In summer 1944 the year I lived in a small southern town. The war was in full swing. Then one day my eyes from high flying aircraft showered leaflets. They are a bunch of white swirled in the air. One of the leaflets dropped in the yard of our house. I picked it up and saw the text and a few photos. This was an appeal of General Vlasov, sided with the Wehrmacht. In the photos, he appeared among the German officers before the formation of his armies. Already, 11-year old boy, I felt, that it is unclean, Vlasov — a traitor and a traitor.
The question arises: what made the Soviet general, successfully promoted and award-winning for a very successful military operations against the German invaders, change the oath and go to the enemy?
The Great Patriotic War found near Lviv General Vlasov as commander of the Mechanized Corps. Since the beginning of the war he was entrusted to command the 37th Army of the Southwestern Front. In the defense of Kiev Army was encircled. Vlasov managed to break through, And his, wounded, soldiers carried on their hands.
About, as General Vlasov was captured, there are different versions. According to one version, he surrendered to the Germans. another, This happened in the following way. in the evening 13 July 1942 year near the village Tuhovezhi Leningrad region Vlasov fell asleep in a barn. There he grabbed a German patrol, probably, denounced by local residents. The general was sent to Vinnitsa camp for captured Soviet officers, which he has agreed to cooperate with the Wehrmacht.
It was then that there was a leaflet, in which General Vlasov urged people to overthrow the Soviet Stalinist regime. It was his open letter. it was called — Why I chose the path of struggle against Bolshevism», there Vlasov urged create Liberation Army.
What motivated Vlasov, when he took the decision? is he, who grew up in Soviet times and climbed to the top rung of the career ladder, member of the party and a decorated, I could not hate this power. Before the war, As a member of the military tribunal, Vlasov himself wrote, what «always stood firmly on the general line of the party and it has always fought». But fear could well be to Stalin. And the desire to save his life in captivity — also.
However, none of this could not have happened, Vlasov had not received the support of thousands of Soviet prisoners of war — soldier, officers and even generals, have agreed to cooperate with the German occupiers.
At the end of December 1942 Vlasov year signed the so-called Smolensk Declaration, in which he stated his decision to fight the Bolshevik power. The following spring he visited the occupied Riga, Pskov, Gatchina and made a provocatively speeches to the residents of these cities.
General Vlasov enjoyed great support among the German officers, who were opposed to Hitler and his policies, — such as Colonel Count von Stauffenberg, who later became a member of the assassination of the Fuhrer. In the autumn 1944 year Vlasov took Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler. At first he did not trust the Russian General, but, realizing the threat to Germany defeat, He did not object to create a Russian Liberation Army (ROA) headed by Vlasov.
By the end of April 1945 year under the Vlasov forces were impressive total population 130000 human (including several generals), and even had planes.
The Führer ordered to send some of these units on the Western Front. There are many Vlasov began to voluntarily surrender to the Americans and the British. In April 1945 Year 1st Division Vlasov army were ordered to restrain the advance of the Soviet Army on the River Oder. Vlasov fought desperately, understanding, that in case of defeat at the mercy of the victors they not count. Upon learning of the tanks approach Marshal Konev, Division went to the west and surrendered to the Allies. In short, a big role in the war has not played ROA.
The position of Vlasov was unenviable. From General Franco he received an offer to emigrate to Spain. Vlasov refused and 11 May 1945 year surrendered to the Americans. But the next day was suddenly seized by SMERSH and taken to Moscow.
General interrogations were conducted in closed meetings of the Military Collegium of the USSR Supreme Court for nearly a year, without lawyers and witnesses. Vlasov gave extensive testimony, but pleaded treason did not recognize. He was sentenced to death by hanging and executed on the night of 1 August 1946 of the year. there is evidence, that his remains were buried in Moscow at the Donskoy cemetery.
Vlasov, surrendered to the Allies captured, Soon after the war, they were given to the Soviet authorities. Many of them are waiting for the shooting, many — death camps. The current assessment of the Vlasov Vlasov and ambiguous. There are attempts to present them as fighters against the tyranny of Stalin. But is it possible to justify fratricide and collaboration with the Nazis, even the best of intentions?