/ Go to the mediabank1945, last days of Great Patriotic War : Russians and Americans link at Elbe / Go to the mediabankInternationalIndiaAfricaWASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The decision to suspend the commemoration of the anniversary of the meeting between US and Soviet troops at the Elbe River in Germany in 1945 would be a “sad end” to an event that expressed friendship between the United States and Russia, US World War II veteran Frank Cohn told Sputnik. “I have my doubts that there will be a ceremony and if there is none, it will seem like a sad ending of one of the events that still expressed friendship between the American and Russian people,” Cohn, a 97-year-old retired Army colonel, said.
In late April 1945, Cohn participated in the historic meeting of the Soviet and US troops at the Elbe River – a key milestone in ending World War II that came about as US troops advanced from the west and Soviet troops advanced from the east, thus splitting Nazi Germany in two.
Cohn opined that the only way to restore the Elbe meeting commemoration is to establish peace in Ukraine. “Until the war in Ukraine is settled, we will not have any opportunity to re-establish what used to be a people-to-people friendship as was the case during the Cold War,” he said. Earlier in April, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said that the US authorities had denied the Russian embassy’s request to hold the traditional ceremony at the Spirit of the Elbe war memorial in Arlington, Virginia. The Spirit of the Elbe memorial was opened in 1995 at the Arlington National Cemetery to mark the 40th anniversary of the meeting between US and Soviet troops near the German city of Torgau.