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May 7, 1945, This Day In History: The Defeat of German Nazi Forces

VE DAY

Looking north from 44th Street, New York’s Times Square is packed Monday, May 7, 1945, with crowds celebrating the news of Germany’s unconditional surrender in World War II.  (AP Photo/Tom Fitzsimmons) 

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On this day in 1945, German General Alfred Jodl signed an unconditional surrender at Reims, France.

This photo was taken in the War Room of the Allied Supreme Headquarters. On General Jodl’s left is General Admiral Von Friedenburg of the German Navy, and on his right is Major Wilhelm Oxenius of the German general staff.   May 7, 1945.  U.S. Army.

from the Eisenhower Library — This Day In History

General Admiral Hans-Georg von Friedeburg (1895 – 1945) and General Eberhard Kinzel visit the British camp on Luneburg Heath to sign the Instrument of Surrender of the German armed forces in Holland, north-west Germany and Denmark…

GermancapitulationsignedbyAlfredJodlHans-GeorgvonFriedeburg

An example of suicide through shame of surrender was that of Admiral von Friedeburg.

Friedeburg-suicide

He had been present at both the surrender of the German forces in the north of Germany at Lüneburg Heath and also at Reims. Placed under arrest at Flensburg with the other members of the Dönitz government, von Friedeburg chose to kill himself with a cyanide ampule in a toilet. His body was carried into his quarters and placed on a cot where it was photographed. 

Friedeburg20suicide201

An interesting addition to this story is that his Knights Cross of the War Merit Cross with Swords that he was wearing around his neck (visible in one photo) at the time was removed and disappeared. An investigation was carried out by the British authorities, but the award was not returned. The British issued an official apology to Dönitz for this theft.

pickelhaubes.com

his is an aerial view of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on VE Day, May 7, 1945, shows thousands of French people celebrating the announcement of Germany's unconditional surrender to the Allies.  British, American and French servicemen mingled with the crowds who sang and danced throughout the night.  (AP Photo/Griffin)

This is an aerial view of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on VE Day, May 7, 1945, shows thousands of French people celebrating the announcement of Germany’s unconditional surrender to the Allies. British, American and French servicemen mingled with the crowds who sang and danced throughout the night. (AP Photo/Griffin)

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4 Comments on “May 7, 1945, This Day In History: The Defeat of German Nazi Forces”

  1. […] Pundit from another Planet Looking north from 44th Street, New York’s Times Square is packed Monday, May 7, 1945, with […]

  2. […] May 7, 1945, This Day In History: The Defeat of German Nazi Forces […]


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