JULY 3, 1941

Comrades! Citizens!
Brothers and sisters!
Men of our army and navy!

   My words are addressed to you, dear friends!

   The perfidious military attack by Hitler Germany on our motherland, begun on June 22, is continuing. In spite of the heroic resistance of the Red Army and although the enemy's finest divisions and finest air units have already been shattered and have met their doom on the battlefield, the enemy continues to push forward, hurling fresh forces into the fray. Hitler's troops have succeeded in capturing Lithuania, a considerable part of Latvia, the western part of Byelorussia and part of Western Ukraine. The fascist aircraft are extending the range of their operations, bombing Murmansk, Orsha, Moghilev, Smolensk, Kiev, Odessa, Sevastopol. Grave danger over-hangs our country.

   How could it have happened that our glorious Red Army surrendered a number of our cities and districts to the fascist troops? Are the German fascist troops really invincible as the braggart fascist propagandists are ceaselessly trumpeting?

   Of course not! History shows that there are no invincible armies and that there never have been. Napoleon's army was considered invincible, but it was beaten successively by the troops of Russia, England and Germany. Kaiser Wilhelm's German army in the period of the first imperialist war was also considered an invincible army, but it was defeated several times by Russian and Anglo-French troops, and was finally routed by the Anglo-French troops. The same must be said of Hitler's German fascist army today. This army has not yet met with serious resistance on the continent of Europe. Only on our territory has it met with serious resistance. And if as a result of this the finest divisions of the German fascist army have been defeated by our Red Army, it shows that Hitler's fascist army can also be and will be defeated as were the armies of Napoleon and Wilhelm.

   That part of our territory has nevertheless been seized by the German fascist troops is explained chiefly by the fact that the war of fascist Germany against the U.S.S.R. began under conditions that were favourable for the German troops and unfavourable for the Soviet troops. The point is that the troops of Germany, a country at war, were already fully mobilized, and the 170 divisions which Germany hurled against the U.S.S.R. and brought up to the frontiers of the U.S.S.R. were in a state of complete readiness, only awaiting the signal to move into action, whereas the Soviet troops had still to be mobilized and moved up to the frontiers. Of no little importance in this respect was also the fact that fascist Germany suddenly and treacherously violated the non-aggression pact she had concluded in 1939 with the U.S.S.R., ignoring the fact that the whole world would regard her as the aggressor. Naturally, our peace-loving country, not wishing to take the initiative in breaking a pact, could not resort to perfidy..

   It may be asked: How could the Soviet Government have consented to conclude a non-aggression pact with such perfidious people, and such fiends as Hitler and Ribbentrop? Was this not an error on the part of the Soviet Government? Of course not! A non-aggression pact is a pact of peace between two states. It was precisely such a pact that Germany proposed to us in 1939. Could the Soviet Government decline such a proposal? I think that not a single peace-loving state could decline a peace treaty with a neighbouring country even if that country is headed by such monsters and cannibals as Hitler and Ribbentrop. But that, of course, only on the one indispensable condition that this peace treaty did not jeopardize, either directly or indirectly, the territorial integrity, independence and honour of the peace-loving state. As is well known, the non-aggression pact between Germany and the U.S.S.R. was precisely such a pact.

   What did we gain by concluding the non-aggression pact with Germany? We secured our country peace for a year and a half and the opportunity of preparing our forces to repulse fascist Germany should she risk an attack on our country despite the pact. This was a definite advantage for us and a disadvantage for fascist Germany.

   What has fascist Germany gained and what has she lost by perfidiously tearing up the pact and attacking the U.S.S.R.? She has gained a certain advantageous position for her troops for a short period of time, but she has lost politically by exposing herself in the eyes of the entire world as a bloodthirsty aggressor. There can be no doubt that this short-lived military gain for Germany is only episode, while the tremendous political gain of the U.S.S.R. is a weighty and lasting factor that is bound to form the basis for the development of decisive military success of the Red Army in the war with fascist Germany.

   That is why the whole of our valiant Red Army, the whole of our valiant Navy, all the falcons of our Air Force, all the peoples of our country, all the finest men and women of Europe, America and Asia, and, lastly, all the finest men and women of Germany -- denounce the treacherous acts of the German fascists, sympathize with the Soviet Government, approve its conduct, and see that ours is a just cause, that the enemy will be defeated and that victory will be ours.

   In consequence of this war which has been forced upon us, our country has come to death grips with its bitterest and most cunning enemy -- German fascism. Our troops are fighting heroically against an enemy heavily armed with tanks and aircraft. Overcoming numerous difficulties, the Red Army and Red Navy are self-sacrificingly fighting for every inch of Soviet soil. The main forces of the Red Army are coming into action armed with thousands of tanks and aeroplanes. The men of the Red Army are displaying unexampled valour. Our resistance to the enemy is growing in strength and power. Side by side with the Red Army, the entire Soviet people is rising in defence of our native land.

