History 07/01/20 How many soldiers of Luxembourg died on the Eastern front
Hitler’s invasion of Russia by quantity of the involved peoples compare with the Napoleonic “invasion of a motley array of”. On the side of the Third Reich fought almost all of Europe, including soldiers of the “dwarf state” of Luxembourg.
the Grand Duchy under the thumb of the Nazis
Luxembourg, a significant part of the population speaks German, which at first was not considered by the Nazis as an object for another “Anschluss”. Hitler promised to preserve the independence of the Duchy. However, on 10 may 1940 the Wehrmacht invaded Luxembourg in the framework of the implementation of the plan “Gelb”, involves the simultaneous occupation of the Benelux countries and further capture of France. Panzer corps Guderian had no problems destroying the weak fortifications on the border of Luxembourg, however, the army and gendarmerie of the state still tried to resist. 7 Luxembourgers were injured, 75 military surrendered. Grand Duchess Charlotte fled the country, and 11 may in Luxembourg was fully occupied.
the Germans annexed the “dwarf state”, making it part of the Gau Koblenz-Trier (from 1942 year, the cooperatives are also helping). The country has lived under Nazi laws, had banned the use of the French language, began the destruction of the Jews. However, the majority of the population of Luxembourg is not too happy “Germanization”.
In August 1942 on the territory of Luxembourg has begun the mobilization of the Wehrmacht for those 1920-1927, he was born. First, it was assumed that it would be voluntary, but those wishing to serve almost was not. There were 11-12 of thousands of male Luxembourgers of draft age, but one third of them managed to evade service in the army of a foreign country. Three and a half thousand mobilized subsequently deserted.
located in the North of the Duchy of Wiltz the news of the call provoked Stachka, paralyzing the military-industrial production in the country. However, the Germans quickly crushed the rebellion and restored the operation of the plant.
Luxembourgers in Russia
On the Eastern front, the fate of the soldiers from Luxembourg have developed differently, depending on which military unit they got. Separate groups of inhabitants of the Duchy were not.
Many Luxembourgers as soon as reasonably practicable to the side of the red Army. In 1943 the government-in-exile, writes researcher Alexander Friedman, urged soldiers of the Duchy to surrender to the allies.
In 1944, the writer Ilya Ehrenburg met a defector on the front near Minsk. “A young boy-the farmer” from Monaco, as he recalled, the writer, asked him to write a letter to the Grand Duchess, in which he said about the act.
Dead and prisoners of war
In total, the war killed about 3 thousand inhabitants of Luxembourg who fought for the Germans (2.5 thousand up to September 1944), 1.5 thousand people were missing. Thus, the country lost 1.5% of its citizens.
captured by the Russian hit 1660 Luxembourgers. One of them died 92. Five residents of the Grand Duchy was involved in the crimes of the Nazis, he was in the GULAG.
Grand Duchess Charlotte in 1943 wrote letters to Moscow, urging the Communist leadership to let the Luxembourgers from captivity, because they, according to her, were drafted against their will. April 11, 1945 she appealed to “all-Union elder” Mikhail Kalinin with the request to release 2 thousands of former Wehrmacht soldiers mobilized in the Duchy. This request was heard. In September 1945 Kalinin wrote to the Duchess that 1309 Luxembourgers go home immediately, and several hundred people – in a short time.
Destiny is caught in Soviet captivity Luxembourgers were on the minds of the inhabitants of the Duchy for many years after the war. For example, in 1963, in connection with the publication of “found” in Russia, the German Thomas Zimmermann, newspaper Lëtzebuerger Journal wondered whether the Luxembourg soldiers of the Wehrmacht be in Siberia. In this regard, the Ministry of foreign Affairs of the Duchy even sent a request to the Soviet Union, but received a negative response.
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