Rewind 70 years ago. It is May 8, 1945, and Germany has just surrendered. World War II is over in Europe.
The day, formally now referred to as “Victory in Europe Day” or “V-E Day,” marks the acceptance of Nazi Germany’s surrender to the Allies of World War II. Today, we join with countries across the world in celebration of victory. We honor the men and women who served and the innocent people who lost their lives to Adolf Hitler’s regime.
These pictures take a look back at the special moments of relief, pride and joy around the world, 70 years ago.
U.S. military policemen read about the German surrender in Stars and Stripes. (Photo: U.S. Army/Public Domain)
Excited and proud crowds in Parliament Street cheer for the end of the war in 1945. (Photo: Leonard Bentley/CC by 2.0)
People receive leaflets of the the German instrument of surrender in Berlin. (Photo: TASS/Valery Faminsky/Newscom)
People flood the streets of London and celebrate the Piccadilly Circus. (Photo: Ronny Jaques/BiblioArchives/ LibraryArchives/CC BY 2.0)
V-E Day party on Phyllis Street, Barry Island. (Photo: Simon Evans/CC by 2.0)
A jubilant American soldier hugs an English woman celebrating Germany’s unconditional surrender. (Photo: Newscom)
The British royal family waves to crowd as Prime Minister Winston Churchill takes the central position of honor on the Buckingham Palace balcony. Princess Elizabeth, in her ATS uniform, Queen Elizabeth, King George and Princess Margaret join Churchill. (Photo: Newscom)
A bus conductor celebrates the end of the war in Europe in Scotland. (Photo: Newscom)
This instrument of surrender was signed on May 7, 1945, at Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s headquarters in Rheims by Gen. Alfred Jodl, chief of staff of the German Army. At the same time, he signed three other surrender documents, one each for Great Britain, Russia and France. (Photo: Office of War Information/Licensed under Public Domain)
A Soviet officer reads the text of the German surrender. (Photo: TASS/Valery Faminsky/Newscom)
V-E Day celebrations in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo: Ronny Jaques/BiblioArchives / LibraryArchives/CC BY 2.0)
Sgt. James A. Spence captured this photo in Piccadilly Square. (Photo: Sgt. James A. Spence/Wikimedia Commons)
A special V-E Day edition of the Maple Leaf newspaper in Paris. (Photo: Ronny Jaques/BiblioArchives / LibraryArchives/CC BY 2.0)