Alexander Palace Forum

Virtual Pushkin => Pushkin Town History => Topic started by: vladm on August 01, 2006, 05:19:44 PM

Title: German occupation
Post by: vladm on August 01, 2006, 05:19:44 PM
Folks, I would like to ask if anyone knows about Pushkin 194Xs during occupation, some stories with photos. I found some information, during occupation it was several Divisions, one of them: Blue Division (Spanish Divisin Azul), also known as 250. Infanterie-Division.

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/8c/Blue_Division_263_Regiment.jpg)
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Helen_Azar on August 01, 2006, 05:44:51 PM
One of the relics of German occupation of Pushkin during World War II is a graveyard located in front of the Alexander Palace. German soldiers who were killed during this time were buried in front of the AP, where one of German headquarters was also housed. After the town was liberated, the graves stayed put and were never repatriated. Today, they are camouflaged beneath a large round flowerbed, with no plaque that may mention of what is still there. Rare documentation of this graveyard can be found in the Museum of the History of the Town of Tsarskoe Selo, where an archival photo and a painting of the graveyard are displayed.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/helenazar/APgravesite-1.jpg)


Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: vladm on August 01, 2006, 11:40:54 PM
German side
96 Infantry-Division (Part of XXXXII /42/ Armeekorps)
(http://www.virtualpushkin.com/images/AlexanderPalace/ww2/96%20infantry-division.gif)
Under command of Generalfeldmarschall Ernst Busch  (Jan 1940 - 12 Oct 1943)
121 Infantry-Division
(http://www.virtualpushkin.com/images/AlexanderPalace/ww2/121.infantery-division.gif)


250 Infantry-Division
Division of Spanish volunteers
(http://www.virtualpushkin.com/images/AlexanderPalace/ww2/250.infantery-division.gif)

XXXXI. /41/  Army Corps (mot.) / Panzerkorps 

129 Inf.Div. (most)

35 Inf.Div.

36 Inf.Div.


Russian Side


1944
70th Rifle Division Pushkin
72th Rifle Division Pushkin
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Sarushka on August 02, 2006, 07:35:42 AM
From the APTM, a photo of the Alexander Palace after the German occupation:

(http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/2004halls.jpg)
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Helen_Azar on August 02, 2006, 08:10:30 AM


(http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/2004halls.jpg)

I was wondering which room in the AP is this?
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Sarushka on August 02, 2006, 10:11:00 AM
Sorry, no idea. I got the photo from Laura Mabee, so you might ask her.  :)
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: vladm on August 02, 2006, 11:20:14 AM
Alexander Palace pictures from 1944:
(http://www.virtualpushkin.com/images/AlexanderPalace/ww2/br65072.jpg)
(http://www.virtualpushkin.com/images/AlexanderPalace/ww2/br78814.jpg)
(http://www.virtualpushkin.com/images/AlexanderPalace/ww2/br78815.jpg)
(http://www.virtualpushkin.com/images/AlexanderPalace/ww2/br78817.jpg)
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 02, 2006, 11:42:08 AM
Interesting that the statues survived intact. Not even stolen!  And that, despite the damage, the AP came through rather well, considering what happened to the other palaces.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Douglas on August 02, 2006, 11:49:36 AM
The gravesite of the German soldiers most definately needs to have a marker or monument of some kind.  Naturally I don't cheer the Germans for what they did in
WW II  but that does not mean I do not honor their dead soldiers. 

I am surprised that the German or Russian  government has not done this.  But then I suppose there is a lot of resentment against the Germans for what they did to Russia.

Douglas
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: vladm on August 02, 2006, 01:16:44 PM
I agree about graveyard should honor German solders, but it should be done on civilized way, no nazis symbolics.  Because, all of this solders contribute to Leningrads blockade, and pushed defenders of the city and regular civilians to starvation for 900 days.
I know in person few folks, who survived blockade, and to honor there memory, would be inappropriate to start something like that from Russia. It would be better, if Germans themselves come forward, with offer, not only build some monument about Germans, but contribute restoration of the city. Unfortunately, even today Pushkin town, not completely resurrected from WWII destruction, places like Arsenal, Chinese theater, and many more pending restoration.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 02, 2006, 01:31:12 PM
A German firm did contribute substantialy to the resoration/re-creation of the Amber Room at the Catherine Palace.  Perhaps more is to come.
I agree that some sort of memorial should be placed for the war dead, un-obtrusive but easy to find. Their names may never be known, but they were, after all, the sons, brothers and husbands of families who cared about them.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Helen_Azar on August 02, 2006, 02:28:08 PM
I don't think that the German graves should be "honored" per say, since many Russian people (even those born after WWII) still have very raw feelings about WWII and the German occupation (justifiably so). But I don't think they should pretend this is just a regular flower bed, that's just too weird. There should be some marker to acknowledge what is there, after all it is part of Pushkin's history, albeit one that no one likes to remember... 

For example, in Princeton, near to where I live, a battle took place in 1777 between George Washington's troops and the British troops. Both American and British soldiers were killed in this battle. They were buried right there, in a mass grave. There is a plaque there now that acknowledges both British and American soldiers who lost their lives, and whose remains are still in that spot. They are not really honoring the enemy, they are just acknowledging what took place and reminding everyone that there are human remains buried there.

It may be somewhat different in the case of these German graves in Pushkin, for one thing 1777 is  a lot farther removed than something that happened in mid -20th century, and the circumstances were different, I suppose. But it's just an example of how something like this should be handled....
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Helen_Azar on August 02, 2006, 02:41:11 PM
Vladm, thanks for posting the WWII AP photos, they are fascinating! I didn't realize that there actually was a substantial amount of damage to the building, and that the Soviets must have done a lot of repairs after the war.... I was under the impression that the damage was minimal, especially compared to the Catherine Palace.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: vladm on August 02, 2006, 04:38:43 PM
Robert, damage done by German army, much more severe than one Amber Room, and contribution from Germans, was a small fraction to entire restoration effort.
We always consider, contribution by million dollars spending on some restoration. But lets try to abstract our selves from Russia for a second, and take for example Versailles, quality of restoration if you compare two palaces not even on the same level, Catherine Palace much more magnificent than Versailles, and 100% credits for that to Soviet/Russian government and restoration teams involved in this effort, we can not consider money injected for restoration by local country and foreigners are equal, because we had three generations Restoration workers participating in this unreal task.
Now to have better picture of entire restoration, lets take entire amount (equal to contribution from German firms), and try to budget something serious in Western World, I doubt we can do something serious with it, only if 99% job done by volunteers.

Helen_A, thank you very much for recognition. I would try to post regularly WWII pictures, unfortunately I don't have much of them, but I hope folks who may have them, will contribute as well.

Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: vladm on August 02, 2006, 05:47:12 PM
11 September 1941
After heavy battles together with the 3rd Guards Division had 20 KV Tanks. It operated in Pendolovo-N.Katlion region, and then retreated to Pushkin.
In the middle of September Division was included in the 42th Army of the Leningrad front and defended the Ligovo-Pulkovo regoin.
7 Sep 1942 
Spanish 250th (Blue) Division occupied front-line positions near Leningrad (Scurr, 1980) - they could see the city only 10 km away (Proctor, 1974).  The Division was part of the XXIVth Corps (General Hansen) within the Eigtheenth Army (Colonel-General Lindemann). The Spanish occupied 29 km from Pushkin in the west to Krasny Bor in the east, a front facing the Soviet 56th, 73rd and 109th Infantry Divisions.  The defensive works left by the German 121st Infantry Division didnt impress the Spaniards as it contained only a thin continuous line of works with wire entanglements; the position lacked sufficient depth and mines. The Spaniards would have preferred a series of strong points with interlocking support fire. There was only one particularly strongpoint, El Bastion, defending the Moscow-to-Leningrad highway.
19-20 Nov 1942 
Russian armour cut off the German Sixth Army at Stalingrad.  Planned German offensive against Leningrad was cancelled. 
End of Nov 1942 
Temperature dropped, snow came, and rivers in the zone of the 250th (Blue) Division - Ishora and Slavianka began to freeze (Scurr, 1980). 
12 Dec 1942
Failed German attempt to relieve Stalingrad. 
12 - 30 Jan 1943
Operation Iskra penetrated the Leningrad blockade (Glantz, 2001). 
The German forces of Army Group North south of Lake Ladoga were crushed in a Russian vice; as the Russian 57th Army (Leningrad Front) advanced east from inside the circle, the 2nd Shock Army (Volkhov Front) advances westward to meet them  (?? probably Erickson or Beevor ??). 
1 Jan 1943 
LIV Army Corps of Eighteenth Army comprised the 250th (Blue) Division, 2 SS Police Infantry Brigade, and 5th Mountain Division (Glantz, 2001).  Note: the 2 SS Police Infantry Brigade was different to the SS Police Division which was part of I Army Corps.   
16 Jan 1943 
Captain Patio's II/269 Infantry Battalion was selected to help the Germans resist the Soviet breakthrough attempts (Scurr, 1980).   20 trucks drove the 800 men of the battalion to Mga in the north-west 
18 Jan 1943 
[Siege of Leningrad is broken when the 57th Army meets the 2nd Shock Army.] 
21 Jan 1943
II/269 battalion advanced from Mga through woods towards Poselok where it relieved a badly mauled German battalion from the 162nd Regiment (Scurr, 1980).
7 Feb 1943 
The first Soviet train heads for Leningrad after a gap of 526 days.
May 1943
The German 254th Division relieved the 250th (Blue) Division from its positions in the Izhora River sector.  This left the 250th (Blue) Division covering a 21 km front from west of Pushkin to join up with the 254th in the east.   Facing them were four Soviet Divisions: 72nd, 56th, 109th, and 189th.   
During the summer months the Spanish constructed three lines of fortifications as a precaution against an expected Soviet offensive.   
22 Jun - 22 Aug 1943 
[Mga-Siniavino Offensive Operation (Glantz, 2001).] 
5 Jul 1943
[Operation Zitadelle begins.]   
5 Oct 1943 
Soviet artillery bombarded the positions of the 9th company of the III/269 to the east of Pushkin for 5.5 hours.  The Russian Battalion that then attacked the company's positions was repulsed with heavy losses; they left 200 dead when they retreated at mid-day.   
The adjoining I/269 repulsed a second Soviet attack.   
Later that day the 250th (Blue) Division received orders to withdraw from the line for rest and training.   
18 Oct 1943
The 250th (Blue) Division handed over their positions to the German 81st Division.  Aside from those who volunteered to continue in service as part of the Spanish Volunteer Legion or "Blue Legion", the men were gradually returned to Spain.
Some of the pictures from Russian reenactment of the WWII:
(http://www.north-front.ru/Fotos/Pushkin%20260102/shtraf_1.jpg)
(http://www.north-front.ru/Fotos/Pushkin%20260102/granaty.jpg)
(http://www.north-front.ru/Fotos/Pushkin%20260102/svt_svt.jpg)
(http://www.north-front.ru/Fotos/Pushkin%20260102/shturm.jpg)
A memorial on the place, where actual battle in 1944 took place.
(http://www.north-front.ru/Fotos/Pushkin%20260102/obelisk.jpg)

http://www.north-front.ru/English%20version/pushkin%20260102_eng.htm (http://www.north-front.ru/English%20version/pushkin%20260102_eng.htm)
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 02, 2006, 06:14:17 PM
Vlamd- I have nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for the Russian people who, through tremendous effort and determimation restores their heritage. I know this is an ongoing work with many devoted  to it in various places. No matter the political circumstances. I was indeed quite humbled by the Siege of Leningrad Memorial. I could go on about the emotional aspect of learning the "Hero Cities" the soldier memorial in Moscow, and the pride my dear friend had in wearing his country's uniform.
  And, yes, Versailles pales compared to  TS & Peterhof & Pavlosk. Wheras Versailles was simply neglected,  the Russian palaces were effectivle tried to be erased. I am so glad that effort has indeed failed. I look foward to my return visits. I have not seen and experienced enough yet.
 Cheers,
 Robert
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: vladm on August 02, 2006, 07:09:57 PM
Thank you Robert, for respect and attention to this magnificent town, and honestly it wouldn't be possible, to restore it, without brave folks like you visiting this place, even during Soviet Union time.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Sarushka on August 02, 2006, 09:30:12 PM
I agree with Helen -- "honor" may not be appropriate, but I believe it would be respectful to acknowledge the German war graves in some way.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Douglas on August 02, 2006, 09:32:44 PM
Yes, I too thank you Vlad for posting the WWII damage photos of the Alexander Palace.

One can see that the entire right entry portico was completely blown away by the bombs.

It took a lot of work to remake that...it's the size of a two storey house.

I also note that at least one of the columns of the cross palace entry is off its foundation.  Either it was nudged back into place or it had to be completely rebuilt.  Quite a job as they are made of brick.

Douglas
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: vladm on August 03, 2006, 01:37:17 AM
some more pictures:

(http://www.virtualpushkin.com/images/AlexanderPalace/ww2/catherinepalace1.jpg)
(http://www.virtualpushkin.com/images/AlexanderPalace/ww2/catherinepalace.jpg)

(http://www.virtualpushkin.com/images/AlexanderPalace/ww2/catherinepalace2.jpg)
(http://www.virtualpushkin.com/images/AlexanderPalace/ww2/poet1949next2catherine.jpg)

(http://www.virtualpushkin.com/images/AlexanderPalace/ww2/catherinepalace3.jpg)
(http://www.virtualpushkin.com/images/AlexanderPalace/ww2/br78832.jpg)
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Mazukov on August 03, 2006, 06:41:48 AM
I, would thing that marking the graves would be an insult to the many who died at the hands of the German army. if anything they should be dug up and sent back to where they came from. they don't belong there. But that is my thought. Right or wrong. Fantastic information vladm.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Douglas on August 03, 2006, 11:49:49 AM
I too would be in favor of removing the remains of the German soldiers and sending them back to Germany.....if that is at all possible.

I wonder if anyone even knows who is buried there in front of the palace.

Are there any records?

The whole question needs to be solved if possible.

Douglas
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 03, 2006, 12:46:08 PM
Soldiers are usually buried where they fell in battle. Witness the many military cemetaries all over Europe. Including the huge Russian cemetary in Berlin.
 As for records of who they are- well, Germans are notorious record keepers so I would imagine there are files with the names of those buried. Somewhere.
 On another note, I look foward to returning to TS and exploring the town itself more. I already have a couple of cafes I like very much, where the food is excellent and low-priced, off the tourist path. I would have never found them without my Russian pal.  He knows all the best places !
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: vladm on August 03, 2006, 01:40:41 PM
I too would be in favor of removing the remains of the German soldiers and sending them back to Germany.....if that is at all possible.

Maybe you would think I am superstitious, but I really believe, dead people, should remain at the place they were buried (except Lenin, he should be buried in the cemetery, freak show Commies was running for 80  years, should be over ASAP).
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Douglas on August 03, 2006, 04:53:01 PM
Vlad:

I love your honest report about poor old Mr. Lenin.  I have heard for years now, that they are planning to get rid of him on view in the Old Red Square.  Yes, viewing him is so very creepy....like a circus.

Douglas

Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 03, 2006, 06:11:59 PM
I do not think he is even "on view" any longer. I was there on his birthday last May and a few [maybe 2 dozen] faithful were waiting for the police [not an honour guard] to let them in.
I agree, though, plop him in a cemetary, the  man did not want this bizarre dispaly, I think it was Stalin's doing, and look where HE ended up !
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Helen_Azar on August 03, 2006, 07:29:39 PM
One of German missiles found in the cellar of the Catherine Palace in 1944:

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/helenazar/missiles.jpg)

The Grand Hall of Catherine Palace, as it looked in 1944:

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/helenazar/granhall.jpg)

Archival photos taken during the post-WWII restoration of the Catherine Palace:

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/helenazar/archive1.jpg)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/helenazar/archive.jpg)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/helenazar/archive2.jpg)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/helenazar/archive7.jpg)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/helenazar/archive3.jpg)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/helenazar/archive5.jpg)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/helenazar/archive4.jpg)
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Sarushka on August 03, 2006, 09:22:36 PM
Helen & Vlad --

Those pre-restoration photos are truly a sight! Have they been published (I'd be sorely tempted to buy a book featuring them), or do they come from private collections?
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Tania+ on August 04, 2006, 12:40:46 AM
Dear Vladm,

As usual you offer unbelieveable photos of stunning impact. Each picture is a story in itself. Thank God for the person who took it upon himself/herself to photo the actual bombing of the Catherine Palace despite the peril and risk it involved. Thanks infinitely to the curator, and all the blessed souls who worked tirelessly to rebuild and recreate the magnificance of the Hermitage, and other beautiful buildings of Russia. I can only imagine the horror of it all, but again the steadfast courage, and hope they poured into their everyday work to rebuild these outstanding sites. Just looking at that picture of the German Missle found in the cellar of the Catherine Palace is unbelieveable. It just stops your heart to think of the misery and devistation all these missles caused. But looking again at the faces in these pictures of those working on these artifacts, etc., one is uplifted once again that good always overcomes evil !

Thank you once again Vladm for your sharing all your thoughts and pictures.

Tatiana+
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Helen_Azar on August 04, 2006, 08:11:02 AM
Helen & Vlad --

Those pre-restoration photos are truly a sight! Have they been published (I'd be sorely tempted to buy a book featuring them), or do they come from private collections?

Sarushka,

The photos I posted are hanging on the walls of the Catherine Palace cellar. I am  not sure if they have been published anywhere... There were more of them, but I didn't photograph them all. Basically, as you walk through the hallway of the palace, they are meant to tell a chronological story of the destruction and restoration of the palace. They are quite startling the first time you see them there, especially since they are enlarged.

I wonder where the ones Vlad posted come from?

Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: vladm on August 04, 2006, 12:40:15 PM
Dear Helen,
Unfortunately I can not disclose my sources, for a multiple reasons, but I can reassure you, everything I have (over 1000 photos), will be part of the community.
One more thing, I will not post photos with logo and/or URL of my site, I consider this idea - same, as mutilating memory of my ancestors. We will have always someone stilling our ideas and results of our work, but they will be always behind.
Also, one more information: copyright for a 75 years exist only in United States, the rest of the countries, under 50 years provisioning, with only one exception:
USSR (Russia now) and Western World:
Russia, can republish from Western World - everything before 1973 without royalty, same applies with Western World, can republish everything before 1973 from USSR, without notice and royalty (I need to find exact document of this treaty).
Just pay attention, if publisher from USSR or Western country (if book printed by Western print house and publisher USSR, this treaty stands anyway).
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: vladm on August 04, 2006, 01:02:54 PM
I found, more information about 27 July 1973:
Russia and International Copyright Conventions

http://active.wplus.net/copyright-monitoring/en/problems.html (http://active.wplus.net/copyright-monitoring/en/problems.html)
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: vladm on August 04, 2006, 02:21:24 PM
Folks, don't be upset, all references to narod.ru, will be deleted, I offered to Geglov and Finkelshteyn (I spoke with both of them), free space on my site (about 1000 times faster), until they will move, no references to narod.ru will be tolerated.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: David_Pritchard on August 04, 2006, 03:44:18 PM
I agree with Helen -- "honor" may not be appropriate, but I believe it would be respectful to acknowledge the German war graves in some way.

I think that the bodies should be exhumed and returned to Germany. They serve as a form of perpetual vandalism on a Russian historical site. Let us not forget the motivation behind the US Quartermaster General of the Union Forces during the Civil War, out of hatred for Confederate General Lee, Gen. Montgomery Meigs had the bodies of Union soldiers buried closely around Lee's famous home, Arlington (now Arlington National Cemetery), with the specific intent of making it unlivable in the future. Could the Nazis have had the same intentions with Russian historical buildings outside of Saint Petersburg? Since we know that most everything that the Nazis did was systematic especially when it came to looting and pillaging, I would say that yes they buried the corpses where they did as a perpetual message to the Russians. The time has come to return the message to the original sender.

David

PS: Let us remember that the Libyans exhumed and returned all of the dead Italians to Italy.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: David_Pritchard on August 04, 2006, 04:04:59 PM
Robert, damage done by German army, much more severe than one Amber Room, and contribution from Germans, was a small fraction to entire restoration effort.
We always consider, contribution by million dollars spending on some restoration. But lets try to abstract our selves from Russia for a second, and take for example Versailles, quality of restoration if you compare two palaces not even on the same level, Catherine Palace much more magnificent than Versailles, and 100% credits for that to Soviet/Russian government and restoration teams involved in this effort, we can not consider money injected for restoration by local country and foreigners are equal, because we had three generations Restoration workers participating in this unreal task.
Now to have better picture of entire restoration, lets take entire amount (equal to contribution from German firms), and try to budget something serious in Western World, I doubt we can do something serious with it, only if 99% job done by volunteers.


I suggest that instead of returning German trophy art to German museums that it be sold at auction to finance the restoration of the heritage sites that were purposefully destroyed by the German Army and their Fascist allies. This would at least be on step in the right direction. Maybe even better, put a one Euro surcharge on ever 1000 cubic meters of natural gas sold to Germany, Austria, Italy and Spain that would finance the restoration of Russian Heritage sites vandalised by the Fascist forces.

David
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: David_Pritchard on August 04, 2006, 04:23:38 PM
Some links for the Spanish Blue Division:

http://www.emering.com/medals/blue/main.html (http://www.emering.com/medals/blue/main.html) Spanish insignia for service in Russia

http://axis101.bizland.com/SpanishAwards03.htm (http://axis101.bizland.com/SpanishAwards03.htm) Spanish insignia for service in Russia

http://axis101.bizland.com/SpanishFeldpost2.htm (http://axis101.bizland.com/SpanishFeldpost2.htm) Spanish military postal system in Russia

http://www.geocities.com/divazul/divisionazuluk.html (http://www.geocities.com/divazul/divisionazuluk.html) Brief history

http://www.geocities.com/divazul/waffenss.html (http://www.geocities.com/divazul/waffenss.html) Spanish SS



Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: David_Pritchard on August 04, 2006, 05:55:02 PM
An original map of Spanish Blue Division movements aroung the southern Gulf of Finland including the town of Pushkin.

(http://img91.imageshack.us/img91/5956/mapa2rn5.jpg)

Spanish Fascist soldiers in Russia:

(http://img377.imageshack.us/img377/2803/1941divisionazultrincheranv2.jpg)

(http://img461.imageshack.us/img461/6811/divisionazul2wu5.jpg)

(http://img461.imageshack.us/img461/7853/str15446iu2.jpg)
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: David_Pritchard on August 04, 2006, 08:47:23 PM
Extracts from a much larger group of articles found here:  http://www.nizkor.org/ (http://www.nizkor.org/)

The Trial of German Major War Criminals
Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
14th February to 26th February, 1946
Sixty-Fourth Day: Thursday, 21st February, 1946


The Destruction and Spoliation of Cultural Treasures in the USSR.


I am now going to present, your Honours, proof of crimes committed by the defendants against the culture of the peoples of the Soviet Union.

We have heard in this Court what brutality was used and on how vast a scale the Hitlerites conducted the destruction and spoliation of the cultural wealth of the peoples of Czechoslovakia, Poland and Yugoslavia.

[Page 187]
The crimes perpetrated by the Hitlerite conspirators in the occupied territories of the USSR were graver still.

The criminal Organisation known as the Nazi Government aimed not only at plundering the people of the Soviet Union, at destroying their towns and villages and at extirpating the culture of the peoples of the USSR, but also at enslaving the people of the Soviet Union and of transforming our native country into a fascist colony of serfs.

In the second part of my statement I have proved how the destruction of the cultural monuments of the peoples of the USSR was planned and perpetrated.

In the Note of the People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs, V. M. Molotov, dated 27 April, 1942, which was presented to the Tribunal as Exhibit USSR 31/3, documents and facts are quoted which establish, beyond dispute, that the destruction of historic and cultural monuments and the vile mockery of national feelings, beliefs and convictions, constituted a part of the monstrous plan evolved and put into practice by the Hitlerite Government, which strove to liquidate the national culture of the peoples of the USSR.

Later I shall refer again to this document, but at present I wish, with your permission, to read into the record the following excerpt which is on Page 321 of the document book. I omit the first and quote the second paragraph:-

    "The desecration and destruction of historical and cultural memorials in occupied Soviet territories, as well as the devastation of the numerous cultural establishments set up by the Soviet authorities, are a part of the monstrous and senseless plan conceived and pursued by the Hitlerite Government, which strives to liquidate Russian national culture and the national cultures of the peoples of the Soviet Union, to Germanise by force the Russian, Ukrainian, Bielorussian, Lithuanian, Latvian, Esthonian and other peoples of the USSR."

In Order No. 097341, General Hodt, Commander of the 17th German Army, demands that his subordinates thoroughly assimilate that misanthropic notion so typical of the thick- skulled fascists, that the "sound feeling of vengeance and revulsion towards everything Russian should not be suppressed among the men, but, on the contrary, encouraged in every way".

True to their custom of destroying universally recognised cultural treasures, the Hitlerites, everywhere on the Soviet territory occupied by them, devastated and generally burned libraries, from the small club and school libraries up to and including the most valuable collections of manuscripts and books, containing unique bibliographical treasures.

I omit a paragraph and continue the quotation:-

    "The Hitlerites looted and then set on fire the famous Borodino Museum, the historical exhibits of which related to the struggle against the armies of Napoleon in 1812, particularly dear to the Russian people. The invaders looted and set fire to the Pushkin House and Museum in the hamlet of Polotnyany Zavod.

    In Kaluga, the Hitlerites assiduously destroyed the exhibits in the House Museum in which the eminent Russian scientist Tsiolkovsky, whose services in the field of aeronautics enjoy world-wide fame, lived and worked.

    The fascist vandals used Tsiolkovsky's portrait as a target for revolver practice. Extremely valuable models of dirigibles, together with plans and instruments, were trampled underfoot. One of the museum rooms was turned into a hen coop and the furniture burned. One of the oldest agricultural institutions in the USSR, the Shatilov Selection Station in the Orel District, was destroyed by the invaders who blew up and consigned to the flames fifty-five buildings of this station, including the agro-chemical and other laboratories, the museum, the library containing 40,000 volumes, the school and other buildings. Even greater frenzy was shown by the Hitlerites

   
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: David_Pritchard on August 04, 2006, 08:50:40 PM
[Page 188] when looting the cultural institutions and historical monuments of the Ukraine and of Bielorussia".

I omit two paragraphs and pass on to the last paragraph of this quotation:-

    "There was no limit to the desecration by the Hitlerite vandals of the monuments and homes representing Ukrainian history, culture and art. Suffice to mention, as an example of the constant attempts to humiliate the national dignity of the Ukrainian people, that after plundering the Korolenko Library in Kharkov, the occupants used the books as paving stones for the muddy street in order to facilitate the passage of German motor vehicles."

The German barbarians treated with particular hatred those cultural monuments which were most dear to the Soviet people. I will quote several instances:-

The Hitlerites plundered Yasnaja Polyana, where one of the greatest writers, Leo Tolstoy, was born, lived and worked.

They plundered and despoiled the house where the great Russian composer Tschaikovsky lived and worked. In this house Tschaikovsky created the world-famous operas "Eugen Onegin" and "The Queen of Spades".

In Taganrog they destroyed the house where the great Russian writer Chekhov lived; in Tikhvin they destroyed the residence of the Russian composer Rimsky-Korsakov.

As evidence, your Honours, I will read into the record an excerpt from the Note of Foreign Commissar Molotov, dated 6 January, 1942. This document has already been submitted to the Tribunal as Exhibit USSR 51/2. This excerpt is on Page 3 17 of the document book.

I quote :

    "For a period of six weeks, the Germans occupied the world-famous property of Yasnaya Polyana where Leo Tolstoy, one of the greatest geniuses of mankind, was born, lived and worked. This glorious memorial to Russian culture was wrecked, profaned and finally set on fire by the Nazi vandals. The grave of the great writer was desecrated by the invaders. Irreplaceable relics relating to the life and work of Leo Tolstoy, including rare manuscripts, books and paintings, were either plundered by the German soldiers or thrown away and destroyed. A German officer named Schwartz declared, in reply to a request of one of the museum's staff collaborators to stop using the personal furniture and books of the great writer for firewood and to use wood available for this purpose: 'We do not need firewood; we shall burn everything connected with the name of your Tolstoy'. When the town of Klin was liberated by the Soviet troops on 15th December, it was ascertained that the house in which P. I. Tschaikovsky, the great Russian composer, had lived and worked, and which the Soviet State had turned into a museum, had been wrecked and plundered by Fascist officers and soldiers. In the museum building proper, the Germans set up a garage for motor-cycles, heating this garage with manuscripts, books, furniture and other museum exhibits, part of which had in any case been stolen by the German invaders. In doing this, the Nazi officers knew perfectly well that they were defiling one of the finest monuments of Russian culture.

    During the occupation of the town of Istra, the German troops established an ammunition dump in the famous ancient Russian monastery known as the New Jerusalem Monastery, founded as far back as 1654. The New Jerusalem Monastery was an outstanding historical and religious monument of the Russian people and was known as one of the most beautiful examples of religious architecture. This did not, however, prevent the German fascist vandals from blowing up their ammunition dump in the New Jerusalem Monastery on their retreat from Istra, thereby reducing this irreplaceable monument of Russian church history to a heap of ruins."

Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: David_Pritchard on August 04, 2006, 08:52:49 PM
[Page 189]
Acting upon directions of the German Military Command, the Hitlerites destroyed and annihilated the cultural and historic monuments of the Russian people connected with the life and work of the great Russian poet, Alexander Sergeivitch Pushkin.

The Report of the Extraordinary State Commission, the original copy of which is now submitted to the Tribunal as Exhibit USSR 40, reads as follows:-

    "To preserve the cultural and historical memorials of the Russian people connected with the life and creations of the gifted Russian poet and genius, Alexander Sergeivitch Pushkin, the Soviet Government, on 17 March, 1922, declared the poet's estate at Michailovskoye, as well as his tomb at the monastery of Svyatogorsky, and the neighbouring villages of Trigorskoye, Gorodischtsche and Voronitsch, a State Reservation.

    The Pushkin Reservation, especially the poet's estate at Michailoskoye, was very dear to the Russian people. Here Pushkin finished the third and created the fourth, fifth and sixth chapters of "Eugen Onegin". Here, too, he finished his poem "Gypsies", and wrote the drama "Boris Godunov', as well as a large number of epic and lyrical poems.

    In July, 1941, the Hitlerites forced their way into the Pushkin Reservation. For three years they made themselves at home there, ruined everything and destroyed the Pushkin memorials."

I will omit the beginning of Page 1 of the report.

    "The plundering of the museum had already begun in August, 1941."

I will also omit the next paragraph. I read on:-

    "In the autumn of 1943 the Commander of the Pushkin Military Kommandantur, Treibholtz, urged K, V. Afanassiev to prepare for the evacuation of all the museum valuables. All these valuables were packed into cases by the German authorities, loaded into trucks and sent to Germany."

I omit the following paragraph.

    "At the end of February, 1944, the Germans turned Michailovskoye into a military objective and into one of the strong-points of the German defence. The park area was dug up for combat and communication trenches; shelters were constructed. The cottage of Pushkin's nurse was knocked down and next to it, and partly on its former site, the Germans constructed a large dugout, protected by five layers of timber. The Germans built a similar dug-out near the former museum building.

    Prior to their retreat from Michailovskoye, the Germans completed the destruction and desecration of the Pushkin estate. The House Museum erected on the foundation of Pushkin's former residence was burnt down by the Germans and nothing remained but a heap of ruins. The marble plate of the Pushkin monument was smashed to pieces and thrown on to the pile of ashes. Of the other two houses standing at the entrance to the Michailovskoye estate, one was burnt down by the Germans, the other severely damaged. The German vandals put three bullets into the large portrait of Pushkin hanging in an archway at the entrance to the Michailovskoye park then they destroyed the archway.

    After their retreat from Michailovskoye, the fascists bombarded the village with mortars and artillery fire. The wooden stairs leading to the river Soret were destroyed by German mines. The old lime trees of the circular alley leading to the house were broken down; the giant elm tree in front of the house was damaged by shell fire and splinters."

I omit the end of this page and pass on to Page 41 of the report

    "In the village of Voronitsch, the wooden church which dated back to Pushkin's time and in which Pushkin had a requiem sung on 7 April, 1825, to commemorate the death of the great English poet, Byron, was burned down. The churchyard near the church where V. P. Hannibal, one of

    [Page 190]
    Pushkin's relatives, and the priest, Ragevsky, close friend of the poet, lay buried, was criss-crossed by trenches, mined and devastated. The historical aspect of the reservation, in which the Russian people saw a symbol of Pushkin, was disfigured beyond all recognition.

    The sacrileges perpetrated by the Germans against the national sanctuaries of the Russian people are best demonstrated by the desecration of Pushkin's tomb. In attempts to save the Pushkin Reservation from destruction, the units of the Red Army did not defend this district, but withdrew to Novorzhev. Nevertheless, on 2 July, 1941, the Germans bombarded the monastery of Svyatiye-Gory, under the adjoining walls of which is Pushkin's tomb.

    In March, 1943, long before the battle line approached the Pushkin Hills, the Germans began the systematical demolition of the Svyatiye-Gory monastery."

I omit the rest of this page, and I pass on to Page 42:-

    "The poet's tomb was found completely covered with refuse. Both stairways leading down to the grave were destroyed. The platform surrounding the grave was covered with refuse, rubble, wooden fragments of ikons and pieces of sheet metal."

Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: David_Pritchard on August 04, 2006, 08:59:00 PM
I omit a paragraph and quote further:-

    "The marble balustrade surrounding the platform was damaged by fragments of artillery shells and by bullets.

    The monument itself inclined at an angle of 10 to 12 degrees eastwards, as a result of a landslide following the shelling, and of the shocks caused by the explosions of German mines....

    .... The invaders knew perfectly well that, on entering the Pushkin Hills, the officers and soldiers of the Red Army would first of all visit the grave of the poet, and therefore converted it into a trap for the patriots. Approximately 3,000 mines were discovered and removed from the grounds of the monastery and its vicinity by the engineers of the Soviet Army."

The destruction of works of art and architecture in the towns of Pavlovsk, Tzarskoe-Selo and Peterhof, figure among the worst anti-cultural crimes of the Hitlerites.

The magnificent monuments of art and architecture in these towns, which had been turned into "Museum-towns", are known throughout the civilised world. These art and architectural monuments were created in the course of two centuries. They commemorated a whole series of outstanding events in Russian history.

Celebrated Russian and foreign architects, sculptors and artists created masterpieces which were kept in these "Museum-towns" and, together with valuable masterpieces of Russian and foreign art, they were blown up, burned or destroyed by the German vandals.


The Trial of German Major War Criminals
Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
14th February to 26th February, 1946

Sixty-Fourth Day: Thursday, 21st February, 1946


[Page 190]
I read into the record Exhibit USSR 49, which includes a statement of the Extraordinary State Commission dated 3 September, 1944. The excerpts, which I will quote, your Honours, are on Pages 330-332 of the document book.

I omit the end of Page 43 and the whole of Page 44 of this statement, and begin my quotation in the middle of Page 45.

    "At the time the German invaders broke into Petrodvoretz (in Peterhof) there still remained, after the evacuation, 34,214 museum exhibits (pictures, works of art and sculptures), as well as 11,700 extremely valuable books from the palace libraries. The ground floor rooms of the Ekaterinsky and Alexandrovsky palaces in the town of Pushkin (Tzarskoe-Selo), contained various suites of furniture, of Russian and French workmanship, of the middle of the eighteenth century, 600 pieces of porcelain of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as well as a large number of marble busts, small sculptures and about 35,000 volumes from the palace libraries.

    [Page 191]
    On the basis of documentary material, the statements and testimony of eye witnesses, the evidence of German prisoners of war, and as a result of careful investigation, it has been established that: Breaking into Petrodvoretz on 23rd September, 1941, the German invaders immediately proceeded to loot the treasures of the palace-museums and in the course of several months removed the contents of these palaces.

    From the Big, Marly, Monplaisir and Cottage Palaces, they looted and removed to Germany some 34,000 museum exhibits, among them 4,950 unique pieces of furniture of Italian, English, French and Russian workmanship from the periods of Catherine the Great, Alexander I and Nicholas I, as well as many rare sets of porcelain, of foreign and Russian manufacture, of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The German barbarians stripped the walls of the palace rooms of the silks, Gobelin tapestries and other decorative materials which adorned them.

    In November, 1941, the Germans removed the bronze statue of Samson, the work of the sculptor Kozlovoky, and sent it to Germany. Having looted the museum treasures, the Hitlerites set fire to the Big Palace, created by the famous and gifted architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli.

    "Upon their withdrawal from Petrodvoretz," I have omitted a paragraph, "the Germans wrecked the Marly Palace by delayed action mines. This palace contained very delicate carvings and stucco mouldings, The Germans wrecked the Monplaisir Palace of Peter the Great. They destroyed all the wooden parts of the pavilion and galleries, the interior decorations of the study, the bedroom and the Chinese room. During their occupation, they turned the central parts of the palace, i.e., the most valuable from the historical and artistic viewpoint, into bunkers. They turned the Western pavilion of the palace into a stable and a latrine. In the premises of the Assembly Building the Germans tore up the floor, sawed through the beams, destroyed the doors and window-frames and stripped the panelling off the ceiling."

 omit one paragraph and quote the last one on this page.

    "In the Northern part of the park, in the so-called Alexander Park, they blew up the villa of Nicholas II, completely destroyed the frame cottage which served as billets for officers, the Alexander gates, the pavilions of the Adam fountain, the pylons of the main gates of the Upper Park and the Rose pavilion."

I omit one paragraph on Page 47.

    "The Germans wrecked the fountain system of the Petrodvoretz Parks. They damaged the entire pipeline system for feeding the fountains, a system extending from the dam of the Rose pavilion to the Upper Park ....

   
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: David_Pritchard on August 04, 2006, 09:00:41 PM
     After the occupation of New Petrodvoretz, units of the 291st German Infantry Division, using heavy artillery fire, completely destroyed the famous English Palace at Old Petrodvoretz, built on the orders of Catherine II by the architect Quarengi. The Germans fired 9,000 rounds of heavy artillery shells; together with the palace they destroyed the picturesque English park and all the park pavilions."

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal has appreciated the successful efforts which the other members of the Soviet Delegation have made to shorten their addresses, and they would be glad if you could possibly summarise some of the details with which you have to deal in the matter of destruction and spoliation and perhaps omit some of the details.

That is all for this morning.

(A recess was taken until 14.00 hours.)

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL RAGINSKY: The looting and destruction of historical and artistic palaces in the town of Pushkino (Tzarskoe-Selo) was carried out with malice aforethought by order of the highest German authorities.

[Page 192]
I omit the end of Page 47 and the beginning of Page 48:-

    "A considerable part of the Ekaterinsky Palace was burnt down by the Germans. The famous Ceremonial Hall, 300 metres long and designed by Rastrelli, perished in the flames. The famous antechambers decorated by Rastrelli were likewise ruined."

I omit one paragraph and continue:-

    "The Great Hall - outstanding creation of the genius of Rastrelli - presented a terrible spectacle. The unique ceilings, work of Torelli, Giordano, Brullov and other famous Italian and Russian masters, were destroyed."

I omit another paragraph.

    "Equally ruined and pillaged was the Palace Church, one of Rastrelli's masterpieces, famous for the exquisite workmanship of the interior decorations."

I omit one more paragraph.

    "In January, 1944, the retreating German invaders prepared the complete destruction of all that was left of the Catherine Palace and adjoining buildings. For this purpose, on the ground floor of the remaining part of the palace, as well as under the Cameron Gallery, eleven large delayed-action aerial bombs were laid, weighing from one to three tons.

    In Pushkino the Hitlerite bandits destroyed the famous Alexandrovsky Palace, constructed at the end of the eighteenth century by the famous architect Giacomo Quarengi."

I omit a paragraph:

    "All the museum furniture, stored in the basements of the Ekaterinsky and Alexandrovsky palaces, porcelain pieces and books from the palace libraries were sent to Germany.

    The famous painted ceiling 'Feast of the Gods on Olympus' in the main hall of the 'Hermitage' pavilion was, removed and shipped to Germany."

I omit two paragraphs.

    "Great destruction was caused by the Hitlerites in the magnificent Pushkino Parks, where thousands of age-old trees were cut down.

    Destruction of the Pavlovsky Palace in the town of Pavlovsk.

    Ribbentrop's 'Special Purposes Battalion' and the commandos of 'Staff Rosenberg' shipped to Germany from the Pavlovsky Palace extremely valuable palace furniture, designed by Veronikhin and by the greatest masters of the eighteenth century."

I omit the end of Page 49 and the beginning of Page 50 of the report:-

    "During their retreat the fascist invaders set fire to the Pavlovsky Palace. The greater part of the palace building was entirely burned down."

I omit the next two paragraphs and quote the last paragraph which concludes this document.

    "The Extraordinary State Commission established that the destruction of art monuments in Petrodvoretz, Pushkino and Pavlovsk was carried out by the officers and soldiers of the German Army on the direct instructions of the German Government and the Military High Command."

Destruction of Historical Monuments in the Ancient Russian Cities.

Many large towns were destroyed by the German fascist invaders in the occupied USSR territories. But they destroyed with particular ruthlessness the ancient Russian cities containing monuments of ancient Russian art.

I quote as an example the destruction of the cities of Novgorod, Pskov and Smolensk.

    "Novgorod and Pskov belong to those historical centres where the Russian people laid the foundation of their State; here, in the course of centuries flourished a highly developed and individual culture. It left a rich heritage which constitutes a valuable possession of our people. Thanks to the survival of numerous monuments of ecclesiastic and civil architecture, murals, paintings,

    [Page 193]
    sculpture and handicraft, Novgorod and Pskov were rightly considered the seat of Russian history."

The Hitlerite barbarians destroyed, in Novgorod City, many valuable monuments of Russian and foreign art of the eleventh and twelfth centuries. They not only destroyed the monuments but they reduced the entire city to a heap of ruins.

By way of proof, I shall read into the record some excerpts from the document presented to the Tribunal as Exhibit USSR 50. You will, your Honours, find these excerpts on Pages 333 and 334 of the document book. I read:-

   
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: David_Pritchard on August 04, 2006, 09:02:21 PM
     ". . . . The ancient Russian city of Novgorod was reduced to a heap of ruins by the German fascist invaders. They destroyed the historical monuments and dismantled some of them for use in the construction of defence fortifications ...

    The German- fascist vandals destroyed and obliterated, in Novgorod, the greatest monuments of ancient Russian art. They destroyed the vaults, walls and towers of the St. George Cathedral of the Yuryev Monastery. This cathedral was built in the early part of the twelfth century, and was decorated by twelfth century frescoes.

    The Cathedral of St. Sophia, built in the eleventh century, was one of the oldest monuments of Russian architecture and an outstanding monument of world art. The Germans destroyed the cathedral building. . . . They robbed it entirely of all its interior decorations; they carried off all the icons from the iconostasis and the ancient incense burners, including one which belonged to Boris Godunov. . . .

    The Church of the Annunciation on the Arkage, of twelfth century foundation, was converted by the Germans into a fortified position and barracks."

I omit one paragraph:-

    "The Church of the Assumption on Volotov Field, a monument of Novgorod architecture of the fourteenth to fifteenth centuries, was turned by the Germans into a heap of stones and bricks."

I omit one paragraph:-

    "The Church of the Transfiguration of our Lord, in the Ifyin Street, was destroyed. It was one of the finest specimens of Novgorod architecture of the fourteenth century, particularly famed for its frescoes, painted in the same period by the great Byzantine master, Theofan the Greek."

I omit the rest of this page and pass on to Page 54 of the report.

    "Over two years of Hitlerite misrule in Novgorod brought about the ruin of many other wonderful ancient Russian monuments....

    By order of the commanding general of the 18th German Army, Lieut.-General Lindemann, the German barbarians dismantled and prepared for removal to Germany the monument to 'Thousand years of Russia'. This monument was erected in the Kremlin Square in 1862 and represented, in artistic images, the main stages of the development of our native land up to the sixties of the nineteenth century. . . .

    The Nazi barbarians dismantled the monument and smashed the statuary. They did not, however, succeed in shipping it off and melting down the metal."

Citizen Dimitriev, Youri Nikolaevich, in his affidavit, gives a very detailed account of the barbarous destruction by the Germans of the monuments of ancient Russian art in the cities of Novgorod and Pskov. Dimitriev, since 1937, was the custodian of the Ancient-Russian Art section of the Russian State Museum in Leningrad.

He began the study of the historical monuments of Novgorod and Pskov in 1926. As a great expert in this particular sphere of art, he was asked by the Extraordinary State Commission to participate in the investigation of the crimes of the German fascist invaders.

[Page 194]
I submit to the Tribunal the original of Dimitriev's depositions, duly certified, in accordance with legal procedure in the USSR, as Exhibit USSR 312. You will find it, your Honours, on Pages 335 and 347 in your document book.

In submitting his affidavit, I will omit facts already known to the Tribunal from the report of the Extraordinary State Commission previously read into the record. I quote only a few short excerpts which will be found on Pages 336 and 339. Dimitriev stated as follows (I read):-

    "The greater part of Novgorod is razed to the ground; only a few districts were left in existence by the Germans, and even these were in ruins. Pskov was also left in ruins by the Germans; during their retreat they blew up the buildings and monuments. Of eighty-eight buildings of historical and artistic value in Novgorod, two buildings alone are merely slightly damaged. . . . Only a few isolated monuments in Pskov were left undamaged. In Novgorod and Pskov the Germans deliberately destroyed monuments of historical and artistic value."
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: David_Pritchard on August 04, 2006, 09:07:04 PM
And further:-

    "The German Army, while destroying and damaging monuments of historical and artistic value, plundered and carried off many works of art and valuable objects which formed part of, or were contained in, these monuments.

    At the same time the German troops profaned and desecrated many ecclesiastical monuments of historic and artistic value in Novgorod and Pskov."

Day by day, for twenty-six months, the Hitlerites systematically destroyed one of the most ancient Russian cities - Smolensk.

The Soviet prosecution has presented to the Tribunal a document as Exhibit USSR 56, containing the Report of the Extraordinary State Commission.

I shall not quote this document, but shall only refer to it and endeavour, in my own words, to emphasise the fundamental points of this document, dealing with the related theme now.

In Smolensk, the German fascist invaders plundered and destroyed the most valuable collections in the museums They desecrated and burned down ancient monuments. They destroyed schools and institutes, libraries, and sanatoriums. The report also mentions the fact that in April, 1943, the Germans needed gravel and bricks to pave the roads. For this purpose, they blew up the building of one of the high schools.

The Germans burned down all the libraries of the city and twenty-two schools. 646,000 volumes perished in the library fires.

I now pass on to Page 57 of the report.

    "Prior to the German occupation, Smolensk contained four museums with extremely valuable collections.

    The museum of Art, built up since 1898, possessed one of the most extensive collections, primarily of Russian historo -artistic, historo -sociological, ethnographic and other valuables: paintings, icons, bronzes, porcelains, metal castings and textiles. These collections were of international value and had been exhibited in France. The invaders destroyed the museums and took the most valuable exhibits to Germany."

I shall quote only one last paragraph on page 57.

    "General Staff Rosenberg" for the confiscation and export of valuables from the occupied regions of the East, had a special branch in Smolensk, headed by Dr. Norling, the organiser for the plunder of museums and historical monuments."


.....and the report continues listing mass destruction and organised theft in Ukraine, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: vladm on August 04, 2006, 09:41:01 PM
Wow David! Excellent findings! We can cut out from this, some good memorial information, about WWII and looting Tsarskoye Selo!

I found some information about occupation time, but so far, most of the information from unreliable sources.
Here the Several Dates with facts, I can confirm and have reason to believe:
Germans occupied Pushkin from September 17th, 1941 until January 24th, 1944.
In the office of Alexander I at first was Gestapo, entry was from Agate room, I believe, after some period of time, this section of the Palace was under Red Army fire, damaged severely, and Gestapo moved to Alexander Palace, but I am not sure about this information except dates.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: David_Pritchard on August 04, 2006, 11:52:54 PM
Part of an article by Ulrike Hartung of the University of Bremen, found here: http://spoils.libfl.ru/spoils/eng/spoil2_3.html  (http://spoils.libfl.ru/spoils/eng/spoil2_3.html) with reference to the thefts of books from the Imperial Libaries at Pavlovsk, Gatchina and Tsarsko Selo.

THE "SONDERKOMMANDO KNSBERG" LOOTING OF CULTURAL TREASURES IN THE USSR

The "Sonderkommando Knsberg" (Special Unit Knsberg) was one of numerous national socialist organizations, which systematically and on a large scale looted cultural treasures from the USSR in the course of World War II. Eberhard Freiherr von Knsberg took command of this unit on behalf of the Foreign Ministry ("Auswrtiges Amt") under the foreign minister of the Third Reich, von Ribbentrop. Apart from museum exhibits, posters and records, mainly archival material, magazines and books were confiscated. In March 1942, the academic staff members of the unit organized an exhibition in Berlin under the title "Examples of the objects taken by the Sonderkommando Knsberg of the Foreign Ministry during the action in Russia". The booty was presented in four categories: 1. regional studies, 2. politics, 3. political files, and 4. valuables saved from destruction.
The exhibition in Berlin showed, however, that the confiscations of the Sonderkommando went far beyond the before mentioned instructions of the OKH order.

Research concerning its financing and its status revealed that the SS-Sonderkommando (Secret Service Special Unit) of the Foreign Ministry Group Knsberg ("Gruppe Knsberg", this was the official title) is a typical example for the Darwinism of authorities in national socialist Germany. Academic institutions, such as the North-East and South-East German Research Community, financed by the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of the Interior, took charge of Knsberg's academic staff. For the action of the Secret Military Police ("Geheime Feldpolizei", G.F.P) in the West, the Knsberg group was classified by the OKW as "u.k." ("unabkmmlich" - indispensable). Despite their reluctance, they were detailed for the attack of the Soviet Union by the SS. The logistic equipment was partly financed by the Waffen-SS.

Comparatively well equipped, the Sonderkommando operated in the front line under the command of the military units North, Centre, and South. With the seizure of the cities the onslaught on cultural institutions began. The entrances of occupied buildings were marked with special seals of the military unit. Already in 1941, different organizations were competing for the confiscation of cultural treasures. In 1942, the situation became more serious after the civil administration had been set up. The trophy actions of the different NS-institutions became absurd. One of the cultural institutions in Tallin was searched through by seven different organizations. There was no clear line in the confiscation policy of the special unit of the Foreign Ministry. It altered according to the situation on the spot. The officials in charge were uncertain which objects to pack for transport into the Reich. Their instructions alternated between "take all that could be of any use to us" and "do not take anything which is in stock five times already". Offices of the Sonderkommando Knsberg, where the war booty was prepared for transport, were spread over the entire region of the Soviet Union, from the Baltic States in the North to the Crimea in the South.

During the winter of 1942, the section in Berlin was closed down. By that time 304,694 pieces of art had already been handed over to other institutions. Apart from different sections of the Foreign Ministry, the main addressee of the objects was Alfred Rosenberg's Reich Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Regions. It was he who received the exceptionally valuable books from the libraries of the Russian Tsar Castles south of Leningrad. This concerned 10,000 volumes from the 18th to the 20th century of Tsarskoe Selo, 11,500 volumes from the library of the Pavlovsk Castle, and another 16,000 books from Gachina. The Rosenberg ministry also received 60,000 books taken from the Hebraica and the Judaica collection of Kiev. These four important collections alone add up to 97,500 books.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: David_Pritchard on August 05, 2006, 12:01:14 AM
Thomas Banks's missing 'Cupid'

The sculptor Thomas Banks is currently the subject of an exhibition at Sir John Soane's Museum. Its curator, Julius Bryant, tells the story of one of Banks's most celebrated works, purchased by Catherine the Great, which vanished during World War II.

In 1941, to save a favourite work of art from advancing Nazi troops, the curator of Pavlovsk Palace, near Leningrad, buried a neo-classical statue, Cupid by Thomas Banks (1735-1805), next to its pedestal. Unfortunately, on the curator's return in 1944, no trace of the statue could be found. Further excavations conducted in the 1980s during the restoration of the gardens proved fruitless, leading to the conclusion that Cupid had been abducted to Germany. The sculpture had never been engraved but photographs (Figs. 1 and 2) and other documentation provided by today's curators at Pavlovsk are here published for the first time, in the hope that Banks's sculpture may be recognised, perhaps as Nazi loot, and repatriated.

(sorry the anouncement did not include the photographs)

Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Tania+ on August 05, 2006, 12:23:32 AM
Dear David,

Your vast research is appreciated beyond words, and we who want and need to know to date what has happened to the vast art treasurers of Russia, thank you. You have gone beyond the normal action of just posting information. You have gotten to the very heart of how much a country, a peoples, a whole civilization was plundered, raped, and killed, but much more, so that the Nazi elite could control, everything at will. It was so very painful to read all that these barbarians did, and how much sacrafice, patience, hope, and will the Russian people continued to have in spite of everything they were forced to endure.

It has left me speechless to think of all the ravages of destruct these Nazi zealots offered. I don't think half of the people who think they know about history of Russia, ever read what you have shared these past hours.

Now when i read about the section of placing a marker over the graves of those Nazis who were killed in Russia and buried, I have to agree with you 100%, that each and every one of their bodies needs, no must be exhumed and sent back to Germany. There needs to be no reminder for poor Russia to have and hold in their memory bank that their lands still remain with those bodies of men who initially wished to dominate them for a thousand years and more.

Again, profound thanks for all you offer the AP Forums, and in every positive posting you share with the readers presently and to those who will continue to read in the future. I am sure as well, that Vladm can concur with you on many of the research notes you have so kindly shared.

I hope that all readers will finally understand in full, the heavy price Russia paid against Nazi oppression and domination in every way.
I have to just sit here and try and absorb what I read, and then go back again and read it all again slowly. It is so much to absorb, and understand. It is just mind boggling to think any nation, and peoples could be subjected to so much sorrow and pain, again and again.

Tatiana+
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: David_Pritchard on August 05, 2006, 01:21:09 AM
From the International Law Of War Association:

The Soviet Union was in particular badly looted. Its museums were ill-prepared for the German invasion and were quickly stripped of the art that the Germans wanted. What they did not want, they destroyed. Palaces, museums, libraries, and churches were completely plundered and left gutted. The numbers alone are mind-boggling: 427 Soviet museums were looted; 1670 Russian Orthodox churches were destroyed or damaged, along with some 500 synagogues. Thirty-four thousand objects were removed from Peterhof in Leningrad and sent to Germany before the palace was destroyed; at Novgorod, 30,000 valuable books were taken. The richest museums in the USSR together lost more than 500,000 items. Moreover, many of the items that were taken were completely unique, including the beautiful Amber Room of the Catherine Palace in Pushkin. The room's amber panels were dismantled by the Germans and sent back to Germany, and they have not resurfaced since the end of the war.

The German military in Russia comitted what is probably the worlds largest theft of cultural property. I feel very strongly that the Russians should make them pay for the restoration of the Imperial Palaces south of Saint Petersburg. The more I think of it, I prefer the tax on the sale of natural gas to the offending countries: Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain and Roumania.

David
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Ortino on August 06, 2006, 11:57:53 AM
I agree, David. As the cause of such horrific destruction, the Germans ought to pay to restore all that they damaged. At the same time though, the Germans could demand the same thing from the Allies. Think of all that was lost in the bombings of Dresden and Hamburg for example.

I believe that the German soldiers should indeed be returned to Germany. While I have respect for the dead regardless of nationality, the Germans buried them there purely to spite the Russians. I believe they should be returned to their homeland.

(http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/2004halls.jpg)(http://www.alexanderpalace.com/palace/slide_show/semicircular/sc11.jpg)

This is the Semi-Circular Hall, by the way. You can tell by those marvelous archways framed with marble Ionic columns as well as the unique doorframe in between the fireplaces.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: David_Pritchard on August 06, 2006, 12:36:20 PM
As the cause of such horrific destruction, the Germans ought to pay to restore all that they damaged. At the same time though, the Germans could demand the same thing from the Allies. Think of all that was lost in the bombings of Dresden and Hamburg for example.

As far as I know, the city of Hamburg was a valid military target. Dresden on the other hand was bombed as an act of revenge for the fire bombing of Coventry, England by the Germans. To me and many others, the bombing of Dresden was a criminal act on the part of the British as it was declared an open city and a safe haven for refugees.

The acts of organised mass theft and cultural vandalism in the Soviet Union by the Germans had no comparison. The leaders of Germany allotted 20,000 members of the NSKK, the Nazi Transportation Corps to the task of shipping stolen art and cultural artefacts back to Germany in 1942, when they might have been put to better military use supplying the German Army in southern Russia. Cultural theft and destruction was a priority to the Nazis just as their counter-productive obsession with the destruction of the Jewish race during the war wasted German resources and manpower that could have been used elsewhere for military purposes.  What sets the German style of looting, pillaging and vandalising apart from previous armies is the scale, organisation and the underlining intent behind the criminal acts.

If one wants to understand the scale of the German criminal acts, I would recommend the book Pavlovsk: the Life of a Palace by Suzanne Massie which devotes many pages to the subject of theft and vandalism by the Germans and Spanish in the Imperial Palaces near Saint Petersburg.

David
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Ortino on August 06, 2006, 03:17:05 PM
(http://As far as I know, the city of Hamburg was a valid military target. Dresden on the other hand was bombed as an act of revenge for the fire bombing of Coventry, England by the Germans. To me and many others, the bombing of Dresden was a criminal act on the part of the British as it was declared an open city and a safe haven for refugees.)

  I'm not arguing the validity of their destruction, only the fact that many things of historical and cultural value were lost because of it. Please don't misinterpret my meaning.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 06, 2006, 03:34:44 PM
I think Germany has paid war-damage resittution and not only to Russia. Also, the repatriating of looted art is a quid pro quo on the parts of both countries. It still goes on.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Tania+ on August 06, 2006, 04:09:06 PM
To know absolutely, so one may make further statement, would be to find out exactly what the true amount of war-damage restitution was paid out to nations. I for one would like to know the exact amount, and to whom. But whatever amount, imho, it can never, never ever fully pay for the immensity of damage it did to Russia's art, church, libraries, museums, and countless other national treasurers. That of course is not even counting the extremes of human loss of life. I understand what both David and Ortino have stated. These countless heartless, and premeditated acts of the Nazis are unparalled. I don't think to date, imho, Germany has paid enough in restitution.

