“Contribution to Victory” International virtual exhibition opened in Perm
This is a joint production of the archives from three twin cities – Perm, Oxford (UK) and Louisville (USA) representing the WWII allies. The exhibition is dedicated to the 75th anniversary Victory in World War II and can be watched at the Perm City Archive website.
The exhibition was developed by the Perm City Archives in collaboration with the Perm Region State Archives and International Department of Perm City Administration and can be seen following the link here. It displays a rare collection of the war time photos, newspaper articles and extracts from personal diaries of those who were involved into the events.
The Second World War, which began on September 1, 1939, was a difficult test for humankind. Despite their previous contradictions, the Soviet Union, Great Britain and the United States fought together against Nazi Germany and its allies. During the war, the future twin cities - Perm, Oxford and Louisville - were not in the war zone. But each city has its own history associated with the war. This exhibition tells about life in the rear in Soviet Molotov (the name of the city of Perm during the war), American Louisville and British Oxford.
Louisville started mass manufacturing of war production, re-arranging the work at the existing facilities. The city organized training for marine officers for American army.
Molotov as well endured all the hardships of the wartime. Thousands of residents joined the army and many of them were killed and perished at the front. The city provided new home for dozens of factories, culture institutions and thousands of people evacuated from western and central Russia, and built hospitals for the military.
The car-making production in Oxford started producing war machinery including tanks and fighter planes. The city was also involved into development of penicillin and hosted many state offices and schools evacuated from London.
The idea of an exhibition in collaboration with the twin cities representing the war allies arose in the close of 2019 and was enthusiastically supported by all partners. The exhibition was being prepared under the difficult conditions of total lockdown, involving the efforts of «Sister Cities of Louisville» and Louisville University Archive, Oxford-Perm Association, Oxfordshire History Centre, Oxford City Council members and staff. This large scale project has again demonstrated that the residents of our cities have a common history and that they honour and value the memories of the past war. The exhibition has become another proof of the fact that the twinning links, having historically originated at the time of a devastating war, are not receding at present but have a strong basis for development and flourishing.