Southern Brooklyn

Victory Day In Brighton Beach, A Cherished Holiday

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This past Sunday was the 65th anniversary of the Allied victory over the Nazi regime. Brighton Beach, home to the largest Russian-speaking population in the US, witnessed scores of veterans parade down Brighton Beach Avenue. Traffic stopped, everyone dropped what they were doing and came out to cheer, cry and thank the brave men and women who made incredible sacrifices six-and-a-half decades ago.

May 9 is the most cherished holiday in Russia and many of the other former Soviet republics. Every year, veterans of World War II put on their uniforms and decorate them with medals. The years of this tradition are numbered, for the youngest veterans are now 80+ years old.

Paul Birman was born in Moscow and moved to Chicago in the 1990s.  He finished school and worked a variety of jobs before moving to New York on Halloween, 2008, to pursue a full-time career in visual arts. Birman currently freelances as a photographer and camera operator. You can see his portfolio at his website.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. Sorry I missed it. Who knew?

    Most Americans have no idea what sacrifices the Russians made. I'm a proud American, and I'm proud of my Russian neighbors. Cheers!

  2. You know, I actually wrestled over what to put? I wasn't sure if Soviet was preferred, since most of the people here came to escape the Soviet regime. And I knew it was more than just Russian, but I also felt Eastern European was too broad.

    Dear Russian/Soviet/Eastern European/Slavic/Baltic neighbors – what is the preferred term in this instance and in general?

  3. i can't speak for others, but personally, soviet or former soviets would be more appropriate for myself and many that i know. esp due to the large ashkenazi jewish population that immigrated here from russia. also, many people that americans call russians, would never be considered russian in russia.

  4. Agreed. Colloquially, you are correct. Technically, Soviet, or former Soviet would be more specifically correct.

  5. I personally never stepped foot on mother Russian soil, until my family migrated from Azerbaijan, Baku to US and we had to transfer in Moscow to another plane. Also my grandfather G—d rest his soul fought with red army all the way to Berlin. Jews from Baku, Tashkent, Georgia, Turkmen those for most part are juhuro http://gorskie.ru/ , http://juhuro.com/ and buharian

  6. i can't speak for others, but personally, soviet or former soviets would be more appropriate for myself and many that i know. esp due to the large ashkenazi jewish population that immigrated here from russia. also, many people that americans call russians, would never be considered russian in russia.

  7. Agreed. Colloquially, you are correct. Technically, Soviet, or former Soviet would be more specifically correct.

  8. I personally never stepped foot on mother Russian soil, until my family migrated from Azerbaijan, Baku to US and we had to transfer in Moscow to another plane. Also my grandfather G—d rest his soul fought with red army all the way to Berlin. Jews from Baku, Tashkent, Georgia, Turkmen those for most part are juhuro http://gorskie.ru/ , http://juhuro.com/ and buharian

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