ELKOST International Literary Agency

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Elena Rzhevskaya

ELKOST Intl. literary agency handles world rights in the literary estate of Elena Rzhevskaya (1919-2017)

Andrei Sakharov Prize “For Writer’s Civic Courage” (1996, Russia)
Golden medal of Russian Writers Union (1987)
“Venets” (“The Crown”) prize of Moscow Union of Writers
Two-time “Moscow News” newspaper prize winner


Elena Rzhevskaya (1919-2017) left the fourth academic year in the Institute of Philosophy, Literature and History unfinished in order to join the Red Army as an interpreter, and made the whole way from Rzhev to Berlin. During the last days of the war, in May 1945, Rzhevskaya took part as an interpreter in the discovery and identification of the body of Adolf Hitler and was the first person to read the documents, related to the history and the last days of the Reich (among which the personal papers of Hitler, the correspondence of Magda Goebbels and, most important, the diaries of Goebbels), and to prepare them for archiving.

She was the author of two famous documentaries (Berlin, May 1945 and Goebbels. A portrait based on his diaries), of six war novels (Roads and Days also published in English by Journal of Slavic Military Studies as a rare example of historiography “revealing the human face of war”).

“By the will of fate I came to play a part in not letting Hitler achieve his final goal of disappearing and turning into a myth. Only with time did I finally manage to overcome all the obstacles and make public this ‘secret of the century’. I managed to prevent Stalin’s dark and murky ambition from taking root – his desire to hide from the world that we had found Hitler’s corpse”.