The bottom of the second page (above), contains a tear-off section intended to guarantee the bearer safe passage. It reads:
German soldiers who surrender to the Red Army are guaranteed: life, good treatment, and return home after the end of the war.The line below assures Germans that if they surrender with hands raised, no one will shoot.
Although the Soviets, unlike the Germans, did not have a policy of deliberate extermination of prisoners, conditions for the average German POW bore little resemblance to what the pamphlet described, or certainly not for long. As the tide of war turned, the number of prisoners increased beyond the Soviet capacity to care for them, and the mounting toll from German atrocities did not make the USSR any more inclined to be lenient toward the captive invaders. Conditions improved only briefly late in the war, when the Soviets needed prisoners for labor, But as Max Arthur puts it, “In 1945, in Soviet eyes it was time to pay. For most Russian soldiers, any instinct for pity or mercy had died somewhere on a hundred battlefields between Moscow and Warsaw.” Death rates among POWs on both sides of the eastern front were around 60 percent. Among prisoners on both sides on the western front, by contrast, it was under 4 percent.