Victory in Europe – 70 Years On

Today we are play­ing music of the 1940s, along with oth­er pieces, to com­mem­o­rate the 70th anniver­sary of “Vic­to­ry In Europe” – the end of the the Sec­ond World War in Europe.

Vic­to­ry in Europe Day, gen­er­al­ly known as VE Day, was the pub­lic hol­i­day cel­e­brat­ed on 8 May 1945 (7 May in the British Com­mon­wealth) to mark the for­mal accep­tance by the Allies of World War II of Nazi Ger­many’s uncon­di­tion­al sur­ren­der of its armed forces. It thus marked the end of World War II in Europe.

Upon the defeat of Ger­many, cel­e­bra­tions erupt­ed through­out the world. In the Unit­ed King­dom, more than one mil­lion peo­ple cel­e­brat­ed in the streets to mark the end of the Euro­pean part of the war. In Lon­don, crowds massed in Trafal­gar Square and up the Mall to Buck­ing­ham Palace, where King George VI and Queen Eliz­a­beth, accom­pa­nied by Prime Min­is­ter Win­ston Churchill, appeared on the bal­cony of the palace before the cheer­ing crowds. Princess Eliz­a­beth (the future Queen Eliz­a­beth II) and her sis­ter Princess Mar­garet were allowed to wan­der incog­ni­to among the crowds and take part in the cel­e­bra­tions.

The pic­ture shows crowds gath­ered in cel­e­bra­tion at Pic­cadil­ly Cir­cus, Lon­don dur­ing VE Day in 1945.

Today’s pro­gramme is pre­sent­ed by Elrik Mer­lin. If you are in the Unit­ed States or Cana­da, please click here to launch the Stream Licens­ing play­er. To lis­ten from out­side North Amer­i­ca, click here to start your play­er .

This pro­gramme is also avail­able in enhanced-qual­i­ty AAC. Tune in here:

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