WOW! I can’t believe the filmmakers of this documentary managed to get a Soviet WWII vet to admit to illegally killing surrendered German soldiers. This is a crazy end to a very good, in depth documentary on WWII, covering, for once, the Eastern front as well as the other fronts.
WWII was unbelievably barbaric and cruel, but especially so on the Eastern Front, and this is readily apparent in recent scholarship on the behavior not only of the Wehrmacht, but of the Red Army as well.
Obviously, no Russians want to hear about the ‘Rape of Germany’, just as no American likes to find out that Allied forces on the Western front were behind some 20,000 rapes (I won ‘t go into the numbers for the Eastern front….they’re pretty controversial. Think ‘low’ millions. Also, understand that these Red Army men were probably terribly destroyed by their experiences in the War, and would act accordingly). But I feel that it is important, as a historian, to get as close to the truth as possible. Because, however unpleasant it may seem, that’s how we come to understand why these terrible things happen, and how we can prevent them from happening again.