Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Russian Patriot

I picked up this book for just $8.00 brand new over the Christmas holidays. It's the recollections of Sigismund Diczbalis focusing mainly on his WW2 experiences. I really enjoyed this book of a true survivor who was incredibly lucky to survive it all. His story is certainly filled with lucky breaks and some incredible chances and risks he took to survive.
It's starts with joining the Red Army in Leningrad then captivity by the Germans then in military service for the Germans. I have not seen much material on Russians in German service so it's a subject I was keen to find out more about. On the military side of things Sigismund spent a lot of times on Motorbikes as recon and messenger and was also a Sniper. It is probably not entirely accurate to say he was in German military service as he was in a Russian Unit on the German side. The ROA (of which he was in) eventually helped evict the Germans from Prague in 1944 near the end of the war. However with the Red Army approaching the city turned their backs on them as the Reds had declared them as Traitors to the Mother Land....despite participating in the brutal street fighting in the Prague uprising. The story takes incredible turns as he ends up in the hands of the SMERSH (Death to Spies) but he goes on to escape again. It's a great read and Sigismund like me now lives in Australia after emigrating shortly after WW2. Amazing true story.


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