   What is required to put an end to the danger which overhangs our country, and what measures must be taken to crush the enemy?

   Above all it is essential that our people, the Soviet people, should appreciate the full immensity of the danger that threatens our country and cast off complacency, carelessness and the mentality of peaceful constructive work that was so natural before the war, but which is fatal today, when war has radically changed the situation. The enemy is cruel and implacable. He is out to seize our lands which have been watered by the sweat of our brow, to seize our grain and oil which have been obtained by the labour of our hands. He is out to restore the rule of the landlords, to restore tsarism, to destroy the national culture and the national existence as states of the Russians, Ukrainians, Byelorussians, Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians, Uzbeks, Tatars, Moldavians, Georgians, Armenians, Azerbaijanians and the other free peoples of the Soviet Union, to Germanize them, to convert them into the slaves of German princes and barons. Thus, the issue is one of life and death for the Soviet State, of life and death for the peoples of the U.S.S.R., of whether the peoples of the Soviet Union shall be free or fall into slavery. The Soviet people must realize this and cease to be careless; they must mobilize themselves and reorganize all their work on a new, war footing, where there can be no mercy for the enemy.

   Further, there must be no room in our ranks for whimperers and cowards, for panic-mongers and deserters; our people must know no fear in the fight and must selflessly join our Patriotic War of liberation against the fascist enslavers. Lenin, the great founder of our state, used to say that the chief virtues of Soviet men and women must be courage, valour, fearlessness in struggle, readiness to fight together with the people against the enemies of our country. These splendid Bolshevik virtues must be acquired by the millions and millions of men of the Red Army and of the Red Navy, by all the peoples of the Soviet Union.

   All our work must be immediately reorganized on a war footing, everything must be subordinated to the interests of the front and the task of organizing the rout of the enemy. The peoples of the Soviet Union now see that German fascism is untamable in its savage fury and hatred of our country, which has ensured for all its working people free labour and prosperity. The peoples of the Soviet Union must rise to defend their rights and their land against the enemy.

   The Red Army, the Red Navy and all citizens of the Soviet Union must defend every inch of Soviet soil, must fight to the last drop of blood for our towns and villages, must display the daring, initiative and mental alertness that are characteristic of our people.

   We must organize all-round assistance to the Red Army, ensure powerful reinforcements for its ranks, ensure the supply of everything it requires, organize the rapid transport of troops and military freight and extensive aid to the wounded.

   We must strengthen the Red Army's rear, subordinating all our work to this end; all our factories must work with greater intensity, produce more rifles, machine guns, guns, cartridges, shells and aircraft; we must organize the guarding of factories, power stations, telephone and telegraph communications, and organize effective air-raid protection in all localities.

   We must wage a ruthless fight against all disorganizers of the rear, deserters, panic-mongers and rumour-mongers; we must exterminate spies, sabotage agents and enemy parachutists, rendering rapid aid in all this to our destroyer battalions. We must bear in mind that the enemy is crafty, cunning, experienced in deception and in the dissemination of false rumours. We must reckon with all this and not allow ourselves to be deceived by provocateurs. All who by their panic-mongering and cowardice hinder the work of defence, no matter who they are, must be immediately haled before a Military Tribunal.

   In case of a forced retreat of Red Army units, all rolling stock must be evacuated; not a single engine, a single railway car, a single pound of grain or gallon of fuel must be left for the enemy. The collective farmers must drive off all their cattle and turn over their grain to the safekeeping of the state authorities for transportation to the rear. All valuable property, including non-ferrous metals, grain and fuel that cannot be withdrawn, must be destroyed without fail.

   In areas occupied by the enemy, guerilla units, mounted and foot, must be formed, sabotage groups must be organized to combat enemy units, to foment guerilla warfare everywhere, to blow up bridges and roads, damage telephone and telegraph lines and set fire to forests, stores and transports. In occupied regions conditions must be made unbearable for the enemy and all his accomplices. They must be hounded and annihilated at every step, and all their measures frustrated.

   The war with fascist Germany cannot be considered an ordinary war. It is not only a war between two armies; it is also a great war of the entire Soviet people against a German fascist army. The aim of this people's Patriotic War against the fascist oppressors is not only to avert the danger that is hanging over our country, but also to aid all the European peoples who are groaning under the yoke of German fascism. In this war of liberation we shall not be alone. In this great war we shall have true allies in the peoples of Europe and America, including the German people which is enslaved by the Hitlerite misrulers. Our war for the freedom of our motherland will merge with the struggle of the peoples of Europe and America for their independence, for democratic liberties. It will be a united front of the peoples who stand for freedom and against enslavement and threats of enslavement by Hitler's fascist armies. In this connection the historic utterances of the British Prime Minister, Mr. Churchill, regarding aid to the Soviet Union, and the declaration of the United States Government signifying readiness to render aid to our country, which can only evoke a feeling of gratitude in the hearts of the people of the Soviet Union, are fully comprehensible and symptomatic.

