V-Day marked in Russia, overlooked in America
While Russia and many in Europe mark this day, the date goes heavily unnoticed in the United States.
Professor Stephen Cohen from New York University explained the war had a different impact on the Soviet Union than it did on the United States.
“It was a sacred war in the Soviet Union, in Russia because so many millions of people died; about 28 million people. Those people are still missing – moms and dads and brothers and sisters, and all the women who never found husbands, all the children who grew up as orphans,” he said. “We didn’t have that phenomenon here. Secondly, for Russia this was a war of occupation. The Germans were in Russia from 1941 until after the battle for Stalingrad when they were driven out of the country. The United States never experienced a war of occupation and it was an enormous difference.”
He explained most Americans did not feel or experience the war in the same way Russians did in everyday life during the war
The fall of Nazi Germany was a common goal, like battening terrorism and the like. However, cooperating and unity against present day threats have not been achieved.
“It was clearly understood that all the western countries were in danger collectively together and they had to come to each other’s rescue,” he said. “That kind of perception of a common enemy and a common danger doesn’t exist today.”
Terrorism is not an army, it is not the same type of threat that Hitler presented to the world.
“We’ve probably exaggerated their importance in talking about a war against terror,” Cohen added.
Today’s big issues, such as nuclear non-proliferation, drug trafficking and others are not receiving major international cooperation. Greater cooperation could help solve the problems, but the danger is not as great today as Hitler was in the past.
Cooperation is key to solving multi-national issues, but without a uniting factor it is hard to create genuine cooperation. Many in both Russia and America want to see greater cooperation to tackle global problem, but some on both sides are fighting a re-set of US-Russian relations.
“There are people who believe this is dangerous for the security of the two countries or who hate the other county so much they can’t be rational about the common dangers,” said Cohen. “The enemies of good relations are very very strong.”