VE Day for kids: how to explain events of Victory in Europe Day to children - and the WW2 facts they should know

This year, the early May bank holiday has been switched from its usual position on the first Monday of the month to Friday 8 May

Friday, 8th May 2020, 9:32 am
A group of ATS and American soldiers celebrate the original VE Day in Trafalgar Square (Photo: Keystone/Getty Images)
A group of ATS and American soldiers celebrate the original VE Day in Trafalgar Square (Photo: Keystone/Getty Images)

The intention was the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of VE Day, the end of the Second World War in Europe.

Nationwide plans had been drawn up to mark the anniversary of Victory in Europe day at the end of World War Two – but they have had to be scrapped because of the coronavirus lockdown.

Thankfully, the horrors of war are not something many of us have any memory of.

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A van load of beer passing through Piccadilly Circus on VE Day (Photo: Keystone/Getty Images)

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But as we show our appreciation for those that can remember the unspeakable terrors of World War Two, it's likely some little ones will have a few questions.

So how can you answer their queries in a manner that informs them of the history, but doesn't leave them with nightmares for weeks to come?

We've got your back.

Members of the Auxiliary Territorial Service, driving through Trafalgar Square in a service vehicle during the VE Day celebrations in London 1945 (Photo: R J Salmon/Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

When did World War Two start?

World War Two began on 1 September 1939.

Why did World War Two start?

Having been one of the countries to lose the First World War, Germany had to sign an agreement that said they were to blame for the conflict, which took place from 1914 - 1918.

As part of that agreement, they had to pay a fine, lose some of their acquired land and be allowed only a small army.

Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party ignored the agreement and secretly started building up their army and invading and taking back lands they had lost.

On 1 September 1939, after warnings from other countries not to do so, Germany invaded Poland.

Great Britain and France supported Poland and declared war on Germany, sparking the start of World War Two.

Who were the Nazis?

The Nazis were a German political party, officially called the National Socialist German Worker’s Party.

The leader of the party was Adolf Hitler, and in 1933, the German people voted in favour of Hitler and the Nazis running Germany.

The Nazis believed that Aryans (people with blond hair and blue eyes) were the ‘master’ race, and that all other people were inferior.

Hitler wanted to eradicate ‘lesser’ people from Germany to make the country a world leader.

Which countries fought in World War Two?

The countries who fought against Germany were known as the Allies.

Those who fought with Germany were known as the Axis.

The Allied countries were; Great Britain, France, United States, Greece, Australia, Canada, Belgium, India, Poland, South America, and many more.

The Axis countries included; Germany, Italy, Japan, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Bulgaria.

When did World War Two end?

By 1944, many of the countries captured and occupied by Axis powers were freed by the Allies.

With Germany and the Axis powers on the defensive, Adolf Hitler took his own life in April 1945; a week later, Germany surrendered.

On 8 May 1945, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced that the war was over, a date that was known as VE Day (Victory in Europe Day).

Despite the celebrations, the war wasn't technically over across the globe until 2 September 1945, when Japan's surrender from the conflict was officially signed.