News Agency Says More Than 43,000 Germans Died in Soviet Camps After War
EAST BERLIN (AP) _ More than 43,000 Germans died in Soviet internment camps that were set up in what is now East Germany after World War II, the East Germany news agency ADN says.
Nearly all of them died of illnesses such as tuberculosis, the agency said in a report Tuesday.
The news agency said its report was based on information obtained by East German Interior Minister Peter-Michael Diestel during a visit to Soviet Union. More than 122,000 Germans were interned by the Soviets from 1945 to 1950, the agency said, and of those, 42,889 died of sickness and 756 were condemned to death by a military court.
Another 12,770 were deported to the Soviet Union, and 6,680 were transferred to prisoner of war camps, ADN said, without elaborating. The others were released or escaped, the news agency added.
Georgi Kynin, deputy head of the division for diplomatic history in Moscow’s Foreign Ministry, was quoted as saying the camps were necessary to remove fascism and militarist elements from German society.
He said the number of prisoners executed accounted for less than 1 percent of those interned.
He said 4 million Soviet soldiers had died in Nazi concentration camps.