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IWM Stories: V for Victory

“THE OCCUPIER, BY SEEING THIS SIGN…INFINITELY REPEATED, [WOULD] UNDERSTAND THAT HE IS SURROUNDED”

This Friday marks the 75th anniversary of ‘Victory in Europe Day’. 8 May 1945 – VE Day – remained in the memory of all those who witnessed it.

It meant the beginning of the end to nearly six years of a war that had cost the lives of millions. Allied nations rejoiced, marking VE Day with street parties, dancing and singing.

When we look back at images from that day, one sign stands out above all others. Whether looking at Churchill on his balcony, or the crowds on the street below, a V shaped sign made with two fingers, was ubiquitous.

But have you ever wondered where this sign came from? And how it became one of the defining symbols of the Second World War? Click here to hear the story behind V for Victory. 

 

VOICES OF WAR

Take a moment on this week’s bank holiday to play a four-minute soundscape of first-hand accounts of VE Day, which will be published on our website on Friday. Curated from IWM’s vast sound archives, Voices of War brings together memories of conflicting jubilation, hope, sadness and fear.

FIND OUT MORE

 

READY FOR VE DAY?

Explore our online shop for a range of products commemorating VE Day, from tea towels to Churchill prints.

Every purchase supports IWM’s work.

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