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Remembered Today:

Eastern Fronts: NO ONE LEFT BEHIND!


John Gilinsky
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Based on recent Eastern Front related threads and posts I am starting this thread:

This is an open request to ANYONE ANYWHERE in the WORLD who wishes to

a) remember ALL the soldiers who lived, fought, worked and were killed or died on the Eastern Fronts of WWI from August 1, 1914 to November, 1917 especially BUT also including the Russian Civil War and other central and Eastern European countries during 1918 to circa 1922

B) LEAVE NO ONE BEHIND! to the untold numbers of forgotten dead of the Eastern Front(s)

by

1) posting here RESOURCES of ALL KINDS: (books, websites, discussion groups, cemetery care groups locally, veteran's groups, commemorative events, reburials, cemetery makeovers or repairs, archives, lists, casualty lists, biographies, articles, military orders, histories, medical histories, medical reports, cemtery registers, pow lists, etc...) that will facilitate ANYONE ANYWHERE in the WORLD ascertaining WHO, WHERE, WHEN and possibly HOW AND WHY someone, anyone died or was killed on the Eastern Front(s) AND HOW such individuals and/or organizations are commemorated or remembered TODAY.

2) communicate with ANYONE else via this thread to build trust, respect and mutual assistance to others who share the same general goals as above.

May the millions who died or were killed on or near the Eastern Fronts (remember the rear areas/lines of the Front such as Kiev, Ukraine) finally get the respect that was denied them for decades. Let : "NO ONE GETS LEFT BEHIND" be our motto!

John

Toronto

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Are there navigable routes for a keelboat down the Eastern Front?

The people you would like to communicate with do exist, John, but most of them are in Germany, Poland and Russia.

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Thanks Mick for your gentle push overboard! :D The language while English is universal: we all look at cemeteries, graves, war memorials and monuments and the like and we don't need dicitonaries to transalte do we?

John

Toronto

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well can ANYONE offer practical tips, specific citations or good recommendations? There are people around the world who are interested in the Eastern Front(s) of World War I considering globalization, mass media, post-1989 events in the areas directly involved, etc.... and NOT just in those areas. The Eastern Front(s) were after all part of a WORLD WAR.

John

Toronto

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The current (Vol. 4, No. 4, Nov. 2009) issue of the academic jouurnal War in History contains a review of a book by Timothy C. Dowling titled The Brusilov Offensive (Indiana University Press, 2008, 208 pp, £18.99 boards, ISBN 978 0 253 35130 2). The reviewer, Alex Marshall of Glasgow University, is very positive. The book is largely based on documents from Austrian State Archives, which means, as Marshall points out, that it's particularly strong on the causes of the poor Austro-Hungarian performance. The only criticisms in the review are that it concentrates on Brusilov to the exclusion of the rest of the Russian general staff and that the maps aren't very useful.

The review points out that:

'The military history of the Eastern Front in the First World War has rtraditionally beem neglected by Great War historians, with one or two glorious yet isolated exceptions (Churchill's long-neglected narrative history, Norman Stone's groundbreaking 1975 study, Denis Showalter's more recent study of the battle of Tannenburg). There have also been relatively few studies of the role of Russia in Allied coalition policy before 1917 (Keith Neilson's 1984 work Strategy and Supply: The Anglo-Russian Alliance, 1914-17 is probably the most recent exception).'

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......and why do you stop short of 1917? most German dead were PoWs that were kept captive until 1920/1921 and who died like flies in all those years due to the inhumane situations in the camps and mines. I just read two books on the human sufferings in the camps, not comparable with the ugliest conditions in the West.

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Egbert: Can you please give us the titles / bibliographical data for these two books?

ALSO: Were conditions that atrocious especially for the German POWS due to the effects of war, revolution, anarchy and famine OR were they simply bad for everyone everywhere in the former Russian empire?

John

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John these authentic books are from the 1920s, one from a German Kavallerie officer cadet and the other one from an Austrian officer. If you can read German and have access for these kind of books, I will contact my military librarian again for the name of the authors and titles to get the books. I returned them some 3 or 4 weeks ago, they were from distant libraries in Bavaria.

The chaotic conditions were mainly due to starving, lack of medicine, clothing, lack of proper housing and related heating material

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Egbert : your avatar drives me ..... :D As per authentic I presume that you mean contemporary first person autobiographical type published materials by Central Power men or officers who were POWS in Russia during the war. There is indeed a corpus of postwar (1919 to 1939) German language literature on the Eastern Front(s) including obscure and little known memoir literature that probably contain some interesting commentaries and information. Your points of course illustrate a) the imbalance in perceptions regarding the views of released and literature surviving most likely medical or officer personnel who published their views in a market for "war literature" by veterans and their families after the war compared to the sheer dearth of such literature in the USSR after 1919 thus creating another myth : the barbarity of Russian pow camps compared to the civility and organized nature of the Central Power prisoner of war controlled camps; B) the sheer literacy of better educated generally German or former AH officer elites denouncing their "barbaric" treatment in contrast to the anonymous generalized infrequent treatment of the same or comparable subjects by corresponding Emigre writers whose lack of access to both friends and documents limited these last author's abilities to appear to the average reader to be more convincing and thus believable.

