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Victory in Europe Day, generally known as V-E Day, VE Day or simply V Day, was celebrated on 8 May 1945 to mark the formal acceptance by the Allies of World War II of 's unconditional surrender of . 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.

The term VE Day existed as early as September 1944, in anticipation of victory. On 30 April 1945, , 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 ,

(1996). 9780912138664, R. James Bender Publishing.
, and the final document was signed on 8 May in , Germany.

The former Soviet Union, Serbia, and 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 since 2015, 8 May is designated as a day of Remembrance and Reconciliation, but it is not a public holiday.[1]

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

In the , 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 and up the Mall to Buckingham Palace, where King and Queen Elizabeth, accompanied by Prime Minister Winston Churchill, appeared on the balcony of the palace before the cheering crowds. Princess (the future Queen Elizabeth II) and her sister Princess Margaret were allowed to wander incognito among the crowds and take part in the celebrations.[2] The Royal British Legion

In the United States, the victory happened on President '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 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 , , and especially in New York's . University of San Diego, archived May 15, 2008 from

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
  • Time of remembrance and reconciliation
  • Victory over Japan Day
  • Victory in Europe Day (Israel)

External links

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