Victory in Europe Day

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Victory in Europe Day
Champs Elysees 8 mai 2015.JPG
VE Day 70th anniversary ceremony in Paris
Also called
  • V-E Day
  • VE Day
  • V Day
Observed by France, Czech Republic, Slovakia, [1]
Europe (1945)
Significance End of World War II in Europe
Date7/8 May 1945 [2]
Related to Victory over Japan Day, Victory Day

Victory in Europe Day, generally known as V-E Day, VE Day or simply V Day[ citation needed ], was celebrated on 8 May 1945 to mark the formal acceptance by the Allies of World War II of Nazi Germany's unconditional surrender of its armed forces. The formal surrender of the German forces occupying the Channel Islands did not occur until the following day, 9 May 1945. It thus marked the end of World War II in Europe.

Allies of World War II Grouping of the victorious countries of World War II

The Allies of World War II, called the United Nations from the 1 January 1942 declaration, were the countries that together opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War (1939–1945). The Allies promoted the alliance as a means to control German, Japanese and Italian aggression.

Nazi Germany The German state from 1933 to 1945, under the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler

Nazi Germany is the common English name for Germany between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party (NSDAP) controlled the country through a dictatorship. Under Hitler's rule, Germany was transformed into a totalitarian state that controlled nearly all aspects of life via the Gleichschaltung legal process. The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich until 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich from 1943 to 1945. Nazi Germany is also known as the Third Reich, meaning "Third Realm" or "Third Empire", the first two being the Holy Roman Empire (800–1806) and the German Empire (1871–1918). The Nazi regime ended after the Allies defeated Germany in May 1945, ending World War II in Europe.

Contents

The term VE Day existed as early as September 1944, [3] in anticipation of victory. On 30 April 1945, Adolf Hitler, the Nazi leader, committed suicide during the Battle of Berlin. Germany's surrender, therefore, was authorised by his successor, Reichspräsident Karl Dönitz. The administration headed by Dönitz was known as the Flensburg Government. The preliminary act of military surrender was signed on 7 May in Reims, France [4] , and the final document was signed on 8 May in Berlin, Germany.

Adolf Hitler Leader of Germany from 1934 to 1945

Adolf Hitler was a German politician and leader of the Nazi Party. He rose to power as Chancellor of Germany in 1933 and later Führer in 1934. During his dictatorship from 1933 to 1945, he initiated World War II in Europe by invading Poland in September 1939. He was closely involved in military operations throughout the war and was central to the perpetration of the Holocaust.

Führer is a German word meaning "leader" or "guide". As a political title it is associated with the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler. Nazi Germany cultivated the Führerprinzip, and Hitler was generally known as just der Führer.

Death of Adolf Hitler incident of Adolf Hitlers death

Adolf Hitler was a German politician who was the leader of the Nazi Party, Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and Führer ("Leader") of Nazi Germany from 1934 to 1945. He killed himself by gunshot on 30 April 1945 in his Führerbunker in Berlin. Eva Braun, his wife of one day, committed suicide with him by taking cyanide. In accordance with Hitler's prior written and verbal instructions, that afternoon their remains were carried up the stairs through the bunker's emergency exit, doused in petrol, and set alight in the Reich Chancellery garden outside the bunker. Records in the Soviet archives show that their burnt remains were recovered and interred in successive locations until 1946. In 1970, they were again exhumed, cremated, and the ashes scattered.

The former Soviet Union, Serbia, and Eastern Bloc countries have historically celebrated the end of World War II on 9 May; Israel marks VE Day on 9 May as well as a result of the large number of immigrants from the former Soviet Bloc, although it is not a public holiday. In Ukraine since 2015, 8 May is designated as a day of Remembrance and Reconciliation, but it is not a public holiday. [5] [6]

Eastern Bloc 20th-century group of socialist states of Central and Eastern Europe

The Eastern Bloc was the group of Communist states of Central and Eastern Europe, East Asia and Southeast Asia under the hegemony of the Soviet Union (USSR) during the Cold War (1947–1991) in opposition to the non-Communist Western Bloc. Generally, in Western Europe the term Eastern Bloc comprised the USSR and its East European satellite-states in the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (Comecon); in Asia, the Socialist bloc comprised the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the Lao People's Democratic Republic and the People's Republic of Kampuchea; the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the People's Republic of China ; and in the Americas, the Communist Bloc included the Caribbean Republic of Cuba, since 1961.

