Yemelyan Yaroslavsky 1941
Author: Yemelyan Yaroslavsky;
First published: 1942 as Chto neset fashizm krest'yanstvu;
Translated by: Anton P.
The word Fascism comes from the Latin-Italian word fascio; translated into our language, this word means “bundle”, “union”. But there are different kinds of unions. There are unions of workers and peasants. The fascists created unions of imperialists, exploiters and landowners. They created unions of parasites against workers and peasants, against freedom-loving peoples.
The fascists first appeared in Italy. After the first imperialist world war in 1919, the first fascist unions began to emerge there. Who created these unions? They were created by Italian landowners, bankers, manufacturers, factory owners, merchants, wealthy lawyers, and kulaks to fight against the workers and peasants. The workers of Italy and the peasants began to take away factories and plants from the Italian parasites, the exploiters, in order to make them a national property, and red flags were hung in many factories occupied by the Italian workers in 1919-1920; at the same time, peasants began to expropriate land from landlords and kulaks.
Then the worst enemies of the Italian people, the capitalists, landowners and kulaks, called on the fascists to help them. What is the fascist party, which classes govern it? Among the 152 thousand members of the fascist party (data from the census made in November 1921) there were about 37 thousand merchants, landowners and industrialists alone, not counting almost the same number of kulaks. At the head of this entire criminal gang, which seized power in Italy through murder and terrible violence against workers and peasants, was the traitor of the Italian people, Mussolini. This traitor once called himself a socialist. During the First World Imperialist War, he went over to the side of the capitalists and landowners and became their faithful servant, paid agent. Such traitors are especially harmful and dangerous for the people. The Italian socialists expelled Mussolini, this traitor, from their party, and he openly began to help the bourgeoisie to fight against the workers and peasants.
In October 1922, taking advantage of the weakness of the Italian Communist Party, which had only recently formed in Italy, Mussolini, relying on his fascist thugs and the support of the Italian bourgeoisie, seized state power. Gangs of Italian fascists, the so-called Blackshirts, slaughtered and shot many progressive workers and peasants devoted to the people’s cause. By deception and force, they subdued or destroyed all organizations of workers and peasants, trade unions, and political parties. Italy is a very poor country. The fascists ruined her even more. Mussolini, imagining himself a great commander, promised the people to conquer half the world, to create a great Roman Empire. He started a ruinous war for Italy in Abyssinia, and he managed to capture this weakly armed country. The unfortunate Abyssinian people were enslaved. Tens, hundreds of thousands of Abyssinians were killed and exterminated. Abyssinia was robbed, enslaved.
What did Mussolini and his entire fascist party do with the peasants in two decades? The agriculture of Italy is a backward economy. In many parts of Italy, especially in the south and on the islands, plowing is carried out today almost exclusively with wooden plows, which were plowed in Russia more than a thousand years ago. In the USSR you will not find now such a plow in the most backward collective farm. What is the reason for this backwardness of the peasant economy in Italy under the rule of the fascists? It lies in the fact that the fascists preserved all the remnants of the landlord system, preserved and even strengthened the power exerted on the peasant by the large landowner and kulak. Judge for yourself: 3 thousand large landowners in Italy have over 500 hectares of land each. They own over 5 million hectares of land. All in all, there are 21,000 landowners in Italy with plots of more than 100 hectares each. For every 200 peasant farms in Italy, there is one landowner. At the same time, 651 thousand land-poor peasants all together have about 145 thousand hectares of land, that is, one hectare is for 5 peasant farms, twenty hectares for a peasant household.
Of the 9 million adult peasant population in Italy, almost one third are farm laborers. One fifth of the peasants (20 percent) lease land from the kulaks and landlords: half of the harvest is given to the owner of the land, more than half of the remainder is paid for taxes, and the peasant himself is left with less than a tenth of the harvest. Of the 4 million 200 thousand rural households in Italy, only one fifth can be called medium (from 5 to 20 hectares). But in Italy there are 133 thousand kulak farms, with an area of 20 to 100 hectares in each, employing hired farm laborers.
There is not enough of their own grain in Italy, they have to import it from other countries, because many peasants produce grapes, lemons, oranges on their tiny plots, and they buy the bread themselves. And so the fascists established an import tax on bread. In just 10 years – from 1925 to 1935 – the working people of Italy paid duties on imported wheat of 32 billion lire. Where did this duty go? First of all, in the pockets of the landlords and kulaks. Due to the ruin, many peasants are forced to sell their land. In only one agricultural region of Italy, Piedmont, up to 40 percent of small and medium-sized peasants lost their allotments. More and more often, thousands of peasant farms are sold under the hammer for arrears.
Here is the fruit of the rulership of the fascists in the Italian countryside. As we can see, there are very strong remnants of ancient bondage (shareholding and the like). The land policy of the fascists further ruined the Italian peasants and worsened their economy. The huge military expenditures under the domination of the fascists finally crushed the Italian peasants. The rural population is fleeing from the villages, from taxes; requisitions (without compensation for the selection of livestock, products, raw materials). Many peasants flee in search of work from Italy to other countries. The fascists take away all the food from the peasants. Hiding food is punished in the strictest ways, up to the death penalty.
During the war with Abyssinia and especially since the start of the war with the Soviet Union, the Italian fascists especially intensified the oppression of the peasants. The peasants do not want to fight for the Italian landowners, kulaks, bankers, breeders. They do not want colonies in Abyssinia. They do not want to die in the Soviet country. They do not want to enslave other nations. But they are being chased by a fascist club.
In Germany, the Nazis came to power in 1933. Before that, they tried several times to seize power, but they did not succeed. The fascists succeeded in seizing power in Germany only when the German working class, under the leadership of the German Communist Party led by Ernst Thalmann, began to fight harder and harder against the rule of the bourgeoisie. The big bourgeoisie of Germany, which pushed the German people to war in 1914-1918, now stood for a new war. This ruling capitalist class was afraid of the growth of the labor movement, and felt that the working class was growing stronger and could end bourgeois rule. For reprisals against the working class, for its suppression and in order to free their hands in preparation for a new war, the capitalists called the fascists to power.
At first, the fascists behaved in such a way that they managed to deceive both the petty bourgeoisie and even a part of the workers, posing as the unifiers of the German nation. That is why Comrade Stalin said in his speech on November 6, 1941: “While the Nazis were busy taking back German lands and reuniting the Rhineland, Austria, etc., they could be considered nationalists with a certain reason.” With the help of the fascists, the German bourgeoisie succeeded in crushing the working class and its organizations, the communist party and trade unions by means of terror, murder, executions, prisons, concentration camps, by deceiving the masses and by provocative actions, abolishing all the freedoms won by the people: freedom of speech, press, assembly, unions, and established a dictatorship, that is, the unlimited power of the bourgeoisie.
The German Fascist Party has called and still calls itself the National Socialist Party. As soon as the Nazis came to power, they burned down the German Reichstag (the room where the deputies elected by the German people sat). They blamed the arson on the communists. Many remember how the fascists then disgraced themselves all over the world with the trial of comrade Georgy Mikhailovich Dimitrov, who is currently the General Secretary of the Executive Committee of the Communist International. Comrade Dimitrov then proved in court not only his innocence in this matter and the innocence of the Communist International, but he proved that the Nazis themselves set fire to the Reichstag. No matter how unpleasant and shameful it was for the Nazis, they had to admit Comrade Dimitrov not guilty. The fascists disgraced themselves all over the world.
It is difficult to describe even a tenth of the brutal murders and other crimes of the fascists committed by them in Germany and in other countries during the short period of their rule. The massacres of workers and peasants became the main means of suppressing and intimidating the working people in all countries where the Nazis seized power. So in Germany, in the first three years of their reign alone, more than 5,000 people were killed. In 1933-1934, the Nazis wounded 208 thousand in Germany and arrested 298 thousand opponents of fascism. The Spanish are not lagging behind the German fascists: in 1934 alone, in the whole country of Spain, 6356 people were killed by the Spanish fascists, about 11 thousand were wounded and beaten, more than 75 thousand opponents of fascism were arrested. The fascists literally bathe in the blood of workers and peasants.
