GRAVE NUMBER: 840
EMBLEM: SOVIET STAR
7TH FEBRUARY 1945
According to information gathered from the Russian Embassy – in total there are eighteen (18) Soviet war graves registered across the UK. What is HMP Guy’s Marsh Prison today – was used as a Military Hospital during WWII. Private Vladimir Duschin (Владимир Душин) of the Soviet Red Army (1916-1942) is buried in Shaftsbury Borough Cemetery (Grave Number: 840). He died on Tuesday, February 6th 1945 in Guy’s Marsh Military Hospital (and was buried the next day – February 7th, 1945) – having been a POW in a Nazi German Concentration Camp. Soviet POWs were considered ‘sub-human’ by the Hitlerite regime and treated with appalling barbarity (which included illegal military, biological, chemical and medical experimentation).
Starvation and slave-labour was the norm for these men (and women) captured en masse during the early days of the 1941 Nazi German invasion of the USSR! Indeed, Private Vladimir Duschin is believed to have been ‘liberated’ by the British Army from a Nazi German Concentration Camp during late 1944 or early 1945, and was in such appallingly bad physical condition that he was transferred from the Allied medical care in theatre, to Guys Marsh Military Hospital which became famous for caring for, healing and rehabilitating the former POWs of the equally brutal Prison Camps perpetuated by the fascist regime of Imperial Japan! Despite all this expert care and attention, Private Vladimir Duschin eventually succumbed to his injuries and long-term neglect sustained at the hands of the Nazi Germans, and passed away aged around 29-years-old.
There is an added complication involving the fact that Guys Marsh Military Hospital also treated primarily British, American and Soviet POWs who had been held by the Imperial Japanese and who had suffered terrible psychological and physical abuse! It is believed that prior to the Soviet Union declaring war on Imperial Japan on August 9th, 1945 – the Nazi Germans would ship tens of thousands of Soviet POWs to Japanese-occupied Northeast China – where they were worked to death or used for military and medical experiments. As V. Duschin was ‘liberated’, rescued, brought to England and had died at least six-months prior to the Soviet ‘liberation’ of Northeast China (and the eventual surrender of Imperial Japan on September 3rd, 1945). However, V Duschin is recorded as being rescued by the British Army during its drive across Northwest Europe – which must have been around December 1944 – January 1945, but the question remains ‘where’? There were hundreds of sub-camps of various sizes that the Nazi Germans ‘liquidated’ (that is ‘massacred’) as the Allies approached and it could be that V Duschin had been originally moved into Western Europe to work before his health failed. More research is required.