Stalin Sends Volga Germans to Siberia
"Stalin Sends Volga Germans to Siberia." Southern California Chapter Newsletter, Fall 2001.
Russian government has directed that 390,000 persons of German extraction be moved from the Volga autonomous republic, designated as (2) in this map, to various parts of Siberia. Moscow says the move is necessary because there are tens of thousands of German agents in the region. The Volga residents will be given land in the Omsk, Novosibirsk and Altai mountain areas (3). Meanwhile, Moscow announced the entire battle front (1) from Leningrad through Gomel, Kiev and Odessa was in ferment with bitter clashes raging in all sectors. Germany said Leningrad was surrounded with Lake Ladoga as the only way out for the defenders.
Removal of Germans on Volga presents real problem to Reds
With shortage of Rail Equipment and the Bitter Russian Winter Setting In, 2,000-mile Trek to Siberia Will Be Great Event in History.
The decision of the Soviet government to uproot some 390,000 people of German extraction from their homes on the lower Volga, and start them off in a mass migration movement to Siberia must rank among the most extraordinary military operations of its kind in history.
Moscow explains that this action was necessitated by the presence of "tens of thousands" of fifth columnists among the population of the German Volga territory. The government charges that the people of this little republic have been harboring these saboteurs who were all set to start operations against the Reds when Hitler gave the signal.
The imagination bogs down in trying to envisage this trek across the great Russian steppes and through the Ural mountains for some 2,000 miles to new homes. That's a mighty lot of people to move--more than the populations of Indianapolis, Rochester, Louisville or Seattle--about as many as live in Kansas City.
Order shows Reds will fight to finish
Even under the best of conditions this would present a gigantic task. And now the fierce Russian winter is about to close in. The Soviet is short of rolling stock for its railroads, and how it is expected to move this great army is a mystery, not to mention transportation of household effects and farming implements.
If the operation is to be undertaken over snow-blocked roads, in the face of blizzards and devastating cold, we shall have such a story rarely has been told. Perhaps, however, the Bolshevists do figure on moving the people and their effects by train.
However that may be, this gives a fair determination of the Reds to fight the Nazi invaders to a finish--though we need no further proof than has been given already in the great defense offered by Soviet armies and civilians. It also is a striking example of the alertness of the Muscovite government and its thoroughness. We have seen the Bolshevists destroy whole cities and great engineering works as they retreated before the enemy, and now we find them moving a vast population--not 100 or 500 miles, but 2,000.
The presence of large numbers of spies in the German Volga republic presents a grave threat to the Russian...strategic area. If you will look at your maps you will see that it straddles the Volga river only about 300 miles north of the Caspian sea.
Now the Volga is likely to be one of the main Red defensive lines, if they get pushed back that far. It provides a powerful position and it is, of course, vital that it shall not be infested by a swarm of Hitlerian fifth columnists.
Before the Germans reach the Volga, there are other rivers, notably the Don, which also afford strong protection, and it might be disastrous to have these Nazi saboteurs on the Volga busy back of the Red army. By cooperation with the German parachute troops they might even put a sizable fighting force into the field to attack the Reds from the rear.