V-E Day - Commemorations & Reflections

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NDPP
V-E Day - Commemorations & Reflections

V-E Day: 70 Years After Then - What Does It Mean Now?

 

 

NDPP

Victory!

http://www.cbc.ca/archives/categories/war-conflict/second-world-war/vict...

"May 8, 1945 was a day to celebrate. It was VE-Day, the long-awaited moment when the Allied Forces triumphed over Nazi Germany to claim victory in Europe..."

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

May 9 is also a day to celebrate.

The pathological anti-communism of the Cold War had already started even in the choice of which day to celebrate the crushing military defeat of Nazi Germany.

This issue continues to this very day.

Who was it who took Berlin at the cost of tens of thousands of lives?

lagatta

I dunno. My friends in Germany certainly treasure that photo. There is a similar one of a partisan in Athens. At last word he is still alive.

I doubt any serious historian nowadays would downplay the crucial importance of Stalingrad and of the horrific price the people of the then Soviet Union paid in resistance. But at the same time, it is normal that various peoples should have their own narratives. I know, or sadly in most cases "knew" several resistance fighters. Those living memories are swiftly fading, as people die or just get too old to want to talk any more. Not all of those are dementia sufferers; some are just on another plane in extreme old age. Even my friend who had to wear the yellow star in Paris as a girl is over 80 now. She has never stopped fighting racism and prejudice, throughout her long life.

Mr. Magoo

Quote:
Who was it who took Berlin

A:  Leonard Cohen, after he took Manhattan.

ygtbk

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
Who was it who took Berlin

A:  Leonard Cohen, after he took Manhattan.

You have to forgive him after 20 years of boredom.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..bored from trying to change the system from within

 

NDPP

Heroes (and vid)

http://warwitness.rt.com

 

Contest of Absurdity and Victory

http://m.strategic-culture.org/news/2015/03/21/contest-absurdity-and-vic...

"On March 19, the Los Angeles Times published an article called 'Kiev, Not Moscow, Should Be the Choice For Marking V-E Day,' written by Steven Pifer, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, John Herbst, the director of the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center at the Atlantic Council, and Bill Taylor, the acting Executive Vice President of the US Institute for Peace.

All three are former US ambassadors to Ukraine. It begins with praises for German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British PM David Cameron for their refusal to come to Moscow in May to take part in the celebration of the victory over Nazism.

The authors believe that Merkel, Cameron and Obama should go to Kiev instead of Moscow to commemorate V-E Day..."

josh

Kiev? Why don't they just go to Berchtesgaden?

6079_Smith_W

ikosmos wrote:

Who was it who took Berlin?

Well considering the allies made an agreement at Yalta that the Soviets would have the honours, while the western forces moved in to southern Germany (and Canada north along the coast) to prevent the Nazi government from moving south, I'd say it was a team effort.

What is more important is what happened when they tore up that agreement three years later and REALLY tried to take Berlin:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berlin_Blockade

 

 

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

I think Stalingrad is where they should go. The date is 2 February 1943.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

lagatta wrote:
I doubt any serious historian nowadays would downplay the crucial importance of Stalingrad and of the horrific price the people of the then Soviet Union paid in resistance. But at the same time, it is normal that various peoples should have their own narratives.

I think you know that there is a real effort to re-write the history of WW2 and, in the context of the Ukrainian civil war, even to trivialize the crimes of the Nazis and/or treat the USSR and the Nazis as "equally responsible," etc. The lying has got to the point that the current Ukrainian PM recently made reference to the Soviet "invasion of Ukraine and Germany" in WW2.

Every single element that does not serve the current Russophobic Western narrative is actively being erased from public memory. But it's also perhaps worthwhile to note, as I did above, that the re-writing of history began even over simple matters like

"Which day should the Allies (ie, including Russia and the former SU that bore the brunt of the struggle, suffered the greatest losses by far, etc.) together, celebrate the military defeat of the Nazis?" in order to literally create divisions between the victors the very next day after the end of the war.

I mean, was it a shared victory or not? I realize that there is some effort to simply erase the Soviet contribution altogether, eg, from the fascist-friendly Ukrainian regime, but, for those whose brains have not completely fallen out of their heads, how the hell do you celebrate a shared victory except on a shared occassion?

No, there was no good intent. 70 years have passed and the erasing continues. Give it 30 years and a Hitler moustache will be painted on Stalin's face and the latter will be blamed for the Holocaust, the supremacist ideology of the Nazis "forgotten", and so on.

