Liberator of Oswiecim Passed Away

Vasily Petrenko, a retired Lieutenant-General, Hero of the Soviet Union, professor, and former head of the Art of War Chair at the Frunze Military Academy, died at the age of 92 on Friday, 21 March 2003, a spokesperson for the Holocaust interregional charity fund announced yesterday.

During WWII, Vasily Petrenko commanded the division which liberated the most terrible nazi death camp in Oswiecim (Auschwitz), Poland.

He was honoured with the title of the Hero of the Soviet Union for the assault crossing of the river Dnieper in Ukraine. He was also awarded other top Soviet orders - the Order of Lenin, the Order of Zhukov and the Order of Victory, as well as the highest military orders of Poland and a number of other countries.

The 27th of January, the day of the Oswiecim's liberation, has been proclaimed as the Day of Holocaust in eight European countries, including Germany.