World War 2 ended with the unconditional surrender of the Axis powers. On 8 May 1945, the Allies accepted Germany's surrender, about a week after Adolf Hitler had committed suicide. VE Day – Victory in Europe celebrates the end of the Second World War on 8 May 1945.
A national holiday
Various events were organised to mark the occasion, including parades, thanksgiving services and street parties. Communities came together to share the moment. London’s St Paul’s Cathedral held ten consecutive services giving thanks for peace, each one attended by thousands of people.
The Man of the Hour
At 3pm on VE Day, Churchill made a national radio broadcast. In it, he announced the welcome news that the war had ended in Europe – but he included a note of caution, saying: ‘We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing; but let us not forget for a moment the toil and efforts that lie ahead.’ He knew that the war was not over: Japan still had to be defeated.