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Dien' Pobiedy:

Today is when Russians celebrate (at least they celebrated it under the Soviets, but I'm sure they still celebrate it now) Dien' Pobiedy, or Victory Day, the victory of course being victory over the Nazis (or, as the Russians say, Fascists). Americans mark V-E day on May 8, but I take it that the surrender on the Russian front happened on the 9th.

M. Thompson (mail) (www):
Actually, the ceremonial surrender was to be today, but the media leaked it a day early.
5.9.2006 2:02pm
Vovan:
Yep, you are absolutely right, they still celebrate it

Here are some pictures
5.9.2006 2:09pm
Sarah (mail) (www):
Wikipedia suggests it's on May 9th due to the time difference only.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victory_Day
5.9.2006 2:12pm
Taimyoboi:
Never mess with a Russian winter.
5.9.2006 2:14pm
Ilya Somin:
Actually, the Germans surrendered at Eisenhower's HQ to all the Allies, on all fronts, on May 7. The surrender took effect May 8, thus V-E Day.

Stalin, however, thought that the USSR was not represented by a high enough ranking representative at the May 7 ceremony, and so forced the Germans to sign another surrender document at the Soviet HQ in Berlin on May 9. The May 9 ceremony had no legal significance (because the Germans had already surrendered anyway), but did give Stalin an opportunity to accentuate his role in the victory.
5.9.2006 2:24pm
ys:
Yes, it indeed took place in Rheims, France, on May 7, with the participation of Jodl, no less. A carefully preserved museum commemorates this event . This is probably the only place where the red flag still represents the Eurasian colossus in its official state capacity as one of the four allied flags at the entrance. According to museum materials, the Soviet general attached to the headquarters who signed the document was later sent to the GULAG for his efforts.
5.9.2006 2:41pm
Flavio Rose (mail):
The following is an interesting link on the subject of why May 9th. The answer seems to be, Stalin didn't like the symbolism of a German surrender to Eisenhower, but his staff didn't act quickly enough to prevent it, and so there had to be a second surrender to the Soviet armed forces. I'm afraid I have to agree that the symbolism was inappropriate.
5.9.2006 3:35pm
Chris of MM (mail) (www):
Vovan, wow, some great photos at that site (your second link). Thanks.
5.9.2006 4:04pm
Seamus (mail):

This is probably the only place where the red flag still represents the Eurasian colossus in its official state capacity as one of the four allied flags at the entrance.



I wonder: Is the 48-star U.S. flag the one on display?
5.9.2006 4:30pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
Since we were treated to the moral equivalence of Nazism and Communism a few days ago at the VC, where is the denunciation of celebrating the victory of the depraved Soviet system over the depraved Nazi system? (Tongue partly in cheek ....)
5.9.2006 4:41pm
TC (mail):
Wikipedia is wrong on that. Ilya Somin's got it pretty much right, although I think that the Germans surrender in Berlin was done on 8 May, to go into effect at midnight (9 May); just as the 7 May surrender in Reims went into effect at midnight (8 May).


Stalin, however, thought that the USSR was not represented by a high enough ranking representative at the May 7 ceremony, and so forced the Germans to sign another surrender document at the Soviet HQ in Berlin on May 9. The May 9 ceremony had no legal significance (because the Germans had already surrendered anyway), but did give Stalin an opportunity to accentuate his role in the victory.


I was in St. Petersburg for Dien' Pobedy 1997. What a wonderful experience.
5.9.2006 4:53pm
TC (mail):
Hmm, according to this link http://www.historicaldocuments.com/GermanySurrender.htm, the surrender was supposed to go into effect at 2301 Central European Time on 8 May. That would have been 9 May in Soviet Russia. I don't know if Soviet forces in Germany were operating on Central European Time or Moscow time, though.
5.9.2006 4:59pm
ys:
To Seamus: I admit that I failed to count the stars on the stars and stripes, but I did count them on the red flag :-)

To TC: I was in Warsaw exactly a year ago, the biggest of those V-days. The whole country was in turmoil over Putin's remarks not mentioning its contributions to victory, while mentioning a relatively layabout France. The Bolshoi, in town on a tour, was boycotted, and President Kwasniewski kicked around for going to Moscow. Few noticed, however, that two days earlier Putin had called the break up of the Soviet Union "the greatest tragedy of the XXth century" (just think what else happened in that century).
5.9.2006 7:41pm