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Will VE Day ever be celebrated in Germany?

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Will VE Day ever be celebrated in Germany?

Victory Day in Europe (or VE Day) celebrates the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany during World War II and its official acceptance by the Allied Powers. CoE Day is celebrated by countries around the world and commemorates the victory of the Allies and the liberation of Europe from the Nazis. PE Day is celebrated annually in most of Europe on May 8, but due to different time zones in Europe and Russia, it is celebrated in some countries of the former USSR and Yugoslavia on May 9.

As VE Day celebrates the surrender of Germany and the final defeat in World War II, it is widely believed that the event in Germany is a solemn event of remembrance and shame, and for a long time it has been. Recently, however, this day has begun to be viewed quite differently; as a celebration of the liberation and revival of democracy.

Victory of the Allies in Europe

The path to Germany’s unconditional surrender in World War II began in early 1945, when the last Nazi offensive on the Western Front was repulsed. Germany was approached by Soviet troops in the east, who liberated German-occupied cities and concentration camps, and by British and American troops in the west. Both forces made their way to Germany by the end of April, and Western forces made their way to northern Italy on their way to Nazi-occupied Austria.

As British and American troops marched on Milan, Italian guerrillas seized a convoy near Dong, a town in northern Italy on the northwestern shores of Lake Como. This convoy was accompanied by several Italian fascist leaders, including Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. He was captured and the next day, April 28, was executed. His body was taken to Milan and exhibited at the Piazza Loreto in front of joyful crowds.

By this time Soviet troops had entered Berlin and British and American troops began to capture other parts of Germany, winning decisive battles at the Battle of Hamburg and the Battle of Nuremberg. When Berlin lost Soviet troops and the Americans blocked its escape routes, German dictator Adolf Hitler committed suicide in Führerbunkertogether with his wife Eva Brown to avoid the same fate that befell Mussolini.

Germany capitulates

In his last will, Adolf Hitler left two men to succeed him. Grand Admiral Carl Denitz was named Staatsoberhaupt (head of state) and awarded the title of Reich President (President) and the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. Josef Goebbels was appointed head of government and received the title Reich Chancellor (Chancellor), although he committed suicide with his wife only a day later.

Denitz continued his role as President of Germany, making him the only representative of the German Reich after Goebbels’ death. He negotiated capitulation in northern and southern Germany and focused on attempts to force German troops to surrender to Western allies for fear of brutal retaliation by Soviet troops.

He then sent his representative, Admiral Hans-Georg von Friedeburg, to the headquarters of US General Dwight D. Eisenhower for surrender talks. He was joined by German Colonel-General Alfred Jodl, who signed a document of unconditional surrender on May 7. The line included a line: “All forces under German control will cease operations at 23:01 CET on May 8, 1945.”

The decision to surrender was announced on May 8, and the final version of the German surrender document was signed in the evening. According to the above point, BE Day is celebrated on May 8 across Europe. However, in Russia and other Eastern European countries it is celebrated on May 9, as they are an hour ahead of Central European time.

How is VE Day celebrated around the world?

The end of World War II is celebrated in one way or another in most European countries. For most countries, the end of the war symbolizes the end of fascism in Europe, the importance of democracy, peace in Europe and, for many, liberation from the Nazi regime. It is also a day of remembrance, in many countries ceremonies are held to honor those who died in World War II. VE Day is celebrated on May 8 in the UK, Poland and France (where it is a national and public holiday).

In Europe and North America, VE Day is often celebrated with parades, parties and ceremonies dedicated to the armed forces of the countries. Heads of state in different countries also often give speeches on the Day of P.P. Sometimes there are even national displays of respect, such as keeping a period of silence on this day. It is in many ways reminiscent of the first VE Day in London, when large crowds gathered near Buckingham Palace and Westminster to hear speeches by Prime Minister Winston Churchill and King George VI. The future Queen Elizabeth will appear next to her father during the event and is known to join the celebration.

Victory Day is celebrated on May 9 in the countries of the former USSR and Eastern Europe. Today in Russia, Victory Day is a great holiday, accompanied by military parades, mass rallies and a “victory speech” of the President of Russia. Victory Day on May 9 is celebrated by a number of other countries, including Israel, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine.

How is PA Day celebrated in Germany?

In the years after World War II, VP Day became a day of gloomy reflection for Germany, especially in the West. In East Germany, May 8 was celebrated as Day of freezing or Liberation Day under the government of Walter Ulbricht, an event that lasted annually until German reunification in 1990. However, in both cases, this day is celebrated only among a select few, and most Germans are unaware of the importance of this day.

West German President Richard von Weizsäcker, trying to distance the country from its past, said in 1985 that PE Day was an occasion to celebrate because it meant the liberation of Germany, not its defeat. Since then, the idea of ​​celebrating VP Day has taken root in Germany, and many people have believed that the country should celebrate its freedom under the control of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi party. Despite this, the day remained relatively uncertain.

Today is Germany Day in Germany

Thus, VE Day is seen as a revival of democracy among Germans. However, the holiday is still relatively dim, and many people in Germany are still unaware of its significance. In 2020, the holiday was brought to the attention of the general public, perhaps for the first time when a one-time holiday was announced in Berlin on May 8 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the fall of Nazism in Germany and the end of World War II. World War. However, the holiday did not take place outside the German capital.

Celebrations were planned throughout Berlin, including a street party, an open-air exhibition and several events held in museums. However, coronavirus pandemic led to many of these events being canceled, although Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier attended a memorial service in memory of those killed in the war.

It remains to be seen whether VE Day will ever be recognized throughout Germany. In 2020, Auschwitz survivor Esther Bejarana wrote an open letter to Chancellor Merkel and President Steinmeier asking to mark VE Day as a national vacation in Germany. «[It is] a day to mark the liberation of humanity from the Nazi regime, ”she wrote. The next petition has garnered more than 100,000 signatures, but there is still strong opposition to the move, especially from the AfD, who say May 8 is a “day of defeat”.

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