The granddaughter of a Soviet pilot found the grave of his grandfather in Spain in 82 years after his death

© Photo : courtesy of the Embassy of Russia in Spain Memorial ceremony at the cemetery, the cemetery of Santa Cruz de La Zarza, SpainThe granddaughter of a Soviet pilot found the grave of his grandfather in Spain in 82 years after his death© Photo : courtesy of the Embassy of Russia in Spain

In the cemetery of Santa Cruz de La Sarsa, a small town located near Toledo, among the monuments is one with the inscription in Russian: «In memory of Soviet military pilots killed in Spain during the Civil war of 1936-1939 and buried in this cemetery». It seven names. One of them — Theodore Dombrowski.

After 82 years after his death and half a century of searching the tomb for the first time visited relatives — granddaughter and great-granddaughter of a Soviet pilot who fought for the Spanish Republic.

«When grandfather died, my father was only one year old, he did not remember, and saw maybe one or two times. But his whole life was a tribute to his father, he went to serve, was a military doctor. Wanted to find the burial place, but did not live to see this day», — told RIA Novosti the granddaughter of Theodore Dombrowski Irina Fomina.

In Spain she flew with her daughter Eugenia.

First to see the photo of his grandfather, which she showed members of the Russian Embassy in Spain, she was silent. Then she said, «How much he looks like his father.» Here she learned that grandfather was posthumously awarded the order of the red banner, and that this order is preserved in the Russian state military-historical archive in Moscow.

«Father began to look for my grandfather in 1956. He appealed to the military registration and enlistment offices, various archives, but he managed only to learn that ashes rest somewhere in the Toledo area, nothing more. Dad wanted to come here, to try to find the burial place of this mass grave, but because he was a soldier, rose to the rank of Colonel, was permitted to travel abroad. However, just two years before his father’s death, we accidentally found out about the book by Sergei Abrosov «Air war in Spain», where there are a few lines about the Navigator Feodor Dombrowski, about the battle in which he was mortally wounded,» — said Irina.

On the sixth of December 1936 was an air battle near the town of Talavera de La Reina, Toledo. Dąbrowski was wounded and died the next day in a local hospital.

The squadron, based in Santa Cruz de La Zarza, were about 20 Soviet pilots. Several of them died. That they buried in the municipal cemetery, the Russian Embassy has learned from the Spanish Colonel Caballero del Nuevo a few years ago. His mother was a nurse at a local hospital and is buried in the cemetery died in the hospital pilots. She told her son that there are buried several Soviet soldiers. However, the names of only two of them managed to establish exactly — Lieutenant Feodor Dombrowski and Peter Zharsky.

In addition, it is assumed that there may be buried, the technician of the second rank Isai Boars, Lieutenant Dmitry Foresters, senior Lieutenant Vasily Arzhanov, Lieutenant Ivan Roshchin, Lieutenant Jacob Serov.

In Santa Cruz there are two houses, inhabited by pilots, in the city hall have their photo on the background of one of them. You know the place where there was an airfield, next to the underground shelter. City hall is going to restore this memorable place.

From the don cemetery in Moscow, where they buried her father, Mr Dabrowski, Irina has brought to the grandfather’s grave a handful of earth. And laid it on the burial place a few sprigs of Russian sage.

In a commemorative ceremony at the cemetery of Santa Cruz de La Sarsa was attended by Russian diplomats, and the leadership of the town, and representatives of the Spanish public organizations that are engaged in the search for mass graves and establish the names of the volunteers who fought in the «Blue division» on the Eastern front.

Tolerance and the need to remember all the victims, regardless of what ideals and whose side they fought in the worst period of the twentieth century, before and during the Second world war — this was said by all who have come this day on a cemetery.

The granddaughter of a Soviet pilot found the grave of his grandfather in Spain in 82 years after his death© RIA Novosti / Georgiy to Salempirates in Photobacterium told about the first title of hero of the Soviet Union in a war,»Santa Cruz de La Zarza at the forefront puts the ideas of tolerance and peaceful coexistence. It is no coincidence that in our city there are three memorials, which remind of the victims of this madness, Civil war in Spain, which became a rehearsal for the Second world war,» said mayor Luis Alberto Hernandez.

Two of these memorials are located near one another in the cemetery. Near the monument to Soviet pilots a year ago, a monument on which more than 70 names of those who were executed or died in prisons after the Civil war during Franco’s regime. The monument to those who fought on the opposite side, stands in the centre of the city. It was installed during the reign of Francisco Franco in the 1950-ies, on it written the names of those who died fighting on the nationalist side, from the hands of the Republicans.

© Photo : courtesy of the Embassy of Russia in Spain, granddaughter and great-Granddaughter of the Navigator Theodore Dombrowski at the grave of Soviet military pilots killed in Spain during the Civil war of 1936-1939, in the cemetery at the city of Santa Cruz de La Zarza The granddaughter of a Soviet pilot found the grave of his grandfather in Spain in 82 years after his death© Photo : courtesy of the Embassy of Russia in Spain, granddaughter and great-Granddaughter of the Navigator Theodore Dombrowski at the grave of Soviet military pilots killed in Spain during the Civil war of 1936-1939, in the cemetery at the city of Santa Cruz de La Zarza

«I have no doubt that they are all, on whichever side was, wanted to leave us, the descendants, a better world and a better country. And therefore defended their ideals,» said the mayor.

© Photo : courtesy of the Embassy of Russia in Spain the Soviet lactic Theodore DombrowskiThe granddaughter of a Soviet pilot found the grave of his grandfather in Spain in 82 years after his death© Photo : courtesy of the Embassy of Russia in Spain the Soviet lactic Theodore Dombrowski

The granddaughter of a Soviet pilot found the grave of his grandfather in Spain in 82 years after his death© RIA Novosti / Victoria Ivanovden memory: a Russian historian in Paris looking for the characters in the photos of the WWII»Russia And Spain know what a civil war. It’s probably the worst that can happen to any country. This experience should be a lesson for all of us. I think that the lesson we learned. It is very important to remember soldiers who have fallen in past wars. But these lessons need to be reminded. Some politicians are guided only by their ambition, they saw the war only on TV screens and believe that they can be used as a tool of international politics, if they are conducted far from their yachts and mansions and do not relate to loved ones. It is our duty to prevent these dangerous trends. And I’m glad that Spain and Russia have an understanding of this need,» said senior counselor of the Russian Embassy in Spain Russian Mikhail.

The representative of the organization Indortes, which participated along with the Russian Embassy in the establishment of the place of burial and names of the Soviet pilots, General Ortigosa said that for him «the honour to attend the event in memory of the Russian soldiers who died during the Civil war in Spain, fighting for their ideals».

«We are grateful to the Russian people and the authorities of St. Petersburg and Novgorod for the support they provide to us in search of victims of the Spanish soldiers of «Blue division» that also fought for their ideals. And as respect for the Russian people: we come to the cemetery to honor the memory of Soviet pilots, resting here. This is the best way to overcome the difference in positions that led to the confrontation,» the General said.

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