scene itself. Hundreds of murdered men, women and children, hideously mutilated.
Men had their eyes poked out, a pastor with his belly slit open and the body of a slaughtered baby stuffed in. I could tell you worse stories, but even these upset me, and I'm used to such things by now.
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Corporal Otto Kien
Military Post Number 18, 756, to the Factory Leadership at the Conrad Scholtz Factory. Barmbeck:
Russia, 8 August 1941
Anyone who earlier had different opinions of the Soviet Union is quickly cured of them here. The poverty is terrible. Not even the farmers have anything to eat. They beg from us.
There are lice and filth everywhere. One has to be careful one doesn't get them from the inhabitants.
These people don't know anything else. They sit in their huts and remove lice from each other. They don't mind if anyone watches. I've had my fill of this workers' paradise. We'll be glad to be out of here. In the past we saw pictures of malnourished children. They were not exaggerated. One can't believe it if one hasn't been here.