On May 14, Russian Jews in Israel celebrate the victory over Nazi Germany, while remembering those who died in order to achieve it.
The German military surrendered to the Soviet Union and the Allies of World War II in Berlin on May 9, 1945. Victory Day is by far one of the biggest Russian holidays marking the end of the war and commemorating those who died. It is a time to pay tribute to the survivors and veterans who laid everything on the line.
More than 20 million Russians died at the hands of the Nazis during World War II. This includes 8,668,400 military deaths, as calculated by the Russian Ministry of Defense.
The Red Army played a crucial role in the defeat of Nazi Germany, particularly on the Eastern Front. History shows that it was the harsh winter cold that finally gave the Russian soldiers the advantage over the technologically-superior German military.
Russian Jews in Israel celebrate with traditional Russian songs and food and emotional gatherings with family and old friends. There are also parades, and many dress up in their former military uniforms showing the medals of honor received during the war. And, of course, a good shot of vodka and a big “le’haim” in thanksgiving for new life they now have in their homeland, Israel.
PHOTO: Russian-Israeli World War II veterans take part in the Veterans Day parade in honor of the Allies' victory over Nazi Germany, in Jerusalem on May 14, 2019. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)