A foundation that is flying a man to Russia to visit the one-time city of Stalingrad has praised his research paper exposing the wartime links between the metropolis and Dundee.
The Stalingrad Battle International Charitable Foundation said Stephen Connor’s paper was “very interesting” and useful in its own work seeking to keep the legacy of the war-torn Russian city alive.
Dmitry Belov, president of the Stalingrad Battle International Charitable Foundation, said: “The research that was organised by Stephen Connor is very interesting and useful for our project.
“We want to collect historical documents about fund-raising companies that were organised for Stalingrad Hospital Fund in 307 cities and villages of Great Britain in 1943-1944.
“The first donations for Stalingrad were raised in Dundee.”
Stephen a student at the Dundee Russian School, is among several amateur researchers set to visit the city – now called Volgograd – in April.
He will join other researchers from Coventry, St. Albans, London and Warwick to see the city he has written about first-hand.
As reported in the Tele earlier this week, Stephen’s meticulously researched essay uncovered little-known support for the USSR in Dundee in the early days of World War II.
The Soviet Union and Germany forged an uneasy alliance at the breakout of the war which was shattered when Germany invaded the country in 1941, in direct breach of the non-aggression pact the two countries had signed in 1939.
Through his research, Stephen discovered how the Dundee branch of the Red Cross donated £127,000 in today’s money to the ‘Aid to Russia’ fund in 1941 following the Nazi betrayal.
He also discovered that £46,000 was raised by everyday Dundonians for the Stalingrad Hospital Fund following the six-month long battle, cited as a turning point in the war.
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Stephen, from Kirriemuir, suspected that Dundee had been the first city in the UK to raise money for Stalingrad – a fact since confirmed by the Foundation.
He told the Tele previously: “I think this is a hidden chapter of the city’s history. I thought it was brilliant that the city was one of the first to speak out for Stalingrad.”
The city was named Volgograd in 1961, having been named Stalingrad after Joseph Stalin in 1925. It is named after the Volga River, which it sits alongside in western Russia.