7th May 2015 Moscow, Russia
Triumph and Tragedy: remembering World War II – Guest post by Jon Sharp, Consul General in Ekaterinburg
A number of military anniversaries are being celebrated at the moment. Earlier this month there were striking images from the centenary of the Gallipoli landings. I’m sure there will be similar scenes throughout the period leading to 2018 and the centenary of the ending of World War I. In Russia we have been marking the centenary with a number of events aimed, in particular, at young people which have sought to highlight Britain and Russia’s shared history in WW1. We have been holding reading aloud contests in cities across the country of British war poetry and literature. We have also invited people to nominate quotations from Russian and British literature to be inscribed on a new WW1 memorial which will be unveiled this summer at our Embassy in Moscow.
This year is also the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and the Great Patriotic War between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany with its allies. The anniversary will be commemorated across Russia on 9 May, Victory Day.
Here in Ekaterinburg we have been marking our shared history, and our alliance to defeat Nazi Germany, with a joint photographic exhibition which I opened last month. Working with the local photography and history museums, and with colleagues from the American Consulate, we have displayed images that demonstrate the personal triumphs and tragedies of World War II. The title of the exhibition is taken from Winston Churchill’s book of the same name, part of his six-volume history of the conflict. The exhibition includes images from the Imperial War Museum’s archives which show parts of the conflict that are less well known in Russia, such as the Battle of Britain and the fighting in the Far East. It also includes images from the local archives, which have not been displayed before.
Some of the images can be seen here.