A glimpse into the past: headlines and celebrations from the end of WWII in Europe
By: Warhawk Air Museum
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
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: 170,000||British: 330,000|
|French: 250,000||Belgian: 10,000|
|Dutch: 10,000||Norwegian: 10,000|
|German: 3,250,000||Italian: 330,000|
|Austrian: 230,000||Hungarian: 120,000|
|Yugoslav: 300,000||Greek: 20,000|
|Bulgarian: 10,000||Romanian: 200,000|
|Polish: 120,000||Finish: 90,000|
Germany and Imperial Japan A Pictorial History of the Final Days of World War II. Feltham: Hamlyn Publ. Group, 1968.
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.
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…
Civilians who died in WWII (European Theater):
|British: 60,000||Yugoslav: 1,300,000||Latvian: 120,000|
|Polish: 2,500,000||Dutch: 100,000||Estonian: 140,000|
|Lithuanian: 170,000||Soviet: 6,000,000||Romanian: 40,000|
|German: 3,640,000||Austrian: 40,000||Hungarian: 80,000|
|French: 270,000||Italian: 70,000||Greek: 80,000|
|Belgium: 50,000||Czech: 70,000|
May 8, 1945: Celebrations Around the World
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
New York, USA
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!