Wartime Ukrainian Easter

Before, during, and after the Second World War, Ukrainians resisted (often in underground organisations), occupation by both Russia and Germany, as well as military aggression from others including Hungary and Romania. Additionally, the west of Ukraine was under Polish rule before the Soviets invaded. The region suffered heavily during Operation Barbarossa.

These vintage Ukrainian Easter cards are from that turbulent time – note the rifle carried by the man on the horse.

The writing is the typical Easter message for Ukraine, and translates to ‘Christ is Risen’.

American professor Timothy Snyder is a good place to start for information on the most overlooked aspect of the war, particularly his book Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin.

Easter_card_Ukr_Legion These Easter cards are Ukrainian, and represent the era and the underground forces fighting more than one invader at the same time

Easter_card_ukr_leg These Easter cards are Ukrainian, and represent the era and the underground forces fighting more than one invader at the same time

Mt Vesuvius in 1944

Mount Vesuvius, a volcano on the Gulf of Naples in Italy, had one of its more destructive eruptions in March 1944.

The eruption destroyed the villages of San Sebastiano al Vesuvio, Massa di Somma and Ottaviano. Part of San Giorgio a Cremano was also destroyed.

John Reinhardt, serving in the US Army Air Forces in the Second World War, took this photograph.

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On this day: the end of the Winter War

Finnish_ski_troops The Winter War, which began in November 1939 when the Soviet Union invaded Finland, ended on the 13th of March, 1940.

Finnish ski troops in 1940.

The Winter War, which began in November 1939 when the Soviet Union invaded Finland, ended on the 13th of March, 1940.

Despite being victorious, Finland was still required to hand over some of their land to Russia at the end of the war.

The invasion of Finland was deemed illegal by the League of Nations, and was the cause of Moscow’s expulsion from the League in December of 1939.

The style of hybrid warfare used by the Kremlin in Finland has been replicated a number of times since, most recently in Ukraine.

On this day: the premiere of an anti-Nazi film

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You Nazty Spy!, the first Hollywood film made with an anti-Nazi sentiment, premiered on the 19th of January, 1940.

Featuring The Three Stooges, it satirised Nazi Germany at a time when Americans had still not entered the Second World War, and the country remained neutral.

Some American politicians, such as Burton Wheeler and Gerald Nye, were offended by the anti-Nazi sentiment in the production, seeing it as war propaganda.

Of course, their attitudes changed completely twenty-three months later, with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Construction in NYC

An image of the United Nations building in New York under construction in 1949. The building was completed in 1952.

The Empire State Building is in the background.

Bizarrely, this image is often said to be the Empire State Building under construction, even though it was completed in 1931, and is clearly visible in the background!

Source

This is a 1949 image of the United Nations building in New York under construction in 1949. The building was completed in 1952.

On this day: the annexation of Latvia

The Soviet Union annexed Latvia on the 5th of August, 1940, forcing them to join the USSR. Germany was the only Western nation to recognise the annexation.

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800px-Riga_1940_Soviet_ArmyA Soviet BT Tank with a truck and troops in the centre of Riga, 1940.

On this day: the release of A Wild Hare

MV5BZjFlNmFlMGItODA5ZS00YTQzLWFlYjMtZDZiMjIyZmViODg2XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNzg5OTk2OA@@__V1_A Wild Hare (re-released as The Wild Hare) is a 1940 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies animated short film.

A Wild Hare, the animated short film that introduced Bugs Bunny, premiered on the 27th of July, 1940.

The film also set the distinct character traits for another Looney Tunes character, Elmer Fudd.

A_Wild_Hare_Lobby_CardA Wild Hare (re-released as The Wild Hare) is a 1940 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies animated short film.

Bugs Bunny is unnamed in the film, but would be named in his next film the following year.

A Wild Hare went on to receive an Oscar nomination.