Macedonia: Bloggers Celebrate 1945 Victory Over Fascism

Several Macedonian bloggers joined the celebration of victory over fascism in World War II.

Before Macedonia gained independence in 1991, the Victory Day over Fascism was celebrated on May 9 as a working holiday together with May 15 – the Day of Final Victory in Yugoslavia, because some fascists continued to fight after the official capitulation. In the subsequent years, this tradition has been quietly abandoned, especially by right-wing governments eager to deny the credit for national liberation to the “communists.”

During the last decade, many were happy to take part in the celebrations of Europe Day, perceiving the EU integration as a continuation of the struggle for free and prosperous Macedonia. The blog of “Blagoj Kirkov” Primary School documented [MKD] such an event in Veles.

However, possibly due to further resurgence of anti-democratic tendencies, including attempts to rewrite history in favor of fascist collaborators, some bloggers used this year's celebration of the 65th anniversary of Victory Day in Moscow to draw public attention to this important event.

Andrej posted [MKD] a scan of the front page of London Daily Mail newspaper from May 9, 1945, and wrote:

History will repeat itself if its lessons are not learned.
May [fascism] never rise again.
Gratitude to all who gave their lives for freedom.

Zoriv found it remarkable [MKD] that alongside ten thousand Russian soldiers who demonstrated the military strength of their country…

…for the first time the U.S. Army marched on Red Square. Besides the American battalion, the procession also included soldiers from Great Britain, France, and Poland, as part of the winning Allied Coalition from World War II.

Some Facebook users expressed frustration because Macedonian Army did not take part in the Moscow parade. The worst form of such behavior included belittling the role of France, parroting the American nationalist pundits around the initiation of the Iraq War.

On the other hand, in a comment to the post [MKD] on the blog Darvel, which presented a photo in which the Macedonian president stood aside from the other leaders in Moscow, Hemicharot wrote:

…the publicity about such international events was suddenly extinguished, there is not much information about the activity of our commander-in-chief. The e-editions of the mainstream media only show a general photo from the parade and an old portrait of [the president]. Did he have to go all by himself?

VBB, who at the time of the parade was in Moscow, produced an original report [MKD] from the Victory Day parade:

The entrance to Red Square, the traditional starting point of the parade, was allowed to ticket-holders: World War II veterans, diplomats, journalists, etc. Therefore, I watched the parade on Tverskaya street, alongside other ordinary mortals. After the parade ended, the Square was open to all, and celebrations included impressive fireworks that evening at 10 pm. After the fireworks, thousands of people spontaneously marched along the streets shouting, singing and waving flags. The traditional concert of military songs sung by music stars ended with the 1970s evergreen “Den Pobedy” (Victory Day) by Lev Leshchenko.

VBB supplemented his report with photographs focused on the activities of ordinary people, who, for instance, enjoyed buying Soviet military “pilot” hats adorned with the red star.

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