Its a shame that the allies are sitting in prison

Ask those who fought,

Who are we on the Elbe hug her.

(Yevgeny Yevtushenko)

on 25 April 1945 there was a historic meeting on the Elbe. The event left a deep trace in the memory of the participants — both the Soviet and the American side. The official summary of the Soviet information Bureau, however, will announce the meeting only two days later, the 27th: “the Troops of the 1st Ukrainian front and ally of the Anglo-American troops attacked from the East and the West have cut off the front of the German troops and on April 25 in 13 hours and 30 minutes joined in the middle of Germany near the town of Torgau”. A summary of April 25, the name of the river Elbe were only in passing — in a string of dozens of other names.

Before the advanced units of the red Army, the Americans met Soviet prisoners of war liberated by the allies on the Western front. There are even pictures of our soldiers, dressed in a brand new American uniform — but without insignia. At the same meeting, the representatives of the two armies speaking different languages, often led to ridiculous situations — sometimes tragic, sometimes comical. One individual “tragicomedy” has captured the diary of Lieutenant Alexander Borisovich Wagman (1916-2000).

He was born in Starokonstantinov (now Khmelnitsky region of Ukraine) before the war he lived in Moscow. Defended the capital in the ranks of the militia, and then participated in the Rzhev-Vyazma operation. 24 April 1942, was captured. Hidden nationality as Tatar, Nikolai Petrovich by Arbcom. Were kept in pow camps in the Soviet Union and Germany. March 26, 1945 along with his comrades escaped and on 1 April reached the location of U.S. troops. A managed to take the diary that Wegman led from January 1945.

“April 25,

Environment. Got up early, because in a hurry to the club to listen to the morning news on the radio. Particularly significant today is the search in 15 hours flat SS commandant of a pow camp in Kiev. I found the supporting documents and photographs of his activities, bullying and the destruction of the Soviet prisoners of war, [that] one had on me, it destroyed the monument to Lenin in Kyiv, and on the pedestal of the monument stood the despot, the fascist monster, the camp Kiev-Darnitsa.

However, the Germans told us the police in America that we allegedly were going to Rob the apartment, and the police, not understanding, us — Volodya Khramova, Grigoriy and I got arrested and the car and the station wagon was taken to the prison in Offenbach. Put us in a cell where there were two former prisoners of war. As it was before may day holidays, we decided to decorate the camera by the 1st of may; with only a pencil, drew a star, slogans on the wall. I personally wrote may daye slogans on paper. To sit painfully and it’s a shame that the allies are sitting in jail, and for what, for the truth. Different thoughts on the timing of sitting in prison. But we are calm because we know what are, and therefore, will liberate us, but remember that it is the Americans, not the Soviet authorities. With such thoughts he lay down on the floor to sleep together.”

We shall not weary the reader with uncertainty on the future of Alexander Veygman and get a diary entry for the following day:

“Thursday. The morning in jail. Sitting, boring, painfully, and different thoughts in my head whirl. Soon after the may 1 holiday of spring and of liberation from Nazi captivity. But, alas, once again a prison. Got Breakfast: 250 gr. of bread, 30 gr. sausage and a pint of water (tea). However, at 2pm we were called in for questioning to the investigation Department. Talked with us American non-commissioned officer, an ethnic pole. He spoke in broken Russian. Read inappropriate notation about us. And we have 3 hours free.”

In may 1945, Alexander Wagman re-drafted into the Red Army. His unwavering loyalty to the Soviet holidays were probably appreciated as he was appointed political Commissar of the battalion.


At the end of April 1945, the soldiers and officers of the red Army fought with the feeling of a quick Victory. 23-year-old captain of medical service Joseph G. Baron, on 25 April 1945, wrote about the capture of Berlin as an accomplished fact. To get ahead of it in the character of Joseph Baron — like he wrote about the poet Vyazemsky: “And live in a hurry, and feel in a hurry”. It often flared up romantic feelings, which he shared with his diary.

“April 25, 1945

my Health condition became choir[Osee]. 21 [th] with[his] m[esaca] working in eberwalde in SEG [sorting evacuation hospital] 70 km from Berlin, and Berlin is occupied. As you want to get there to see this — the fascist lair.

I’m still young — it’s time to get excited about and love. And in fact, I have neither one nor the other no (except for Theresa). How to explain this? It’s very simple: I can’t, like so many others, “be animals”. Boring, sometimes I think — at least some passion though and I have very little to do take. I still retained some shyness in relations with women, yet I dream about a good friend — girl or guy. The weather is wonderful, walk in cloak. Tomorrow I’m going to go to Berlin, if we do not hold any unforeseen circumstances.”

In the “MK” a few years ago was given his memories (Dobrovolsky A. S. As a regimental doctor on the front lines saved hundreds of soldiers ‘ lives. No. 26757, 6.03.2015):

“In a memorable me a day or 2 may 1945, I was in Berlin and the wall in the Reich��yeah proudly inscribed: “I. a Baron of Moscow”.

incidentally, I received specialty medical toxicologist came in handy later, after the victory. In June-July 1945 near Berlin there was a mass poisoning of people with an unknown chemical substance of high toxicity. The incident occurred because of damage to tanks stationed at a former German warehouse storage. Me there urgently sent to the composition ORME-100 (separate company of health gain) for the organization of hospital departments and participate in the treatment of those who suffered during the decontamination of contaminated areas of the store. The condition of these unfortunates was very difficult. They received an almost fatal shock. As it turned out, this substance was neurotoxic”.

the Soldier, who survived the wound, he was awarded medals and the order of the red Star, promoted to commander of the medical company, Joseph Baron, and after the war remained a romantic, dreamed of becoming a theater critic. He even did theatre, dance — but in the end tied all his life with medicine.

Publication was prepared by the staff of the Center “Holocaust” Ilya Altman and Roman Zhigun