Why Stalin's Victory Day was a working day

History 01/01/20 Why under Stalin the Victory Day was a working day

In recent years, in Russia the celebration of Victory Day becoming more extensive and expensive. For example, in 2015, the 70th anniversary of the Victory, according to RBC, has cost the Russian budget of 7 billion rubles 223 million. However this attitude for the memorial day was not always the case.

the evolution of the Victory Day

may 9 was officially declared the Victory by the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of 8 may 1945. However the first years it was celebrated quite modestly. In 1945 9 may is marked only with fireworks and mass celebrations: the Victory parade was held later on June 24. Half promarinovatsya on red square soldiers were not participants in the war.

for 3 years on 9 may was a festive day and only 24 December 1947, a new decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR Victory day made a working day: a day off postponed to January 1, allowing Soviet citizens to fully celebrate the New year. Of course, the celebration itself has not been canceled – the day the citizens work on a reduced schedule. Continued to be held festive events: the laying of wreaths on the graves of the fallen, solemn meetings and appointments, evening concerts and dancing and of course fireworks.

But military parades on this day, until 1965, was not performed. The parade was on, but on other days, 1 may and 7 November, and to win they had. Perhaps this is due to the fact that 9 may was a working day. In the late 1950s in the Politburo there was an initiative to bring the Victory Day weekend, but Khrushchev opposed it: for him, it was apparent that the former status of this festival is associated with resurrection of the positive role of Stalin in the victory.

After coming to power, Brezhnev, Victory Day was returned to its original value. In 1965 Moscow was awarded the title of hero-City, in the same year, 1 on may 9 suffered a military parade. The truth of the solemn March of military units on may 9 was held only in jubilee years, the annual he remained until 7 November.

every year the scale of the celebrations has increased. May 9, 1975 on the 30th anniversary of the Victory of the passage of columns of military equipment and soldiers of different armed forces were supplemented by the laying of wreaths at the Lenin mausoleum and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, with a minute of silence and solemn manifestation of young people.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union to the Victory Day has lost its former swing and solemnity, they became much more formal. Although 9 may 1995 (50th anniversary of victory) in Moscow held two military parade on red square and on Poklonnaya hill. But until 2008, V-day celebrated modestly, only in 2009 they began to acquire a growing scale.

Cult don’t want

There are different opinions, why Stalin’s Victory over Nazi Germany remained in the shadows 7 November – day of October socialist revolution. One of the most popular versions says that it reduced the importance of the leader, who did not give rest to the laurels of Marshal Zhukov – because first of all he, and not Stalin in the eyes of the public was the personification of the great Victory. But we should not forget that, on a deep belief of the majority of Soviet citizens, the victory would not have been possible without the “wise leadership of comrade Stalin.”

fantastic looks Is not the assumption that Stalin feared the approval not only of the cult of Zhukov, but Stalin. Yes, he was flattered by the love of millions of Soviet citizens, but apparently he didn’t want to Win over Germany was seen as the merit of a particular individual.

during the whole period of its supremacy in the apparatus of the Stalin repeatedly objected to the glorification in his address. In 1926 at a meeting with the workers of Tiflis he stated that he did not deserve half the good things said about him. “It turns out I’m the hero Eber, and the head of the Communist party of the Soviet Union, and the head of the Comintern, miracle hero and whatever. This is all nonsense, comrades, and totally unnecessary exaggeration,” he replied the congregation.

In January 1937 in conversation with visit the Soviet Union by the German writer lion Feuchtwanger Stalin admitted that exaggerated expressions of respect and love cause him unpleasant feelings. Cunning Stalin? Unlikely. Three years earlier the Secretary General has insisted on December 21, the day of his fifty-five years old anniversary, no celebrations, celebrations, speeches in the press and at meetings was not. In any documents he urged that the word “leader” to replace “Central Committee of the CPSU(b).”

Nothing changed with the outbreak of war. On established in 1943, the “order of Glory” was originally going to engrave a profile of the leader, but Stalin insisted that, instead of his portrait to a new state award flaunted Spasskaya tower. Rejected Stalin and the initiative to assign him the title of Hero of the Soviet Union. “A gold Star” he handed over, however, Stalin was not wearing it, explaining that “I’m such courage is not proved”.

One war, two victories?

In the Russian pre-revolutionary tradition, was not to celebrate “days of victory”, and the memorable anniversaries of military events. Such, for example, was the centennial of the battle of Poltava and Borodino. After the collapse of the Russian Empire these observances were forgotten. From the First world war in the Soviet Union altogether disown, calling it “unfair” and “anti-people”. But in Europe and the U.S. this war remember – it ends on November 11 is celebrated as the Day of memory and grief.

the Discrepancy between the USSR and the West was at war 1939-1945. We celebrate the Victory in the great Patriotic war, for the rest of the world is a victory in the Second world war. Western historians and some Russian commentators insist that the USSR was involved in world war II since its inception, taking part in the joint German partition of Poland. Recognition of this fact does not detract from our country’s contribution to the final defeat of the Third Reich, but leaves an unpleasant aftertaste. It is not excluded that this circumstance had some influence on the decision of the Soviet leadership to abandon large-scale celebrations and military parades in the Victory Day.

For our country, there is another memorable date. In the first years after the war, she is partly competing for meaning may 9 – September 3, Victory Day over militaristic Japan. This date is the formal end of world war II. On 2 September 1945, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR issued a Decree according to which on 3 September was also declared non-working holiday. This Victory Day is celebrated three times in 1945, 1946 and 1947.

the cancellation of the holiday September 3, has two causes. The first is obvious: the country did not need two days of Victory, as the main burden on the share of the USSR fell in the war with Nazi Germany. The second reason returns to the policy of wartime. As in June 1941, Hitler treacherously invaded the USSR, violating the non-aggression Pact and the Soviet Union declared war on Japan in August 1945, severing unilaterally neutrality Pact signed between Moscow and Tokyo, on 13 April 1941. Such a diplomatic background, of course, marred the celebration of the victory over Japan.

“tears in eyes”

There is another very important circumstance, not allowed under Stalin the Victory to turn into a cult. In the first years after the war, the memory of the incident was not so much victorious as a terrible. It was difficult to celebrate when lying in ruins, the country still mourning its victims. “It is a holiday with tears on eyes” – a line from a famous song best conveyed the tone of the day. The pain of loss required quench, not celebrations. Cancelling the may 9 holiday, the party has decided that citizens will pay tribute to memory festivals, and shock work.

20 years after Victory, of the code lay down the pain, and the horror is gone, when a new generation, knowing about war only through the stories and movies, may 9 Day of Memory gradually began to turn into day celebrations, glorifying not only the heroism of the Russian soldier, but the power of the socialist system. But since the mid-1990s, the celebration of may 9, according to the remark of some commentators, is already firmly associated with the “Day of memory of victims of the USSR.” Were slogans: “1941-1945 — can you repeat that”, “To Berlin!”, which is largely no longer perceived as the memory of the Victory, but as a revanchist reaction to the defeat in the “cold war.”

Today, our country Victory Day is perhaps the most important national holiday, which determines the identity of the nation. In Europe, too, is celebrated on 9 may as a day of peace and unity in the countries of the European Union. Since 2005, the UN proclaimed may 8 and 9, as “Days of remembrance and reconciliation”. In the UK and USA in these days, as well as in Russia, mourn the dead, honor veterans and lay wreaths at war memorials, however festive they are not.

Taras Repin

© Russian Seven

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