Adolf Hitler committed suicide on April 30 during the Battle of Berlin. The German administration headed by Hitler's successor Karl Dönitz signed the act of military surrender on May 7 in Reims, France, and on May 8 in Berlin, Germany.
The Soviet representative didn't have authority to sign the act in Reims, that is why the Soviet leadership considered the document as a “preliminary” act. The ceremony was repeated in Berlin on May 8 and the military surrender act came into effect at 11:43 p.m. Central European Time. In Soviet Union it was already past midnight, that is why May 9 is Victory Day is in former Soviet countries.
Victory Day in the U.S. happened on President Harry Truman's 61st birthday. The victory was dedicated to memory of Franklin D. Roosevelt, his predecessor, who died on April 12. For the whole month, till May 12, the flags are kept at half-mast.
In some countries of Europe Victory Day is only a memorial day, but mostly it's a commemorative public holiday. Although the holiday is the same, it has different names. For example, in Norway, The Netherlands, Denmark and Italy it's Liberation Day, while in Belarus, Russia, Czech Republic and Poland its Victory Day.Remind me with Google Calendar
- Public Holidays, Anniversaries and Memorial Days
- Czech Republic, France, French Polynesia, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Mayotte, Martinique, New Caledonia, Reunion, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre et Miquelon, Slovakia, Wallis and Futuna, USA
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