Skip to content

Victory in Europe: 75 years ago

May 8, 2020

Dear Reader,

I hope you will take a moment on May 8, 2020 to remember “Victory in Europe” 75 years ago. Like me you may be filled with both sorrow and joy. Sorrow for allies who perished as they defeated Nazi Germany’s murderous rule and joy that their sacrifice ushered in the possibility of a “second chance.” The post-war world brought with it peace, as well as new, vibrant democracies and economic progress unseen in human history. In looking back on the legacy of that campaign and its aftermath, Dwight Eisenhower wrote a vigorous defense of the capacities within democracy to achieve our urgent goals. In his book, Crusade in Europe he noted:

“Victory in the Mediterranean and European campaigns gave the lie to all who preached, or in our time shall preach, that the democracies are decadent, afraid to fight, unable to match the productivity of regimented economies or unwilling to sacrifice in a common cause.”

We are being tested today in a different way, but in the memory of all those who were part of the war effort, let us recommit ourselves to shoring up the basic tenants of our democracy, and promoting peace, justice and cooperation in facing our contemporary challenges.

Yesterday, to mark VE Day, I interviewed Col. Leonard Fullenkamp, an internationally recognized historian and strategist.

On EI LIVE, we examined the legacy of the war in Europe and its relevance in today’s world. I hope you enjoy our discussion.

Susan Eisenhower

***

Listen to General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s V-E Day Statement, May 8, 1945:

14 Comments leave one →
  1. James A Brantley permalink
    May 8, 2020 7:11 am

    Hi Susan

    A great day in history for all freedom loving Americans. Drop me a note, I’d/we’d love to get reacquainted.

    Jim

    James A Brantley Brantley Enterprises, Inc Direct 703-408-4736 http://www.brantleyhotelgroup.com

    >

  2. John Egan USMA69 permalink
    May 8, 2020 7:38 am

    Susan, as you may recall we met when I was VP Development at ISU and I visited you in your office in Washington when you were kind enough to introduce me to General Andrew Goodpaster who happened to be visiting as well. I have just finished reading Eric Larrabee’s excellent book, “Commander in Chief – Franklin Delano Roosevelt, His Lieutenants & Their War”, which was published in the 1980s but of its 650 pages devotes 100 pages to your Grandfather. I want to thank you for your message that brings attention to this important 75th Anniversary, which because of the global pandemic, unfortunately, will not be celebrated as it should. I hope you are well and look forward to your forthcoming book. I still live in France, but in Montpellier, not Strasbourg. All the best, John Egan USMA69

  3. catherwoc0001 permalink
    May 8, 2020 7:39 am

    Magnificent as always!

  4. Ann Turpin permalink
    May 8, 2020 9:04 am

    Susan, Thanks for including me in this. I have read countless books in WWII, including all that Ike wrote, but Col. Fullenkamp’s perspective was very enlightening. Well done, both of you.

  5. Mike Alumbaugh permalink
    May 8, 2020 10:40 am

    Thank you for sending this. I will be sharing it. The insight of Ike’s process for self improvement (lessons learned) is one I must work on. The lessons contained here about wisdom, leadership, strategy and self improvement are substantial, relevant and timeless.

  6. Jacob Kipp permalink
    May 8, 2020 10:44 am

    Susan, Thanks for the thoughtful reminder of the importance of V-E Day. Managing the Allied coalition to victory in the European Theater was a daunting task made more difficult by the Red Army’s advance into Central Europe and the imposition of pro-Soviet regimes backed by the Red Army’s presence. Victory brought a new era to Western Europe but Soviet domination to the east. That would only end with the Velvet Revolutions of 1989 and the collapse of the USSR in 1990. Inside that larger truth is the simple fact that the advances of Western and Soviet forces put an end to the operations of the Nazi death camps in occupied Europe.

  7. catherwoc0001 permalink
    May 8, 2020 10:56 am

    My comment was Word Press so it did not give my name: Christopher Catherwood. I have been commissioned by Lyons Press to write a book on Churchill and Ike 1941-1955 and as you know I very much supported Ike’s interpretation of strategy in World War II: if he and Marshall had prevailed war would have ended earlier, countless thousands of lives saved and perhaps more besides! This view went down very well indeed in the Marshall Center at Lexington VA (where my late wife Paulette was raised) but not with the Keepers of the Flame for whom such views are blasphemy! When this dreadful virus is over, let’s get back in touch, and your upcoming book will be invaluable!

  8. May 8, 2020 11:15 am

    Such compassionate Brilliance. I miss this in OUR Country. Thank You Susan for being who You are and sharing this wonderful presentation.
    Looking forward to hearing more from you soon.
    A true voice of mission and reason in an extremely dark world…
    Ike would be proud.

  9. Bob Hanfling permalink
    May 8, 2020 2:37 pm

    Hi Susan, It has been too long since we communicated either directly or indirectly. I am so grateful that you included me in this zoom discussion. I was only 7 years old on VE Day but remember it vividly. I also remember the stars hanging in people’s windows indicating people in service, and the two taken down and replaced with black ribbons When Phyllis and I got married in 1964, neither of us had ever been to Europe For our honeymoon she wanted to go to sight see and shop. I wanted to go to commemorate WW II. So on our honeymoon, she agreed to visit three battlefields, Normandy AND four military cemeteries, that I felt “obligated “ to visit and pay my respects. I think I previously told you, that it was Ike ‘s Atoms for Peace program that inspired me to both become a nuclear engineer and eventually, lucky enough to, to serve my country in government at the DOE. I hope you and your family are all healthy and well. What a shame and disgrace to have our current “leader” in this current “war”. Very best regards Bob

    Robert Hanfling Mobile – 303 941-9582

    >

  10. carlos agnesi permalink
    May 8, 2020 3:56 pm

    Dear Susan:

    What a great achievement from that challenge at the brink of tyranny.

    I remember your grandfather with great appreciation.

    Best to the family

    Carlos

    Sent from my iPhone

  11. Seth Grae permalink
    May 8, 2020 10:02 pm

    Susan,
    Thank you for your reminder of this anniversary with your poignant message and this insightful, magnificent interview. I was particularly interested in the discussion of our military leaders not being fully prepared for what they faced, given that they then led efforts that successfully secured of freedom for all these decades.
    With best regards,
    Seth

  12. Susanne E. Vandenbosch permalink
    May 8, 2020 11:23 pm

    Good to hear General Eisenhower again. Recently I have been working on our family geneaolgy while self- quarantined.Five of my brothers served during the Korean and Vietnam War and three of my uncles In the WWII- 2 in New Guinea and one in Europe. None were killed or even injured. A second cousin was killed in the Normandy invasion. I have felt sorry for our leaders who had to order our troops into battles where they new the casualties would be high.

  13. Charles Vyvyan permalink
    May 9, 2020 6:10 am

    Thank you, Susan – how lovely to be in touch again, and to see you looking so well! We had great celebrations yesterday, largely about the British contribution – but I said a thank you prayer for the US and the C-in-C!

    Love from us both, Charles

  14. catherwoc0001 permalink
    May 9, 2020 6:38 am

    PS: my mother was outside Buckingham Palace on VE Day when Churchill and the Royal Family appeared on the balcony of the palace. She was there for history! And is still very much alive aged 92! Your grandfather’s outstanding generalship made it possible! Christopher Catherwood

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s