Ostarbeiters: Guest Workers of the War Time

Ostarbeiters: Guest Workers of the War Time

In the years of WWII the Germans conducted mass deportation of the civil people from the USSR and East Europe to work in Germany. In general five million people (Poles, Russians, Ukrainians etc.) were deported this way. 2,5 million of them were from Ukraine, 1,5 million – from Poland, 400 thousand – from Belarus. Not so many Russians because the Germans could not capture densely populated regions of Russia and big cities except for Rostov-on-Don (1942) and Voronezh (1942-43). Such people were called “Ostarbeiters” by the Germans.

Life of “ostarbeiters” resembled life of guest workers from Tajikistan in modern Russia but with stricter limitations. They lived in special places like labor camps, dormitories and worked for twelve hours a day six days a week.

They earned about 1/3 of the salary of a German paid for the same work. Besides, the cost of food given by the “employer” to a worker was deducted from this sum.

They were forbidden to move freely along Germany and to have sexual contacts with the Germans. To be more precise, a German man could have sex with a female “ostarbeiter” (he was not punished for that) while a German woman who had sex with an eastern slave was severely punished by sitting at a pillary and sending to a concentration camp. It was considered to be a threat for “cleanness of the German race”.

Ostarbeiters: Guest Workers of the War Time

Mariupol, Ukraine. 1943. The agenda of deportation to Germany for some woman.

Ostarbeiters: Guest Workers of the War Time

Kiev. Women are about to be deported to Germany as “ostarbeiters”.

Ostarbeiters: Guest Workers of the War Time

Ostarbeiters: Guest Workers of the War Time

Ostarbeiters: Guest Workers of the War Time

On some days they sent about ten thousand of “white slaves” to German for labour.

Ostarbeiters: Guest Workers of the War Time

The women arrived at the German land.

Ostarbeiters: Guest Workers of the War Time

The process of registration.

Ostarbeiters: Guest Workers of the War Time

Medical examination was obligatory.

Ostarbeiters: Guest Workers of the War Time

In the dormitory – some women came with children if they had nobody to take care of them on the native land.

Ostarbeiters: Guest Workers of the War Time

Ostarbeiters: Guest Workers of the War Time

Ukrainian ostarbeiters are standing in the line for food in Ingolstadt (Bavaria).

Ostarbeiters: Guest Workers of the War Time

The Czech workers at the “Siemens” factory. All major German companies used slave labor during the war.

Ostarbeiters: Guest Workers of the War Time

Ostarbeiters: Guest Workers of the War Time

The passport belonged to a young woman from Smolensk, Russia.

Ostarbeiters: Guest Workers of the War Time

7th of February, Altenburg (Thuringia). The German woman is punished for contacts with an ostarbeiter. She is subjected to public humiliation at the square. The inscription on the tablet reads something like, “I am an outcast of the society”.

Ostarbeiters: Guest Workers of the War Time

November 15, 1940 in Eisenach. The Poles are standing at the pillory. The one whose face we see had a sexual relationship with a German woman. The inscription reads: “I am the polluter of the race”.

Ostarbeiters: Guest Workers of the War Time

Zuttrop. West Germany. May 3, 1945. Fifty seven Russian Ostarbeiters were shot by the SS during the retreat and buried in a mass forest grave. The grave was found by American soldiers of the 95th Infantry Division.

Ostarbeiters: Guest Workers of the War Time

It’s the description of the photo from the American archive.

Ostarbeiters: Guest Workers of the War Time

After this discovery the Americans brought local Germans there and forced them to dig the corpses out. Then they were forced to make a so-called “obligatory examination” of the victims of the German Nazism. On the picture above the German woman closes eyes of her son while passing the bodies by.

Ostarbeiters: Guest Workers of the War Time

The German man dug out a shot Russian baby.

Ostarbeiters: Guest Workers of the War Time

Reburial of the shot ostarbeiters.

Ostarbeiters: Guest Workers of the War Time

After the liberation. The women are standing at the collection point of ostarbeiters for repatriation. However not everyone wanted to go back home. 450 thousand of former captives from the USSR stayed in the West.
But it’s already another story…

via uglich-jj

40 thoughts on “Ostarbeiters: Guest Workers of the War Time”

  1. both of my grandparents were there in Germany during WWII, “working”
    They got money for that work….. 50 years later…. sad but true

    • My grandmothers sister was sent to Germany also, however she was lucky her mistress adored her. She helped a officers wife around the house she worked long hours but they took care of her. When she returned to Belarus she had very nice clothing and everything, they even gave her some money.

