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24th October 2012

MEMORIAL TO THE 27,000,000 SOVIET WAR DEAD 1941-1945
Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park, London Borough of Southwark
(adjacent to the Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, SE1 6HZ)

SMTF, 320 Brixton Road, London SW9 6AB / Tel: 020 7274 2282 / Fax: 020 7274 3230 / Email: [removed]

Act of Remembrance – Sunday, November 11, 2012 – 12.30pm

You are cordially invited to the Act of Remembrance at the Soviet War Memorial in London on Remembrance Sunday, November 11, 2012 starting at 12.30pm. Participants should gather in front of the main entrance to the Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, SE1 6HZ by 12.15pm.

The Mayor of Southwark, diplomats from the Embassies of the CIS countries, veterans and supporters of the Memorial will be present. An RSVP is not essential – you are welcome to simply come along on the day. However, if you do intend to lay a wreath, or to bring the standard of your organisation, it would be very helpful if you could respond to this email as soon as possible. (If you have already replied to the postal invitation sent out earlier this month, then please ignore this reminder.)

As the SMTF relies on donations to continue its work, we strive to keep expenditure to a minimum. If you would like to receive future invitations and information only via email, rather than by post, then please email me at [removed] . We are keen to maintain contact with everyone who supports the Soviet War Memorial, but if you do no longer wish to receive regular information from us, then please let us know. One of our key supporting organisations, the SCRSS, maintains a web page of information about the Memorial and SMTF events and this can be viewed at http://www.scrss.org.uk/sovietmemorial.htm.

Following Remembrance Sunday, the next event at the Soviet War Memorial will be on January 27, 2012 marking Holocaust Memorial Day. Details will be sent out in early January.

Ralph Gibson
Hon. Secretary, Soviet Memorial Trust Fund
Direct Tel: 020 7370 3002 (at RIA Novosti) / Eml: [removed]
See also www.scrss.org.uk/sovietmemorial.htm


Victory Day – May 9, 2012

Over 400 people attended the ceremony at the Soviet War Memorial to mark the 67th anniversary of the Allied Victory over Fascism. The Deputy Mayor of Southwark, Cllr Althea Smith welcomed the participants, who included diplomatic representatives, veterans associations, British and Russian cultural and community organisations, as well as children from the London Nautical School and the Russian Embassy School.

Minister Counsellor of the Russian Embassy Alexander Kramarenko reflected on the importance of 9 May for Russia – “It is about life and humanity’s true mission on Earth. For it is not as much about Victory, which was granted by God to the people that were on the right side of history, as about its price, the sacrifices that made it possible.”

Cllr Anood Al-Samerai delivered a speech on behalf of The Rt Hon Simon Hughes MP, who, like the Russian Ambassador, had been required to attend the State Opening of Parliament. In his address, the MP recalled the wartime alliance and the continuing need to resolve to always work for peace. For audio of all the speeches – www.london-se1.co.uk/news/view/5992

The Deputy Lieutenant for Southwark laid the first wreath, which was followed by over 50 more on behalf of Southwark Council; embassies of the CIS countries and the USA in London; a group of Soviet veterans who had travelled from Moscow for May 9; the Russian Convoy Club and RAF Russia Association, and a number of other veterans groups; the SCRSS and other UK-based cultural and political organisations; and a host of Russian community and educational groups. The wreath-laying was once again brought to a close by children from the Russian Embassy school, with pupil Alena Zhidkova singing the haunting song “Zhuravli” [The Cranes] prior to the Last Post being sounded to mark the beginning of a two minute silence. Following the formal ceremony, participants were invited to raise a “Toast to Victory” at a reception in the park laid on by several of the CIS embassies in London.

Later on the same day, Professor Geoffrey Roberts from University College Cork gave a talk inside the Imperial War Museum on Soviet diplomat Vyacheslav Molotov’s contribution to Victory.

Hurricanes to Murmansk wins award

The documentary by Atoll Productions on the story of the RAF 151 Wing which travelled aboard the first Arctic convoy to Russia in August 1941 received a jury prize at St Petersburg Documentary Festival. The SMTF has supported the project from its inception, and premiered the current version in May 2011. Copies of the DVD are still available – see www.atollproductions.co.uk

Green Flag for GMH Park

Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park, the location of the Soviet War Memorial, was awarded “Green Flag” status this year. Green Flag parks are judged to be welcoming, safe and well maintained with the strong involvement of the local community. The award scheme is the national benchmark for quality parks and green spaces. The SMTF was represented at the flag raising ceremony on Sep 10.

Zhukov remembered

Following on from his fascinating talk at the IWM on May 9, Professor Geoffrey Roberts will talk about his latest book – Stalin’s General: The Life of Georgy Zhukov – at the SCRSS Russian History Seminar on Saturday, November 10. Full details about the day-long seminar are available at http://www.scrss.org.uk/russianseminar.htm

Kind regards

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