The Wartime Evacuations: Were they worth it?

World War Two had a huge impact on The Soviet Union.  Between the years of 1941 and 1942 between seventeen and twenty five million people were evacuated from the western borders of the country. In addition to having people evacuated, various organizations were also moved to safer areas of the country.  One of the main goals of this evacuation was to “develop the Soviet military capability” (Edwards), hence why many of the industrial workers were given top priority in evacuation.

However, the country was not prepared for these evacuations. Large groups of people  were arriving in areas that did not have the space or resources to accommodate them.  Being that the goal of the evacuations was to develop the military, the industrial workers were given priority, with “larger food rations, higher quality housing and better medical care” (Edwards).

Despite being unfair for all citizens involved, the World War Two Soviet evacuations caused the Soviet economy to be completely mobilized and ready for the coming war.  Although they accomplished their goal, the evacuations also caused many people to die or become ill due to poor living conditions, malnutrition or inadequate medical care.  The question is were these evacuations really worth the effort of the government and the toll that they took on the people?

Citations:

17 Moments in History: 1943, Wartime Evacuations
http://www.soviethistory.org/index.php?page=subject&SubjectID=1943evacuation&Year=1943

3 thoughts on “The Wartime Evacuations: Were they worth it?

  1. Its obvious that Stalin and the Soviet Union could have been much better prepared for a German offensive. The fact that all those who had to be evacuated were done so at the last second and at great loss of life and resources goes to prove that better logistics and planning could have helped give steam to a Soviet counteroffensive much sooner. With sooner evacuations, the Soviet domestic industry and interior really would have benefitted much more, or at least much sooner.

  2. I agree with the comment above and also think that it set up much of the Soviet Union’s structure to prepare for the after effects of World War II and the development of Cold War strategy and technologies within the industrial market.

  3. I wrote about deportations of minorities both during and after World War Two and I found many of the same problems. Malnutrition and poor living conditions were huge contributors to the unprecedented amount of deaths during the move as well. It’s tragic to think that people were moved from their homes so quickly and hardly without a warning and the lack of planning shows that the government did not have much regard for the lives of their citizens.

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