April-May 1945

Photo: courtesy of the BBC    Photo Archives 

April-May 1945  -  Germany Surrenders

On April 30, 1945, Adolf Hitler committed suicide in his Berlin    bunker. The Wehrmacht officially surrendered to Allied forces on May 7, 1945 in Reims, France.  However, it would be a few days after the surrender until all Nazi controlled camps in occupied countries were liberated and prisoners set free.  


Approximately six million European Jews were murdered, and millions of other innocent victims who were viewed as undesirables (Gypsies—Roma/Sinti, homosexuals, communists, Poles, Slavs, Jehovah’s Witnesses, members of the clergy, the   physically and mentally disabled and anyone who spoke out against the Nazi regime).  This event that we now call the Holocaust is the largest example of mans inhumanity to man.  As a result the term “genocide” was coined by Raphael Lemkin in 1944. 

For the dead and the living, we must bear witness.
                                                                        - Elie Wiesel