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Author, film researcher and member of the Swedish Military History Commission.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Stalingrad Swede Alive

Today it is exactly seventy years since Hitler issued one of his most fateful directives, the one to attack Stalingrad. "The early destruction of the city of Stalingrad is especially important", to quote Hitler´s directive.

There is a special ring to the name of Stalingrad. I reckon this was true even before the name became synonymous wíth one of the bloodiest battles of mankind. I recently learnt that the only Swede known to have fought in Stalingrad, Oskar Friberg from Estonia, is still alive. I mention him in Swedes at War in the chapter "Stalin´s Swedish Soldiers" as he was one of them, he had been enlisted into the Red Army.

Sadly, but understandably, he is not that keen to talk about the subject. However, I have seen the documents proving that he was there, thanks to a relative of his in Sweden.

Amazingly, the never issued "Stalingrad has been taken"-poster that I have blogged about earlier seems to have been made by a Russian living in Norway during the war (see the first comment under that post). Who knows more about him and his fate?

Swedish readers of this blog post can take note that Oskar Friberg is not mentioned in the Swedish editions of Swedes at War, as I was not aware of him when those were written. The English version of the book is the most comprehensive one.

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