Why then do the German fascists call themselves National Socialists? By this they want to say that they are defending national interests, that is, the interests of the German nation, the German people. But is it so? No, that is not true. In his speech on November 6, 1941, Comrade Stalin exposed these impostors. He said: “Can the Nazis be considered nationalists? No. In fact, the Nazis are now not nationalists, but imperialists. After they seized foreign territories and enslaved European nations, Czechs, Slovaks, Poles, Norwegians, Danes, Dutch, Belgians, French, Serbs, Greeks, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Balts, etc. and they began to strive for world domination, the Hitlerite party ceased to be nationalist, for from that moment it became an imperialist, conquering, oppressive party. The party of the Hitlerites is the party of the imperialists, moreover, the most rapacious and robber imperialists among all the imperialists in the world.”
Comrade Stalin also answered the question of whether the Nazis could be considered socialists. As we know, socialists are people who set as their goal the creation of a state in which there are neither masters nor slaves, there is no exploitation of man by man, and in which all means and instruments of production, land, factories, factories, banks, do not belong to individual owners, but to all people, to all working people. The Hitlerites, the fascists, cannot be considered socialists. “In fact,” said Comrade Stalin, “the Hitlerites are sworn enemies of socialism, the most vicious reactionaries and Black Hundreds who have deprived the working class and peoples of Europe of elementary democratic freedoms.”
Comrade Stalin explained in his speech that in fact the order, the state and social system that the Nazis established, is the old exploiting regime. “In essence, the Hitler regime is a copy of the reactionary regime that existed in Russia under Tsarism. It is known that the Nazis just as willingly trample the rights of workers, the rights of the intelligentsia and the rights of peoples, as the Tsarist regime trampled on them, that they just as willingly organize medieval pogroms against Jews as the Tsarist regime arranged for them. The Hitlerite party is the party of the enemies of democratic freedoms, the party of medieval reaction and the Black Hundred pogroms.”
But the fascists are trying to hide their true face from the people. In order to deceive the workers, they sometimes scold the capitalists, but not the German ones, but the American, British, Jewish, call them plutocrats, that is, the power of the rich. And the German capitalists and landowners themselves are the real plutocrats who got rich by robbing the German and other peoples. They helped the fascists to come to power, because the fascists are helping them to plunder the workers and peasants. That is why the biggest German capitalists, bankers, breeders, landlords and merchants spent many millions to fund the fascists, to support them. The biggest German capitalists, like Krupp, Thyssen, Siemens, Voegler and others, did not support the Nazis in vain: they were washing their hands. Having come to power, the fascist rulers themselves: Hitler, Goering, Himmler, Goebbels, Ribbentrop, Ley, like Mussolini, plundered tens, hundreds of millions, “acquired” palaces for themselves, and mocked the working people.
Why do the fascists call themselves socialists? Because socialism attracts workers, peasants and other working people. The working people are striving for socialism. There come the fascists and put on the mask of socialists. When the capitalists were somehow worried about the fact that the fascists in their speeches and newspapers sometimes scold and frighten the capitalists, the fascists told them: you needlessly worry, we are scolding you to divert your eyes, continue to plunder the working people calmly. And the German capitalists are robbing the workers and peasants to the utmost. The fascists, as Comrade Stalin says, are: “crows dressed in peacock feathers ... But no matter how crows dress in peacock feathers, they will not cease to be crows.” The time will come – it is not far off – when the peacock feathers of these ravens will swallow, their heads will be folded! Our struggle is speeding up, bringing closer the hour of reckoning with these villains and monsters.
What kind of order did the German fascists establish for the peasants at home? When the Nazis took power in Germany, they promised the peasants mountains of gold. They also promised mountains of gold to the workers, but they delivered these mountains of gold only to the landowners, the capitalists, and grabbed for themselves as much as they could. Indeed, according to the 1939 census, in Germany 34,000 landowners owned more than 15 million hectares of land, while 1,721,000 small peasant farms owned only 3.5 million hectares on average, but 2 hectares per yard. But 413 large landowners in Germany own an average of 6,775 hectares of land each. More than half of the peasant farms in Germany (53.8 percent) have plots of less than 5 hectares per yard; in total, they own a little more than 8 percent of the total land area in Germany. It is not difficult to understand from these figures alone on which side the fascists are on, whose interests they are defending, who they are helping – the peasants or the landowners.
This can also be seen from the fact that the Nazis left more than 100 thousand hectares of the best land to the family of the former German emperor, Kaiser Wilhelm Hohenzollern. General Brauchitsch owns 120 thousand hectares. Dozens of German princes and fascist ringleaders, like Ribbentrop, have landed estates of several thousand hectares, the Duke of Coburg-Gotta, the chief of motorized detachments, owns 10,000 hectares of land. The Prince of Hesse has 7,000 hectares, the Duke Friedrich of Anhalt has 29,300 hectares, and Count von Arnim-Muskau owns 26,770 hectares. Goering received 20,000 hectares as a “gift” from Hitler. In turn, Hitler received a “gift” from Goering in the form of two ancient castles with land holdings of several thousand hectares.
However, now, being in power, the fascist leaders do not hide the fact that they want to strengthen the nobility and gentry. The fascist Minister of Agriculture Darre, this apostle of fascism, explains that the German nobility is, they say, the highest breed, which God himself intended to rule over the people. In order to create and strengthen such a nobility, the fascists are especially concerned about strengthening the hereditary land holdings. And only large farms – no less than 75 hectares – using hired labor can be considered hereditary land holdings. This means that a huge mass of the peasantry is being ruined in order to create a bourgeois support for the exploiting fascist system from landowners and rich kulaks. The kulaks, taking advantage of the needs of the German small and middle peasants, buy up their allotments and thus create kulak hereditary courts.
The Nazis in Germany in 1933 issued the so-called Law on hereditary courts. Allocated from all peasant households are yards, numbering from 75 to 125 hectares per yard. They make up only about 15 percent of all peasant farms, but they own almost half of the entire land area. This is the new landed nobility. A landowner may have several such hereditary courtyards. Only the bank can take away these farms for debts, but they cannot be sold under the hammer, like peasant farms. The owner of the hereditary court must prove that he has not had a single foreigner in his family since 1800: this is called racial purity. The hereditary court cannot be split up; it goes to the eldest son. The younger ones should work on the farm of the older brother, like farm laborers. The farm laborers are completely powerless, the law does not protect them. The law is on the side of the rich. The rich, the landowner gets all sorts of benefits.
What is the difference between the system created by the fascists and the Tsarist regime? Today in Germany, as before 1917 in Russia, there exists the same class contradiction: on one side landlords and kulaks, on the other tenants, small and middle peasants, farm laborers. What wonder, then, that German peasants and farm laborers flee from the countryside to wherever they can! The fascists themselves had to admit this. The fascist newspaper Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung wrote on March 31, 1939: “Young farm laborers and female laborers are leaving the village, and senior workers are also leaving. Those who remained are trying by hook or by crook to get out of agriculture. And not only workers, but also peasants, office workers and teenagers. Everyone is looking for a different profession in order to escape from the village in this way. The female auxiliary labor force has almost disappeared from the peasant economy. Daughters marry anyone but a peasant. The sons are fleeing the hopeless labor of the peasant economy.”
According to another German fascist newspaper, the Frankfurter Zeitung, between 1933 and 1939, 1.4 million people left the agriculture of Germany, so that many agricultural areas were completely depopulated. The number of livestock in Germany is greatly reduced. During the years of the Nazis’ management of horses, less than a fourth of what was left remained. We must not forget that tractors in Germany are used only by landowners and very rich kulaks. Many peasants, if they have cows, plow on cows. In the German countryside hunger, poverty and arbitrariness reign. 600 thousand so-called peasant leaders (fascists, appointed over each village) are locusts that eat up the fruits of the peasant’s labor, robbing him.
