800.00B International Red Day/5–345: Telegram

The Chargé in the Soviet Union (Kennan) to the Secretary of State

1433. Front page of newspapers for May 1 was occupied by Stalin’s Order of the Day and large full length portrait of Stalin with Lenin [Page 847] in background to right and map of eastern and central Europe on left. Summary of Order follows:90

Fatherland greets first of May this year in circumstances of victorious conclusion of patriotic war. (Order here summarizes Red Army campaigns of recent months and states that in 3 or 4 months Germans lost over 800,000 soldiers and officers taken prisoner and about 1,000,000 killed as well as about 6,000 planes, 12,000 tanks and self-propelled guns, and over 23,000 field guns.)

Polish, Yugoslav, Czechoslovak, Bulgarian and Rumanian divisions fought side by side with Red Army.

Red Army’s crushing blows forced German command to transfer dozens of divisions to Soviet front, leaving bare whole sectors on other fronts. This helped Allies to carry on successful offensive in west and Allies and Red Army troops cut German forces into two parts.

There can be no doubt that this means the end of Hitlerite Germany. “Germany is completely isolated if one does not consider her Ally, Japan.”

Seeking way out of hopeless situation Hitlerites resort to every sort of trick, attempting to create discord among Allies. These new Hitlerite tricks are doomed to complete failure and can only hasten collapse of German troops.

Fascist propaganda frightens Germans with stories that United Nations want to destroy German people. United Nations will destroy Fascism and German militarism, sternly punish war criminals and force Germans to repair damage done by them to other countries but they will loyally fulfill demands of Allied military authorities.

Brilliant victories of Soviet troops have shown legendary might of Red Army and its great military skill. Army successfully defended great Socialist achievements of Soviet people and state interests of Soviet Union. Despite 4 years of war on unparalleled scale Socialist economy is growing stronger and is flourishing, and the economic life of liberated areas is successfully and rapidly reviving. World war unleashed by German Imperialism is ending. Collapse of Hitlerite Germany is matter of nearest future. Task now is to finish mortally wounded Fascist beast. Order concludes with exhortations to armed forces and workers to fight enemy skillfully and tirelessly, to aid front in every way, to heal wounds of war and still further increase might of Soviet state. Stalin extends greetings of government and Bolshevik party, orders salutes in capitals of Union Republics and hails fatherland, armed forces, dead heroes.

  1. For comparison with the Order of the Day for 1944, see Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. iv, p. 864.