This Week in HistoryThis Week in History: Week 19 (7 May 1945)

Germany Surrenders To Allied Forces

After six years of war, Germany surrenders and Europe is at peace once again.

In 1945, Germany signed an unconditional surrender to the Allied forces led by the USSR, Great Britain and the USA. Adolph Hitler, the leader of Germany under Nazi rule, is believed to have committed suicide one week earlier when it became clear that his forces could not win the war. In Asia, fighting between the Allied forces and Japan continued for another four months until Japan also surrendered and the Second World War was finally over.

surrender (verb): stop resisting; admit defeat
unconditional (adj): without conditions
surrender (noun): an act of surrendering
Allied forces (noun): the countries that opposed Germany/Italy/Japan in World War II
commit suicide (verb): kill oneself

Daily Mail front page for 8th May 1945
This was the headline in the Daily Mail, a popular British newspaper, announcing the German surrender. It marked the end of World War II in Europe ("VE" stands for "Victory in Europe"). But in other parts of the world the war was to continue until VP Day (Victory in the Pacific) three months later.

Mini Quiz

1. Adolph Hitler is believed to have committed suicide
a) before Germany surrendered
b) while Germany was surrendering
c) after Germany surrendered

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2. The Second World War was finally over when
a) Germany surrendered
b) Japan surrendered
c) the Allied forces surrendered

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3. Which of these countries was not one of the Allied forces?
b) Italy
c) USA

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Contributor: Matt Errey creator of Word Up