May 9 – Liberation Day in Guernsey and Jersey

Posted on May 9, 2018

Hip-hip-hooray, today, celebrating the end of a long and terrible World War...in Europe, at least! (Remember, World War II was fought in many places in the world, including Europe, Asia, and North Africa. The European part of the war, which included North Africa, essentially ended on April 30, but the total and unconditional surrender of the Nazis wasn't signed until May 7, 1945, to be effective at the end of May 8.

(But the "Pacific Theater" part of the war - fighting against the Japanese - dragged on until August and September of 1945.)

A wide variety of V-E, Victory-in-Europe, Victory, and Liberation Days are held on May 8, in some places, and on May 9, in other places.

The two places we are celebrating today are islands in the English Channel. Guernsey and Jersey lie between France (specifically Normandy) and the United Kingdom (specifically England). 

Even though the Channel Islands are closer to France than
to the U.K., they are politically tied to the latter.

They are what is known as "crown dependencies."


Remember that France was conquered and occupied by the Nazis, during the war, and - although the U.K. was brutally attacked by the Nazis, with more than 30,000 bombs falling on the nation during what's called "the blitz" - the U.K. never was beaten or occupied.

So...what about the islands in between the two: Were they taken over by Nazis? 

You have probably guessed from the holiday's name, Liberation Day, that they were indeed occupied. Some British citizens left for mainland England ahead of the Nazis, and most of the children living in Guernsey, too, were evacuated to England. 

You can still see some German fortifications on both of these islands.

Above and two below: Nazi fortifications in Guernsey


Above and two below: Nazi fortifications in Jersey


But here are some other (prettier) things to see on these islands:

Guernsey






Jersey







Also on this date:

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