09.05.

1945: Field Marshal Keitel Confirms German Surrender in Berlin

1945: Field Marshal Keitel Confirms German Surrender in Berlin
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons / Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel signing the ratified surrender terms for the German military in Berlin

Story Highlights

  • Historical event
  • 9 May 1945
  • To please the USSR, another signing of the German surrender had to be arranged on this day, this time on territory under Soviet occupation. The signing on behalf of Germany was done by no less than Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel - Hitler's chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht - OKW). 

On this day in 1945, Keitel confirmed the German surrender in World War II. This was done primarily at the request of the Soviets, who were dissatisfied with the German surrender two days earlier in the French city of Reims. 

To recall, the surrender at Reims was signed by Colonel General Alfred Jodl  on behalf of the Germans. 

The Soviets were unhappy because the surrender at Reims was organized by the Western Allies. In fact, the Soviet general Susloparov, who signed at Reims, was reportedly not authorized by Moscow to do so. 

To please the Soviets, another signing of the German surrender had to be arranged on this day, this time on territory under Soviet occupation.

The signing ceremony was held in Berlin Karlshorst, in a building that Soviet Marshal Zhukov chose for his command center. 

The signing on behalf of Germany was done by no less than Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel – Hitler’s chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht – OKW). 

When signing, Field Marshal Keitel had his left hand gloved, and his right hand bare. He wore a monocle on his left eye. 

The signing on behalf of the Soviet Union was done personally by Marshal Georgy Zhukov – the most decorated soldier in the history of the USSR.

 

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