May 1945: The Soviet View

John Erickson reflects on how the Russians commemorate their role in bringing peace to Europe.

Lieutenant-General P.A. Zhilin, Corresponding Member of the Soviet Academy of Sciences and head of the Institute of Military History/Soviet Ministry of Defence, is an important and imposing figure. Behind him lies both his war record and also an array of substantial works on military history embracing the pre-revolutionary and the Soviet period; not the least of his achievements is his work as deputy editor of the 12-volume Soviet history of the Second World War (lstoriya vtoroi mirovoi voiny 1939-1945, Moscow Voenizdat, 1973-1982). As might be expected, General Zhilin's Institute is closely involved with the Soviet commemoration of the fortieth anniversary of the end of the war in Europe and, by the same token, I was pleased to have the opportunity to exchange views on the significance of this occasion with General Zhilin and others during the course of a visit to the Soviet Union in January of this year.

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