76 years on from historic Elbe meeting, Moscow says Russia & US should come together to fight against modern rewriting of history
Russian and American soldiers fought to defeat Nazi Germany in World War II, and it is now the duty of both nations to stop unfair readings of history. That’s according to Sergey Koshelev, Russia’s Charge d’Affaires in Washington.
On Sunday, at a ceremony in the US capital commemorating the 76th anniversary of Elbe Day, Koshelev spoke about the alliance of the US and the Soviet Union during the conflict. On April 25, 1945, after fighting the Germans from both East and West, troops from the Red Army met with their American counterparts at the River Elbe, in Saxony. The encounter meant the war in Europe was effectively over, and Adolf Hitler committed suicide five days later.
“We will always pay tribute to the courage of our comrades in arms, honor all those who sacrificed their lives in the fight against the worst evil of the 20th century. We consider any attempts to rewrite history a betrayal,” Koshelev said, as cited by news agency TASS, noting that it is a “common duty” to prevent “unfair readings” of the lessons of World War II.Also on rt.com Moscow promises Washington a ‘SERIOUS TALK’ about its V-Day message that omits Soviet Union’s role in defeating Nazis
“Our countries need to preserve the spirit of the Elbe. The memory of our alliance should help us build a partnership in the fight against the common challenges and threats of the 21st century,” he explained.
One of the ceremony’s participants, American veteran Frank Cohn, told the TASS news agency that he completely supports Koshelev’s position.
“I hope it isn’t rewritten,” he explained. “We met on the Elbe and shook hands. Moreover, we embraced. They tried to buy me some vodka, but I was 19 years old, and I had never tasted vodka.”
Both Moscow and Washington have been accused of revisionism of World War II history in recent years. The most recent serious accusation came last year, when a tweet from the White House claimed that “America and Great Britain had victory over the Nazis,” deliberately omitting the Soviet Union.
On May 8, 1945, America and Great Britain had victory over the Nazis! "America's spirit will always win. In the end, that's what happens." pic.twitter.com/umCOwRXWlB— The White House 45 Archived (@WhiteHouse45) May 8, 2020
The tweet was roundly criticized, and led to the Russian Foreign Ministry promising a “serious talk” with American officials on the “distortion” of history.
“The US officials have found neither the courage nor the desire to … do justice to the indisputable role of the Red Army and of the Soviet people, and to the enormous sacrifices they made in the name of humanity,” its statement said.
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