Please give us the bibliographical details for those 2 books.

Thanks for your post,

John

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???? :blink::blink:

Of course i mean first hand accounts from 2 officers/cadets who report on their very own ordeals, written and published in the 20s. If you doubt the authenticity of first hand accounts from German officers/cadets than I suggest do not read them.

curently I am in Athens, Greece on business trip and will report back with correct titles when back home and having contacted my library -as they shall have my data concerning the book loan/lending in the system. Do you read and understand gothic printed German language? If not- you should not ask your library for the books.? My other question is: will you trust German first hand accounts as you probably would do with allied publication written in English language by veterans of the respective time frame? or are you kind of biased towards anything coming from German primary sources and do you disqualify them prematurely as myths?

Got to go for a couple of Ouzo's now

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There are two good books that deal with Central powers POWs in Russia during WW I: POWs and the Great War Captivity on the Eastern Front, Alon Rachamimov and Among Prisoners of War in Russia and Siberia, Elsa Branstorm.

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Egbert: I do understand a little German and yes I can struggle with old German Gothic script though I like so many do find it difficult. You may for my sake and others wish to give us the chapters, sections, pages that deal with the points that DIRECTLY relate to your views and the topic of this thread. Thanks anyway for your contributions again. My German comprehension though is well perhaps less than a little! Still there is always GOOGLE translation!

John

Toronto

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The "Detroit's Own" Polar Bear Memorial Association is dedicated to honoring and maintaining the memory of the 339th Infantry Regiment, the 1st Battalion of the 310th Engineers, the 337th Ambulance Co. and the 337th Field Hospital of the U.S. Army's 85th Division.

These men, officially designated the American North Russian Expeditionary Force and also known as "Detroit's Own" and "Polar Bears", were sent by President Wilson to North Russia where they fought the Bolshevik Red Army from September 1918 through June 1919.

http://pages.prodigy.net/mvgrobbel/photos/...arhonorroll.htm

Polar Bear Memorial Association members and the public are invited to attend

the next Memorial Day Service honoring the "Polar Bears":

Date: Monday, May 31, 2010

Time: 11:00 AM

Location: Polar Bear Monument

White Chapel Memorial Cemetery, Troy, Michigan (just about 10 miles north of Detroit)

Enter from Long Lake Rd. (18 Mile Rd.)

Al

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  • 1 month later...

When I was a boy I had a book in the English language entitled "The Way of a Lancer" or something like that. It was a book by a Polish officer of a Polish light cavalry regiment that fought in the Russian Army. When the Revolution occurred they moved west as a unit, attempting to reach Poland. Quite remarkable descriptions of the astonishing chaos. Some time ago I poked about in abebooks.com and I readily found it, and it was available for a nominal amount. It does not directly address the situation of POWs but it gives the athmospherics.

There are a number of books written after WW I by former German prisoners of war in Russia, I see them frequently for sale, and for reasonable amounts.

When the war started my father's school was closed, and as so many men left the farms with their reserve units my father (and I am sure thousands of other German school boys) was sent to a farm, a Rittergut (noble estate), to get in the 1914 harvest, and to work until he entered the army in 1915. He also worked there a while after the war as a bookkeeper. He told me that many Russian POWs were sent to the farm early in the war, POWs. They were guarded by an old Landsturm man who was armed with an old single-shot rifle, perhaps the Model 1871. As there were many POWs, and the rifle was heavy, one of the prisoners was detailed to the Landsturmmann to carry his heavy rifle. After the war the POWs were sent back to Russia, and then, months later, they started to show up; they had walked perhaps 2000 km trying to reach the farm and rejoin it. They would appear and say: "Remember me, Ivan? How I worked very hard? Can I work on the farm again?" They had never been treated so well in their entire lives (like sleeping between white sheets, which they had never seen), and of course the situation in Russia and Poland was a mess. My father told me some stories about them. He left high school with six languages, five taught at school, but also some Russian, which he learned on a number of trips into pre-war Russia when he was say 15 or 16, so he could talk with them to some degree. It is possible that he was used to translate. He taught me some Russian when I was about 19 so we could work and talk without being understood by those about us.

Egbert, Gruss aus Philadelphia!

Bob Lembke

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  • 2 months later...

Looks like this topic is being left behind! :w00t: Come on! Does anyone know if ANYONE governmental or otherwise is seriously planning, considering or actually doing DNA testing on MASS GRAVES of the Eastern Front of WWI to individually identify such remains?

John

Toronto

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