The Downfall 1945

Site Meter

Capture of the Reichstag (April 30, 1945)

At 10.40 pm on April 30 a Soviet victory flag was raised over the German Reichstag building in Berlin. It was not a real flag but a large piece of red cloth. The soldier who performed this act was Private Mikhail Petrovich Minin of the Soviet 3rd Army. There was no camera-man present.

The Soviet propaganda photograph we see today was actually taken later on the 2nd of May. It shows a Ukrainian soldier posing for the propaganda picture. This soldier had taken no part in the storming of the Reichstag.

Private Minin and a small group of five men (with a promise of the decoration 'Hero of the Soviet Union') were ordered to storm the building using a fallen tree trunk to smash down the front door.

Soviet troops hoisted the red flag over the Reichstag and over the Reich Chancellery - a woman did that, Major Anna Nikulina of the 9th Rifle Corps.

~Berlin: The Downfall, 1945 by Antony Beevor