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HomeLatest NewsWhy Stalin demanded that Nazi Germany surrender unconditionally twice in 1945

Why Stalin demanded that Nazi Germany surrender unconditionally twice in 1945

Date: October 1, 2023 Time: 18:40:49

Stalin then declared the following: “The treaty signed at Reims cannot be cancelled, but it cannot be recognized.”


… – Sergey Viktorovich, why was the Act of surrender of Germany signed twice in May 1945? True, the textbooks talk about this … But, apparently, due to the fact that at one time they tried to cross out the name of Stalin from the history of the Great Patriotic War, the ending turned out to be not entirely clear.

– If this fact is presented with historical precision… The act of unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany (1945) – the German armed forces, was signed on May 7 at 02:41 in Reims (France).

On the side of the defeated Reich, by a high-ranking military officer, the head of the operational headquarters of the high command of the German army, Colonel General Alfred Jodl. On behalf of the USSR, this Law was accepted by the representative of the Headquarters of the Supreme High Command, under the command of the Allies, Major General Ivan Susloparov.

On behalf of the Anglo-American side, the document was signed by US Army Lieutenant General, Chief of the General Staff of the Allied Expeditionary Forces, Walter Smith. From the French side, Act assured the deputy chief of the National Defense Staff, Brigadier General Francois Sevez, however, as a witness.

– What was the main thing in that document?

– First of all, there was a “categorical duty” of all German military personnel to “immediately stop all resistance”, to hand over personnel as prisoners … further – the transfer of weapons, ammunition and “other materiel of the armed forces” to the allies.

This, in fact, marked the exit of Nazi Germany from World War II. And then, on May 7 at 2:27 p.m., German radio, which was broadcasting at that time from Flensburg, broadcast an official message about the signing of the Act of Unconditional Surrender.

The newly appointed Foreign Minister of Germany in the Dönitz government, Count Schwerin von Krosig, addressed the German people. But the top Soviet leadership categorically did not accept such a signature …


– What, in our opinion, more precisely, from the point of view, from the position of the Soviet side, was wrong?

– The fact is that the Act of Surrender signed in Reims was not previously agreed with the Soviet Union and, as Moscow believed, it relegated the Soviet Union – the country that contributed the most to the Victory over Nazi Germany – to the background. Therefore, at Stalin’s suggestion, we agreed, behind the scenes, with the Allies to regard the signing procedure at Reims as a “preliminary surrender.”

Although a group of 17 journalists attended that Act-signing ceremony, the US and Britain agreed to delay the public announcement of the surrender so the USSR could prepare for a second ceremony in Berlin, which took place on May 8. .

Why, then, did our representative, General Susloparov, sign the Act at Reims?

– It so happened that he did it at his own risk, since by the scheduled time for signing the instructions from the Kremlin had not yet arrived. So he decided to put his signature with the proviso that this Act “should not exclude the possibility of signing another Act at the request of one of the allied countries.”

– It is empty…

– And soon after, General Susloparov received a telegram from Stalin with a “categorical prohibition to sign the surrender.”

Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor of the Faculty of History of Sergey Devyatov Moscow State University

Photo: Vladimir VELENGURIN


– What else was connected with the demand of Joseph Vissarionovich “not to sign the surrender”?

– Stalin then said the following: “The treaty signed in Reims cannot be cancelled, but it cannot be recognized. The surrender must be committed as the most important historical Act and adopted not in the territory of the victors, but from where the fascist aggression came from: in Berlin, and not unilaterally, but necessarily by the supreme command of all the countries of the anti-coalition. hitler. .

On May 8 at 22:43 CET (at 00:43 on May 9 Moscow time) in the Berlin suburb of Karlshorst, in the building of the former canteen of the military engineering school, the Final Act of Surrender was signed. unconditional from Germany.

– Does the Second Act differ from the first in any way, except for the change of geography, that is, the place of signature?

– Yes, fundamental changes were made to a series of articles of the Law.

In the English text, the expression High Command Soviet (Soviet High Command) has been replaced by a more accurate translation of the Soviet term: Supreme High Command of the Red Army (Supreme High Command of the Red Army)

Representatives of the German High Command at the signing ceremony of the military surrender. May 9, 1945

They seriously expanded and detailed part of article 2, “categorically interpreting (in a new edition. – AG) the duties of the” intact and safe “German side to transfer weapons, ammunition, other military equipment and other property” at the disposal of the allies .

Likewise, they added to the list of military-technical means that “must not be destroyed or damaged by the German side.”

But a provision contained in the first version of the May 7 Law was completely repealed. It sounded like this: “Only this English text has authority.” In its place, the following text was inserted: “This Law is drawn up in Russian, English and German. Only the Russian and English texts are authentic.”

– Yes, it turns out that the document was revised quite significantly …

– Certainly.

– And so fast.

– It was impossible to shoot with this. Victory, in fact, has already taken place.


– It is well known who prescribed this historic Act. And yet, let’s call him again, all by name …

– Yes … At the request of the USSR government and Supreme Commander-in-Chief Joseph Stalin, on May 8 (May 9, Moscow time), the German Surrender Act was signed for the second time, I will repeat, of course , In Berlin.

On the German side, the signatures were affixed by: Field Marshal, Chief of Staff of the Wehrmacht High Command Wilhelm Keitel, representative of the Luftwaffe (the name of the German air force) Colonel General Hans-Jurgen Stumpf and the force Nazi Germany aerial view – Admiral von Friedeburg.

– That is, there were three signatories on the German side.

– The unconditional surrender was accepted by Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgy Zhukov (on behalf of the Soviet Union) and Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe, Marshal Arthur William Tedder (Great Britain).

General Carl Spaats (USA) and General Jean de Latre de Tassigny (France) signed as witnesses.

It was the day of the official announcement of the signing of the Act of Unconditional Surrender (May 8 in Europe and America, May 9 in the USSR) which began -officially- to be celebrated by the countries of the anti-Hitler coalition as Victory Day. .

* * *

– Thank you, Sergey Viktorovich, for such details. Including the unexpected. Happy holidays to you!

– Happy Victory Day!

– Hurrah!

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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