“The war was inside the people" - German-born journalist
Martina Vidman, a journalist from RIA Novosti originally from East Germany, says this anniversary is very important for Germans.
She was born 10 years after the war, and she remembers that the war was still everywhere – in the streets, in ruins of houses. “The war was inside the people too – it was the year when the last prisoners returned from the Soviet Union.”
“In the ’60s, ’70s and even ’80s the topic of war was very emotionally discussed in families, at birthday parties, wedding parties, funerals – everywhere. And there the experience of former soldiers clashed with the opinion of the younger generation,” she added.
She says that the youngsters asked why they did not refuse to take part in this war.
Viktor Linnik, editor-in-chief of Slovo newspaper, was born just before the war ended.
“I was very young – like 3 or 4 years old – after the war. And I remember how quickly the Russian people forgave the terror, the loss of life, the devastation the German forces brought upon the Soviet Union,” he remembers.
“I remember there were lots of German prisoners of war – all over the country – especially the Moscow area. They were restoring whatever was destroyed by them. They were restoring factories, infrastructure; they were building houses."
He said they were always asking him and his mother for whatever food they had, for cigarettes, matches and his family always shared with them. “I remember one German taking me up in the air and I realized how much it meant for him to see somebody the age of his children, because he was missing them. Definitely – that’s what I remember very vividly,” says Linnik.
Concerning the fact that this is the first year when other countries are taking part in the Moscow’s parade, Vladimir Kozin, independent political analyst, thinks that “this has a tremendous significance.”
“Some people in my country – I can not conceal this – are against of ally forces taking part in the festivities. They call them NATO countries marching through the Red Square,” he said.
“We were allies when there was no NATO organization and we also have profound reminiscences of their mighty contribution to the world, because they were engaged in other areas, except Europe – and that also helped us to push forward to the Eastern front.”