Last survivor of WWII Georgian uprising on Texel dies, age 102

The Georgian cemetery on Texel. Photo: inyucho via Wikimedia Commons
The Georgian cemetery on Texel. Photo: inyucho via Wikimedia Commons

The last living survivor of the WWII Georgian uprising on the Wadden island of Texel died last week aged 102, his family have told the Dutch Stichting Sovjet Ereveld.

Grigor Baindoerasjvili was part of a group of Georgians who were taken prisoner on the Eastern front by the Germans in the winter of 1941-1942.

Some 800 of them decided to avoid the harsh camp conditions by working for the enemy and were sent to Texel to help improve coastal defences.

When a German defeat seemed inevitable Baindoerasjvili and his group initiated a  revolt against the Germans on April 6 1945. They were seen as traitors in their homeland and they felt this was their chance to redeem themselves. They also feared the Germans would transport them to the death camps.

A protracted and bloody battle, the last of the war on Dutch soil, ensued ending on May 20 with 514 Georgians dead, as well as dozens of Texel locals and at least 200 German soldiers.

The Texel cemetery of Hoge Berg is the final resting place of hundreds of Georgians.

Bandoerasjvili and 233 of his compatriots returnes to Georgia after the war. He had a family and 12 grandchildren. ‘God alone knows how I survived,’ he said later.

Dutch interest in the uprising never waned and Bandoerasjvili was often visited by researchers who wanted to hear his stories. One of them said that the former prisoner of war had cushions with depictions of Dutch windmills on his sofa and a painting of the Texel lighthouse on the wall.

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