Tatiana+
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: David_Pritchard on August 06, 2006, 04:15:09 PM
  I'm not arguing the validity of their destruction, only the fact that many things of historical and cultural value were lost because of it. Please don't misinterpret my meaning.

I understand your line of thinking, What I am trying to explain to you is the German line of thinking, in that they wanted to remove or destroy the symbols of Russian higher culture be it Tolstoy, Pushkin, Tchaikovsky or Petergof or the Aleksander Palace. The twisted reasoning behind this was to prove their false premise, that the Russian were nothing more than a lower form of humanity. Can you just imagine the treatment of Russian culture in a 1000 year Reich. Tolstoy would be transformed into a Baltic German writer, Tchaikovsky would become a Volga German, after all his compositions followed the German style, and the chandelier from the Chinese Theater would be marked as the former property of the German born Tsarina Ekaterina made by an imported German master craftsman.

I entirely agree with you about the destruction of historical and cultural treasures in the cities of Hamburg and Dresden but this destruction was incidental to the Allies intention of defeating the German military. The German destruction in Russia on the other hand was policy and the goal was to eradicate all vestige of cultural advancement in Russia to conform with Nazi propaganda and anthropological pseudo-science.

David
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 06, 2006, 04:20:50 PM
Tania, simply Google "German war resitution" and you find at least a dozen pages of entries. Including   an excellent one from Harvard and another from the Enc. Britannica.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Ortino on August 06, 2006, 04:37:58 PM
Quote
I entirely agree with you about the destruction of historical and cultural treasures in the cities of Hamburg and Dresden but this destruction was incidental to the Allies intention of defeating the German military. The German destruction in Russia on the other hand was policy and the goal was to eradicate all vestige of cultural advancement in Russia to conform with Nazi propaganda and anthropological pseudo-science.

 I understand what you're saying and agree that the mentality is very different between the two; the Germans set out specifically to destroy Russian treasures while elsewhere they were simply a unfortunate casualty of war. In the end though, eveyone suffers, no matter who did it or for what reasons.  I suppose this is just a terrible reality of war.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: vladm on August 07, 2006, 02:05:43 AM
About who, owes whom, I have one simple math, we (Russians or Soviets) didn't attack Germany, it was other way around. Also, Dresden was restored mostly by Russians (if you remember DDR), USSR by that time, was taking pride in supporting Eastern Germany, and art was return to Dresden gallery almost entirely.
But, USSR not just completely crystal clear, I know about one place in Moscow (this is not an urban legend), where located treasure looted from Germany during WWII, this roughly 1/3 of entire Russian gold reserve (data from 1989), but this is considered as national secret, and this gold/treasure not part of national public reserve (meaning not liquid treasure).
Now, lets compare two countries - today Summer 2006, if you will cross Germany, right and left, I doubt, any of you, would be able to find - scars from the WWII, but in Russia, right and left, we can see dark ruins, in some cases with minefields, even today!
Does, Russia has a right for this treasure? I think so! Because, October Revolution 1917, was done on German money, and Germany advanced after, over 1000 km inland! Because of that, Russian Empire (USSR), lost south part of Armenia including mountain Ararat, and Poland. But summer 1917 Germany was on really bad position. WWII left entire country in ruins, and USSR restored first "Eastern block", and after start taking care itself.
Now, do German solders deserve to have proper post on the graveyard? I think so, but it shouldn't be done for free.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Helen_Azar on August 07, 2006, 08:34:47 AM
... do German solders deserve to have proper post on the graveyard? I think so, but it shouldn't be done for free.



I have been told by the museum staff that many of the numerous German tourists who visit Pushkin and the Catherine Palace, also make it a point of stopping by and paying their respect to these graves, some even bring flowers. Obviously there is an interest on the part of the Germans in this graveyard. I think it would be a good idea if they organized themselves and paid for a plaque or a marker for this spot, as I doubt that the Russian people would be able, let alone willing, to pay for it. So I agree with VladM, there should be a plaque marking the area, but it should be paid by the Germans, not by the Russians.

BTW, I seriously doubt that these remains will be repatriated any time soon, but I suppose stranger things have happened...
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Tania+ on August 07, 2006, 01:37:40 PM
Dear Vladm,

Your point is taken quite clearly and makes perfect in summation. Russia did not attack Germany! Your more than correct about the art being returned to Dresden, and Dresden being restored primarily by Russians. That cost was I would imagine quite hefty right there.

Can you please kindly explain a bit more about treasure from Germany, I don't quite understand this part of your post. Thank you in advance.

When I travelled to Russia I saw places as you stated that still bore the scars from WWII, but i never knew that there were still mine fields still alive ? That is mind boggling to know.

I agree with you as well, that if it has to do with any of the german soldiers being given monuments, or being reburied, their bodies transferred out of the country back to Germany, the German Governmnent should be involved and charged in full ! The Russian people and Russian Government should not have to shoulder again any of the above responsibilities, nor have to bear again the unbearable memories of the tragic loss of so many of their own loved ones, both soldiers, civilians, and children. The above scenerio of closure is the best in terms of closing one of the worst chapters in history of a world war, and to that of who gets buried where. Russia is not 'home' soil for nazi soldiers !

Tatiana+

Tatiana+

About who, owes whom, I have one simple math, we (Russians or Soviets) didn't attack Germany, it was other way around. Also, Dresden was restored mostly by Russians (if you remember DDR), USSR by that time, was taking pride in supporting Eastern Germany, and art was return to Dresden gallery almost entirely.
But, USSR not just completely crystal clear, I know about one place in Moscow (this is not an urban legend), where located treasure looted from Germany during WWII, this roughly 1/3 of entire Russian gold reserve (data from 1989), but this is considered as national secret, and this gold/treasure not part of national public reserve (meaning not liquid treasure).
Now, lets compare two countries - today Summer 2006, if you will cross Germany, right and left, I doubt, any of you, would be able to find - scars from the WWII, but in Russia, right and left, we can see dark ruins, in some cases with minefields, even today!
Does, Russia has a right for this treasure? I think so! Because, October Revolution 1917, was done on German money, and Germany advanced after, over 1000 km inland! Because of that, Russian Empire (USSR), lost south part of Armenia including mountain Ararat, and Poland. But summer 1917 Germany was on really bad position. WWII left entire country in ruins, and USSR restored first "Eastern block", and after start taking care itself.
Now, do German solders deserve to have proper post on the graveyard? I think so, but it shouldn't be done for free.

Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 07, 2006, 03:01:04 PM
The vast majority of enlisted men in the German arny were NOT Nazis. They were young men conscripted to serve a war that the Nazis created. They had no choice.  I believe they deserve the respect any war dead in uniform  are given.
 I grew up in Gettysburgh, Pa. surrounded by Civil War  battlefields and graveyards. Both sides of that conflict are buried and acknowledged there.
 To dis-inter and repatriate the German dead would only open the question of doing the same to the Russian dead buried in Europe. Why open old wounds, let them lie in peace.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: David_Pritchard on August 07, 2006, 06:29:32 PM
I grew up in Gettysburgh, Pa. surrounded by Civil War  battlefields and graveyards. Both sides of that conflict are buried and acknowledged there.  To dis-inter and repatriate the German dead would only open the question of doing the same to the Russian dead buried in Europe. Why open old wounds, let them lie in peace.


One must remember that all of the war dead buried in the various cemeteries in and around Gettysburg, Pennsylvania are Americans. Each side in the conflict was fighting for a political end, either the supremacy of the federal government or for the supremacy of individual states. The Confederate soldiers did not invade Pennsylvania with the intention of forcing the entire population of Pennsylvania north of the Great Lakes and then settling the empty state with Confederate families. The Confederates did not invade Pennsylvania with the intention of stealing every book and manuscript from the libraries, archives and universities of the state. The Confederates did not burn down every structure of historical or architectural significance for the purpose of erasing all vestiges of the Pennsylvanians history and civilisation. The Confederates did not invade Pennsylvania with the intention of turning Philadelphia into the next Carthage, to not only destroy the city but to erase it from the map. The Confederates who died in Gettysburg died there with the intentions of defending their home states and to preserve the life that they knew. They did not die in the North to change the world of the Northerners. They were honourable soldiers who deserve to be treated as such.

One must remember that all of the war dead buried in the various cemeteries in and around Pushkin, Leningradskii Oblast, Russian Federation are German and Spanish. One side in the conflict was fighting for an ideology and the other for its survival. The Hitlerite soldiers from Germany and Spain invaded Russia with the intention of forcing the entire population of European Russia east of the Ural Mountains and then settling the empty lands with specially chosen Hitlerite families. The German and Spanish Hitlerites did invade Russia with the intention of stealing every book and manuscript from the libraries, archives and universities of Russia and burning the rest of the material that they did not want. The Hitlerites did vandalise or burn down every structure of historical or architectural significance for the purpose of erasing all vestiges of Russian cultural history and civilisation. The Hitlerite soldiers did invade Russia with the intention of turning Saint Petersburg into the next Carthage, to not only destroy the city but to erase it from the map. The Hitlerites died in Russia while trying to eradicate Russian culture and remove the Russian people dead or alive from their homeland. The German and Spanish Fascist soldiers buried around the town of Pushkin are war criminals who deserve to be treated as such.

Have I made the difference between honourable soldiers and criminal soldiers clear?

David
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 07, 2006, 06:48:57 PM
David, I respect your opinion in this matter, as I respect all others who might have something to say about it. However, my own opinion remains the same. Let those fallen soldiers lay where they fell. Undisturbed  and marked. NOT memorialised, but acknowledged.
 You also miss my point that the lads were conscripts, for the most part. You know as well as I [and others] that the Eastern Front was a nightmare, dreaded by all Germans. A posting there meant almost certain death if not disabilty for life.
 In any case, the Russian cemetaries and memorials in what was the DDR are mute testimony  for retribution. Leave the dead as they are.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: David_Pritchard on August 07, 2006, 07:59:29 PM
(http://img437.imageshack.us/img437/3474/theneptunefountaininthegardensoftherussianimperialpalya9.jpg)

A pre-war photograph of the Neptune Fountain at the Imperial Palace of Peterhof. Stolen by the Nazi German forces and carried away to Germany. Later captured by the American Forces and returned to the Peterhof State Museum in 1947. One of the sculptures of the fountain has never been recovered.

(http://img239.imageshack.us/img239/3888/up9to1.jpg)

The Neptune Fountain as it appears today less the one missing composition.

An excerpt from:

U.S. Restitution of Nazi-Looted Cultural Treasures to the USSR, 19451959
Facsimile Documents from the National Archives of the United States
Compiled with an Introduction byPatricia Kennedy Grimsted

Of particular note, in early November 1947, nineteen freight-train wagons of cultural treasures restituted from the U.S. Occupation Zone of Germany were processed at the Soviet cultural transfer center of Derutra near Berlin. Of these, eight freight-train wagons were sent directly to Kyiv and two wagons to Minsk; four went to Novgorod and four freight wagons plus an additional flatcar for bronze statues (undoubtedly from the Neptune Fountain) were directed to the suburban Leningrad cultural distribution center in Pushkin. Presumably these would have comprised the materials received from the United States in transfers 711 (Munich nos. 2-5 and possibly also the October 1947 transfer from Wiesbaden). Official representatives from the Russian, Belorussian, and Ukrainian republics inspecting the materials and verifying the shipment in Derutra attested to the fact that they could not conduct a full inventory at that point, which would have involved opening and inspecting the contents of each of the several thousand crates. Accordingly, they explained, they bonded each crate and each wagon, after making a list of the crates to be included, before dispatching them to their destinations in the USSR. They noted that at least one thousand crates had been opened and some damaged, and some had to be repacked or repaired.[/i]
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: David_Pritchard on August 07, 2006, 08:51:57 PM
Nuremberg Trial Proceedings Vol. 8, 65th Day, Friday, 22 February 1946, Afternoon Session

Testimony of Joseph Abgarovitch Orbeli, Director of the Hermitage State Museum

MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: Mr. President, in order to exhaust fully the presentation of evidence on the subject matter of my report I ask your permission to examine witness Joseph Abgarovitch Orbeli who has been brought to the courthouse. Orbeli will testify to the destruction of the monuments of culture and art in Leningrad.

[Dr. Servatius approached the lectern.]

THE PRESIDENT: Do you have any objections to make?

DR. ROBERT SERVATIUS (Counsel for Defendant Sauckel and for the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party): I would like to ask the Court to decide whether the witness can be heard on this subject, whether this single piece of evidence is relevant. Leningrad was never in German hands. Leningrad was only fired upon with the regular combat weapons of the troops and also attacked from the air, just as it is done regularly by all the armies of the world. It must be established what is to be proved by this witness.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal considers that there is no substance in the objection that has just been made, and we will hear the witness. [The witness Orbeli took the stand.]

THE PRESIDENT: What is your name?

JOSEPH ABGAROVITCH ORBELI (Witness): Joseph Abgarovitch Orbeli.

THE PRESIDENT: Will you repeat the oath after me -- state your name again: I -- Orbeli, Joseph, a citizen of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics -- summoned as a witness in this Trial -- in the presence of the Court -- promise and swear -- to tell the Court nothing but the truth -- about everything I know in regard to this case. [The witness repeated the oath in Russian.]

THE PRESIDENT: You may sit if you wish.

MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: Witness, will you tell us, please, what position do you occupy?

ORBELI: Director of the State Hermitage.

MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: What is your scientific title?

ORBELI: I am a member of the Academy of Science of the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics, an active member of the Academy of Architecture of the U.S.S.R., an active member and president of the Armenian Academy of Science, an honorable member of the Iran Academy of Science, member of the Society of Antiquarians in London, and a consultant member of the American Institute of Art and Archeology.

MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: Were you in Leningrad at the time of the German blockade?

ORBELI: Yes, I was.

MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: Do you know about the destruction of monuments of culture and art in Leningrad?

ORBELI: Yes.

MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: Can you tell the Tribunal the facts that are known to you?

ORBELI: Besides general observations which I was able to make after the cessation of hostilities around Leningrad, I was also an eyewitness of the measures undertaken by the enemy for destruction of the Hermitage Museum, and the buildings of the Hermitage and the Winter Palace, where the exhibits from the Hermitage Museum were displayed. During many long months these buildings were under systematic air bombardment and artillery shelling. Two air bombs and about 30 artillery shells hit the Hermitage. Shells caused considerable damage to the building, and air bombs destroyed the drainage system and water conduit system of the Hermitage.

While observing the destruction done to the Hermitage I could also see, across the river, the buildings of the Academy of Science, namely: the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, the Zoological Museum, and right next to it the Naval Museum, in the building of the former Stock Exchange. All these buildings were under especially heavy bombardment of incendiary bombs. I saw the effect of these hits from a window in the Winter Palace.

Artillery shells caused considerable damage to the Hermitage. I shall mention the most important. One shell broke the portico of the main building of the Hermitage, facing the Millionnaya Street and damaged the piece of sculpture "Atlanta."

The other shell went through the ceiling of one of the most sumptuous halls in the Winter Palace and caused considerable damage there. The former stable of the Winter Palace was hit by two shells. Among court carriages of the 17th and 18th centuries that were there displayed, four from the 18th century of high artistic value, and one 19th century gilt carriage were shattered to pieces by one of these shells. Furthermore, one shell went through the ceiling of the Numismatic Hall and of the Hall of Columns in the main building of the Hermitage, and a balcony of this hall was destroyed by it.

At the same time, a branch building of the Hermitage Museum on Solyanoy Lane, namely the former Stieglitz Museum was hit by a bomb from the air which caused very great damage to the building. The building was absolutely unfit for use, and a large part of the exhibits in this building suffered damage.

MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: Please tell me, Witness, do I understand you correctly? You spoke about the destruction of the Hermitage and you mentioned the Winter Palace. Is that only one building? Where was the Hermitage located, the one you mentioned?
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: vladm on August 07, 2006, 08:52:52 PM
Robert, you keep referring to Pennsylvania Civil war time, it wasn't much differences between both sides (North and South). But, do you know any Frenchman's graves from the great lute of Louisiana, and graves from Englishman's chasing Washington?  How many people know, about Pennsylvania was, a sliced and mostly part of Louisiana? Washington by that time was robbing neighboring state for British Empire, and after against Britt's. I maybe somewhere off, in my knowledge of American history, but I hope not too much.

Tatiana, during WWII, Soviets looted Germany, almost as much as Germans did from USSR, but it did not accumulated in private hands, it was part of the government effort, I was drafted like every Russian person, but I was unfortunate to be part of Moscow Military service, I can not give away my military regiment, but my division was part of government security for national treasure. We had several objects, what we were keeping secure, for the national Russian gold reserve, and one unofficial trophy's reserve from WWII. This is as much I can give away. For the rest, just use your imagination, I don't think you will be too far off.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: David_Pritchard on August 07, 2006, 09:08:05 PM

Testimony of Joseph Abgarovitch Orbeli, Director of the Hermitage State Museum
Continued

ORBELI: Before the October Revolution, the Hermitage occupied a special building of its own facing Millionnaya Street; and the other side facing the Palace Quay of the Neva. After the Revolution, the Little Hermitage, the building of the Hermitage Theater, the building which separated the Hermitage proper from the Winter Palace, and later even the entire Winter Palace were incorporated into the Hermitage. Therefore, at the present moment the series of buildings comprising the Hermitage consist of the Winter Palace, the Little Hermitage, and Great Hermitage, which was occupied by the museum prior to the Revolution, and also the building of the Hermitage Theater, which was built during the reign of Catherine II by the architect Quarenghi and which was hit by the incendiary bomb which I mentioned.

MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: Besides the destruction of the Winter Palace and the Hermitage, do you know any other facts about the destruction of other cultural monuments?

ORBELI: I observed a series of monuments of Leningrad which suffered damage from artillery shelling and bombing from the air. Among them damage was caused to the Kazan Cathedral, which was built in 1814 by Architect Voronikhin, Isaak's Cathedral, whose pillars still bear the traces of damage pitted in the granite.

Within the city limits considerable damage was done to the Rastrelli Wing near the Smolny Cathedral, which was built by Rastrelli. The middle part of the gallery was blown up. Furthermore, considerable damage by artillery fire was done to the surface of the walls of the Fortress of Peter and Paul, which cannot now be considered a military objective.

MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: Besides Leningrad proper do you know anything about the destruction and devastation of the suburbs of Leningrad?

ORBELI: I had the chance to acquaint myself in detail with the condition of the monuments of Peterhof, Tsarskoye Selo, and Pavlovsk; in all those three towns I saw traces of the monstrous damage to those monuments. And all the damage which I saw, and which is very hard to describe in full because it is too great, all of it showed traces of premeditation. To prove, for instance, that the shelling of the Winter Palace was premeditated, I could mention that the 30 shells did not hit the Hermitage all at once but during a longer period and that not more than one shell hit it during each shooting.

In Peterhof, besides the damage caused to the Great Palace by fire which completely destroyed this monument, I also saw gold sheetings torn from the roofs of the Great Palace, the dome of Peterhof Cathedral, and the building at the opposite end of this enormous palace. It was obvious that the gold sheetings could not fly off because of the fire alone, but were intentionally torn off.

In Monplaisir, the oldest building of Peterhof, built by Peter the Great, the damage showed also signs of long and gradual ravages, and was not a result of a catastrophe. The precious oak carvings covering the walls were torn off. The ancient Dutch tile stoves, of the time of Peter the Great, disappeared without trace, and temporary, roughly-built stoves were put in their place. The Great Palace, built by Rastrelli in Tsarskoye Ssyelo, shows indubitable traces of intentional destruction. For example, the parquet floors in numerous halls were cut out and carried away, while the building itself was destroyed by fire. In Catherine's Palace, an auxiliary munition plant was installed, and the precious carved 18th century fireplace was used as a furnace and was rendered absolutely worthless.

Paul's Palace, (Pavlosk) which was also destroyed by fire, showed many a sign that the valuable property that once could be found in its halls was carried out before the Palace had been set on fire.

MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: Tell me, please, you said the Winter Palace as well as the other cultural monuments that you mentioned were intentionally destroyed. Upon what facts do you base that statement?.

Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: David_Pritchard on August 07, 2006, 09:25:23 PM
Testimony of Joseph Abgarovitch Orbeli, Director of the Hermitage State Museum
Continued

ORBELI: The fact that the shelling of the Hermitage by artillery fire during the siege was premeditated was quite clear to me and to all my colleagues because damage was caused not casually by artillery shelling during one or two raids, but systematically, during the methodical shelling of the city, which we witnessed for months. The first shells did not hit the Hermitage or the Winter Palace -- they passed near by; they were finding the range and after this they would fire in the same direction, with just a little deviation from the straight line. Not more than one or two shells during one particular shelling would actually hit the Palace. Of course, this could not be accidental in character.

MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: I have no more questions for the witness.

THE PRESIDENT: Do any of the other prosecuting counsel want to ask any questions? Do any of the Defense Counsel want to ask any questions?

DR. HANS LATERNSER (Counsel for the General Staff and High Command of the German Armed Forces): Witness, you have just said that through artillery shelling and also through aerial bombs, the Hermitage, the Winter Palace, and also the Peterhof Palace were destroyed. I would be very much interested to know where these buildings are located; that is, as seen from Leningrad.

ORBELI: The Winter Palace and the Hermitage, which stands right next to it, are in the center of Leningrad on the banks of the Neva on the Palace Quay, not far from the Palace Bridge, which during all the shelling, was hit only once. On the others side, facing the Neva, next to the Winter Palace and the Hermitage, there are the Palace Square and Halturin Street. Did I answer your question?

DR. LATERNSER: I meant the question a little differently. In what part of Leningrad were these buildings -- in the south, the north, the southwest, or southeast section? Will you inform me on that?

ORBELI: The Winter Palace and the Hermitage are right in the center of Leningrad on the banks of the Neva, as I have already mentioned before.

DR. LATERNSER: And where is Peterhof?

ORBELI: Peterhof is on the shores of the Gulf of Finland, southwest of the Hermitage, if you consider the Hermitage as the starting point.

DR. LATERNSER: Can you tell me whether near the Hermitage Palace and Winter Palace there are any industries, particularly armament industries?

ORBELI: So far as I know, in the vicinity of the Hermitage, there are no military enterprises. If the question meant the building of the General Staff, that is located on the other side of the Palace Square, and it suffered much less from shelling than the Winter Palace. The General Staff building, which is on the other side of Palace Square was, so far as I know, hit only by two shells.

DR. LATERNSER: Do you know whether there were artillery batteries, perhaps, near the buildings which you mentioned?

ORBELI: On the whole square around the Winter Palace and the Hermitage there was not a single artillery battery, because from the very beginning steps were taken to prevent any unnecessary vibration near the buildings where such precious museum pieces were.

Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: David_Pritchard on August 07, 2006, 09:26:40 PM
Testimony of Joseph Abgarovitch Orbeli, Director of the Hermitage State Museum
Continued

DR. LATERNSER: Did the factories, the armament factories, continue production during the siege?

ORBELI: I do not understand the question. What factories are you talking about -- the factories of Leningrad in general?

DR. LATERNSER: The Leningrad armament factories. Did they continue production during the siege?

ORBELI: On the grounds of the Hermitage, the Winter Palace, and in the immediate neighborhood, no military enterprise worked. They were never there and during the blockade no factories were built there. But I know that in Leningrad munitions were being made, and were successfully used.

DR. LATERNSER: I have no further questions.

DR. SERVATIUS: Witness, the Winter Palace is on the Neva River. How far from the Winter Palace is the nearest bridge across the Neva River?

ORBELI: The nearest bridge, the Palace Bridge is 50 meters from the Palace, at a distance of the breadth of the quay, but, as I have already said, only one shell hit the bridge during the shellings; that is why I am sure that the Winter Palace was deliberately shelled. I cannot admit that while shelling the bridge, only one shell hit the bridge and 30 hit the nearby building. The other bridge, the Stock Exchange Bridge, connecting Vasilievsky Island with the Petrograd side, is on the opposite bank of the Great Neva. Only a few incendiary bombs were dropped from planes on this bridge. The fires which broke out on the Stock Exchange Bridge were extinguished.

DR. SERVATIUS: Witness, those are conclusions that you are drawing. Have you any knowledge whatever of artillery from which you can judge whether the target was the palace or the bridge beside it?

ORBELI: I never was an artillery man, but I suppose that if German artillery was aiming only at the bridge then it could not possibly hit the bridge only once and hit the palace, which is across the way, with 30 shells. Within these limits -- I am an artillery man.

DR. SERVATIUS: That is your conviction as a non-artillery man. I have another question. The Neva River was used by the fleet. How far from the Winter Palace were the ships of the Red Fleet?

ORBELI: In that part of the Neva River there were no battle-ships which were firing or were used for such kind of service. The Neva ships were anchored in another part of the river, far from the Winter Palace.

DR. SERVATIUS: One last question. Were you in Leningrad during the entire period of the siege?

ORBELI: I was in Leningrad from the first day of the war until 31 March 1942. Then I returned to Leningrad when the German troops were driven out of the suburbs of Leningrad and had a chance to inspect Peterhof, Tsarskoe Selo, and Pavlovsk.

DR. SERVATIUS: Thank you. I have no more questions.

THE PRESIDENT: General, do you want to ask the witness any questions in re-examination?

MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: We have no further questions.

THE PRESIDENT: The witness can retire. [The witness left the stand.]
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Douglas on August 07, 2006, 09:53:05 PM
I agree with Robert.  Leave the dead soldiers where they are and place a marker to note who is buried in that place by the Alexander Palace.

A good friend of mine some years ago was Otto Sitig.  He served in the German army in WW II.  But I can tell  you he was not a Nazi  and he was not a war criminal.  He hated the Nazis but he had to serve in the army as it was required.

Also, Otto, was a great chef and I learned a few things from him about cooking a high class  meal.  He could make a chicken salad that was wonderful. His special added flavor was a dash of Worcestershire Sauce! 

Douglas
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: vladm on August 07, 2006, 10:12:05 PM
...But I can tell  you he was not a Nazi  and he was not a war criminal.  He hated the Nazis but he had to serve in the army as it was required...

This is exact my point! With one exception - most of the German solder's, went to Leningrad by order of there superiors, except - Spanish Blue Division, Spaniards was there volunteering! So, every dead sole, laying in Russian soil, from Blue Division, deserved to be there, and I have no sympathy to the relatives left behind.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: vladm on August 07, 2006, 10:34:43 PM
When I travelled to Russia I saw places as you stated that still bore the scars from WWII, but i never knew that there were still mine fields still alive ? That is mind boggling to know.

Tatiana, in the former USSR, almost every month, military recovers mines from WWII, please check timestamps on following search, this search with appropriate keywords, from the Russian news section:
Yandex News Search (http://news.yandex.ru/yandsearch?rpt=nnews2&grhow=clutop&text=%EE%E1%E5%E7%E2%F0%E5%E6%E5%ED%E0+%EC%E8%ED%E0+%E2%EE%E9%ED%FB)
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 07, 2006, 11:32:08 PM
Pennsylvania was NOT part of the Louisiana Purchase. It was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence from  Britain. [my sympathies lie elswhere in that matter].
 As for all this documentation about restiturion of war loot, fine and well, but I still believe the bones of dead soldiers should lie in rest, undisturbed.  No matter what uniform they wore. Time will take care of them, as  all returns to dust eventually.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: vladm on August 08, 2006, 12:13:14 AM
Robert,
will this map: http://www.mapsofpa.com/18thcentury/1763homann.jpg (http://www.mapsofpa.com/18thcentury/1763homann.jpg) change your believe about Louisiana?
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: David_Pritchard on August 08, 2006, 12:24:32 AM
This is exact my point! With one exception - most of the German solder's, went to Leningrad by order of there superiors, except - Spanish Blue Division, Spaniards was there volunteering! So, every dead sole, laying in Russian soil, from Blue Division, deserved to be there, and I have no sympathy to the relatives left behind.

Dear Vladm,

Here are just a few of the volunteer Fascist military units that served within the Leningrad Oblast:

SS-Freiwilligen-Sturmbrigade Wallonien Belgian Volunteers

Latvian Auxiliary Police Latvian Volunteers

19th SS-Waffen Grenadier Division (2nd Latvija)  Latvian Volunteers

SS-Freiwilligen Verband Flandern
Flemish Volunteers

250th Infanterie-Division/Divisin Azul Espaola
Spanish Volunteers

SS-Freiwilligen Legion Niederlande
Dutch Volunteers

11th SS-Freiwilligen-Panzergrenadier-Division Nordland Scandinavian Volunteers

I am sure that I can find many more units as it is only logical that not everyone of the millions of Fascists involved were forced to attend the Seige of Leningrad or assist in looting the Imperial Palaces.

David

Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: David_Pritchard on August 08, 2006, 12:31:50 AM
Robert,
will this map: http://www.mapsofpa.com/18thcentury/1763homann.jpg (http://www.mapsofpa.com/18thcentury/1763homann.jpg) change your believe about Louisiana?

There is a great difference between the 1763 French Colony of Louisiana and the 1803 French Colony of Louisiana (which is referred to as the Louisiana Purchase.

