31 October 1941* (no number)

Report to NKVD chief Beria. The activities of a special NKVD division at front, from 22 June until 19 October 1941: 657,364 arrested, majority sent back in penal batallions; 25,878 detained, over 10,000 shot (3 pp). [R 31 October 1941]

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[page one of three]

Top Secret

Attention:
People’s Commissar of Internal Affairs,
Commissar General of State Security of the USSR

Comrade Beria

MEMORANDUM

Since the start of the war, until 10 October 1941, the Special Sections and barrier troops of the NKVD, have detained 657,364 servicemen who failed to keep up with their front-line units or who deserted them.

Of these numbers, the special departments’ anti-retreat forces have detained 249,969 and NKVD blocking units — 407,395 servicemen.

From among the detainees the special departments have arrested … [Penal battalions] have been formed from among 632,486 arrestees and dispatched to the front.

Among those imprisoned by the Special Sections are:

Spies          1,505

Saboteurs ……          308

Cowards ……     2,621

Deserters ……    2,643

Scare-mongers ……    8,772

Those spreading provocative rumours ……  3,987

Self-mutilators ……  1,671

Others …..       4,371

Total:  ……     25,878

In accordance with decrees issued by the Special Sections and the verdicts of the military tribunals 10,321 individuals were shot, 3,321 of them before their fellow soldiers.[1]

 

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[page two]                                                                                                                2.

Above data categorized per front:

Leningrad Front:

  • Arrested: 1,044;
  • Shot: 854;
  • Shot in front of fellow soldiers – 430;

Karelian Front:

  • Arrested: 468;
  • Shot: 263;
  • Shot in front of fellow soldiers -132

Northern Front:

  • Arrested: 1,683;
  • Shot: 933;
  • Shot in front of fellow soldiers – 280

Northwestern Front:

  • Arrested: 3,440;
  • Shot: 1,600;
  • Shot in front of fellow soldiers – 730

Western Front:

  • Arrested: 4,013;
  • Shot: 2,136;
  • Shot in front of fellow soldiers – 556

Southwestern Front:

  • Arrested: 3,249;
  • Shot: 868;
  • Shot in front of fellow soldiers – 280;

Southern Front:

  • Arrested: 3,599;
  • Shot: 919;
  • Shot in front of fellow soldiers – 191;

Bryansk Front:

  • Arrested: 799;
  • Shot: 389;
  • Shot in front of fellow soldiers – 107

Central Front:

  • Arrested: 686;
  • Shot: 346;
  • Shot in front of fellow soldiers – 234

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[page three]                                                                                                             3.

Armies in Reserve:

  • Arrested: 2,516;
  • Shot: 894;
  • Shot in front of fellow soldiers – 157.

 

(Signed) Milshtein,

Commissar of State Security, 3nd Class,
Deputy Head, Directorate of Special Sections, NKVD of the USSR

October, 1941

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NOTES
[1] Execution, whether in front of fellow soldiers or in captivity, usually took the form of a shot to the rear of the head.
General
1. Notes and additions by translator and editor are bracketed, thus [ ];
2. Text added by hand is indicated in italic script;
3. when a handwritten phrase, figure or word has been inserted
in a previously typed document it is indicated by underlined italic script.
Translation, George Sklyar, July 2010

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