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Remembering V-E Day

Friday, May 8 is the 75th anniversary of end of WW II in Europe - Excerpts from 1945 Estherville Daily News

May 7, 2020
Compiled By David Swartz - Managing Editor , Estherville News

Seventy-five years ago this Friday (May 8), the Estherville Daily News' top headlines were "United Nations Observing V-E Day" and "Truman Warns Japs They Are Next."

Today, the Estherville News remembers the anniversary of the ending of World War II in Europe.

Most of the generation that fought in that war are no longer with us.

Article Photos

Estherville Daily News, Page 1 05-08-1945

However to commemorate V-E Day, here are some excerpts from the May 8, 1945, edition of the Estherville Daily News to give a glimpse into that time.

Doenitz Bows To Authority Of Conquerers

London, May 8 (AP)-Grand Admiral Karl Doenitz, Germany's current fuehrer, announced today that all German arms would be silent by 11 p.m. (5 p.m. Central war time) tonight.

Hitler's successor as fuehrer of the German people said in an address over the German-controlled Fiensburg radio that the Germans would lay down all their arms in accordance with the unconditional surrender terms he had ordered.

In slow, deliberate terms he told the Germans that the Nazi party had been severed from the German state and that "the party has left the scene of its activities."

Doenitz, addressing the German people, said he ordered the high command to surrender unconditionally the night of May 6-7 on all fronts.

"On May 8 at 11 p.m. The arms will be silent," he said.

Estherville Is Observing V-E Day Quietly

Churches, Schools Holding Services.

Estherville celebrated V-E day quietly today.

At 8 a.m., whistles blew and store doors were locked for the day. A fire truck with two firemen driving it dashed up and down the streets with the sirens pounding.

The city otherwise was quiet and few people were on the streets. Some persons, whose occupation forbade a celebration, continued working.

1000 at program

One thousand students attended a V-E day program held in the Roosevelt Auditorium at 9 a.m. Today. The program, the first to be held in Estherville, opened with a prayer of dedication by the Rev. S.J. Keane. Walter B Hammer, principal of the high school, then gave his reactions to V-E day. He compared today tot he Armistice day celebration at the end of World War I. He urged the students to attend church service this evening as part of their V-E day activities.

Arthur L. Fritschel led the group in singing of patriotic songs. Superintendent N.E. Demoney then introduced Dr. Cecil J. Semans who gave the main address of the morning. He pointed out six reactions he had to V-E day. The day is one of joy, he stated, and we should be thankful that the lights are on again in one half of the world. Determination to continue the war against Japan was the second reaction pointed out by the Reverend Semans. "We must realize that countless casualties lie ahead of us and that the fighting will be harder and harder as the war continues," he stated.

27,000,000 Men Involved in War in European area

Washington, May 8 (AP) V-E day ends six years of titanic control involving all told as many as 27,000,000 men.

The war department estimated today that the allies at their peak of supremacy had 16,100,000 men under arms, including 600,000 underground fighters.

They broke it down this way: Americans 4,000,000; Russians 10,000,000; British 1,000,000 (including continental air force) French 500,000; underground 600,000 (of which about 500,000 were French Forces of the interior).

In late summer of 1944, Germany had 8,000,000 troops, most of them first class. Also fighting under the German banner were, 200,000 Romanians, 400,000 Bulgars, 200,000 Finns, 40,000 Czechs and 100,000 impressed "foreigners," principally Poles, Slavs and Russians. In addition there were 1,300,000 Italians in active combat in 1913.



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