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80 years of D-Day

by Celia Burgdorff, Anja Czymmeck

Looking backward and looking forward to French, European and Franco-German remembrance culture

8 May is a public holiday in France. It commemorates the day of the ceasefire of the Second World War and the surrender of Nazi Germany. France is already preparing for important anniversaries in the context of the Second World War, which will be commemorated this year and next year, and which will take on a new dimension in view of the war of aggression against Ukraine. France prepares with the government's organisational unit "Mission de la Liberation" to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day on 6 June 2024. 150,000 Allied soldiers from the USA, Great Britain, Canada, France, Poland, New Zealand, and other countries landed in Normandy on this day in 1944 to liberate France from Nazi rule. It was the beginning of a gigantic military operation, "Operation Overlord", which heralded the end of the Second World War. 8 Mai 2025 will mark the 80th anniversary of the surrender.

The former warring parties still commemorate D-Day today. The celebrations to mark the major anniversaries have long since achieved the status of high-ranking political and diplomatic meetings. Although the battle of 6 June is one of many in the Second World War, there is no other that has so quickly attained the status of an epic. Nevertheless, the way in which the nations involved look back on this battle differs and the interpretation of the events of the Second World War has changed again and again over the years.

Today, two years after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the topic of war is once again present in Europe after a long time and dominates political discourse in Germany and France. At the same time, there are hardly any contemporary witnesses left who can report on the Second World War. What does it mean to remember D-Day in this context? And what role do Germany and France play in the European politics of remembrance?

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The full-length publication is only available in German.

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Anja Czymmeck

Anja Czymmeck

Head of the France Office +33 156 69 15 00


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The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung is a political foundation. Our offices abroad are in charge of over 200 projects in more than 120 countries. The country reports offer current analyses, exclusive evaluations, background information and forecasts - provided by our international staff.