May 8 in History

The German Instrument of Surrender, the legal document that effected the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany and ended World War II in Europe, was signed on this day in 1945, with the decision to surrender made public the same day The definitive text was signed in Karlshorst, Berlin, at 21:20 local time 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.

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


Photo Caption – Field-Marshal Wilhelm Keitel signing the definitive act of unconditional surrender for the German military in Berlin – Wikipedia

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