World War Two - Eastern Front
During the late war period, leftist playwright Lillian Hellman (1905 – 1984), was twice denied permission to travel to war-torn Britain on the grounds that she had been recognized as an active communist. Yet, ironically, those same pencil-pushers in the State Department turned around a few months later and granted her a passport to visit the Soviet Union in August of 1944 - as a guest artist of VOKS, the Soviet agency that processed all international cultural exchanges. It was during this visit that she penned the attached eyewitness account of the Nazi retreat through Stalin's Russia:
"Five days of looking out of a train window into endless devastation makes you sad at first, and then numb. Here there is nothing left, and the eye gets unhappily accustomed to nothing and begins to accept it..."
Click here to read a 1939 STAGE MAGAZINE profile of this writer.
"The Russians shot down 18 enemy planes over Kuban on Sunday. Moscow estimated German plane losses on all fronts for the week ending Saturday at 381 against 134 Russian planes."
-what the Heck was PM Tabloid? click here and find out...
The attached 1945 article from Collier's by George Creel (1876 – 1953) was one of the very first pieces of wartime journalism to report on the Nazi atrocities committed in the forest of Babi Yar, just outside Kiev, Ukraine. Under the command of Reichskomissar Erich Koch (1896 – 1986) 33,000 Ukrainian Jews were slaughtered by German soldiers over a five day period during the month of September, 1941; this brief article tells the tale of Ukrainian partisan Yefim Vilkis, who resisted the Nazi occupation and witnessed the massacre.
In late April of 1945, American tank crews south of Torgau (Germany) began to pick up the chattering of Soviet infantry units on their radios - the transmissions were generated by the advanced units of Marshal Konev's (1897 - 1973) First Ukrainian Army and both the allied units were elated to know that the other was nearby, for it meant one thing: the end of the war was at hand.
Thankfully, Yank's correspondent Ed Cummings was with the U.S. First Army when the two groups met at the Elbe River and he filed the attached article.
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