Europe Day

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The European Union’s delegation in Israel Monday (May 8) cancelled its Europe Day diplomatic reception over the planned participation of far-right Israeli minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, saying it “does not want to offer a platform to someone whose views contradict the values EU stands for”.

About Europe Day:

  • Victory in Europe Day (V-E Day or simply, Europe Day) is one of the most important days in the history of Europe.
  • It was on May 8, 1945 (May 9 in Eastern Europe) that the surrender of the German armed forces was formally accepted, bringing an end to a war that had killed millions on battlefields, across bombarded cities and in brutal concentration camps.

End of the War in Europe

  • World War II officially began in 1939, with Germany’s invasion of Poland drawing Britain into the War.
  • While Germany enjoyed initial success, conquering much of Western Europe and making inroads in the East, the Luftwaffe’s failure in the Battle of Britain, Hitler’s doomed invasion of Soviet Russia, and the entry of the US into the conflict in 1941 would soon turn the tide.
  • By 1945, Germany faced inevitable defeat.
  • On the East, the Red Army marched towards Berlin with its enormous manpower and resource base.
  • On the West, British, American and other allied troops hastened towards the German capital, after the successful D-Day landings on June 6, 1944.
  • Germany’s biggest European ally Italy had collapsed and the Japanese were preparing for a lengthy campaign to defend their home islands, having lost most of the territory they had gained in the early years of the War.
  • Thus, on April 30, 1945, as the Battle of Berlin raged on with both Soviets and Western Allies competing with each other to capture the city, German Fuhrer and Nazi Party supremo Adolf Hitler died by suicide.

Europe Day today:

  • However, today, almost every European country marks V-E Day, in remembrance of a War which killed at least 40-50 million people in the continent (including the Soviet death toll). In some countries, Europe Day is a national holiday.
  • People across Europe mark the day by flying national flags or white “peace” flags.
  • In Russia and former Soviet countries, VE Day is marked with military parades and a display of the nation’s armed strength.
  • In Germany, it is celebrated as a sombre occasion, a reminder of the path the country briefly took and a commemoration of the bravery and sacrifice of those within Germany who stood up to the Nazi regime.


Q1) Why did Adolf hitler start WW2?

Obsessed with the idea of the superiority of the “pure” German race, which he called “Aryan,” Hitler believed that war was the only way to gain the necessary “Lebensraum,” or living space, for the German race to expand.

Source: EU in Israel cancels Europe Day event over Ben-Gvir: What is this day