Is it then surprising that in the German countryside the birth rate of children has been threateningly reduced and the peasant youth is becoming more and more skinny, anemic, that consumption and other diseases are ruining the peasant youth? The number of students in village schools is constantly decreasing. In just 3 years, from 1934 to 1937, the number of village schoolchildren decreased by 180,000, that is, by one third. This is the order the German fascists established in their home, in the German countryside. This is what they have brought, they took over the management in their own Germany. What can a Russian peasant, what can the peasants of other nationalities expect from them?
One of Hitler’s former henchmen, Rauschning, published a book called Hitler Told Me. In this book, Rauschning recorded Hitler’s statements on a wide variety of issues and occasions. Let’s hear what Hitler said about the kind of “new order” that the Nazis want to arrange in those countries that they have conquered or are going to conquer: “I will tell you what the future social order will look like: it will have a class of masters, consisting of various elements that will be recruited in battle and thus historically justify their purpose.” This means: the fascists, who self-styled themselves to deceive the people as socialists, first of all want to create a class of masters. But is there no master class in Germany? The “new order” here consists in adding new ones to the old masters from various elements that will be recruited in battle, that is, from the fascist bandits. In Russian it is called “the same cabbage soup but thinner!”
Let’s hear further about this “new order”. “It will have a lot of different party members, arranged according to a hierarchical principle (that is, an initiative. - E. Ya.). These people will enter the middle classes.” Since all state posts, all positions of officials in the state are occupied by fascists, it turns out that the middle class (middle bourgeoisie) will be made up of fascists. So we already have two floors of the fascist staircase built over the people. And who will be under these classes of masters, under the big bourgeoisie, the fascist plutocracy, the aristocracy and the middle bourgeoisie? “Further,” said Hitler to Rauschning, “it will contain a huge mass of anonymous persons, a collection of eternal servants.” Thank you for your frankness! This means that the fascists want to perpetuate such an order in which the servants would be preserved forever. Why do the fascists call such a vile system the “new order”? Is this not the worst serf antiquity, serf bondage that strangled our grandfathers and great-grandfathers?
But listen to what the Nazis are going to do with all the other nations: “Even lower,” says Hitler, “we will have a class of defeated foreigners, those whom we cold-bloodedly call modern slaves. And above all this there will be a new higher aristocracy.” Well, here is the whole Hitlerite fascist “new order”. Slaves and Lords. The most vile old regime, and the fascists say about this vile old regime: “Thus, in the struggle for power within the country and for domination outside of it, a new system is being created.” Now the whole world knows what a new system it is. And we will all fight mercilessly against those who want to impose such a vile order of life on us.
However, we must say that in the circle of “their people”, when the fascists are not shy, they blur out even not such plans. Hitler and his gang want to establish a slave system on a new capitalist basis. Its Minister of Agriculture Darre explicitly admits that “without the creation of a certain form of modern serfdom or even slavery, the development of human culture is impossible.” This same Darre openly blurts out the intention to divide the lands seized by the Nazis in different states, including the USSR, between German soldiers, between the Nazis. “The lands of the countries we have conquered,” says this noble fascist, “will be divided among the soldiers who distinguished themselves and among the exemplary members of the National Socialist Party. Thus, a new landed aristocracy will emerge. This aristocracy will have its own serfs: the local inhabitants ... This will create a new German people, the master.”
This is the kind of threat hanging over all the peasants in the countries conquered by the Germans. They are already beginning to put it into practice. In Poland, Czechoslovakia, France, Yugoslavia, they have already driven millions of peasants from the land and replaced them with their new German masters. But the Russian peasants say correctly: “they count chickens in the fall.” So we will calculate in due time what the Hitlerite bandits received in Soviet soil. In the meantime, we know that millions of Germans have already received land plots from us for eternal use, but not such as they dreamed of when these warriors went to our land: they received two or three arshins of land in the grave, where their bodies rot. It will never happen that the German bastard dominates the Russian people and other peoples of the USSR! Let’s smoke them out, drive them out of our land, destroy the fascist bastards, every single one! And to all of them in eternal possession – these uninvited “guests”, arrogant and greedy invaders – we will give no more land than is necessary to bury this carrion.
On June 22, 1941, at dawn, 170 divisions of German troops, prepared in advance and mobilized for the offensive, crossed the border of the Soviet state. They attacked us, treacherously violating the non-aggression pact concluded between the USSR and Germany in 1939. The German government did not declare war on us. On the contrary, since the time when power in Germany in 1933 passed into the hands of the Nazis, headed by their leader, or, as the Germans call him, “Fuhrer” Hitler, the Nazis insisted that they did not intend to fight against the USSR. So, for example, Hitler said in his speech on March 23, 1933: “The Reich government intends to maintain friendly relations with the Soviet Union, useful to both sides. The government believes that it is they who are in a position to pursue such a positive policy towards Soviet Russia.” The truth is, however, that these and other “peace-loving” speeches were made by Hitler to divert his eyes, in order to quietly prepare for an attack on our state. Hitler is such a dishonest scoundrel that he does not need to lie. He himself always adheres to the rule: “there is no truth, everything is permitted.”
In 1933, the Nazis had just come to power. They had not yet matured and did not dare to openly attack our state. When the fascists had accumulated enough strength to start a war against the peoples of Europe to seize foreign lands, foreign wealth, to absorb other peoples, then more and more often they began to talk among themselves about an attack on the USSR. Their newspapers constantly slandered our people, the Soviet state. They invented and printed all sorts of vile fables about us, tried to blacken us with these inventions in front of the German and other peoples. The danger of a war by the German fascists against the USSR was growing.
Soon the Italian and German fascists came to an agreement among themselves about a joint struggle against our state. They concluded among themselves the so-called Anti-Comintern Bloc, that is, an alliance. This alliance is allegedly directed against the Communist International, against the Bolsheviks. In fact, this alliance of the fascists of Italy and Germany, or, as it is also called, the Berlin-Rome axis, is directed primarily against the Russian people and other peoples of the USSR, and not at all against the Bolsheviks alone. Subsequently, Japan joined this fascist union, and then other allies – the slaves of the executioner and cannibal Hitler: Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Finland, Spain, Bulgaria.
In 1939, a very dangerous situation for the USSR had been created in Europe. Having seized Czechoslovakia and Austria, the German fascists were preparing to seize other states. At this time, many capitalist states incited Germany to direct its military forces against the USSR, to attack us. The foreign newspapers of the capitalist states openly wrote that Germany could seize everything she needed in the East, that is, in the USSR: land, raw materials, food, ore, oil, cotton, and the like. What was the Soviet state to do then? Go to war with Germany? At that time, such a war would have been even more dangerous for the Soviet state. The Soviet Government and the Bolshevik Party, headed by Comrade Stalin, did everything to avoid war. We knew that this war would be very difficult. If we had gone to such a war then, the position of the Soviet state would have been much more dangerous than it is now.
Comrade Stalin has already answered the question whether the Soviet Government did the right thing by signing in 1939 a non-aggression pact (that is, a treaty) with the fascist government of Germany. “One may ask,” said Comrade Stalin, “how could it have happened that the Soviet Government agreed to conclude a non-aggression pact with such treacherous people and monsters as Hitler and Ribbentrop? Was there not a mistake on the part of the Soviet Government here? Of course not! A non-aggression pact is a peace pact between two states. It was precisely such a pact that Germany proposed to us in 1939. Could the Soviet Government refuse such a proposal? I think that no peace-loving state can refuse a peace agreement with a neighboring power, even if such monsters and cannibals as Hitler and Ribbentrop are at the head of this power. And this, of course, under one indispensable condition: that the peace agreement does not affect either directly or indirectly the territorial integrity, independence and honor of the peace-loving states.”
This agreement lasted a year and a half, during which time Hitler repeatedly stated that he would never fight against the USSR. So on August 25, 1939, he told the British Ambassador Henderson that “Russia and Germany will never again take up arms against each other.” On September 1, 1939, he spoke in the German parliament: “Russia and Germany fought against each other during the world war! It shouldn not and will not happen a second time.” These were treacherous, false words, because Hitler was preparing to attack the USSR at the same time.
