18 June 2007

Paul Haupt after 60 years again in the Caucasus

Last year former German Soldier and Prisoner of War Paul Haupt from Westfalen in Germany came after 60 years for a visit to Georgia to the places, where he had spent 4,5 years. His welcome by Georgian citizens was so heartly, that he often could not withstand weeping. The irony was, that he had never been on the Eastern Front, but got catched short after the war in Bavaria and got submitted with thousands of others to the Soviet Army on Czech Territory.

Soviet Army Doctors evaluated the physical conditions of the imprisoned soldiers and signed one dash on the uniform for the healthiest, 2 dashes for the medium and 3 for the physically weakest. When Paul realized (he got one dash) and counted 1 and 1 together, he quickly added himself 2 more dashes and had the luck not been sent to Siberia (1 dash), Kazakhstan (2 dashes) but with 3 dashes to Georgia. The prisoners didn't know their destination, but after weeks they saw the mountains of the Northern Caucasus, then the Caspian Sea, then Baku, then Rustavi and Tbilisi and shortly later his final camp in Chiatura in Western Georgia. It was a small camp with not more than 200 prisoners, the guards from Central Asia. Paul, small from stature, often managed to climb through a whole in the fence outside and to barter cement with vegetables, fruits, bread and even wine. Often he got invited by Georgians, who gave him Khatshapuri, Nuts, Churchkhela.

See a couple of photos from his visit to Western Georgia here:


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