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Pics of New Year's celebrations in the Soviet Union, 1941-1945

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  • Pics of New Year's celebrations in the Soviet Union, 1941-1945

    Tankers mount their detachment's banner on the turret of their KV. Moscow, December 31, 1941. The writing reads: "Happy New Year!"

    New Year party in a children's hospital in Leningrad, 1942

    Ukrainian partisans celebrate the New Year in the forest. The commander is reading a holiday address. 1943

    Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

  • #2
    A wartime New Year's story

    A LiveJournal blogger Olga Hanninen posted a story about her father and mother who celebrated the New Year in 1944. I've translated the author's texts directly with a few clarifications.

    The officers of 102nd howitzer artillery brigade gathered to celebrate the New Year's Day of 1944 in a village cabin. Here they are on the photo - pouring moonshine, laughing, joining metal cups and drinking "To the Victory!"

    There's only one 20 y.o. Senior Lieutenant who's not drinking. He enjoys chatting with his friends, makes toasts just as much as them but only pretends to drink. He has a secret that even his friends, artillery scouts, don't know about, who justly think of him as a honest, cheerful, simple and kind lad.

    An year before, during the battle of Stalingrad, when the field kitchen couldn't make it to the battery because of shellings, the food rations went out and his regimental fellows were killed off one after another and their share of alcohol was handed to the survivors. It was impossible to survive without it - the frost was so terrible. The young commander got poisoned by the spirit, drinking it with his stomach empty. For the reason of being poisoned, he often left the battery to the neighbouring trench where a toilet was made.

    And suddenly he woke up in a hospital, shell shocked and frostbitten: an enemy shell hit the battery and all of his subordinates were killed, and he was dug up from the frosty ground rather late. He couldn't regain his consciousness for a week.

    Having convalesced, he returned to his regiment, fought heroically like his comrades, and was awarded the Order of Red Banner and many medals. But no one ever knew why and how he stayed alive: this story was too embarassing to tell. Since then he couldn't stand even the smell of alcohol.


    A 12 y.o girl has just cleaned her flat together with her mother, washed the floors and decorated the New Year tree with the toys she loved since her childhood and finally took some rest, reading her book. And Mom took a memory picture of her.

    Ah, the medal ["For the defense of Leningrad"] was awarded to her on December 22, 1942, but it was presented only a month ago - on November 24, 1943, and there's no one to boast with it. What a shame, isn't it?

    There's but one consolation - her fellow girls, with whom she overproduced the quota at "Krasnaya Zarya" collective farm, are forbidden to wear medals at school by their parents either. Well, it's not a big deal if the others got them as well!

    What's the girl dreaming about on the New Year's eve? Of course, about the lifting of the siege - and about Victory! She also wishes that her brother would come back from the front alive and bring her one suitcase of brown bread and one suitcase of white bread. She wants nothing more. Anything else? Well, maybe that her mother would allow her to wear the medal at school or in the yard... just for half an hour!

    One year and a half remained to the Victory Day. And both the young lieutenant meeting the New Year at Nevel, and the siege survivor girl were from Leningrad, but they had never met each other before the war. They met each other much later, in 1949 when they won an ice skating contest. And married. They were my father and mother.

    Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour


    • #3
      a wonderful story, life can give so much but at times the way it does it can be beyond anyones comprehension at times...


      • #4
        Originally posted by galland View Post
        a wonderful story, life can give so much but at times the way it does it can be beyond anyones comprehension at times...
        There are lots of such stories to tell (or rather translate). I hope they will budge the heavy "official-Pravda-war-poster" perception of the life of Soviet people in WWII that even "Soviet fanboys" have in outside Russia, not speaking of their mirror opposites.

        Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour


        • #5
          Wartime New Year's postcards

          Happy New Year, comrade frontovik! In 1942 we wish you new heroic feats, new glory and a complete victory over the enemy. Death to German occupiers!

          * front line soldier

          Happy New Year!

          Happy New Year! Onwards to new victories!

          Envelope top art

          New Year's greetings from the front!

          Grandfather Frost brings some new year's presents to the enemy. They make him feel hot in frosty weather and send him shivers when it's warm.

          Quote from Pushkin's poem: "It's winter time, and the peasant is laying the path anew on his wooden sleigh" - it was learnt by heart at schools and it is still easily recognisable by most Russians.

          "Grandfather Frost is making his fearsome inspection on the New Year's eve, so that the whole Fascist mob would vanish soon"

          Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour


          • #6
            Great story and pictures, ShAA. Thanks for sharing your family history with us.


            • #7
              Originally posted by lakechampainer View Post
              Great story and pictures, ShAA. Thanks for sharing your family history with us.

              This is actually the family history of a woman whose blog I've found recently. Sorry for the confusion, I should've made it more clear.

              Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour


              • #8
                Great Pics



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