In March 1942 my great grandparents were informed that their eldest son, Heinrich, had been killed in action during a patrol operation in the area of Krasnaya-Ghorka, in the swamps and pine forests south of Leningrad in Russia. He was the first of their three sons they would lose during the war, the other two were killed in action in 1944 and 1945.
They were told that Heinrich had been buried on a divisional burial ground in a place known as Glubotschka, 12 kilometres south-west of Tosno. For my great grandparents these names were just as alien and difficult to place as they were for me, when I started researching Heinrich’s military career in 2006.
While at the time of Heinrich’s death the cemetery lay more or less safe behind German lines, that changed when the Soviets opened their offensive to relieve Leningrad in January 1944. Glubotschka was overrun and it soon became forgotten, fell into disarray and was reclaimed by nature shortly afterwards. As the village itself, like so many others in the region, was never reoccupied after the war it did not take long to disappear off the maps completely. Glubotschka became the name of a region, which could only found on some obscure Soviet-era maps.
Seen at Free North Carolina