Tags / Special Forces
Israel Barkuk is a Ukrainian WWII veteran who fought in the Red Army against the German army.
"My division was located on a plateau in central Ukraine, which was under German attack," he said. "They were just right below us and around us. A sniper killed my commander, so I was promoted the commanding commissar of a full battalion of 300 men."
Thomas Louis Gilzean, a Scottish WWII veterans who fought both in Asia as part of a commando outfit and in Europe against the Germans.
"In Benghazi we lived inside a very nice hotel with my unit," he said. "We fought there until March 1941, when the Germans invaded with Rommel. We soon had to retreat but before we booby-trapped the hotel, and took the fireplace with us. It looked expensive."
Ante Vukovich is a Croatian WWII veteran who fought against German forces occupying his country during the Second World War. Ante fought with Communist partisan units as an infantryman.
"During my first firefight I couldn't control my Czech machine gun and almost shot one of my fellow soldiers," he said.
Bernard du Bois is a Belgium WWII veteran who fought with the Allies against German troops occupying his country.
"After being wounded by a Stuka attack, I was picked up by Germans who brought me to a German field hospital in Montreuille-sur-mer, where a German army doctor operated on me atop 12 hundred liter barrel of Champagne," he said. "He saved my life."
Salomon Freidlyand is a Byelorussian WWII veteran who fought within the Red Army on the Russian front against the German invader.
"I was sent back to the 297th division to start training partisans and to gather information on the German positions," he said. "I had my own horse, and would often go behind German lines and meet these locals and partisans."
Thomas Hermann is a WWII veteran who fought in the German army on the Russian front as an infantryman.
"I took part of a counter-attack in late November 1943," he said. "The entire regiment was send forward. The fighting was hard with many close-quarter battles. Two Russian divisions were wiped out in the process. During the fighting, I remember that I could see the white of my enemies eyes."
Herbert Drossler was a loader in a German Tiger tank during the battle of Normandy against American forces.
"Near Vires during a British offensive only 60 meters away, I noticed a dying French civilian between the lines," he said. "He was shouting, 'mother, mother help me' and was wounded in the stomach by shrapnel. I then saw his mother run towards him, so I decided to help her to stop the blood coming out of her son's wound."
Bjorn Ostring is an ex Waffen SS Norwegian volunteer who fought as a platoon leader on the Russian front.
"We arrived to the front near the town of Urizk," he said. "As soon as we arrived at the front, we were thrown into the battle to contain Russian troops attacking the area."
Fernand Kaisergruber is a Belgium WWII veteran who fought in the Waffen SS as an infantryman on the Russian front.
"One day in late 1941, I overheard that two Flemish men had joined the Waffen SS to go fight in Russia," he said. "I talked to my boss and told him that I wanted to do the same. I therefore had the choice between the Waffen SS or the SS Wallonie. I chose the SS Wallonie."
Adolph Straka is a Slovenian who fought as a volunteer in the German army against the Russians in Europe, and with alongside the Red army.
"When the Russian took me as prisoner, I was identified as a Yugoslavian, so I got better treatment," he said. "I remained prisoner of war for only three days, and I then swore to Stalin, my name was changed to Rudy, as I bore the same first name as Adolph Hitler."
Jean Mathieu is a French national who was forced into the German army to fight against the advancing Russians during WWII.
"With the coming of the Germans, I remained at the family home, he said," but because I was a peasant, the Germans left me alone until 1942, when I was sent to Northern Bavaria to a work camp."
Giovanni Doretta who in an elite mountain unit in Russia as part of the Italian army on the Russian front.
"In August 1942 the division was sent to the Russian front, to the Caucasus," he said. "We took the train to the Ukrainian city of Izium, but counter-orders were sent by the Germans, and we had to unload and walked 300 kilometers to the Don front near Stalingrad."
Eugeniusz, a Polish WWII veteran is posing for the camera inside the WWII Polish association near Gramercy. He fought in the British army in Italy as part of an infantry outfit equipped by British forces.
"The Russians took my parents and I to Siberia, because my father was an officer in the Polish army," he said. "I never saw him again. My mother and I were put on a train. It took about two weeks to reach Siberia, with 30 other people in the same train car."
Kurdistan Elections 2014 (Provincial Elections in Kurdistan-Erbil)
Only Special Forces voting 28/4/14
Jack Ukkonen was a Finnish infantry man fighting to defend his country against the Russian invader.
"My regiment reached the front lines on January 1941 by train," he said. "On the way over there, we were sworn in at a local church with our entire unit. Once at the front, I was very scared, but I was young and reckless."