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. He’s not a German, he’s a stinking Khazar.

  2. Why has Russia never been held responsible for the horrible things done before, during, or after the war?

    Germany has owned their mistakes and never once tried to hide or glorify it. Fuck Russia and the constant need to pretend like raping hundreds of thousands of German women and children was heroic. The disgusting kiddie fucking soviet pedophiles should have all been castrated.

    Shame on Russia, Shame Shame Shame…

  3. How many american POWs are still in yhe gulags?

  4. Interesting article and reactions. I had looked into the death of Stalins son and most researchers seem to agree that he committed suicide by throwing himself on the electrified fence surrounding his prison camp. He may have been shot will hanging from the fence, but most agree (even Russians) that he was dead before the shooting occurred. He was supposedly morbidly depressed when he heard of his fathers order to kill 10,000 Polish officer POW’s (1941 Katyn Woods)that were captured in the Soviet 1939 invasion of Eastern Poland (both Soviets and Germans invaded at this time). These men might offer resistance to Soviet plans for these regions at end of war. Stalin had also said that any Russian prisoner who surrendered or were captured during the war on the Eastern Front would be executed or sent to the Gulags. He kept this promise!

  5. Some comments left here are ridiculous. 1. Where is the evidence that a 14 year old was used by the Nazis to kill an important prisoner? 2. If he pulled the trigger, he was an underage kid, manipulated by a vicious Nazi adult world.3.Those drafted into the home guard/ Hitler youth units at the end of the war were not killers on the Russian step. That many.Wehrmacht SS did horror in Russia, does not justify punishing kids that are drafted at the end of the war.

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