German POWs in the USSR. German prisons were more strict, had more reports of beatings and food shortages, and some prisoners were executed for political reasons as the war drew to an end. The Soviets didnât look kindly on POWs, and many were accused of collaborating with the Nazis. Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 1944 â¦ After the fall of the Third Reich, the number rose to a staggering 5 million German and Axis POWs. New Danish-German film describes how more than 2,000 captive soldiers, many of them still teenagers, were forcibly marched through mine fields, in what some have called 'Denmark's biggest war crime.' The Untold Horror of How Danes Forced German POWs to Clear Mines After WWII . There was no âpeace treatyâ in place at the end of the War. The rest got banned from work for several years or had to pay a fine. Those held in Soviet-occupied territory fared far worse. German POWs were labelled âdisarmed enemy forcesâ (DEF) rather than âprisoners of warâ in order to skirt provisions of the Hague Land Warfare Convention which mandated humane treatment, including that which stated: âAfter the peace treaty, prisoners of war should be dismissed into their homeland within shortest period.â After the Third Reichâs fortunes shifted decisively in the lost battle for Moscow in December 1941, the Allies began to inflict grievous defeats on the German army, which resulted in millions of casualties and prisoners of war (POWs). In the first months of Operation Barbarossa, few Germans were captured by Red Army forces.After the Battle of Moscow and the retreat of the German forces the number of prisoners in the Soviet prisoner of war camps rose to 120,000 by early 1942. Only the really bad guys were on trial. A column of German prisoners, captured in fighting for the outer defenses of Cherbourg are marched to a prisoner of war stockade behind the lines on June 29, 1944. (AP Photo) Commander of the German forces which capitulated at the French port of Cherbourg, France, stand with their conqueror on June 30, 1944, after giving up the fight. Many Soviet POWs were invariably used as forced labour for the Germans, which is fairly standard and in no way warrants them a place on this list. But what happened after the war makes it clear why they should be included. Mostly nothing and almost all of them survived. Of those, an estimated 56,000, or about 1 percent, diedâroughly equal to the mortality rate American POWs suffered in German hands. A total of approximately 60,000 German prisoners were held in Special Camp No. Former German prisoner of war Günter Gräwe was 18 years old in August of 1944 during what he calls the luckiest time of his life.That was shortly after he, as a new recruit in the German â¦ But the worst German atrocities were those committed against suspected commandos, Jews, or peopleâs designated undesirable by the German state. 7 after World War II ended, and 12,000 were buried in unmarked mass graves.