Stalin's Italian Prisoners of War
The study examines Italian war crimes against the Soviet civilian population and describes the particularly grim fate of the thousands of Italian military internees who after the 8 September 1943 Armistice had been sent to Germany and were subsequently captured by the Soviet army to be deported to the USSR. The book presents everyday life and death in the Soviet prisoner camps and explains the particularly high mortality among Italian prisoners. Giusti explores how well the system of prisoner labor, personally supervised by Stalin, was planned, starting in 1943. A special focus of the study is antifascist propaganda among prisoners and the infiltration of the Soviet security agencies in the camps. Stalin was keen to create a new cohort of supporters through the mass political reeducation of war prisoners, especially middle-class intellectuals and military élite.
The book ends with the laborious diplomatic talks in 1946 and 1947 between USSR, Italy, and the Holy See for the repatriation of the surviving prisoners.
About the Authors
private diaries) and builds up a genuine research book, which is deeply empathic. This book is a milestone for the international scholarship not only on the Soviet Gulag, but also on the social history of the Soviet violence and the history of memory of war and war crimes."—Stefano Bottoni
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