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Yuri Levitan
Yurilevitan
Historical Figure
Nationality: Soviet Union (born in Russia)
Date of Birth: 1914
Date of Death: 1983
Cause of Death: Natural causes
Religion: None (born Jewish)
Occupation: Broadcaster
Professional Affiliations: Radio Moscow
Turtledove Appearances:
The Hot War
POD: November, 1950
Appearance(s): Bombs Away
Type of Appearance: Direct (via radio)
Date of Death: 1951
Cause of Death: Killed in an atomic bombing
Yuri Borisovich Levitan (Russian: Юрий Борисович Левитан) (2 October 1914 - 4 August 1983) was a Soviet radio announcer famous for his wartime reports of the battles on Radio Moscow, which usually began with "Attention, Moscow is speaking!" (Russian: Внимание, говорит Москва! or Vnimanie, govorit Moskva!). During World War II, Levitan announced battlefield victories, air raid warnings, and the surrender of Germany to the Soviets on 9 May 1945. He also announced the first public acknowledgment of Joseph Stalin's death in March 1953, and the first manned space flight. His voice was instantly recognizable by the Soviet public.

Yuri Levitan in The Hot WarEdit

Yuri Levitan (1914-1951) was the voice of Radio Moscow for the first few months of World War III, much as he had been in the last war.

On 15 February 1951, Levitan announced that the United States had used atomic bombs against Zywiec in Poland, Szekesfehervar in Hungary, and Ceske Budejovice in Czechoslovakia. He reported that the U.S. claimed those cities were chosen because they were transportation hubs, but Levitan calmly claimed that the Americans acted out of blood lust.[1]

On 25 February, Levitan reported that Soviet forces had plunged deep into Germany. He also reported on a U.S. bombing raid against various targets within the USSR and its allied countries, including Warsaw and Krakow in Poland, Prague and Bratislava in Czechoslovakia, and Budapest in Hungary. He also reported that the Soviet cities of Leningrad and Vladivostok, as well as Minsk in Byelorussian SSR and Rovno in the Ukranian SSR. Levitan noted that, despite the attack coming at night, the Leningrad attack killed several children playing in a park.[2]

Levitan continued to report on the progress of the war. On 2 March, the Soviets launched an audacious bombing raid against the U.S., successfully destroying several cities in the western part of the country, as well as Bangor, Maine, and a location in Newfoundland in Canada.[3] However, a few weeks after this attack, the U.S. struck Moscow proper. Levitan was among those killed, and died while broadcasting.[4] He was succeeded as newsreader by Roman Amfiteatrov.[5]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Bombs Away, pg. 103-4., ebook.
  2. Ibid., pgs. 120-121.
  3. Ibid., pgs. 151-155.
  4. Ibid., pg. 178.
  5. Ibid., pg. 328.

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