On this Day: May 8, 1945 | World War II: Germany surrenders

8 May 1945: World War II: The German Instrument of Surrender signed at Reims comes into effect. (Source)

From left to right: Major Wilhelm Oxenius (Colonel General Jodl’s Adjutant), Colonel General Alfred Jodl, Chief of OKW Operation Staff (who signed the Instrument of Surrender on behalf of the OKW), General admiral Hans-Georg von Friedeburg, Commander-in-Chief of the German navy (OKM), Major General Kenneth W. D. Strong (standing), G-2, SHAEF. Location: Reims, France, American Headquarters – Permission: PD-USGov-Military-Army (Source)

The German Instrument of Surrender (German: Bedingungslose Kapitulation der Wehrmacht; Russian: Акт о капитуляции Германии) was the legal document that effected the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany and ended World War II in Europe. The decision to surrender was made public on 8 May 1945. The definitive text was signed in Karlshorst, Berlin, on the night of 8 May 1945 by representatives of the three armed services of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW) and the Allied Expeditionary Force together with the Supreme High Command of the Soviet Red Army, with further French and US representatives signing as witnesses. The signing took place 8 May 1945 at 21:20 local time.

An earlier version of the text had been signed in a ceremony in Reims in the early hours of 7 May 1945. In most of Europe, 8 May is celebrated as Victory in Europe Day; 9 May is celebrated as Victory Day in Russia, Belarus, Serbia and Israel.

There were three language versions of the surrender document – Russian, English and German – with the Russian and English versions proclaimed, in the text itself, as the only authoritative ones. (Source)


I am Volker Schunck and live in Dresden, Germany. First I was an industrial clerk, then I studied theology. Through my engagement with Zen, I became aware of the Christian mysticism. Meanwhile, I go my own way. For me, faith is not a world-view but a being. It is important to me, not to live lost in thought but aware and intensely. For me, this also includes careful handling of other people. The NVC (Nonviolent Communication), which I learned during my training as a mediator, helps me with this.

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