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Germany: Remains of Soviet and German soldiers dug up00:56

Germany: Remains of Soviet and German soldiers dug up

Germany, Klessin
April 15, 2013 at 16:57 GMT +00:00 · Published

Germany: Remains of Soviet and German soldiers dug up

Remains and belongings of fallen Soviet and German soldiers from World War II have been unearthed in the east German town of Klessin.

As of Saturday already 32 fallen soldiers have been excavated along with at least 100 personal belongings.

Volunteers from the Association to Recover the Fallen in Eastern Europe (VBGO) started working on Friday, they then recovered bones and personal possessions of soldiers who died in April 1945, only days before the end of war. The VGBO is organised by volunteers who want to give dignified burials to dead soldiers and began in 1992.

It is still unclear where the found remains of the dead will be buried. A cemetery a few kilometres from Klessin is already home to over 4,000 fallen Soviet soldiers killed in the Battle of the Seelow Heights.

The organisation's chairman from VGBO says it is important that his workers are all from Germany, Russia and Ukraine, as during World War II their countries had opposed each other on the battlefield.

The area of Klessin is close to the Polish border and was part of the Battle of Berlin between February and March 1945. The Battle was led by around one million Soviet soldiers who were trying to break through the "Gates of Berlin", just west of the Oder river from Poland, and the last major defensive line outside of Berlin.

Tens of thousands of men on both sides were killed from April 16-19 and helped clear the way for a Soviet advance to Berlin. The Soviet victory then fell weeks later May 2, 1945.

Germany: Remains of Soviet and German soldiers dug up00:56
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Germany: Remains of Soviet and German soldiers dug up

Remains and belongings of fallen Soviet and German soldiers from World War II have been unearthed in the east German town of Klessin.

As of Saturday already 32 fallen soldiers have been excavated along with at least 100 personal belongings.

Volunteers from the Association to Recover the Fallen in Eastern Europe (VBGO) started working on Friday, they then recovered bones and personal possessions of soldiers who died in April 1945, only days before the end of war. The VGBO is organised by volunteers who want to give dignified burials to dead soldiers and began in 1992.

It is still unclear where the found remains of the dead will be buried. A cemetery a few kilometres from Klessin is already home to over 4,000 fallen Soviet soldiers killed in the Battle of the Seelow Heights.

The organisation's chairman from VGBO says it is important that his workers are all from Germany, Russia and Ukraine, as during World War II their countries had opposed each other on the battlefield.

The area of Klessin is close to the Polish border and was part of the Battle of Berlin between February and March 1945. The Battle was led by around one million Soviet soldiers who were trying to break through the "Gates of Berlin", just west of the Oder river from Poland, and the last major defensive line outside of Berlin.

Tens of thousands of men on both sides were killed from April 16-19 and helped clear the way for a Soviet advance to Berlin. The Soviet victory then fell weeks later May 2, 1945.