Today, May 9, is Victory Day, “Den’ Pobedy,” in Russia.

Long live Victory Day, May 9!

By Grover Furr 

It was first inaugurated in the 16 republics of the Soviet Union following the signing of the German Instrument of Surrender late in the evening on 8 May 1945 (after midnight, thus on 9 May Moscow Time). The Soviet government announced the victory early on 9 May after the signing  ceremony in Berlin.

Let us pause for a moment to remember the incredible heroism of the people of the Soviet Union, who defeated the Nazi Wehrmacht, the
combined forces of all of German-occupied plus fascist volunteers from
Spain, Italy, and France, and other non-occupied countries.

To help us understand this heroism, here are a few quotations from a
recent book: Wendy Z. Goldman & Donald Filtzer (eds), /Hunger and War.
Food Provisioning in the Soviet Union//
//during World War II/. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2015.

[F]or four years, the Soviet civilian population walked to work,
shivered in rags and broken shoes,
spent long hours in machines and freezing shops and turned out
the armaments that beat the Fascist
armies on the Eastern Front. *By 1944, male defence workers, the
country’s best-fed civilians, were**
**beginning to die of starvation*. The preciousness of the
victory over Fascism lies not only in the defeat
of the Nazis’ murderous colonial fantasies, or in the Red Army’s
military achievements, but also in
the daily actions of millions of hungry, even starving people.
The truth does not cheapen the victory,
it only makes it all the more remarkable. (p. 43)

In the book’s final conclusion, mirroring an earlier statement, the
authors pay tribute to the ‘endurance’ of the millions of Soviet men and
women of the time:

*[P]eople on the Soviet home front labored and lived for nearly
four years under impossible deprivation,**
**enduring cold, filth, exhaustion, ill health and malnutrition
so acute that it cost many of them their**
**lives. *Yet somehow this workforce, as weak and ill as it
manifestly was, managed to produce the
weapons, the vehicles, the airplanes, and the ammunition needed
to crush the Nazis and drive them
out of Soviet territory. The motivations that drove the people
to endure such sacrifices are still largely
unknown, and not everyone was willing to make them. For the
millions who did, their persistence
and endurance were themselves acts of enormous heroism. (p. 332)

Fine statements! But I would like to disagree with one sentence: “The
motivations that drove the people to endure such sacrifices are still
largely unknown…” For in fact we do know the motivations of a great many,
probably the majority, of the Soviet workers who made these almost
superhuman efforts.

Tens of millions of them were fighting not just to defend their homes
and families, but to defend socialism.

They were fighting under the leadership of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, led by Joseph Stalin. Tens of millions of them, and hundreds of millions around the world, had faith in the worldwide communist movement.
History proved that they were correct! Today we know that the horror stories spread by anticommunists, by Leon Trotsky, by Nikita Khrushchev and Mikhail Gorbachev, are lies.

The communist movement of the 20th century did not build communism. Of course it is our duty to study this history, to discover what these millions of heroic communists and their supporters did that led to its

But today, let us remember some of the great many things that these
valiant communists, and those who supported them, did that was *correct,
*that was *right*, and *heroic.*

They beat the fascists.

We too, and our children, will one day have to beat the fascists again.
We need to learn what the communists of the past, particularly of the
USSR, did that was right, so we can do it when it is our turn.