Historians in Germany uncovered the falsification of the German translation of Joseph Stalin’s order No. 0428 of November 17, 1941 on the use of “scorched earth” tactics and found out that right-wing extremists who wanted to justify the actions of Nazi criminals were behind the rewriting of historical events, writes Die Welt.
The order spoke of the need to destroy any objects that the Wehrmacht soldiers could use as a refuge. According to the author of the article, Sven Kellerhoff, each regiment was ordered to form special “teams of hunters” of 20 to 30 people. After the war, the historical document was published in the book by Dmitry Volkogonov, translated into German, “Triumph and Tragedy. Political Portrait of I. V. Stalin,” where it was called “The Order of the Torchbearers.”
In 1995, a right-wing extremist publicist named Fritz Becker claimed that an abridged version of the document had been published in Germany and provided passages that were allegedly omitted in translation. According to his version, it read: “Most of those involved in this important state assignment should be disguised in the captured uniform of the German Wehrmacht and SS troops. This will incite hatred of the Nazi invaders, facilitate the recruitment of partisans behind enemy lines. You should pay attention to the fact that after a punitive expedition “there were still witnesses who would then be able to tell about the” atrocities of the fascists. ” Further, it followed that “among the population it is necessary to disseminate information that it was the Germans who were burning villages and villages in order to punish the partisans.”
German researchers Christian Hartmann and Jurgen Tsarusk became interested in the original source of Stalin’s order and found that the links of Becker, as well as his supporters of neo-Nazis Franz Seidler and Joachim Hoffmann, lead nowhere. The scientists who investigated the forgery managed to get acquainted with the original document, in which there was not a word about dressing up Soviet soldiers in enemy uniforms.
According to the newspaper, German right-wing extremists needed a “counterargument” in their discussion of the Wehrmacht’s indisputable crimes. The purpose of the falsification is “to question the authorship of the Germans in the atrocities and crimes of wartime.”