73 years after having been buried at the Soviet Military Cemetery in Leusden, the soldier in grave number 391 has finally been given a face. His photo is on his POW card that today came into possession of the Soviet Military Cemetery Foundation.
Twenty years ago researcher Remco Reiding managed to identify the soldier as Alexander Petrovich Petrov from the village of Chumaki in the Russian province of Belgorod. His family was traced in 2004. At that time Reiding informed them that Alexander was no longer missing in action but interred in Leusden. However his relatives did not have a photo of him.
Now Alexander has finally been given a face. He had just turned 18 when war broke out and he had to go to the front to defend the country. After a year’s fighting the Germans captured Alexander on 4 August 1942 in the port of Sebastopol on the Krim. They took him to Camp IV B in Mühlberg am Elbe.
In that camp the Germans gave him a number (194471) and recorded his personal details on an ID card. They also took a photo of Alexander. He appears with his head shorn. His bright eyes, floppy ears and boyish face draw particular attention. His name and number are written on the sign beneath the portrait.
Alexander spent almost three years in German captivity. On 22 May 1945, three days before his 22nd birthday, he died of tuberculosis in a hospital bed in Bad Lippspringe. He was buried in the Dutch town of Margraten and in 1947 reburied at the Soviet Military Cemetery in Leusden.
Alexander is up for adoption. If you want to make sure he is no longer forgotten, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.