Paris was liberated in August, yes, but only months later as we well know, was there finally and end to the matter of War . The end of the theatre of The Second World War in Europe, surrender was made and formally signed, in Berlin, through ”The German Instrument of Surrender”, on the 8th of May.
*Rome, Mussolini’s Rome – had come to an end April 27 & 28th, shortly before VE.
I would place other images , of prisoner camps, and death camps, etc – but.. (I still find it hard to believe that such horrors are denied) –
Twice – Hell on Earth, ground bloodied and major site of destruction and havoc within a worldwide conflict spanning all the continents, Europe, mortally on her knees bleeding… But do we forget? Do we? I wonder, do we? We have – Armistice Day (The Day of Remembrance) for that moment in our grandparents’ time, when finally the guns and the madness stopped. But – memory became clouded after a pair of decades. The madness returned, and by no means less bloodthirsty.
And arrivéd indeed we were, come the time of our parents, to the Second World War.
(I say grandparents and parents, because, to a large portion of the population, still, that would be the relation regardless their being mere adolescents at said moments, as we well know – at the end of war – recruits were getting younger and younger.. Even in the so called ”neutral” states, those that among other things fed those in battle, and between rationing – or the reception of ”migrants” (a word so many like to use nowadays) that would stay or pass on through.. – and exiles, the moment of VE was one of great rejoicing for the end of War. Of course, in the case of the dictatorships that ruled the two nations in the Iberian Peninsula – in Portugal – for instance, children left their schools in joy, some attaining little flags of one or another allied nation to wave about, but , the PVDE (the police that preceeded the PIDE) as is known and documented was not fond of such public outbursts so they had to quickly disperse..
The neighbouring nation’s dictator, although maintaining it as a ”neutral” state, had his people go through such things as what is conveyed in the painting below. I won’t caption the image, because, I believe I needn’t ).
Whilst we witness Macron repeatedly and treacherously attacking his own people in the streets, over the past 5 or 6 months, and, whilst we see the rise of propaganda instigating the rise of the Far Right all over Europe – one must ask – ”Have we forgotten”?
I go back up, to the upper part of this post and gaze at Doisneau’s photograph ”Liberation of Paris”, and hope that it is not (forgotten).