Author Topic: German occupation  (Read 341910 times)

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Offline vladm

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German occupation
« 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 División Azul), also known as 250. Infanterie-Division.


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Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #1 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.





Offline vladm

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2006, 11:40:54 PM »
German side
96 Infantry-Division (Part of XXXXII /42/ Armeekorps)

Under command of Generalfeldmarschall Ernst Busch  (Jan 1940 - 12 Oct 1943)
121 Infantry-Division



250 Infantry-Division
Division of Spanish volunteers


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
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Offline Sarushka

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2006, 07:35:42 AM »
From the APTM, a photo of the Alexander Palace after the German occupation:

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Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2006, 08:10:30 AM »




I was wondering which room in the AP is this?

Offline Sarushka

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2006, 10:11:00 AM »
Sorry, no idea. I got the photo from Laura Mabee, so you might ask her.  :)
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Offline vladm

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2006, 11:20:14 AM »
Alexander Palace pictures from 1944:



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Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #7 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.
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Offline Douglas

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #8 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

Offline vladm

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #9 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 Leningrad’s 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.
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Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #10 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.
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Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #11 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....

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #12 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.

Offline vladm

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #13 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.

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Offline vladm

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #14 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 didn’t 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 Patiño'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:




A memorial on the place, where actual battle in 1944 took place.


http://www.north-front.ru/English%20version/pushkin%20260102_eng.htm
You can't avoid our past.
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