STALINGRAD IN BRITISH HISTORY EXHIBITION OPENED IN LONDON
The exhibition honors the donations made by the British to help restore the city.
The Stalingrad in British History Exhibition opened in London on Friday. It is dedicated to donations that citizens of the UK made to finance the city restoration. The exhibition takes place in the building of the representative office of Rossotrudnichestvo in Great Britain.
Large expansible stands show pictures, documents, and witness reports to help guests of the exhibition comprehend how high the price was that the city and its people paid to win. The exhibition will tell about the bloody battles over Stalingrad—the key industrial and transportation unit—but, primarily, about the humanitarian aid sent by the British. When preparing the exhibition, its organizers were largely inspired by Leonid Varlamov's movie 'Stalingrad'. The movie was given as a gist to Winston Churchill (1874–1965), and after that, it ran in British cinemas.
As a result, the UK was the only country in the world to have organized a mass public movement to raise donations for the ruined city on the Volga during World War II.
Strong emotional bond
"Altogether, over 307 towns and cities took part in restoring Stalingrad," Dmitriy Belov, President of the Stalingrad Battle Foundation, told TASS reporters. "As of December 1943, the British raised more than 200,000 pounds." Converted to today's rate, that money would have amounted to 9 million pounds or 750 million rubles. The money was used to equip hospitals in Stalingrad and other Soviet cities, such as Rostov, Moscow, and Leningrad. "I believe the exhibition will be interesting for the British. For them, it shows the emotional bond of modern generations to their ancestors who lived when World War II was raging. And this bond is very strong indeed," said Mr. Belov.
In his turn, representative of Rossotrudnichestvo Anton Chesnokov highlighted that the exhibition is meant to remind about the common struggle of the two peoples against Nazism. "Project 'Stalingrad in British History' and the exhibition put in remembrance the joint effort our nations gave during World War II and the firm friendship that became the foundation of the international twin-city movement. Here, you can see unique objects from Russian and British archives that would be of interest to both experts and the public. Historic documents allow us not only to comprehend the size of the tragedy and the value of the aid the British people provided Stalingrad but to prevent hoaxes and fact faking of the history of World War II," Anton Chesnokov said to TASS.
"The exhibition continues the ceremonies of the first town twinning between Stalingrad (Volgograd) and Coventry," added Mr. Chesnokov. 2019 saw a series of events dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the twin-city movement: Volgograd Squire was opened in Coventry, which was celebrated by a concert by Russian and British performers. A delegation from the British city almost destroyed by the Nazi aviation in 1940 visited Volgograd to participate in the International Conference 'The Volga Dialog'.
After London, the exhibition will move to Saint Albans near the British capital, and then to Coventry.