Laying flowers to the sculptural composition "Meeting on the Elbe" (sculptor A. Burganov) by the participants of the conference.
On April 25, on the day of memory of the 77th anniversary of the meeting on the Elbe River of the troops of the 1st Ukrainian Front of the Soviet Army with the troops of the 1st US Army, a solemn event was held. It noted the importance of the contribution of the allied forces to the final defeat of Nazi Germany.
During the commemorative action, the participants laid flowers at the sculptural composition by Alexander Burganov, dedicated to the uniting of the allied forces near the city of Torgau.
The event was attended by Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of Crimea to the President of the Russian Federation Mikhail SOLOMENTSEV, Chairman of the Council for Business Communications of the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly Batyr ABDULLAYEV, President of the International Shukhov Foundation Leonid STERN, Head of the Russian House in Florida Pavel TARASOV, Head of the Moscow Society of Turkmen Culture Gulnabad TEKAYEVA and others.
The Day of Remembrance was continued by the International Conference "Spirit of the Elbe - Symbol of People's Diplomacy".
The conference organizers are the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly, the Open World Foundation for the Development of International Integration Processes, the Russian House "Continent" (USA), the International Association of Higher School Alumni under the Central Committee of the All-Union Leninist Young Communist League, the Russian House Florida, the Council of War Veterans.
Co-organizers - International Shukhov Foundation, Moscow Society of Turkmen Culture, International Union "Courage and Humanism".
The purpose of the conference is to form the "spirit of the Elbe" as a significant factor in international cooperation and diplomacy. Participants from Russia, USA, Canada, Germany, Croatia, Poland, Bulgaria, Uzbekistan and Slovakia emphasized the special historical significance of the meeting of Soviet and American troops on the Elbe in the context of modern challenges and problems of international security, based on the lessons of history. During the conference, the role of the peoples' contribution to the common victory and the need to counteract attempts to rehabilitate Nazism, the importance of broad cooperation in the name of peace and creation, as well as the need to develop new practices to save the planet from global threats of our time were emphasized.
- Eduard LOZANSKY, Head of the Russian House "Continent" (USA);
- Batyr ABDULLAYEV, Chairman of the Business Communications Council of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly, Chairman of the Council of the Open World Foundation for the Development of International Integration Processes, member of the International Union of Journalists.
Grigory MURADOV, Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Crimea - Permanent Representative of the Republic of Crimea under the President of the Russian Federation, addressed the conference participants with a welcoming speech.
According to him, despite the special historical role and significance of the events that took place 77 years ago on the Elbe River, representatives of the United States and the US embassy refused to take their traditional part not only in commemorative events on Poklonnaya Hill and near the sculptural composition "Meeting on the Elbe" on the street Sivtsev Vrazhek, but all events at the Arlington Cemetery in Washington were also banned.
“The fact that historical memory is being ignored today cannot but cause regret. We again see how open flirting is taking place with Nazism again raising its head in Europe. This was the case on the eve of World War II, and, unfortunately, it is happening again. Today, Russia is largely taking upon itself, on its own shoulders, the main fight against the manifestations of the brown plague,” Grigory MURADOV summed up his speech.
The conference was attended by Natalia KONEVA, daughter of Marshal Ivan Konev, commander of the 1st Ukrainian Front, who drew the attention of the audience to an interesting historical document that she found in her father's archive - a letter from an American soldier to the famous marshal of the Great Patriotic War.
“This is a letter from one of the first participants in the meeting on the Elbe. It was sent by Joseph Polovsky, known to many, who was a private in the 273rd Infantry Regiment of the 69th Infantry Division of the 1st US Army. Quite recently, I found an amazing letter from Mr. Polovsky to my father and a handwritten reply from my father, where he writes that he is very glad that this person declares April 25 the day of the creation of the "Organization of memory of the meeting on the Elbe." He also prefaces this letter with statements by two American presidents, Eisenhower and Truman, who stressed the need for such an organization. He writes in this letter that there were 200 dead soldiers on the river bank where we met, and we, the soldiers of both sides - the Soviet Union and the United States, vowed to do everything possible to build a better life based on goodwill, respect and peace between our countries, a world that our children and all of humanity needs.”
The need to remember and share the spirit of the Elbe was told by the youngest son of an infantryman of the 1st US Army, Joseph Polovsky, Joseph WOLF. According to him, his father carried through his whole life the memories of the events on the Elbe and remained true to the oaths that Soviet and American soldiers gave each other, promoting mutual understanding and peaceful coexistence between the two most powerful states - the USA and the USSR.
Joseph WOLF noted the need to follow these guidelines at a difficult time for the whole world and, in particular, for Russian-American relations:
“My paternal grandfather was born in the Kyiv region. And now, when the whole world is watching the course of the military operation that the Russian Federation is conducting in Ukraine, whatever the rationale for this decision (it is not my business to judge the reasons), but I firmly believe in the contribution of each country to the defeat of the Nazi empire of evil. We must pay tribute to everyone who fought on the side of the anti-Hitler coalition and remember the price paid by all nations. I know that every participant of this conference understands the tragedy of the current conflict in Ukraine, therefore I believe that it must end peacefully and expediently, so that the suffering of innocent people stops and the fraternal peoples return to a state of peaceful coexistence and harmony. The current conflict has strained relations between the US and Russia to the breaking point, and it has deeply affected and disturbed me on a personal level. So with that mindset, I'm here to renew the oath of Elba. I am here to reaffirm my commitment to maintaining peace between our great nations."
