Dreams of America Behind the Iron Curtain

Joseph Brodsky at Lithub:

If anybody profited from the war, it was us: its children. Apart from having survived it, we were richly provided with stuff to romanticize or to fantasize about. In addition to the usual childhood diet of Dumas and Jules Verne, we had military paraphernalia, which always goes well with boys. With us, it went exceptionally well, since it was our country that won the war.

Curiously enough, though, it was the military hardware of the other side that attracted us most, not that of our own victorious Red Army. Names of German airplanes—Junkers, Stukas, Messerschmidts, Focke-Wulfs—were constantly on our lips. So were Schmeisser automatic rifles, Tiger tanks, ersatz rations. Guns were made by Krupp, bombs were courtesy of I. G. Farben-Industrie. A child’s ear is always sensitive to a strange, irregular sound.

more here.