Russia: Last WW2 German Prisoner Finally Released from Gulag


Yenisey | The Russian prison authorities surprised the international community this morning by announcing that they would finally set free on Friday the last German prisoner of war from the Second World War.

84-year old Reinhard Kunze, was only 14 years old when he was captured by Soviet troops during the Battle of Berlin, in January 1945, and was detained for the last 69 years in various Soviet and Russian forced labor camps.

The Foreign Minister of Russia, Sergueï Lavrov, announced this morning that in an “act of good will”, the Moscow government was ready to “put aside their national pride” and show their “generosity and good will” by letting him go home.

Recruited in the Hitler’s youth (Hitlerjugend ) 12th SS Panzer Division in 1943 when he was 12 years old, Mr. Kunze was accused by Soviet authorities of executing  Yakov Dzhugashvili, the son of Joseph Stalin, at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in April 1943.

The son of the dictator had been captured during the Battle of Stalingrad and was killed after his father refused to exchange him for the German Field Marshall Friedrich Von Paulus, who had been captured by Soviet troops.

The Russian leader had however decreed that no matter when the other German POWs were to be released, the murderer of his son was to remain in forced labor camps until his death, to pay for his act of “exceptional cowardice”.

Until now, the successive Russian governments had maintained the sentence and realized Stalin’s wish, even if it had no real legal legitimacy under modern democratic standards. The actual government, however, seems to have changed its mind in order to appease the tension with Germany, that has developed over the conflict in Ukraine.

Many experts doubt however that this surprising announce could really have the desired effect, as it also constitutes an admittance that Russian authorities had detained illegally a German Citizen for 70 years, who moreover was only 14 years old at the time of his imprisonment.

This surprising news brings back painful memories to many Germans, has Mr. Kunze is only that last of a never-ending list of horrible stories linked to the end of the Second World War. Approximately three million German prisoners of war were captured by the Soviet Union during World War II, most of them during the great advances of the Red Army in the last year of the war.

The POWs were employed as forced labor in the Soviet wartime economy and postwar reconstruction. By 1950 almost all had been released. 

Officially, the last surviving German Prisoners of war returned home from the USSR in 1956, but it is now clear that it was not exactly true.

According to Soviet records, 381,067 German Wehrmacht POW died in NKVD camps over that time period, out of which 356,700 were German nationals and 24,367 from other nations. Many scholars and historians dispute those numbers, however, suggesting that the body count could be close to 1 million.

6 Comments on "Russia: Last WW2 German Prisoner Finally Released from Gulag"

  1. fuc_k russia!

  2. Tim Robertson | July 20, 2014 at 5:30 pm | Reply

    World war two is not over. Japan is winning! They own everything

  3. Some harsh words from some fucked up views… Who did what to whom how and when go back to the time of the zealots and study your history from then … What the nazi did in ww2 is despicable what the ussians did to the inmates the gulag is not any less despicable when will we a humans learn that we all live on this one planet peace to all and love to all

  4. Андрей Авдошин | July 19, 2014 at 11:47 pm | Reply

    Бред, фейк, полная чушь. Всерьез обсуждать эту “новость” – издевательство над здравым смыслом. Вся новость высосана из пальца (хорошо если из пальца). Во первых участники Гитлерюгенд не были военнопленными – это исторический факт и никто не вывозил 14 летних в “Сталинские лагеря”. Трогательная история про то, что он причастен к убийству сына Сталина могла прийти только в больную голову и для того, что бы обсуждать и смаковать этот бред надо быть полностью безграмотным. В 1943 у немцев даже в мыслях не было привлекать детей в армию и тем более концлагеря, детей стали использовать в качестве солдат только в 1945. в последние месяцы войны. Статья не более, чем провокация-какие злые русские, бла бла бла.

  5. Hi stupid americans. We hate you für your insane

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