   Comrades! Our forces are countless. The overweening enemy will soon be convinced of this. Side by side with the Red Army many thousands of workers, collective farmers and intellectuals are rising to fight the enemy aggressor. The masses of our people will rise up in their millions. The working people of Moscow and Leningrad have already begun to form a people's volunteer guard of many thousands to support the Red Army. Such a people's volunteer guard must be raised in every city which is in danger of enemy invasion; all the working people must be roused to defend with their lives their freedom, their honour, their country in our Patriotic War against German fascism.

   To ensure the rapid mobilization of all the forces of the peoples of the U.S.S.R. and to repulse the enemy who has treacherously attacked our country, a State Committee of Defense has been formed in whose hands all power in the state has now been concentrated. The State Committee of Defence has entered on the performance of its functions anal calls upon all our people to rally around the Party of Lenin and Stalin, around the Soviet Government, to render self-sacrificing support to the Red Army and Red Navy, to crush the enemy and achieve victory.

   All forces for the support of our heroic Red Army and our glorious Red Navy!
   All forces of the people for routing the enemy!
   Forward to victory!

MAY 9, 1945

   Comrades! Fellow countrymen and countrywomen!

   The great day of victory over Germany has arrived. Fascist Germany, forced to her knees by the Red Army and the troops of our Allies, has admitted defeat and has announced her unconditional surrender.

   On May 7 a preliminary act of surrender was signed in Rheims. On May 8, in Berlin, representatives of the German High Command, in the presence of representatives of the Supreme Command of the Allied troops and of the Supreme Command of the Soviet troops, signed the final act of surrender, which came into effect at 24 hours on May 8.

   Knowing the wolfish habits of the German rulers who regard treaties and agreements as scraps of paper, we have no grounds for accepting their word. Nevertheless, this morning, the German troops, in conformity with the act of surrender, began en masse to lay down their arms and surrender to our troops. This is not a scrap of paper. It is the actual capitulation of the armed forces of Germany. True, one group of German troops in the region of Czechoslovakia still refuses to surrender, but I hope the Red Army will succeed in bringing it to its senses.

   We now have full grounds for saying that the historic day of the final defeat of Germany, the day of our people's great victory over German imperialism, has arrived.

   The great sacrifices we have made for the freedom and independence of our country, the incalculable privation and suffering our people have endured during the war, our intense labours in the rear and at the front, laid at the altar of our motherland, have not been in vain; they have been crowned by complete victory over the enemy. The ago-long struggle of the Slavonic peoples for their existence and independence has ended in victory over the German aggressors and German tyranny.

   Henceforth, the great banner of the freedom of the peoples and peace between the peoples will fly over Europe.

   Three years ago Hitler publicly stated that his task included the dismemberment of the Soviet Union and the severance from it of the Caucasus, the Ukraine, Byelorussia, the Baltic and other regions. He definitely said: "We shall destroy Russia so that she shall never be able to rise again." This was three years ago. But Hitler's insane ideas were fated to remain unrealized -- the course of the war scattered them to the winds like dust. Actually, the very opposite of what the Hitlerites dreamed of in their delirium occurred. Germany is utterly defeated. The German troops are surrendering. The Soviet Union is triumphant, although it has no intention of either dismembering or destroying Germany.

   Comrades! Our Great Patriotic War has terminated in our complete victory. The period of war in              Europe has closed. A period of peaceful development has been ushered in.

   Congratulations on our victory, my dear fellow countrymen and countrywomen!
   Glory to our heroic Red Army, which upheld the independence of our country and achieved victory          over the enemy!
   Glory to our great people, the victor people!
   Eternal glory to the heroes who fell fighting the enemy and who gave their lives for the freedom and         happiness of our people!



   Comrades, Red Armymen and Red Navymen, Commanders and political instructors, working men and working women, collective farmers -- men and women, workers engaged in intellectual pursuits, brothers and sisters in the rear of our enemy who have temporarily fallen under the yoke of the German brigands, and our valiant partisans, men and women, who are destroying the rear of the German invaders!

   On behalf of the Soviet Government and our Bolshevik Party, I greet and congratulate you on the 24th Anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution.

