When We Were Pals

With all the noise, I mean news, that Russia and the United States — Presidents Putin and Obama — are finding it hard to get along, it might be sobering to recall our tenuous alliance with the Soviets against the Nazis. Without the millions of Soviet troops killed defending the U.S.S.R. against German aggression, there is a good chance that the Allies might have lost World War II.

medowlands

Russian march for voice and piano. “See our youthful heroes filing.” English words by Lorraine Noel Finley, music by Lev Knipper.

The Russians were our reluctant pals, but every possible gesture was made to show that Americans were supportive. This includes the arts, such as film and music. Meadowlands is a celebration of Soviet fortitude and resistance (note how every soldier is identical). Published in 1944, just a year before total victory in Europe, this may have been among the last artifacts that paid homage to our former comrades at arms.

Over broad fields smiling, See our youthful heroes filling; 

Treading the meadow-lands’ tall grasses, Gallantly our dauntless army passes. Ah! Girls left behind, grieving,

Sob farewell to lovers leaving.

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One thought on “When We Were Pals

  1. DMcCunney

    The Russians have long memories. The Soviet leadership had not not forgotten that US troops fought on Russian soil in support of the White Russians, before the Bolsheviks established themselves as the rulers. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allied_intervention_in_the_Russian_Civil_War)

    And Joseph Stalin was a paranoid in any case, so no surprise the US had to do a lot or reassurance. He didn’t trust the US, and from his point of view, he had good reason not to.

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