But he was afraid to attack the USSR, having at his disposal only his industry, only his weapons, only his reserves. Hitler knew that in our country he would meet stubborn resistance. He hoped that he would be able to easily capture at first all the states of Europe, including the defeat of England, and then take on the USSR. Hitler managed to intimidate and deceive the governments of many capitalist states. Therefore, he so easily grabbed Czechoslovakia and Austria, Poland and Yugoslavia, Norway, Denmark and Holland, Belgium and a significant part of France, Albania and Greece. In some countries, such as Norway, Belgium, France, and partly in Greece and Yugoslavia, Hitler’s troops met with resistance; but they had a tremendous superiority of forces, tanks, aircraft and overwhelmed these countries. The Germans were already going to land troops in England and capture it in the fall of 1940, just as they captured other countries. But here the fascists did not have enough strength. England withdrew her troops, which had been transferred to the mainland of Europe for the war against Hitler’s army, back home and began a stubborn war against Germany, mainly through air raids.
The Germans soon became convinced that they would not be able to end the war in Europe with lightning speed. They did not have enough food, military materials, or supplies of fuel (gasoline) for aircraft, tanks, motorized infantry, and naval ships. And so they decided then to attack the Soviet state in order to seize our grain and cattle, our raw materials, our coal, oil and metals. Our state did not give the Germans any reasons for an attack. We honestly fulfilled the contract. But the bandits decided to break the treaty and attacked us treacherously. This is how the war of Nazi Germany against the USSR began on June 22, 1941.
The Germans hoped that by the fall of 1941 they would completely end the war against us, defeat our Red Army, capture Moscow and Leningrad, the Volga, the Urals and the Caucasus. Following the 170 divisions that the Nazis threw against us in the first days of the war, they then threw – along with Italian, Finnish, Romanian, Hungarian troops – about 12 million troops armed not only with German weapons, but also with weapons captured in the countries conquered by the Nazis. By the winter of 1941, they captured several Soviet republics: Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Moldavia, Belarus, part of Ukraine and Crimea, the Karelo-Finnish Republic, a number of cities in the Donbass and in the direction of Moscow and Leningrad.
Wherever the Germans appear, where they capture villages and cities, the entire population, young and old, is exposed to terrible violence, torture, robbery. The Germans do not spare either the elderly or small children. They mock girls and women, even ten or fourteen-year-olds, brutally rape them, and then kill them, often cutting off their breasts, gouging out their eyes, ripping open their bellies, burning them alive or burying them alive in pits. It is difficult even to describe all these heinous violence, to tell in human words about all the crimes of the Nazis. They completely rob the population, take away everything from them: grain, food, all vegetables, cattle, clothes and shoes, drive the people out into the cold, burn villages to the ground, hang, shoot, crush with tanks, tear, cut into pieces living people. Drive women and girls to brothels where they are given away for dishonor, for shame, for the amusement of drunken, depraved German soldiers and officers, they infect them with bad diseases, torture them, kill them. Against these monsters, executioners, rapists, robbers, cannibals, the Soviet people are waging a patriotic war of liberation. This is a very bloody war. There has never been such a war. It requires the people to exert all their strength, courage, perseverance, fearlessness, and contempt for death. It demands deadly hatred for the enemy, merciless revenge.
In his speech on the radio on July 3, 1941, Comrade Stalin said: “What is required in order to eliminate the danger hanging over our Motherland, and what measures should be taken in order to defeat the enemy? First of all, it is necessary that our people, Soviet people understand the full depth of the danger that threatens our country, and renounce complacency, carelessness, and moods of peaceful construction, which were quite understandable in the pre-war period, but pernicious at the present time, when the war radically changed position. The enemy is cruel and unforgiving. He sets as his goal the seizure of our lands, watered with our sweat, the seizure of our grain and our oil, obtained by our labor. It aims to restore the power of the landowners, restore tsarism, destroy the national culture and national statehood of Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians, Uzbeks, Tatars, Moldovans, Georgians, Armenians, Azerbaijanis and other free peoples of the Soviet Union, their Germanization, their transformation into slaves of German princes and barons. It is thus a struggle about the life and death of the Soviet state, about the life and death of the peoples of the USSR, about whether the peoples of the Soviet Union should be free, or fall into enslavement. It is necessary that the Soviet people understand this and cease to be carefree, so that they mobilize themselves and reorganize all their work in a new, military way, knowing no mercy to the enemy.”
Long before the appearance of the fascists in Germany, the German imperialists hoped to extend their rule to the East, to Russia. Although the German landowners have millions of hectares of land, everything is not enough for them. During the first world imperialist war of 1914-1918, the Germans also sought to seize our lands in Russia. But the new German imperialists, the most disgusting and rapacious of all imperialists, the fascists, especially began to carry out their conquering imperialist plans in the direction of the East. From the very beginning of their appearance in Germany, the German fascists openly declared that they would seize the Slavic lands and destroy the Slavic peoples, especially the Russian people. “We need to kill 20 million people,” Hitler said.
The fascists educated and educate the entire German people in the consciousness that the Germans constitute some kind of superior, chosen people, and the Slavs – Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Czechs, Slovaks, Poles, Yugoslavs – are not even people, but half-people. There is such a fascist, Gunther, who is considered a German scientist. He wrote the book The Racial Science of the German People. In another state, they would consider what he wrote as the delirium of a madman, but in Germany, young people are taught from his book. And this idiot writes: “A man of the Slavic race is a transitional step from man to animal. He is closer to a monkey than to a man. He cannot be called a man in the full sense of the word.” Hitler said bluntly: “If we want to create our Great German Reich, we must first of all oust and exterminate the Slavic peoples – Russians, Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Bulgarians, Ukrainians, Belarusians.”
Hitler demands the numbness of the Slavs, that is, he demands the destruction of schools in their native language, books, newspapers in their native language in the Slavic lands occupied by the Germans. The Germans strive to put the Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians to speak German. As for schools, the Nazis generally believe that schools should remain only for the Germans. Hitler said so bluntly: “There is only one culture: German culture.” Therefore, the fascists do not recognize the right of other peoples to have their own culture. “You do not need education to sweep the streets and dig potatoes,” the fascists say.
The Germans occupied Poland and issued an order for the Polish General Government. In this order they write: “To the German, a Pole is not a comrade, he is lower than any German in your yard or park. Never forget that you are a person belonging to the ruling nation.” When the Nazis began to draw up their plans of conquest, Hitler bluntly stated: “When we talk about the conquest of new lands in Europe, we, of course, can mean primarily only Russia and those border states that are subordinate to her.” He also said this to the most prominent fascist Otto Strasser. “Russia,” he said, “should be struck off the list of European powers.” The previously mentioned fascist Minister of Agriculture Darre develops the following plans: “The point is to remove the Slavic small peasants from the land again and turn them into landless proletarians in order to reduce their reproduction. It is necessary that the cultivated land passed into the hands of the class of German masters. In the entire eastern space, only Germans have the right to be the owners of large estates. A country inhabited by a foreign race must become a country of slaves, agricultural laborers or industrial workers.”
All the fascists wrote and said these before the start of the war against the Soviet state. And from June 22, 1941, they began to carry out this bestial cannibalistic program of theirs, this misanthropic plan. They actually began to destroy the peoples of the USSR. Every peasant should know that this is precisely what is being dealt with – the extermination of millions or tens of millions of Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians and others, if the Germans succeeded in capturing our country. Comrade Stalin on November 6, in his speech, cited the order of the German command from September 25 to the 489th Infantry Regiment. This order, taken from a killed German non-commissioned officer, says: “I order to open fire on every Russian as soon as he appears at a distance of 600 meters. The Russian must know that he has a decisive enemy against him, from whom he cannot expect any condescension.” In one of the appeals of the German command to the soldiers, found on the killed Lieutenant Gustav Ziegel, a native of Frankfurt am Main, it is said: “You have no heart and nerves, they are not needed in a war. Destroy pity and compassion in yourself, kill every Russian, Soviet, do not stop, if in front of you an old man or a woman, a girl or a boy, kill, this will save yourself from death, ensure the future of your family and become famous forever.”
