Dutch researchers have uncovered the identity of seven Georgian prisoners of war who were killed by the Germans during World War II using DNA evidence.
The men were buried at the Soviet Field of Honour cemetery at Amersfoort as ‘unknown Soviet soldiers’, along with 865 other Russian soldiers, some 250 of whom have now been identified by their DNA.
The research has now shown that Ilja Beroeasjvili, Semjon Vanisjvili and the five other Georgians were part of the Russian army fighting the Germans. They were taken prisoner in 1941 and forced to work for the German army.
When they were caught stealing hand grenades for the Dutch resistance at a depot in Beverwijk they were summarily executed. Their bodies were brought to the Soviet Field of Honour after the war.
Ilja Beroeasjvili’s grandson Gia will now travel to Amersfoort from Georgia to visit his grave. ‘After all this time wondering what had happened to him I am moved to tears at the thought that I will be at his grave side next week and that we finally have peace,’ he said.
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