See this map for the size of the 1803 purchase: http://mrnussbaum.com/lapurchase.htm (http://mrnussbaum.com/lapurchase.htm)
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Helen_Azar on August 08, 2006, 09:05:58 AM
Robert, you keep referring to Pennsylvania Civil war time, it wasn't much differences between both sides (North and South). But, do you know any Frenchman's graves from the great lute of Louisiana, and graves from Englishman's chasing Washington? 

I am not sure if this is exactly what you mean here, but this is one example, something I mentioned earlier....


For example, in Princeton, near to where I live, a battle took place in 1777 between George Washington's troops and the British troops. Both American and British soldiers  were killed in this battle. They were buried right there, in a mass grave. There is a plaque there now that acknowledges both British and American soldiers who lost their lives, and whose remains are still in that spot. They are not really honoring the enemy, they are just acknowledging what took place and reminding everyone that there are human remains buried there.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/helenazar/AmericansBritishGraves.jpg)

In the memorial grave beyond you, those who fell in the battle of Princeton, both American and British buried, the historic portico in which you stand was re-erected here to mark the entrance to the tomb of these unknown soldiers of the revolution.


Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Ortino on August 08, 2006, 10:03:38 AM
Robert,
will this map: http://www.mapsofpa.com/18thcentury/1763homann.jpg (http://www.mapsofpa.com/18thcentury/1763homann.jpg) change your believe about Louisiana?

Pennsylvania was never part of the Louisiana Purchase, only land west of the Mississippi River, nor ever in French hands. Secondly, it is a highly distorted map of the United States so you cannot go by it at all. Pennsylvania is practically the size of New Jersey on it! Even so, the color divisions are clear--yellow is French, green is British. Pennsylvania is entirely green. Thirdly, it is an 18th century map (1763), making it forty years before the Louisiana Purchase and twelve years before the American Revolution!
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 08, 2006, 11:19:59 AM
Thank you, Helen, Ortino & David for defending Penn. history. Vladm mau re-think his own research.
 As for the fascist VOLUNTEERS from other countries,  I never referred to them, but I suppose they deserve to lay in peace as well, unless their current governments wish to go to the expense of repatriating them.  My focus was on the common German soldier deserving the same respect as the Red Army soldier buried in Germany. There are no "real heros" in any war, only dead sons [and daughters]. I was not, for goodness sake, asking for a memorial to be raised for the SS guards at Auscwitz !
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: David_Pritchard on August 08, 2006, 11:20:40 AM
As someone originally from Ohio, I can attest that Ohio and Western Pennsylvania were once French lands. Let us recall that the young George Washington had his first military combat against the French forts in Western Pennsyvania during the Seven Years War (French and Indian War).

See this French fortress named after the French Governor-General of Canada, Marquis du Quesne (now the City of Pittsburgh): http://www.rootsweb.com/%7Eusgenweb/pa/1pa/1picts/frontierforts/73ftduquesne.jpg (http://www.rootsweb.com/%7Eusgenweb/pa/1pa/1picts/frontierforts/73ftduquesne.jpg)

See this French fortress named Fort la Riviere aux Boeufs in the present day County of Erie: http://www.rootsweb.com/%7Eusgenweb/pa/1pa/1picts/frontierforts/90leboeufwaterford.jpg (http://www.rootsweb.com/%7Eusgenweb/pa/1pa/1picts/frontierforts/90leboeufwaterford.jpg)

See this French fortress named Fort Machault after Jean Baptiste Machault in the present day County of Venango:
http://www.rootsweb.com/%7Eusgenweb/pa/1pa/1picts/frontierforts/92ftmachault.jpg (http://www.rootsweb.com/%7Eusgenweb/pa/1pa/1picts/frontierforts/92ftmachault.jpg)

See this French fortress named Fort Presqu'Ile (now the City of Erie):
http://www.rootsweb.com/%7Eusgenweb/pa/1pa/1picts/frontierforts/89oldfrenchft.jpg
 (http://www.rootsweb.com/%7Eusgenweb/pa/1pa/1picts/frontierforts/89oldfrenchft.jpg)

David


Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 08, 2006, 11:26:54 AM
Yes, David, but they were not part of the Louisiana Purchase, as you and others have  clearly pointed out.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: David_Pritchard on August 08, 2006, 01:09:57 PM
The Hitlerite graves that I would like to see disinterred are those particularly close to Russian heritage monuments such as the Aleksander Palace. I strongly feel that their proximity to this and other historical buildings constitutes an ongoing act of Fascist valdalism.

David
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: David_Pritchard on August 08, 2006, 01:47:09 PM
Tkacheva N.M., Head, Restoration Department of
Pskov State United Museum-reserve, Member of St.Petersburg Artists' Union

Pskov Museum in the Years of Occupation


Pskov was occupied in two weeks after the invasion of the Hitler's Germany into the USSR. For this short period the majority of population was evacuated, including industries, hospitals, educational and children institutions, etc. In this kind of conditions the evacuation of museum collections, quite naturally, attracted minimum transport and other means, that is why major part of the great museum collection stayed in Pskov.

Pskov State United Historical Architectural and fine arts museum -reserve is one of the oldest museums of Russia. It was launched as Pskov theological archeology museum. After 1917 organizational changes took place and in 1930 Pskov already had 7 museums: Historical one, the Gallery, Natural Sciences, Socialist construction, Museum flat of V.I.Lenin, Museum - House of V.I.Lenin (House of "Iskra"), anti-religious museum in Troitsky Cathedral [1]Just before the war all the museums were united, but the system of accounting stayed the same and general inventory was not compiled..

At the beginning of the War museum was in a possession of one of the richest collections of archeology, numismatics, manuscripts and old printed books and documents, icon painting and other objects of church art, Russian and Western European paintings, graphics, fine sculpture and porcelain etc., natural science collection.

Up to the beginning of the 90-s the documents of the Operational Headquarters of Rosenberg and other German and Soviet documents related to looting and removal of cultural valuables were not accessible.

In Pskov museum the process of defining the damage caused in the period of occupation is even more complicated by the fact that during the War the majority of inventories of seven Pskov museum of the Soviet period were lost. But by studying pre-Revolutionary catalogues of the museum, the archival materials of 1920-s, and through thorough studying of art objects being taken away, as a result of analysis and systematization of revealed occupation codes, marks etc., and thanks to some findings done at the territory of the museum, a great amount of information was received. This information cleared out a lot in history of Pskov museum and it's collection and allowed to define the approximate number of ancient Russian art objects that were not returned to the museum after the World War II.

Later on the studying of secret documents allowed us to fill the gaps and to restore the whole picture of the museum history in 1941-1944, which was very complicated and unusual.

From the first days of occupation the Germans are being very active in stabilizing the life of the town under the new regime. The power of the town is exercised by the Military Field Headquarters (Commandant-Under Colonel Bolongaro Krevenna), Russian Town Hall headed by Burgermeister Vasily Cherepenkin and District Hall headed by Goroshansky. The positions in civil structure are occupied by the emigrants, arrived with the troops and by some Soviet citizens who stayed in the occupied territories. Civil services are also being created in he sphere of education and culture. Responsible persons are being nominated for ensuring order and cleanliness in the Library and in the Museum. These plenipotentiary representatives were two 19 years old men: son of Burgermeister Leonid Cherepenkin and Georgy Pomelenko.

In their reports military occupational authorities of Pskov are complaining about staff difficulties caused by the fact that "nearly all Pskov intelligencia has run away". The demand for staff was very high because German authorities were re-creating all necessary civil structures where heads and staff members should be Russians, for the implementation of their political aims.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: David_Pritchard on August 08, 2006, 01:49:35 PM
Tkacheva N.M., Head, Restoration Department of
Pskov State United Museum-reserve, Member of St.Petersburg Artists' Union

Pskov Museum in the Years of Occupation
continued

Even a post office was functioning in Pskov. There were issued Pskov stamps with the images of the Pskov Coat of Arms, Troitsk Cathedral and the icon of "Mother of God of Chir". The sketches for the stamps were done by Pskov artist Grigory Aleksandrov-Gai. Pskov was housing Financial service and other services of the Northern group of troops, including Department on "preservation of cultural and art valuables" (down referred as CAV) [2], which was headed by Director and Curator of Historical Museum of Frankfurt-on-Mein, plenipotentiary representative on preservation of CAV of Headquarters of the Northern group of troops Count Ernst Otto zu Zolms-Laubach.

Zolms' activities were aimed at studying, accumulation and preservation of CAVs of Pskov and of the whole Northern Western region. Apart from the Department on preservation , on a permanent basis, zondercommand "Pskov" [3] and detachment "Ostland" were functioning in Pskov, dealing with all cultural and social matters of Pskov and the region. They were also dealing with "the planning of the joint scientific works of German and Soviet authors", and, if it was necessary, were looting and taking away the valuables. The question of CAV was dealt with also by SD and Kuensberg's group (MID and SS) [4]. The security coverage for all the valuables was provided by military Headquarters.

Count Zolms and his Department were a leading force in "preservation of CAV". Active interference of Count Zolms finally led to "mutual understanding" of all the services involved. It became possible only after departure of Kuensberg's group which made everybody very irritated. By the end of Summer of 1941, under the initiative and leadership of Count Zolms, in the building of the Historical museum located at Nekrasov Street, in Pogankin's Chambers, "Pogankin's museum" was formed from the collections of small museums. 65 years old sculptor Sobakin, who opened in 1941 Russian Arts and Industries college, participated in putting up the museums' exhibition, as well as the above mentioned artist Aleksandrov-Gai, who was teaching in Sobakin's school.

The Museum covered "Western European and Russian painting, historical objects, cloths, church paraphernalia, icons, books, etc. and also the remains of natural science collection and botanical materials".

The museum was open for public daily between 10.00 and 12.00. There was a small number of Russian staff , including Novgorod archeologist Vasily Ponomarev [5], who was the first burgermeister of the occupied Novgorod, then with the remains of Novgorod collections moved to Novgorod, in 1943 he was holding excavations of mounds found out by the troops of Vermacht in Luzhsk region of Leningrad area, was dealing with accounting and description of Pskov museums collections.

As a result of the occupation the fate of Pskov museum became closely related and interwoven with the fate of many other Russian museums. To untie these endless knots produced by the War, to find museum valuables, removed by the fascists not only from Pskov, but also from other Russian towns, it is necessary to understand what was happening in 1941-1944 in Pskov and in it's museum.

In 1941-1944 Pskov was the main store base for valuables, taken not only from Pskov region but also from Novgorod, Tikhvin, Pushkin, Pavlovsk, Gatchina, Peterhof. At the beginning of 1980s you still could see a heavy steel door with the mark "Tur No 30", and during archeological excavations the workers found a German telephone cable in the yard of the museum. The Germans were settling down thoroughly and were not in a hurry to take the valuables away. In the opposite, as one of the authorities of the German Headquarters Dr Zeiss were stressing out, "bearing in mind that Eastern regions should be after the war transformed into a studying space for the Germans, the form of which was not defined yet, the existing there objects of art shouldn't be looted and should stay in their places".

Hitler's order of the 1st of March 1942 proved the right of the Operational Headquarters of Rosenberg (RR), by that time presenting a centralized united service, to implement confiscation of valuables and preservation of them preventing their annihilation and damage.

RR Headquarters were located in Berlin, Head of RR Administration Utikal and his Deputy Ebeling were governing the branches of the Headquarters.

Special departments of Headquarters were also located in Berlin: "Fine Arts" (Dr.Scholz); "Archives" (Dr.Mommzen, Dr.Dulfer"); "Libraries "(Dr.Nay); "Ancient and Early History" (Prof. Nerling) and others.

The duties of the experts working in these Departments included participation in working groups and zonderkommand for studying collections of valuables, their estimation, definition of the objects to be sent to Germany, etc. The main working group "Ostland" (headed by Grissdorf and Dr.Nerling) of the Operational Headquarters of Reichsleiter Rosenberg (RR) was located in Riga.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Helen_Azar on August 08, 2006, 01:50:42 PM
The Hitlerite graves that I would like to see disinterred are those particularly close to Russian heritage monuments such as the Aleksander Palace. I strongly feel that their proximity to this and other historical buildings constitutes an ongoing act of Fascist valdalism.

David

But it is still part of its history, even though a distasteful part. I think that these graves should remain, so that the people remember what happened there.... They don't have to like what happened, just be aware of it and remember it. It is part of the town's history after all. But ultimately, it doesn't matter what any of us think about this... It will come down to what those who can actually make things happen decide.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: David_Pritchard on August 08, 2006, 01:51:00 PM
Tkacheva N.M., Head, Restoration Department of
Pskov State United Museum-reserve, Member of St.Petersburg Artists' Union

Pskov Museum in the Years of Occupation continued

The representatives of "Ostland" and employees of RR Headquarters were periodically visiting Pskov with inspections, their reports contain important information about the state of valuables in various periods of the occupation and also about the facts of removing valuables.

In October 1941 they mention that Governor V.Cherepenkin "has already submitted to the Germans "some "valuable charts" in order "to preserve them for children of absent families". They also mentioned that "the remains of anti-religious exhibition in Troitskij cathedral and also books and documents of the House of Soviets were taken by SD for storage, the majority of them were already located in Revel and that several thousands more were supposed to go there as well". The materials of evangelical Lutheran community Jacobi, kept in the museum, were already sent to the Stuttgart institute of studying foreign countries [6]. In February 1942 representatives of the "Ostland" group fix a great number of violations including disappearance of many items of valuable china from the museum storage, "the whole series of passing museum valuables, both sales and various gifts". As the reporters said, the Commandant of the town de Bari was sure that "museum property was the trophy and only military Headquarters could distribute it in accordance to it's own understanding".

The specialists of the group are very unhappy about the state of cultural valuables in Pskov and they find it necessary to let the higher authorities know about it. During their meeting with de Bari they stress that "museum property, as a result of Count Zolms' activities , became a social property" and attract de Bari's attention to the fact that many facts revealed by them , under their opinion, are serious violations, which "first of all negatively impress local Russians". The group is giving recommendations about necessary steps to be taken in order to correct the above mentioned violations:

   1. An urgent effective defense of all funds of the museum and its storage located in the Gogol Street and in the so called "Golden chapel". It is stressed out that it is absolutely prohibited to take exhibits for gifts, rewards or sales.
   2. The Russian Town Hall should urgently sort out the storage located in the Gogol Street.
   3. To start inventory records of the objects, exhibited in the Pogankin museum.
   4. In the "Golden chapel" to accomplish, with the help of Russian priests, approximate inventory of icons.
   5. To ask de Bari to compile the list of rewards , sales and other passes, accomplished during his period, with indication of the receivers.
   6. Unconditional return of all objects being in hands of the officers.
   7. To close the Library in Pogankin house for any kind of loan.

De Bari is trying in his letters to deny many accusations of the Headquarters and in general, on his opinion, "the volume of damage is given too high and escalation of this history is discrediting German military power in the town". Nevertheless de Bari, in accordance to the recommendations, is forced to compile a list of officers who bought art objects in Pskov in the period of November 1941 and January 1942. As a result of this, in April 1942, Head of the "Ostland" group Dr. Wunder and Count Zolms, who were against these kind of violations, decided to take steps aimed at finding and returning the valuables, taken away. The problem of appropriation of cultural valuables was treated very seriously. The other example - a two months correspondence about "some Professor Zam", who, in accordance to the reports sent to Berlin, took cultural valuables from the Novgorod Kremlin into the unknown location. Finally it was found out that zondefuerer Zam was acting under the order of Headquarters of the 16th Army and all valuables, collected by him, were being kept in Pskov, in Pogankin museum.

But the problem of alienation looks different in the story of the butterflies collection of Pskov museum. The collection most probably originated from the Natural Sciences museum and was quite meaningful, because Head of Frankfurt-am-Mein administration, who wanted to receive it, and appropriate authorities were holding correspondence about it for at least half a year. On the 1st of June 1942, one of the leaders of Headquarters RR Dr. Zeiss answered with a categorical no. But already in October 1942 an insistent Oberburgermeister was getting a permission to receive the collection and it was taken away from the museum.

It is necessary to mention that it was a unique occasion. The numerous facts, as we saw it, were witnessing, that all the services, busy with "saving and preservation of cultural valuables", were implementing a planned methodical and centralized removal of valuables and also were obstructing annihilation and looting of CAV, acting in the interests of the Reich. Inevitable during the War attempts of personal enrichment , damaging and annihilation of historical and cultural monuments were preferably stopped.

The looting of the valuables was implemented even with the life risk for military troops, as, for example, during the "salvation" of the miracle icon of "the Lady of Tikhvin" [7]. Pskov was the last shelter of the famous icon in Russian land.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: David_Pritchard on August 08, 2006, 01:53:16 PM
Tkacheva N.M., Head, Restoration Department of
Pskov State United Museum-reserve, Member of St.Petersburg Artists' Union

Pskov Museum in the Years of Occupation continued

In January 1942 a group of Gerlitz passed to Pskov the valuables taken in the town of Tikhvin, including the miracle icon of the Lady of Tikhvin. During three years of the stay in Pskov the icon was kept not even in the museum but in the armory of the Commandant's office. Every Sunday it was given to the Troitskij Cathedral for nine hours between 9.00 and 18.00. The expert of the RR Headquarters Dr.Esser was expressing his concerns that the valuable painting was suffering of transportation because of changes in temperature and humidity, despite the fact that it was defended by a layer of cellophane between the cover and painting and that it was kept in a glass box from which it was never taken. At the same time he stressed out the "impossibility of it's removal from the cult using because of political and propaganda reasons". The image of the icon was put into the Pskov guide book compiled by K.Zablozky, published in German in 1943.

In February 1942 a big party of the "cultural valuables, originated from Novgorod region", was delivered to Pskov. Before that the doors of so called "Gottorp Globe" were also taken to Pskov. These doors were sent from Gatchina straight to Riga in October 1942.

At the end of Summer 1943 Count Zolms took a trip to Novgorod in order to find and take to Pskov the remaining there cultural valuables. In the middle of 1943 the last inspection trips of the specialists from the "Ostland" group to Pskov took place. Later on all appropriate services in Pskov and the "Ostland" group were busy mainly with the problem of preparation of valuables to transportation and their evacuation to Germany. In October 1943 it was suggested that the new base for storage and distribution of CAV would be created in Western Prussia in addition to the one existing in Riga, because the situation in Riga was characterized as "not very stable". Due to shortage in rail carts and packing materials the removal of CAV was quite difficult from Minsk as well.

In February 1944 the Germans started an urgent evacuation of CAV from Pskov and the region. Head of the "Ostland" group Dr. Nerling ordered "under any conditions to remove the library of Pskov museum and church books from the State archive of Pskov". The steps are taken to remove the CAV from Pechora monastery , the "equipment" of museum in Pushkin Hills was taken as well.

In Riga the inventories were compiled and the packing was performed: the icons were sealed in twos by the pieces of wood which were nailed with thick nails. The prophylactic sealing was performed using flour paster. Specialist of the Louvre working group Dr.Roskamp "probed objects of art". The signs of this "probing" are still visible on many Pskov icons - these are rude shapeless cuts, damaging not only the authors paint layers but levkas as well.

Despite the urgency Riga museum was still keeping functioning the exhibition formed from the looted valuables, accompanied by photos and other explanation materials. The exhibition was demonstrating the "successful activities" of services, "busy with "saving CAV". On the 18th of May, 1944, 23 Pskov icons were delivered to Riga. The fate of these icons are still unknown.

As for two Pskov icons of the XVI century from the damaged by bombing German transport, they were "lost" in the territory of Daugavpils region of Latvija in 1944. Now they are kept in Daugavpils museum despite the fact that they have a definite occupation markings proving their belonging to the Pskov museum.

The objects of ancient Russian art , kept in Pskov, were marked right there. Despite various codes used to indicate from where the icon was taken, the principle of "Pskov inventory" was very simple: it had a general transparent enumeration of all icons taken away, which allowed to define the volume of the removed and not returned ones.

The marking of the valuables under the system of the "Ostland" group was performed in Riga. Paintings, graphics, sculpture, china, etc, belonging to various museums, including the Pskov one, were marked by the code of the Main working group. The lists of the MWG hardly contain information about the sources from where the valuables came, but by the indications of the old museum numbers , in details mentioned in the inventories, it was possible sometimes to define the origin. Unfortunately, we studied only a small number of MWG's lists.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: David_Pritchard on August 08, 2006, 01:55:24 PM
Tkacheva N.M., Head, Restoration Department of
Pskov State United Museum-reserve, Member of St.Petersburg Artists' Union

Pskov Museum in the Years of Occupation
continued

In the process of repatriation of the valuables, during the first years after the War, the majority of valuables, taken from the Pskov museum, returned to Pskov. But at least 1/3 of the valuables stayed outside Russia. Among them are the unique monuments of the icon "Our Lady's Birthday" with the stamps of Our Lady's living of the XVI century and "Our Lord's Appearance with the Iesseev Tree" of the XVI century, "Spisok" of the end of the XVIII century from the icon "Our Lady of Pskov and Pokrov", embroidered banner "Trinity" of 1630, the carved khoros of XIV-XV centuries, the Saint Gates of the Snetogorsk Monastery of XV century, a bronze bas-relief with the image of seven figures and other details of the famous doors of the church of Saint Nikolas of Torg, which were kept in the Museum. It also includes numerous archeological findings of X-XV centuries, including a stone pagan idol, two paintings of Konstantin Korovin, works of mark Shagal, "Still life" by Martiros Saryan, etc. The fate of these and many other valuables is unknown. About the others we know that they were not only saved but also that they were exhibited at the exhibitions. They include the famous miracle icon of the XVI-XVII centuries "Our Lady of Pskov and Pokrov", created using the plot "stories about the sights of the old Dorofej".

The function of a collection point of the CAV, given to the Pskov museum by the occupants, and, related to the shortage of necessary documentation, the wrong after war usage of the German codes made the process of identification and return more difficult . It also originated misunderstanding which led to relocation of many Pskov valuables into other museums of the country or kept them in the museums which were used as temporary storage for the returned to the USSR valuables.

Not only the Pskov museum, but also other museums of the country are missing their valuables which are returned to Russia a long time ago.

The situation, when the cultural valuables, removed by the fascists from one museum, in the process of repatriation were returned to other museums, could not be considered normal. Both from ethical and legal point of view. To admit that these kind of removals, caused by the actions of the occupants, are normal means to violate the principle of the integrity of the museums' collections, to question the right of museums and at the same time the main duty of the museums to provide the integrity of their collections.

The joint identification of mistakes, honest exchange of information between the museums and reconstruction of justice through passing the valuables to the museums from where they were removed by the occupants is as urgent and important task as a search for the valuables still not returned to Russia.

REMARKS

1. Historical, Gallery, Natural Sciences and Socialist Building were incorporated into a post-war museum (Pskov Local Lore museum), Anti-religious museum was closed because the Troitskij Cathedral became a functioning one. Both museums of Lenin became a part of the Central museum of Lenin of CC of CPSU.
2. CAV-terminology used in the documents of the Rosenberg's Headquarter.
3. Zondercommand - an autonomy detachment with special tasks.
4. Under the initiative of Ribbentrop the special battalion was created. It was headed by the SS major von Kuensberg and it's special groups were acting in various regions.
5. Ponomarev Vasilij Sergeevich, born in 1907, graduated from Leningrad State University in 1928-1929 (possibly the faculty of Natural sciences), scientific worker of the Novgorod museum, lived in the FRG after the war.
6. 70 items, the inventory was compiled by Dr. Kruzenshtern.
7. The town of Tikhvin was freed by the Soviet Army on the 9th of December of 1941
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: vladm on August 08, 2006, 09:47:57 PM
Frenchcreek, Girard, Ligonier, Morris all of these names - Pennsylvania cities. Now, I never said Pennsylvania, was not part of original USA, it was, so both sides (British and French) must be fought, on the same land and killed each other. I showed map, not to prove how Pennsylvania was small and Louisiana was big, but to show, borders of Louisiana, was way off (from current Pennsylvania  borders) before 1803 purchase.
Now, in my original statement, I described Pennsylvania was sliced (cut, divided), and Washington looted (robbed) neighboring states for Britts (French and Indian War 17541763), and after fought British troops from 1776.
But, point I am trying to make, this was a time, when English and French fought each other, and graveyard, is nothing but a memory of some events from some period, and keep us informed about events of this period (otherwise we forgetting our past).
This is why I am not against to have German memorial board, if we will try to select something pleasant from our history, down the road next generations, will have distorted picture about that period (unfortunately this process already begun for WWII).
If someone thinks graveyard board is wrong, I can reassure you, content of the board, can bring appropriate message, and the way, how modern society view events of the WWII (when we can remember that period), but memories about that period fading away, and we need to rush!

Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: BobAtchison on August 09, 2006, 01:34:16 PM
This question about bodies in front of the AP - well there are bodies all over the place all around the palaces, in Sophia - who knows who they all are?  There are victims of the Revolution, the 'Revolutionary heroes' buried in the park, soldiers of both sides.  If you started to dig, who lknows what you find?  No, just bodies but other things - bad things left over from years when the palaces were in a military development zone.

Since we are on this subject I also wonder if the mass graves in front of the Cathedral in Peter and Paul Fortress are still there. Are tourists buying tickets and walking over the bodies of the Grand Dukes who were shot?  With all the rubles pouring in to Russia and St. Petersburg from tourism and oil can't they dig up the innocent victims there and do the right thing?  Perhaps they have and I don't know about it.

Bob
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: BobAtchison on August 09, 2006, 01:47:09 PM
I forgot to post that years ago Marvin Lyons told me that the AP had an SS hospital in during WWII and this is why it received extra protection.  I believe he said he had pictures and accounts of the palaace when it was this hospital - also of Russians who came from Wetsern Europe as translators.  I have never seen these pictures.

All of this make sense. Kuchumov told me the heating system in parts of the palace still worked during the war and it was the only place where it did in Pushkin.  One could see why the Nazis would want it as a hospital then.  They used the parquet floors for heating, when these were gone they used other wood things.  It was also easy to get people in and out of the palace as the main rooms are on the ground floor.

As most of you know I have a bunch of photos of the palace just after the war, many of them ore on the site.  I have some new ones that show huge maps drawn on the walls of the New Study of the Pushkin area.  Ther are a bit hard to make out, but they show that this room was used for military planning of some kind.

Someday I hope we learn more about Russians who went in with the Nazis as translators and also about representatives of Alexandra's family who might have gone in with specififc knowledge of things hidden in the palace.

Oh, one more thing - there are plenty of French and other European volunteers who are buried around the AP.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: David_Pritchard on August 09, 2006, 04:42:41 PM
I spoke to the curator of the Fortress about the bodies of the four grand dukes and she told me that they did not know where they were and that if they started digging under the stones they would encounter hundreds, maybe thousands of bodies of those executed in the years following the revolution. I think the museum staff was overwhelmed at the thought of disturbing the cobblestones and taking on such a massive ghoulish task.

David
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Helen_Azar on August 09, 2006, 04:45:30 PM
I spoke to the curator of the Fortress about the bodies of the four grand dukes and she told me that they did not know where they were and that if they started digging under the stones they would encounter hundreds, maybe thousands of bodies of those executed in the years following the revolution. I think the museum staff was overwhelmed at the thought of disturbing the cobblestones and taking on such a massive ghoulish task.

David

I can certainly understand that. What a horrible image....
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: BobAtchison on August 09, 2006, 09:04:24 PM
David:

That's exactly what some would like to do - is ignore the corpses all over St. Petersburg.  How can they accept one ruble from tourists to visit the Fortress with the remains of hundreds right under their feet....  Why doesn't Putin do something?

They spent and wasted so much money on the internment of the Imperial family and now they are going to spend thousands on Empress Marie's reburial.  It's disgusting.  They should do the right thing and exhume the hundreds of innocent victims before they have one more 'fun' ceremony for celebs and politicians to attend there.

Aslk for volunteers - I am sure they would come forward.  I can't accept what the curator said.

Bob
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 09, 2006, 09:35:53 PM
I was told much the same thing last year. Also, the regular floods that occur there have hastened the disintegration of the bodies, so there just may not be anything to disinter. A simple marker would be appropriate, no need to go to useless expense for a much of nameless whoevers.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Douglas on August 10, 2006, 12:39:38 AM
Lets just forget about digging up the bones of dead soldiers and others.  There would be no way to identify most of them anyway.

  They were more than likely buried in blankets or sheets.  Therefore their bodies would be nothing but a few bones by now.

Robert is correct...let them  remain undisturbed for eternity.

Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: BobAtchison on August 10, 2006, 10:33:41 AM
I still want the courtyard in front of the Cathedral excavated.  There are three Grand Dukes there (four were shot and one body was taken away, right?) and who knows who else.  I don't know what the conditions are there, what remains have survived.  If there was a massacre in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia and all the bodies were shoved into a masss grave there who a plaque or a monument be enough?  Would we allow hordes of tourists to walk over these mass graves?

If this were Germany and they were the victims of the Nazis lying in front of Reichstag they would have been dug up and a museum erected to the victims.  In France they dug up the victims of the Revolutiion buried near the Madeliene and did them what honors they could.

