Victory Day (9 May)
Victory Day celebrations in Moscow, 9 May 2005
|Official name||Russian: День Победы etc.[a 1]|
|Observed by||Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Mongolia, Moldova, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan (also celebrated/commemorated in some places of Germany and United Kingdom)|
|Next time||9 May 2019|
Victory Day[a 1] or 9 May is a holiday that commemorates the capitulation of Nazi Germany to the Soviet Union at the end of Second World War, known in the Soviet Union as the Great Patriotic War. It was first inaugurated in the 16 republics of the Soviet Union, following the signing of the surrender document late in the evening on 8 May 1945 (after midnight, thus on 9 May Moscow Time). The Soviet government announced the victory early on 9 May after the signing ceremony in Berlin. Though the official inauguration occurred in 1945 the holiday became a non-labour day only in 1965 and only in certain Soviet republics.
In East Germany, 8 May was observed as "Liberation Day" from 1950 to 1966, and was celebrated again on the 40th anniversary in 1985. In 1975, a Soviet-style "Victory Day" was celebrated on 9 May. Since 2002, the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern has observed a commemoration day known as the "Day of Liberation from National Socialism, and the End of the Second World War".
In 1988, before the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Victory Day ceased to be observed in Uzbekistan, but was partially restored in 1999 as Memorial/Remembrance Day. After regaining their independence from the Soviet Union, the Baltic countries now commemorate the end of World War II on 8 May, the Victory in Europe Day. Starting in 2015, Ukraine joined the Baltic states in commemorating the end of World War II and the Victory in Europe Day on 8 and 9 May.
Two separate capitulation events took place at the time. First, the capitulation to the Allied nations in Reims was signed on 7 May 1945, effective 23:01 CET 8 May. This date is commonly referred to as the V-E Day (Victory in Europe Day) in most western European countries. Joseph Stalin was displeased by this, believing that the German surrender should have been accepted only by the envoy of the USSR Supreme command and signed only in Berlin. Stalin insisted the Reims protocol be considered preliminary, with the main ceremony to be held in Berlin, where Marshal Zhukov was at the time, as the latter recounts in his memoirs:
|“||[Quoting Stalin:] Today, in Reims, Germans signed the preliminary act on an unconditional surrender. The main contribution, however, was done by Soviet people and not by the Allies, therefore the capitulation must be signed in front of the Supreme Command of all countries of the anti-Hitler coalition, and not only in front of the Supreme Command of Allied Forces. Moreover, I disagree that the surrender was not signed in Berlin, which was the center of Nazi aggression. We agreed with the Allies to consider the Reims protocol as preliminary.||”|
Therefore, another ceremony was organized in a surviving manor in the outskirts of Berlin late on 8 May, when it was already 9 May in Moscow due to the difference in time zones. Field-Marshal Wilhelm Keitel submitted the capitulation of the Wehrmacht to Marshal Georgy Zhukov in the Soviet Army headquarters in Berlin-Karlshorst. To commemorate the victory in the war, the ceremonial Moscow Victory Parade was held in the Soviet capital on 24 June 1945.
The other World War II victory day, the V-J day (Victory in Japan Day) is commemorated in August.
During the Soviet Union's existence, 9 May was celebrated throughout the USSR and in the countries of the Eastern Bloc. Though the holiday was introduced in many Soviet republics between 1946 and 1950, it only became a non-labour day in the Ukrainian SSR in 1963 and the Russian SSR in 1965. In the Russian SSR a weekday off (usually a Monday) was given if 9 May fell on a Saturday or Sunday.
The celebration of Victory Day continued during subsequent years. The war became a topic of great importance in cinema, literature, history lessons at school, the mass media, and the arts. The ritual of the celebration gradually obtained a distinctive character with a number of similar elements: ceremonial meetings, speeches, lectures, receptions and fireworks.
In Russia during the 1990s, the 9 May holiday was not celebrated with large Soviet-style mass demonstrations due to the policies of successive Russian governments. Following Vladimir Putin's rise to power, the Russian government began promoting the prestige of the governing regime and history, and national holidays and commemorations became a source of national self-esteem. Victory Day in Russia has increasingly become a celebration in which popular culture plays a central role. The 60th and 70th anniversaries of Victory Day in Russia (2005 and 2015) became the largest popular holidays since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Countries Celebrating 9th of May
- USSR officially recognised 9 May from 1946 until its dissolution in 1991. It has become a non-labour holiday since 1965.
- Armenia has officially recognised 9 May since its independence in 1990. The holiday was similarly celebrated there while the country was part of the Soviet Union.
- Azerbaijan has officially recognised 9 May since its independence in 1991. The holiday was similarly celebrated there while the country was part of the Soviet Union.