Quoting these orders from the German command, Comrade Stalin said: “Here is the program and instructions of the leaders of the Hitlerite party and the Hitlerite command, the program and instructions of people who have lost their human appearance and have fallen to the level of wild beasts. And these people, devoid of conscience and honor, people with animal morality have the audacity to call for the destruction of the great Russian nation, the nation of Plekhanov and Lenin, Belinsky and Chernyshevsky, Pushkin and Tolstoy, Glinka and Tchaikovsky, Gorky and Chekhov, Sechenov and Pavlov, Repin and Surikov, Suvorov and Kutuzov! ... The German invaders want to have a war of extermination against the peoples of the USSR. Well, if the Germans want a war of extermination, they will get it. From now on, our task, the task of the peoples of the USSR, the task of the soldiers, commanders and political workers of our army and our navy will be to exterminate every single one of the Germans who have made their way into the territory of our homeland as its occupiers. No mercy for the German occupiers! Death to the German invaders!”
The Germans seized vast areas of Soviet land: in the Baltic republics, in Belarus and the Ukraine, in the Crimea, in the Moldavian and Karelo-Finnish republics, and many Russian cities and villages. What kind of order do they establish there? What are they doing with the collective farms, with the state farms? Do they give land to the peasants? How do they deal with the property of the peasants?
Listen to the story of the assistant commander of a partisan detachment operating deep behind enemy lines in the Leningrad Region.
“We were peaceful people, and our hearts rejoiced, looking at everything we had built with our hands. The collective farms of the village of N. Here the bins were full of grain. Houses and streets burned with electric lights in the evenings. The collective farmers were proud of their ten-year school, a large club, a well-equipped nursery, and a library. They lived prosperously, in an urban, wide and cultured way.
The Germans came. They burned our roofs, defiled our land, broke our lives. What did the Germans do with our rich and cultured village? A third of the houses were burned down, the club was destroyed, the books that the collective farmers read and cherished with reverence, were trampled by the dirty boots of the German savages. The school – the pride of the collective farmers – stands without glass. The desks are broken. Kolkhoz children are sadly walking about the destroyed classes. The nursery was gone, clean and comfortable. The electric light went out, again the peasants were sitting by the torch ...
German orders were introduced. Not a single village remained that was not a port, not burned. Germans walk around the villages, whip the freedom-loving Russian peasants with a whip, rake out all the grain from the barns to the last. Fascist henchmen – elders, corrupt creatures, cursed by the people – rule everywhere.
The Germans rob the peasants, rob like the last robbers, rob in every way: in taxes, and extortions, and plunder. Or they just burst into huts and stuff their rand and sacks with collective farm goods. The taxes are terrible. In the village N. it was demanded to give 12 centners of rye per hectare by September 25 and the people were threatened: if you do not surrender, we will burn the entire village to the ground. And by September 25, the huts of those who did not bring grain from the yard were on fire.”
This is the cursed life the fascists are bringing to the Russian peasant. Such a terrible, unhappy slave lot, worse than serfdom, worse than Tsarist hard labor, awaits all peasants, all working people, regardless of faith and nationality, wherever the fascists seize our Soviet land. The Germans are a cunning enemy. They know that the Soviet peasants value the collective farms. The Germans do not dissolve the collective farms, but this should not deceive anyone. We must understand what is the trick here. And the essence of the matter is that the fascists want the collective farms to be given away entirely to the new landowners, the Germans. Therefore, they do not split up the collective farm lands. Just as in the old days entire villages belonged to some landowner, so now the Germans want to give the collective farms entirely to new owners, and turn the peasants into serfs. Here is what the collective farmer Praskovya Dudareva tells about the orders that the Germans introduced in the “October” collective farm near Yelnya, Smolensk region. Having seized the village, the Germans pleased the elder Ivan Morozov, before the revolution this traitor was a petty trader, a rag-picker, exchanging bones, rags, flakes for crosses and ribbons. Then he pretended to be a poor man and got into the collective farm. And when the Germans came, he then revealed himself that on his serpentine soul. Praskovya Dudareva recounts:
“After it was announced to us that there were no more Soviet power or collective farms, the old dog Ivan Morozov, the headman, ran through the yards and began to drive us out into the field. Many women that, yes, behold, dissuaded, did not want to work for the Germans, and I foolishly went. I had six pounds of flour, German thieves showed up, and despite my pleas and tears, they took all the flour clean. And here I have five small children. They ask to eat! I’ll go, I think, at least I’ll press some new bread for the guys. And only about ten of us came out. We reap, and some fat-bellied fascist, must be a German master, watched us and yelled:
“Reap, reap faster!”
We worked from morning till night, but he looked at his watch and would not let us go home. He gave only one hour for lunch and demanded that we bring him fried chicken, butter and eggs from home. Five days have passed. On Sunday we wanted to bring the sheaves and thresh them. In the morning we look: there are no sheaves on the field.
Then they agreed among themselves to do this: to harvest during the day, and to thresh at night and hide the grain.
They thrashed, and the Germans came and took all the grain.
“What about us?” we said.
“We do not intend to feed you,” they answer, “you will work, and we will manage.”
“We cannot work when we are hungry”
“You,” the Germans say, “are pigs, so you can eat with the pigs.”
Here some have tears, some sparks in their eyes sparkled.
I spat and didn’t work anymore. Better, I said, I’ll die of hunger and kill the children, but I won’t work in your corvee.”
Some German units do not immediately reveal their insidious plans. In one place, all the shops and cooperatives will be smashed, everything that is there will be taken away. Then they will go to another village and pretend to be good-natured. Here and there they will distribute ribbons to the guys, they will sell at a cheap price the loot in Soviet shops and cooperatives and will say: you see how kind we are, they say and write about us in vain, as if we rob everyone and take everything away. You see, no one was robbed, nothing was taken away, and we also give it to you. Then this unit will go ahead, and behind it, like locusts, other German units will pounce, which no longer got behind the harvest as everything had already been completely plundered before them. This fascist locust will devour and rob everything – food, clothing, shoes, leave nothing and drive the people naked into the cold. Rape women and girls as young as adolescence; and whoever resists will be shot and tortured: their breasts will be cut off, their eyes will be gouged out, their noses and ears will be cut off, they are burned at the stake. Real executioners!
That is what. the Germans themselves tell. German soldier Emil Goltz, a fascist, wrote on June 28 in his diary: “At dawn we drove through Baranovichi. The city is destroyed. But not everything has been done yet. On the way from Mir to Stolbtsy, we spoke with the population in the language of machine guns. Screams, groans, blood, tears, many corpses. We did not feel any compassion. In every town, in every village, at the sight of people, my hands itch. I would like to shoot with a pistol at the crowd.” Another fascist, Chief Corporal Johannes Herder wrote in his diary on August 25: “We are throwing hand grenades at residential buildings. Houses burn very quickly. The fire is thrown to other huts. A beautiful sight! People cry, and we laugh at tears. We have already burned ten villages in this way. In one village, we seized the first twelve residents we came across and took them to a cemetery. We forced them to dig a spacious and deep grave for themselves. There is no and there cannot be any mercy to the Slavs! Damned philanthropy is alien to us.”
These are the animals that are fighting with us! That is who wants to sit on the neck of the peasant, the Soviet collective farmer. It is against whom we are waging a merciless, destructive, nationwide war of the Fatherland. This is who we must destroy every one of them, if we want to be free people, if we do not want slavery for ourselves and for our children. The Germans understand that they can be expelled from the captured Soviet lands, as they were expelled from Rostov and some other regions. Therefore, they are not yet fully implementing their plans, they are temporarily settling in the occupied lands. For them, the main question now is: to plunder more, to seize food, livestock, raw materials, clothes, shoes, to take out jewelry. And now, in the winter, it is also important for them to get warm winter apartments in the village huts. To do this, they drive the peasants out into the streets from the villages they capture.