Ukraine sovereign state in Eastern Europe

Ukraine, sometimes called the Ukraine, is a country in Eastern Europe. Excluding Crimea, Ukraine has a population of about 42.5 million, making it the 32nd most populous country in the world. Its capital and largest city is Kiev. Ukrainian is the official language and its alphabet is Cyrillic. The dominant religions in the country are Eastern Orthodoxy and Greek Catholicism. Ukraine is currently in a territorial dispute with Russia over the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014. Including Crimea, Ukraine has an area of 603,628 km2 (233,062 sq mi), making it the largest country entirely within Europe and the 46th largest country in the world.

Victory Day over Nazism in World War II

Victory Day over Nazism in World War II or Victory Day is a national holiday and a day off in Ukraine. It was first celebrated on 9 May 2015 and follows the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation on May 8. The holiday replaced the Soviet "Victory Day", which was celebrated in the post-Soviet Union states, including Ukraine, until 2014 inclusive.

Celebrations

Churchill waves to crowds.jpg
Winston Churchill waving to crowds in Whitehall, London on the day he confirms that the war with Germany was over
VE DAY Piccadily 1945.jpg
Crowds gathering in celebration at Piccadilly Circus, London during VE Day in 1945
Wilhelm Keitel Kapitulation.jpg
Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel signing the final surrender terms on 8 May 1945 in Berlin
Allied army positions on 10 May 1945.png
Final positions of the Allied armies, May 1945.
4 US MPs reading about German surrender army.mil-2007-05-07-132957.jpg
United States military policemen reading about the German surrender in the newspaper Stars and Stripes
Wedding cake, Buckingham palace 'poppy drop' during the 50th year VE - VJ day celebrations. MOD 45137359.jpg
Britain remembers the 50th anniversary in 1995 with a Lancaster bomber dropping poppies in front of Buckingham Palace

Upon the defeat of Germany, celebrations erupted throughout the western world. From Moscow to Los Angeles, people celebrated.

Moscow Capital city of Russia

Moscow is the capital and most populous city of Russia, with 13.2 million residents within the city limits, 17 million within the urban area and 20 million within the metropolitan area. Moscow is one of Russia's federal cities.

In the United Kingdom, more than one million people celebrated in the streets to mark the end of the European part of the war. In London, crowds massed in Trafalgar Square and up the Mall to Buckingham Palace, where King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, accompanied by Prime Minister Winston Churchill, appeared on the balcony of the palace before the cheering crowds. Princess Elizabeth (the future Queen Elizabeth II) and her sister Princess Margaret were allowed to wander incognito among the crowds and take part in the celebrations. [7] [8]

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom, officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland but more commonly known as the UK or Britain, is a sovereign country lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state‍—‌the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

Trafalgar Square Public space and tourist attraction in central London

Trafalgar Square is a public square in the City of Westminster, Central London, built around the area formerly known as Charing Cross. Its name commemorates the Battle of Trafalgar, a British naval victory in the Napoleonic Wars with France and Spain that took place on 21 October 1805 off the coast of Cape Trafalgar.

Buckingham Palace Official London residence and principal workplace of the British monarch

Buckingham Palace is the London residence and administrative headquarters of the monarch of the United Kingdom. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is often at the centre of state occasions and royal hospitality. It has been a focal point for the British people at times of national rejoicing and mourning.

