From the archives: 70 years ago today the Nazis formally surrendered to the Allies of World War II.
NEW YORK, May 8, 1945 — Jews throughout the world today joined their Fellow-citizens in all democratic countries in hailing the end of the war in Europe end the final destruction of Nazism which took the lives of more than 5,000,000 Jews.
In Palestine, where almost every Jewish family has suffered directly from the German extermination of large sections of European Jewry, spontaneous demonstrations were organized in the streets of the larger cities and marchers paraded carrying the banners of the United Nations. Throngs filled the synagogues reciting special thanksgiving prayers issued by the Chief Rabbinate.
Similar, although somewhat quieter, demonstrations marked V-E day in Jewish communities which were only recently liberated from the Germans and in the large Jewish centers in the United States and other democratic countries.
In New York, Dr. John Slawson, executive vice-president of the American Jewish Committee, issued a statement declaring that “the remnants of the Jews of Europe and the free Jewish communities everywhere share the joy of free men,” but warning that “this victory will not be complete if humanity does not learn the most significant lesson of the struggle – the setting of one group against another, one nationality against another, must lead to strife and world conflagrations.”
Dr. Israel Goldstein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, recalling that two-thirds of European Jewry has been exterminated by the Germans, said, in a statement issued in Washington, that “we hope that V-E day will open the eyes of the world to the reality and scope of the Jewish problem and to an understanding that the solution of this problem is an inextricable part of a world charter for a just peace.”