Bob
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Tania+ on August 10, 2006, 12:24:04 PM
Thank you Bob ! Someone with understanding at last has offered just reason, and I can't agree more. Your point of allowing all understand perhaps makes headway. I don't think people would understand unless you put it in terms of where it is on home soil, and about the importance of giving proper significance. We would not dare allow anyone, relative, or tourist to walk over anyone's grave, so why say forget them. Thank you so very much for your kind input. It makes perfect sense. I still think the whole area should be cleared so there is no future debate as to what to do with 'old bones, and others'... The revolution was a massacre, and it is hallowed ground for the Russians


Tatiana+
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 10, 2006, 12:43:51 PM
The fact remains that there was no massacre in front of Independence Hall, and no Nazi vcitims in front of the Reishstag [there may well have Nazis, however,remember Hitler's bunker?] And not all victims of the French Revolution were dis-intered.  When that was done, it was not so long after the fact as well.
And- thousands of tourists do walk over graves in  cemetaries all over the world.
 If one demands finding 3 dead grand dukes, maybe one should offer to pay for the expense and disruption. Perhaps then, the authories would consider it.
 BTW, I was also told that the site has been blessed by Orthodox Church, so is effectively an Orthodox burial place. As most of us would know, the Orthodox Church is very much against digging up dead bodies. I still say a nice memorial plaque  is appropriate.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: BobAtchison on August 10, 2006, 02:33:30 PM
I am sorry, I just don't agree...  It seems morally wrong to me.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Tania+ on August 10, 2006, 04:47:12 PM
Thank you again Bob. For me the pivitol word in all of this is 'morally', and I can assure you, the Orthodox Church is inclined to agree on this. We of the Russian Orthodox Faith, don't bury our dead and just forget about them. The Orthodox church in all its history are not inclined to forget our dead...this by far is not just an incidental bygone issue. I believe Russia is still putting herself together, and in time, this will be more than addressed, as well as that of the Nazi soldiers bodies there. This is obviously an internal Russian Government address, no matter how we may offer our thoughts or ideas, but again, I would say as you have Bob, for countless Russians inside Russia and outside, it is a moral issue, and I agree with you. Thanks again !

Tatiana+
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: David_Pritchard on August 10, 2006, 10:30:30 PM
I still want the courtyard in front of the Cathedral excavated.  There are three Grand Dukes there (four were shot and one body was taken away, right?) and who knows who else.  I don't know what the conditions are there, what remains have survived. 

By Courtyard, do you mean the little semi-courtyard between the Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral and the Grand Ducal Burial Chamber or do you mean the very large Courtyard, almost a parade ground, between the Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral and the Russian Mint? One area is reasonable to excavate, the other is an overwhelming task. I have read variously that the grand dukes were buried in front of the Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral or near one of the prison bastions. If I were going to dispose of a large number of corpses, I think that the open ground outside of wall near the rear entrance of the fortress (facing the Artillery Museum) would be a good spot for a number of mass graves. It would be much easier to turn up sod than it would be to pull up cobblestones (have you ever done this, it is much harder than most would think?).

Is this the Courtyard to which you were referring?

(http://img56.imageshack.us/img56/7374/08102005054154pm2yu.jpg)
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: rgt9w on August 23, 2006, 07:31:58 AM
Vladm,

I would love to see more picutres from the german occupation if you have more to share. Thank you for sharing the pictures you have already posted.

RGT9W
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 23, 2006, 08:47:53 AM
I was recently reading an article about dis-intering the tombs of the Rurik tsarevnas from a crypt below what used to be a convent in the Kremlin and transferring them to one of the cathedrals.  The authorities had a hard fight with the ROC in doing so. The forensic scientists are taking adavntage of the situation and making images of some of them whilst this is going on. Very intersting.  Makes much more sense than digging up a fortress in search of a few grand dukes which may never even be identified.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Helen_Azar on August 23, 2006, 08:48:41 AM

Soviet soldiers coming into the courtyard of the Catherine Palace (24 January, 1944).

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/helenazar/1944catherinepalace.jpg)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/helenazar/sovetskiye.jpg)
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Helen_Azar on August 23, 2006, 09:35:11 AM

A Soviet commander on the steps of the Catherine Palace in 1944:

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/helenazar/commander.jpg)

View of Akademichesky Prospekt just after the German retreat in 1944 (the wall of Feodorovsky Gorodok is on the left):
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/helenazar/AkademicheskyPr-1944.jpg) You can see what this area looks like today in my video, which hopefully Bob will post soon in the Feodorovsky Gorodok section.

Although this one isn't in Pushkin but in Pavlovsk (a few miles away), I thought it was an interesting photo. Pavlovsk Palace, January 1944:

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/helenazar/PavlovskPalace1944.jpg)
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: rgt9w on August 23, 2006, 11:04:50 AM
Thank you Helen for the pictures you continue to post. They are very interesting.

In response to Sarushka's question regarding pictures being found in books, I bought a book in Tsarskoye Selo called "The Amber Room: Three Centuries of History". There is a chapter titled, "The War, Evacuation, Disappearance, and Search" that has many of the photos that are displayed in the Catherine Palace that were shared earlier on this thread by Helen_A (page 2). The book was published by Aurora Art Publishers, St. Petersburg. ISBN573000768-X
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: vladm on August 27, 2006, 12:45:44 AM
Few more occupation photos, I had to process them, because of the bad source. If you looking for original, here we go:
http://www.gatchina.ru/razruha/pushkin(korotko).htm (http://www.gatchina.ru/razruha/pushkin(korotko).htm)


(http://www.virtualpushkin.com/images/AlexanderPalace/ww2/15.jpg)
(http://www.virtualpushkin.com/images/AlexanderPalace/ww2/16.jpg)
(http://www.virtualpushkin.com/images/AlexanderPalace/ww2/18.jpg)
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: vladm on August 29, 2006, 03:27:20 AM
I am really surprise about - no one paid attention to German guy timestamp - 1942, this is summer after Germans occupied Pushkin territory, 2 years before they flied back to Germany. Ive heard stories, about Palace blowup by Soviets, before they retrieved to Leningrad, than question, what is happened with Amber Room, palace to me, looked completely demolished.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Helen_Azar on August 29, 2006, 10:42:07 AM
Doesn't the second photo say that it was taken as memento for a German soldier? Obviously at least this photograph was taken by the Germans, while they occupied the area, not by the Russians. How did the Russians get this photo? And yes, the palace in the background already looks demolished, so clearly it didn't happen right before the Germans retreated in 1944. Unless the date was mislabled? I know that I posted this first photo, of the Grand Hall, earlier on this thread, and that one was labeled 1944, as far as I know...
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: vladm on August 31, 2006, 12:24:31 AM
German topo map from 1941
(http://www.virtualpushkin.com/images/AlexanderPalace/ww2/german-topo-1941-sm.gif)
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: vladm on August 31, 2006, 01:05:28 AM
Sorry guys, I kept you waiting long enough for next portion of the pictures:
Alexander Palace:
(http://www.virtualpushkin.com/images/AlexanderPalace/ww2/alexanderpalace7.jpg)
(http://www.virtualpushkin.com/images/AlexanderPalace/ww2/alexanderpalace3.jpg)
(http://www.virtualpushkin.com/images/AlexanderPalace/ww2/alexanderpalace10.jpg)
Catherine Palace:
(http://www.virtualpushkin.com/images/AlexanderPalace/ww2/catherinepalace-1.jpg)
(http://www.virtualpushkin.com/images/AlexanderPalace/ww2/catherinepalace-2.jpg)
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Helen_Azar on August 31, 2006, 08:15:53 AM
Thanks, vlad. I have to say, the Alexander Palace doesn't look very different today...
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: vladm on August 31, 2006, 11:23:54 AM
Now, talking about graveyard. Pictures below from spring 1944, right after Germans, I dont see any graves, and I dont think, Russians had a chance to do something with it...

(http://www.virtualpushkin.com/images/AlexanderPalace/ww2/alexanderpalace2.jpg)
(http://www.virtualpushkin.com/images/AlexanderPalace/ww2/alexanderpalace3.jpg)
(http://www.virtualpushkin.com/images/AlexanderPalace/ww2/br78814.jpg)
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 31, 2006, 11:28:47 AM
My guess would be that the Fermans removed the grave markers to prevent them being desecrated...?
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: vladm on August 31, 2006, 05:52:38 PM
more information about legal implications between Germany and Russia, but with some numbers:

"In reality, the Trophy Art Law is quite consistent with the views and feelings of most Russians who never forgot that in the days of what we call Great Patriotic War (1941-1945) German Nazis and their allies destroyed 1,710 Soviet cities and towns, more than 70,000 villages, 32,000 plants and factories, about 100,000 collective and state farms, approximately 65,000 kilometers of railroads (one-and-a-half the length of equator). The countrys national wealth diminished by 30 percent 27*.
        Just like during a previous European invasion to Russia in the 19th Century, when Napoleons soldiers were making stables in Russian churches, Hitlers soldiers looted and destroyed 427 museums, 1,670 Russian Orthodox churches, 237 Catholic churches, 532 synagogues, 43,000 libraries, 6,000 hospitals, 82,000 schools. According to incomplete data, in the 73 richest museums of the USSR 564,723 exhibits were destroyed or looted by Nazis; the 15 richest museums lost 269,515 exhibits 28*.  As Lynn H. Nicholas wrote in her remarkable book: Everywhere in the USSR special attention was given to the trashing of the houses and museums of great cultural figures: Pushkins house was ransacked, as was Tolstoys Yasnaya Polyana, where manuscripts were burned in the stoves and German war dead were buried all around Tolstoys solitary grave. The museums honoring Chekhov, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Tchaikovsky received similar attentions, the composer of the 1812 Overture being particularly honored by having a motorcycle garage installed in his former dwelling 29*.
        After liberation of the occupied territory, the Soviet Army, as a rule, could find nothing of value left in the museums of its recaptured cities. They found instead burned and defaced buildings, ruined laboratories, books reduced to pulp 30*.  Whereabouts of most art objects that were looted and taken away by Nazi aggressors (like an invaluable historical Smolensk archive or the Amber Room) are still not known. An American prosecutor at the Nuremberg trial called Nazi policy on the occupied Soviet territory a deliberate destruction of Russian culture.
        Ultimately, 26,5 million of Soviet people (or 11,5 percent of the USSR population in 1941), most of them civilians, were killed by Nazis, exterminated in German concentration camps, or died as a result of wounds. A combined number of Soviet citizens who were killed or crippled during the Great Patriotic War was equal to over forty million 31*.
        As a form of reparations for the damage which had been done by Nazi Germany to the Soviet Union, if one can speak about any possible reparation that could compensate loss of millions of lives, the USSR, among other things, evacuated from Germany approximately 2,2 million artworks, and about 3 million archival files.
        Between 1955 and 1969, as a manifestation of its goodwill, the Soviet Union handed back to the German Democratic Republic the lions share of art objects, which had been taken away after the Second World War: more than 1,922,000 pieces of art (or 87,4 percent of what had been originally evacuated) and almost all three million archival files. Among the art treasures returned were Dresden Art Gallery with its Raphaels Sistine Madonna, a collection of art works from the Berlin National Gallery, the famous Pergam Altar, masterpieces by Titian and Botticelli, a collection of antique sculpture from the Albertinium Museum, etc. Naturally, after 1990, all those artifacts belong to the unified Germany.
        In 1994, Doris Hertramf, counsellor for cultural affairs of the German Embassy in Russia, estimated that between 30,000 and 100,000 artifacts were still in Russian museums 32*. By 1997, the German side had risen the question of a return of some 200,000 to 300,000 pieces of art from German state-run and private-owned collections. Most of them are the monuments of numismatics (175,000 coins and medals) and archaeology, as well as about 55,000 paintings including works of French Impressionists and Postimpressionists (Monet, Matisse, Van Gogh), masterpieces of Goya, Rembrandt, Rubens and Delacroix, a 15th Century Gutenberg Bible and the 5,000-year-old Trojan gold collection discovered by German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann 33*. "
Original article from here:
http://www.uiowa.edu/~cyberlaw/domrin/seppower.html (http://www.uiowa.edu/~cyberlaw/domrin/seppower.html)
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Tania+ on August 31, 2006, 10:48:13 PM
Dear Vladm,

Thank you very much for the extensive information you have shared with us about the legal implications between Germany and Russia. The extensive listing of numbers you have offered, rock the human soul in response to the outrageous and extensive loss of lives, and that of so many other robberies done to the civilian population during the war.

I know that Napoleon had looted and offered extensive damage to Russia, but none so horrific as the Nazis. But, 26.5 million human hearts are an astounding number of civilians to be murdered or as you have stated, 11.5 percent of the USSR population in 1941. I don't think there ever has been that high of an amount of human loss as it was in Russia, no matter what people may try to state, in the German concentration camps. Horrific !!!. The loss of lives in cities across Russia were also heartless.

But, imho, i don't think reparations offered to the Russian people could ever compensate as you say for the millions of lives killed and crippled, plus the loss of artworks, and archival files, etc. Nothing can compare with this loss, and nothing I don't think can match the purposely crafted plan that the Nazis planned in the mass murders in Russia and the mass looting throughout Russia. It was extreme in cruelty, beyond comprehension !

Tatiana+

Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: vladm on September 02, 2006, 02:46:08 AM
Thank you Tania,
But what I described earlier, it was situation through entire Russia. I would like to present how it was for Leningrad defenders:
1st image represent German - USSR front for 1941, Leningrad completely cutoff from the rest of the Country.
(http://www.virtualpushkin.com/images/AlexanderPalace/ww2/wwruss02.jpg)
1st year of the blockade become extremely difficult for the defenders, daily bread portion reduced from 800 gram (2 lb) down to 250 gram (0.5 lb) entire nutrition's per day for growing person.
(http://www.virtualpushkin.com/images/AlexanderPalace/ww2/image_3728.jpg)
Death rate become catastrophic, entire city reduced to 1944 down to 1/6th of its original size - 560 000 people.
(http://www.virtualpushkin.com/images/AlexanderPalace/ww2/the%20great%20patriotic%20war%20leningrad%2041.jpg)
When Ladoga lake got frozen, they open for the winter ice road, conditions for the drivers unbearable, during the winter, they couldnt close door of the truck, because truck could go under any moment. Most of them, was driving nonstop for day's, in order keep themselves awake, they were installing swinging kettle - kicking driver in the head.
(http://www.virtualpushkin.com/images/AlexanderPalace/ww2/the%20great%20patriotic%20war%20leningrad%2045.jpg)
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Tania+ on September 02, 2006, 02:06:04 PM
My dear friend,

Please continue to share information about the German occupation throughout the entirety of Russia. The more our schoolchildren read and understand, the more they will understand the courage and selflessness of the average Russian citizen and her children.
Russian citizens and children were truly heroic, especially in Leningrad.

The more that is offered on these threads as to how the Russian people survived and fought back, the more readily we may understand the real character of how her citizens survived the Russian Revolution. Both the revolution and the fight against Nazism took a terrible toll on the people overall. I don't think there was anything to duplicate the horrendous odds that the people had to address. The infinite self determination to not only survive, but to make sure the society as a whole survived is incrudulous initself.
Thank you for continuing to educate the mainstay of the forum members. God Bless !

Tatiana+
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Robert_Hall on September 02, 2006, 02:45:42 PM
Some pictures of the Leningrad Memorial
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v289/Markhall/Nico2006349.jpg)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v289/Markhall/Nico2006346-1.jpg)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v289/Markhall/Nico2006345.jpg)
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Helen_Azar on September 02, 2006, 03:51:59 PM
Soldiers and their dogs in front of post WWII ruins in Pushkin, 1944:

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/helenazar/soldiersandruins1944.jpg)

Many of national treasures that could be moved, like the Pushkin statue and the Milkmaid were hidden away or evacuated just before the Germans invaded Pushkin. At their retreat, everything that was saved was brought back to its place.

Women setting back the Alexander Pushkin memorial and the Milkmaid statue in May 1944:

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/helenazar/Pushkinstatuein1944.jpg)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/helenazar/Milkmaidin1944.jpg)


Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Helen_Azar on September 02, 2006, 04:01:21 PM
Periodically, the Tsarskoe Selo Museum has exhibits dedicated to WWII and the German occupation. Here is a flyer announcement for one of such exhibits:

                            (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/helenazar/Victoryhymn.jpg)

                  The State Museum-Reserve
                          "Tsarskoe Selo"

                          Victory Hymn

                     The exhibit is dedicated to
                the 60-year anniversary of the victory
                      in the Great Patriotic War
                              1941-1945

Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Helen_Azar on September 02, 2006, 04:02:36 PM
More photos of post-WWII restorations at the Catherine Palace:

                        (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/helenazar/restoration.jpg)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/helenazar/restoration2.jpg)
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: vladm on March 13, 2007, 06:31:10 PM
Here some footage I found in youtube, Divisin Azul in Pushkin, palace view starts from 3 m 30 sec:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdMqICTiyN8 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdMqICTiyN8)
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Robert_Hall on March 13, 2007, 06:59:09 PM
Very interesting Vladm. Thank you for sharing.  Fascinating watching a Spanish Catholic priest conducting mass, I presume, between the swastiza flags in occupied Russia...What a juxtoposition !
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Kurt Steiner on March 14, 2007, 04:35:09 AM
250 Infantry-Division
Division of Spanish volunteers
(http://www.virtualpushkin.com/images/AlexanderPalace/ww2/250.infantery-division.gif)

The Armshield of the 250. Einheit spanischer Freiwilliger Division (aka Divisin Azul (Blaue Division)) wasn't this one -this one belonged to the Falange-, but this
(http://www.balagan.org.uk/war/iberia/1939/images/Blue_Division_emblem.gif)

Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Kurt Steiner on March 14, 2007, 04:46:18 AM
Spanish Fascist soldiers in Russia:

I do not intend to began a silly argument about the nature of the sex of the angels, but calling the Spanish soldiers of the Blau "fascist" is quite silly, as there were many soldiers that were recruited -many of them Republican veterans who deserted ASAP- against their will, despite of the fact that the unit was called "volunteer".

Saying "Spanish Fascist soldiers" is as silly as labelling all the German soldiers in WW2 as Nazi and all the Russian -or Soviet- soldiers as Communist. Labels are useful, indeed, but dangerous.

About War Criminals, if destroying a city as Leningrad was -or London or Coventry or Rotterdam or Gernika- is a war crime, I wonder what to do about Hamburg, Dresden, Hiroshima or Nagasaki.

Again, as I told earlier on, labels are dangerous. I have no pity for Fascists, Nazis or Communists, but I hate simplifications with the same anger that I hate Fascism.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Kurt Steiner on March 14, 2007, 05:00:58 AM
Very interesting Vladm. Thank you for sharing.  Fascinating watching a Spanish Catholic priest conducting mass, I presume, between the swastiza flags in occupied Russia...What a juxtoposition !

Don't forget that Franco told them they were fighting to "preserve the Western Civilization and the Christian values fighthing the atheist Communist masses". Side by side with Hitler, of course, who wasn't a friend of the Catholic church -or Lutheran- by the way.

And the Allies forgot Franco after the war. Dunno what to do: crying or laughing...
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Kurt Steiner on March 14, 2007, 05:12:32 AM
Spanish Fascist soldiers in Russia:

I do not intend to began a silly argument about the nature of the sex of the angels, but calling the Spanish soldiers of the Blau "fascist" is quite silly, as there were many soldiers that were recruited -many of them Republican veterans who deserted ASAP- against their will, despite of the fact that the unit was called "volunteer".

All the soldiers who fought in the White Armies during the Russian Civil war did so for the Czar?

Saying "Spanish Fascist soldiers" is as silly as labelling all the German soldiers in WW2 as Nazi and all the Russian -or Soviet- soldiers as Communist. Labels are useful, indeed, but dangerous.

About War Criminals, if destroying a city as Leningrad was -or London or Coventry or Rotterdam or Gernika- is a war crime, I wonder what to do about Hamburg, Dresden, Hiroshima or Nagasaki.

Again, as I told earlier on, labels are dangerous. I have no pity for Fascists, Nazis or Communists, but I hate simplifications with the same anger that I hate Fascism.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: vladm on March 14, 2007, 05:22:35 AM
Kurt,
About insignia, I think you a bit wrong:
(http://www.virtualpushkin.com/images/AlexanderPalace/ww2/7d6d3c6d.jpg)

Here some remaining alive solders:
(http://www.virtualpushkin.com/images/AlexanderPalace/ww2/pcfoto0362hu.jpg)

I completely disagree about volunteering part, but this is my personal opinion. It was many different type of solders during the WWII, I've read some articles about Spaniards in Russia, they were not so bad compare with some Germans, even 250 Division was sent back in 1943, because officers felt it was not the war, that division should participate in.

Yes, I agree, we should not label a lot of thinks, but we should not forget our past! I am amazed, about amount of memorabilia for Divisin Azul. I am not saying we should not remember them, but I would not want to have bunch of admires, as we have today.
Freedom of speech, is incredible thing, but lets take a look, Spain, Lithuania, Estonia, Germany today allowing openly fascists movements march on the streets. Should we ignore it? Or not put label on it? What about memory of the people who died from the each side, and that is nothing to do, what side it was! German or Russian or US or British. 

About my opinion on German cities, please review this thread, I posted some thoughts.
I will repeat some: Russians restored completely Dresden palace (Germans participated less than 5% in restoration).
TS more than 20% structures today remain in the ruins. I doubt, you would be able to find national treasures, in this condition, in Germany today.
 
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Kurt Steiner on March 15, 2007, 05:53:29 AM
No, Vlad, I'm not wrong on this.

In the first foto you can see a recruit poster, that show the "yugo y las flechas" (yoke and the arrows) of the Falange. If you look at the second image, with the veterans, you can see the shield that I put. Let me explain why you find the first shield with the yoke and the arrows.

After the end of the Spanish Civil War -SCW for short-, once Franco reachs power -and even before, one he becomes Generalsimo in 1937- he has all the different ideologies that composed his side -Falangism, Carlism, Monarchism, etc- into one single party, so to speak, the so-called "Movimiento Nacional".

This "Movimiento" adopted the Fascist symbols -soon rejected once the Axis began to loose the war...- and the Falange became the "oficial" party of the Movimiento. That's a quite simplistic summary, the real thing is more complicated and subtile than all this, but I want to make it short.

Thus, Falange was behind the initial recruitment of the Blue Division, and you can find many earlier Falangist volunteers in the Blaue Divisionen. Thus, it's not strange to find the arrows and the yoke -if you wish, I can put some examples- in the pics of the Blue.

I completely disagree about volunteering part, but this is my personal opinion. It was many different type of solders during the WWII, I've read some articles about Spaniards in Russia, they were not so bad compare with some Germans, even 250 Division was sent back in 1943, because officers felt it was not the war, that division should participate in.

It's absolutely natural that we can disagree over some points -if we were ever in a complete agreement life would be quite boring, don't you think? ;D-. It's hard to tell how many volunteers were in the 250. but, all in all, I don't think that we are absolutely wrong if we say that, from the 50.000 volunteers who served in the Blaue, many of them were willingly there -for their shame, for us; for their glory, for them-. The division was sent back once the Allies began to win the war, because Franco didn't want to be associated with the Axis. The fact is that some soldiers and officer swanted to remain there, the Legin Azul -Blue Legion-, around 3.000 soldiers, till they were sent home in March 1944. Even then, some of those people, around 300 or so- volunteered and joined the Waffen SS and fought till the end.

So, in one side, you have the Blue Division, and in the other side the ones who fought with the Allies with the Maquisard, with the Free French Troops -13eme Demi Brigade de la Legion Etrengere, the Regiment de Marche du Tchad (RMT) with General Leclerc, the Armoured Infantry Regiment of the 2eme. Division Blindee ("Leclerc's Division") the 9th company in the RMT (9me compagnie de combat du RMT) - "La Nueve". The First and Second Platoon were formed from moderate Socialists and Republicans, whereas Third Platoon comprised Anarchists. There were few Communists- the Guernica Battalion (Gernika Batalloa), the Spanish Nationalist Union and the 4th Special Service Company, made by Spanish communist partisans who harassed the German rear near Moscow. 

Crazy at it is...
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Kurt Steiner on March 15, 2007, 06:04:29 AM
Yes, I agree, we should not label a lot of thinks, but we should not forget our past!

NEVER! Those who forget their past repeat their mistakes. I absolutely agree.

I am amazed, about amount of memorabilia for Divisin Azul. I am not saying we should not remember them, but I would not want to have bunch of admires, as we have today.
Freedom of speech, is incredible thing, but lets take a look, Spain, Lithuania, Estonia, Germany today allowing openly fascists movements march on the streets. Should we ignore it? Or not put label on it? What about memory of the people who died from the each side, and that is nothing to do, what side it was! German or Russian or US or British. 

I agree again with you. I can understand those who had members of their family fighthing in the Blaue. They cannot admit that they fought in the wrong side. But those kids who admire them, or those nazis in Europe... I'm simply unable to understand. Just look at those who rise statues for the sake of those Baltic volunteers who fought for Hitler in the Waffen SS. They justify themselves saying they were fighthing for the independence of the Baltic states. Independence? With Hitler? Don't be so blantaly fool, please!!!

They make me sick.

We should not forget, indeed, but simplifying things too much is not good either. We should know our past, and understand it.

Finally, let me say something, in order for you all to understand why I'm so stubborn with this issue.

My grandpa was German. He fought in the Wehrmacht and was an anti-nazi. Due to his ideas he was court-martialled several times -one of them he was sentenced to death- and sent finally to a penal unit, where he served till the end of WW2. I cannot explain why he wasn't executed, when all so many other soldiers who did the same thing were. Perhaps he was lucky.

He didn't fought for Hitler, he fought because he couldn't leave his comrades alone, he told me, and I trust his word today the same way I did that way. That would be, for him and for me, to betray them. He was not a Nazi, I can swear it. He was just a German soldier. If someone dares to tell me at my face that my great grandpa was a Nazi, that person would be in serious troubles. To my shame I must also add that a member of the German branch of my family joined the Nazi Party. That it's a shame that we'll never manage to erase, even if he joined the Party because it was compulsory then. But it's a shame in the end, because he joined. This shame cannot be erased, that weakness may be understood -with a lot of effort-, but it's hard to forgot, it's impossible to swallow it. You can only assume it and go on.

So, even if I'm sure that my great grandpa didn't do any atrocity to the Russian people while he was fighthing there -he fought in France and in Russia, mainly- I would like to apologize in his name and in mine for all the disasters that Russia and all the world -Germany included- had to endure because of those pack of Nazis. I do not feel obliged to do that, I do it because I feel that is what I must do.

Germany had Hitler, Himmler and Heydrich and all the pack. But they also had Stauffenberg, Bonhoeffer and Goerdeler. It's not a question of white and black.

Again, forgive my stubborness, but I'm the great grandson of my great grandpa.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: vladm on March 15, 2007, 03:59:33 PM
Kurt,
Excellent report on insignias! Thank you so much for clarification.

About our differences, I don't think we much different, I understand your father, and his motives. Also, I understand it was a lot of folks, who disagree with Nazis regime, but fought on German side. I have a lot of sympathies for solders, who had to participate on this mess. I don't think you should apologize on behalf of anyone, neither your father, or your relatives, responsible for that mess.
Like I described before, I have few friends in West Germany, and I do understand what there relatives had to survive.
Russia, was not an exception, we had different type of extreme - communism. My father, grand father, grand mother was a communists (Grand Mother, she was squadron commander MI in Budenny Army), and I am not sorry about it. My relatives used system for there benefits, and salute to that!
If your relatives, join Nazi party back in WWII, that probably saved your father from execution, and I see nothing wrong with that, except, if they participate in creating policies and execution.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Kurt Steiner on March 16, 2007, 04:29:35 AM
Excellent report on insignias! Thank you so much for clarification.

Glad to help. I hope I can be useful again in the future :D

Russia, was not an exception, we had different type of extreme - communism.

My thoughts exactly.

If your relatives, join Nazi party back in WWII, that probably saved your father from execution, and I see nothing wrong with that, except, if they participate in creating policies and execution.

As far as I know about that relative, he didn't had any chance to do any evil thing, as he was killed at the front and he was just a lower rank.

Russia, was not an exception, we had different type of extreme - communism. My father, grand father, grand mother was a communists (Grand Mother, she was squadron commander MI in Budenny Army), and I am not sorry about it. My relatives used system for there benefits, and salute to that!

I cannot avoid having some kind of shame about that part of my family past. I supposed he tried to use the system -as many people on his day, he wasn't an Alterkampfer (an old Nazi)-, but for me it's hard to swallow, I can't help. We in Spain had Franco, as well, and my family got divided in both fields -the Republican and the Nationalist-, and I know a bit what is needed to survive in such dire times.

But let's stop talking about those sad things, because I'm afraid I've taken this thread a bit away from its original topic.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: vladm on March 18, 2007, 03:33:09 AM
Kurt,
I don't think, we taken thread from original topic, because, we need to know, motives for German and Spanish solders to be on Russian soil.

Now, been in Spain, do you have any ability to get some information about Blue Division? For example records, maybe even to get some interview first hand, because so far, what we have, its only speculation, and as we see on the picture, not much left alive.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Kurt Steiner on March 18, 2007, 04:36:24 AM
Kurt,
I don't think, we taken thread from original topic, because, we need to know, motives for German and Spanish solders to be on Russian soil.

Now, been in Spain, do you have any ability to get some information about Blue Division? For example records, maybe even to get some interview first hand, because so far, what we have, its only speculation, and as we see on the picture, not much left alive.

