Monthly Archives: May 2020

Meeting at the Elbe: April 25, 1945 – We Remember

Museum of Human Rights, Freedom and Tolerance is proud to present the article below, written by Dr. Ilya Altman and Maria Gileva of the Russian Research and Educational Holocaust Center in commemoration of the Elbe Day – April 25, 1945, when Soviet and American troops met at the Elbe River in Germany.

On April 25, 2020, representatives from the USA and Russia were to meet in Torgau, Germany to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Allied victory over the German Army at the Elbe River. The joy that the Soviet troops felt upon meeting their brothers-in-arms from the West, in 1945, was mirrored by the American troops. Their delight was evidenced in their letters home and the articles they wrote for their homeland presses, which you will find in the following essay.

Why do we spend time and energy recalling military events from so long ago? Most of the participants of that 1945 meeting are no longer with us. However, we do remember that these were soldiers, officers, and journalists who did not share the same language, religion, culture, or politics. Their joy came from their common humanity. Both sides fought for the same goal: defeating Nazism. They suffered, sacrificed, risked their lives, and remained resolute in the bloody battle to stop the Nazi killing machine, which destroyed millions of Jews, Roma, Slavs, and many other innocent victims of Nazism. Their victory allowed both sides to dream of an end to war, bloodshed, and hatred, and begin to recognize our shared striving for peace.

We remember because we need to keep that dream alive. We remember because we want to realize this dream. We remember because we believe it is possible to have a better world.

Igor Kotler, Gideon Frydman, MHRFT, May 2020

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