Berlin Opens Show To Commemorate Battle Of Moscow

An exposition, "Moscow in Wartime: 1941-1945", opened in Berlin today to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Battle of Moscow. The battle spelt the beginning of the end of Hitler's aggression, and preluded the rout of the Nazi war machinery by the Soviet Army, Alexander Shkurko, Moscow's State History Museum director, said at an opening gala. The History Museum arranged the exhibition together with the German-Russian museum, Berlin Karlshorst, on whose premises the Allies and Germany signed an epoch-making act on Germany's full and unconditional capitulation in the small hours of May 9, 1945. The six sections concern a great many aspects of everyday routine, culture, and social and political developments in the Soviet Union's capital, with a four million population at the time when Moscow became a frontline city overnight in the bleak winter of 1941. The show illustrates Moscow life during World War II, in which thirty millions of Soviet soldiers and civilians died--more than 350,000 of them Muscovites and Moscow Region residents. With its plight and its feat of glory, Moscow knows no par among European cities in World War II. Paris, for one, was proclaimed a free city as soon as German troops approached it, and so came out of the war unscathed, said Peter Jahn, Berlin Karlshorst museum director and prominent historian. The Nazi command were planning to exterminate Muscovites and raze the city to the ground. The doom awaiting it made Moscow's wartime valour even more impressive, he added.

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