70th ANNIVERSARY OF THE END OF WORLD WAR II AND THE FOUNDING OF THE UNITED NATIONS

70th ANNIVERSARY OF THE END OF WORLD WAR II AND THE FOUNDING OF THE UNITED NATIONS  

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and the founding of the United Nations (1945-2015). The largest conflict in human history embroiled most nations around the world and caused destruction and massacres which led to over sixty million victims. The memory of these events must not only be kept alive, but continually renewed, as a commemoration and a warning to future generations. At the same time, it is not enough only to remember these tragic events to prevent them from happening again; nations must play an active role in working for peace. From the rubble of the Second World War came forth the creation of the United Nations in 1945, the organization with the responsibility precisely “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war...and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small...”. The Philatelic and Numismatic Office will mark the two anniversaries with the issue of a miniature sheet consisting of two postage stamps of 2.00 euro each. The stamps feature work by artist Marco Ventura who on the first value depicts an injured hand against a dark background to symbolize the defeat of humanity in the face of the horrors of war. The second stamp shows three hands symbolically holding up the world, the UN headquarters in New York, and an olive branch against a fair sky, all representing the possibility of building together a future of peace. The contrast between the two opposing realities is accented further with the barbed wire which appears in the stamps on the left side of the sheet, while exiting on the right side transformed into the colors of a rainbow, a universal symbol of peace.