Hi Vladm,

I can get as much information about the Blue Division as possible, as I have a good friend of mine who is a specialist in that topic and I have some material of my own. So, just ask, and I'll do my best.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: vladm on March 18, 2007, 11:45:01 AM
Kurt,
Everything interesting involve Pushkin: photos, stories, records, letters, names - on my site http://www.virtualpushkin.com, I will be happy to create special section of Blue Division.
I've seen few articles from occupation time, and I not really finding them creditable from any perspective. For every picture from State Museum Tsarskoye Selo, they ask $100, to make a copy  ??? .
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Kurt Steiner on March 18, 2007, 03:42:32 PM
I'll do my best. I'm starting to investigate right now.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Kurt Steiner on March 19, 2007, 04:44:29 AM
Some bits of information.

(http://i19.tinypic.com/35jyrgn.jpg)

I think this is a palace at Pokroskaya, which was the headquarters of the Blue Division during its time at the front of Leningrad

(http://i19.tinypic.com/2s7w77m.jpg)

Under this garden the bodies of some members of the unit lie forever.

And for those who didn't know, in the Blue Division fought not only Spanish volunteers, but also Portuguese ones, as Joo Rodrigues Jnior, who was 26 years old then. He fought in the Nationalist side during the Spanish in the ' Foreign Legion ' in 1936. He joined the Blue Division in 1941. His reasons:

"It was when the war against Russia began. And I, that in the years of the war of Spain I started understanding what they are the Bolshevists, and his ideas in the mother land, decided to continue my life of legionario, fighting against them. When in Spain began the inscriptions for the campaign of Russia, I volunteered.
- Were in the Blue Division other Portuguese legionaries?
- Yes, approximately fifteen. But I think I'm the only one that still vive."

The source of this information is http://www.geocities.com/divazul/portuguesesdivisionazul.html (well, to be polite I'll say that it's just a Fascist propaganda website who still talks about the war as the "Crusade against the Reds", for instance).

Perhaps the more interesting testimony is the one done by Jaime de Assunco Graa, veteran of the SCW of 1936-39 and ex-member of the Blue Division. He joined the Spanish Legion with a group of approximately 45 Portuguese and that had the assent of Salazar, took part in the SCW and he mentions places: Talavera de la Reina Real, Cuesta de las Perdices , Madrid , Chamartin, Villaverde Bajo, where he was hurt by grapeshot and sent to a hospital in Logrooo.

He mentionssome  Portuguese officials, like Ricardo Espirito Santo and the Captain Botelho Moniz, who after the war went to for the north of Africa, first to Tetun, then Larache, reaching the destination finally in 1939 in a billeting to five kms from Ceuta, assigned to the 9th bandera of the Legion. In June of 1.942 during a revision done by a sergeant, he remembers the name of another called Portuguese Francisco Leonardo Olinda and in this way he became a volunteer to Russia where he was until January 1943.

From Africa he went from San Sebastian to the barracks of the Blue Division in Germany to Hof. It was in the front of Leningrad, next to Pushkin when he was hurt for the first time by a bullet in the left leg and taken to the hospital. He was send to hospital at Riga, Latvia, where he was given a discharge of 15 days. After the war he returned to Portugal.


As far as I know, the Blue Division was sent to the Leningrad front on may 1942. I'll try to gather more info.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Kurt Steiner on March 19, 2007, 12:08:30 PM
(http://i10.tinypic.com/2mx20rt.jpg)
I've been told that here, in the palace of the Prince Paul -correct me if I'm wrong- was placed the HQs of the 269th Infantry Regiment of the Blau. If it's the right palace, I think it's not in Pushkin, but in Pavlovsk (Sluzk). Sometimes I got confused with the Russian geography, I'm afraid... :-[

Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: vladm on March 19, 2007, 12:53:33 PM
Kurt you are absolutely right, Sluzk January 1944 renamed to Pavlovsk, and position for hq, is natural because its farther from front line.
Also, I've heard, German/Spanish soldiers had guards next to Pavel I sculpture, because he was knighted by Maltese Order.

Here some info about Pavel I:
MALTESE ORDER (the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Johnnits, hospitaliers, knights of Rodos), a monastic knightly order. It was named after the hospital (travelers home) in Jerusalem. At the time of the first crusade the brotherhood of hospitaliers was transformed into a monastic order, and the eight-point cross became its emblem. In 1310, the order conquered the island of Rodos, in 1530, the knights landed on Malta, which became their refuge and gave the name to the order. In 1697, Malta was visited by the tsar's servant P. A. Tolstoy, and in 1698 the knights were visited by B. P. Sheremetev, diplomatic relations between Malta and Russia were established in 1770. At that time Russian officers were sent to Malta with a purpose of studying "naval art", and gain "experience in naval science" with the knights. D. Lotta then came to Russia, later becoming a Russian citizen. During the reign of Emperor Pavel I the Convention between Russia and the Maltese order on the foundation of the branch of the Order in Russia was signed on 4 January 1797. Pavel I set up the Russian priorate with ten knight commanders selected from representatives of the noblest families. Many knights moved to Russia from Malta and other European countries. The Vorontsov Palace, where the architect J. Quarenghi built the Maltese chapel, was presented to the order in 1797-1800. The hospital for aged members of the order was built on Kamenny Island and the Cemetery with the Church of the Nativity of John the Baptist was arranged; the Palace of the Priorate was erected in Gatchina. On 10 September 1798, Emperor Pavel I took the Maltese order under his patronage, and in November he honoured himself with the title of the Great Grandmaster. Pope Pius VII confirmed Pavel I in his new role. Russia became the official centre of the Maltese order, and St. Petersburg became the residence of the Grandmaster. In 1798-99, relics of the Maltese order were transferred to St. Petersburg, among them the hand of St. John the Baptist, the Icon of Our Lady of Filermo and a part of the Life-Giving Cross. In the architecture of Mikhailovsky Castle one can see the motif of the palace being the residence of not only the Emperor, but of the grandmaster as well. From 10 August 1799, the Maltese cross was included in the emblem of the Russian empire (the bronze emblem of this pattern was placed on the central wall of the main staircase of Mikhailovsky Castle). During Pavel Is reign, the Maltese Cross was awarded for military chivalry (instead of the order of St. George, abolished by Pavel). Three "Maltese" thrones of Pavel I have survived to this day; they are kept in the Hermitage, in the Gatchina Palace and in the Armoury in Moscow. The crown of the grandmaster of the Maltese order which belonged to Pavel I is exhibited in the Armoury. After the death of Pavel I (1801) Emperor Alexander I kept the title of the protector of the Maltese order until 1803. By the decree of 18 April 1801, the symbol of the Maltese Order was excluded from the state emblem, and the title of the Grandmaster was excluded from the imperial title. On 26 February, 1810 the finances of the Maltese order were transferred to the Imperial treasury, on 20 November 1817, the Russian priories were abolished, and the Russian subjects were forbidden to bear Maltese crosses. The administration of the Maltese order moved to Rome. At the beginning of the 20th century symbols of the Maltese order were used as an emblem of the Page Corps (housed in Vorontsov Palace) and of the military units formed at the time of Pavel I. In 1913, the Grand Prince Alexander Mikhailovich set up "The Russian Orthodox Order of St. John" (since October 1917, the Order has been abroad).
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Kurt Steiner on March 19, 2007, 02:00:24 PM
Thanks for the info, Vladm!
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Robert_Hall on March 19, 2007, 02:21:57 PM
Some photos of the Malta "Palace" at Gatchina from last year. It had recently been renovated for an upcoming conference- "The Malta Order in Russia".
 http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v289/Markhall/Nico2006088.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v289/Markhall/Nico2006087.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v289/Markhall/Nico2006086.jpg
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: ChristineM on March 19, 2007, 04:43:42 PM
Thanks a MILLION, Robert.

This is the 'Priorat' which Adam Menelaws designed on the order of Paul I.   It certainly looks like they didn't resort to the original earth brick construction.

You cannot imagine how exciting it is to see these photographs.   There are a number of architects and architectural historians in Scotland who will be equally excited.

In think this entire thread is marvellous - thank you everybody.

tsaria
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Kurt Steiner on March 20, 2007, 02:44:26 PM
The Order of Battle of the 250 Infantry Division (Divisin Azul) once deployed in the Leningrad Front

Nothern part: Covered by the Infantery Regiment 269, with its lines between Krasnil-Udanik and Ugolki. Its three batalions were deployed like that

HQs .........Motski.
1. Bon .............Salpoje.
2. Bon ............Russa.
3. Bon ...........Kotowitzi.

Center part  Covered by the Infantery Regiment 263, with its lines between Ugolki and Grigorowo. Its three batalions were deployed like that

HQs .........Derewjaniszy
1. Bonn .............Kretshewizkije.
2. Bonn ............Convering the distance between the Wolchow and the little Wolchow rivers.
3. Bonn ...........Derewjiszy.

Southern part: Covered by the Infantery Regiment 262 from Grigorowo and Wolotowo til the Ssiwerssoff channel. Two of its batallions are deployed, the third one is incorporated into the reserve of the division.

HQs .........At the Kremlin in Novgorod.
1. Bonn ..............Leschino.
2. Bonn .............At the end of the little Wolchow river
3. Bonn ............At the Kremlin in Novgorod.

From Novgorod to the Lake Ilmen we find the Recconoisance Group, with its HQs placed at sStaraia-Rakana.

Artillery: Divided into three sections, one for each part of the front, with its Hqs placed at the the Kremlin in Novgorod.

Reserve troops: The Mobile Batallion at Necochowo.
Anti Tank Group at Witja.
1. Batalion/262 IR at Leschino.
Piooners Batallion at the Kremlin at Novgorod.

The Quastermaster Corps was divided into Podberesje, Necochowo and Domnina.
The Hospital section has it HQs and 1st Company at Grigorowo, the 2nd Co at Necochowo and the field hospital at Jermolinscoje.
The Ammunition and the Veterinarian Medical units were at Grigorowo.


I hope that helps.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: vladm on March 20, 2007, 03:27:00 PM
Kurt,
Thank you so much!
I am also today lucky:
Divisin Azul initial deployment (to Leningrad front)
(http://www.virtualpushkin.com/images/AlexanderPalace/ww2/croquis9.jpg)

Map from February 1st, 1943
(http://www.virtualpushkin.com/images/AlexanderPalace/ww2/croquis11.jpg)

Map from October 1st 1943
(http://www.virtualpushkin.com/images/AlexanderPalace/ww2/croquis13.jpg)

Source:
http://usuarios.lycos.es/jnroldan/mapas.htm (http://usuarios.lycos.es/jnroldan/mapas.htm)
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Kurt Steiner on March 21, 2007, 05:24:08 AM
Glad to help and to see that I don't need to look for those maps ;D

Let's keep searching...

(http://img71.imageshack.us/img71/3652/dibujoviiipt1.png)

Well, as we can see, the way to wear their uniforms wasn't quite... formal...

This pic, by the way, belongs to the huge collection that a friend of mine, Gonzalo, has about the Blue. He's being very helpful for me in this issue.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Kurt Steiner on March 21, 2007, 12:49:21 PM
I am surprised, my dear friends. In my investigation about the Blue Division, a friend of mine, Mencey, has found me some information that has left me surprised.

In the Blue Division we can find, of course, Spanish soldiers. And, surprise, surprise...

White Russian volunteers, too. If you allow me, I'm going to start with the end of the story.

Some Russian volunteers who fought with the 250.

Konstantin Goguijonachvili. A former captain in the Imperial Army (cavalry) of the Czar.2nd Lietuenant in the Spanish Foreign Legion and lieutenant in the Requets during the Spanish Civil War.

He served in Russia, and returned to Spain in 1944. He received the War Cross with Palms for his actions in Russia. With the Blau Division he served in the 269 Infantry Regiment, the Reserve Batallion 250, the Skiers Company and the Headquarters. In september 1943 he had received

War Merit Cross First and Second Class with Swords (Kriegsverdienstkreuz I. und II. Klasse mit Schwerten)
Iron Cross Second Class (Eisernes Kreuz II Klasse (EK II))
Medal for the Winter Campaign in the East 1941-1942 (Ostmedaille)
Tank Destruction Badge  (Panzervernichtenabzeichen)
Wounds Badge  (Verwundetenabzeichen)

Konstantin Gocharenko Chudov, he was killed in action at the Wolchow, a day like today, March 21, 1942. He, as a lieutenant, served as a translator in the  II Batalion/263 Infantry Regiment. He is buried at Pankowka cementery.

Vasili Krivocheya. He was a former lieutenant in the Czarist army. He fought in the Spanish Civil War as a sergeant in the Legion, in the Headquarters of the first Tercio and as a translator of the Second Section of the HQs, and received the Spanish citizenship.

Vasili Nicolai Krivocheia, comanded the signal section of the 263 Infantry Regiment. He was after that a translator at the HQs of the regiment. He was injured at the head, breast and both legs by shrapnel in 1943. He recovered by a sheer miracle and married a Russian girl there. Once he returned to Spain after WW2, he joined the Legion, where he served until 1961. From then onwards, he served as a Russian translator in the High Command of the Spanish Army. He retired from the army in 1962 and went to live at Madrid, where he died in 1971.

During his time in Russia recived

War Merit Cross (Kriegsverdienstkreuz)
Two -2- Red Crosses to the Militar Merit (Cruces Rojas al Merito Militar)
War Cross (Cruz de Guerra)
Wounds Badge (Medalla de Sufrimientos por la Patria, aspa de herido)


Well, that's the end of the story, now, time to explain the beginning.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Kurt Steiner on March 21, 2007, 01:01:47 PM
In case someone wonders what on earth were those Russians soldiers doing in the Blau Division, there you have the explanation.

During the Spanish Civil War both sides had their international volunteers who set off for adventure and ideological strife in sunny Spain. We may more easily remember the Orwells of the fight, but the war was not purely one that matched patriotic Spaniards against an awkward amalgam of international "Reds". Many on the Right in a variety of European and other countries also joined the battle in Spain.

White Russian volunteers, almost all of whom came from the Paris emigre community and had served in the White armies of the Russian Civil War, saw the Spanish conflict as the first step in a march back to St. Petersburg.  The effort of the one hundred or so White Russians to be recognized as officers and aristocrats with considerable experience from the Russian Civil War was unsuccessful; they were enrolled in Spanish units as regular soldiers and were not permitted to form a separate Russian unit that might be the basis for a revived Imperial Army (some people say they were around 80, some other people claim they were 182).

The real value of Spanish involvement, for most of these individuals and groups, came not in Spain but at home. From all the foreign volunteers who served in the Nationalist side, Russian volunteers were the most experienced ones -bearing in mind their background, this should not surprise us.

White russian fought in Legion, Requete, Air Force and Army. White russian were famous by their courage. they used an imperial small flag with the phrase; "By Tsar, Motherland and Faith".. one of them was colonel Zajarov (an old officer in Imperial Army)

Another russian white official was general Nicolai Shinkarenko: in photo as Spanish legion lieutenant
(http://img373.imageshack.us/img373/5278/and1096qs4.jpg) (http://imageshack.us)
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: vladm on May 18, 2007, 10:40:52 PM
Kurt,
I was recently watching following movie, and was really disappointed, about how much I was right about volunteers, also, in some related file, it was described, quite few of the Spanyards joined SS to continue effort post 1943:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqpG6qrv0Q4 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqpG6qrv0Q4)
Most of the solders, understood about severe conditions for defenders of Leningrad, and realize blockade, was killing hundreds of thousands, understanding this post 2 years of fighting there decide to continue effort to defeat this city under German command.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Kurt Steiner on May 19, 2007, 03:00:52 AM
Kurt,
I was recently watching following movie, and was really disappointed, about how much I was right about volunteers, also, in some related file, it was described, quite few of the Spanyards joined SS to continue effort post 1943:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqpG6qrv0Q4 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqpG6qrv0Q4)
Most of the solders, understood about severe conditions for defenders of Leningrad, and realize blockade, was killing hundreds of thousands, understanding this post 2 years of fighting there decide to continue effort to defeat this city under German command.

Yes, around 250 volunteers joined the Waffen SS once the Legin Azul -Blue Legion- was sent home. Many of them were veterans of the Divisin Azul indeed. They joined the so called Spanische-Freiwilligen-Kompanie der SS 101. formed in Klagenfurt, Austria, Sep 1944 when a company of spanish volunteers (former soldiers of 250. Infanterie-Division (Divisin Azul)) was transferred into the Waffen-SS from the Heer.

It was sento to Pomerania Feb 1945 attached to SS Freiwilligen-Panzergrenadier Division Wallonien. The remaining soldiers of the company took part in the battle of Berlin, attached to SS Freiwilligen-Panzergrenadier Division Nordland, fighting very hard in the defense of Mritz Platz (by the Air Force and Propaganda ministries).

Why, after seeing by themselves the horrors of war, kept on fighting is one of those unsolved mysteries that the human souls hid inside. It shocked me so much the first time I read that I forgot that many ex-volunteers learnt the lesson and lost their trust in Franco's dictatorship.

Some people... well.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Kurt Steiner on May 19, 2007, 03:07:10 AM
In addition to the the 101 Spanische, you can find Spaniards in the following units:

1-)3 Komp. I Bataillon, SS Rgt 70. (28 SS Freiwilligen-Panzergrenadier Division "Wallonien").

2.) 5 Komp. 59 SS Mountain Rgt, 24 SS Division "Karstjger" under SS-Ustuf Ortiz.

3.) A section of the SS- Regiment 81. 29 Waffen-Grenadier Division der SS "(Italienische Nr 1)". under SS-Oscha Camargo.

4.) Another 30 in a section fo the Btl./SS-Pol.Rgt. Bozen .

5.) Six Spaniards in the 1 Komp. of the infamous 36 Waffen-Grenadier Division der SS "Dirlewanger".

Again, the human nature surprises me.

The only know portrait of one of those soldiers wearing the uniform of the W-SS

(http://img62.imageshack.us/img62/7202/ricardody0.jpg)

Ricardo Botet. Some day I'll tell you about him.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Kurt Steiner on June 07, 2007, 04:59:07 AM
One of those odd twist of life.

Christian Frederick von Schalburg was a Danish officer who joined the Waffen-SS. His mother was Russian, his father was Dane and he was born at St. Petersburg. After the revolution of 1917 his family fleds to Denmark. He joined the Danish army in 1925. He joins the Finnish side during the Winter War (1939-40) against the USSR. While being in Finland, Denmark is overrun by the Germans. He joins the Waffen SS in 1941 and command the unit made up by Danish volunteers, the "Freikorps Danmark". He is killed in action in 1942.

(http://img528.imageshack.us/img528/8682/schal10vgiz5.jpg)
Von Schalburg with his son.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: dmitri on July 23, 2007, 01:34:06 AM
I can see no reason whatsoever to place any memorials in Russia to the Nazi German barbarians who attacked and desecrated so much. Perhaps those who ask for such things should actually visit Russia and see for themselves the unforgivable destruction caused by these people. Apart from this the murders of 20 million people are a testimony to the disgusting nature of the attack. No civilised people destroy so much. Take a visit to Peterhof, Gatchina, Tsarskoe Selo and so many other places and you will soon find out the reality.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Tania+ on July 23, 2007, 11:18:23 AM
Dimitri, as you expressed in your post of earlier, I did go to Russia and viewed the many places wherein destruction were wontonly caused to the Russian peoples. As well, we went to the mass grave sites where easily 4,000 peoples were buried together in many mounds throughout the area of their last resting place. When you see something like that it really stops you cold and you can't help but think what monstors these soldiers of the Third Reich were.  20 million people, and still today most of the world still knows nothing of their demise, or the terrible onslaught they traversed under the yoke of the barbaric Nazis. As I have stated in prior posts, Russia was not the only country that was pillaged, raped, slaughtered in this manner, but assuredly, it was the most catastrophic in the taking of everyday civilian lives, not to forget of course the children and elderly. How can any peoples, or governments forget the catastrophic murder of 20 million people ?

Thank you for your reminding our readers what the reality of the Russian peoples were on a daily basis during the occupation of those german barbarians.

Tatiana+
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Janet_W. on July 23, 2007, 10:46:09 PM
Tania, thank you so much for your post. Our tour group visited memorials at both St. P and Kiev, and although I was visiting primarily to see the palaces of the Romanovs, visiting these memorials was extremely important and remains one of my most poignant memories of the tour.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Tania+ on July 24, 2007, 12:40:15 AM
Janet, you know I strongly believe as Dimitri, that all citizens of every country should in their travels add to theor travel  plans, to visit the graves of those countless numbers of peoples caught up in the ire of warfare. Everyone wants to visit history, but few want to face the issues that brought everyday citizens their frustration of warefare or loss of life, just because they wanted to live in a free country. Those of us whom have children bring this important fact of history of many a given country so our children understand full well the sacrifices of others and the fact today that the live in a country safe from civil unrest, etc.

When I think of the history of Leningrand braved during the II WW or the brave citizens who braved those terrible early months of the start of the war in Russia facing daily starvation, inhuman cold, etc; , or to that brave city in Poland that was burned, bombed and remainder of a handful of citizens taken to the cocentration camps, I value my life and that of my family that much more.

I know every generation prays that there will never be another war, or that monstors cease to survive. But the reality is that wars continue, and monstors rear their heads more and more. That's why it is so very importanever to forgetnt never to forget these brave cities, citizens, and histories of civilizations. As long as we remind peoples everywhere , hopefully, even in remembering their brave lives on forums such as this will offer some solace to their memories, and lives lost. Thank you as well Janet ! God Bless.

Tatiana+
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Helen_Azar on July 24, 2007, 03:05:49 PM
I can see no reason whatsoever to place any memorials in Russia to the Nazi German barbarians who attacked and desecrated so much. Perhaps those who ask for such things should actually visit Russia and see for themselves the unforgivable destruction caused by these people. Apart from this the murders of 20 million people are a testimony to the disgusting nature of the attack. No civilised people destroy so much. Take a visit to Peterhof, Gatchina, Tsarskoe Selo and so many other places and you will soon find out the reality.

I may be missing something here, but I don't think anyone suggested that the German soldiers were memorialized (as in "honored") on Russian soil. The only thing we had been discussing at some point was to have some sort of an acknowledgment about what happened on some specific spots at some points in history (as in the case of the area in front of the AP), instead of just pretending that it is a regular run-of-the-mill flower bed, etc... They could just have a plaque saying something like this: "On this spot there was a German graveyard in the 1940's and the remains of the German soldiers are still beneath your feet" or something like that... That's not a memorial, that's a simple acknowledgement of historical facts...  And it would be interesting for history buffs as well as tourists. I don't see anything at all wrong with that, but I think it's very dysfunctional to just pretend that nothing happened on a spot where a lot had happened and where human remains are still hanging around (not from so long ago either) ... 

Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Tania+ on July 24, 2007, 07:11:55 PM
Per Dimitri's post as well others in regards to memorials in Russia due to Nazi Occupation that I offer my latest thoughts on this topic :

It was Russia whom suffered the most heinous of attacks and desecration, and was of course on home soil, not some distant other land. 20 million people killed cannot end up as a tidbit. It must be the main focus for all reading about any war torn event, as well where human suffering was incalculable !

It is well and fitting for any country to make blanket statement of what transpired on any given area, and or specific actual place in context to what the population itself endured whilst under seige. Russia above all countries should have every right in regards to the control issue on this type of memorials, if any.  Why should there be a flower bed for any occupier, when so many of their citizens, children to elderly never had any monument, let alone flowers to mark the spot of their last resting place. I think on the plaque it should state that the Nazis occupied the area, but were caught, or were shot for their heinous crimes to humanity. Now that's a definite statement of historical fact that allows those whom lived through the event, lost entire family members, but had the last satisfaction to state that at least the soldiers who were placed for burial at the given site, well, their bodies were thought enough of to bury, and yes they remain for all eternity, beneath all citizens of Russia and all visitors feet ! There in that way the real story does not get lost or people think that the Nazis got off without future food for thought. No memorial to Nazis ever nor to any victims of war, especially on their home soil !

Tatiana+
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Tania+ on July 24, 2007, 07:14:02 PM
Regarding my last post, I obviously hit some wrong key thus the strikeout on the post, but the poset is in full context of what my thoughts were. Kindly disregard the strike out on the post. Sorry for the difficulty. Thanks for understanding ! :)

Tatiana+
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: dmitri on July 25, 2007, 08:48:13 AM
I for one felt totally and utterly disgusted and sickened when I saw the full extent of the Nazi German barbarian destruction in Russia - the graves that some wish to acknowledge were those of SS ... I wonder whether those who wish to do this really know the full extent of the total  evil these people committed? Susan Massie gives a very good account in her book on 'Pavlovsk' of some of the situation. These people should never be remembered. It is the brave people of Leningrad, now St.Petersburg, and elsewhere who should be remembered. I wonder whether those who wish to commemorate SS murderers can imagine atrocities on such an obscene scale? Hitler wanted to totally destroy St.Petersburg. I guess you have to go there to see what an immense loss for mankind that would have been. It is truly one of the most magnificent cities in the world. What sort of lunatic would ever wish to destroy it. How about commemmorating those who died trying to defend it and their families and country and a memorial to all of those who have brought back hope by restoring the things of beauty that belong to all the Russian people?
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Robert_Hall on July 25, 2007, 09:10:20 AM
There are war graves all over the world. Winners and losers.  No one is defending the Nazis nor their actions.  It is simply a desire to respect the burial places of  men [and perhaps women] who died in uniform, in service to their country- however misguided that country may have been.  There are Soviet war cemetaries and memorials all over Eastern Europe, some under dispute now. It is a matter of respecting the dead, remembering, in a small way that they once lived.
 Dmitri, I have, like many others here, been to the palaces in  St.P. and I understand fully what happened.  The major loss, however, was to the people who suffered, sacrficed and died. How many tourists actually visit the Seige of Leningrad Memorial ? An exceptionally moving tribute to those who defended the city. A similiar memorial could be  in Berlin or any number of cities that were ravaged in war.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Helen_Azar on July 25, 2007, 04:23:38 PM
I for one felt totally and utterly disgusted and sickened when I saw the full extent of the Nazi German barbarian destruction in Russia - the graves that some wish to acknowledge were those of SS ... I wonder whether those who wish to do this really know the full extent of the total  evil these people committed? Susan Massie gives a very good account in her book on 'Pavlovsk' of some of the situation. These people should never be remembered. It is the brave people of Leningrad, now St.Petersburg, and elsewhere who should be remembered. I wonder whether those who wish to commemorate SS murderers can imagine atrocities on such an obscene scale? Hitler wanted to totally destroy St.Petersburg. I guess you have to go there to see what an immense loss for mankind that would have been. It is truly one of the most magnificent cities in the world. What sort of lunatic would ever wish to destroy it. How about commemmorating those who died trying to defend it and their families and country and a memorial to all of those who have brought back hope by restoring the things of beauty that belong to all the Russian people?

Ok, we're obviously speaking different languages here... I give up.

P.S. I have been to Russia (including Pushkin and St Petersburg) 5 times. 

P.P.S. My great-grand parents were killed by the invading Germans in Russia.

Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Belochka on July 25, 2007, 07:32:52 PM
... How about commemmorating those who died trying to defend it and their families and country ...

Dmitri there is already a huge memorial at Piskarevskaya, on the outskirts  of St. Petersburg on the Vyborg side. It is a mass grave to the unknown. Anyone visiting the vast cemetry can not help be affected by it. I certainly was knowing that some of my family members maybe lying below in the common grave.  :'( Buried there are over 650,000 victims of the Blokade through starvation, including others were killed by air raids. When you approach the entrance there is an eternal flame flanked by two memorial buildings that display personal momentos of the fallen and the "road to life" which recognizes the route taken by the supply vechicles in an attempt to feed the city during 1941-2. In the other direction along the Ladoga lake the convoy of vehicles carried children to safety. Many of those vehicles (over 1000) carrying their precious cargo were also bombed and destroyed.

As you proceed further into the park memorial you come to a huge statue "Mother of Russia". On the wall are inscribed the powerful words words of one survivor, Olga Bergholts:

"Here lie Leningraders.
Here lie Leningrad citizens - men, women, children.
Beside them lie Red Army soldiers.
They defended you with their lives ...
You who look at these stones shall know
No one is forgotten, nothing is forgotten
."

My father was part of that only to be taken prisoner by the nazis and transported to Germany as a forced laborer (Ost arbeiter).
My mother ended up in Dachau.
Most of my parent's families did not survive.
I can only pay my respects to the fallen when I visit the city of my forefathers.

Indeed none of us can ever forget but we as the next generation can be mature enough not to hate the unknown and forgive the mistakes of the past and move on.

Margarita Nelipa  
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Helen_Azar on July 25, 2007, 07:38:35 PM
I think dmitri keeps confusing the words "honor" and "forgive" with the word "acknowledge", which has a totally different meaning from the first two... 
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Belochka on July 25, 2007, 07:54:24 PM
There are war graves all over the world. Winners and losers.  No one is defending the Nazis nor their actions.  It is simply a desire to respect the burial places of  men [and perhaps women] who died in uniform, in service to their country- however misguided that country may have been. 

In the Smolensk district there are plans to construct a memorial cemetery to the nazi soldiers.

In Germany there are numerous war graves of the fallen Red Army soldiers that are being tended by the German government.

