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Victory Day Added to Jewish Calendar on Russian Suggestion

Soviet troops liberated many Nazi death camps for Jews in Eastern Europe in the last years of the war.

A new date, marking the 1945 defeat of Nazi Germany on May 9, has been added to the Jewish calendar, the Russian Jewish Congress said Wednesday.

It is the first time in 2,000 years that a new holiday has been formally added to the calendar, according to a statement from the Russian Jewish Congress.

"Jews are preparing for the first time to mark a new annual holiday — the Day of Rescue and Liberation," the Russian Jewish Congress said. "The initiative to found the new Jewish holiday came from Russia."

Russia is preparing to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the capitulation of Nazi Germany to Allied Forces in 1945. Soviet troops liberated many Nazi death camps for Jews in Eastern Europe in the last years of the war.

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