UK: Soviet War Grave – Private V. Duschin [Владимир Душин] (1916-1945) – Soviet Forces – Shaftsbury Borough Cemetery, Dorset (Visited 31.5.2022)

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.

Aravindan Balakrishnan (1940-2022): A Great Revolutionary Leader is Laid to Rest! (5.5.2022) 

A family-member gave an outstanding speech that excellently encapsulated an extraordinary life well lived – and his Revolutionary world outlook – which was forged against the backdrop of the Malayan peoples’ heroic struggle against British imperialism (and its “reign of terror”). Although factual from beginning to end – the emotional impact upon those present was tangible – enhanced by moving accounts of the practical love and service he demonstrated to all he encountered throughout his exemplary life!  Family members made special mention of their gratitude to Comrade Bala (sometimes called ‘Ara’) – particularly for the devoted care he showed toward his sister-in-law.

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