Beyond History Blog

Liberation Day / Victory Day May 8th and 9th

Andrea Bentschneider - 09. May 2016 - Anniversary, General, Knowledge, WWII

In Germany and numerous other European countries, on May 8th the End of World War II and National Socialism in Europe are commemorated.

On the late night of 08 May 1945, the German Instrument of Surrender that was signed in Reims came into effect and put an end to a war that 60 states had engaged in and that left between 60 to 70 million people dead. However the war only ended in Europe in May – the official end was marked by the Japanese capitulation on 02 September 1945.

Although May 8th was more a remembrance of the military defeat in post-war Germany, the liberation aspect grew stronger during the years and gave the day another meaning. To this it serves as an opportunity to call in mind the horrible crimes committed during the war as well as before in Nazi Germany.

As the capitulation was signed after midnight Moscow time, May 9th is when Victory Day celebrations are held in the countries of the former Soviet Union states. Hence it was the same in the German Democratic Republic, where May 9th was a public holiday to remember the role of the Soviet army in liberating Germany.

Every year, peace festivals and memorial services are held to remember those that lost their lives, security and freedom due to racism and violence and to plead for peace and acceptance. 

So many family histories, of our team as well as our customers, tell us about the horrors of war. We hope that this day will be an encouragement for peacemaking and that world wars will remain history!

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