Wehrmacht deserters, disintegrators and conscientious objectors were persecuted with around 30,000 death sentences and thousands of prison sentences; 20,000 death sentences were carried out. No 4,000 of them survived the horror in the concentration camps, penal camps and punitive battalions. The initiative demands a worthy commemoration – also for this group of victims.
In April 1945, tank units of the Red Army in the area around Halbe formed a pocket around the remains of the defeated 9th Army of General Busse, who refused an offer of surrender. Tens of thousands of soldiers and civilians fell victim to the Nazi will to persevere in the course of this last cauldron battle of World War II. Last but not least, deserters were shot dead in Halbe in the last days of the war. People who refused to go to war were the victims.
Instead of commemorating all those who refused to participate in the National Socialist murder and terror machine in Halbe, Halbe is now every year anew a place of pilgrimage for National Socialist heroism through parades by old and neo-Nazis. The indiscriminate commemoration from the official side on “Memorial Day” encourages a mixture of victims and offenders.