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Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #60 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.
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

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David_Pritchard

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #61 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

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #62 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.
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

David_Pritchard

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #63 on: August 07, 2006, 07:59:29 PM »


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.



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, 1945–1959
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 7–11 (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]
« Last Edit: August 07, 2006, 08:25:04 PM by David_Pritchard »

David_Pritchard

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #64 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?

Offline vladm

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #65 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.
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David_Pritchard

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #66 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?.


David_Pritchard

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #67 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.


David_Pritchard

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #68 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.]

Offline Douglas

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #69 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
« Last Edit: August 07, 2006, 09:59:19 PM by Douglas »

Offline vladm

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #70 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.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2006, 10:57:50 PM by vladm »
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Offline vladm

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #71 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
« Last Edit: August 07, 2006, 10:54:54 PM by vladm »
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Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #72 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.
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

Offline vladm

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #73 on: August 08, 2006, 12:13:14 AM »
Robert,
will this map: http://www.mapsofpa.com/18thcentury/1763homann.jpg change your believe about Louisiana?
You can't avoid our past.
Virtual Pushkin / Tsarskoye Selo

David_Pritchard

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #74 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/División Azul Española
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