A solemn ceremony in memory of the meeting of Soviet and American soldiers on the Elbe in 1945 was held in Washington on Sunday, April 25.
On behalf of Russia, the event was attended by the Charge d’Affaires of the Russian Federation in Washington, Sergei Koshelev. The United States was represented by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Robinson. They laid wreaths at the Spirit of the Elbe memorial at the Arlington cemetery, RIA Novosti reports.
The Russian diplomat stressed that Moscow and Washington must defend the Spirit of the Elbe.
“The meeting of Soviet and American troops on April 25, 1945 in the center of Germany is a special date for Russian-American relations. The last volleys of the heroic struggle against the Nazi aggression rang out these days, ”Koshelev said during the ceremony.
One of the last living participants of the Meeting on the Elbe, retired US Army Colonel Frank Cohn, in turn, stressed the importance of the event, reminding the public that Russia and the United States were once allies.
“Both Russia and the United States have so many common goals that they must work together to achieve, including: climate change, trade, the fight against COVID-19 and other issues,” said the veteran.
The meeting of Soviet and American troops in the area of the city of Torgau on the Elbe took place on April 25, 1945. As a result, the remnants of the German armed forces were split into two parts – north and south. This significantly weakened their resistance and hastened the final defeat of the Wehrmacht.
A memorial bronze plaque depicting Soviet and American military shaking hands on a bridge over the Elbe was installed at Arlington Cemetery in April 1995 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the memorable event.