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Reflections from the WWII Rifleman Who Played Violin for Truman, Churchill and Stalin

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 (Sam Ball)

As a 19-year old army rifleman in World War II, Stuart Canin once played violin for Harry Truman, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin at Potsdam in 1945. The Bay Area musician, now in his 90’s, says he has never been as nervous in front of an audience as he was on that day. We’ll talk with him about that experience, which is the subject of a new short film called “The Rifleman’s Violin.” We’ll also explore that period of history as World War II drew to a close and the Cold War was just starting.


Samuel Ball, co-founder of Citizen Film and director of the short documentary "The Rifleman's Violin" and co-producer of the Potsdam Revisited Multimedia Event and Archive.

Stuart Canin, former concertmaster, San Francisco Symphony

Scott Sagan, professor of political science and senior fellow at Stanford's Center for International Security and Cooperation


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