2 Replies Latest reply on Mar 16, 2021 1:31 AM by Boris Zheleznov

    Seeking Russian/Soviet prisoners liberated in American Occupation Zone

    Boris Zheleznov Newbie

      Dear Sirs and Madam!  I'm looking for any information regarding my missing family members. Could you please kindly assist and advise where I should search for information about Russian/Soviet POWs in the American Occupation Zone? I have two sought persons. One is my grandfather who had been a Dachau prisoner liberated by US troops and taken by them to the hospital. After some time, a US Army officer offered him the chance to go to the US and become a citizen.  Because if he returned to the USSR, he would definitely become a prisoner of GULAG. But my grandfather had his elderly mother and brother left in the USSR. He decided to return home and even managed to evade arrest by NKVD (hereafter KGB). The other is my wife's great-grandfather who, according to Russian Military archives, had gone missing in October 1941 during Novgorod defensive operation. Even an investigation had been launched but without any results (neither body nor any signs of him). After the war, my wife's grandfather (his son), being a young Soviet military officer, had been doing his best to find any information about his father but with no success. According to his recollections some people hinted at the possibility that his father was in American occupation zone. But at that time having a relative in American occupation zone meant imprisonment or even a death penalty to the family members living in USSR as relatives of a spy. Moreover, it was still unknown whether he had been captured by German troops or had voluntarily deserted so my wife's grandfather had decided to stop his searches.  Maybe there are some lists (or even personal files?) of war prisoners liberated by US troops in the American National Archives - Department of Defense, Department of State or elsewhere? I would greatly appreciate any advice or information! Thanks in advance. P.S. If their names are needed for a research, I will provide them.


        • Re: Seeking Russian/Soviet prisoners liberated in American Occupation Zone
          Sylvia Naylor Scout

          Dear Mr. Zheleznov,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          We searched the National Archives Catalog and located 3 series, 44 file units, and 19 items in various record groups that relate to Soviet prisoners of war. Please note that some of the records have been digitized and may be viewed using the Catalog. For more information about non-digitized records, please contact the unit listed in the description.


          Since your grandfather was a prisoner at Dachau concentration camp, we would suggest reviewing records located in the series Concentration Camp Dachau Entry Registers, 1945-1945 in the National Archives Collection of World War II War Crimes Records (Record Group 238). Please note that records in this series have been microfilmed as Microfilm Publication M1938 and subsequently digitized. Digital images of the records may be viewed and downloaded using the Catalog. Further, we would suggest reviewing records located in the series titled Lists and Registers of German Concentration Camp Inmates, 1946-1958 (Microfilm Publication A3355) in the National Archives Collection of Foreign Records Seized (Record Group 242). Records in this series have also been digitized and are available via the Catalog.


          Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from various NARA reference units. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


          Lastly, we would recommend looking into work of the U.S.-Russia Joint Commission on POW/MIAs. This Commission was established in 1992 by the U.S. President George H.W. Bush and Russia President Boris Yeltsin to determine the fates of Americans and Russians from World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Cold War. For more information on the Commission, please see resources available on the website of the Library of Congress here and here.


          We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!