  2. Photo of the man with the baby: The insanity of war. I force myself to look at stuff like that so I think not to easy about wars in Afghanistan, the Kaukasus, Irak, Iran, etc, etc, etc (for all sides in the conflicts).

      • since the war, the germans have been brainwashed and conditioned to be ashamed of their history and to stand in the shadow of thugs-imperiums like SSR or USA, who killed indeed more people by real means. you can not tell germans how to behave or to do things. PS: rome imploded because of christianity, proventialism, separatism and economic decline. the cherusker raid was just the final blow rome couldn’t resist. but lets talk about the baltics, finnland, siberia, caucasus or the Kunashiri islands, eh?

      • telling the truth or just your opinion in public costs you up to 7 years in prison in germany. ask
        Germar Rudolf, Jürgen Graf or Ernst Zündel.

  3. The fact that this was done by the Nazis? Wow …. Then Siberia and the Gulag? Hungary? Don bend? You Russians have you done much worse. The front is dominated and shut up too. Europe is a very well remember the “mother country”. The traces of red color. But it’s better if I dealt with only in this site, which was under Nazi rule, and be proud of the red star nyomorotokra. That’s it.

  4. I will NOT weigh the guilt of atrocities on both sides.
    I just mourn all those people who died for nothing, on a political and economic agenda, forced upon them by some madmen.
    There are no Russian, English, French, Italian, German, Japanese etc. etc. civilians who “deserved” this.
    They ALL just wanted to live a peaceful life.
    Unfortunately some bastards thought differently.

    The one picture which tells the story best is the third-last picture – “The German man dug out a shot Russian baby.”
    It could as well been a Russian man who dug out raped German baby.
    Who cares what nationality they were – they were simply humans, and they deserved a happy life.

    All of them.
    Except their political leaders.
    All of them!

    Boris

  5. Guestworkers or slave labourers, Englishrussia has to decide again….
    guess who killed more Ostarbeiters, the reich or the bolsheviks?

  6. My grandfather worked on a factory in Germany as an ostarbeiter. He told that he never lived and ate so GOOD in all of his life.

  7. Both sides did some horrendous things. But you have to admit, Germany was the worst.
    The amazing thing is, how so many people could get caught up in so many lies and follow hitler the way they did.
    At least they know and admit they were wrong. Lots of people don’t. The Japanese still don’t admit to things they did, in China or Korea. But they have become some of the best people around.

    • Japanese were evil. Croats, Romanians, Lithuanians, and Latvians were evil bastards. I don’t think any of these nations have ever admitted they did anything wrong.

      • Oh, would you like to elaborate on the Lithuanians and Latvians. Personal experience I guess. You were tortured during the war. Ahh I see, you are one of those who hears something in the distance and reasons it must be true.

  8. My grandfather was osterbeiter 1942-1945. He was 14 yo when he was taken.
    Fear, starvation, humiliation, hard work for food.
    He was in labour camp in Rur region. They pushed wagons instead of a locomotive on railway station.
    He was released in 1945 by U.S. troops. After filtration labour, he returned to home, in Donetsk region, Ukraine
    Finished school, enter to university and graduated.
    then moved to a small town in the Gorky region – away from homeStill, times were tough – even before the Twentieth Congress, and “ostarbeiter” – it was spot on biography. where he lived all his life happily. worked. joined the party. was a staunch communist. became head of the factory railway. He died in 1992 of a heart attack

  9. My grandparents (mother’s side) helped escaped Russian workers and hid them from the Germans in and around their little farm. The Russians escaped the colemines in Belgian Limburg. After the war they were never heared from again, but that might not be too difficult to explain, with the cold war going on.

  10. My father was Dutch but was raided in Germny before the war. He was conscripted into the Free Dutch Army in Australia but he refused to serve, and he was imprisoned as a “sympathiser”. I only learnt this as an adult and as he said – Wars are always about money, so why would I go and kill Germans who I know are good people. Its only about rich people trying to get richer. – I find it fascinating that so many of the ostbeiters chose to stay in the post war Europe rather than return. I guess not all the Germans were so cruel.

  11. mon père a été fait prisonnier à dnipropetrovsk .je ne sais pas si il était ostarbeiter ou dans un camp de concentration. Il n’a jamais parlé de çà. Il s’appelait Ivan Kononov né le 14 septembre 1926.quand il a été arrêté il était en possession d’un poste émetteur ,il était avec les résistant .Je pense chaque jour à tout çà .Je voudrai retrouver sa ‘trace’ pour mes enfants et petits enfants.

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