|Русская освободительная армия POA|
Russian Liberation Army ROA
With the German counter-offensive in May 1942, the Soviet Lieutenant General Andrey Andreyevich Vlasov, commander of the 2nd Shock Army of the Volkhov Front, was taken prisoner by Wehrmacht troops. He claimed that during those days of battle he affirmed his anti-bolshevism and adopted a pro-Nazi German stance, believing Stalin was the greatest enemy of the Russian people, and there is evidence that suggests Vlasov may have changed sides in a bid to give his countrymen a better life than the one they had under Stalin. Vlasov later founded the Russian Liberation Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia, in hopes of creating the Russian Liberation Army — known as ROA (Russkaya Osvoboditel'naya Armiya). On May 10 1945, Vlasov and his men reached western Allied forces and surrendered to them. However, Vlasov – along with many of his men and other collaborators – was forcibly repatriated to the Soviet Union by the Americans. He was hanged on August 1 1946. Image: Nazi Soviet troops with POA shoulder patches visible. Photo: Karl Müller. Commons: Bundesarchiv.