Yelena Kagan joined the Red Army after the German invasion and was trained as a German-language interpreter. Her first assignment was to the bittertly contested Rzhev sector and she would later adopt the pen-name Rzhevskaya to honour the fallen there. The fortunes of war subsequently brought Yelena to Berlin in 1945 and a dangerous and unexpected position at the centre of world historical events.
Rzhevskaya lived in Moscow after the war, worked as a writer and won prizes for her fiction and journalism. She was the author of two acclaimed history books and six war novels. Yelena Rzhevskaya died in 2017.
Memoirs of a Wartime Interpreter:
from the battle for Moscow to Hitler’s bunker
Translated by Arch Tait
Greenhill Books, 2018
Hardback, 329 pages
Order from Waterstones or AbeBooks USA
Translation kindly supported by the Transcript Programme of the Mikhail Prokhorov Foundation.
the Week. 'This is an astonishing first-hand account: a must-read.'
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