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  Thursday, July 18, 2019
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Ethnic Germans in Russia could not do much to fight nazism as the Soviet regime was persecuting them, cruelly and unjustly
German colonists' autonomous republic on the Volga was eliminated, August 1941, and 440,000 were deported to Kazakhstan and Siberia. All ethnic German soldiers, roughly 33,500, were demobilized from the Soviet Army, 1942-43, to do hard labor in Chelyabinsk, Urals, and many places in Siberia and European Russia's north. A mere hundred-refugees from nazi Germany-were allowed to serve in the Soviet Army. Stefan Doernberg was one of them. Professor Doernberg, prominent historian, now lives in Berlin. The Moscow-based weekly, Vremya Novostei interviewed him about his eventful life. His father, a Jew of communist convictions, was arrested in spring 1933, and his home ransacked. The family escaped by hair's breadth to settle in Paris, where sympathizers of the Red Relief organization helped them to go on to the Soviet Union, where they found a new home in Moscow. Once there, Herr Doernberg, Sr., was arrested again-by the NKVD secret police that time, to go through the Gulag camps. Young Stefan finished a Soviet secondary school and volunteered for the front in June 1941, within days after nazi Germany attacked the Soviet Union. He was with General Chuikov's valiant army, which was defending Stalingrad in one of the most dramatic battles of World War II, and later on liberated nazi-occupied Poland and took part in the storm of Berlin. Stefan was a translator and interpreter for a unit that engaged in propaganda in the enemy midst. He entered Berlin with Soviet liberator soldiers, May 1945. Stefan never considered himself traitor to his native land-he was fighting nazism, which was equally cruel on Germans, Jews, Russians and all other Europeans. Today, Professor Doernberg is one of the few surviving eyewitnesses of WWII victory days in Berlin.
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