May 11, 2021: "Germany and Russia have to develop their relationships responsibly", the Consul General of Russian Federation in Bonn, Germany Alexey Dronov declared. The diplomat took office two months ago, so the event in the cemetery of honor in Stuckenbrok was one of the first in his new position. The Consul General laid a wreath on the occasion of May 8th, as the Second World War ended 76 years ago.
Alexey Dronov mentioned the history of the concentration camp for Soviet prisoners of war and slave labors. "This cemetery serves as a reminder that these events must not be repeated. We mourn and pay high tribute to the victims", the Consul General concluded. He also thanked the people who maintained order at Stuckenbrock's cemetery.
"The memorial is also a symbol for indissoluble ties between the two countries. It is important to stress the common features and maintain a close relationship with each other", Mayor Hubert Erichlandwehr responded.
Among the guests of the event were representatives of "Forum Russische Kultur Gütersloh". The history of Taganrog's cooperation with this NGO goes back to early meetings in 2009
. In April 2014, the Taganrog Municipal Chamber Orchestra directed by Alexander Gurevich was invited by the Forum Russische Kultur Gütersloh and gave concerts in Bielefeld-Senne, Steinhagen, Gütersloh and Bonn
. In 2019 a delegation from Gütersloh presented an old Italian accordion
to Taganrog Municipal Chamber Orchestra directed by Alexander Gurevich.
The chairman of "Forum Russische Kultur Gütersloh" Dr. Günther Bönig regretted that the exact number of victims is still unknown. As for Stuckenbrok, the lists of victims had been ignored for a long time. To date, the documentation center of the memorial recognized only 18000 victims. According to Dr. Bönig, some of persons who request information on their fallen relatives are Russians.
Due to the Nazi aggression, the Soviet Union had lost 27 million people. "Russia has nonetheless forgiven Germany. Otherwise, the reunification of Germany would have been impossible", the chairman said.
The Consul General of Russian Federation in Bonn Alexey Dronov, Mayor Hubert Erichlandwehr and the chairman of the Forum Russische Kultur Gütersloh Dr. Günther Bönig laid wreaths at the memorial to commemorate the Soviet victims.