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May 8, 2024: what is the story behind this public holiday which commemorates the Victory of 1945 ?

“May 8, 2024: what is the story behind this holiday which commemorates the Victory of 1945?”

MAY 8. What do we celebrate on May 8th? Why is this day a holiday? Little point on the origins and history of this unemployed day, but also on the progress of this day. commemorations.

[Mis à day May 6, 2024 à 4:03 p.m.] In France, the 128th day of the year or 129th, in the event of a leap year as is the case this year ;eacute;e, causes one of the "bridges" of May (with May 1st or Ascension), allowing the weekends of employees, self-employed people or civil servants to be considerably extended. In 2024, May 8 falls on a Wednesday and is exceptionally followed by Thursday, May 9, a public holiday. this year due to the moving date of Ascension. 

Traditionally, during the official ceremony of May 8, the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron goes back Champs-Élysées of Paris in the morning then places a wreath of flowers under the Arc de Triomphe before rekindling the flame of the grave of the Unknown Soldier. Find out everything about the history, how it happened and how it happened. and the meaning of this holiday.

On May 8, 1945,   3 p.m., the bells ring to mark the end of the Second World War in Europe. General de Gaulle himself announced the German capitulation in a radio address. Everywhere in France, scenes of joy accompany May 8 and 9, which are exceptionally public holidays for this reason. to break the defeat of Nazi Germany. There then remained German soldiers in France (around the ports of Dunkirk, Lorient and Saint-Nazaire, in particular). The question of commemorations arises very quickly. Government and veterans are hesitating between establishing a single date – intended for celebrate the victories of 1918 and 1945 – and the establishment of a ceremony specific to the event. World War II.

Law n°46-934 of May 7, 1946 fixes May 8 (if it is a Sunday) or the Sunday following this date ;morations of the victory of 1945. May 8 was until then associated with the 1945 victory. à the feast of Joan of Arc (see below). It was in 1953 that May 8 really became a public holiday. established, in the same way as November 11, whatever day of the week it is. he falls. In 1959, a decree seeking to limiting the number of unemployed days sends the French back to work. And in 1975, the President of the Republic, Val&ry Giscard d'Estaing, removed all official character from the event. the date. His gesture seeks à mark Franco-German reconciliation, but irritates many veterans. It was ultimately Fran├žois Mitterrand who gave May 8 back its character as a public holiday. Law n°81-893 of October 2, 1981 adds this day to the list of non-working days in the labor code. This day is not celebrated in Great Britain, the United States or Germany.

The event that gave rise to birth on "holidayé from May 8" occurred on May 8, 1945: an act of capitulation of the armies  eacute;es (of land, sea, air) of the Third Reich, made official in the HQ of the Allied Forces, & Reims. Là was, in the middle of the Second World War, the General Staff of the Allied Expeditionary Corps; in Europe. The establishment has since given birth at Roosevelt High School, and at its Surrender Museum. But why did Germany recognize its defeat against Germany? Europe and not the world? The German high command preferred deal with the Western Allies rather than with the Soviets because of the fate that could be that of the German prisoners.

On May 8, it was announced adopted as the day commemorating the capitulation of Germany during the Second World War. However, the reality is that is significantly more complex. Firstly because this event only marked the end of the Second World War in Europe, the conflict continuing for another four months in the Pacific, between Japan and the United States. Then because different acts of capitulation were carried out. signed &at; different times between May 7 and 9 May, depending on the schedule. chosen temporal reference.

In any case, the beginning of May 1945 marked the collapse of the Third Reich. On April 30, Adolf Hitler committed suicide in his chancellery bunker, while Soviet soldiers were in Berlin. Joseph Goebbels tries to make contact in order to sign an armistice. Unable to establish the link with the Allies and refusing an unconditional capitulation, he killed himself with his wife and children on May 1. The next day, the Battle of Berlin ended with the capitulation of German general Helmuth Weidling and the men responsible for defending the capital city. From May 4 to 6 , all remaining Nazi forces (in the Netherlands , in Northern Germany, in Denmark, in Bavaria, in Breslau) surrender to the Allies. Herman Göring, the highest living Nazi dignitary, surrenders to American authorities  the German-Austrian border.

There are two surrender documents: The first capitulation of May 7   Reims and the second capitulation of May 8   Berlin. Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz wasé named President of the Reich by Hitler in his will. At the head of a provisional government of the Reich, he attempted to negotiate a series of partial surrenders to the Western allies , in order to be able to continue the fight à East against Soviet troops. The Americans refuse compromise. German General Alfred Jodl, envoy by Dönitz, signed the capitulation on May 7 à 2:41 a.m. This historic moment took place in a room at the Technical and Modern College of Reims, which was then the HQ of the allied forces.