Here is the original of the order taken from the wall in the village of Tsitsikha in the western direction of the front (such an order is also pasted up in many other villages captured by the Germans): “Order. The civilian population of the village of Qiqiha is subject to immediate evacuation. All persons who have not left the village by August 15, 1941 will be shot. Colonel (signature). August 11, 1941.”
The Germans renamed collective farms and called them “common yard”. Here is an order for one of the German units: “The peasants should be taught by explaining to them that the collective farm system, like the Bolshevik system, is being abolished. However, large-scale farming will be conducted on the land of the former collective farms. Nothing else can be. Every peasant is obliged to work in the common yard. The cattle dismantled by the peasants must be returned. Small livestock, pigs and poultry remaining with the collective farmers should be handed over to the common yard in the future” (from Instructions to the leaders of the former collective farm).
At the head of each former kolkhoz or sovkhoz, the Germans appoint an “agricultural officer.” These clerks of Hitler stand out from among the landlords and multi-land farmers, that is, the kulaks, which are in the German fascist army. To help these “agricultural officers” are allocated “especially suitable non-commissioned officers.” What is the task of these new masters? Their first task is to squeeze out of the surviving collective farm yards everything that is left there from food, livestock, raw materials and other property; to make collective farmers work for German masters; support these German gentlemen at their own expense; to turn collective farmers into serfs of the German fascists. The Germans, Romanians and other allies of Hitler are already drawing up plans and lists of who should be evicted from the occupied lands, who should be put as masters in state and collective farms seized by the Germans.
The Germans even pretend that they do not rob, but take for money, as if they “buy” their goods from the collective farmers. They printed special stamps, such paper signs that cost nothing, and are given out on receipt. They will take away a fattened pig in a few poods and take a receipt that a peasant such and such has sold the pig to such and such a soldier of the German army for two marks. The peasant will receive these stamps, and what can he buy with them? They will only laugh at him!
When the Germans went to war against the USSR, it seemed to them that it would be very easy to destroy collective and state farms. But collective farms cannot be destroyed. The collective farm peasantry knows how much the collective farms gave to the peasant. It will fight for these collective farms. No matter how ferocious the Germans are, no matter how they intimidate the peasants, they cannot make the Soviet collective farmer their slave. It is hard now for the collective farmers in the areas occupied by the fascists, but they do not surrender, they are fighting against the invaders. The Soviet people are strong people, courageous and brave. The Germans cannot conquer the population of even the occupied areas. This is how Soviet workers and collective farmers steadfastly withstand the violence of German executioners, not surrendering to their threats. In the city of Kalinin, German fascists seized 19 construction workers on the street, including two sixteen-year-olds, and threw them into a cold, damp basement. The prisoners were there for two days without food or water. On the third day they were taken out into the courtyard, and the Germans, setting a machine gun at a distance of 100 meters, began to “interrogate” them. The bandits demanded to name the communists and Komsomol members. But there was no answer. Then, by order of the German lieutenant, the machine gunner began to shoot over the heads of those who stood in order to intimidate them. When, after that, no one said a word, the fascist executioners led all those arrested to the trees. Loops were made in the trees. The Nazis grabbed three, put them on stools and began to try on the loops. But this did not frighten anyone either. Then the Germans forced the arrested to dig their own graves and shot them all with a machine gun.
How many Soviet people died in this way! The Soviet land, saturated with the blood of our people, cries out for revenge on the enslavers of our people, the German fascists. And this revenge will be terrible when the entire Soviet people will rise up in great anger, in a mighty counteroffensive; which our Red Army is preparing under the leadership of Comrade Stalin!
No mercy will be given to any German invader!
To deceive the Soviet peasants, the Nazis indulge in all sorts of tricks. A fascist plane will appear over the collective farm village and drop several loaves of white bread, several pieces of sausage, several bundles of sweets and scatter leaflets; “do not believe”, they say, “the communist Bolsheviks, when they tell you we have a famine in Germany, or that we wish you ill. Here, you see: we throw away bread, sausage, sweets, which means that we have a lot of everything.” And the matter is very simple: the Nazis plundered Soviet shops, Soviet cooperatives, and even scatter our Soviet property to bait foolish, gullible people. What an idiot you have to be, simpletons, to fall for such a bait, to succumb to such a deception! The Germans are sending their agents to us. It is not at all necessary that this agent be German. It is more convenient for them if there is a Russian, or Ukrainian, or in general a person with a Soviet passport for such work. It happens like this: the Germans will take prisoner a hundred Red Army men or simply residents of this or that region; they will interrogate them, look out for who are cowardly, weaker, take them away and send them to freedom. Go, they say, where you want, even home. Tell everyone how we treated you well: we did not torture, we fed, we even treated you to a cigarette. And it so happens that such a simpleton will go and tell everyone what, they say, good people are fascists! And what the Germans did to the rest of the captured, this simpleton will not say. He will not say that the Germans are subjecting prisoners of war and the entire population to inhuman torture. They are gutting alive at bonfires, cutting off arms and legs, carving a Red Army star on a living body, gouging out eyes. Otherwise, people are simply be crushed by tanks or tied by the legs and arms to two tanks and torn apart. Women and girls are raped, and even abused and tortured.
Here is what Vasily Yakovlevich Smirnov, captured by the Germans, said. His letter was published in the newspaper Pravda: “I am a peasant of the Smolensk region, and the Germans captured me in the city of Smolensk. I was in captivity for 4 days. I was put in the basement of a house in which there were five more people from Smolensk. Every day we were summoned for interrogation. We were interrogated one at a time. During the first interrogation, the German officer said that I would be released if I agreed to carry out the assignments of the German command in the rear of the Red Army. The officer told me about this at every interrogation. He suggested to me that I cross the front line and tell the Soviet residents, workers and collective farmers that the Germans treated me well, that they did not bother the residents, that they were shooting only Jews and Communists. The German officer made the same proposals to other prisoners who were sitting with me. Three Soviet citizens who flatly refused to become fascist agents did not return from one of the interrogations, and, as I later learned, the Germans shot them. One day an officer called me and threateningly demanded an immediate answer. I agreed because I was afraid that I would be shot. The officer took a receipt that I undertake to carry out all the tasks of the command of the German army on Soviet territory. Then they took me out of town and showed me where to get over the front line. When I walked through the city, I clearly saw how the Germans were in charge in Smolensk. German officers and soldiers are robbing the city, robbing apartments. On one street, I saw soldiers pulling clothes and other household items into a pile. Although it was daytime, not a single inhabitant of the city was on the streets. On one street I saw the corpses of women and children. The following incident made the hardest impression on me. About two kilometers from the city, not far from the road, I saw three German soldiers raping a woman. The woman was so tortured that she could not scream. She only moaned and in a weak, hoarse voice called for help.”
And here is another case, with the former criminal Semykin Efim Vasilyevich, whom the Germans sent from the captured area across the front to Soviet territory for treacherous work. Semykin was exposed and arrested, and this is what he showed during the investigation: “I used to work at a military plant in the mountains near Moscow. In June 1941, I was convicted of a criminal offense and served my sentence in Dorogobuzh. Then I was transferred to Yelnya digging trenches. When the city was occupied by the Germans, I stayed in the city. German soldiers arrested me and took me to the headquarters of the German Army. At the headquarters I was interrogated by a German officer. When I said that I was a prisoner, was convicted in a criminal case, the officer began to talk to me in a completely different way. He gave me a cigarette and then ordered to take me to his apartment. At the apartment they fed me and gave me vodka. In the evening, the officer came, the same one who interrogated me during the day. He put vodka and a snack on the table and poured me a whole glass of vodka. When I drank, he began to ask me who I was, where I worked, if I had relatives, and so on. Then he got me, asked about my acquaintances and how the workers live in Soviet Russia. I told him everything that he asked me. On the second day, the officer again called me to his place and also gave me wine. So I lived in the officer’s apartment for four days. Every evening he gave me vodka to drink. In conversations with me, he told me that the Germans would soon take Moscow, overthrow the Soviet regime and that people like me would only benefit. Personally, I did not object to all these arguments, but assented to him and complained that I suffered from the Soviet regime, that I was deeply offended by it (Semykin was tried three times for criminal offenses - E. Ya.). One day an officer summoned me to his office and said that I had no choice but to help the German army in its victory. “Moreover,” he said, “we are already well acquainted with you, and if necessary, you can always count on my support.” I was silent. Then he added that if I want to stay alive, I must carry out the assignments of the command of the German Army. I gave my consent. He began to explain to me in detail what I should do in the rear of the USSR. He told me that I should return to Moscow, get a job at a military plant and, at the first opportunity, do some harm at the plant. Then he told me that while driving on the tram, on the street and at the factory, he told me that they did not touch the population, but that they wanted to destroy Jews and Communists. Then he told me to go to the market where collective farmers come, and tell them this and convince them that they should not leave when the Germans come and take care of all their goods and especially bread. I agreed to do everything he told me, and they let me go.
