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Novosti News

23.5.2011. 10:55
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For Surviving Soviet Veterans, Victory Day Is a Dying Celebration

Among the Last: Soviet World War II veteran Isaak Iosilevich,
86, observed Victory Day, a Russian holiday honoring the
Second World War, with other veterans in Brighton Beach.
CLAUDIO PAPAPIETRO
Among the Last: Soviet World War II veteran Isaak Iosilevich, 86, observed Victory Day, a Russian holiday honoring the Second World War, with other veterans in Brighton Beach.

By Paul Berger

Published May 11, 2011, issue of May 20, 2011

Their gold and silver medals glinting in the late morning sun, David Rosenberg, Victor Levinson and Mikhail Rabkin stood among a small group of men on Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach Avenue, dressed in their finest clothes. On that day, May 9, across the former Soviet Union their comrades-in-arms were being feted as heroes in grandiose Victory Day parades.

In Brighton Beach they were heroes too, though on a much smaller scale. As they stood proudly, chatting in Russian about a war that ended 66 years ago and about more recent battles with age and ill health, women stopped to give them flowers, while men stepped forward to vigorously pump their hands. “Thank you for everything,” said one young man, who had doubled back after passing the group. “Be well!”

In years gone by, Levinson and his fellow Red Army veterans in Brooklyn, most of them Jewish, marched along the boardwalk at Brighton Beach on Victory Day, where they were greeted by hundreds of people. Last year, when the day fell on a Sunday, there was music, dancing and tears.

Read more: http://forward.com/articles/137708/#ixzz1NAFHe0Un

  

 

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