We are Social

by James D. Sanders
Co-Author, Soldier's of Misfortune
Co-Author, The Men We Left Behind

The Department of Defense knew that 99,101 American POWs were reported by the Germans to have been captured and placed in the German prison camp sustem dureing World War II [1] Only 91,255 returned. By May 15, 1945, the Pentagon believed 25,000 American POWs "liberated" by the Red Army were still being held hostage to Soviet demands that all "Soviet citizens" be returned to Soviet control, "without exception" and by force iuf necessary, as agreed to at the Yalta Conference in February 1945. When the U.S. refused to return some military formations composed of Soviet citizens, such as the First Ukrainian SS Division, Stalin retaliated by returning only 4,116 of the hostage Amercan POWs. On June 1, 1945, the United States Government issued documents, signed by General Dwight D. Eisenhower, explaining away the loss of approximately 20,000 POWs remaining under Stalin's control.

As early as 1948, the United States began to receive reports of American POWs enslaved in Siveria, some building tanks for the Soviet Army. Photos of young American soldiers, in uniform, taken before the now enslaved Americans departed to fight the Nazi's, were smuggled out of the gulag. On the back of some of the photos was the name and address of these Americans, enslaved because of a failed foreign policy.[2]

Siberian camps for World War II American and British POWs were observed into the 1960s by Soviet MVD Colonel Vladimir Makarovich.

Task Force Russia (TFR), in 1992 developed information on at least three "Soviet NKVD Camps for Eonglish-speaking people (Moscow 024353)," [3] Camp 27 (Krasnodar); Camp 64 (Tambov), Camp 4B (Ivanov "and any other corollary facilities.")[4]

Two documents surfaced at the National Archives related to American (and English) POWs at Tambov. On December 10, 1945, the American Embassy in Moscow received the following message:

Information received here that as of 30 August 1945 the Russians were holding prisoner approximately 45 American enlisted men and two officers, one captain and on lieutenant, at Rada near Tambov in the Stalingrad area. Prisoners were reported in barbed wire under guard.[5] One week later the OSS received Tambov information from a Pole who had been captured by the Russians in 1944. In April 1945 he was placed in a Soviet prison camp at Tambov with "several score Americans" as well as "Englishmen." The "Englishmen and Americans asked him urgently to notify the Allied authorities of their plight."[6]

Maria Il'inichna Filippova worked in this camp's registration office. In 1992 she confirmed that "she encountered American and British names while going through the questionaire that each prisoner had to fill out." And, an NKVD officer who was assigned to this camp between 1943-46, Aleksei Nikolaevich Lobanov, "remembers that there were usually a relatively small number of Americans there."[7]

On April 28, 1945, NKVD troops were given written instructions "to confine American citizens in Camp 188 [Rada]." On May 11th, Major Yusichev, senior NKVD officer at Rada, received a message that there were "2,500 French. . . American and British POWs who will arrive shortly."[8]

Roger Koehren, a French POW held by the Soviets at Tambov after the war ended, recalled that:

With me in barrack(quarantine) number one, there were American and English aviators. They had all been held in German Stalags or in eastern Gernamy and were, like the Alsacians, gathered at Tambov to be repatriated. I do not know what happened to these poor pilots, they were not repatriated with us at the end of 1945.[9] As the clouds of Government cover-up appeared on the horizon in the early 1990s, Paul M. Cole, Ph.D, was hired by Dod to write the Government version of possible Soviet retention of American POWs after World War II. This "report" was financed at taxpayer expense under DoD contract number MDA903-90-C-0004. It can best be described as an excellent example of bureaucratic obfuscation of a fifty-year old cover-up.

In order to create an alleged scholarly defense of the bureaucracy, Dr. Cole was forced to ignore Battle Casualties of the Army, found in the National Arhives Record Group 407. These are World War II records prepared by the Machine Records Branch, Office of the Adjutant General (under direction of the Statistics Branch), for the War Department General Staff. The records state that the Germans reported the capture of 99,101 Americans before their reporting system broke down in March, 1945.

But the United States Government cannot use 99,101 known POWs as the official number because only 91,255 returned. [10] And, more than 8,000 of these returnees were POWs captured after the German reporting system broke down.[11] In other words, only 83,000 Americans caputred by the Germans and reported through the Swiss Red Cross to the United States government, returned after the war. Worse yet, no Nazi scapegoats were hanged for this loss of thousands of Americans.

The government solution in 1945, and again in 1992, was to allege that only 76,854 POWs were "estimated" to be held by the Germans as of March 15, 1945.[12] The Germans actually captured 77,120 U.S. Army personnel in the European theater. This is the figure upon which the Government "estimate" is based, and it is a deliberate deception because there were also 20,277 Americans captured in the Mediterranean theater as well as 1,704 captured in the early fighting in North Africa, for a total of 99,101.[13]

Paul Cole, using the 76,854 to anchor his reasoning, concluded: "For it to be true that about 23,000 American POWs were liberated from Nazi German camps, transferred to USSR territory and never repatriated, all of the following must be true:

1. That the entire historical record, including the RAMP's report, has been falsified. . . . [14]
2. That Supreme Allied Headquarters deliberately distorted estimates of Americans in Nazi camps following the first day of the Normandy invasion to arrive at a final March 1945 estimate. . . .
3. That the Soviets had at one time in their custody approximately 56,500 American POWs, 23,000 of whom were not estimated as POWs by Allied Headquarters, were not carried as POWs in German records, and all of whom were successfully transported to and imprisoned in the USSR without a trace. . . .[15]

6. That the reporting of the post-war U.S. Army "psypool" program, designed to collect information on Americans in Soviet custody in the 1950s, was tampered with. . . .[N]ot a single live sighting was received.>16]

As earlier proved, RAMPs has in fact been fasified. Supreme Allied Headquarters did deliberately, after the fact, conveniently forget than an additional 21,981 American POWs were caputred in the Mediterranean and North African theaters.

