May 8th: Europe Marks Victory Day Over Nazi Germany

World » EU | May 8, 2024, Wednesday // 14:37
Bulgaria: May 8th: Europe Marks Victory Day Over Nazi Germany @Wikimedia Commons

Across Europe, May 8th is celebrated as Victory Day, commemorating the Allied triumph over Nazi Germany in World War II. This significant historical event holds deep meaning for many nations, symbolizing the end of one of the darkest chapters in human history.

On May 8, 1945, Germany surrendered, signaling the culmination of years of brutal conflict and the beginning of a new era of peace. Former Allies in Western Europe and the United States observe this day with reverence and solemnity, paying tribute to the countless lives lost and sacrifices made during the war.

However, it's important to note that while much of Europe marks Victory Day on May 8, the celebration differs in Russia and most former republics of the USSR and the Eastern Bloc, including Bulgaria, where it is observed on May 9. This disparity stems from the intricacies of Germany's surrender process.

The capitulation of the Third Reich was signed on May 7, but it only came into effect late in the evening of May 8. The initial signing took place at 2:41 a.m. CET on May 7, with the agreement taking effect at 11:01 p.m. CET on May 8. However, at the insistence of the USSR, the capitulation was re-signed, delaying its implementation. This re-signing occurred at 22:43 CET on May 8, which corresponds to 23:43 Eastern European time, but it was already May 9 in Moscow when the agreement was finalized at 00:43.

For Bulgaria, Victory Day holds particular significance. On September 8, 1944, Bulgaria, previously aligned with the Axis powers, declared war on Nazi Germany. Consequently, the Bulgarian army fought against the Germans as part of the Third Ukrainian Front until the war's end. Despite Bulgaria's contributions to the Allied efforts, the country was not recognized as a co-belligerent and faced the challenges of post-war reconstruction as a defeated nation.

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Tags: victory day, europe, Nazi Germany, commemoration

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