However, this signature is not to the taste of Stalin, who regrets the absence of high-ranking Soviet representatives during the this signature. A second capitulation is organized on May 8 in the evening at Karlshorst, near Berlin. This time, it is the Supreme Commander of the Red Army, Georgy Zhukov, who presides over the event. Signature. It was Wilhelm Keitel, supreme commander of the German armed forces, who signed the capitulation. It comes into application à 11:01 p.m. on May 8. In Moscow time, this time corresponds to May 9. 1:01 a.m. Today is May 9th which is celebrated like the day of the German capitulation in Russia.

The date of VE Day of May 8, 1945 corresponds to the end of the Second World War in Europe, with the outright surrender of the armed forces. German forces against the Allies. The Victory of May 8, 1945, gave rise to an annual commemoration, which will be attended by the President of the Republic, 10 hours à Paris. On the program: wreath laying at the foot of the Parisian statue of General de Gaulle, then raising of the Champs-Elysées, before a tribute in front of the the tomb of the unknown soldier under the Arc de Triomphe. The sun will be out this May 8, 2024 with nearly 20 degrees expected in Paris.

Officially, the name of the holiday is corresponding to May 8 is "Victory of 1945". The use of the word armistice, as in the expression “armistice of 1945”, which is found on some calendars, does not' #39;is not correct.Indeed, an armistice is an agreement signed by governments. It ends à an armed conflict in times of war, but does not end à the state of war. It is this type of document that was created. signed on November 11, 1918 in the Rethondes wagon, starting a ceasefire and the negotiations which would lead to the Traité of Versailles, signed by Germany and the Allies. In 1945, it was indeed a capitulation of the Third Reich. Indeed, it is a pure and simple surrender of a belligerent, the end of the fighting and the # 39;éstate of war. D'où the name "victory of 1945" and not "armistice of 1945".

The day of May 8 is also an essential day of remembrance in Franco-Algerian relations. It was in fact on May 8, 1945 that the massacres of Sétif, Guelma and Kherrata began, in an Algeé then colonized by France. The drama begins on May 8. A demonstration of Algerian nationalists, demanding the independence of their country, is organized on the sidelines of a procession c' celebrating the victory of the Allies. They are demanding in particular the release of their leader – Messali Hadj – leader of the PPA (Algerian Popular Party), imprisoned in prison. by the French authorities. These demand that the demonstrators carry neither weapons nor the Algerian flag.

During the demonstration, in the town of Sétif, a young Muslim scout brandished an Algerian flag in the heart of a neighborhood largely populated by locals. by a population of European origin. The police try to remove the flag and shooting breaks out between demonstrators and police. A young man of 26 years old, Algerian flag in front of him. hand, is shot dead by a police officer. Panic and confusion increase as indigenous Muslims and populations of European origin exchange gunfire. The toll exceeds 20 deaths on each side. À Guelma, police shoot, killing a protester. In the countryside, riots continued. attacks against populations of European origin broke out: 102 people were killed. The government, ledé by General de Gaulle, sent the army there. The repression – which lasts until May 22 – is terrible& nbsp;: summary executions, bombing of villages, ceremonies of "submission" to the French flag. The official toll established by the French authorities shows 1,000 deaths. In reality, the balance sheet would be five to five. ten times higher according to historians.

May 8 is also the date of the feast of Joan of Arc. It was in fact on May 8, 1429 that an army, led by Joan of Arc, reached the city. deliver the city of Orleans, besieged by the English. Every year, the Johannine festivals of Orléans celebrate this & ;event, culminating with a grand parade in the streets of the city center on May 8. The Centre-Val de Loire region and the city's town hall have asked for this information. in 2015, the integration of these festivities into the intangible heritage of France, before considering a request for classification. Unesco.

In a different genre, May 8 is also a key day. for the French nationalist right. At the beginning of the 20th century, the far right, led by Action française, organized its gathering on May 8 in front of the statue of Joan of Arc & Paris. In the 1970s, the National Front participated in these processions, before taking leadership. It was Jean-Marie Le Pen who decided to move this annual event from May 8 to May 1 in 1988: he decided to move this annual event from May 8 to May 1 in 1988. #39;was then to hold a meeting to influence the between-two rounds of the presidential election. Since then, the gathering organized by the National Front continues to be held on May 1. Other far-right groups, for their part, continue to march on May 8.& nbsp;

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116