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Russia unveils monument to Soviet radio presenter Levitan, Hitler's enemy No.1

May 07, 2015, 14:13 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Levitan's voice announced Hitler's attack on the Soviet Union in 1941, battlefield victories, air raid warnings and Nazi Germany's surrender in 1945
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Yuri Levitan

Yuri Levitan

© ITAR-TASS/ Y. Tikhanov

MOSCOW, May 7. /TASS/. A unique interactive monument to Soviet radio presenter Yuri Levitan, whom Adolf Hitler considered the Third Reich's public enemy number one, was unveiled in his native town of Vladimir on Thursday, two days before the 70th anniversary of the USSR's victory over Nazi Germany.

Levitan's radio reports usually began with "Attention, Moscow is speaking!" His voice announced Hitler's attack on the Soviet Union in 1941, battlefield victories, air raid warnings and Nazi Germany's surrender in 1945.

The monument unveiled in Vladimir features an old man and a child standing by a lamp post and listening to Levitan's voice from an old-fashioned loudspeaker. The monument is interactive and allows smartphone users to hear fragments of his announcements.

Levitan's voice was instantly recognisable by Soviet people and inspired them in the time of war. Hitler placed a bounty on Levitan's head of 250,000 Reichsmarks, which is worth $1.3 million in today’s currency.

In the autumn of 1941 the radio star was evacuated to the Urals city of Sverdlovsk (now Yekaterinburg) and lived in a secret location for safety reasons. In March 1943 Levitan was transported to the headquarters of the Soviet radio committee in the Volga city of Kuibyshev (now Samara).

Russian presidential aide Igor Shchegolev who attended the ceremony in Vladimir said that Levitan "was an amazing man with a sense of humour... and impressive diligence."

After the war Levitan read the news of Joseph Stalin's death in March 1953 and Yuri Gagarin's first manned space flight in April 1961.

"The most famous voice of the 20th century" died of a heart attack in 1983 at the age of 68 and was buried at Moscow's famed Novodevichy Cemetery.

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