Achim Kilian

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Achim Kilian (born December 31, 1926 in Oelsnitz / Vogtl. , † October 4, 2002 in Weinheim ) was a German business graduate and author . As a youth he was imprisoned for several years in special camp No. 1 in Mühlberg. In later years he wrote comprehensive historical articles on the history of the prisoner-of-war camps and the Soviet special camps .


Kilian grew up as the son of an embroidery owner in Oelsnitz / Vogtl. on. In addition to school, Kilian was a young train leader for the German Young People . In June 1944 Kilian was drafted into the Wehrmacht , where he had volunteered for the assault artillery . He was no longer used in combat; instead, he was captured by the Americans near Vienna on May 8, 1945 and released home on May 31, 1945.

On July 24, 1945, Kilian was arrested by a German police officer in Oelsnitz and handed over to the Soviet secret police of the NKVD . In August 1945 the NKVD transferred him to the judicial prison in Zwickau and then to special camp No. 4 in Bautzen with the accusation of "Municipal Leader of the Fascist Youth Organization HJ " . On October 7, 1945, they were transported to special camp No. 1 in Mühlberg . Kilian was only released from the special camp in August 1948.

In February 1949 Kilian fled the Soviet Zone and began studying economics at the Technical University of Stuttgart . In 1950 he moved to the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville for a year and finished his studies in 1953 at the Mannheim Business School . Since 1964 Kilian lived in Weinheim and worked for Rheinelektra AG , most recently until 1986 as managing director of Elektrohof GmbH in Groß-Rohrheim .

After the political upheaval in the GDR , Kilian began to deal intensively with the history of the Mühlberg special camp. An important impetus for him was a full-page depiction of his fate in the FAZ in 1990 by Peter Jochen Winters . With the support of the historian Hermann Weber , Kilian was able to submit scientifically sound investigations into the Soviet special camp system within a short period of time and to be recognized by science as an expert in this field. In a few years he expanded his field of work to include the history of the German prisoner-of-war camps, so that his writings also received international attention. Kilian was one of the experts for the study commission “Overcoming the Consequences of the SED Dictatorship in the Process of German Unity” in the 13th electoral term of the German Bundestag . Shortly before Kilian's death in 2002, a complete account of the Mühlberg camp with its "double" history from 1939 to 1948 was published. Günther Heydemann commented on the book: “ The achievement as a former prisoner about the place of his own suffering, but above all like that To have written a book for many others, and also to have written a comprehensive account, can hardly be overestimated. “The Mühlberg camp initiative group dedicated a comprehensive tribute to Achim Kilian after his death.


  • Instruct for complete isolation. NKVD special camp Mühlberg / Elbe 1945–1948 . Forum-Verlag, 1992.
  • The "Mühlberg files" in connection with the system of special camps of the NKVD of the USSR . Germany Archive, Journal for United Germany 26 (10), 1993, pp. 1138–1158.
  • “Can be used for underground work”: MWD command no. 001196-1946 . In: Yearbook for Historical Research on Communism, 1994.
  • Lost in Germany since 1945, 1946, 1947 ... On dealing with the dead of Stalinist "custody" , in: Germany Archive 28 (9), 1995, pp. 936–947.
  • Stalin's prophylaxis. Measures by the Soviet security organs in occupied Germany . In: Germany Archive: Journal for United Germany. 30 (4), 1997, 531-564.
  • Torgau prisoner of war headquarters. Crew main camp IV D and the head of the Wehrmacht prisoner-of-war system 1941–1944 / 45 . in: The Torgau taboo: Wehrmacht criminal system, NKVD special camp, GDR penal system , Forum-Verlag, 1998, p. 79 ff.
  • "From Special Camp No. 1 to US “: youth between Vogtland, Mühlberg and Arkansas . Autobiography, Saxon Memorials Foundation in memory of the victims of political tyranny, 1998.
  • German and Russian prisoners of war before and after 1945. A German-Russian archive conference of the HAIT. In: Germany Archive, 31, 1998, pp. 104-108.
  • The prisoners in the Soviet special camps from 1945-1950 . In: Materials of the Enquete Commission of the German Bundestag. "Overcoming the consequences of the SED dictatorship in the process of German unity". Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, 1999.
  • Mühlberg 1938–1948: A prison camp in the middle of Germany . Böhlau, 2001.
  • Thoughts on Mühlberg . Initiative group Lager Mühlberg, 2001.
  • From the mass fate to the individual fate of Soviet prisoners of war in the German Reich 1941–1945 . Germany archive 05/2001.


Individual evidence

  1. Peter Jochen Winters: An outstation of the GULag archipelago. With prisoner number 80932 in the special camp Mühlberg / Elbe. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of September 22, 1990
  2. Hermann Weber, Gerda Weber: Life according to the "principle on the left": memories from five decades . Ch. Links Verlag, 2006, p. 332, ISBN 3-86153-405-3
  3. Tony Vercoe: Survival at Stalag IVB: Soldiers and Airmen Remember Germany's Largest POW Camp of World War II . Jefferson, NC, McFarland, 2006. P. 181, ISBN 9780786424047
  4. EE. Szpek, FJ Idzikowski, HM Szpek: Shadows of Slaughterhouse five: reflections and recollections of the American Ex-POWs of Schlachthof five, Dresden, Germany . iUniverse, New York, 2008, S. XVI. ISBN 9781440105678
  5. Final report of the study commission "Overcoming the Consequences of the SED Dictatorship in the Process of German Unity". German Bundestag, printed matter 13/11000, June 10, 1998, p. 327
  6. Achim Kilian: The prisoners in the Soviet special camps from 1945-1950 . German Bundestag (ed.): Materials of the study commission. “Overcoming the consequences of the SED dictatorship in the process of German unity” (13th electoral term of the German Bundestag). Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, Frankfurt - Baden-Baden 1999, Vol. VI., Pp. 373–440.
  7. ^ Achim Kilian: Mühlberg 1939-1948: A prison camp in the middle of Germany . Böhlau, Cologne 2001, ISBN 3-412-10201-6
  8. Review notes on ' Mühlberg 1939-1948: A prison camp in the middle of Germany' at
  9. Lutz Prieß: Review of: Kilian, Achim: Mühlberg 1938-1948: A prison camp in the middle of Germany. Böhlau, Cologne 2001 . in: H-Soz-u-Kult, February 27, 2002, accessed on February 26, 2014
  10. Initiativgruppe Lager Mühlberg eV: Circular No. 29 , June 2002, OCLC 775716698
  11. Review of Mühlberg 1938–1948: A prison camp in the middle of Germany : Johannes Hürter: Nothing changed in the misery . In: FAZ of January 26, 2002, No. 22, p. 7.

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