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Marking the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory: unique materials from the Presidential Library’s collection

11 May 2020

The Great Patriotic War is the most tragic page in the history of our country. The Presidential Library invites to study the materials of one of the most ambitious electronic collections Memory of the Great Victory available on its portal. It includes official documents, photo and newsreels, newspapers, books, propaganda publications, collections of articles, biographies, testimonies of participants in combat battles and rear workers, their personal documents, images of military and labor awards, monuments and memorial complexes. All materials are divided into seven thematic sections.

The section Authorities and Society during the Great Patriotic War features documents spotlighting various aspects of the activities of state institutions in wartime, the life of people in the rear. Propaganda materials occupy a special place: brochures, leaflets, posters that supported the fighting spirit of the soldiers, urged everyone to fight the enemy, or informed the population about the current situation. One can find the digitized documents of the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR, which are stored in the State Archives of the Russian Federation. They cover the issues of providing the Red Army with engineering weapons and food, the transfer of the economy to military tracks, the restoration of the national economy in areas liberated from the enemy, etc.

The Anti-Hitler Coalition section is devoted to the various stages of the formation and development of cooperation between the USSR, the USA, and Great Britain in World War II. A large number of materials focuses on international conferences held in Tehran (1943), in Yalta (1945), in Potsdam (1945). The collection features unique photographs from the collection of the Library of Congress. In particular, they depict the meetings of the members of the "Big Three".

Materials about the battles of the Great Patriotic War are available in the section The Power of Russian Weapons: Military Operations during the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. Particular attention is paid to the defence of Leningrad, the battle of Moscow, the battles of Stalingrad and Kursk, the liberation of Sevastopol and the western territories of the USSR, the Vistula-Oder operation and the capture of Berlin. The section includes scientific publications, maps, photographs, newsreels. Everyone can find out what was happening at the front from direct witnesses of those events. One will also have the opportunity to learn about the materials of the correspondents of the Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union, made at the forefront.

The section People’s Militia during the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 provides information on the formation and functioning of units of the militia, fighter battalions and partisan detachments. For example, the Moscow-Berlin documentary tells about events in Bryansk Region during World War II and the partisan movement. The section also contains documents on the Patriotic War of 1812, which reveal the theme of the traditions of the people's militia.

Materials about the heroes of the war, texts of legislative acts relating to social support for veterans are available in the section Fatherland Defenders. Documents from personal archives are also available here, including letters from the front, digital recordings of fragments of interviews of war and rear veterans.

The Presidential Library’s portal features newspapers of those years. They are provided in the section War on the Pages of Regional and Battlefront Press.

The memory of the Great Patriotic War will never fade. We should not forget the feat of people who provided their descendants with a decent future at the cost of their lives. Materials on how to honor those who won the Great Victory are available in the section Perpetuation of Memory of the Great Patriotic War. These are photographs of individual memorial complexes and monuments located in different regions of our country.  

Memory of the Great Victory collection has been built up since 2010 and is constantly updated with new unique materials today.