German authorities put online Monday the names of 700,000 captured Soviet soldiers, most of whom died in horrific Nazi prison camps during the Second World War.
The lists had previously been kept by German authorities who help people in former Soviet nations to discover how their menfolk died.
“Now people will be able to do the research all by themselves,” said Klaus-Dieter Mueller, chief librarian of the State of Saxony Memorials Foundation in Dresden, which manages several state-run concentration-camp memorials that expose Nazi crimes.
The twin websites, http://www.dokst.de and http://www.dokst.ru, contain the full alphabetical list of men in German and in Russian, starting with the vital data of Erich Aawik, an Estonian born in 1919 who died in German captivity on November 24, 1943.
The German library has been digitizing the data since 2000 with help from the Russian, Ukraine and Belarus authorities. Officials said more names would be added as new information came to light.
Nazi Germany breached the Geneva conventions on prisoners of war in its treatment of Red Army captives, using them as slaves and confining them in near starvation and disease. Relatives often still do not know how the men disappeared of where their remains are. Internet: http://www.dokst.de http://www.dokst.ru