January 24, 2021

VE Day: Europe marks 75th anniversary amid coronavirus lockdown

Leaders across Europe are marking the 75th anniversary of VE Day with low-key ceremonies, as much of the continent remains under coronavirus lockdown.

The UK has held a two-minute silence to honour the war dead, and later an address by the Queen will be broadcast.

The leaders of France and Germany, Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel, laid wreaths at small ceremonies.

Other events are also being held to mark the defeat of Nazi Germany, but large gatherings remain forbidden.

The VE Day anniversary was to have been a colourful public tribute to the war veterans who liberated Europe from Nazism, but those veterans are now confined indoors by the coronavirus lockdown.

On 8 May 1945 Britain and its Allies formally accepted Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender after almost six years of war.

But that date was not the end of World War Two, as imperial Japan was not defeated by the Allies until August 1945.

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