The Battle of Stalingrad ended in a disaster for the Germans. Many died, many survived as POW only to die later in Russian captivity. Stalingrad in January-February 1943 was a vision from hell. There was a witness who saw the end of the German Sixth Army. A British correspondent, Alexander Werth. Here is what he says in his book."Russia At War: 1941-1945" . Below is an adaptation.
I remembered the long and anxious days of the summer of 1942, and the London night blitz, and photographs of Hitler, grinning on the steps of the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Paris, and the dreary days of 1938 and 1939., When Europe nervously caught Berlin radio and listened to the cries of Hitler, accompanied by the cannibal German roar of the crowd. And I saw a sign of severe, but divine justice in these frozen cesspools in these gnawed horse skeletons and yellow corpses of Germans starved to death in the courtyard of the Red Army in Stalingrad
MASSACRE OF GERMAN SOLDIERS
A RUSSIAN CIVILIAN AT STALINGRAD
When a Chinese correspondent asked about Japan, he said stiffly, with another devastating glare: "We immensely admire our gallant Japanese allies for their brilliant victories over the English and the Americans, and wish them many more victories." Then he was asked what all those crosses and mantelpiece ornaments were, and he rattled them off one after another—the golden frame with the black spider of a swastika was, he said, the Deutsche Kreuz in Gold, and the Führer himself had designed it. "One would have thought that you'd have a slight grudge against the Führer," somebody suggested. He glared and merely said: "The Führer is a very great man, and if you have any doubts, you will soon have occasion to put them aside." The man was one of the few German generals who was to keep completely aloof, during the rest of the war, from the Free German Committee.
The only man who looked in a poor shape was Paulus himself. We weren't allowed to speak to him [ I later learned that he had firmly refused to make any statement.]; he was only shown to us so that we could testify that he was alive and had not committed suicide. He stepped out of a large cottage—it was more like a villa— gave us one look, then stared at the horizon, and stood on the steps for a minute or two, in a rather awkward silence, with two other officers, one of whom was General Schmidt, his chief of staff. Paulus looked pale and sick, and had a nervous twitch in his left cheek. He had a more natural dignity than the others, and wore only one or two decorations. The cameras clicked and a Russian officer politely dismissed him, and he went back into the cottage. The others followed and the door closed behind him. It was over.
The Volga! Here was the scene of one of the grimmest episodes of the war: the Stalingrad lifeline. The remnants of it were still there: those barges and steamers, most of them smashed, frozen into the ice. Now a thin trickle of traffic was calmly driving across the ice: cars and horse-sleighs, and some soldiers on foot. The Volga was frozen over, but not entirely—not even after the fierce frost of the past fortnight. There were still a few shining blue patches of water, from which women were carrying pails. We drove down from the cliffs to the Volga beach, crowded with hundreds of German "trophy" cars and lorries, and were now on Russian soil that the enemy had never taken.
And then, suddenly, at the far end of the yard I caught sight of a human figure. He had been crouching over another cesspool, and now, noticing us, he was hastily pulling up his pants, and then he slunk away into the door of a basement. But as he passed, I caught a glimpse of the wretch's face—with its mixture of suffering and idiot-like incomprehension. For a moment, I wished the whole of Germany were there to see it. The man was perhaps already dying. In that basement into which he slunk there were still two hundred Germans—dying of hunger and frostbite. "We haven't had time to deal with them yet," one of the Russians said. "They'll be taken away tomorrow, I suppose." And, at the far end of the yard, beside the other cesspool, behind a low stone wall, the yellow corpses of skinny Germans were piled up—men who had died in that basement—about a dozen wax-like dummies. We did not go into the basement itself— what was the good? There was nothing we could do for them.
We walked down the main avenue running south, between enormous blocks of burned out houses, towards the other square. In the middle of the pavement lay a dead German. He must have been running when a shell hit him. His legs still seemed to be running, though one was now cut off above the ankle by a shell, and, with the splintered white bone sticking out of the frozen red flesh, it looked like something harmlessly familiar from a butcher's window. His face was a bloody frozen mess, and beside it was a frozen pool of blood.