Supplemental: one bit of re-writing history that has been remarkably successful already is the transformation of WW2 suffering into a struggle against anti-Semitism in which everything else is trivialized: the supremacist ideology of the Nazis (much like the supremacist ideology of a certain middle eastern country today), the plans to ethnically cleanse the Slavic areas to make space for "the master race", and so on. Those who share similar odious racist and supremacist views to the Nazis, naturally enough, want nothing to do with the denunciation of such views. It is really, really important to insist on the importance of the defeat of the Nazis as a victory over racist, supremacist views generally. The entire history of the world, looking at the immediate post-war period, took inspiration from that most noble victory, in the liberation of dozens of countries across the planet, civil rights movements that marched humanity forward, gloriously, and in the absolutely wonderful destruction of the monstrous apartheid regimes in Southern Africa, etc, etc, etc. Of course, the struggle continues. How could it not?

Current Russian public attitudes are instructive. They look at history and see that Russia had to "save the world" from one would-be World conquerer after another. Bonaparte. Hitler. Always coming from the West. And they are also of a mind that they may have to do it again, given the Xenophobia being actively cultivated against their country, the typical precursor to another effort at "regime change" by the US and its client states.

Has anything been learned by the West from WW2? It doesn't seem so.

The leaders of these NATO regimes should all be arrested as War Criminals. O what a wonderful day when it comes.

 

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

Most people in the West would think that a war with Russia would be madness. Hardline hawk neocons are falling in the polls.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

montrealer58 wrote:
Most people in the West would think that a war with Russia would be madness. Hardline hawk neocons are falling in the polls.

There is a real divide between the views of the masses and the militaristic views of political leaders. Let us just take Canada, for example. Roger Annis has had a recent article re-published in Russia Insider

Canada's Political Mainstream United in Backing War in Ukraine

... and there are plenty of observers who, based on the deliberate stoking of tensions in Ukraine (by Canada and other countries), express the view that war with Russia is more likely now that at virtually any time in the past ...

6079_Smith_W

This is kind of funny. Umpteen dozen threads about current events and all these guys want to talk about is 70 years ago.

Start a thread about 70 years ago and all they talk about is current events - and it seems like we have breezed right past any commemorations to banging the drum over Ukraine yet again. Just in case we haven't gotten the point.

 

 

lagatta

Yes, I was rather pissed off at being told what I had to know about the Second World War, having a useless history MA and all.

And certainly not wanting to wage war on Russia or anyone else.

I'm really getting sick of this single-issue Ukraine obsession. I just avoid those endless threads in which one or two people echo each other; does the obsession have to pop up here too?

Caissa

My useless MA in history echoes your comments, lagatta.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

I'm so terribly sorry that my selfish concerns about a possible WW3 are getting in the way of your fun.

Caissa

As you should be.

lagatta

The other one said the same thing in the Russia thread.

I do have a friend who studies and teaches about that part of the world. Unfortunately, I've never been that far east in Europe (I have been to central European countries that were once part of the "Soviet Bloc"), so I haven't had the honour of meeting veterans of Stalingrad and other battles on the Eastern Front that played a decisive role in turning the war around.

Since I studied in Italy, I'd have a disproportionate number of stories about partisans there, and of the Parisian friend mentioned above whose family took refuge there - ironically in Fascist Italy! With a phony "Certificate of Aryanity"!

One of the Italian partisans I knew had fought earlier with the POUM in the Spanish Civil War, and crossed the Pyrénées on foot to reach France - quite a feat. Of course he is dead now, but he lived to a ripe old age.

lagatta

The other one said the same thing in the Russia thread.

I do have a friend who studies and teaches about that part of the world. Unfortunately, I've never been that far east in Europe (I have been to central European countries that were once part of the "Soviet Bloc"), so I haven't had the honour of meeting veterans of Stalingrad and other battles on the Eastern Front that played a decisive role in turning the war around.

Since I studied in Italy, I'd have a disproportionate number of stories about partisans there, and of the Parisian friend mentioned above whose family took refuge there - ironically in Fascist Italy! With a phony "Certificate of Aryanity"!

One of the Italian partisans I knew had fought earlier with the POUM in the Spanish Civil War, and crossed the Pyrénées on foot to reach France - quite a feat. Of course he is dead now, but he lived to a ripe old age.

