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Charles de Gaulle: V-E Day Broadcast to the French People

(May 8, 1945)

The war has been won. This is victory. It is the victory of the United Nations and that of France. The German enemy has surrendered to the Allied Armies in the West and East. The French High Command was present and a party to the act of capitulation.

In the state of disorganization of the German public authorities and command it is possible that certain enemy groups may intend here and there to prolong on their own account a senseless resistance. But Germany is beaten and has signed her disaster.

While the rays of glory once again lend brilliance to our flags, the country turns its thoughts and affection first of all toward those who died for her and then toward those who in her service struggled and suffered so much. Not one single act of courage or self-sacrifice of her sons and daughters, not one single hardship of her captive men and women, not one single bereavement and sacrifice, not one single tear will have been wasted in vain.

In the national rejoicing and pride, the French people send brotherly greetings to their gallant Allies, who, like themselves and for the same cause, have sustained so many hardships over such a long period, to their heroic armies and to those commanding them, and to all those men and women who, throughout the world, fought, suffered and worked so that the cause of liberty and justice might ultimately prevail.

Honor, eternal honor, to our armies and their leaders. Honor to our nation, which never faltered, even under terrible trials, nor gave in to them. Honor to the United Nations, which mingled their blood, their sorrows and their hopes with ours and who today are triumphant with us.

Long live France!

Sources: ibiblio