- Belarus has officially recognised 9 May since its independence in 1991 and considers it a non-working day. The holiday was similarly celebrated there while the country was part of the Soviet Union.
- Poland officially recognised 9 May from 1945 until 2014. From 24 April 2015 Poland officially recognised 8 May as "Narodowy Dzień Zwycięstwa" - "National Victory Day", putting it in line with other member countries of the European Union which mark that day as Victory in Europe Day.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina has officially recognised 9 May as the Victory Day over Fascism and considers it a non-working day.
- British Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey were not liberated from German occupation until 9 May 1945, and Sark on 10 May 1945, and celebrate those dates as their Liberation Days.
- Georgia has officially recognised 9 May since its independence in 1991. The holiday was similarly celebrated there while the country was part of the Soviet Union.
- German Democratic Republic recognised Tag der Befreiung (Day of liberation) on 8 May, it was celebrated as a public holiday from 1950 to 1966, and on the 40th anniversary in 1985. Only in 1975 the official holiday was 9 May instead and that year called Tag des Sieges (Victory Day).
- Federal Republic of Germany does not officially recognise 9 May as a holiday. However, celebrations continue to take place in some areas of the former German Democratic Republic. Also, on 8 May, the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern since 2002 has recognised a commemorative day Tag der Befreiung vom Nationalsozialismus und der Beendigung des 2. Weltkrieges (Day of Liberation from National Socialism, and the End of the Second World War).
- Israel has celebrated for decades, although officially recognised 9 May since 2000. Parades are hosted in many cities across the country.
- Kazakhstan has officially recognised 9 May since its independence in 1991. It's a non-working day. The holiday is sometimes celebrated in connection with other national holiday on 7 May (Defender of the Fatherland Day). From 1947 the holiday was similarly celebrated there while the country was part of the Soviet Union.
- Kyrgyzstan has officially recognised 9 May since its independence in 1991. The holiday was similarly celebrated there while the country was part of the Soviet Union.
- Moldova has officially recognised 9 May since its independence in 1990. From 1951 the holiday was similarly celebrated there while the country was part of the Soviet Union.
- Montenegro officially recognised 9 May as the Victory Day over Fascism as an official holiday.
- The Russian Federation has officially recognised 9 May since its formation in 1991 and considers it a non-working day even if it falls on a weekend (in which case any following Monday will be non-working); The holiday was similarly celebrated there while the country was part of the Soviet Union.
- Serbia celebrates 9 May as the Victory Day over Fascism but it's a working holiday. Still many people gather to mark the anniversary with the war veterans, including Serbian army, Minister of Defense and the President.
- Tajikistan has officially recognised 9 May since its independence following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The holiday was similarly celebrated there while the country was part of the Soviet Union.
- Turkmenistan has officially recognised 9 May since its independence in 1991. The holiday was similarly celebrated there while the country was part of the Soviet Union.
- Ukraine officially recognised 9 May from its independence in 1991 until 2013, where it was a non-working day. If it fell on a weekend the following Monday was non-working. The holiday was similarly celebrated there while the country was part of the Soviet Union. In 2014, after the Russian military intervention in Ukraine, Ukraine joined the Baltic states in commemorating the end of World War II and the Victory in Europe Day on 8 and 9 May. As of 2015, Ukraine officially celebrates Victory Day over Nazism in World War II on May 9, per a decree of parliament. Additionally the term "Great Patriotic War" as a reference was replaced with "Second World War" in all Ukrainian legislation. Since 15 May 2015 Communist and Nazi symbols are prohibited in Ukraine.
- Uzbekistan has officially recognised 9 May from 1999, where the holiday was introduced as "Memorial/Remembrance Day". The holiday was also celebrated there while the country was part of the Soviet Union.
Russophone populations in many countries celebrate the holiday regardless of its local status, organize public gatherings and even parades on this day. Some multilanguage broadcasting television chains translate the "Victory speech" of the Russian president and the parade on Red Square.
Victory Day London
Victory Day London is a ceremonial event held annually since 2007 in London on 9 May in commemoration of the victory in the Second World War and the Arctic Convoys 1941-1945. A ceremony is held aboard HMS Belfast which took part in the Arctic Convoys, moored as a museum ship on the Thames. The event serves as a reunion day for British and Russian veterans of the Arctic Convoys with members of the British Royal Family present. Other participants include Russian ambassador, ambassadors of other FSU countries, British and Russian dignitaries.
