German soldier found after 63 years

  • 2007-12-10
  • In cooperation with BNS
TALLINN - Hunters on Estonia'swestern island of Saaremaa have discovered the remains of a German soldierkilled in 1944, the daily SL Ohtuleht reports.

The remains discovered in the woods near a World War IIdefensive line on the Sorve peninsula were lying practicallyon the ground and only a few meters from a well-troddenpath.

"The boots were sticking out from beneath moss," JannoVahter, a war history enthusiast, told the paper. "Thesoldier had apparently fallen during retreat, because he hadnot been buried. Moss had covered the bones."

The dog tag was found nearby, so the soldier can be identified. Further finds included a wedding ring, shavinggear, a notebook, pencils, a comb and a mirror. There was noweapon or medals. The cartridge belt was full of ammunitionand the knapsack contained cartridges and a grenade. Thelatter was taken away by explosive ordnance disposal experts.

It has been established by now that the soldier was amember of the 68th regiment of the 23rd infantry division.

Vahter said the unit had been dispatched to recapture the Gulf of Finland island of Suursaari (Hogland) from theFinns. "Most fighters were taken prisoner or killed. Howthis man ended up in Saaremaa at the other end of Estoniaisa mystery."

The fallen fighter will be reburied in the Narva militarycemetery.