A parade in Brest, 1939.
September 27, 2009 9:03 AM Subscribe
September 22, 1939:
posted by languagehat (26 comments total)
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In the Polish city of Brest-Litovsk (now Brest, in Belarus), "a monumental military parade took place.... What is unusual is that the parade was held not by the Polish army, but by the soviet Red Army and the Nazi German Wehrmacht – together
." The excellent blog Poemas del río Wang
(which usually features gorgeous illustrations from books) provides historical context, many photos, posters, and cartoons, even a five-minute official German newsreel (the parade takes up the first half). The event itself is a historical footnote, but in Russia, with the "cult of the victory of Soviet people and of the Soviet state in WWII," the very idea of it was anathema and it was denied until last year.
The post is full of fascinating tidbits; for example, a few days after the parade "the Soviet secret police NKVD delegated a high rank deputation to Krakow where they demonstrated to the chiefs of the Gestapo their methods used against the Polish underground movement. The leaders of the Gestapo 'expressed their admiration' and declared that they also 'wished to adopt and apply' the Soviet methods."