Red Army in Berlin

Soviet soldiers distribute food among German civilians

I came across a Russian article (details see below) with some interesting statements on how the Red Army dealt with civilians in Germany during World War II. Below you can find translation of parts of that article.

Russian food for German civilians

On April 25th, 1945, during the peak of the fights in Berlin, sergeant Lesnikov brings a train to the station Berlin-Lichtenberg. The train is loaded with food for German civilians.

The Soviet command organizes the distribution of free food for Germans according to the following principles:

  • People employed in “hard and difficult” jobs got 600 grams of bread, 80 grams of groats and pasta, 100 grams of meat, 30 grams of fats, 25 grams of sugar per person.
  • Other workers got 500 grams of bread, and smaller quantities of groats, pasta, meat, sugar, and fats.

There were additional regulations regarding free food for children and dependents.

Apart from that, everyone was entitled to

  • 400 grams of salt per month and
  • 500 grams of potatoes per day.

Later ration stamps were introduced for getting tea and coffee.

An interesting German offer

On May 28th, 1945, a Red Army soldier was shot at by someone from a window in Berlin’s district Prenzlauer Berg. The military police took several inhabitants of the house to the commandant’s office for interrogation.

Rumors spread among the Germans, that the Soviets would stop distributing free food because of that shot. After a while, several delegations of Germans came to the commandant’s office. All of them offered the same thing: To take 30–40 hostages and publicly shoot them. In exchange the Germans wanted the Soviets to continue to give away free food.

All deputations left the commandant’s office dumbfounded: The Soviets said they would continue to provide food, but rejected the German offer of a mass shooting.