Victory Address

WE HAVE WAITED FORTY YEARS

By JOSEPH STALIN, Generalissimo of U.S.S.R.

Broadcast over the Moscow radio as recorded by the Soviet monitor, London, September 2, 1945

Vital Speeches of the Day, Vol. XI, pp. 711-712.

TODAY, Sept. 2, representatives of the State and the armed forces of Japan have signed the act of unconditional surrender. Utterly defeated on the seas, on land and surrounded on all sides by the armed forces of the United Nations, Japan acknowledged her defeat and laid down arms.

Two hotbeds of world fascism and world aggression formed on the eve of this World WaróGermany in the west, and Japan in the east. It was they who unleashed the second World War. It was they who placed humanity and its civilization on the verge of destruction.

The hotbed of aggression in the west was eliminated four months ago, and as a result Germany was compelled to surrender. Four months later the hotbed of world aggression in the east was eliminated, and as a result, Japan, Germany's chief ally, has been forced to sign the act of surrender.

Conditions for Peace Achieved

This means that the second World War has come to an end.

Now we can say that conditions necessary for the peace of the world have already been won.

It should be noted that the Japanese invaders inflicted damage not only on our alliesóChina, the United States and Great Britain. They also inflicted most serious damage on our country. Therefore, we have a special account of our own to settle with Japan.

Japan began her aggression against our country as far back as 1904, during the Russo-Japanese War. As is well known, in February, 1904, while negotiations with Japan and Russia were still in progress, Japan took advantage of the weakness of the Czarist Government and unexpectedly and treacherously, without declaring war, attacked our country and assaulted the Russian squadron in the Port Arthur area to disable several Russian warships and thus to place her own navy in a position of advantage.

And, indeed, she did disable Russia's three first-class warships.

Characteristically, thirty-seven years later, Japan repeated exactly the same treacherous device against the United States when, in 1941, she attacked the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor and disabled a number of American battleships.

Russia "Bottled Up" in Pacific

As is well known, at that time Russia suffered defeat in the war with Japan, and Japan took advantage of Czarist Russia's defeat to wrest southern Sakhalin from Russia, to strengthen her hold over the Kurile Islands, thus locking all outlets to the ocean in the east and consequently also the outlets for our country to the ports of Soviet Kamchatka and the Soviet Sea of Okhotsk.

It was plain that Japan had set for herself the aim of wresting from Russia her entire Far East. Japan's predatory actions against our country, however, were not confined to that. In 1918, after the establishment of the Soviet system in our country, Japan, taking advantage of the then hostile attitude of Great Britain, France and the United States toward the Soviet country and leaning on them for support, again attacked our country, occupied the Far East [provinces] and for four years ravaged our people and plundered the Soviet Far East. But even that is not all.

In 1938 Japan again attacked our country in the Lake Khasan area near Vladivostok, aiming to encircle Vladivostok. Next year Japan repeated her attack, this time in a different place, near Khalka-gol [Nomonhan] in the area of the Mongolian People's Republic, aiming to break into Soviet territory, cutting our Siberian trunk railway line and cutting off the Far East from Russia.

"Stain" of 1904 Wiped Out

True, Japan's attacks in the Khasan and Khalka-gol areas were suppressed by Soviet troops with great disgrace for the Japanese. Similarly, the Japanese military intervention of 1918-1922 was successfully suppressed and the Japanese invaders were thrown out of the areas of our Far East.

But the defeat of Russian troops in 1904 in the period of the Russo-Japanese War left grave memories in the minds of our peoples. It was as a dark stain on our country. Our people trusted and awaited the day when Japan would be routed and the stain wiped out.

For forty years have we, men of the older generation, waited for this generation, waited for this day. And now this day has come.

Today Japan has acknowledged her defeat and signed the act of unconditional surrender. This means that southern Sakhalin and the Kurile Islands will pass to the Soviet Union, and from now on will not serve as a means for isolating the Soviet Union from the ocean and as a base for Japanese attacks on our Far East.

They will serve, instead, as a means of direct communication of the Soviet Union with the ocean and as a base for the defense of our country against Japanese aggression.

Allied Nations Commended

Our Soviet people did not spare their strength or labor for the sake of victory.

We have lived through hard years. But now every one of us can say: We have won.

From now on we can consider our country saved from the threat of German invasion in the West and of Japanese invasion in the East.

The long-awaited peace for the nations of the whole world has come.

I congratulate you, my dear compatriots, men and women, on the great victory, on the successful termination of the war, on the advent of world peace.

Glory to the armed forces of the Soviet Union, the United States of America, China and Great Britain, which have won over Japan!

Glory to our Far Eastern troops and Pacific fleet, which upheld the honor and dignity of our Motherland!

Glory to our great people, victorious people!

Eternal glory to the heroes who fell in the battles for the horror and victory of our Motherland!

May our Motherland thrive and prosper.