Question: But how do the Germans actually treat the population in the areas they have occupied?
Answer: Of course, not as the German officer said. I myself saw in Yelnya and in other places how German soldiers and officers rob and kill the population, but I was strictly forbidden to talk about it.”
These are the Semykins who walk around collective farms, whisper in queues, and gullible ordinary people listen to their tales, and even pass them on to others, without thinking that this is the most cunning and sneaky deception of the enemy, calculated to weaken the morale of the Soviet people, to weaken the power of their struggle against the fascists. And then the Germans scatter leaflets, in which they write that they do not wish evil on the Russian people, but are fighting only against the Jews. But we know well, from our own experience we were convinced that most of all the Germans hate the Russian people, the Russians are viewed as the most terrible force by them. We know very well that the Germans hate all Soviet people. Those gullible people who succumb to fascist nonsense, to fascist deception that the Germans are only against the Jews, they might ask themselves: why, then, are the Germans carving out Russian villages, rape Russian women, torture Russian Red Army men? Why do they torture and kill Ukrainians? Why are they killing Belarusians, Czechoslovakians, Yugoslavs and other Slavic peoples?
Lenin called enemies of the people those who incite against the Jews. It was under the old Tsarist regime that the Black Hundreds staged Jewish pogroms, set the Tatars against the Armenians in the Caucasus, and staged massacres between them. Shame on that Soviet citizen who believes in fascist tales and even tells others these tales! No, Hitler and all the fascist bastards threw all their forces against the Russian people, against the Soviet people. The peasants must be on the alert, expose fascist agents, distributors of Hitler’s tales, not trust whisperers and liars. Especially it is necessary to be vigilant in relation to those people who tell, as “eyewitnesses”, about “benefactors-fascists”. These are probably already voluntary or involuntary enemies.
On July 3, 1941, Comrade Stalin, in his speech on the radio, gave the following instructions: “In case of the forced withdrawal of the Red Army units, it is necessary to hijack the entire rolling stock, not to leave the enemy a single steam locomotive, not a single carriage, not to leave the enemy a kilogram of bread or a liter of fuel. Collective farmers must steal all their livestock, hand over grain to government agencies for safekeeping for transportation to rear areas. All valuable property, including non-ferrous metals, bread and fuel, which cannot be exported, must be destroyed unconditionally. In the areas occupied by the enemy, it is necessary to create partisan detachments, horse and foot, to create sabotage groups to fight against parts of the enemy army, to foment partisan war everywhere and everywhere, to blow up bridges, roads, damage telephone and telegraph communications, set fire to forests, warehouses, carts. To create unbearable conditions for the enemy and all his accomplices in the occupied areas, to pursue and destroy them at every step, to disrupt all their activities.” The Soviet people are carrying out these instructions of Comrade Stalin as a military order.
For the enemy, the worst thing is that a nationwide army of avengers has been created in his rear. The entire people rose up for a holy war against the enslavers, rapists, robbers-fascists. The fascist detachments know no rest day or night. Already tens of thousands of German soldiers and officers have died from a partisan bullet, sleepy ones burned down in houses set on fire by partisans. The people take revenge on the fascists, the struggle in the regions occupied by the Germans does not stop for a single day. One of the commanders of a partisan detachment operating deep in the rear of the Nazis in the Leningrad region tells about this struggle: “The heart is filled with blood, looking at everything that is happening in our places, the blood ignites with a thirst for revenge. Hands reach for rifles to respond to violence with fire, to return freedom with weapons. The people go to the partisans, go to the forests. They live there according to their own laws, the laws of the Soviet government, they execute its orders, its will. We, the partisans, here on the land seized by the enemy, are the representatives of the Soviet regime, its punishing hand. All Soviet people – everyone in whom hatred for the invaders burns – help the partisans in any way they can. Even little boys, they too boldly go into reconnaissance, sometimes bring us valuable information about the enemy. The peasants supply the partisans with food, warm clothes, deliberately do not dig up potatoes in the areas adjacent to the forests, leave them to the partisans. The two-legged beasts in fascist uniforms fiercely deal with those who are suspected of helping the partisans. In a village three peasants in their hayloft sheltered partisans for several nights in a row. This became known to the fascist bloodhounds, they sniffed out all the partisan traces. They broke into the village and there was a reprisal. They drove all the peasants to the village square: men in one direction, women in the other. They ordered to beat each other with sticks, and then, having a lot of arrogance, lined up the men in one row and shot every second. But even this was not enough for the animals.The house, where the partisans were hiding, and three huts that stood nearby, were burned by the Germans. The bloody massacre went on all day. They left only in the evening, taking with them the last cows. Not a single cow was left in the village, except for the headman. On another occasion, a German punitive detachment found a dun horse tied to a tree. The bandits knew that the partisans had such a horse. They ask the peasants: where are the partisans? Everyone is silent. Then they pulled out five collective farmers from the crowd, knocked them to their knees, put pistols to their temples: tell me, where are the partisans? Mothers and children of those sentenced to death stood around. One word, and relatives will be saved, but no one betrayed the partisans, no one tarnished their honor with betrayal.
The Partisans are the people’s avengers. Holy hatred for the enemy burns in each of us. We took an oath: those who will rot our land will leave their rotten bones on it. We take revenge for everything: for the destroyed villages, for the killed brothers, we take revenge cruelly, mercilessly. We operate everywhere. We tear bridges and fill up roads, derail trains, throw cars into ditches, destroy the enemy’s manpower. Many bandits fell from the mark of a partisan bullet, from our punishing hand. The partisan movement is growing every day. And the blows of the partisans against the enemies are getting stronger and stronger. The Germans captured many of our cities and villages. But they have no power over the people. The people are still loyal to the Soviets. For 24 years the people lived according to their own laws and are ready to die rather than put on the fascist yoke. The partisans met the 24th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution with new raids on the German fascist bandits.
The hour will come and we will come out of the woods to meet the advancing units of the Red Army and together with it we will chase the enemy. The belief that this hour will come warms us in the cold forests. Belief in our victory is raising the partisans to new exploits for the glory of the Soviet people. The Germans are seriously concerned about the partisan movement. They have to accompany the convoys with food and ammunition with significant military units, they are afraid to leave small garrisons in occupied cities. The guerrillas hit them hard every day. It got to the point that the Germans began dropping leaflets to the partisans: come, they say, out of the woods, we will not touch you. But the guerrillas know that there is no other way to do world peace with wolves, except by having removed their skin from them.”
In Belarus, the Nazis turned to one of the commanders of the Belarusian partisans with the following proposal: “Let us fight according to the rules, we will fight during the day, sleep at night.” The partisans gave them a night. On the same night, a huge artillery depot flew into the air, aircraft were destroyed at fascist airfields, and the headquarters of a German battalion was captured in one of the villages.