Valery RUZIN, Deputy Secretary General of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly, voiced his proposal regarding the prospects for establishing a dialogue between countries, who noted that victory in World War II could not have happened without uniting peoples on the basis of common values.
Valery RUZIN, Eduard LOZANSKY
“Common values are more important than common borders. The values of the equality of peoples and nations, the values of the fight against Nazism, the values of the fight against crimes against peace and humanity - of course, they united the peoples of the anti-Hitler coalition in 1945. And today, if any of our colleagues and partners doubt these values, we are ready not by word but by deed to prove our commitment to these ideas, because they were embodied by the spirit of the Elbe. I invite all our colleagues from the United States, Germany and other countries who may have doubts about this to visit Donbass, to visit Crimea in order to see the real state of affairs with their own eyes.”
Sculptor, People's Artist of the Russian Federation, Academician of the Academy of Arts of Russia Vladimir SUROVTSEV shared the front-line history of his father, who met with the allied forces on the Elbe and ended the war in the German city of Schwerin. In 1995, the sculptor created a monument dedicated to the first contact between the reconnaissance groups of the US and Soviet Union armies in the German city of Strella, installed with the support of B. Pisarev and B. Abdullaev.
Vladimir SUROVTSEV presented his new sculptural composition depicting a liberator soldier and a partisan girl, which will be installed in France and dedicated to the Rodina women's partisan detachment.
Participants of the International Conference "Spirit of the Elbe - Symbol of People's Diplomacy"
Rustem SAFRONOV, a correspondent for the Sputnik news agency in Washington, expressed the wish, despite the current difficult situation and the differences that exist between Russia and the United States regarding the Ukrainian crisis, to do everything possible so that the spirit of the Elbe continues to live on, because now, more than ever First, it is important to keep the peace on the planet through diplomatic settlement and mutual understanding between all the countries that have the most lethal arsenals of nuclear weapons.
Jerzy TYC, Chairman of the Society for the Preservation of the Military Heritage of World War II in Poland addressed the conference participants. He noted that fascism is a phenomenon that, unfortunately, is indestructible to the end. When there is a falsification of history, fascism begins to operate again. Therefore, it is so important to remember and pass on to new generations the experience of the alliance, which was laid down during the opening of the Second Front.
Colonel, reenactor Sergei LARIONOV spoke about the importance of preserving the historical memory of the events of World War II through reconstruction. The meeting of allied troops on the dilapidated bridge over the Elbe in April 1945 is the most significant event at the end of World War II, which is why it is so important to fix it for posterity in concrete images and historical details.
Sergey LARIONOV's team greeted the participants of the ceremonial events in the military uniform of Soviet and American soldiers of those years.
Sergei LARIONOV and a group of participants in the reconstruction of the meeting on the Elbe
The conference "Spirit of the Elbe - a symbol of public diplomacy" was held with wide international participation, demonstrating the importance of following the spirit of the Elbe and the impossibility of excluding Russia from the system of international partnership and global security. Public figures, scientists, historians, economists from the USA, Canada, Germany, Bulgaria and other countries stressed the need to establish diplomatic ties and dialogue between peoples at the level of public, non-governmental organizations, despite the current political situation.
Following the results of the International Conference, the Address of the participants will be published.
The conference was also attended by:
- Raymond McGAWARERN, former CIA analyst, public figure (USA);
- Alex KREINER, historian (Croatia);
- Irene EKERT, Arbeitskreis für Friedenspolitik (Germany);
- Peter KUZNIK, Professor of History at the American University in Washington, Director of the Institute for Nuclear Research (Washington, USA);
- Jeremy KUZMAROV, American political scientist, lecturer at the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma (USA);
- Pavel TARASOV, head of the Russian House in Florida;
- Nancy SPANNAUSS, President, American System Now Association, Economist (Washington, USA);
- Gulnabad TEKAEVA, Head of the Moscow Society of Turkmen Culture (Russia);
- Roger KOTILA, psychologist, Vice President of the World Constitution and Parliament Association (San Francisco, USA);
- Valentin PETROV, Sustainable Development Fund (Bulgaria);
- Martin ZIFF, journalist, researcher at the American University in Moscow (USA);
- Alexander KADYRBAYEV, Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor (Russia);
- Matthew ERET, investigative journalist, lecturer and founder of the Canadian magazine Patriot Review, Director of the Rising Tide Foundation (Montreal, Canada);
- Pavel BOYARKIN, Regional Public Organization "Council of Combat Veterans" (Russia);
- Tavakal NUROV, veteran of local wars (Uzbekistan);
- Kai MATHAR, lecturer at the African Academy in Cologne (AFRICAN ACADEMICS) (Cologne, Germany);
- Gennady MATRYUKHIN, Doctor of Historical Sciences, book publisher (Russia),
More than 40 representatives of France, Egypt, India, Jordan, Lebanon, China, Kazakhstan, Slovakia, Moldova and other countries followed the online broadcast of the International Conference "The Spirit of the Elbe - a symbol of public diplomacy".