The foreign Press sometimes carries such twaddle as that the Red Army pursues the aim of exterminating the German people and destroying the German state. This, of course, is a stupid lie, and a senseless slander against the Red Army. The Red Army has not and cannot have such idiotic aims. The Red Army’s aim is to drive the German occupants from our country and liberate Soviet soil from the German-fascist invaders. It is very likely that the war for the liberation of Soviet soil will lead to the exile or destruction of Hitler’s clique. We would welcome such an outcome. But it would be ludicrous to identify Hitler’s clique with the German people, with the German state. The experience of history indicates that Hitlers come and go, but the German people and the German state remain.
The strength of the Red Army lies, finally, in the fact that it does not and cannot feel racial hatred for other peoples, including the German people; that it has been trained in the spirit of equality of all peoples and races, in the spirit of respect for the rights of other peoples. The Germans’ racial theory and the practice of racial hatred have caused all freedom-loving peoples to become enemies of fascist Germany. The theory of race equality in the U.S.S.R. and practice of respect for the rights of other peoples have caused all freedom-loving peoples to become the friends of the Soviet Union.
Herein lies the strength of the Red Army.
And herein lies the weakness of the German-fascist army.
The foreign Press sometimes carries such twaddle as that the Soviet people hate the Germans just as Germans, that the Red Army exterminates German soldiers just as Germans out of hatred for everything German and that therefore the Red Army does not take German soldiers prisoner. That, of course is a similar stupid lie and senseless slander against the Red Army. The Red Army is devoid of all sentiments of racial hatred. It is devoid of such degrading sentiments because it has been trained in the spirit of racial equality and respect for the rights of other peoples. It should not be forgotten either that in our country any manifestation of racial hatred is punished by law.
Of course, the Red Army has to destroy the German-fascist occupationists inasmuch as they wish to enslave our Motherland; or when, on being surrounded by our troops, they refuse to lay down their arms and surrender. The Red Army annihilates them, not because of their German origin, but because they want to enslave our Motherland. The Red Army, like the army of any other people, has the right and is duty-bound to annihilate the enslavers of its Motherland, irrespective of their national origin. Not long ago the German garrisons in the towns of Kalinin, Klin, Sukhinichi, Andreapol and Toropets were surrounded by our troops, who offered them surrender and, in this case, promised to spare their lives. The German garrisons refused to lay down their arms and surrender. It is obvious that they had to be driven out by force and that not a few Germans were killed. War is war. The Red Army takes German soldiers and officers prisoner if they surrender, and spares their lives. The Red Army annihilates German soldiers and officers if they refuse to lay down their arms, and, arms in hand, attempt to enslave our Motherland. Remember the words of the great Russian writer, Maxim Gorky: “If the enemy does not surrender he must be annihilated.”