Wednesday 3 December 2014

Soviet Casualty Estimations

In a conflict as large as the Great Patriotic War, it's difficult to determine exactly how many people died. Nevertheless, it is occasionally necessary to name a figure, even an approximate one.

"To the Central Committee of the KPSS

Comrade Shepilov asks that we telegraph to him numbers of losses in the Soviet army and by the Soviet people in the years of WWII. In connection with this, I report:
  1. In an interview published on March 14th, 1946, I.V. Stalin said: "...As a result of the German invasion, the Soviet Union lost in battle with Germany, and due to occupation and forcing Soviet people into German labour, about 7 million people. The Soviet Union lost several times more people than England and the United States combined."
  2. According to calculations of the TsSU, the total loss due to Soviet army casualties, exterminations of Soviet people by occupants, and decreased birth rates, was 20 million lives.
  3. Published data on the population of the Soviet Union in 1940 (191.7 million) and in April of 1956 (200.2 million), as well as population growth data published in the past years suggest that losses of the USSR were not 7 million, but significantly greater.
Based on this, I consider it necessary to instruct comrade Shepilov to not name a number at all, limiting himself to "many millions". If he must name a number, say "over 20 million people" in approximately the following context:

"During the Great Patriotic War, in battle with invaders, as a result of extermination of the population by occupants, and due to decrease in births and increase in deaths, especially in occupied regions, the Soviet Union lost over 20 million people.""

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