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Monday 26 June 2017

'Irish' soldier who fought for Germany dies at 89

Gustav Mahr
Gustav Mahr
Ken Sweeney

Ken Sweeney

THE last 'Irish' soldier known to have fought on the German side in World War Two has died.

Educated at Wesley College, Gustav Mahr (pictured) was the son of Dr Adolf Mahr, who was appointed director of the National Museum of Ireland in 1934.

The 89-year-old, who was fluent in Irish, died in Berlin from prostate cancer, and is survived by his daughter Erica, and sisters Hilde, Ingrid and Bridget.

Born in Austria, he grew up in Dublin after arriving, at the age of just five, in Ireland along with his family, in 1927.

In 1939 they returned to Germany. By 1941 Mr Mahr found himself on the Russian front with the German army.

His Dublin background and fluency in English resulted in his being transferred from the Eastern Front to decipher Allied radio signals in Germany.

He told how Allied soldiers, taking him prisoner in North Africa in 1943, were amazed at his Dublin accent.

Mr Mahr, who became an archaeologist, visited Ireland in 2007 for the launch of Gerry Mullins' book about his father, 'Adolf Mahr, Dublin Nazi No1'.

Irish Independent

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