In the United States, the victory happened on President Harry Truman's 61st birthday. [9] He dedicated the victory to the memory of his predecessor, Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had died of a cerebral hemorrhage less than a month earlier, on 12 April. [10] Flags remained at half-staff for the remainder of the 30-day mourning period. [11] [12] Truman said of dedicating the victory to Roosevelt's memory and keeping the flags at half-staff that his only wish was "that Franklin D. Roosevelt had lived to witness this day". [10] Later that day, Truman said that the victory made it his most enjoyable birthday. [9]

Franklin D. Roosevelt 32nd president of the United States

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, often referred to by his initials FDR, was an American statesman and political leader who served as the 32nd president of the United States from 1933 until his death in 1945. A Democrat, he won a record four presidential elections and became a central figure in world events during the first half of the 20th century. Roosevelt directed the federal government during most of the Great Depression, implementing his New Deal domestic agenda in response to the worst economic crisis in U.S. history. As a dominant leader of his party, he built the New Deal Coalition, which realigned American politics into the Fifth Party System and defined American liberalism throughout the middle third of the 20th century. His third and fourth terms were dominated by World War II. Roosevelt is widely considered to be one of the most important figures in American history, as well as among the most influential figures of the 20th century. Though he has also been subject to much criticism, he is generally rated by scholars as one of the three greatest U.S. presidents, along with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

Massive celebrations also took place in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and especially in New York's Times Square. [13]

Soviet Victory Day

The instrument of surrender stipulated that all hostilities had to stop at 23:01 (CET), 8th of May, just an hour before midnight. Since it was already 9th of May in the European part of the USSR, most post-Soviet states, including Russia, as well as Israel (as a result of the large number of immigrants from the former Soviet Bloc -see above) commemorate Victory Day on 9 May instead of 8 May.

Commemorative public holidays

(May 8 unless otherwise stated)

See also

Related Research Articles

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Potsdam Conference

The Potsdam Conference was held at Cecilienhof, the home of Crown Prince Wilhelm in Potsdam, occupied Germany, from 17 July to 2 August 1945. The participants were the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States, represented respectively by Communist Party General Secretary Joseph Stalin, Prime Ministers Winston Churchill and Clement Attlee, and President Harry S. Truman.

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End of World War II in Europe

The final battles of the European Theatre of World War II as well as the German surrender to the Allies took place in late April and early May 1945.

Victory over Japan Day day on which Japan surrendered, effectively ending World War II

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Truman Day

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Liberation Day (Channel Islands) public holiday in Jersey

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Victory Day (United States)

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References

  1. "Victory in Europe Day" . Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  2. "BBC – History – VE Day". BBC Online . Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  3. Harper, Douglas. "VE Day". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  4. Hamilton, Charles (1996). Leaders & Personalities of the Third Reich, Vol. 2. San José, CA: R. James Bender Publishing. pp. 285, 286. ISBN   978-0-912138-66-4.
  5. "Victory in Europe Day" . Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  6. The Royal British Legion
  7. "VE Day". www.simcoe.ca. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
  8. 1 2 "Truman Marks Birthday". The New York Times. May 9, 1945. p. 6.
  9. 1 2 "Victory Wreath From Truman Is Laid On Hyde Park Grave of War President". New York Times. Associated Press. May 9, 1945. p. 15.
  10. "Army Extends Mourning Period". New York Times. Associated Press. May 12, 1945. p. 13.
  11. United Press (May 15, 1945). "30 Days of Mourning For Roosevelt Ended". New York Times. p. 4.
  12. "V-E Day". Archived from the original on May 15, 2008. Retrieved August 20, 2011.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link) University of San Diego, archived May 15, 2008 from http://history.sandiego.edu/gen/ww2Timeline/qt/v-eday.html
  13. Public holidays in Slovakia
  14. Ukraine to mark both May 8 and May 9 this year – deputy PM, Interfax-Ukraine (24.03.2015))
  15. Президент утвердил мероприятия по празднованию 70-й годовщины Победы и установил 8 мая Днем памяти и примирения Archived April 29, 2015, at the Wayback Machine , President of Ukraine (24.03.2015))
  16. Victory Day (9 May)