100 years Prof. Ilya Semyonovich Kremer

21. Januar 2022

We remember one of the most active comrade in arms of the International Federation of Resistance Fighters (FIR), Prof. Dr. Ilya S. Kremer, because of his 100 birthday on 22 January.

Born 1922 in Gomel (Soviet Union), he studied 1939 at the faculty for history of the Leningrad University, from 1940 at the Moscow University. The fascist attack of June 1941 changed also his life. Instead of studying, he took part in the protection of the homeland, in fortification work and until 1943 in an aircraft factory as a lathe operator. In summer of 1943, he became a soldier in the Red Army and took part in the fight for Berlin. In an interview, he reported:

“It wasn’t until 1943, when the Red Army had already suffered terrible losses that I was sent to the front. So I was put into a training unit, and in 1944, I joined the anti-aircraft artillery of the 5th Corps of the 1st Belarusian Front. Our route then led from Lublin to Berlin via Warsaw, Poznan and Landsberg on the Warta River.” It was not until November 1945 that he was demobilized and returned to Moscow.

Two years later, he was able to complete his studies in 1948. As an historian and professor of international relations, he was subsequently editor and lecturer in history at the Moscow Automotive Technical School. In the mid-1950s, he came to the Institute of History of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. In 1974, he was appointed professor at the Department of International Relations of the Institute of Social Sciences of the Central Committee of the CPSU. As a member of the Soviet Committee for European Security, he accompanied the process of détente policy scientifically and practically.

Of central importance was his work in FIR. Several decades he was political secretary of the FIR and representative of the Soviet (Russian) committee of war veterans in the FIR office in Vienna, temporarily as secretary general and member of the presidency of the FIR. In this context, he developed various international contacts. He participated in numerous FIR congresses, in congresses for European security, in the World Congress of Scientists for Peace, etc. On behalf of FIR and the Russian Committee of Veterans he visited various veterans’ organizations of Europe, the USA and Israel with the aim of developing cooperation between national anti-fascist and pacifist organizations.

During the reactivation of the FIR since 2004, he was of enormous value as advisor and mediator. He really worked in that time – in the best sense – as a “grey eminence”, because of his intensive political contacts all over the world. FIR appointed him since 2004 as a member of the honorary presidency and distinguished him 2019 with the “Michel Vanderborght Award”.

Ilya S. Kremer in Franfurt/M at a congress of VVN-BdA

He died on 23 March 2020 at the age of 98 years in Moscow. We remember him as a comrade and good friend.