Remembering the joy of VE Day party celebrations

A day to remember for all

Unbridled joy, a party atmosphere and a great sense of relief as VE Day is announced on May 8, 1945

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They say a picture can tell a thousand words and here we show some pictures from VE Day celebrations, 1945.

It was a time of unbridled celebration and joy as people broke into smiles, drank, ate and partied.

A great party and relief for all

VE (Victory in Europe) Day – was one that remained in the memory of all those who witnessed it.It meant an end to nearly six years of a war that had cost the lives of millions; had destroyed homes, families, and cities; and had brought huge suffering and privations to the populations of entire countries.

Celebrating VE Day (Photo by Bert Kneller/Fox Photos/Getty Images)
VE Day street party in 1945) (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)

Millions of people rejoiced in the news that Germany had surrendered, relieved that the intense strain of total war was finally over. In towns and cities across the world, people marked the victory.

But it was not the end of the conflict, nor was it an end to the impact the war had on people.

VJ Day did not come until August 1945

The war against Japan did not end until August 1945, and the political, social and economic repercussions of the Second World War were felt long after Germany and Japan had surrendered.

The days leading up to surrender

Leading up to surrender, a German delegation arrived at the headquarters of British Field Marshal Bernard

Montgomery at Lüneburg Heath, east of Hamburg, on May 4.

There, Field Marshall Montgomery accepted the unconditional surrender of German forces in the

Netherlands, northwest Germany and Denmark.

Peace at last

On May 7, at his headquarters in Reims, France, Supreme Allied Commander General Eisenhower accepted the unconditional surrender of all German forces.

Document of surrender

The document of surrender was signed on behalf of Germany by General Alfred Jodl and it came into effect the following day.

But Soviet leader Josef Stalin wanted his own ceremony. At Berlin on May 8, therefore, a further document was signed – this time by German Field Marshal William Keitel, ansd this is recognised as the official surrender day. Dönitz’s plan was partially successful and millions of German soldiers surrendered to Allied forces, thereby escaping Soviet capture.