born March 6, 1918
Yuriy Andreevich Kuznetsov, Murmansk 1938 (private collection)
Yuriy Andreevich Kuznetsov grew up in an orphanage in Murmansk (Russia). He attended a teachers college and then received training as a lieutenant in the Red Army in Moscow. After the German invasion of the Soviet Union, he was sent to Kiev. In the battle for Kiev, Yuriy Kuznetsov was seriously wounded and taken captive.
Yuriy Andreevich Kuznetsov as a lieutenant with his aunt, 1940 (private collection)
Yuriy Kuznetsov was able to escape from a prisoner of war camp on Polish territory, but then was recaptured and imprisoned. The SS sent him as a prisoner of war first to the Majdanek and Gross-Rosen concentration camps and then to Mittelbau-Dora. In late 1944, Yuriy Kuznetsov was registered at the Flossenbürg concentration camp under the prisoner number 10951. He was put to work in armaments manufacturing at the Messerschmitt factory, and later was transferred to the Zwickau subcamp. In April 1945, the SS evacuated the camp. Yuriy Kuznetsov was forced to march toward the south. In Bohemia, the SS separated the prisoners by nationality. Yuriy Kuznetsov’s group was led into the forest. The Germans then opened fi re with machine guns. Yuriy Kuznetsov was also shot. The Czech prisoners who were assigned to bury the bodies noticed that he was still alive and rescued him. Yuriy Kuznetsov is the only known survivor of the massacre in which roughly 200 were killed.
Yuriy Andreevich Kuznetsov (second from right) with comrades from the Red Army, 1945 (private collection)
Yuriy Andreevich Kuznetsov with his wife, 1948 (private collection)
Yuriy Kuznetsov returned to the Soviet Union and remained with the Red Army. As an officer, he was put in charge of Japanese and German prisoners of war, and later was put in charge of Soviet prisoners. He studied law while stationed in Siberia. Today Yuriy Kuznetsov lives in Tula (Central Russia).
Yuriy Andreevich Kuznetsov with students from Vietnam, Tula 2005 (private collection)