The Victory day is celebrated to mark Germany’s surrender to the Allied forces, including the Soviet Union, in the Second World War. Victory Day is a state holiday in Rhode Island in the USA on the second Monday of August.
Germany’s surrender agreement to the Allied nations was signed twice. Initially, the agreement was signed on May 7, 1945 in Reims, which is generally considered as preliminary surrender. Military Liaison Mission Commander General Ivan Susloparov, the sole representative of Soviet Union in Reims, was caught in a dilemma as he could not contact Kremlin to know Soviet Union’s stand on signing of the agreement and if he did not sign on behalf of Soviet Union, Germany would have surrendered without the participation of Soviet Union. He decided to sign the agreement on behalf of the Soviet Union but mentioned that the agreement could be replaced.
When ……Joseph Stalin came to know about the developments, he was unhappy as he felt the agreement should be signed in Berlin in the presence of Supreme commanders of all the allied nations. As a result, the agreement was signed again between Germany’s Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel and Soviet Union’s Marshal Georgy Zhukov at a manor in Berlin’s outskirts on May 8. Since then, May 9 has been celebrated as Victory Day in the erstwhile Soviet states.
Victory Day was celebrated on May 9 throughout the USSR and Eastern Bloc countries before the collapse of Soviet Union. But Baltic countries stopped celebrating the day after Soviet Union’s collapse. Ukraine and Russia made May 9 as a non-labor day. If May 9 falls on a Saturday or a Sunday, people in Russia celebrate the next Monday as a non-labor day. The countries which celebrate the Victory Day are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Ukraine.
Though Germans do not celebrate the day, Russian and Jewish communities in Germany celebrate the day till 1990. Uzbekistan, which celebrated the day till 1988, has been celebrating the day as Memorial or Remembrance Day since 1999. Besides, Russians living in other parts of the world, including US and Canada, celebrate the Victory Day by organizing parades or community gatherings. In Russia, ceremonial parade is organized at Red Square in which President gives the Victory Speech, which is broadcast live not only in Russia but also parts of Europe.
Victory Day is celebrated in many parts of the world on different days to mark victories in important wars in the respective country’s history. Vietnam celebrates April 30 as Victory Day to mark the end of Vietnam War with Saigon’s fall in 1975. The day is also famous as Liberation Day or Reunification Day. June 23 is celebrated in Estonia to commemorate the victory of its forces and Allied forces over Germany in the Battle of Vonnu in 1919. Croatia celebrates August 5 as Victory Day to mark the 1991-95 war against…….. August 30 is celebrated in Turkey to mark the victory in the Battle of Dumlupinar as part of its war of independence in 1922. Malta celebrated September 8 as national holiday to mark the victory in Great Siege of 1565 and surrender of Italy in 1943 during the Second World War Bangladesh celebrates Pakistani forces’ surrender in the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War on December 16. Mozambique celebrates September 7 as Victory Day to mark signing of agreement between Portugal and Mozambique to end War of Independence of Mozambique in 1974.
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