Analysis of Data Supplied by the Foundation Initiatives



1. Czech Republic

The data for the Czech forced labor workers come from two sources (as of April 1999):

  • Information supplied by the Association of Liberated Political Prisoners
  • Information supplied by the Union of Citizens Subjected to Forced Labour During World War II
  • The first source comprises 5,098 data, whereas the second source consists of 60,000 data. In contrast to the first source, which delivers explicit details for all issues, the second source supplies estimation, respectively projections.

    In spite of the fact that the majority of the information consists of estimations, whose basis is unknown, it can be asserted that these data are absolutely respectable. The Czech data comply with information from various other available sources:


     

    2. Former Soviet Union
     

    a) Foundation "Understanding and Reconciliation" ("Verständigung und Aussöhnung") of the Ukraine

    The data presented by the Ukrainian Foundation Initiative is questionable in some parts:

    In Spoerer's (1999) report, the following age distribution of the Ukrainian National Foundation is quoted:
     
     

    Table 1: Age distribution of the Ukrainian National Foundation


    Year
    Survivors 1997 (abs.)
    Survivors 1997 (in %)
    Prior to 1908
    2,873
    0.5
    1908 to 1912
    9,874
    1.7
    1913 to 1917
    23,352
    4.1
    1918 to 1922
    114,433
    19.9
    1923 to 1927
    392,290
    68.2
    1928 to 1932
    19,548
    3.4
    After 1932
    13,009
    2.3
    Total
    575,379
    100.0

    Source: Spoerer, M. (1999)

      Spoerer's attempt to infer the distribution in 1945 from this information is infeasible due to the lack of statistical details (see Scenario Calculation).
     
     

    Table 2: Conditional probabilities of survival derived for the year 1997
    (in %) for specific Ukrainian age classes who survived 1945 (according to Spoerer, 1999)


    Year
    Female Population
    Male Population
    Prior to 1908
    1.2
    0.3
    1908 to 1912
    2.7
    0.8
    1913 to 1917
    8.3
    3.0
    1918 to 1922
    24.2
    10.3
    1923 to 1927
    44.3
    22.3
    1928 to 1932
    60.7
    35.0
    After 1932
    73.9
    48.3

    Source: United Nations

      It is impossible to derive an explicit statistical distribution for the year 1945 from these data. But, it is possible to draw conclusions that reveal some problematic aspects of the data at hand concerning their credibility:

    If these data were accurate, at least 240,000 Ukrainian forced labor workers in 1945 would have had to have been born prior to 1908, based on United Nations life tables. At the same time, there would have had been less than 27,000 forced labor workers born after 1932 and less than 56,000 forced labor workers born between 1928 and 1932. Departing from the popular number of approximately 1.6 million Ukrainian forced labor workers, less than 6% of them would have been younger than 18 years at the end of the war. Also, about 17 percent of them would have been older than 38 years at that time. These statements contradict the common notion of several historic sources that Soviet forced labor workers in the Third Reich were exceptionally young.

    These contradictionary results quickly lead to the question of how many forced labor workers would have had to have lived in 1945 in order to create the numbers presented by the Ukrainian National Foundation. Employing the technique of linear programming, a minimum number of 3 million Ukrainian forced labor workers in 1945 is obtained. This minimum number even surpasses the commonly accepted number of Soviet forced labor workers.
     
     

    One should not succumb to the mis-interpretation that doubling of the number of Ukrainian forced labor workers in 1945 (in order to obtain the 1997 numbers of the Ukrainian National Foundation) implies that only one half of those forced labor workers claimed by the Ukrainian National Foundation lived to see the year 1997. In fact, it is obvious that the classes of older people contains a number too high of alledgedly entitled former forced labor workers. On the other hand, the classes of younger people contains a number that is below expectations.

    This problematic issue is emphasized in Niethammer's aggregation of information supplied by the Ukrainian National Foundation as of 29 June 1999.
     
     

    Table 3:Number of Ukrainian forced labor workers according to the Ukrainian National Foundation (as of 29 June 1999).
    Year
    Number of Forced Labor Workers
    absolute
    percentage
    Prior to 1920
    61,214
    10.3
    1920-1927
    463,870
    77.9
    After 1927
    70,129
    11.8
    Subtotal
    595,213
    100.0
    Other Form of Detention, no Deportation 
    (alle Jahrgänge)
    436
    Total
    595,649

     

    In case both data sets are accurate, which can only be judged by the two cited historians, an additional question arises regarding the fact why the older years of birth represent such a large number. After all, the number of people in these classes should have decreased by some 25%-33% between 1997-1999.
     

    b) Foundations for "Understanding and Reconciliation" in Russia

    No comments can be made on the data from Russia, as no detailled information about the age distribution is available.
     

    c) Foundations for "Understanding and Reconciliation" in Belarus

    The number of 2,112,144 registrated East European forced labor workers (so-called "Ostarbeiter") as of 15 August 1944 (according to "Arbeitseinsatz im Grossdeutschen Reich", 1944) included 34.7% of forced labor workers in the agricultural sector (including forestry and fishing sectors) and 65.3% in the remaining sectors. Hence, the proportion was roughly 1:2. Within the agricultural sector gender was distributed with 45.1% being male and 54.9% being female forced labor workers. within the remaining sectors the distribution was 51.2% being male and 48.8% being female.

    Since information from all Foundations from successor states of the former Soviet Union distort their reported proportions favoring the agricultural sector, one has to conclude that considerably younger forced labor workers were employed in the agricultural sector as compared to the industrial sector. The differing gender proportions cannot be responsible for that.

    Considering the data for the industrial sector supplied by the Belarussian Foundation, a surprising share of 52% female forced labor workers is reported. As the share has not changed significantly as opposed to the proportions in 1945, either considerably less females must have had been working or they were considerably older than the male forced labor workers. Otherwise, womens' higher life expectancy would have lead to a significantly higher share of women. As the non-agricultural sector in the data of the Belarussian Foundation is rather small, the aforementioned effect cannot be outweighed.

    This either implies that the share of women in the Belarussian data is too small or that former forced labor workers living in Belarus are older than former forced labor workers in other successor states of the former Soviet Union. In this case, the total number of registrated former forced labor workers at the Belarussian Foundation would be too high.
     

    3. Poland

    Spoerer's report presents information on the Polish Foundation Initiative. Along those lines, a number of 497,300 civil forced labor workers was registered at the Foundation, in 1992. This number alledgedly shrinked to approximately 400,000 as of 1999. Although the underlying mortality rate is not constant, it should be noted that this decrease implies an average annual mortality rate of less than 3%. This decrease of the population, however, implies a much younger age of the population than the age presented in Niethammer's aggregation. This conclusion is based on life tables of the United Nations and the official Polish statistic.

    Table 4: Number of polish forced labor workers according to the Foundation "German-Polish Reconciliation" ("Deutsch-Polnische Aussöhnung") (as of 07 May 1999)


     
    Year
    Number of Forced Labor Workers
    absolute
    percentage
    Prior to 1920
    133,160
    23.4
    1920-1927
    224,600
    39.4
    After 1927
    211,940
    37.2
    Subtotal
    569,700
    100.0
    Prisoners of War (Stalags)
    20,500
    Other Form of Detention, no Deportation
    2,900
    Total
    593,100
     
    Copyright 2000, Dr. Roland Jeske