Friday, 8 May 2015

Commemorating the 70th Anniversary of V-E Day

Today we commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two in Europe.  The war claimed some 60 million lives and forever changed the destinies of Europe's nations.  Today we remember those we loved and lost, and those who managed to survive.

Estonia declared itself neutral at the outbreak of World War Two.  This all changed in 1940 when Estonia, along with its neighbours Latvia and Lithuania, were invaded, occupied and annexed by Stalin's Soviet Union.  No Estonian family has been left unaffected by the war.  The country was conquered by both the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany during the conflict, two of the most evil regimes ever to have existed in human history.  Every Estonian family has a member who either died in battle, was murdered by the Soviets or Nazis, was deported or who had to flee the country. Whilst the rest of Europe celebrated the end of hostilities in May 1945, Estonia remained occupied and would endure many more horrors over the next 46 years.  World War Two didn't really end in Estonia until 1994 when the last Russian soldier left its territory for good.

On VE Day we acknowledge all those who resisted evil, often at great personal risk, both during and after World War Two for the preservation of liberty and human dignity.

Below is an interesting video of Berlin taken shortly after the end of the war. The city, like many, was left in absolute ruins.