This year, we are commemorating the 72nd anniversary of Victory Day which marked the end of the World War II in Europe on the 8th May 1945. Unlike the 11th November 1918, V-E Day is not the celebration of the armistice – a formal agreement between parties at war to stop fighting – but the end of hostilities between the Allies – Great Britain, The United States, China, and the Soviet Union – Germany, Japan, and Italy – and the Axis, since Germany overtly capitulated.
Many events lead to the end of the Second World War and more precisely, the victory of the Allies. The Battle of Stalingrad was the turning point in the war, a carnage incomparable to anything, and human squander. Italy had surrendered in October 1943, or rather switched sides upon their invasion a month earlier. D-Day, the Allies landing in Normandy on the 6th June 1944, definitely had a tremendous impact as well. The Nazi movement was greatly weakened upon Paris’ Liberation in August 1944. Lastly, the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944 put a term to the attacks on the Allies by Germany, which was won by the former due to German fuel shortage.
After being appointed Reich Chancellor by Hitler, Joseph Goebbels only carried out his only official act hours after the Führer’s suicide, an attempt to establish an armistice with the Soviet Union, which was refused under Stalin’s orders. The latter was not willing to agree with anything else than an unconditional surrender. Goebbels ended up killing himself with his wife that same evening, after arranging the death of his six children.
World War II resulted in many technical breakthroughs such as in medicine, in aviation, and in computers, just to mention a few. However, the Baby Boom following the end of the war must have been one of the greatest benefits. I mean, an average of 60 million deaths needed to be out-birthed, right?
Nowadays, the 8th May is another opportunity to sleep in, such as in France, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic, where V-E Day is a Public Holiday.