   Comrades! It is in strenuous circumstances that we are today celebrating the 24th Anniversary of the October Revolution. The perfidious attack of the German brigands and the war which has been forced upon us have placed our country in jeopardy. We have temporarily lost a number of regions, the enemy has appeared at the gates of Leningrad and Moscow. The enemy calculated that after the very first blow our Army would be dispersed, and our country would be forced to her knees. But the enemy sadly miscalculated. In spite of temporary reverses, our Army and our Navy are heroically repulsing the enemy's attacks along the whole front and inflicting heavy losses upon him, while our country -- our entire country -- has formed itself into a single fighting camp in order, together with our Army and our Navy, to encompass the defeat of the German invaders.

   There have been times when our country was in even more difficult straits than it is today. Recall the year of 1918, when we celebrated the first anniversary of the October Revolution. Three-fourths of our country was at that time in the hands of foreign invaders. The Ukraine, the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Urals, Siberia and the Far East were temporarily lost to us. We had no allies, we had no Red Army -- we had only just begun to form it; there was a shortage of bread, of armaments, of clothing for the Army. Fourteen states were encroaching on our country. But we were not dismayed, we did not lose heart. In the fire of war we forged the Red Army and converted our country into a military camp. Then the spirit of the great Lenin inspired us in the war against the invaders. And what happened? We routed the invaders, recovered all our lost territory, and achieved victory.

   Today the position of our country is far better than it was twenty-three years ago. Our country is now ever so much richer than it was twenty-three years ago as regards industry, food and raw materials. We now have allies, who together with us are maintaining a united front against the German invaders. We now enjoy the sympathy and support of all the nations of Europe who have fallen under the yoke of Hitler's tyranny. We now have a splendid Army and a splendid Navy, which are staunchly defending the liberty and independence of our country. We experience no serious shortage of food, or of armaments, or of army clothing. Our entire country all the peoples of our country, support our Army and our Navy and are helping them to smash the invading hordes of German fascists. Our reserves of manpower are inexhaustible. The spirit of the great Lenin and his victorious banner now inspire us in this Patriotic War just as they did twenty-three years ago.

   Can there be any doubt that we can and are bound to defeat the German invaders?

   The enemy is not so strong as some frightened little intellectuals imagine. The devil is not so terrible as he is painted. Who can deny that our Red Army has time and again compelled the vaunted German troops to flee in panic? If we judge, not by the boastful utterances of the German propagandists, but by the actual position of Germany, it will be easily seen that the German fascist invaders are now on the brink of disaster. Hunger and poverty reign in Germany today; in the four months of war Germany has lost 4,500,000 men; Germany is bleeding at every pore, her reserves of manpower are giving out, the spirit of indignation is spreading not only among the peoples of Europe who have fallen under the yoke of German invaders, but also among the German people themselves, who can see no end to the war. The German invaders are exerting their last efforts. There can be no doubt that Germany will he unable to stand such a strain for long. Another few months, a half-year, a year, perhaps, and Hitler Germany is bound to collapse beneath the weight of its crimes.

   Comrades, Red Armymen and Red Navymen, commanders and political instructors, men and women partisans, the whole world is looking to you as the force capable of destroying the plundering hordes of German invaders. The enslaved peoples of Europe who have fallen under the yoke of the German invaders look to you as their liberators. A great liberating mission has fallen to your lot. Be worthy of this mission! The war you are waging is a war of liberation, a just war. Let the heroic images of our great forebears -- Alexander Nevsky, Dimitri Donskoi, Kuzma Minin, Dimitri Pozharsky, Alexander Suvorov and Mikhail Kutuzov -- inspire you in this war! May you be inspired by the victorious banner of the great Lenin!

   Fight until the German invaders are utterly routed!
   Death to the German invaders!
   Long live our glorious motherland, her liberty and her independence!
   Under the banner of Lenin -- forward to victory!

Stalin (Joseph Vissarionovich Djugashvili) born 1879/died 1953 was undoubtedly one of the most controversial figures of the 20th Century.  As undisputed ruler of the Soviet Union, Stalin transformed  the country into one of the greatest powers in the world.  This was achieved, however, at a cost of millions of lives.  Stalin was adored and, at the same time, hated by his people. His decimation of the military during the Purges of the late 1930's, crippled the defense of the country and led to the disasterous defeats at the beginning of the Great Patriotic War.  He was a master politician and had the ability to galvanize the country when it most needed it.  Below are three of his most famous speeches during with the Great Patriotic War.  The audio is of the November 7, 1941 speech.  This speech was given in Red Square at a time when the Hitlerites were at the gates of Moscow.  The military forces on parade went into combat soon after the parade.  In this speech, Stalin taps into Russian history and the Russian Soul.

While we do not believe in what Stalin stood for or condone his measures, we do acknowledge his place in history and in his significance as the leader of the Soviet Peoples at the time in history which we portray.  If you are interested in reading futher about Stalin, please visit this site.