On 25 April 1945 American and Soviet soldiers met at the Elbe near Torgau. The soldiers shook hands on the ruins of the Elbe bridge in Torgau. The photo of the “handshake of Torgau” went around the world and to this day has symbolised the end of the Second World War and the liberation from the National Socialist tyranny.
Seventy-five years after the end of the war and 30 years after German reunification, this brochure seeks to present in a series of brief articles the significance of Elbe Day, its legacy for following generations and the living culture of remembrance. The texts look at history, the present and the future: What are we remembering today? What does Elbe Day mean to young people? What values do we seek to inculcate and to live by together? Elbe Day refers not only to the historic meeting of 1945 but also to the annual memorial day and the variety of cultural events associated with it. In the period following the opening of the border and subsequent reunification, “Elbe Tag” was celebrated until the term “Elbe Day” gradually became established.
The brochure has been published in German and English by the City of Torgau in cooperation with Saxon Memorial Foundation / Documentation and Information Centre (DIZ) Torgau. It is available here as a free download. Alternatively, you can order the printed booklet at a price of 3 euros plus shipping costs. You can order or download the German version of the brochure >>here