Yanks Meet Reds: Recollections of U.S. and Soviet Vets from the Linkup in World War II

Mark Scott, Author, Semyon Krasilshchik, Editor Capra Press $9.94 (224p) ISBN 978-0-88496-276-2
The late Chicago cabdriver and WW II veteran Joe Polowsky unsuccessfully lobbied the United Nations to have April 25 officially recognized as Elbe Day, an international day of peace. As WW II drew to a close, Soviet soldiers encountered an American patrol at Germany's Elbe River on April 25, 1945, and the long-awaited linkup set off a joyous, emotional celebration by Russian and American soldiers, who took an ``Oath of the Elbe,'' a pledge to prevent future wars. Combining previously published and new material, the editors have collected dozens of eyewitness reactions to the linkup for this cooperative publishing venture by Capra Press and the Soviet Novosti Press Agency. The American section, ``From Normandy to the Elbe,'' includes contributions by Polowsky, Buck Kotzebue (the first U.S. soldier to meet the Red troops), Ann Stringer (who filed the first news story as a UPI reporter), 60 Minutes' s Andy Rooney (then a Stars and Stripes correspondent) and 10 others. Among the 20 essays in the Soviet section, ``From Stalingrad to the Elbe,'' former field nurse Lyubov Kozinchenko recalls, ``The language barrier which had been a problem the first day vanished on the second. Some of the Americans, as well as prisoners of war who had been liberated from the Nazi camps, could speak Russian.'' These fervent and moving memories resonate with a spirit of universal fellowship. ``Our common Elbe/ We must not betray./ Russia and America,/ swim closer!'' sings Yevgeny Yevtushenko. Photos not seen by PW. (August)
Reviewed on: 08/05/1988
Release date: 08/01/1988
Genre: Nonfiction
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