A glimpse into the past: headlines and celebrations from the end of WWII in Europe

New York City May 8 celebration

Posted On: May 8, 2020

On this 75th anniversary of the ending of World War II, the Warhawk Air Museum is proud to present a few of the headlines and photos that captured the attention of the world on May 7 & 8, 1945.

What is VE day?

While May 7 brought the announcement Nazi Germany’s surrender, and the subsequent profusion of  newspaper headlines, the formal acceptance of the surrender by the Allies of World War II was not until May 8, 1945: VE Day. Victory in Europe Day, also known as VE day or V-E Day, marked the end of fighting, and of World War II, in Europe; the Allies were victorious and Nazi Germany had surrendered unconditionally. May 8 was marked by an eruption of celebrations throughout the western world as millions of people flooded the streets in exuberation, and much of the western world continues to commemorate the date each year.

May 7, 1945: Headlines of Surrender

Germany Surrenders newspaper headline

Nazis Yield to Allied Powers At Eisenhower’s Headquarter.

Reims, France, May 7 (A.P.) —Germany surrendered unconditionally to the western Allies and Russia at 2:41 A.M. French time today. (This was at 8:41 P.M. Easter war time Sunday.)
The surrender which brought the war in Europe to a formal end after five years, eight months and six days was signed for Germany by Col.-Gen. Gustav-Jodl. Jodl is the new Chief of Staff of the Germany Army.
It was signed for the Supreme Allied Command by Lieut.-Gen. Walter Bedell Smith, chief of staff for Gen. Eisenhower. It was also signed by Gen. Ivan Susloparoff for Russia and by Gen. Francois Sevez for France.
Gen. Eisenhower was not present at the signing, but immediately afterward Jodl and his fellow delegate, Gen. Admiral Hans Georg Friedeburg, were received by the Supreme Commander.
They were asked sternly if they understood the surrender terms imposed upon Germany, and if they would be carried out by Germany. They answered: Yes.

Military Dead and Missing (European Theater):

American: 170,000British: 330,000
French: 250,000Belgian: 10,000
Dutch: 10,000Norwegian: 10,000
German: 3,250,000Italian: 330,000
Austrian: 230,000Hungarian: 120,000
Yugoslav: 300,000Greek: 20,000
Bulgarian: 10,000Romanian: 200,000
Polish: 120,000Finish: 90,000
Soviet: 13,600,000
Total: 19,070,000
Dollinger, Hans. The Decline and Fall of Nazi
Germany and Imperial Japan A Pictorial History of the Final Days of World War II
. Feltham: Hamlyn Publ. Group, 1968.
The Atchison Daily Globe, May 7, 1945. Atchison, Kansas
San Francisco Examiner, May 7, 1945. A copy of this paper is at the Warhawk Air Museum.

Although President Harry Truman was celebrating his birthday, he dedicated the victory to President Franklin D. Roosevelt who had died less than a month before.  President Roosevelt helped to form the alliance between England, the Soviet Union, and the United States which made the ending of World War II possible.

Victory newspaper headline
New York  Herald Tribune, May 7, 1945.

Nazi Surrender Unconditional

The German Army announced yesterday that it had surrendered unconditionally, laying down its arms in defeat after five years and eight months of bitter warfare raging over Europe.
While no official announcement of the surrender came from Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force, the British Ministry of Information announced that today will be celebrated as Victory in Europe Day and that Prime Minister Churchill will make a broadcast statement at 3 p.m. Agence France-Presse announced officially last night that General de Gaulle, President Truman and Premier Stalin will make statements at the same hour and it is believed that the De Gaulle message “will be the official announcement of the victory.” The White House confirmed last night that the President will speak at 9 a.m., Eastern War Time.
The capitulation was admitted at 2:30 p.m. yesterday in a broadcast by Germany’s new Foreign Minister, Count Schwerin von Krosigk, who proclaimed to the German people that they had “succumbed to the overwhelming might of your enemies.” The Fuehrer, Karl Doeniz, has ordered all troops to lay down their arms, he said speaking over the Flensburg, Denmark, radio…

Listen to President Truman’s announcement of VICTORY!

British soldiers in New York

U.S. Dept. of Defense Photo Gallery https://www.defense.gov/observe/photo-gallery/igphoto/2002139156/

British sailors in New York City read reports of German Surrender May 7, 1945.
Hitler’s Berghof (home) in Bavaria, Germany after it was bombed on April 25, 1945 by the Allies.
A brick from the Berghof at the Warhawk.

Civilians who died in WWII (European Theater):

British: 60,000Yugoslav: 1,300,000Latvian: 120,000
Polish: 2,500,000Dutch: 100,000Estonian: 140,000
Lithuanian: 170,000Soviet: 6,000,000Romanian: 40,000
German: 3,640,000Austrian: 40,000Hungarian: 80,000
French: 270,000Italian: 70,000Greek: 80,000
Belgium: 50,000Czech: 70,000
TOTAL: 14,730,000
Dollinger, Hans. The Decline and Fall of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan A Pictorial History of the Final Days of World War II. Feltham: Hamlyn Publ. Group, 1968.
London, England after a bombing in World War II.

May 8, 1945: Celebrations Around the World

Photos from MilitaryTimes

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

New York, USA

London, England

Reims, France

We at the Warhawk Air Museum wish to send a heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone that fought in World War II. We would also like to pay special attention to the lives and stories of the 438 (and growing) World War II soldiers who have graciously allowed the Warhawk to store and share their life stories. We have 296 World War II  binders containing the stories and experiences of the veterans as well as 142 cases with World War II artifacts.

Plan a visit to the Warhawk Air Museum soon and be inspired!

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Bob Ruth
4 years ago

Enjoyed this informative and timely article. It’s always enjoyable to get these from the Warhawk. Keep ’em coming and hopefully we’ll be getting things open soon and be able to visit you folks in person once again.

Where are you from?
Oasis, Idaho. (halfway between Boise and Mountain Home north of the freeway off Simco Rd.)
Rebecca Beesley. (Warhawk Air Museum)
4 years ago
Reply to  Bob Ruth

Thank you for your kind words. We look forward to your next visit.

4 years ago

Thank you for this well written and insightful article. I wish more people cared about history and what it can teach us.

Where are you from?
Pullman, wa
Rebecca Beesley (Warhawk Air Museum)
4 years ago
Reply to  Bethany

History does seem to circle around again. We love our military .

Prior Soldier
4 years ago

Awesome very awesome like this

Rebecca Beesley (Warhawk Air Museum)
4 years ago
Reply to  Prior Soldier

Thank you. We love our military.