Margarita
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Robert_Hall on July 25, 2007, 08:01:46 PM
Please remember, that not all German soldiers were Nazis.  Not all Russian soldiers were Communists either. The vast majority were simple conscripts, doing what they thought was their duty.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Robert_Hall on July 25, 2007, 09:54:04 PM
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v289/Markhall/Nico2006346.jpg)
 One picture of the Seige Memorial.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Mari on July 26, 2007, 01:40:43 AM
Great  pictures!     Its true that many of the German Soldiers were not Nazi...my Grandfather told a story about Prisioners of War. He thought another Officer had walked up behind him and this voice said "Man, I can't wait to get home." He turned around to acknowledge the feeling and he was looking at a German Prisioner who had not grown up in Germany but his Mother was German and so he went to fight. And mind home was not Germany....

I also had a History Professor who had been in Intelligence embanked with the Russian Army in WWII who used to tell us stories about what it was like.  But these men were not bitter against the Germans  even though they fought them for the whole War. 
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Robert_Hall on July 26, 2007, 06:35:07 AM
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v289/Markhall/Nico2006348-1.jpg)
 Another picture of the memorial. It is quite moving, especially when seen with a native of the city.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Belochka on July 27, 2007, 01:47:16 AM
Another picture of the memorial. It is quite moving, especially when seen with a native of the city.

Thank you for your images Robert. This memorial is indeed very moving.

Margarita  :'(
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Belochka on July 27, 2007, 02:14:08 AM
A few images of the Piskarevskoye memorial site in St. Petersburg.

The words of Olga Bergholts as they appear on the stones:

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v676/sadbear/piskarevka2.jpg)
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Belochka on July 27, 2007, 02:23:08 AM
The eternal flame with "Mother of Russia" in the distance and the mounds of the buried.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v676/sadbear/piskarevka.jpg)
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Belochka on July 27, 2007, 02:25:21 AM

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v676/sadbear/piskarevka4.jpg)
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Belochka on July 27, 2007, 02:29:43 AM
                               
"Mother of Russia"

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v676/sadbear/piskarevka3.jpg)
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: dmitri on July 27, 2007, 07:00:17 AM
I guess you don't "acknowledge" SS men. They were not "normal" members of the German armed forces. It is hard to forgive or forget such vile and deliberate brutality. These SS men were not normal soldiers. They were involved with one of the most evil organisations the world has ever seen. I guess also the Nazi German war criminals hanged after Nuremberg were also not acknowledged. That is why their remains were cremated and dumped where nobody could pay respects to such creatures. I doubt the people of Puskhin would like neo-Nazis coming to make a shrine out of the gardens in front of the Alexander Palace.  I'm part German and speak the language. My German relatives and friends do not ever wish to acknowledge the SS. In fact they are deeply ashamed of them.  I doubt that many ordinary Russians would wish to acknowledge war criminals openly on their own soil considering there are very few families, even today, that do not have knowledge of the loss of loved ones during world war two. Most do not wish to forgive or forget. The SS knew what they were doing when they plundered, raped, murdered and blew up treasures. I admire the great bravery of the former Soviet peoples and what they did to try to pick up the pieces of their broken country. Of course the Germans suffered. I have been to many places in Germany where terrible things happened but nothing as bad as in Russia, nothing - not even the bombing of Dresden and Hamburg and so on. Lest we forget.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Helen_Azar on July 30, 2007, 01:49:08 PM
Once again, you are not understanding my meaning at all. By pretending that nothing happened on that spot, you are in fact, "forgetting".  I say, acknowledge the fact that something happened there, the palace was occupied by the Germans, they had set up a graveyard in front of the palace where they buried their dead, etc. It is part of the history of Pushkin and part of Russian history. Why ignore that and pretend that nothing happened there and that the flower bed is just a flower bed? Again: "acknowledge" does not equal "honor" or "forgive and forget", you are totally misunderstanding the meaning if this.

To me, ignoring historical facts (not acknowledging them) is, to a much lesser degree of course, analoguos to planting a lovely garden where the death camps used to stand and pretending nothing happened there. By keeping artifacts from these camps , thus acknowledging they existed - instead of ignoring them - we are not "honoring" these death camps, we are confronting history, and in fact, as much as is in our power, hoping we will learn from history... The fact that the Germans occupied Pushkin and their graves are still beneath the ground in front of the AP is part of the palace's, the town's and the country's history, and has to be acknowledged rather than ignored. History should never be ignored or rewritten, no matter how unpleasant.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: dmitri on July 31, 2007, 08:44:12 AM
I'm afraid you simply do not understand. It is pointless continuing this. Nobody wants to remember these people, nobody. They are totally unworthy. You do not remember such creatures or pay any respect to them, ever. The Russians certainly do not wish to give these creatures one moment of remembrance. Get it?
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Helen_Azar on July 31, 2007, 08:56:22 AM
I'm afraid you simply do not understand. It is pointless continuing this. Nobody wants to remember these people, nobody. They are totally unworthy. You do not remember such creatures or pay any respect to them, ever. The Russians certainly do not wish to give these creatures one moment of remembrance. Get it?

Oh, I get it alright. I suppose you feel you are qualified to speak for every single person in Russia and the rest of the world, aren't you (not to mention the fact that you continue to twist what some of us are saying in the first place). You are quite a piece of work, dmitri...   But you are right about one thing, it is obviously pointless to continue this discussion with you (and probably any other discussion - due to your extreme rudeness and ignorance), so I am going to happily ignore you from now on...  8)
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Tania+ on July 31, 2007, 02:47:17 PM
There are many people world wide, not only in Russia whom stand with your stance not to remember the Nazis with any monument, and I for one join all who express this stance. I also think it very important to state as I did in my previous post, that where death and destruction, genocide, certainly mass murder was given any population, a detailed explanation on the given site be offered so that future generations know what part these monstors offered the population when they were the occupier. Every country has that right to offer understanding of what their peoples suffered through. The only remembrance that we can offer future generations in terms of the Nazi occupation is to be straightforward in telling the truth, making sure not one iota of information is left out.

Again, my input is to the information on Nazi occupation and making sure that those victims of the Nazis are remembered far more in name value than the Nazis, the gestapo, and any other dreaded actions wherein citizens suffered the worst in terms of loss of life and destruction, etc. Yes, I understand implicitly as to what Dmitri has stated and agree, the Nazis need no placques to remember them save that they offered free peoples, no hope or life !

Tatiana+
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Robert_Hall on July 31, 2007, 09:21:12 PM
Bigotry and intolerance were hallmarks of the Nazis. They are obviously raising their ugly heads here as well. Of perhaps a slightly different ilk, but the same nonetheless. Hope you enjoy your sanctimoniousness.
 Perhaps it is time for this thread to be shut down ?
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: dmitri on August 01, 2007, 09:09:12 AM
I second that. Let's shut down this thread as soon as possible as it seems to be a secret haven for neo-nazis and their fellow travellers.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 01, 2007, 09:46:47 AM
dmitry, your remarks are  uncalled for and extremely insulting. Not one person in this discussion has said anything in support of Nazis.  I used to enjoy your comments, but now I just find them offensive and intolerant.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: lori_c on August 01, 2007, 10:02:00 AM
Once again, you are not understanding my meaning at all. By pretending that nothing happened on that spot, you are in fact, "forgetting".  I say, acknowledge the fact that something happened there, the palace was occupied by the Germans, they had set up a graveyard in front of the palace where they buried their dead, etc. It is part of the history of Pushkin and part of Russian history. Why ignore that and pretend that nothing happened there and that the flower bed is just a flower bed? Again: "acknowledge" does not equal "honor" or "forgive and forget", you are totally misunderstanding the meaning if this.

To me, ignoring historical facts (not acknowledging them) is, to a much lesser degree of course, analoguos to planting a lovely garden where the death camps used to stand and pretending nothing happened there. By keeping artifacts from these camps , thus acknowledging they existed - instead of ignoring them - we are not "honoring" these death camps, we are confronting history, and in fact, as much as is in our power, hoping we will learn from history... The fact that the Germans occupied Pushkin and their graves are still beneath the ground in front of the AP is part of the palace's, the town's and the country's history, and has to be acknowledged rather than ignored. History should never be ignored or rewritten, no matter how unpleasant.
Absolutely.  After that horrible time in history, survivors and many others fought to be sure that we never forget....... Lest we should forget or it will happen again.  How does the saying go, Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it?  something along those lines.
I agree that confronting it is part of healing.  And learning for the future.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Tania+ on August 01, 2007, 11:36:05 AM
Lori, no truer words can be stated ! If we do not confront our past, we have no future. We may go through many difficulties, sorrows, and anguish caused from many instances of life and persons. We learn to forgive, but as human beings, we must never forget. Our very defenses, as well as our survival is based on this alone. Through the years I have worked personally with many survivors of varying types of global trauma. These basic understandings are what allow them to move forward and get on with life. Thanks Lori for your contribution and sincere thoughts.

Tatiana+
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 01, 2007, 11:45:02 AM
"Forgiveness" seems a rare commodity on this thread.
 After all, the sons do not bear the sins of their fathers,  but they are right to at least remember them.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: lori_c on August 01, 2007, 03:39:22 PM
"Forgivenes" is definitely something one learns to do.  Some never achieve that.  But as for forgeting, the Holocaust survior Simon Weisenthal fought very very hard,  along with countless others to assure that NOBODY ever forgot that horrible tragedy and who was behind it.  So that the world would never let it happen again. Because it could.   It's a testament to all those who fought to keep this in the pulic consiousness of the world yesterdat, today and for the future that any monument should stand.  Not as praise, but as rememberance of  one of the darkest era's in our world's history. Lest we forget.........
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: dmitri on August 01, 2007, 06:48:52 PM
Precisely Lori. You remember the victims and not the evil murderers. Everybody knows of the crimes. You don't honour murderers though.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Tania+ on August 02, 2007, 11:37:26 AM
Dmitri, your sentiments were understood from the first time you posted. You are 100% correct, nobody needs to offer any remberances to the Nazi murders, for they were far from honorable. We must continue to make sure that all human hearts know where evil dwells, and what evil people do. Never is too soon to forget. We all must keep vigilent against evil murderers.

Tatiana+
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: ChristineM on August 03, 2007, 03:00:36 AM
There are corpses of the German and Spanish occupiers ALL over the Alexander Park.   The flower beds beneath the Granite Terrace in the Catherine Park probably contain far more remains than the circle in front of the Alexander Palace.   To mark the graves of these young men - fathers, sons and brothers is impossible.   The fact that the two major burial sites are planted with flowers should suffice - that's nature and natural.

It easy enough for those of us who - and whose parents and grandparents - have never found themselves in the same position of the people of Pushkin and the Leningrad Oblast, to be sanctimonious.   Visit the City Museum in Pushkin and see what these people had to endure - then think twice.   Talk to the few remaining survivors, particularly those of the siege  - and have regard for THEIR feelings.   

Those who write that these were ordinary German boys are quite right.    But the atrocities they perpetrated were totally wrong.   In life there are usually two options - one of which is to refuse to obey to commit barbarities and to remain true to oneself.   Yes, and face the consequences.   Those who died during their occupation of Russia did face their consequences in the long - or not so long - run.

In terms of understanding what really happened during the WWII Nazi advance and occupation of Russia, perhaps a bit more reading on that subject and a bit more research with those who suffered first hand, should be done before condemning those who have strong feelings on the subject.

tsaria   
 
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: dmitri on August 03, 2007, 06:27:44 AM
Amen
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Tania+ on August 03, 2007, 11:28:37 AM
Thank you so very much Tsaria. Anyone who has read the long history of Russia under Nazi occupation, would know that the struggle of the Russian people, to stay alive from moment to moment was a tortuious one. Those whose family members went through the occupation and seige would understand even more. Those who lost family, friends, know that much more. Those who escaped the death camps, will tell you even more !

It is an honor and pleasure to have you on this forum. Your breadth and understanding of Russian history, is always right and allows all readers an objective understanding of what actually transpired. Would that so many more would take the time to at least read, study history before they make condeming remarks on others. I always welcome and enjoy what you offer !

As you so stated, the atrocities these 'ordinary German boys' perpetrated were totally wrong. They commited sadistic and terrible barbarities to the citizens of Russia, and that will never be forgot by the Russian people. The feelings of the Russian people matter more than we will ever realize. Again though it shows how strong and resilient they are, and continue today to make sure that Nazis never again rear their terrible flag or actions again. Again Tsaria, thank you ! and as Dmitri said it so well,

"Amen" !

Tatiana+
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Arleen on August 03, 2007, 12:39:46 PM
My own personal feelings are that acts of history should NEVER be forgotten....no matter how horrible.  People should always be able to know what happened in an area,  even in a small way.   A sign explaining what happened would do, sometimes a big memorial is "too much" if you know what I mean.  But it should never be forgotten!

I grew up in Manilla right after WW II and the horrible acts of the Japanese became a part of all of us who lived there.  War begets horror on all sides of  it.  Look at the horrors being committed in Iraqi, by everyone!  That should never be forgotten either. 

Tsaria, I am so glad you are back I always NEED your always fair and balanced opinions.  Besides all of the first hand knowledge you have from your many travels to the area and all of the wonderful things you have done to help the people of TS.

This is a dicey subject......

Arleen



Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Kurt Steiner on August 04, 2007, 04:30:21 AM

In life there are usually two options - one of which is to refuse to obey to commit barbarities and to remain true to oneself.   Yes, and face the consequences.   Those who died during their occupation of Russia did face their consequences in the long - or not so long - run.

Some people did. And faced the results of their actions.

As captain Axel Freiherr von dem Bussche did, for instance. He was a career army officer who served on the Eastern Front and witnessed the mass execution of Jews in Dubno in 1942. He declared thereafter that there were only 3 ways for an officer to maintain his honour: by dying in combat, by deserting or by revolitng. He was recruited in the conspiracy against Hitler by colonel Claus von Stauffenberg to assesinate Hitler.

Von dem Bussche volunteered to give his life in an attempt (November 1943) which involved blowing himself up with Hitler. His plan was to model in an army uniform before Hitler and set off two hand grenades conceladed in his great coat. However, the plan failed and, later on, von dem Bussche got severely wounded by a mortar shell. He loses a leg. He died in 1993.

We could, for instance, mention colonel Baron Wessel Freiherr von Freytag-Loringhoven (1899-1944) who was initially fond of Hitler's program for Germany, but he was shocked by by the Bight of the Long Knives massacre and joined the conspiracy against Hitler. In July 1944 he gave the detonator charge and explosives used by von Stauffenberg in his attempt on 20th July. He commited suicide to avoid being captured by the Gestapo.

And the list goes on and on.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: dmitri on August 04, 2007, 07:46:40 AM
true there were a small number who did try to resist .. it is a touch off topic though as the thread is about the german occupation of Puskhin
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: ChristineM on August 06, 2007, 02:52:05 AM
No, it is not off topic.   Every single Nazi occupier had the choice and their commanding officers would have been rendered impotent had they refused to participate in the genocide.   Brainwashed these young men might have been, but, to hang residents of Pushkin from every available streetlamp does not sound to me as though they felt or were even aware of any sort of moral code.   

To extrapolate this notion of erecting memorials to the fallen irrespective of which side of the war they fought - I wonder how long it will take before it is suggested that  memorials should be erected to the murderers on that ghastly date - 9/11 or the equally ghastly date - though with fewer victims - of 7/7?

Time, to an extent, blunts the horror, but I feel we owe it to those who so needlessly and cruelly perished not - and to their loved ones - not to mark the existence of the perpetrators.   To do so is little short of collaboration... even capitulation.

tsaria

Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: dmitri on August 06, 2007, 07:11:42 AM
amen
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Helen_Azar on August 08, 2007, 04:37:53 PM
I think you guys are really getting carried away. No one is asking for a memorial to honor these people. These soldiers are not really in question here, that's not the point. The point is to let people know what happened there in that spot, as part of history of the park and the palace. I don't see anything wrong with that, and it has nothing to do with what these German soldiers participated in or not. I don't get why this concept is so hard to understand and why some of you keep insisting that we are asking for a memorial to honor them.  ???  It seems like Arleen is the only one who understood what I am talking about...
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 08, 2007, 05:05:31 PM
I am with you, Helen. A simple marker denoting a war grave. [during.....German troops occupied the area and this is where they buried thier dead] It IS part of history and one cannot revision it.  I sort of wonder if there is even any record of who exactly is buried there? Germans were meticulous record keepers, so one might  there are.
 And Tsaria, you are not naive, how could you think than any German soldier could dis-obey? I am NOT justifying their actions, but if they had, they would  have met the same fate as their victims, would they not?
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Tania+ on August 08, 2007, 05:09:45 PM
The point IS when making any type of a historical statement, to make first and always a memorial to those whose lives were taken. It is a statement if you will of Perpetuation of Grief. Something as henious as what was imposed on citizens of Russia [and other global places] has every need to offer with what the Nazis forced on a free peoples. The emphasis on any sinage in this case IS to underline the crimes committed by the occupier. The site is to honor those who perished. Nothing needs to be stated by those who senselessly without consciencous wantonly mass murdered a country. Every site wherein these crimes were committed committed needs to be marked to show all peoples the exact places wherein these crimes were committed. We must neverr forget those innocent lives. This was a big deal back then Helen and continues to remain a BIG deal today ! Over 22 million lives were killed. The fact that the Nazi's were killed a few here or there is naught alongside the wanton acts that they committed. These soldiers remain in question during the war then and in what they participated in, as well as in today's world, the presence of them ever returning again is against every person who knows why Nazis should not continue to exist. The only sinage that should exist on any place where in a crime was committed is to state historically that the soldiers did not win and were defeated !

Tatiana+
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Helen_Azar on August 08, 2007, 06:27:31 PM
I am with you, Helen. A simple marker denoting a war grave. [during.....German troops occupied the area and this is where they buried thier dead] It IS part of history and one cannot revision it. 

Exactly. This doesn't mean it honors anyone or doesn't honor anyone, it's not a matter of honoring, it's a matter of history, which is a whole different ball game. For example, at the History Museum of Tsarskoe Selo, they do have a couple of images of this, these pictures can be used to show what the place looked like during 1940's along with the sign (if you don't like the word "plaque") which tells the visitor historical background. This is what they do in museums and this is how generations learn about history. And the AP and the park surrounding it happens to be a museum. Memorials are an entirely separate issue.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/helenazar/APgravesite-2.jpg)
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: dmitri on August 09, 2007, 01:29:42 AM
There are plenty of photos of the damage these vile war criminals carried out around Tsarskoe Selo, the other Tsarist Palaces, the peoples of the former Soviet Union and other peace loving people that invaded, plundered and murdered. The guides at Tsarskoe Selo and elsewhere tell you all about that. That is all that is needed. Only people with very little imagination or some sort of perverse interest in their crimes need any other reminders. Lest we forget. Let flowers grow and bloom where hate has previously flourished. Nothing else is needed.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: antti on August 09, 2007, 09:32:46 AM
"....the former Soviet Union and other peace loving people....."
sorry  dmitri, but Im in shock, Soviet Union ....peace loving????
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: dmitri on August 09, 2007, 10:32:45 PM
they were peace loving peoples .... remember the Germans attacked them and slaughtered millions and millions not to mention the huge destruction of the country ... we are talking here on the time of world war two ... not of the cold war and after
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 09, 2007, 11:04:21 PM
dmitri, what planet do you live on?  Stalin made a pact  with Hitler to chop up Poland.  I have often been called a "Commie fellow traveler" but even I can not  buy this "peace loving" bit. Communism  was a world movement, justifying violent action to achieve change. The German occupation of Russia, in my opinion was no worse than the Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe.  Both were evil and both brought misery to millions. Nothing justifies either.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: antti on August 10, 2007, 01:15:43 AM
perhaps a bit of the topic but I have never realised that when Soviet Union started boming for example cities of Finland in end on november in 1939 and started so called Winter War that it was "peace loving" act. Interesting view.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: dmitri on August 10, 2007, 02:01:57 AM
I'm more than aware of the history of the pact. That is very well known. What is even more well known and far more horrific are the appalling atrocities carried out by the Nazi Germans in the former Soviet Union and elsewhere in Europe. They were much, much worse. As for comparing them to the Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe that is plainly ridiculous and trying to divert the issue. The Soviets were harsh, but not total barbarians like the Nazi Germans. Let us not forget in world war two at least 20 million Soviets died alone. There were millions of others. Nowhere in Eastern Europe under Soviet occupation were people slaughtered so systematically and in such enormous numbers. The Nazi Germans murdered millions and millions and destroyed whole cities and palaces en masse. I wonder whether you have seen the photos of the destruction? Outside the Soviet Union, Warsaw was wiped off the map. Modern Warsaw is a total reconstruction. I suggest you take the time to read some of the history in depth. I recommend some very interesting books for you which might just show you how utterly disgusting the Nazi Germans were in the former Soviet Union and elsewhere. I wonder though whether you really want to know what happened. You seem to be more interested in running away from the issue.  Let's stick to what really happened, as others have pointed out on this thread.

I would suggest you read:  Pavlovsk: The Life of a Russian Palace by Suzanne Massie ... it gives a good account of the looting and destruction of Pavlovsk and elsewhere nearby and the enormous efforts made by the Soviets to try to restore the barbarian destruction of the area. Read about the females who risked their lives clearing mines from the parks.

Also most illuminating is : Sunlight at Midnight - St.Petersburg and the Rise of Modern Russia by W. Bruce Lincoln - the chapter entitled 'Nine Hundred Days' will give you a good understanding of what happened around Leningrad during the Nazi German occupation

To give a perspective of what Germans knew about Nazi Germany themselves : What We Knew: Terror Mass Murder and Everyday Life in Nazi Germany  by Eric Johnson and Karl-Heinz Reuband

To understand the Holocaust in Germany and the areas of Europe occuppied against their will (including large sections of the Soviet Union)  : The Holocaust Chronicle - Publications International Ltd, - I wonder whether you realise Soviet prisoners of war were gassed?

Further material on Nazi Germany and its horrors - National Socialist Germany - Chapter 11 of Cambridge Illustrated History of Germany

Hitler described the Soviets as ""sub-human Slavs" and was quite happy with any means to destroy them. This was the same man who wanted to wipe St.Petersburg/Leningrad off the map completely. It's very hard to imagine a greater lunatic given the extreme beauty and priceless treasures of St.Petersburg. Let's also take some time to remember the total destruction of Lidice and its people in the former Czechoslovakia. Stalin was a horror but should not be compared to Hitler. Look at him in isolation by all means but do not try and compare him. He is a different sort of monster and did not massacre millions and millions in Eastern Europe in the way Hitler did.  I could go on with much further information.

In parting what we see of the Catherine Palace today at Pushkin is largely a reconstruction as the original was mostly barbarically destoyed by the Nazi Germans, the same goes for Peterhof, Pavlovsk, Gatchina and elsewhere. We should all be grateful for the enormous rescue work carried out by the peoples of the former Soviet Union and Russia. They are the ones who should be remembered along with the millions and millions of their fellow citizens who did not live to have the opportunity to live in peace as we do. Lest we forget. Remember them. The television series 'World At War' also documents the Nazi German invasion of the Soviet Union extremely well if you want to see film, much of it shot by sadistic Germans actually delighting in the destruction which they carried out. The final episode 'Remember' is particularly enlightening.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: antti on August 10, 2007, 02:48:12 AM
Dear Dmitri,

I think you forget that Stalin made a pact with Hitler which left the western Poland to Germany and Eastern Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland to Soviet Union. At the same time as Hitler was invading western Poland, Soviet Union was invading eastern Poland, Baltic States and Finland(with Finland "Great Soviet Union" did not managed that well).
In my point of view Soviet Union is as quilty as Germany of starting the war by making a pact of dividing the regions mentioned above.
It is well known that Soviet Union lost lots of lives during the war. But Soviet Union was doing exactly same as Germany was doing. And perhaps if Stalin would of care about his peolpe/soldiers at all,  much less would of loose their lives. For me the soviet regime was as evil as nazi regime perhaps even worse.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: dmitri on August 10, 2007, 03:03:40 AM
That is not true.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: dmitri on August 10, 2007, 03:06:37 AM
Nowhere in world war two did the Soviets behave in the same disgusting manner as the Nazi Germans. Of course they drove the Nazi Germans out of areas they invaded. That was to be expected. After all they were allies of the Americans, British and French. Without the Soviet deaths, the war would have dragged on for a far longer time. Finland is another matter entirely.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Kurt Steiner on August 10, 2007, 04:16:32 AM
Dear Dmitri,

I think you forget that Stalin made a pact with Hitler which left the western Poland to Germany and Eastern Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland to Soviet Union. At the same time as Hitler was invading western Poland, Soviet Union was invading eastern Poland, Baltic States and Finland(with Finland "Great Soviet Union" did not managed that well).
In my point of view Soviet Union is as quilty as Germany of starting the war by making a pact of dividing the regions mentioned above.
It is well known that Soviet Union lost lots of lives during the war. But Soviet Union was doing exactly same as Germany was doing. And perhaps if Stalin would of care about his peolpe/soldiers at all,  much less would of loose their lives. For me the soviet regime was as evil as nazi regime perhaps even worse.

You got it.

As a former German soldier said once: what is communism? The non-aryan mother of Nazism. So simple, so short.

Sometimes I wonder if people knows about Katyn. But, of course, this is not the thread and we're out of topic, anyway.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: dmitri on August 10, 2007, 08:22:10 AM
Katyn Wood I know only too well about and really it was appalling but not at all to be compared with the enormous millions of people slaughtered by the Nazi German regime, ever. 
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: dmitri on August 10, 2007, 08:38:31 AM
and to compare communism to a non-aryan mother of nazism shows complete  and utter ignorance and to say the least a complete lack of historical knowledge and sensitivity to the millions and millions who were massacred ... think about that before you come up with revisionist historical nonsense ... war criminals are never honoured anywhere ... there is no place whatsoever for any mention, in the beautiful surrounds of the Alexander Palace. people thay the German people are deeply ashamed of .. the Russians have very, very long memories ... don't expect them to stomach the gross insult of any sort of mention on their soil of peoples who committed acts of the most disgusting barbarian behaviour ... remember the victims - that is what decent people do ... the crimes are well known - any foreign visitor to Russia who visits places s shown photographic evidence and told about what happened ... that is all that any human requires - I saw people visibly upset at the sheer horror of it all - Russians know what happened - don't expect any form of plinth to acknowledge what happened - it would be in complete bad taste to say the very least
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: antti on August 10, 2007, 08:47:28 AM
And what about the millions slaughtered, send to prison camps or forced to flee they countries by soviet union in eastern europe, baltic states or Finland?  
And what is even more horrible is that soviet union was doing the same to it`s own people in the name of revolution.  I say disgusting. " Peace loving Soviet Union"... up my ....!
Because this is so far from the topic I won`t personally continue this thred.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: dmitri on August 10, 2007, 09:59:12 AM
good because you are way off base
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: ChristineM on August 10, 2007, 10:12:12 AM
Robert, I understand precisely what you say, but it is always possible to say 'No'.   Inevitably there are consequences as a result of refusing to obey orders.   These young men were on a high.   They had murdered and scorched their way from Berlin and were at the very boundary of the greatest prize of all - Leningrad.   They were drunk with success.   They were brutal bullies for the entire period of the occupation.   They starved people and they slaughtered.    In retreat, they were merciless.   Why should they been shown any kind of consideration now?     

(Robert - Fighting men were by far in the majority.   Their commanders were a minority and usually kept well back from the frontline.   In this country conscientious objectors were imprisoned for the length of the war (World War II).   All of the people who lived around Belsen, Auschwitz, Buchenwald and etc. when the war was over, said they knew nothing of the atrocities which had been perpetrated in these places.     I hate to even associate this question with another thread, but what would you have done?)

In so far as Pushkin/Tsarskoe Selo is concerned, I have already pointed out - and Helen must know - there are Nazi graves all over the Catherine and Alexander Parks as well as the Babalovsky Park, around Alexandrovskoye, the Tikhvin cemetery - thousands of them and I could go on.   The largest communal grave lies beneath the Granite Terrace of the Catherine Park.   Where do you begin and where do you end with this proposal of marking German war dead?   As you may be aware, there is a large black marble memorial to the Jews who suffered dreadfully in Pushkin during the occupation on the left hand side of Dvortsovskaya Ulitsa.   These people were natives of Pushkin.   We have their memories to honour.

Both Hitler and Stalin were monsters.   Within the last ten years approximately 350,000 skulls of Buddhist monks were found in the far reaches of Siberia - all murdered on the orders of Stalin.   Hitler's war in Europe lasted little more than six years.   Stalin and his massacre of the kulags, his artficially created famine and his purges lasted almost thirty years.   In terms of those murdered the working estimated number killed on or through the orders of Stalin is in excess of 80 million - and counting.

tsaria     
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: dmitri on August 10, 2007, 10:16:16 AM
yes Tsaria this was truly awful as well .. he was a monster ... when will man ever learn?
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Tania+ on August 10, 2007, 12:10:51 PM
It is morally important that any and all victims never be forgot. Surely those murdered under the Stalinist regeime were horrific in numbers, but again, the point of focus here on this posting is entitled "German occupation". We are after addressing that which were monstrous acts of aggression and mass murder under German Occupaton. It is important when addressing the historical understandings of such enormity that it is not looked at as, 'well these things happen in war'....
We are talking about the hearts and minds of millions of human beings who were alive with hopes and dreams like you and i, who were maligned and butchered just because they were of a certain religion or ethnicity.