Belarusian poet Yanka Kupala says: “In one of the towns of Belarus, which looked more like a big village than a city, the family of Olesya Shevtsova lived. The commander of the advancing part of the Red Army saw this girl from afar. An old cherry tree grew near the village outskirts. The body of the girl swayed on this cherry. When the unit rose to attack, everyone saw a terrible ominous symbol of the enslavement of their native land by the Nazis. The command gave the task to occupy the village two hours after the offensive. The village was taken 15 minutes later. The fighters were driven forward like a storm. They burst in, and the unit commander quickly freed Olesya Shevtsova from the loop. An hour later, she managed to get her life back. There was still a battle all around. The soldiers were stabbing the brutal Germans. And a crowd of people stood near the girl and listened attentively to the terrible and at the same time solemn story about the struggle of the Shevtsova family against the Germans. Her father slapped a German officer when he tried to insult her mother. Father was shot. The mother rushed at the German officer. She was killed. The little brother hid in the nettles. At night he managed to find an ordinary Russian grenade. He waited for a German battery to pass by and threw a grenade under the gun. The boy was nine years old. He did not even know how to throw a grenade. The grenade did not explode, but the boy was literally torn to pieces by the Nazis: Then they found Olesya”
Not only adults and old people are fighting the invaders, children are also taking revenge on the Germans for their fathers. The Soviet Government awarded the Belarusian partisans with orders. Among the awardees were Evgeny Timofeevich Zelinsky and Pavel Pavlovich Stropko. You might think that these are some very adult bearded partisans. In fact, the first of them is only twelve years old, and the other thirteen. But these are fighting guys. Yanka Kupala also talks about them: “All day, hiding in the forest, they watched the movement of German troops, counted tanks, vehicles, officers. In the pioneer squads, they were taught the importance of being trackers. The guys noticed that the fascist unit was entering an area, the exit from which, according to the terrain conditions, could be relatively easily cut off. In the evening, two friends reached our Red Army units with accurate data on the location, number and armament of the fascist detachment. They also led the units of the Red Army to the area occupied by the Nazis. The Germans were completely destroyed. This is how the struggle goes on, a struggle that has just begun, which promises death to the Germans. The bloodthirsty beast opened its mouth too wide. And a strong aspen stake is driven into his throat.”
Yanka Kupala, one of the best people in Soviet Belarus, is right. The partisan movement of the Soviet people is, indeed, an aspen stake in the throat of the fascists. Soviet people know that there can be no peace with the fascists, that they must be smoked out, frozen out, worn out, destroyed. This idea of the Soviet people was expressed by Comrade Molotov at a meeting of representatives of the USSR, Great Britain and the United States of America: “It is not enough to hate all these Hitlers, Goerings, Ribbentrops, it is not enough to wish them death, but we must learn to beat and smash them wherever they attack and rape, in order to put an end to the rule of this criminal gang of rapist-invaders, on whose heads the curse of nations has fallen.”
The collective farm peasantry is a great force. Collective farms were built for twenty-four years. In a fierce struggle against enemies, they grew stronger. Let every collective farmer remember what path of struggle the collective farm went through before getting stronger. How much labor was invested in creating strong collective farms, how much care was taken by the Soviet government to provide the collective farm with tractors, combines and other agricultural machines in order to facilitate the work of the collective farmer! Let him look around and remember what a powerless, hopeless life was under the old regime and how everything changed under the Soviet regime, when the peasant, the one who used to be nothing, became everything! Especially in the last years before the war, the collective farm village began to grow, its prosperity increased, and the collective farms began to grow richer. How many kolkhoz boys and girls have graduated from higher and secondary schools and have become notable people in the country!
The collective farm peasantry knows that it is a great force, because in the Soviet state labor has become a matter of honor, valor and heroism. How many collective farmers have been awarded orders, how many commanders of the Red Army in all units – in cavalry, in artillery, in infantry units, in aviation, in tank units, and in the navy! The collective farmers know what the Red Army and the Red Fleet are fighting for. They know that we have something to defend, we have someone protect. The collective farmers and the entire Soviet population will not allow the Nazis to turn the Soviet people into slaves. Never will the Germans or anyone else be able to either bend the Soviet people or bring them to their knees. But we all need to realize what other danger hangs over our country. The fight will not be easy. A lot of effort must be spent on defeating the enemy. Five and a half months of the war showed that we have these forces. The enemy has gone too far in our country, but it cost him a lot. During this time, the enemy lost more than six million men killed, wounded and captured, more than 15 thousand tanks, more than 13 thousand aircraft, about 20 thousand guns. About half of his army and about half of his weapons were destroyed. But fierce bloody battles are still ahead.
In order to win, the entire Soviet people must fully muster their forces, their means. Now there is an accumulation of these forces to defeat the enemy. Day and night, huge factories, built in three five-year plans, and many factories evacuated from the German-occupied areas to the deep rear, are working for the front. The workers do not take into account any hours, they work overtime. They voluntarily overfulfill all norms by two, three or more times. The ranks of the Stakhanovites are growing stronger and growing, fulfilling by 200-300 per cent or more the quota for the production of weapons, ammunition, everything that is needed for the front. Railways transport huge amounts of cargo to the front and transport machinery and equipment for factories to the rear.
Comrade Stalin said that in order to defeat the enemy “it is necessary that our army and our navy have active and active support from our entire country, that our workers and employees, men and women, work tirelessly at enterprises and give the front more and more tanks, anti-tank guns and rockets, aircraft, cannons, mortars, machine guns, rifles, ammunition, so that our collective farmers, men and women, work in their fields tirelessly, and give the front and the country more and more bread, meat, raw materials for industry, so that our whole country and all the peoples of the USSR are organized into a single military camp, waging a great liberation war together with our army and navy for the honor and freedom of our homeland, for the defeat of the German armies. This is the task now. We can and we must accomplish this task. Only by completing this task and defeating the German invaders can we achieve a lasting and just peace.”
We must ensure that the fascists are defeated and expelled from our country in 1942. Collective farmers in our country make up the majority of the population. The success of the war and the acceleration of victory over the enemy largely depend on their work, on their united efforts and hard work. Most of the collective farmers are selflessly working for the defense, for the defense of our socialist homeland. Whatever difficulties befallen our lot, the collective farmers understand that it is a question of whether we should be free people or be slaves of the German fascists. Collective farmers must bear in mind that 1942 is a difficult year. It is necessary to sow so much land with bread, industrial crops, oilseeds, vegetables, in order to feed the entire population of our country in a smaller area of land and provide the huge army and cities with the necessary amount of food, and the factories and plants with raw materials. Our wonderful hardworking women can and should replace men who went to the front, not only in agriculture, but also stand at the machines to make shells, cartridges, cannons, shotguns, machine guns, tanks, airplanes. Women collective farmers can also take over the leadership of the collective farm, for there are many such talented women.
We need to prepare a good spring sowing campaign, we need to save and leave livestock. It is necessary to ensure that the economy is not upset or destroyed. The government takes care of this in every possible way. The government gave special instructions to prepare the necessary machines for cultivating the land and everything needed for the spring sowing. The collective farms must now check their readiness for this, not forgetting the wise old proverb: “Prepare the sled in summer, and cart in winter.” A strong revolutionary Soviet order must be preserved everywhere. It must be remembered that the friendship of the Soviet people, the friendship of collective farmers, workers and the Soviet intelligentsia is a tremendous force. This strength of the Soviet people is the guarantee of victory.
Finally, we must remember that according to the Soviet Constitution “defense of the Motherland is the sacred duty of every citizen of the USSR.” The collective farmers gave a large, strong force to the Red Army. But none of those who stayed in the rear should think that the sacred duty to defend the Motherland is only a matter of the Red Army man. No, every collective farmer, every citizen can and must do a lot to defend their Motherland. Let them study military affairs. Let them learn the rules of air defense and chemical defense. Let them learn sanitary, medical work, how to take care of the sick, the wounded. Let them take part in digging and building defense lines and fortified lines. Let the USSR Defense Fund be strengthened. Let the collection of warm clothes for the front expand even more widely. So all together we will tirelessly prepare forces to defeat the enemy.
Remember, comrades, the words of Comrade Stalin, spoken by him on November 6, 1941, his military appeal:
“For the complete defeat of the German invaders!
For the liberation of all oppressed peoples groaning under the yoke of Hitler’s tyranny!
Long live the indestructible friendship of the peoples of the Soviet Union!
Long live our Red Army and our Red Fleet!
Long live our glorious Motherland!
Our cause is just – victory will be ours!”