Staunton, May 13 – Sometimes the driest of statistics throw a harsher light on reality than any longer discussion. According to official statistics, during World War II, Soviet tribunals convicted more than 2.5 million Soviet citizens, condemned 472,000 for “counter-revolutionary activity,” and executed 217,000.
“The death sentences, Radio Liberty’s Dmitry Volchek notes, were mostly carried out by the Special Department, later SMERSH, or by a group of the victim’s fellow Red Army soldiers.” Just how horrific these numbers are and what they say about the Soviet population’s much-ballyhooed enthusiastic support of Stalin is shown by comparisons with executions in other countries.
During World War II, British military tribunals sentenced to death 40 soldiers, French ones, 102, and American ones, 146. German military tribunals, Volchek reports, sentenced to death some 30,000 soldiers – and approximately the same number of German deserters at the end of the war (svoboda.org/a/29219412.html).