8 May, La Fête de la Victoire, a national holiday in France, marks the anniversary of the day Charles de Gaulle announced the end of World War II on 8 May 1945. Weeks after Hitler committed suicide, Germany unconditionally surrendered. A German delegation arrived at the HQ of British Field Marshal Montgomery near Hamburg in Germany on 4 May. He accepted the unconditional surrender of German forces. On 7 May, at the HQ of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Reims, France, Supreme Allied Commander General Eisenhower accepted the unconditional surrender of the German army. The document was signed in a room in a college (now Roosevelt High School) witnessed by French General Francois Sevez. Stalin demanded he signed the surrender in Berlin where the Red Army was based. The war lasted from 1 September 1939, to 8 May 1945. Seventy million people died. Six million Jews were killed during Hitler’s holocaust. His aim was to wipe out the Jewish race. The announcement that the war had ended in Europe was broadcast over the radio late in the day on 7 May. The BBC interrupted its scheduled programming with a news flash announcing that Victory in Europe Day would be a national holiday. Bizarrely and shamefully, the UK does not celebrate the momentous day. In France, it is a day of celebration and remembrance with church services, ceremonies and parades. Wreaths are laid during the ceremonies at monument aux morts in each village, town and city. French flags fly everywhere and the air force thunders overhead in dramatic flyovers.
Post by Pamela
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