Next of kin found after 75 years

More than 75 years after he left for the front, Tamara finally knows what happened to her father. He lies buried in the War Cemetery in Leusden.

Researcher Remco Reiding found a strange number on his mobile phone yesterday. “From Latvia. When I listened to the voicemail I got goose bumps.”

On the other side of the telephone were a daughter and granddaughter of Aleksej Andrejevitsj Andrejev, one of the Soviet soldiers who are interred in the Soviet War Cemetery in Leusden. “The granddaughter had bought her very first computer and keyed in the name of her grandfather. That is how she ended up on the website of our foundation.”

For over fifteen years the family could not be found, despite strenuous efforts. Not a single trace was left in their village, that the Nazis bombed to smithereens during the war. And not a shred of information found in Belorussia where the family supposedly disappeared to. Whereas Reiding succeeded in tracing the next of kin of more than two hundred soldiers. “Now it turns out that during the war they had been relocated to a camp in Belorussia and afterwards went to live in Latvia.”

The difficult, protracted search makes the positive outcome also very special for Reiding. “Each time it is wonderful to tell children that their father is no longer missing in action, but I have been looking for this particular family for so long. I am happy that I can finally put this unsolved mystery to rest.”

Now that the father has been located, daughter Tamara would like to visit his grave. The Stichting Russisch Ereveld will look for sponsors to enable her to do so.