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 Updated Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Body Counts

STALIN WOULD have had little cause to minimise Soviet casualties during the 1945 Potsdam conference, at which the victors' rival claims against Germany for reparations were being examined. These true figures show the irresponsible manner in which modern governments play politics with fictitious statistics.

The Germans have always been happy to claim that they slaugh -- whether Jews or Russians. A typical article published by the Axel Springer newspaper Welt am Sonntag on March 24, 1991, during the unlamented era of President von Weizsäcker, reported that the Soviet Union had earlier assessed their total World War II losses at
20.6 million, "including seven million civilians." In 1990, said the newspaper, this figure had risen to 28 million. On March 23, 1991 Defence Minister Dimitri Yasov claimed in an interview with Pravda,that reliable organ of the Soviet Communist Party, that from 1941 to 1945 the Soviet Union had lost 8,668,400 military personnel alone, of which 56.7 percent had been killed during the German advance in 1941 and 1942 (he did not mention how many of the total had died during the Soviet offensives against Finland and Poland, 1939-40).  

FROM THE record of a Private Talk between the Prime Minister (Mr Winston Churchill) and Marshal Joseph Stalin at a dinner held on July 18, 1945, at Potsdam, Germany:

Stalin". . . Marshal Stalin mentioned that Russian losses during the War had amounted to five million killed and missing. The Germans had mobilised 18 million men apart from industry, and the Russians 12 million."

Source: Record taken by Major Birse, the British interpreter, in Public Record Office file PREM.3/430/8, at page 11; quoted by David Irving in vol. iii of his monumental biography, Churchill's War.

Birse also recorded their talk of July 17, 1945, after the Plenary Session (on which occasion Stalin privately informed the Prime Minister of the surrender offer which the Japanese had made via their ambassador in Moscow); Birse noted afterwards about that occasion: "The attached notes of the Prime Minister's private talk with Generalissimo Stalin had to be written from memory, as I was unable to make notes during the talk. They may therefore be incomplete, but I think they contain the gist of what was said" (PRO file PREM.3/430/7).

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