David L. Robbins
Novelist, Educator, Playwright, Essayist
Germany/Poland/Ukraine (The End of War), 2000
by David L. Robbins on July 30th, 2014

To desribe the fall of Berlin, I read 72 source books (the bibliography is available in the rear of the novel) and visited archive libraries and battle sites in Germany, Poland, and Ukraine. Among many locales, I dropped in on the Livadia Palace in Crimea, where I got to sit around the table used for the Yalta Conference, attended by Stalin, Churchill and FDR. Here are a few pics of my trip.

The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. I imagined all the downed planes and burning tanks in the square, the scorched pillars and red banners flying from the chariot.

A Soviet cemetery above  the Oder plain, where 70,000 Red soldiers died in three days assaulting Seelow, across the Oder River, to finally enter the German homeland.

The entrance to Sachsenhausen, with the infamous exhortation "Arbeit Macht Frei." Work makes freedom.

The courtyard at Sachsenhausen concentration camp. The cordons mark the place where the gallows stood.

"I'll tell you what I'll do, Yasha. Sachsenhausen is right outside Berlin, I believe. I'm going to take that damned city, I don't give a shit what the little Americans and British think they have up their sleeves. After I do, I'll string up a few Nazis for you right in their own camp. We'll take over Sachsenhausen and turn it on its masters. Would you like that?"

"Yes, father."

                                                         â€”The End of War

Me and a Russian school group at the Prokhorovka memorial.

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