We who are able to read, study and respond effectively in regards to such barbarity should never allow the memory of all who died to be thrown to the dust bins or to stay in the shadows of time. Tsaria and Dmitri thank you so very much for standing firm and continuing to allow other readers a real understanding of this immense topic of the "german occupation'.
Russia and her peoples has every right to keep echoing the historical loss of the millions upon millions of loss of life she endured. More than any other country, her loss is more than significant.

While it is true that Russia in the early years did sign a pact with Germany, as Dmitri and Tsaria have pointed out, the atrocities and the barbarity paled in comparison when when goes in to direct historical content as to the mind set of the Nazi's in the take over of countries and peoples. In any event of such enormity, and in good conscience, no human heart can and should ever sanction murder of any understandings. The taking of just one human being is impossible. The destruct and genocide of a people's more than an grevious error. As a just reminder, in terms of what the German occupation offered, the end hopefully was offered in holding the tribunal for War Crimes, so that the world would never again allow such criminal acts. The question remains still remains however today, of who is really listening, and who really has read history and will make sure of the chldren of today and tomorrow will make sure the Hitler's and Stalin's of yesterday will no longer be tolerated, nor be allowed to live.

Please what ever you do, and especially in regards to this topic, with your last ounce of freedom, continue to make sure that the truth of what the Nazi German occupation offered any human being is not forgot. That's the least we can offer the world in the names of all who perished under Nazi Occupation !

Tatiana+
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Mari on August 10, 2007, 11:55:18 PM

Well. I personally think the RUSSIAN People will decide if they want to dwell on Victims of the War or... somehow...anyway they can... make peace with the past.   I wish them well whatever they decide!!!!   There have been many points of interest brought up ...I personally will read more Russian History and see what they suffered and also see what how they behaved when they invaded other Countries. As a History Major ..... Thank you all for a very interesting and somewhat heated Discussion.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: dmitri on August 11, 2007, 12:07:22 AM
You're very welcome Mari. Just remember the Nazi German invasion of the Soviet Union is a completely separate issue to the subsequent Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe. Look at them in isolation and only then are you are able to compare them. 
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: dmitri on August 11, 2007, 12:09:25 AM
By the way I meant to add that huge remembrance services occur in late January every year in St.Petersburg to remember the victims of the seige of Leningrad, now St.Petersburg. The numbers are not dwindling.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Tania+ on August 11, 2007, 01:59:46 AM
The numbers will Never dwindle ! Can we forget them, can we forget 1915, can we forget Dafour, can we forget anywhere in the world wherein victims under seige are murdered without conscience ? Would you or anyone trade places with those whose unfortunate stance was to live through such utter travesty and injustices ? We must never forget. Keep the candlle burning brightly for one, for all ! God remember them forever. Read all you can and never stop remembering the lives of the millions who need us very much in the world of today and tomorrow to work on every moment that we can live and dwell in peace. Amen.
You are right Mari, peace should be the focus of all peoples and nations. Let it begin and stay and live within all our hearts.

Tatiana+
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Kurt Steiner on August 11, 2007, 03:46:34 AM
My dear Dmitri,

you're interpreting of my words badly, poetically speaking. There is no revisionism im them at alll. To start with. So, beware the adjectives next time, please. The "non-aryan mother and so on" were made by a German soldier, former Communist sympathizer by the way, who ended being executed at Torgau because of his anti nazi ideas. So, if he said that, perhaps he knew a bit about what he was talking. But of course, he was a German...

Indeed, USSR suffered a lot in the Nazi hands, as well with other countries did, but this would be another topic. And talking about memories. It's good to remember the suffering of the USSR, but it's comical if not cynical, to forget that, while suffering, the USSR has its own criminals and, it its turn, even before 1941, Stalin repressed the conquered countries by the USSR with brutallity, as mentioned by myself above. Nothing lessens the guitly of those Nazi genocide, but to extend the blame to a whole nation is so utterly stupid that I can only pity those poor people that commit this silly mistake. And bearing in mind the past, it's quite 'funny' to look on the crimes of the rest of the world and shut up about the own crimes.

Anyway, that's another topic. So, go on with this, I'm over.

Katyn, by sheer weight of numbers, nothing to compare with the 6 millions of Jews exterminated in the KZ. At least, for the statistics. But to gass 6 millions people seems to me as hearthless as to execute 25.000 men firing at point blank on the back of their heads and to make vanish another 15.000. No regime is worth any single murder.

and to compare communism to a non-aryan mother of nazism shows complete  and utter ignorance and to say the least a complete lack of historical knowledge and sensitivity to the millions and millions who were massacred ... think about that before you come up with revisionist historical nonsense ... war criminals are never honoured anywhere ... there is no place whatsoever for any mention, in the beautiful surrounds of the Alexander Palace. people thay the German people are deeply ashamed of .. the Russians have very, very long memories ... don't expect them to stomach the gross insult of any sort of mention on their soil of peoples who committed acts of the most disgusting barbarian behaviour ... remember the victims - that is what decent people do ... the crimes are well known - any foreign visitor to Russia who visits places s shown photographic evidence and told about what happened ... that is all that any human requires - I saw people visibly upset at the sheer horror of it all - Russians know what happened - don't expect any form of plinth to acknowledge what happened - it would be in complete bad taste to say the very least
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: ChristineM on August 11, 2007, 06:48:14 AM
The Jewish genocide and the Katyn massacres are vast subjects in their own right and this is not the appropriate place to discuss either.   

Comparison is odious.

The subject of this thread is the German occupation of the town of Pushkin - and its ramifications.   Its better that we stick to this topic.

tsaria
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: dmitri on August 11, 2007, 08:33:55 AM
I agree Tsaria entirely.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Forum Admin on August 11, 2007, 09:30:22 AM
I endorse Tsaria's latest request.
FA
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: dmitri on August 11, 2007, 10:15:40 AM
Thanks FA
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Kurt Steiner on August 11, 2007, 05:19:05 PM
The Jewish genocide and the Katyn massacres are vast subjects in their own right and this is not the appropriate place to discuss either.   

I fully agree.

Comparison is odious.

I agree again.

The subject of this thread is the German occupation of the town of Pushkin - and its ramifications.   Its better that we stick to this topic.

tsaria

As I said when I finished my last post, I absolutely agree.

PD: Just in case, even if I mentioned it before. A member of the German branch of my family was executed by the nazis because he didn't join the NSDAP. Part of the German branch of my family suffered badly towards the end of WW2 at the hands of some uncontrolled members of the Red Army. As you can imagine, I have little respect for any of those two packs.

Sorry for the disgression. I just wanted to clarify this point, just in case. Let's carry on with the thread, please.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: dmitri on August 11, 2007, 07:45:16 PM
I doubt there is any point whatsoever given your previous comments. 
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 11, 2007, 08:39:22 PM
Since dmitri and tania are the  only arbiters of truth here,  I leave it to them.  It is difficult to discuss with cloesd, bigoted, intolerant minds.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: dmitri on August 11, 2007, 09:22:13 PM
how very exciting for you Robert ... do some reading ... you might be enlightend
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Kurt Steiner on August 12, 2007, 03:10:53 AM
Dmitri, I have a little doubt about your last comment about me... If you're so kind to explain it to me by PM, to avoid getting this thread more and more confused, I'll be helpful. Just a comment. If you're suggesting that I'm a nazi, don't bother to PM. I can tell you, if that's the case, that you're awfully wrong.

It's funny that you suggest Robert to read more. Very funny ;D

After all, the sons do not bear the sins of their fathers,  but they are right to at least remember them.

Amen.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Kurt Steiner on August 12, 2007, 03:19:55 AM
Some bits of information.

(http://i19.tinypic.com/35jyrgn.jpg)

I think this is a palace at Pokroskaya, which was the headquarters of the Blue Division during its time at the front of Leningrad

To put an end to this long parenthesis that was opened six pages ago...

Anyone can identify this palace, please? I can only say that it was place at Pokroskaya, I'm afraid. Furthermore, can anyone tell me if it has been restored? Does it remains in that sad shape?
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: ChristineM on August 12, 2007, 05:28:31 AM
The name 'Pokrovskoye' is a common village name throughout Russia.   Rasputin came from the village of Pokrovskoye, Tobolsk region.    I think there is every chance there will be a Pokrovskoye village in the Leningrad oblast probably developed around the estate house photographed above.   Unfortunately the entire area is peppered with former manor houses in such delapidated state - most much worse than that shown above.   

Those within a reasonable travelling distance of St Petersburg - up to 200 kilometres, are being sought out by wealthy businessmen who are taking them over to restore.   They are being allowed to redevelop the houses on the basis that the exterior is returned to as close to its original as possible.   If I recall correctly, irrespective of how much spent on the renovations, they are not allowed to hold title to the prorpery.   I know of two such manor houses just outside Pavlovsk, ravaged during the Nazi occupation, both of which have  been returned to their former glory on the exterior while the interiors are cutting edge modernity.   One  belongs to Schostakovich's son and his neighbour,, my friend, is the greatest benefactor in the north of Russia.

tsaria
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Kurt Steiner on August 12, 2007, 05:36:45 AM
The name 'Pokrovskoye' is a common village name throughout Russia.   Rasputin came from the village of Pokrovskoye, Tobolsk region.    I think there is every chance there will be a Pokrovskoye village in the Leningrad oblast probably developed around the estate house photographed above.

Interesting. So. 'Pokrovskoye' is a common name for a village -like Springfield, then (excuse me the joke, please...)-. Does 'Pokrovskoye' mean anything in particular?

Unfortunately the entire area is peppered with former manor houses in such delapidated state - most much worse than that shown above.   

How awful.

Those within a reasonable travelling distance of St Petersburg - up to 200 kilometres, are being sought out by wealthy businessmen who are taking them over to restore.   They are being allowed to redevelop the houses on the basis that the exterior is returned to as close to its original as possible.   If I recall correctly, irrespective of how much spent on the renovations, they are not allowed to hold title to the prorpery.   I know of two such manor houses just outside Pavlovsk, ravaged during the Nazi occupation, both of which have  been returned to their former glory on the exterior while the interiors are cutting edge modernity.   One  belongs to Schostakovich's son and his neighbour,, my friend, is the greatest benefactor in the north of Russia.

tsaria

It's a bit logical. That is, to keep the outside as closest to it's original aspect and to modernize the interiors. Who would like to live like in the beginning of the 20th century or the 30s or the 40s when one can have the "glory" of the present days?

Perhaps I'm confusing it, but, weren't some kind of international -or perhaps just Russian- enterprise buying former tzarist palaces to do what you pointed out, Tsaria?
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: ChristineM on August 12, 2007, 08:48:38 AM
The problem lies in title to the land.   Theoretically the state owns all the land.   Descendants of pre-Revolutionary owners have tried to lay claim, but it is impossible to obtain a valid title.

It is possible to renovate the interiors of these former manor houses in any preferred style.   It just sho happens the ones I have seen are extremely modern.   In one for example, from the outside the roof appears a traditional roof, but inside from the ground floor the roof rises through three levels and is made of glass.   In my opinion it is absolutely glorious.   The huge space of the ground floor is entirely open - including fabulous kitchen.   Library shelves are built into the walls to the side of the different sets of stairs.   The stairs are constructed from huge, solid timbers and the ballustrades are all tempered glass.    On top the two storeys, the bedrooms and bathrooms run round the perimeter of the building - affording views across the Slavyanka River to Fortress Bip.   To be honest, I much prefer this to a mocked up version of what was there before.   The present day craftsmanship is, in its own way, every bit as superb as what was there before and preferable to appearing like some stage set.

tsaria
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Kurt Steiner on August 12, 2007, 03:38:11 PM
The problem lies in title to the land.   Theoretically the state owns all the land.   Descendants of pre-Revolutionary owners have tried to lay claim, but it is impossible to obtain a valid title.

How curious. What a mess, I guess.

It is possible to renovate the interiors of these former manor houses in any preferred style.   It just sho happens the ones I have seen are extremely modern.   In one for example, from the outside the roof appears a traditional roof, but inside from the ground floor the roof rises through three levels and is made of glass.   In my opinion it is absolutely glorious.   The huge space of the ground floor is entirely open - including fabulous kitchen.   Library shelves are built into the walls to the side of the different sets of stairs.   The stairs are constructed from huge, solid timbers and the ballustrades are all tempered glass.    On top the two storeys, the bedrooms and bathrooms run round the perimeter of the building - affording views across the Slavyanka River to Fortress Bip.   To be honest, I much prefer this to a mocked up version of what was there before.   The present day craftsmanship is, in its own way, every bit as superb as what was there before and preferable to appearing like some stage set.

tsaria

I fully agree. A reproduction -even if it would be done with the best intentions- would look to odd.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Helen_Azar on August 15, 2007, 12:59:38 PM
In so far as Pushkin/Tsarskoe Selo is concerned, I have already pointed out - and Helen must know - there are Nazi graves all over the Catherine and Alexander Parks as well as the Babalovsky Park, around Alexandrovskoye, the Tikhvin cemetery - thousands of them and I could go on.   The largest communal grave lies beneath the Granite Terrace of the Catherine Park.   Where do you begin and where do you end with this proposal of marking German war dead?   As you may be aware, there is a large black marble memorial to the Jews who suffered dreadfully in Pushkin during the occupation on the left hand side of Dvortsovskaya Ulitsa.   These people were natives of Pushkin.   We have their memories to honour.

Oh yes, of course I am aware of this. But perhaps I see this matter in a different light than some of you, because I see the Alexander Park as the extention of the TS museum, and this is part of the museum's history. Anything that took place within the "walls" of the museum should be documented for the visitors, IMO, and made into a form of a display. The mass grave in front of the AP should be documented as well, it is part of the museum's past, even if it is distasteful past. Instead, they seem to pretend that nothing happened there, which in itself is a sad thing, it's like trying to erase history (which the Soviets were so good at, BTW). This is the issue I have with this, nothing more nothing less...
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: dmitri on August 16, 2007, 09:14:20 AM
Nobody pretends at all. They just find the appalling atrocities committed quite disgusting and wish to remember the victims. That is what most decent people choose to do. Perhaps time should be taken to remember the many Soviet prisoners of war who were gassed and cremated by the Nazi Germans and have no known grave at all. That was a war crime in itself. At least the Nazi Germans buried in the grounds at Tsarskoe Selo have a grave in beautiful surroundings. Don't make the error of thinking people are not informed.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Forum Admin on August 16, 2007, 09:28:52 AM
I think this discussion comes down simply to differing points of view.  There are no right or wrong opinions here, we have to remember that. It is really just personal perspective.  Both sides in World War II committed atrocities. Soviet and Nazi. Nobody is truly innocent on either side.  Both sides believed in their hearts and minds they were doing the "right" thing.  Every man who fell in the war, on both sides, was somebody's son, brother, father, cousin or best friend. Every person who fell in the war, on both sides, left someone who mourned their loss.

History is written by the victor, is has been said. Well one of our dear members here, from Spain, had a grandfather who served in the Blue Brigade at TS during the War.  Luckily his grandfather went home alive and well. I just wonder what this discussion might have been had he been buried in that mass grave. 

I'm not taking sides here, honestly. Just trying to put perspective to the discussion. Whether WE like it or not, all of TS museum belongs to the Russian people, it is, after all THEIR patrimony, and we must ultimately respect their decisions about what they do there.  All WE can do, is keep that history alive for those who wish to understand it.  That's why we are here.

FA
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: dmitri on August 16, 2007, 10:45:54 AM
very well said FA
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Kurt Steiner on August 18, 2007, 11:20:05 AM
Returning to the original topic again...

As we were saying. I have a silly doubt. Reading something about the fighting at Leningrad's frontline and some papers from my family, I've found some kind, for me, of a mistery.

One of the members of my family was a pilot with the I/Jagdgeschwader 54. He mentions in his diary that he served for some time in a place called Krasnogwardeisk, until he was injured in a dogfight and ended up in a hospital in that place -a city/village (?)- before he was sent back to Germany to recover.

I've tried to find Krasnogwardeisk on a map, but it seems that it's name now is Gatchina. Am I right?

Then, If I'm right, OK, let me ask something and please, be calm and don't get confused, because this is going to be a little mess. I'll try to clarify my point as I go.

If that Krasnogwardeisk is Gatchina and this Gatchina is the place that I think it is, it's the place where Catherine the Great granted to her favourite, count Orlov, who built a castle that Catherine bought again when Orlov died and gave to her son, the future Emperor Paul I. When Paul I became Tzar, Gatchina became an official residence of the Russian Emperors. Do you follow me? I hope so.

Then, if Krasnogwardeisk and that Gatchina are the same place, during WWI some medical hospitals in Gatchina were patronized by the IF, by the Tsar Nicholas II and his mother, the Dowager Empress of Russia, Maria Fedorovna, as well as his wife, the Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna and their daughters: the Grand Duchesses Anastasia, Tatiana, Olga, and Maria -IIRC, we have some threads about his issue.

My question is: Do we know what of those hospitals patronized by the IF were still running during WW2? I know it's a bit odd question, but I'm just curious about it.

Thanks in advance.

It is worth adding, methinks, that Gatchina is linked to the first steps of the history Russian aviation as Nesterov was trained at Gatchina airfield and made his first long-distance flight from Gatchina to Kiev in the 1900s or so, a time when the aviation industry was developing in Gatchina, eventually becoming one of the first centers of aviation and engine technology in Russia.

PS: It's my question clear enough? I hope so.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: dmitri on August 18, 2007, 11:33:34 AM
This was indeed Gatchina. Of course all hospitals were taken over by the Soviet State once the Bolsheviks came to power. Imperial patronage had of course ceased with the abolition of Tsardom. Gatchina and surrounding areas were largely destroyed by the Nazi Germans. Certainly restoration on Gatchina Palace still continues over 60 years after the end of world war 2. It is interesting to see as unlike Pavlovsk which was also virtually destroyed, Gatchina is still undergoing major restoration. It was also the home of Alexander III and Maria Feodorovna and the childhood home of Nicholas II and his siblings.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Kurt Steiner on August 18, 2007, 12:30:02 PM
Glad to know! Time to fill some gasps, then!
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: ChristineM on August 19, 2007, 05:57:19 PM
During the Nazi occupation of WWII, for the entire period, virtually the entire -remaining - population of Pushkin (women, children and elderly men) was evacuated to Gatchina where they survived - living under canvas, during the winter too - on humble rations provided by Nazi field kitchens.   The food, rather soup, which was very sparce, was much more than the citizens of Leningrad could expect.

tsaria
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: dmitri on August 20, 2007, 10:02:20 PM
Yes it was indeed a truly wretched existence. It is so very hard to imagine having experienced a 'mild' winter at Gatchina.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Nemos on September 10, 2007, 07:54:11 AM
(http://rr.foto.radikal.ru/0709/12/b9b491b18c3ft.jpg) (http://foto.radikal.ru/f.aspx?i=287d93b75829428590c8d288ffacb2f2)

33 .
33 kilometer it is casual not Taisi.

, . 33 .
Though it is similar and to Kirovsk, Aleksandrino. 33 kilometer.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Nemos on September 26, 2007, 12:38:50 PM
(http://re.foto.radikal.ru/0709/3c/8269fdceda8at.jpg) (http://foto.radikal.ru/f.aspx?i=8a1905d2c5b54bf0942d0b729176c75a)

20 .
If there 20 km that probably is settlement Aleksandrovka.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Nemos on September 27, 2007, 04:13:42 AM
, .

Look at these photos, at whom a photo of the house on Pushkin from a court yard up to military.

(http://rp.foto.radikal.ru/0709/47/2ea1e8828af6t.jpg) (http://foto.radikal.ru/f.aspx?i=452536de264044b0a7c2f48da0f7bea5)

(http://rp.foto.radikal.ru/0709/de/baef781db545t.jpg) (http://foto.radikal.ru/f.aspx?i=1dea9e38d7ac45e9bdb70c40ea212b94)

, .
It is the trophy tank KV used by police parts and not only.

XX , .
House Kuzumova the beginning XX is, most likely should be and a photo of it.

(http://rp.foto.radikal.ru/0709/ad/9f53e306f8c5t.jpg) (http://foto.radikal.ru/f.aspx?i=2bf669447fc148c08190e8a541e3762f)
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Nemos on September 27, 2007, 04:47:15 AM
, .
It looks now so, but most likely this similarity of that that was.


(http://rm.foto.radikal.ru/0709/f8/84aa4a59aaf7t.jpg) (http://foto.radikal.ru/f.aspx?i=301d0e336f7c41c8ae7d4ddf945334e1)
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Nemos on October 11, 2007, 10:43:59 AM
Немного фото 4-й дивизии СС "Полицай", есть ли фото чинов дивизии в Пушкине.
It is a little photo of 4-th division СС "Policay", whether there is a photo of grades of a division in Pushkin.

http://pushkin-history.info/fotoalbom-old-1-/3703.html

Эта дивизия вместе с 269 пехотной захватывала Пушкин в 1941.
This division together with 269 infantry grasped Pushkin in 1941.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Helen_Azar on October 31, 2007, 03:24:39 PM
Interesting news about the German graves in front of the AP from Petrushka who posted this on another thread:

I've just come back from my second trip to St Petersburg and spent a day at Tsarskoye. The very day we were there they were excavating the little flower bed in front of the AP.  I have photos which I'll get up in the next couple of days. They were indeed excavating the graves and had removed four or five sets of human remains whilst we were there.  I ventured to talk to the burly russians conducting the dig (they certainly didn't give the impression of archeologists!) - I kept asking if the remains were SS and indeed as everyone has always suggested they are.  One of the diggers even brought over an 'Erkennungsmarke' (a German dog-tag) on which you could make out some sort of name or regiment and the very clear 'SS' runes.  It also stated it was a Feldgendarmerie - military police unit.  Erkennungsmarkes are designed to be broken in two once the wearer is dead, so that one half remains with the body and the other is sent to the regiment HQ or similar to be recorded.  The one that he showed me had been split.
Anyway, the guys doing the digging were pulling out bones all over the place and putting the remians in blue plastic sacks - you'll see in the photos when I get them up.  There were a number of skulls etc.  I don't know whether the digging was purely to clear the ground for something else or a genuine excavation but I will say there wasn't a huge amount of respect being shown to the remains  --  although considering what the Nazi's (partcularly the SS) did to Russia and indeed the palaces themselves, I can't say I felt much sorrow!
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: dmitri on October 31, 2007, 06:58:01 PM
Well who knows maybe the families will get the bones back.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Robert_Hall on October 31, 2007, 08:42:38 PM
I have the utmost respect for those who died in unform, no matter what side they fought on. I find it interesting, however, that when Soviet remains are dis-interred, the Moscow government raises all sorts of objections. When the Soviet dis-engagemnt from Eastern Europe was being negiotiated,  it was sacrosanct that  Red Army cemetary and memorials be protected  under the new regimes. Bones are just that- bones. whether imperial or common man [or woman] in uniform. Respect should be given to all who died, for whatever reason.  And Dmitry, do nor EVER tell me I need to read more.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: dmitri on November 01, 2007, 03:05:42 AM
Reading is something if you are interested in a topic you continue for a lifetime. That is the key to learning.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: snman37922 on November 14, 2007, 12:11:59 AM
What brought me to the Alexander Palace Time Machine was a search for information on a photo at this site: http://news.webshots.com/photo/2426075100089413999GxLHHN that contains several thousand WWII Russian Front photos taken by German Soldiers during the WWII, several of the photos in the collection are of Russian Churches and Palaces that are unidentified by the contributor or commentors.  There are numerous German Cemeteries including the one disusssed in this forum in the three posted photos albums. 

Other photos from the collection:
http://news.webshots.com/photo/2996712900089413999FHdHKg
http://news.webshots.com/photo/2173594100089413999mjSsrY
http://news.webshots.com/photo/2760379710089413999NVniVX
http://news.webshots.com/photo/2948029940089413999GAIObb
http://news.webshots.com/photo/2654739440089413999rlTyJT
http://news.webshots.com/photo/2177803940089413999HanVEr
http://news.webshots.com/photo/2203565450089413999uFvwTB
http://news.webshots.com/photo/2727922150089413999UEFCAv
http://news.webshots.com/photo/2584417630089413999BKfaaA
http://news.webshots.com/photo/2991678870089413999aSHVFG
http://news.webshots.com/photo/2270971550089413999hnmjCK
http://news.webshots.com/photo/2949935690089413999kvkIgj
http://news.webshots.com/photo/2625890940089413999cAgWNt
http://news.webshots.com/photo/2826851490089413999utLlLF
http://news.webshots.com/photo/2300416880089413999ZmdNga
http://news.webshots.com/photo/2889656530089413999PBqyJy
http://news.webshots.com/photo/2873328790089413999Ukjtox
http://news.webshots.com/photo/2604482660089413999eBkVce
http://news.webshots.com/photo/2912293330089413999nqNClj
http://news.webshots.com/photo/2813752270089413999pcXurC
http://news.webshots.com/photo/2798276270089413999zltMyE
http://news.webshots.com/photo/2997197860089413999GrggEP

There are many more historical photos in the collection that I have not linked.

David Foster
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Nemos on March 27, 2008, 05:25:52 AM
(http://i048.radikal.ru/0803/c4/9a4fa7fbbce7t.jpg) (http://radikal.ru/F/i048.radikal.ru/0803/c4/9a4fa7fbbce7.jpg.html)

Фото 1945-55, забор на месте немецкого кладбища ?
Photo 1945-55, fence on a place of a German cemetery?
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Nemos on May 22, 2008, 04:58:35 AM
http://pushkin-history.info/fotoalbom-2/4225.html

Карта 1943 года город Пушкин и окрестности на 2-х языках.
Map of 1943 city Pushkin and vicinities in 2 languages.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Nemos on August 21, 2008, 07:28:52 AM
http://pushkin-history.info/fotoalbom-2/7488.html

Кто - нибудь знает историю этой фотографии, макета Китайской деревни ?
Somebody knows history of this photo, a breadboard model of the Chinese village?
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Nemos on December 09, 2008, 08:25:58 AM
http://pushkin-history.info/fotoalbom/1226.html

Фото вокзала выставил здесь ... (для Джоан).
Station photo has exposed here... (For Dzhoan).
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Nemos on December 10, 2008, 07:57:41 AM
http://pushkin-history.info/fotoalbom/1226.html

Фото вокзала выставил здесь ... (для Джоан).
Station photo has exposed here... (For Dzhoan).
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Joanna on December 15, 2008, 01:08:22 PM
http://pushkin-history.info/fotoalbom/1226.html
Фото вокзала выставил здесь ... (для Джоан).
Station photo has exposed here... (For Dzhoan).

Nikolai, With your new platform, link is 404. Any way to figure out the correct link?
С вашей новой платформы, ссылка 404. Любой способ выяснить, правильный ссылку?

Joanna
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Nemos on January 03, 2009, 11:01:10 AM
http://pushkin-history.info/component/option,com_datsogallery/Itemid,143/func,detail/catid,114/id,6250/

Хорошо ...  Исправил ...
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: rgt9w on September 22, 2011, 06:26:16 PM
In reading Anna Reid's book, "Leningrad: Tragedy of a City Under Siege", she describes a number of executions of Russian citizens within the Catherine Park in Tsarskoye Selo. Are there mass graves within the Catherine Park or were these citizens subsequently re-interred after the war? The only graves I had read about prior to this were the graves of German Soldiers outside of the Alexander Palace.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: Inok Nikolai on September 05, 2012, 02:19:28 PM
Latest from Paul Gilbert:


Tsarskoye Selo in 1941 + VIDEO SLIDE SHOW
http://www.angelfire.com/pa/ImperialRussian/blog/index.blog/1440353/tsarskoye-selo-in-1941/
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: lilianna on February 01, 2013, 03:59:53 AM
Memories of the liberation of Pushkin in January 1944.

From the story of Yuri Nikulin "Two Meetings": "... When we got to the city, one of the residents had seen. Retreating Germans Pushkin almost burned. Only on the third day after the Soviet invasion of Pushkin from villages and huts in the city began to returning residents. Some carefully peering into each face, hoping to find among the men of their relatives. And one woman stood by the road and all ongoing military asked: - You do not have to part Coley Belova, my son? walked this the way we are. it and we asked. We are happy to tell her: - Do we have Nick Belov. he from Pushkin. So mother met her son. Father Nicholas Nazis executed on the first day of entry into the city.'s mother managed to escape to one of the villages, where she lived in a dugout. Kole Belov was given one day for a meeting with his mother ... "
Memories of the liberation of Pushkin in January 1944.
Title: Re: German occupation
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on March 18, 2014, 05:52:34 PM
In the killing of the Pushkin Jews mentioned in Anna Reids book this is what I have found out: Einsats Kommando 1 made up of Sonderkommando 1a and 1b killed the Jews in the Pushkin area. Sonderkommando 1b 70-80 men under Erich Ehrlinger are reported to have killed 800 jews around pushkin in the September-October 1941 period. This unit was a part of Einsatzgruppen A which operated in north Russia. Ehrlinger went into hiding after the war was arrested by the West german government in 1958 and in 1960 was sentenced to 12 years in prison he was released in 1969. He like about 25% of the officers of the Einsatzgruppen were lawyers. A number of them had Doctorates. Also note many of these men were never prosecuted. for more information you can do a wiki search on the Einsatzgruppen or see the books:
"The Field men" and "The Einsatzgruppen Reports"
Einsatzgruppen Special action groups
Einsatzkommando Special action commando

One hopes this is of some interest