Soviet and post-Soviet symbols associated with the Victory Day
|Order of Victory|
|Medal for the 60th Anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941–1945|
|Medal for the 60th Anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941–1945|
|Medal for the 70th Anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945|
- 2015 Moscow Victory Day Parade
- End of World War II in Europe
- German Instrument of Surrender, 1945
- Hero city
- Minute of Silence
- Victory Day in other countries
- Victory in Europe Day
- Victory over Japan Day
- Russian: День Победы, Den' Pobedy; Ukrainian: День Перемоги, Den' Peremohy; Belarusian: Дзень Перамогі, Dzień Pieramohi; Kazakh: Жеңіс Күні, Jeñis Küni; Kyrgyz: Жеңиш майрамы, Jengish Mayramy; Uzbek: Gʻalaba kuni; Azerbaijani: Gələbə günü; Georgian: გამარჯვების დღე, gamarjvebis dghe; Armenian: Հաղթանակի օրը, Haght’anaki ory; Lithuanian: Pergalės diena; Moldovan: Ziua Victoriei; Latvian: Uzvaras diena; Tajik: Рӯзи Ғалаба, Rūzi Ghalaba; Estonian: Võidupäev; Tatar: Cyrillic Җиңү көне, Latin Ciñü köne
- There were 16 republics in the USSR on May 8, 1945. The Karelo-Finnish SSR was abolished in 1956 only.
- Ziemke Further readingCHAPTER XV:The Victory Sealed Page 258 last 2 paragraphs
- "Gesetz über Sonn- und Feiertage des Landes Mecklenburg-Vorpommern". Mv.juris.de. Retrieved 2012-07-15.
- "Their memory lives on". Ut.uz. Retrieved 2012-07-15.
- "8 May: Memorial Day for the victims of World War II". Estonian Embassy in Washington. Retrieved 7 August 2009.
- Україна відмовляється від "георгієвської стрічки" на користь "червоного маку" (in українська). 5 канал. 2014-05-14. Retrieved 2015-03-21.
- Zhukov, Georgy (2002). Memoirs (in Russian). Olma-Press. p. 329.
- Ločmele, K.; Procevska, O.; Zelče, V. (2011). "Celebrations, Commemorative Dates and Related Rituals: Soviet Experience, its Transformation and Contemporary Victory Day Celebrations in Russia and Latvia" (PDF). Muižnieks, N. (ed.). The Geopolitics of History in Latvian-Russian Relations. Riga: Academic Press of the University of Latvia.
- Anon. "For Russia 70th WWII anniversary looms large". Russia behind the headlines. RBTH network. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
- Anon. "Victory and Peace Day: May 9". Holidays around the world. A Global World. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
- Anon. "Victory Day Observed in Azerbaijan". Holidays around the world. A global world. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
- "Mamy nowe święto państwowe. Po raz pierwszy obchodzimy Narodowy Dzień Zwycięstwa"
- "Utvrđen Prijedlog zakona o praznicima BiH". Bosnia and Herzegovina Public Administration Reform Coordinator’s Office. 16 July 2009.
- Lviv Oblast, however, does not recognize Victory Day, but rather recognizes the day as a memorial to all wartime victims of both the Soviet and Nazi regimes, as well as all of those caught in between.
- «Велику Вітчизняну війну» замінили на «Другу світову» — закон (Ukrainian). Fakty. ICTV. 09.04.2015
- Депутати врегулювали питання про відзначення в Україні перемоги над нацизмом (Ukrainian). The Ukrainian Week. 09.04.2015
- Poroshenko signed the laws about decomunization. Ukrayinska Pravda. 15 May 2015
Poroshenko signs laws on denouncing Communist, Nazi regimes, Interfax-Ukraine. 15 May 2015
- "Estonia: Local Russians Celebrate End Of World War II". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 9 May 2007. Archived from the original on 2014-05-13. Retrieved 2015-04-19.
- В Канаде прошли праздничные мероприятия, посвященные Дню Победы [Russian Orthodox Church in Toronto celebrates Victory Day]. Mospat.ru (in русский). 2005-05-08. Retrieved 2012-07-15.
- "May 9 parade TV-event from Israel" (in русский). Courier (Israeli newspaper). 2009-05-09. Archived from the original on 2012-02-10. Retrieved 2012-07-15.[not in citation given]
- "Victory Day London 9 May ✰ День Победы Лондон 9 Мая - In memory of Arctic Convoys 1941-1945 ✰ В память Арктическим Конвоям 1941-1945 гг". Victorydaylondon.co.uk. Retrieved 22 March 2015.[self-published source]
- Kasevin, Eugene (4 May 2011). "Russian and British veterans will celebrate 9 May 2011 Victory Day on HMS Belfast in London". BSR-Russia.com. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
- Works related to German Instrument of Surrender (7 May 1945) at Wikisource
- Works related to German Instrument of Surrender (8 May 1945) at Wikisource
- Interactive map of the Great Patriotic War between the USSR and Nazi Germany