May 8th – Anniversary of the End of World War II
Today, on May 8, Poland and Western Europe are commemorating the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II which claimed more than 50 million human lives.
Undoubtedly, Poland was the country that had suffered the most from 1939 till 1945. It was the first target of the Nazi onslaught, its territory was occupied and its population subject to terror.
Polish soldiers fought the Germans on all fronts and 5,7 million of Poland’s citizens paid the highest price.
Half of them were Polish Jews who, before the war, constituted 10% of Poland’s population.
For European Jewry, the end of the war was also the end of the Holocaust.
Today is also the 75th anniversary of liberation from concentration camps.
War and Holocaust remembrance are part and parcel of Poland’s historical consciousness.
On the photograph: Field Marshal Keitel signs the unconditional surrender act. Berlin, May 8, 1945