Thursday, May 06, 2010

The Easter Victory

In the evening of May 6, 1945, General Alfred Jodl arrived at the Western Allies' headquarters in Reims. His mission: surrender to the Allies, ending what became known as World War Two. He eventually signed the surrender treaty in the early morning hours of the following day.

But the Soviet leader Iosif Stalin could under no circumstances accept this. He insisted that the Germans officially surrender to the Soviets as well, which General Wilhelm Keitel did in Berlin on May 8 - May 9, Moscow time.

Part of the reason for this was pride; the USSR had borne the brunt of Allied casualties in fighting the Nazis. Stalin took credit for the Soviet war effort, and wanted the credit he considered his due. Another consideration, though, was more symbolic.

May 6 in the old Julian calendar still followed by the Orthodox faithful (whom the Communists had cruelly repressed) was the feast of St. George, the fabled dragon-slayer. In 1945, it was also the date of Easter. One can certainly understand why Stalin, as an atheist and Communist, would absolutely refuse to give that particular date any more meaning.

After the end of the war, Stalin had hundreds of thousands of liberated Soviet POWs either executed or sent to the gulag, so they would not be witnesses to his bumbling incompetence in 1941. He also turned on the victorious generals like Zhukov, jealous of their popularity. There was no room on the victor's pedestal for anyone but him. Especially not for God.

And so, May 9 became Victory Day in the Soviet Union, while the fact that the Germans surrendered on Easter became obscured by the fog of war.

7 comments:

Dorde said...

I just finished "Icebreaker" by Victor Suvorov. According to him, Stalin was a manipulative genious who , by taking many calculated risks, singlehanded created the Nazis, Hitler and WWII!
I'm sticking to my own belief that Stalin was simply another Georgian thug.

Witch-king of Angmar said...

Next "Suvorov"(not his real name) will tell us that Stalin was also responsible for the Krakatoa eruption of 1883 as well as for the Spanish flu of 1918. That man is a sharlatan in the mould of David Irving. His books are good for nothing but sustaining campfire.

Gray Falcon said...

(Just to clear up any confusion, I do believe the Witch-King is referring to the "Victor Suvorov" from the previous post, and not the other Suvorov, a frequent commenter here.)

Suvorov said...

Thank you for your clarification. There is an element of truth in this confusion, as I share half of "Victor Suvorov"'s real name (Vladimir Rezun). Furthermore, Suvorov is also my pseudonym, but I chose it after Alexander Suvorov, not "Victor Suvorov".

jack said...

Actually the condition why he would want Germany to surrender to the Soviets is that they did not want Germany to have an alliance with Allied states and the corridor to attack the USSR which US and Britain started recruiting German and fascist allied forces towards the end of WW2 to launch attacks against the USSR.
William Randolph Hearst who provided the international media news service to the Nazi regime and a pro-fascist sympathiser with connections to the CIA and MI6 who hired Mussolini as a reporter for his newspaper which was revealed last year to be in the pay of British intelligence was the main news source for Germany and mass info on the USSR for Germany pushing Germany towards war against the USSR and his newspaper serial was responsible to the engineered famine hoax in Ukraine debunked at the time.

http://chss.montclair.edu/english/furr/vv.html

“After the end of the war, Stalin had hundreds of thousands of liberated Soviet POWs either executed or sent to the gulag, so they would not be witnesses to his bumbling incompetence in 1941. He also turned on the victorious generals like Zhukov, jealous of their popularity. There was no room on the victor's pedestal for anyone but him. Especially not for God.”

Actually, according to Krivosheev, 233,400 were found guilty of collaborating with the enemy and sent to Gulag camps out of 1,836,562 Soviet soldiers that returned from captivity like the tens of millions sent to GULAGS and killed myth prior to WW2

Most of what is known about the USSR of pure propaganda not backed up by facts unfortunately apart from revisionist historians of the 1980’s like Getty and Wheatcroft most of this research is in Russian.

http://clogic.eserver.org/1-2/furr.html

@ Dorde

Suvorov book has been used by historical journals like the Barnes review and others like anti-Serb/Russian bigot Eric Margolas to prove that Soviet Union was worse than Germany and that Germany was acting in self defence.

Fortunately no serious historians even pseudo-histrorian’s like Applebaum dismiss or never reference his material and is debunked by main stream historians.

http://www.metafilter.com/85023/Viktor-Suvorov-on-the-beginnings-of-World-War-II

Gray Falcon said...

Jack, I'm by no means a knee-jerk anti-Communist, but Stalin's paranoia was legendary - and well-documented.

Now, just because he was paranoid didn't mean no one was out to get him; the western Allies did, after all, rescue and employ legions of Nazis, and established NATO, starting the Cold War.

None of that, however, changes my original point about the date of the original surrender.

Johan said...

Some actual data across various categories of political convicts in Stalin's Soviet Union should be helpful.

Jack already cites Krivosheev on number of Soviet soldiers sent to gulags for Nazi collaboration during WW2.

Further facts about gulag and other convicts for years 1934 – 1953 are provided by The American Historical Review in a fairly detailed table; see, e.g., http://www.mariosousa.se/LiesconcerningthehistoryoftheSovietUnion.html .

Another table, for years 1921 – 1953, can be found on Igor Panarin's web site, http://www.panarin.com/comment/15957/ (the Russian headings of the columns are: Year, Total number of convicts, Capital punishment, Camps, colonies and prisons, Exile and deportation, Other measures).

As Jack points out, preponderance of serious ongoing historical research on Stalin's USSR is in Russian; most of what has been published in the west on the topic being uninformed at best, though concerted misinformation as a general rule.