How should we report the fall of Berlin?

Soviet report on the state of Berlin in May 1945

Catalogue ref: FO 371/46748

BERLINERS SEE ORDER AND MIGHT

Cave Men of German Capital read Soviet Proclamations:

“WE DO NOT WANT TO ANNIHILATE THE GERMAN NATION”

Pravda [Soviet official newspaper] publishes a report by its correspondents Gorbatov and Mershanov, quoted by Moscow Radio from “The Berlin Area”.

In Berlin (say the correspondents) our troops captured a film-producing factory. We visited it. In the developing tanks we found an unfinished film. On the central table a copy of the latest film was still to be seen. It was the latest issue of the newsreel “Events of The Week”. Yet the most important news of this historic week was missing from it. The Soviet troops have burst into Berlin and put an end to the dark Hitlerite “events”.

Battle is raging in the streets, in the air and underground in the railway tunnels, getting closer to the Spree, the Reichstag and the centre of the city. The whole landscape is smothered in clouds of brick dust. In the districts where fighting is still continuing, naturally there are no civilians to be seen in the streets – only here and there a white flag hangs timidly out of a window. A white flag at the window and machine-gun fire from the attic. Yet there is no contradiction in this. The German divisions are still resisting stubbornly and fiercely like a trapped wolf.