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V-E Day

V-E DayV-E Day takes place on 8th May every year.  V-E Day, which stands for Victory in Europe Day, is a day designed to commemorate the end of fighting across Europe in World War II.  After many years of war and the deaths of millions of people, Nazi Germany’s Third Reich was finally defeated and Germany’s dictator, Adolf Hitler, took his own life in a bunker in Berlin.

The German Army stopped fighting on May 2, 1945, and on May 7 they offered their unconditional surrender.  All German forces arranged to surrender on 8th May at 11.01, with all of the countries in the Allies intending to celebrate the end of hostilities and their victory.

V-E Day was originally intended to be celebrated on 9th May 1945; however, when journalists became aware of the plans, Great Britain and the United States decided to move the event forward by one day to 8th May instead. There were still pockets of fighting between Russia and Germany into the 9th, however, which led to Russia making the choice to stick with the original date of 9th May.  This is the date on which they  celebrate it to this day. 

Stalin himself made a radio broadcast to salute his troops on the 9th, stating: “The age-long struggle of the Slav nations … has ended in victory.  Your courage has defeated the Nazis.  The war is over.”

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