Homepage of Dr. Viktor Krieger

Viktor Krieger: Secret Criminal Proceedings Against the Last Volga German Government During the Years 1944-46. Lincoln: American Historical Society of Germans From Russia 2005, 45 p., comb bound with a protective cover, A4 format. In English. For the first time are investigate the circumstances, process and results of the secret criminal proceedings against the leaders of the former Volga Germans republic. It was a question of 7 high-ranks party, state and economy officials who were in the forced labor camp Bogoslovlag, province Sverdlovsk. They were accused to establish an “leadership core” an anti-Soviet organization in the Volga Republic for an armed rebellion against the Soviet power following the attack by Hitler-Germany. The research is based on evaluation of the investigative files open only recently. A chapter is dedicated to the legal rehabilitation in the later 1950th years. With biographical informations about inmates, p. 30-34. Photographs and documents reproduction, see p. 35-45.

Available at the author. Review copy on request.





Excerpt, Page 7:

2. Criminal Prosecution of the Volga German Leadership

 Among the hundreds of criminal proceedings against German forced laborers during the war and during post-war years, one of the most important ones is doubtlessly the one against former leading functionaries of the ASSR of Volga Germans. Particularly, we are dealing with the following personalities, who served their forced labor stints in the Bogoslovlag:

  • Alexander Heckmann, Chairman (1938 – 1941) of the Council of People’s Commissars (Sovet Narodnykh Komissarov – Sovnarkom or SNK), i.e., unofficially dubbed the premier; three times deputy to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, of the RSFSR and the ASSRdWD.
  • Heinrich Korbmacher, Third Secretary (1938 – 1941) of the Provincial Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) [Vsesoiuznaia Kommunisticheskaia Partiia (bol’shevikov) – VKP (b)] and deputy to the Supreme Soviet of the Volga German Republic.
  • Friedrich Fritzler, People’s Commissar (Minister) of Agriculture (1938 – 1941), and deputy to the Supreme Soviet of the German Republic.
  • Johannes Maier, People’s Commissar of Finance (1937 – 1941) of the ASSRdWD.
  • Jakob Weilert, Second deputy chairman of the SNK (1938 – 1941) of the German Republic.
  • Wladimir Hergert, Administrative Secretary (1939 – 1941) of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the ASSRdWD.
  • Robert Grosch, Chairman (1940 – 1941) of the Industry Council of the Volga German Republic.

 These men were all accused by the secret police of activities hostile to the State. The most serious accusation was that of leading anti-Soviet counter-revolutionary organizations within the former Volga German Republic and maintaining contact with the German Wehrmacht [Armed Forces], plus having planned an insurrection behind the backs of the Red Army. The package of materials resulting from the investigation include in several volumes thousands of pages (1). First to be arrested, on April 24, 1944, was Heinrich Korbmacher. For several weeks he denied all accusations rigorously. Two years later, while in a Moscow prison, he described the continuation of the proceedings as follows (2) :

  • “Leading investigator Tyuyushev interrogated me without interruption on the 18th and 19th of May, 1944, and without giving me food or drink. Because I refused to acknowledge the accusations, I was, by order of Major Medvedev, completely stripped. Tyuyushev and one other, Major Sol’nikov combined in beating me with belts and kicking me with their feet, while Medvedev threatened to shoot me. Medvedev also named Heckmann as the one who had recruited me, and I agreed with that statement.”

The proceedings of the interrogation of May 19, 1944, signed by Korbmacher, reflected rather differently the factual discovery and the “path” toward admission…


(1) This refers to a 5-volume investigation file covering the four accused first. This can be found in the State Archive of the Administrative Organs of the Sverdlovsk Region (Gosudarstvennyi Arkhiv Administrativnykh Organov Sverdlovskoi Oblasti – GAAOSO), f. 1, op. 2, d. 28234, volumes (toma) 1, 1a, 2, 3, 4 (criminal case A. Heckmann, H. Korbmacher, F. Fritzler and J. Maier). Information provided by the last three accused can be found in a separate proceedings, within the same archive: GAAOSO, f. 1, op. 2, d. 17207, toma 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (criminal case A. Dehning, W. Hergert, R. Grosch and seventeen other persons).

(2) Statements documented personally by the inmate Heinrich Korbmacher, within the Interior Prison of the MGB of the USSR, May 16, 1946. Cf. GAAOSO, f. 1, op. 2, d. 28234, tom 2 (konvert). Konvert means an envelope that includes statements by the inmates, which accompany the documentation, but are not numbered.