Remembering Soviet Disabled War Veterans (1941-1945)


Soviet men and women have given their lives as soldiers, to preserve the October Revolution in Russia, since its inception in 1917. A proportion of those wounded, have been rendered permanently disabled, and this was seen in unprecedented numbers during the Great Patriotic War. As one estimate states that around 40 million Soviet men, women and children died in the Nazi German invasion of the USSR during WWII (others say it was much higher), it is logical to assume that the disabled wounded must have been in the millions, depending upon the type of wound received. Modern warfare blew-off arms and legs with a monstrous regularity, as well as maiming the face and torso. The catch 22 situation was that the brutal Nazi German troops were carrying-out a holocaust aimed at the Slavic people for being Jewish, Bolshevik, racially inferior or sexually deviant, etc. Fighting and killing on an industrial scale never seen before in the history of human warfare, invariably led to survivors suffering terrible psychological and physical wounds. The Soviet System responded to this huge influx of disabled veterans by providing medical care, housing and re-training for a new career (wherever possible), at special centres established throughout the USSR. Immediately after the war, however, it was thought that the disabled veterans might return home and integrate back into Soviet Society (with the support of their families), making use of the generous Social Security System provided free by the State, but for many, their psychological trauma and inability to adjust, meant that they often took to the streets to beg, drink alcohol and deteriorate further. The Soviet Authorities established special disabled centres and initiated a campaign in the early 1950’s of relocating all disabled war veterans living on the streets. Although many undoubtedly benefited from this action, others were unable to settle and left these centres after a short time. This is not surprising considering the terrible conditions and experiences they had endured whilst fighting Nazi tyranny. It must be remembered that the USSR had fought in wars before and integrated its disabled veterans successfully back into society, but the Great Patriotic War saw casualties on an unimaginable scale, and herein lay the problem. However, overtime the situation did settle down and the disabled veterans were able to make something positive of their new lives, after-all, the Communist State they lived within, (and defended with the lives), provided everything ‘free’ for their care and re-training. This is in stark contrast to anti-Soviet propaganda perpetuated in the West, or even ‘modern’ anti-Soviet propaganda originating within contemporary ‘capitalist’ Russia. It was the barbarity of Nazi German fascism that caused such death and misery in the USSR, and not the Soviet System itself, which was operating in self-defence. Th Soviet disabled war veterans should be remembered with respect – even in modern, capitalist Russia.







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