There is a great joy in Berlin and Germany that the first step to keep the spread of the Covid-19 virus under control was successful until now. Slowly, shops, libraries, restaurants and other facilities open again. Of course, under certain distance and hygiene rules. But it should not be forgotten, however, that today is a special day for Berlin and Germany, as well as for the whole of Europe and the world. It is 8 May, VE Day, Victory in Europe Day.
VE DAY – 8 MAY 1945
On 8 May 1945, the liberation of the world from Nazi terror was sealed in Berlin. With the signature of Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, the madness of the Second World War in Europe ended.
As everyone knows, this was the bloodiest and most inhumane war of all time. Of all times, even in the sense that such terror must never be repeated.
NOT JUS A WAR, BUT ALMOST A TOTAL EXTERMINATION
It was the first time that in many countries, such as Poland, there were more casualties among the civilian population than among the soldiers themselves. Millions of Jews, communists, Sinti and Roma or dissidents, whether woman, child or man, were murdered in the concentration camps, their homes, or on the open street.
Like a wild animal in bloodlust, Hitler and his henchmen raged over Europe. Many crimes were committed on all sides.
THE MADNESS OF WAR
Wars are always waged by power-hungry madmen. Those who follow them must, throughout their lives, ask themselves whether they are complicit and whether they could have had the responsibility and strength to do something about madness.
VE DAY – SIGNING OF THE GERMAN SURRENDER
By signing the German Instrument of Surrender on 8 May 1945, Germany, which had already been almost completely destroyed, escaped an even terrible fate.
The Second World War continued until 2 September 1945. For example, hundreds of thousands of people were killed or seriously injured by the US atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August.
Those who survived this catastrophe as well as their descendants suffered and still suffer from the aftermath.
THEN AND TODAY
Therefore, it’s time to remember every day, but especially today, the victory against the Nazi regime. Hitler came to power through the chaos of the Weimar Republic. Also, the economic crisis of 1929 and other turmoil of the time helped the Nazis to take power.
Today, too, this time caused by a virus, we are facing chaos; human, cultural, economic. And even today right-wing parties are again trying to abuse people’s insecurity and fears for their purposes.
A COMMEMORATION FOR THE FUTURE
Therefore, the 8 May is not just a day of remembrance to remind us of history. Furthermore, it’s a day to thank the allied liberators. Moreover, it is also a reminder that we must every day stand up for the fact that destructive, intolerant, racist forces must never gain influence again. Neither in Germany nor anywhere else in the world.