May 8, 1945 – Victory in Europe or VE Day was officially declared, a symbol of the end to Hitler’s war.
VE Day that year fell on a Tuesday. It was a celebrated day. VE Day meant that one of WWII’s parts had come to an end after six long years. May 8 then had been set aside in celebration of VE Day since then.
The first VE Day, according to the report ran by Latin Times, was the day after Grand Admiral Donitz surrendered in General Eisenhower’s headquarters which was located in Reims, France – May 7, 1945. His abdication took place in front of several officers of the Allies – Russia, Britain, America and France. It also came within a week after Grand Admiral Donitz became the Third Reich’s president after the notorious German dictator Adolf Hitler killed himself on April 30, 1945.
In relation to the celebration of VE Day, here are four surprising WWII facts:
1. Japan and Russia never signed an official peace treaty with each other. Due to this, there was no written document to end WWII formally between the two. Besides, these two nations are still debating with each other to who really has the rightful rights and power over Kuril Islands.
2. Monopoly, a board game many of us love to play, had a significant role during WWII. It aided Allied POWs to escape from the German camps they were put in. German authorities allowed the Red Cross to send care packages to the prisoners at the height of war. One of the permitted item in these packages was a board game. So Monopoly was utilized — foreign money was hidden within the board, a small compass among the play pieces and the hotel pieces had the most important feature of all, the silk map of the prison.
3. WWII cost the Russians the most with an estimated 80% of the country’s male population born in 1923 dead because of the war.
4. Even prostitutes were utilized during the Second World War. The Secret Service had a brothel where prostitutes were taught to extract information from their foreign diplomat customers.
Here are four VE Day quotes, too!
“My dear friends, this is your hour. This is not victory of a party or of any class. It’s a victory of the great British nation as a whole. We were the first, in this ancient island, to draw the sword against tyranny. After a while we were left all alone against the most tremendous military power that has been seen. We were all alone for a whole year.”
“Humility must be the measure of a man whose success was bought with the blood of his subordinates, and paid for with the lives of his friends.”
-General Dwight D. Eisenhower-
“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”