Berlin is celebrating being liberated from the Nazis with an unprecedented holiday
via Bert de Wilde / Twitter

On May 8, 1945, Nazi Germany surrendered to Ally forces, thus ending World War II in Europe. For most of the world, it's a day to celebrate, but for the German people, the day comes with a feeling of uneasiness.

May 8 has different connotations throughout the country. In the west, most people feel a sense of shame over the day. In the east, which fell under the power of the Iron Curtain, it was taught in schools as the "Day of Liberation" by Soviet forces.

For the 75th anniversary of the fall of Nazism, the city of Berlin is celebrating with a public holiday to mark the end of World War II for the first time. The holiday commemorates May 8 as a day of liberation from the forces of fascism.


The day was scheduled to have public events including an open-air exhibition and museum events. But they were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Posters by Kulturprojekte declaring "In the beginning was a choice — a choice and a result" have been hanging around the city.

Kulturprojekte says the goal of its campaign is to remind Berliners that the Nazi regime came through Democratic means and "that it is the responsibility of everyone to ensure that history does not repeat itself."

It believes that making May 8 a public holiday "offers the opportunity to send an unmistakable message against fascism and war and for peace."

"We are also keen to reach a young audience, particularly those with a migrant background, who have little knowledge of German history," Moritz van Dülmen, the head of Kulturprojekte, told the BBC.

"It's the principles of democracy that we want to get across," Dülmen added.

There is also a movement to make May 8 a national holiday celebrating the liberation of Germany from Nazis. Holocaust survivor Esther Bejarano, 95, wrote an open letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel pushing for May it.

Over 100,000 people have signed her petition for a holiday that would commemorate "a day of liberation and the crushing of the National Socialist regime."

Prominent politicians from Germany's left-wing Linke party have backed Bejarano's plan. However, Alexander Gauland, a leading figure in the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD), disagrees.

"You can't make May 8 a happy day for Germany," Gauland said. "For the concentration camp inmates, it was a day of liberation. But it was also a day of absolute defeat, a day of the loss of large parts of Germany and the loss of national autonomy."

As right-wing nationalism spreads across Europe, it's essential to keep the lessons learned during World War II from falling by the wayside. The biggest opposition party in Germany right now is the AfD, a right-wing nationalist party that has downplayed Nazi atrocities and has declared to fight an "invasion of foreigners" into the country.

Kulturprojekte's May 8 campaign is to remind Berliners that living in a democracy doesn't inoculate Germany form the forces of fascism. There's never been a better time to remind them than now.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
True

Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

Keep Reading Show less

Eight months into the coronavirus pandemic, many of us are feeling the weight of it growing heavier and heavier. We miss normal life. We miss our friends. We miss travel. We miss not having to mentally measure six feet everywhere we go.

Maybe that's what was on Edmund O'Leary's mind when he tweeted on Friday. Or maybe he had some personal issues or challenges he was dealing with. After all, it's not like people didn't struggle pre-COVID. Now, we just have the added stress of a pandemic on top of our normal mental and emotional upheavals.

Whatever it was, Edmund decided to reach out to Twitter and share what he was feeling.

"I am not ok," he wrote. "Feeling rock bottom. Please take a few seconds to say hello if you see this tweet. Thank you."

O'Leary didn't have a huge Twitter following, but somehow his tweet started getting around quickly. Response after response started flowing in from all over the world, even from some famous folks. Thousands of people seemed to resonate with Edmund's sweet and honest call for help and rallied to send him support and good cheer.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
True

Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

Keep Reading Show less

The subject of late-term abortions has been brought up repeatedly during this election season, with President Trump making the outrageous claim that Democrats are in favor of executing babies.

This message grossly misrepresents what late-term abortion actually is, as well as what pro-choice advocates are actually "in favor of." No one is in favor of someone having a specific medical procedure—that would require being involved in someone's individual medical care—but rather they are in favor of keeping the government out of decisions about specific medical procedures.

Pete Buttigieg, who has become a media surrogate for the Biden campaign—and quite an effective one at that—addressed this issue in a Fox News town hall when he was on the campaign trail himself. When Chris Wallace asked him directly about late-term abortions, Buttigieg answered Wallace's questions is the best way possible.

"Do you believe, at any point in pregnancy, whether it's at six weeks or eight weeks or 24 weeks or whenever, that there should be any limit on a woman's right to have an abortion?" Wallace asked.

Keep Reading Show less

When it comes to the topic of race, we all have questions. And sometimes, it honestly can be embarrassing to ask perfectly well-intentioned questions lest someone accuse you of being ignorant, or worse, racist, for simply admitting you don't know the answer.

America has a complicated history with race. For as long as we've been a country, our culture, politics and commerce have been structured in a way to deny our nation's past crimes, minimize the structural and systemic racism that still exists and make the entire discussion one that most people would rather simply not have.

For example, have you ever wondered what's really behind the term Black Pride? Is it an uplifting phrase for the Black community or a divisive term? Most people instinctively put the term "White Pride" in a negative context. Is there such a thing as non-racist, racial pride for white people? And while we're at it, what about Asian people, Native Americans, and so on?

Yes, a lot of people raise these questions with bad intent. But if you've ever genuinely wanted an answer, either for yourself or so that you best know how to handle the question when talking to someone with racist views, writer/director Michael McWhorter put together a short, simple and irrefutable video clip explaining why "White Pride" isn't a real thing, why "Black Pride" is and all the little details in between.


Keep Reading Show less