Stalingrad i antropologia wojny

25 wrz. 2009


The author makes an anthropological analysis of the battle of Stalingrad that took place during the World War II. Approximately 22 divisions fought on the German side. Two thirds of the soldiers and non-commissioned officers and half of the officers died, froze or starved to death. A great deal of the war equipment and weapons was destroyed and lost. There were also great losses among the defenders of the city and among the civilians. The bodies were collected from the battlefield. The Russians were buried, the Germans burnt. After the fights had been finished Stalingrad was one great ocean of ruins, the industrial districts of the city became piles of concrete and iron waste. Only the foundations remained from the 42 thousand houses. The whole city infrastructure, electric, water supply and sewage systems were destroyed. Long after the war corpses were found all over the city. The city itself was impossible to rebuild for a long time. What was it that the Germans looked for in the steppes between the Don and Volga rivers and what was it that they wanted to achieve by assaulting and storming Stalingrad until the complete destruction of the city; with the loss of their best soldiers and a loss of vast masses of precious equipment? How can one explain the debauchery of that terrible and cruel war that horrified the veterans of both hostile armies. Who should be responsible for all this? Would it be Hitler possessed by a frantic mania of seizing the oil pools, reaching Caucasus and India; or the highest commanding officers of Wehrmacht unable even in the hour of defeat to resist him? Or maybe the war itself should be considered responsible or guilty?