Avraam Miletsky, a Soviet Army captain and architect, was entrusted with the task of designing the monument. The original plan to create a monument with a tank or a piece of heavy artillery, but Miletsky felt it was more important that the design convey a different message: “In Torgau the guns fells silent.” He described his work with the words, “May the monument commemorate the invincible power of the nations, which united them in the struggle against barbarism.” Miletsky himself had suffered great loss as a result of Germany’s war of annihilation against the USSR and the European Jews. From a large Jewish family in Kiev, Ukraine, he and his uncle were the only surviving members of a large family of more than 70 members. Work on the monument was performed by two local stonemason firms owned by the Köhler and Hacker families. Completed in September 1945, the monument’s crown depicts the lowered flags of the Soviet Union and the United States of America, and stacked rifles flanking a wreath, symbols represented the end of hostilities. An inscription in Russian (with translations into German and English added later) recounts the historic meeting of the Soviet and American armies. Restored most recently in 2019, the monument has become an important site of commemoration during Torgau’s annual Elbe Day Weekend on April 25.