Three destinies in one horrific war
This day is very important for Germans – they have invited veterans from the Red Army from all over the world and invited official delegates from the former WWII Allied countries.
The main events of the day take place in Karlshorst Museum – a symbolic place, where the capitulation was signed in 1945. At this place, services are held and Catholic and Russian Orthodox priests pray for the victims of WWII. Commemoration services are held all over the city.
It is all smiles and handshakes now, 65 years after the end of the war. Actors in Soviet, American and German uniforms play friends in the streets of Berlin. Tourists take pictures, but hardly believe the bond.
Yet some real-life stories outdo even the most fascinating street dramas.
"We were best friends and we were inseparable, we did everything together. And the families were very close, especially when Stalin's terror started, with friends being arrested and people couldn't talk to each other anymore. We grew even closer,” recalls 86 year old Victor Fischer, the only one left to tell the story.
The trio – Victor, Koni and Lothar – grew up together in Moscow during the 1930s.
Their parents abandoned their homes in America and Germany hoping for a better future in the Soviet Union.
“There were many things happening in terms of aviation breakthroughs, in terms of big hydro-electric dams, and building of the Metro,” Fischer remembers, adding, “And on the way to school we could stop and get a shovel and help with these great things. So it was a fun time and life was very good for a while.”
The friends split up the day the march of the Nazis into war began. Their plans for the future, their parents and the girls they were in love with were all left behind.
The war scattered the three across the world and ensured they were dressed in the uniforms of different armies. But it was powerless to thwart their friendship, which stood the test of time. The historic get-together of the trio happened in Berlin in 1945. And as the friends later revealed they didn't know what made them happier – the fact that they survived the war or that they had met again.
Victor Fischer told RT: “Russia and America were allies fighting Nazi Germany, and so even though one of us was on the German side, he was a person whose life values hadn't changed and they were pretty much as ours, so there was no problem in reconnecting after the war. I was on the East side, on the other side of the Rhine, and there was a wild celebration on our side – perhaps, nothing compared to the celebration in Russia, but we just …cried and partied and it was the end of the war. “
Victor found his new home in Alaska, following a distinguished academic career and working as a city planner – as well as helping to write the state's constitution.
Former German officer Lothar moved to West Berlin and worked as an architect.
Red Army soldier Koni became a famous film director in East Germany.
The last movie he worked on was about the three comrades, but the director never finished the film.
“There was a lot of sadness remaining in the last of the troika configurations…Here I am and I'm living a good life in Alaska and I have a good family, a joyous family, so from that standpoint life is very good…”, Fischer says.