May 9: about the history of the holiday and the "Immortal regiment" in South Ossetia

Sat, 08/05/2021 - 12:50

May 9 marks the 76th anniversary of the Great Victory of the Soviet people in the Great Patriotic War. Actually, the date of May 9 is largely conditional: Berlin was completely taken on May 2, and on May 8 the Hitlerite military command signed the Act of Unconditional Surrender for the second time.

The act was originally signed by representatives of the High Command of the Wehrmacht, the High Command of the Western Allies and the Soviet Union on May 7 at 02:41 CET in Reims, France. The surrender of Nazi Germany took effect on May 8 at 23:01 CET (May 9 at 01:01 Moscow time).

By order of Stalin, the second signing of the surrender took place on the night of May 8-9 in the Berlin suburb of Karlshorst.

The text of the act almost word for word repeats the text of the Reims Act and confirms the time of the ceasefire - 8 May at 23:01 CET. It was already May 9 in Moscow, hence the discrepancy in the dates of the Victory Day celebrations in the USSR and in the West.

The main changes in the text were as follows: in the English text the expression Soviet High Command was replaced by Supreme High Command of the Red Army; in article 2, to the requirements to cease hostilities and remain in their places, the requirement for complete disarmament and the transfer of weapons and military property to the allied forces has been added, in addition, the list of military-technical means that should not be destroyed or damaged has been expanded; removed the preamble: "Only this text in English is authoritative" and added article 6 with the indication: "This act is drawn up in Russian, English and German. Only Russian and English texts are authentic."

Soviet citizens learned about the signing of the surrender in Karlshorst from the message of the Soviet Information Bureau on May 9, 1945 at 2 hours 10 minutes at night Moscow time. Announcer Yuri Levitan read the Act of military surrender of Nazi Germany and the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR declaring May 9 the Victory Day. The message was broadcast all night, and then all day on May 9th. On the evening of May 9, the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Soviet Army, Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars (Government) of the USSR, Chairman of the People's Commissariat of Defense, Chairman of the State Defense Committee Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin made an appeal to the Soviet people, after which the announcer Yuri Levitan read out the order of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief on the complete victory over Nazi Germany and about an artillery salute at 22 o'clock on May 9, 1945, with thirty volleys from a thousand guns.

By accepting the surrender, the Soviet Union did not sign peace agreement with Germany, that is, formally remained in a state of war. The decree on the termination of the state of war was adopted by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on January 25, 1955. However, the Great Patriotic War means only military operations against Germany before May 9, 1945.

The replacement document, which was discussed in Article 4 (almost the same in both acts of surrender), was the declaration of the defeat of Germany signed on June 5, 1945 in Berlin by representatives of the four allied powers - the USSR, Great Britain, the USA and France.

In 1945-1947, May 9 was a non-working holiday, and from 1948 it was made a worker again. However, already during the reign of Comrade Brezhnev, in 1965, Victory Day became a full-fledged non-working holiday.

Unfortunately, in the postwar years, our Western allies have completely blotted out the memory of the feat of the Soviet people from the public information space of their countries and satellite countries. In many ways, this was facilitated by the capitulation position taken by the leadership of the USSR on certain issues of the war in the second half of the last century and especially after the collapse of the USSR, when, despite the magnificent celebrations, the personality of the person who led the victorious power and its victorious army becomes a figure of silence.

In response to attempts to falsify history in 2012 in Tomsk by journalists Sergei Lapenkov, Sergei Kolotovkin and Igor Dmitriev, a movement was initiated to preserve the people's memory and rally the descendants of the winners around the memory of the feat of their relatives on the fronts of the Great Patriotic War. In the same place, in Tomsk, the popular movement received the name "Immortal Regiment", the Regiment Charter was created, which formulated the principles of the movement. It subsequently covered more than 80 states and territories.

Today "Immortal Regiment" is an international public civil-patriotic movement to preserve the personal memory of the generation of the Great Patriotic War, as well as the name of the rallies organized by this movement. Every year, on Victory Day, participants march in a column through the streets of cities with photographs of their relatives - participants in the Great Patriotic War, underground fighters, Resistance fighters, home front workers, prisoners of concentration camps, blockades, children of war - and write down family stories about them in the People's Chronicle on the website of the movement.

South Ossetia has been taking an active part in the "Immortal Regiment" movement. In the capital of the Republic, the Hero City of Tskhinval, there is a permanent Headquarters of the Immortal Regiment of South Ossetia headed by Minister of Culture of South Ossetia Zhanna Zasseeva, mother of Gennady Sanakoev, the heroic Defender of Ossetia, brutally tortured by the Georgian fascists. Over the years of its existence, the Headquarters has done a tremendous job of explaining to the population the principles of movement and organization of the regiment's marches. In addition, thanks to the activities of the Headquarters, over 300 families received information about the fate and burial places of their ancestors, who were previously listed missing.


Analytical department of IA "Res"

Аналитический отдел ИА "Рес"
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