Russian POWs Labour in the Forest

Updated: Nov 6, 2020

The photograph here shows a Heer Obergefreiter grenadier with some Russian POWs, seen just after some heavy work lumbering some trees and placing onto a horse and cart. The wood possibly to be used for foundations of a building or nearby defences. The photograph is on the eastern front. Seen here lined up are Russian POWs, seen in work clothes consisting of their old uniforms and in work shirts and hats. POWs for forced labour was common during the war as it allowed for more time for the Wehrmacht to function and tasking the POWs to do the labour that may help and save time. Seen in the photograph here is a Heer Grenadier, the Rank of Obergefreiter, this being denoted by the double chevron worn on his arm. The Obergefreiter is seen wearing a M36 tunic and bayonet on his belt. He is seen over watching the Russian POWs. The work that has been performed by the Russian POWs can be seen by the stacks of cut down trees and wood laying in scattered piles, multiple trips by horse and cart seems necessary to complete the assignment. The Russian POWs and the Obergefreiter pose for a photograph, giving the possibly tired and exhausted POWs a rest. The thoughts of home may be filling the POWs thoughts or when they may be seeing their loved ones again. Prisoners of war were taken by both sides and tasked with jobs before being sent to POW camps. The date and exact location is unknown but thought to be early Russian campaign and in a forested area. A crisp photograph showing Russian POWs, POW photographs were commonly took.

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