THE EASTERN FRONT
The Eastern Front was by far the largest and bloodiest theatre of World War II, and generally accepted as the most costly conflict in human history at anywhere from 25-30 million dead as a result. It involved more land combat than all other World War II theatres combined. The Eastern front resulted in such staggering losses and disregard for human life almost entirely as a consequence of the ideological premise for the war. To hardline Nazis in Berlin, the war against the Soviet Union was one of a struggle of Fascism against Communism, and the Aryan race against the "inferior" Slavic race. From the beginning of the conflict, Hitler referred it as a "war of annihilation". Aside from the ideological conflict, the mindframe of the leaders of Germany and the Soviet Union, Hitler and Stalin respectively, contributed to the escalation of terror and murder on an unprecedented scale. Hitler sought to enslave the Slavic race and wipe out the large Jewish population of Eastern Europe (Holocaust). Stalin and Hitler both disregarded human life in order to achieve their goal of victory. This included terrorization of their own people, as well as mass deportation (planned in the case of Germany) of entire populations. All these factors resulted in tremendous brutality both to combatants and civilians, which was not paralleled on the Western Front.
Soviet Byelorussian partisans, 1944
Russian Jewish partisans
A Soviet Army officer briefs his men
Bodies of Russian people, killed and piled up
More Russian front Pictures