6079_Smith_W

ikosmos wrote:

I'm so terribly sorry that my selfish concerns about a possible WW3 are getting in the way of your fun.

Don't you have another thread or two open to talk about that crap?

@ lagatta

I have spent some time in eastern europe and seen some evidence of REAL anti-soviet denial of the past (just like the denial of Nazi past before it), not the nonsense that is being slung here. And while I haven't spent much time in the place our friends insist on hammering away at, I was in Kiev during a previous time 20 years ago when Russia demonstrated how good their relationship was by shutting off gas and petrol supplies. 

I also have an old family friend who went back to his childhood home now in Poland, where no one speaks his language any more.

There is very little about that war and its legacy that is as black and white as some want to conveniently portray it. And that goes double for the nonsense being slung here.

 

 

 

 

Caissa

The legacy has evolved with many twists and turns over the last 70 years. Most of what has been happening in Europe can find its origins in the war and the interwar years.

6079_Smith_W

Some would take that back to the Thirty Years War and earlier. There is a reason why Guenter Grass set Meeting at Telgte in that period. As for recent events, I'd say all the pieces were laid in place by the end of the first war, and at the 1919 conference.

 

 

Slumberjack

A couple of tracts on Georges Guingouin.  A Guardian one and a wiki.

6079_Smith_W

Excellent article, SJ.

lagatta

Yes, it was. This also provides some more context for the Oradour massacre. http://www.oradour.org/

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

There's no better proof of an impoverished political point of view than exposing its haughty contempt, ridicule and disdain for the struggle for peace.

You know who you are.

lagatta

That is utter nonsense. You aren't talking to a meeting of the Young Conservatives. This is babble, rabble... Founded by people who have been involved in antiwar movements (among other progressive movements) for decades. Specifically to provide an alternative viewpoint to the cant in the MSM.

Todrick of Chat...

Yes, we should remember all Soviet accomplishments in WW2.

1. The joint invasion of Poland in 1939 with the Nazis.

2. The Katyn Massacre of Polish Army Officers. (This occurred on the 3rd of April 1940.)

3. The invasion of Finland in 1939. (The Winter War of 1939/40)

4. The numerous war crimes against the German population in 1944/45.

Of course the remaining allies all committed various war crimes, however to sing the praise of the Red Army as glorious heroes maybe be an unrealistic and unhistorical. 

NDPP

Canada and Russia's Common Legacy: Victory Over Nazi Germany

http://espritdecorps.ca/in-the-news/canada-amp-russias-common-legacy-vic...

"...Amidst fierce fighting in summer 1942, as German tanks were rushing toward the Volga river, with the Soviet troops struggling hard to shore up their crumbling frontline, Canada Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King sent encouraging greetings on behalf of men and women of Canada to 'The gallant peoples of the Soviet Union'. Stressing that 'today our nations fight side by side,' Mackenzie King praised the 'forcefulness and determination' of the Red Army ' which have aroused the profound admiration of the civilized world..."

 

Moscow Promises Washington 'Serious Talk' About Its V-Day Message That Omits Soviet Union's Role in Defeating Nazis

https://on.rt.com/agsq

"Moscow won't fail to take note of the White House decision to completely exclude the Soviet Union from its message marking Victory in Europe Day, the Foreign Ministry said, calling the act a 'distortion' of WWII history. 'The US officials have found neither the courage nor the desire to do justice to the indisputable role of the Red Army and of the Soviet people, and to the enormous sacrifices they made in the name of humanity,' Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The Soviet Union bore the brunt of fighting Nazi Germany, with at least 27 million of its people killed in WWII. Few families were left untouched, and so celebration of Victory Day and remembering the  war's tragic toll are still a big deal in Russia. That is why many reacted with disbelief when media cited a message from the White House that said 'On May 8, 1945, America and Great Britain had victory over the Nazis,' and failed to even mention their Second World War ally, the USSR..."

 

CrossTalk Bullhorns: Victory in Europe (and vid)

https://www.rt.com/shows/crosstalk/488307-victory-fascism-europe-solidar...

"Seventy-five years ago, there was global solidarity to annihilate the scourage of fascism from Europe..."

'The Sacred War'

https://youtu.be/_JXr3FPxHFc

Bacchus

WW2 could not have been won without the Polish, Canadians, New Zealand, UK, Australia, India, Greeks, Russians, Americans and Norwegians. Simple fact

Ken Burch

This David Rovics song is worth sharing on this occasion:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfByIr6IT-0