Today in History – 1945: Allies Surround Berlin

Seventy-two years ago today, near the end of World War II, Germany was first considered Allied territory. On April 25, 1945, Russian armies surrounded Berlin and met up with U.S. forces on the west side of the Elbe river. Although Germany had not officially surrendered, it still marked a moment of victory for the Allies. After a long, bloody war, the end was in sight. I can’t imagine the emotion of knowing the Nazi regime would soon be coming to an end.

From our viewpoint, seventy-two years later, it’s interesting to see how this shaped the history of Germany. After Germany’s surrender, East Germany was occupied by the Russians and West Germany was occupied by the United States, Great Britain and France. German citizens, many of whom were innocent, were forced to flee from the Soviets. Under Soviet control, East Germans lived under oppression and fear.

A few years ago, I read German Boy by Wolfgang W.E. Samuel, which is a memoir written by a man who was a ten-year-old German citizen at the end of the war. I highly recommend it; it’s thought-provoking to read a memoir from a German’s point of view. Has anyone read a non-fiction or fiction piece from a German’s view? If so, share it by leaving a comment!

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