Dobrat’sya do Berlina!

On 2 May 1945, Red Army photographer Yevgeny Khaldei snapped the famous image of a Soviet frontovik raising the Red flag over the ruins of the German Reichstag in Berlin.

The Victory Banner over Reichstag, Berlin. May 1, 1945.  

At 0832 that morning, the commander of Berlin’s garrison, Gen. Helmuth Weidling, signed the city’s formal surrender order at the headquarters of Gen. Vasily Chuikov, commander of the Soviet 8th Guards Army.

To the West of Berlin on the same day, Gen. von Manteuffel, commander of the III Panzer Army along with Gen. von Tippelskirch, commander of the XXI Army, surrendered to the U.S. Army.

While there would be holdouts for the next several weeks, especially against the Soviets advancing in Czechoslovakia and in Yugoslavia, VE-Day would come just five days later and the opening moves of the Cold War would begin by default.

But on 2 May 1945, the Soviets, and the rest of the Allies, were ecstatic.

Which brings us to this propaganda poster, “All hail the Red Army” by Leonid Golovanov, issued in the Spring of 1945.

If you note, the Ivan featured is highly decorated and has a poster behind him on the scarred wall.

Golovanov had crafted that earlier image as well, in the dark days of the Axis advance into Russia in 1942.

The caption, showing the younger soldier stepping into his boots, reads, (Dobrat’sya do Berlina) Reach Berlin!

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