4 Aug 2015

Stuart Canin - The Rifleman's Violin

From Afternoons, 3:08 pm on 4 August 2015

Seventy years ago, Winston Churchill, US President Harry Truman and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin met in Potsdam, just outside Berlin, to discuss the fate of a defeated Germany in the aftermath of World War II. They would make decisions there that continue to shape the world today.

A 19-year-old Army Rifleman from New York City was called upon to play his part in the historic talks. Stuart Canin, a promising young violinist, took a cheap violin with him to war. He played for Churchill, Truman and Stalin as the conference started. Stuart Canin is now 89 years old.

There's a new short documentary out that commemorates his extraordinary experience called The Rifleman's Violin, and Stuart's story is also featured on an online archive called Potsdam Revisited: Overture to the Cold War, a project of Citizen Film and the Hoover Institution Library & Archives at Stanford University. Stuart Canin joins us from Berkeley, California.