Europe Day, generally known as V-E Day, VE Day or simply V
Day, was the public holiday celebrated on 8 May 1945 to mark the
formal acceptance by the
Allies of World War II
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
The term VE Day existed as early as September 1944, 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 act of military surrender was signed on 7 May in
Reims, France and on 8 May in Berlin, Germany.
Soviet Union and
Eastern Bloc countries have historically
celebrated the end of World War II on 9 May. In
Ukraine since 2015, 8
May is designated as a day of Remembrance and Reconciliation, but it
is not a public holiday.
2 Soviet Victory Day
3 Commemorative public holidays
4 See also
6 External links
Winston Churchill waving to crowds in Whitehall,
London on the day he
confirms that the war with Germany was over
Crowds gathering in celebration at Piccadilly Circus,
London during VE
Day in 1945
Wilhelm Keitel signing the final surrender terms on 8
May 1945 in Berlin
Final positions of the Allied armies, May 1945.
United States military policemen reading about the German surrender in
the newspaper Stars and Stripes
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.
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.
In the United States, the victory happened on President Harry Truman's
61st birthday. 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. Flags remained
at half-staff for the remainder of the 30-day mourning period.
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." Later that day,
Truman said that the victory made it his most enjoyable birthday.
Massive celebrations also took place in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami
and especially in New York's Times Square.
Soviet Victory Day
Victory Day (9 May)
As the Soviet representative in
Reims had no authority to sign the
German instrument of surrender, the Soviet leadership proposed to
Reims surrender as a "preliminary" act. The surrender
ceremony was repeated in
Berlin on 8 May, where the instrument of
surrender was signed by supreme German military commander Wilhelm
Georgy Zhukov and Allied representatives. Since the Soviet
Union was to the east of Germany, it was 9 May
Moscow time when the
German military surrender became effective, which is why
most of the former Soviet republics commemorate
Victory Day on 9 May
instead of 8 May.
Commemorative public holidays
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(May 8 unless otherwise stated)
Italy (25 April) "Festa della Liberazione" (Liberation Holiday).
Denmark (4 May) as "Befrielsen" (The Liberation)
Netherlands (5 May) as "Bevrijdingsdag" (Liberation Day)
United Kingdom: In 1995 the
May Day bank holiday was moved from the
first Monday in May, 1 May, to Monday 8 May, for that year only, to
commemorate the 50th anniversary of the ending of the Second World
East Germany as Tag der Befreiung (Day of Liberation), a public
holiday from 1950 to 1966 and in 1985. Between 1975 and 1990, as Tag
des Sieges (
Victory Day (9 May)).
France as Victoire 1945.
Orléans simultaneously celebrates both V-E
Day and the anniversary of the Siege of
Orléans being lifted by
French forces led by
Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc during the
Hundred Years War
Hundred Years War on this
Slovakia as Deň víťazstva nad fašizmom (Victory over Fascism
Czech Republic as Den vítězství (Day of Victory) or Den osvobození
(Day of Liberation)
Poland as "Narodowy Dzień Zwycięstwa" – National Victory Day.
Norway as "Frigjøringsdagen" (Liberation Day) "offisiell flaggdag"
(official flag day) not "helligdager" (public holiday)
Ukraine "День пам'яті та примирення" (Memorial
Ukraine (9 May) "День перемоги над нацизмом у
Другій світовій війні" (
Victory Day over Nazism in
World War II) — from 2015.
Georgia (9 May) "ფაშიზმზე
გამარჯვების დღე" (Victory over Fascism
Belarus (9 May) "Дзень Перамогі" (Victory Day)
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina (9 May) "Дан побједе", "Dan pobjede"
Russia (9 May) "День Победы" (Victory Day)
Ex-Yugoslavia (9 May) "Дан победе", "Dan zmage" (Victory Day)
Serbia (9 May) "Дан победе" (Victory Day)
Kazakhstan (9 May) as "Жеңіс күні" or "День победы"
Channel Islands Liberation Days:
Guernsey (9 May),
Sark (10 May).
Time of remembrance and reconciliation
Victory over Japan Day
^ "Victory in
Europe Day". Retrieved 2016-05-03.
^ "BBC – History – VE Day". BBC Online. Retrieved 3 May
^ Harper, Douglas. "VE Day". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 12
^ 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.
^ "Victory in
Europe Day". Retrieved 2016-05-03.
^  The Royal British Legion
^ "VE Day". www.simcoe.ca. Retrieved 2017-05-05.
^ a b "Truman Marks Birthday". The New York Times. May 9, 1945.
^ a b "Victory Wreath From Truman Is Laid On Hyde Park Grave of War
President". New York Times. Associated Press. May 9, 1945.
^ "Army Extends Mourning Period". New York Times. Associated Press.
May 12, 1945. p. 13.
^ United Press (May 15, 1945). "30 Days of Mourning For Roosevelt
Ended". New York Times. p. 4.
^ "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
^ Public holidays in Slovakia
Ukraine to mark both May 8 and May 9 this year – deputy PM,
^ 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.,
Victory Day (9 May)
Wikimedia Commons has media related to VE Day.
WWII: VE Day, May 8, 1945 – slideshow by
Life magazine (archived)
Rare audio speeches of the famous historical persons of the USSR, etc.
50th Anniversary Celebration of VE Day in
YouTube by Leon
Charney on The Le