The Russians are coming!’/’Die Russen kommen’ – Museum Grabow

The traveling photo exhibition “The Russians are coming” can now also be seen at the Museum Grabow.

A photographic treasure of portrait photographs of Russian soldiers, which were created by Wittenburg photographer Elli Hartmann after the end of the Second World War. The negative glass panels were discovered by chance and edited by Henry Gawlik (head of the Hagenower Museum) to an exhibition.

It is conceivable that as in Wittenburg also in Grabow Russian occupation soldiers wrote letters home along with photos and some of these can be seen along with photos taken by local photographers.

On May 2, 1945 American troops crossed the Elbe and occupied Ludwigslust. From the east rolled The Russian army rolled in putting an end to the miscreant Hitler’s so-called ‘1000 year-Reich. Thereupon the German troops who were left Grabow gave up and white surrender flags were hoisted in most houses and buildings.

There was no open resistance movement no active planned city defense by the last German city commander.

Most Grabowers had hoped to be ‘liberated’ by the Americans rather than the Russians because at this point In the war even most Germans were aware of the wild-scale atrocities that the Nazi criminal evil-doers had  committed upon the Russian population and were afraid of any possible retribution. In fact the war was already over with the coward reprobate already having killed himself on the 30th of April 3 days before.

The Red Army took possession of the city, with everything Joy and suffering of the victors and vanquished. Many houses and apartments were taken by the Russian occupiers, many who had not slept in a normal bed for the last 3 years!

Added to this were innumerable refugee camps from the many refugees fleeing from the former German eastern territories, which blocked the streets. Local Grabow families took refugees into their homes and after circa 3 wild days with house fires, some shooting, some rape, and suicides the situation calmed down. This had more to do with the end of the war celebrations on the one side and stark retribution sought by former prisoners and inmates newly released from local concentration camps.

The Soviets appointed the city commander Captain Luka P. Boldin.

The pictures shown from the meeting of the Russians and Americans meeting were created by military photographers of the US Army on 3 May 1945 in Grabow.

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