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Liberation Museum opens in former wartime bomb shelter in Vienna

April 10, 2015, 2:38 UTC+3 VIENNA
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VIENNA, April 10 /TASS/. "The Museum of Liberation of Vienna" opened in Vienna’s Alsergrund district on the initiative of the city residents on Thursday. A small exposition displayed in the cramped premises of a former bomb shelter built in 1942 had been prepared by an initiative group in cooperation with the Vienna city authorities. It tells about the events of 1941-1945 - Vienna’s liberation from the Nazis, its occupation by the allied troops and eventual obtaining of independence.

The exposition features the posters of that time, copies of archive documents, clippings from newspapers and photos. The Museum of the City of Vienna, the Austrian National Library and the State Archives had helped preparing the exposition.

"We saw enormous interest in this subject, which is little known to many people, this year. That is why we decided to create this museum that will remind everybody that Vienna was liberated in 1945," one of the exposition’s organizes said. He praised a major contribution of the Russian-speaking community to the exposition.

Eighteen thousand Soviet servicemen died for the liberation of Vienna from the Nazis.

"We won this war together with our allies returning freedom and independence /to countries/, including Austria," Russian Ambassador to Vienna Sergei Nechayev said at the museum’s opening ceremony.

"That was not the biggest operation (of WWII) but it was extremely important from the military and political points of view. It was one of the last steps on the way to Berlin and the first step to a free, independent and neutral Austria," the Russian diplomat said.

"We do not divide victory into ours and theirs because it was our joint victory against the horrifying ideology of Nazism and fascism," Nechayev went on to say. The ambassador thanked Austrians for their careful attitude to the graves of Soviet servicemen who died during Vienna’s liberation and found their last repose in Austria.

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