Joint Blow to Crush Germany



Broadcast from London, May 1, 1944

Vital Speeches of the Day, Vol. X, pp. 452-453.

COMRADES, Red Army men, Red Navy men, sergeants, officers and generals, men and women guerrillas, working people of the Soviet Union, brothers and sisters who have temporarily fallen under the yoke of the German oppressors and who have been forcibly driven by the Fascist into forced labor in Germany, on behalf of the Soviet Government and our Bolshevik party I greet and congratulate you upon May Day.

The peoples of our country meet on May 1 in the midst of the outstanding successes of the Red Army. Since the defeat of the German divisions at Stalingrad, the Red Army has been conducting a practically incessant offensive. During this time the Red Army made a fighting advance from the Volga to the Siret and from the foothills of the Caucasus to the Carpathians, exterminating the enemy vermin and sweeping it from Soviet land.

In the course of the winter campaign of 1943-44, the Red Army has won the historic battle for the Dneiper and for the territories of the Ukraine west of the Dneiper, has crushed the powerful German fortified defenses at Leningrad and the Crimea and by skillful and vigorous actions has overwhelmed the German defense on the water barriers of the southern Bug, the Dniester, Prut and Siret [Rivers].

Almost the entire Ukraine, Moldavia, Crimea, Leningrad and Kalinin regions and a considerable part of White Russia have been cleared of the German invaders. The metallurgy of the south, the ore of Krivoi Rog, Kerch and Nikopol and the fertile lands between the Dneiper and Prut have been restored to the motherland. Tens of millions of Soviet people have been delivered from Fascist slavery.

Acting in the great cause of liberation of our native land from the Fascist invaders, the Red Army has emerged on our state frontier with Rumania and Czechoslovakia, and now continues battering the enemy group on Rumanian territory. The successes of the Red Army were made possible by the correct strategy and tactics of the Soviet command; by the high morale and offensive ardor of the Soviet soldiers and command; by our troops being well supplied with first-rate Soviet war equipment, and by the improved skill and training of our artillerymen, gunners, tankmen, airmen, signalmen, sappers, infantrymen, cavalrymen and scouts.

A considerable contribution to our success has been made by our great allies, the United States of America and Great Britain, who hold a front in Italy against the Germans and divert a considerable part of the German troops; supply us with most valuable strategical raw material and armaments, and subject to systematic bombardments military objectives in Germany and thus undermine the latter's military might. Successes of the Red Army could, however, prove unstable and could be reduced to naught after the very first furious counter-blow by the enemy if the Red Army were not supported by the strength of the whole Soviet people.

The Red Army in battles for the motherland has shown unparalleled heroism but the Soviet people did not stay far behind the Red Army. In difficult war conditions the Soviet people achieved decisive successes in the field of mass production of armaments, ammunitions, equipment, foodstuffs and timely delivery at the front to the Red Army. In the course of the past year the might of Soviet production greatly increased. Hundreds of new works came into production as well as dozens of power stations, rail lines and bridges. New millions of Soviet citizens have taken their place at the benches, mastered intricate professions and become experts in their jobs.

Our collective farms and Soviet farms have withstood the test of war with honor. Under difficult wartime conditions the Soviet peasantry untiringly is working in the fields supplying our army and population with food and supplying raw materials for our industry. Our intelligentsia has enriched Soviet learning and technical science, culture and art with new outstanding achievements and discoveries. Soviet women have rendered invaluable service in defense of their native land, working selflessly for the front, courageously bearing all wartime hardships and inspiring to fighting exploits the soldiers of the Red Army—the liberators of our homeland.

The Soviet people is capable of performing miracles and emerging victorious from the hardest trials. Workers, collective farmers, and Soviet intelligentsia, the whole Soviet people, are filled with determination to hasten the rout of the enemy to the full, to restore the national economy wrecked by the Fascists, and to make our land still mightierand more prosperous.

Under the blows of the Red Army the bloc of Fascist countries is cracking and falling to pieces. Fear and confusion now reign among Hitler's Rumanian, Hungarian, Finnish and Bulgarian "allies." Now these flunkies, underlings of Hitler, whose countries have been occupied by the Germans or are being occupied by the Germans, cannot but see that Germany has lost the war. Rumania, Bulgaria, Finland and Hungary have only one possibility to avoid catastrophe—to break with the Germans and withdraw from the war.

However, it is difficult to expect that the present governments of these countries will prove capable of breaking with the Germans. It is to be supposed the people of these countries will have to take the cause of liberation from the German yoke into their own hands. And the sooner the people of these countries realize to what a dead end the Hitlerites brought them, the sooner they will terminate all support of the German enslavers and quisling underlings in their own countries, the less destruction will the war bring these countries and the more they will count on understanding on the part of the democratic countries.

As the result of its successful offensive the Red Army has reached our state frontier on a line of more than 400 kilometers [250 miles] and has liberated more than three-quarters of the occupied Soviet territory from the German yoke. Our task now is to clear all our territories and restore the state frontier of the Soviet Union along the line from the Black Sea to the Barents Sea.

But our task cannot be limited to the expulsion of enemy troops from the motherland. German troops are now like a wounded beast which has been forced to crawl back to its hiding place in Germany in order to lick its wounds. But the wounded beast who has retired to its hiding place does not cease to be dangerous. To rid our countries and the countries allied with us from the danger of enslavement we must pursue the wounded German beast close on its heels, and finish it off in its own lair.

In pursuing the enemy we must liberate from slavery our brothers, the Poles, Czechs and other peoples allied with us in western Europe who presently are under the heel of Hitlerite Germany. It is obvious this problem is a more difficult matter than the expulsion of German troops from Soviet territory. It can be solved on the basis of coordinated efforts by the Soviet Union, Great Britain and the United States of North America by means of coordinated blows from the east by our troops and from the west by troops of our allies. There can be no doubt that only such a combined blow can completely crush Hitlerite Germany.

Comrades, Red Army men, Red Navy men, sergeants, officers and generals, men and women guerrillas, working people of the Soviet Union, brothers and sisters who have temporarily fallen under the yoke of the German oppressors and who have been forcibly driven by the Fascist into forced labor in Germany, I order:

In honor of the historic successes of the Red Army on the front and to commemorate the great successes of the workers, collective farmers and intelligentsia of the Soviet Union in the rear today, a day of world-wide festival of the working people, at twenty-four hours [midnight], a salute in Moscow, Leningrad, Gomel, Kiev, Kharkov, Rostov, Tiflis, Simeropol and Odessa of twenty artillery salvos. Long live our Soviet motherland! Long live our Red Army and Navy! Long live the great Soviet people! Long live the friendship of the peoples of the Soviet Union! Long live Soviet guerrilla men and women! Eternal glory to the heroes who have fallen in the battle for the freedom and independence of our country. Death to the German invaders!