2014: Still wearing their boots and helmets, the Germans who fell fighting Russians at the Gates of Berlin

German soldier’s bodies, from the famed ‘Battle of Seelow Heights’, have been uncovered; the bodies still donned their helmets and boots.

The Association for the Recovery of the Fallen is a team of archaeologists, and they discovered the skeletal remains of soldiers who have died whilst defending the Capital, Berlin, from Red Army soldiers towards the end of World War 2.

The dig took place in Brandenburg (Klessin) and unearthed many items, such as helmets, weapons, boots and bones of the men that fought and died protecting the Third Reich.

A plain wooden cross was placed upon the site where the skeletons were unearthed, as a sign of respect from the Association. They also added a traditional German helmet they’d earlier found, and set it atop the cross.

Marshal Georgi Zhukov was the commander of the infamous Red Army which attacked the Gates of Berlin and this attack comprised of close to 1,000,000 soldiers. In contrast, there were only approximately 110,000 troops from the 9th Army defending the position of the Germans.

It was not until day three that the final formation of those making up Seelow Heights broke; this left nothing but split divisions (German) between the Berlin chancellery and the Red Army. The Russian fatalities are thought to be anywhere from 5,000-33,000 whilst the Germans lost 12,000.

The capital of Germany was surrounded by April 23rd and the final stage of the Battle of Berlin began. Within the next two weeks, the War was pretty much over, and Adolf Hitler was declared dead. Most of the unfortunate German troops that fell in battle remain where they died, buried deep within the soil and mud, until now where efforts are being taken to unearth them.
The Association for the Recovery of the Fallen was set up in 1992 and is made up of 200 volunteers from all around the world (Russia, Germany, Holland, Switzerland and Ukraine). The association displays a statement on its personal website that states:

‘We are searching for the nameless dead, who lay without commemorative stones in the mass graves of War or were buried somewhere, as individuals and are considered as missing. We want to restore people to their name, which was taken from them over 60 years ago. We are not looking for soldiers of the Wehrmacht, not for U.S. GI’s, Marines, soldiers of the red army or Polish Military – not for infantry, soldiers, sailors or airmen – not for Good or Bad.

We are looking for people – Sons, Fathers, and Brothers. Fallen soldiers are also victims – victims of a gruesome war, which they had not caused and had not wanted’

It is a touching statement that can be felt by anyone that knows the history of the Second World War.