Paul Cole's point six, above, is fabricated and without serious merit. See Soldiers of Misfortune, chapters 9 and 11 for a discussion of the significant documentation available on World War II American POWs in the gulag. One of them, Sergeant Jim Patrick, surfaced in Moscow in June 1992. His story was published in Pravda on June 11, 1992, on page 2. DIA has, to date, stonewalled all efforts to obtain Sergeant Jim Patrick's debriefing report and final disposition.

And, the United States Government refuses to declassify thousands of World War II documents from AFHQ files--all related to "Russian matters," POW exchanges and forcible repatriation.

Why would the United States go to the extreme measure of fraudulently using taxpayer money to rebury a fifty-year old cover-up? Because the events that ocurred at the end of World War II opened the door for Soviet and Communist Bloc retention of American POWs during the Korean, Cold and Vietnam Wars.

If the public knew precisely what happened in 1945, there could be no doubt about the fate of Americans lost in more recent wars. Nor could there be any doubt about the veracity of government statements and actions since the Vietnam war ended with the abandonment of hundreds of American POWs held in the Vietnamese second tier prison system, hostages to Hanoi's demand for payment of war reparations.

1. U.S. Army, Statistics and Analysis Branch, August 1945.

2. National Archives, June 19, 1992, document outlining the "Preliminary Research Strategy" of the U.S. side of the Joint U.S./Soviet Commission on POWs/MIAs: "The U.S. side was told that the MVD has a master fingerprint file of all persons who were apprehended by or in control of the MVD, dating back to at least as far as World War II. . . . The U.S. does not know whether it is even possible to determine nationality from the fingerprint card; if nationality is listed it would probably require sequential search of all 17,000,000 cards to find all the persons recorded as U.S." p. 2 of Trudy Huskamp peterson cover letter. The following is from page 2 of the Preliminary Research Strategy, World War II: "Options. If the U.S. wants a full accounting of all persons who went through Soviet control, there appear to be two principal sources: (1) the records of the Repatriation Affairs Directoate and (2) the records of the Ministry of Defense's administration of the front lines and transit camps. The problem is that the U.S. side was told in March (1992) that if the person was transferred from a repatriation camp to the internal prison system the card and file on the person may have been pulled and transferred to the [presumably] MVD, leaving no trace in the records of the Repatriation Directorate. . . .(t)he U.S. has no way to judge how fully and accurately the camp order books recorded the movement of individuals and how consistently nationality is recorded."

3. Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, International Security Affairs, Memo for Task Force Russia, TFR Operational Priorities, September 10, 1992, p.2.

4. Ibid

5. Message S-34414 to American Embassy, Moscow.

6. National Archives, OSS files, December 18, 1945, document entitled: U.S.S.R. POW and Internee Camp Near Tambov.

7. RAND, POW/MIA Issues, Volume 2, World War II and the early Cold War, (hereafter referenced as the RAND Report) p.23 This report, commissioned by the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Staff, contract number MDA903-90-C-0004, is of some limited use as a source of information from the early TFR research in the old Soviet Union. Its primary value, however, is as a classic example of Government pettifogging and disinformation.

8. From Chief of the UNKVD T/O Colonel of State Security Lushuk and Chief of the OPVI UNKVDT/Major of State Security Livshits (Top Secret), to Chief Administrator, Camp 188, Major of State Security Yusichev, Station Rada, May 11, 1945, as reported in RAND Report.

9. Rand Report, pp. 24-25.

10. The actual figure is probably 85-86,000, but, for the sake of simplicity we will use the [U.S.] Government's own official number.

11. An exact number was provided for General George C. Marshall on June 18,1945, but it has never been located in the national Archives. A hand written message has been found in the files stating that 8-9,000 of the returnees were MIAs and not POWs. Dated June 7, 1945, there is a notation that the exact number will be provided the next day.

12. Rand Report, p. 3 This number is also stated on page 30. This number is from RAMPS, Recovered Allied Military Personnel, the [U.S.] Governments 1946 version of how they wish things had actually happened.

13. National Archives (NA), Battle casualties of the Army, Record Group 407, Entry 389, box 458.

14. RAND Report, p. 30. This section is so extraordinarily shrill that only the principal allegation is placed in the body of the manuscript. The remainder of Paul Cole's number one is: ". . . .and every one of the thousands of military and government officials who produced it [RAMPS] have participated in a cover-up that has lasted nearly fifty years." The facts are considerably different. The staff that wrote RAMPs consisted of about ten people, whose names are listed at the front of the report. RAMPs was written with the material these people were given to work with. They did not go out and uncover the true, unvarnished truth---RAMPs is, after all, a [U.S.]Government version of history.

15. The next two points, 4 and 5, are so uncompromisingly incompetently written that absolutely no point can be discerned from the verbiage.

16. The final two, numbers 7 and 8, are nothing more than hysterical polemics. Seven suggests that Cole took the records of the POWs who wrote home, combined them with the records of every American who received a Red Cross package and cross-referenced this list with the list of all American POWs held by the Germans and came up with no discrepancies. Neither Paul Cole or any other member of the bureaucracy performed this analysis---it would prove extraordinary incompetence to even attempt such an analysis. On the other hand, the bureaucracy does have the ability to take the 99,101 known POWs and cross-reference them with the roster of POWs who did return. But neither Paul Cole or DOD did this---for obvious reasons. It would provide a list of Americans kept by the Soviet Union after World War II with the full knowledge of the United States Government.