Georg Sooden

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Georg Sooden
Nickname(s) "Vana Koll" ("Old Bogy")
Born (1904-12-02)December 2, 1904
Helsinki, Finland
Died July 28, 1944(1944-07-28) (aged 39)
Blue Hills, Estonia
Buried at Jõhvi, Estonia
Allegiance  Estonia
 Nazi Germany
Years of service Estonian Army
1925–1940
Wehrmacht
1941–1944
Waffen SS
1944
Rank SS-Sturmbannführer
Unit 1943 659th Ost Battalion
1944 20th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Estonian)
Battles/wars

World War II

Awards 1st & 2nd class Iron cross
Eastern Front Medal

Georg Aleksander Sooden (lived December 2, 1904 – July 28, 1944) was an Estonian officer, serving firstly in the Estonian Army, secondly in Wehrmacht and thirdly in Waffen-SS, fighting mostly in the Estonian area.

Georg Sooden was born in Helsinki, Finland. He had brother Gunnar August Sooden (born in 1903) and sister Irene Johanna Sooden (born in 1907). Their family moved to Estonia into Jõhvi where Georg started learning in Jõhvi grade school and after that in Jõhvi Gymnasium which he graduated in 1924. After school Sooden started working in Jõhvi police station and in 1925 he went to the Estonian Army. Sooden graduated war school in 1927 and as an officer he started work there.

After Estonia was occupied by the Soviet Union in 1941, Sooden had to start serving in the Red Army but he escaped from there and gave himself to the Germans as a prisoner. That same year, Sooden volunteered for the Wehrmacht's Estonian units and he was promoted to Oberleutnant. In September, the Estonian East battalions were moved to Russia, fighting against the Red Army in Volkhov. In May 1943, Sooden was ordered to lead the 659 Estonian East Battalion and on October 16, he was promoted to Hauptmann and was awarded with the Iron cross. On January, 1944 Sooden was promoted to Sturmbannführer. After many battles, soldiers started to call Sooden names like "meie vana" (our old), "vana koll" (old monster) and "vana Jüri" (old Jüri).

In 1944, the battalion came to Jõhvi and soon it was sent to the Narva front in the Kriivasoo swamp. Soon the Estonian East battalions were sent under 20th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Estonian) command. He fought in the battle of Narva and the Battle of Tannenberg Line in the Sinimäed Hills.

Georg Sooden died on July 28, 1944 after a Russian shell landed exactly in Sooden's bunker in Blue Hills. Sooden was buried to Jõhvi in the square of the War of Independence. Soon his good friend and warmate Raul Jüriado was buried next to him.

On June 20, 1996 Sooden's and Jüriado's graves were restored.

Awards[edit]

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