BERLIN---The co-leader of the far-right German party Alternative for Germany Alexander Gauland on Wednesday described the allied victory over the Hitler movement as a “day of absolute defeat,” triggering criticism from the president of Munich’s Jewish community who survived the Holocaust.Gauland delivered his comment ahead of the 75th anniversary of the end of the war in Europe started by Nazi Germany. The extreme right-wing leader rejects May 8 – the end of the war in 1945 and Victory in Europe Day (VE Day) – as a proposed public holiday. “You can’t make May 8 a happy day for Germany,” Gauland told German broadcaster RND, adding “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.”A petition campaign that has garnered 80,000 signatures wants May 8 as a public holiday.Gauland has a history of belittling the Holocaust and defending German soldiers during WW2. In 2018, he dismissed the Nazi era as a “speck of bird poop." He said "We have a glorious history and, dear friends, it lasted longer than those blasted 12 years.”The head of Munich’s Jewish community, Charlotte Knobloch, said in a statement that "it is no surprise that Alexander Gauland sees above all an 'absolute defeat' on May 8,’’ while, she added, that date is viewed by the majority of people as "grounds for happiness and gratitude. It was the day that made freedom and democracy possible again in Germany." Knobloch survived the Holocaust in hiding in Germany.The 79-year-old Gauland said in 2017 that “if the French are rightly proud of their emperor and the Britons of Nelson and Churchill, we have the right to be proud of the achievements of the German soldiers in two world wars.” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the dean of the human rights NGO Simon Wiesenthal Center, told The Jerusalem Post, "We also mourn that Nazi Germany’s total defeat didn’t come earlier so some of 6 million murdered Jews would have lived, and we mourn that Nazi hate wasn’t totally destroyed 75 years ago."Gauland's party has been criticized for xenophobia in connection with immigration policies.