1945 - The Kapitulation: The red flag on the Reichstag (00:08:15)
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1945 - The Kapitulation: The red flag on the Reichstag

Rights-Managed, Editorial

Location and time:

Germany, Berlin, 02-05-1945


On 2th May in 1945 the Soviet Union announces the fall of Berlin. Soviet soldiers hoist the red flag over the Reichstag building. The Battle of Berlin was one of the final battles of the European Theatre of World War II. A massive Soviet army attacked Berlin from the east. The battle lasted from late April 1945 until early May. Before it was over, Adolf Hitler committed suicide, and Germany surrendered five days after the battle ended.

Sound Bite and conversation:

Reichhardt, Anna Louise

(former German Communist) , speaking German:
-  "I have to feel shame for being German. Besides the many horrible effects of war, the most bitter was that we Germans were responsible for such terrible things and we could cause such damage. This hurt me very much."

Florin, Peter

(former German Communist at the capitulation) , speaking German:
-  "An invader army is not amusing it has always meant a strain for the population. After this war which caused so much destruction in Russia, the Russian soldiers arriving to Germany where certainly not the friends of German people."

Leonhard, Wolfgang

(university student in Moscow) , speaking German:
-  "Nobody wanted to believe it, but in the first week of May 1945 the Russians were very popular. But later this changed because of their behavior. "

Hahn, Waltraud

(resident of Berlin) , speaking German:
-  "The Russians assaulted us, tore our clothes off.... we simply had to bear it, we could not protect ourselves. They hit my parents brutally with their guns..."

Loewe, Lothar

(Hitlerjunge in Berlin) , speaking German:
-  "The whole picture of Soviets as inferior Bolshevists suddenly collapsed in me at that moment when an older Russian soldier gave me his mess-tin full of meat soup – we were hungry, we had not eaten for days. … this was so unbelievable, a world had collapsed in me. This simply did not fit into the picture. "

Deutschkron, Inge

(German Jew) , speaking German:
-  "One morning everything was so silent – you know, one could hear silence after the war, after the noise of the war. I asked my mother if she heard it. She answered: “I think it’s peace."

Junge, Traudl

(Hitler’s secretary) , speaking German:
-  "We sat there, the Goebbels children and I. All at once, there was a shot. It was about three o’clock, I don’t remember exactly. Anyhow it was a loud shot, and I still remember as Helmut said: „That was a direct hit.“ Then we could hear the impact of the bombs as well. I thought: “you are right, that was a direct hit“. Presumably, this was the hit which killed Hitler."

Kantarija, Militon

(soldier at the capitulation) , speaking German:
-  "This is the flag we flew over Berlin. In 1945, my commander in Berlin, Colonel Simsenko, called me and one of my comrades and gave us the order: „Here’s the flag, take it and fly it on Reichstag!“ We repeated the order, took the flag and left to carry out the task."

Chaldei, Yevgeni

(Photographer in the capitulation, 1945) , speaking Russian:
-  "Everybody was talking about the Reichstag, so I also fought myself through the crowd. There was unbelievable chaos in front of the building. I had brought a red flag from Moscow, there I grabbed a few soldiers and convinced them to climb to the top of the building. They were happy to come when they caught sight of my flag."

Leinemann, Anneliese

(former German Communist) , speaking German:
-  "I didn’t want to deal with this any more. I wanted only one thing. When the war was over, I was 22 and till that time I had seen a lot of terrible things. From that time I only wanted to live."




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18-12-2010 21:21:04

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