The last prisoner of World War II was found in Russia in 2000
, 2022-06-21 16:04:23,
In the year 2000, the Russians finally released a prisoner of war. He wasn’t an Afghan Mujahideen, against whom the Russians had fought the most recent war. It was 74-year-old Andras Toma, a Hungarian who had fought with the Axis powers against the Soviet Union during World War II. He would be the last World War II POW released from captivity.
Before World War II kicked off, the Kingdom of Hungary aligned itself with the Axis powers as a means to pull its country out of the Great Depression. Like Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, the Hungarians adopted a strict, repressive and nationalist government. Like a good pact member, it joined Nazi Germany in its wars of conquest.
Hungarian soldiers fought alongside the Germans invading Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union. When those invasions began to fall apart, Hungary and its soldiers continued the fight for the defense of Germany, even long after defeat at the hands of the Red Army was certain. Andras Toma was one of those soldiers.
Toma was an orphan who was drafted into the Hungarian Army at age 19 in 1944. His unit was sent to fight the Soviets as they advanced through Poland. Toma fought with the German Wehrmacht at Auschwitz and Krakow. Hungary would not fall to the Red Army until April 1945, when all German units were finally pushed out. Some Hungarians fought on with the Germans, however, as they retreated into Germany.
Some 300,000 Hungarians died during World War II but Hungary was the only country to continue fighting the Red Army until the bitter end. Andras Toma was not killed. He was captured on January 11, 1945. Marched through Ukraine and Belarus, he finally ended up in a prison camp near Leningrad (today St. Petersburg). For two years, he fought illness in…
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