Stalin's Victory Address

(May 9, 1945)


Comrades! Compatriots, men and women! The Great Day of Victory over Germany has come. Fascist Germany, forced to her knees by the Red Army and the troops of our Allies, has acknowledged her defeat and declared unconditional surrender.

On May 7, the preliminary protocol of surrender was signed in the city of Rheims. On May 8, representatives of the German High Command, in the presence of representatives of the Supreme Command of the Allied troops and of the Supreme Command of the Soviet troops, signed in Berlin the final act of surrender, the execution of which began at twenty-four hours, May 8.

Being aware of the wolfish habits of the German ringleaders, who regard treaties and agreements as an empty scrap of paper, we had no reason to believe their words. Since this morning, in pursuance of the act of surrender, German troops in mass have begun to lay down arms and surrender to our troops.

This is no longer an empty scrap of paper. This is the real surrender of Germany's armed forces.

True, one group of German troops in the area of Czechoslovakia is still evading surrender. But I hope the Red Army will be able to bring it to its senses.

Now we can note with full satisfaction that the historical day of the final rout of Germany, the Day of the Great Victory of our people over German imperialism, has come. The great sacrifices we have made in the name of freedom and our defense of our Motherland, the incalculable privations and sufferings experienced by our people in the course of the war, the strained work in the rear and at the front-placed on the altar of the Motherland-have not been in vain and have been crowned by complete victory over the enemy.

The age long struggle of the Slav peoples for their existence and their independence has ended in victory over the German invaders and the German tyranny. Henceforth, the great banner of freedom of nations and peace among nations will fly over Europe.

Three years ago Hitler publicly stated that his aims included the dismemberment of the Soviet Union and the wresting of the Caucasus, the Ukraine, Byelorussia, the Baltic and other regions from it. He declared bluntly: "We will destroy Russia, so that she will never be able to rise again." This happened three years ago. However, Hitler's crazy ideas were not fated to succeed. The course of the war scattered them to the winds. In actual fact, something directly opposite to the Hitlerites' ravings has taken place. Germany has been utterly defeated. The German troops are surrendering. The Soviet Union is celebrating victory, although it does not intend to dismember or destroy Germany.

Comrades! The Great Patriotic War has ended in our complete victory. The period of the war in Europe is over. The period of peaceful development has begun.

I congratulate you upon the victory, my dear compatriots, men and women!

Glory to our heroic Red Army which upheld the independence of our Motherland and won victory over the enemy!

Glory to our great people-the victor people!

Eternal glory to the heroes who fell in the battles against the enemy and gave their lives for the freedom and happiness of our people.


Source: Information Bulletin, Embassy of the U.S.S.R.; ibiblio