Although not celebrated as an official holiday by any country, ‘Elbe Day’ has won a place in the history books as the galvanizing moment when troops from the US Army linked up with the Soviet Army near the German town of Torgau on April 25, 1945. The famous meeting in the waning moments of World War II sounded the death knell for Adolf Hitler and his plan for creating ‘lebensraum’ for the German people.
Less than a week after the historic meeting along the serene banks of the Elbe River, the Soviet Army, led by Russian General Georgy Zhukov, went on to conquer Berlin.
Although I am somewhat wary of mentioning it – considering America’s sudden aversion to historical monuments, not to mention all things Russian – there can be found in Arlington National Cemetery, just across the Potomac River from Washington, DC, a modest monument that commemorates that historic meeting.
The plaque reads, in both English and Cyrillic: “In recognition of the cooperation by American, Soviet and allied armed forces during World War II. This marker symbolizes the link up of Soviet and American elements at the Elbe River on 25 April 1945.”