The most important document ever offered for sale… The German surrender agreement that ended the Second World War.
Alexander Bitar History has the enormous honor and privilege to offer the document that ended the Second World War – the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany.
Mr. Norman Polar, historian and author, explains:
”On May 6, 1945, Admiral Dönitz sent his army commander General Jodl and Admiral von Friedeburg to Eisenhower’s headquarters in Northern France to negotiate the surrender of all the German forces. The German delegation arrives, expecting to be treated as professionals to meet Eisenhower, possibly have coffee, certainly handshakes – and then discuss surrender terms. They were met by Eisenhower’s chief of staff, who told them politely but firmly: ‘There are no terms, you will surrender unconditionally – period!’. The German delegation went back, told Dönitz, and he realized that he had no choice. He went back, and surrender documents were placed in front of them; they were told to sign. After the signing, Eisenhower did meet with them. There were no handshakes. Eisenhower asked them bluntly: ‘Do you understand the terms of this surrender’. Once they said: ‘Yes, we do’, he turned around and left. It had been a cruel, horrible, and terrible war; and Eisenhower to his credit, in my opinion, was not about to treat them as gentlemen.”
The document in full:  “Only this text in English is authoritative
ACT OF MILITARY SURRENDER
1. We the undersigned, acting by authority of the German High Command, hereby surrender unconditionally to the Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force and simultaneously to the Supreme High Command of the Red Army all forces on land, at sea, and in the air who are at this date under German control.
2. The German High Command will at once issue orders to all German military, naval and air authorities and to all forces under German control to cease active operations at 23.01 hours Central European time on 08 May, to remain in all positions occupied at that time and to disarm completely, handing over their weapons and equipment to the local allied commanders or officers designated by Representatives of the Allied Supreme Commands. No ship, vessel, or aircraft is to be scuttled, or any damage done to their hull, machinery or equipment, and also to machines of all kinds, armament, apparatus, and all the technical means of prosecution of war in general.
3. The German High Command will at once issue to the appropriate commanders, and ensure the carrying out of any further orders issued by the Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force and by the Supreme Command of the Red Army.
4. This act of military surrender is without prejudice to, and will be superseded by any general instrument of surrender imposed by, or on behalf of the United Nations and applicable to GERMANY and the German armed forces as a whole.”
 “5. In the event of the German High Command or any of the forces under their control failing to act in accordance with this Act of Surrender, the Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force and the Supreme High Command of the Red Army will take such punitive or other action as they deem appropriate.
Signed at Rhemis France at 02.41 on the 7th day of May, 1945.
On behalf of the German High Command.
“Jodl” [signed by Col. Gen. Alfred Jodl]
IN THE PRESENCE OF
On behalf of the Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditioanry Force.
“W. B Smith” [signed by Lieutenant general Walter Bedell Smith]
On behalf of the Soviet High Command.
“Sousloparov” [signed by Maj. Gen. Ivan Sousloparov]
“F Sevez” [signed by Maj. Gen. Francois Sevez]
This, the unconditional surrender of the German Third Reich was signed in the early morning hours of Monday, May 7, 1945; the time on the documents is noted as 02.41 hours, or 2:41 A.M. The scene was the war room at SHAEF (Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force), located in the Professional and Technical School at Reims, a historic city in northeastern France that had been almost completely leveled by the Germans during the war. Across the conference table, representatives of the four Allied Powers – France, Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and the United States – faced the three German officers delegated by Adm. Dönitz: Col. Gen. Alfred Jodl, who alone had been authorized to sign the surrender document; Gen. Adm. Hans Georg von Friedeburg, a chief negotiator; and Maj. Friedrich Wilhelm Oxenius, an aide to Jodl.
Lt. Gen. Walter Bedell Smith, SHAEF chief of staff, led the Allied delegation as the representative of Gen. Eisenhower, who had refused to meet with the Germans until the surrender had been accomplished. Other American officers present were Maj. Gen. Harold R. Bull and Gen. Carl Spaatz. British observers were Adm. Sir Harold Burrough, Lt. Gen. Sir Fred Morgan (SHAEF deputy chief of staff), and Air Marshal J. M. Robb. Maj. Gen. Ivan Sousloparov, head of the Soviet mission to France, represented the Soviet High Command; he was accompanied by Lt. Ivan Chermiaev and Senior Lt. Col. Ivan Zenkovitch as interpreters. Representing the French chief of staff (Gen. Alphonse Pierre Juin) was Maj. Gen. Francois Sevez. The more than 44 hours between the signing of the Act of Military Surrender and the cease-fire to take place at 23.01 hours, or 11:01 P.M., on May 8 represented a concession to the Germans by SHAEF, one that unintentionally allowed more German troops to be moved westward for surrender to American or British and Commonwealth forces rather than to those of the Soviet Union. Signers of the surrender document were Col. Gen. Alfred Jodl, on behalf of the German High Command; Lt. Gen. Walter Bedell Smith, representing Gen. Eisenhower; Maj. Gen. Ivan Sousloparov, fulfilling the Big Three agreement that a Soviet representative would take part in any ceremony of total surrender; and Maj. Gen. Francois Sevez, signing as a witness for France.
It’s interesting to note that the signature of the French representative was made in the lower margin of the document. This appears to be the case both on the original, issued to the Supreme Allied Commander, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and on the American, British, and Russian national copies. It’s been verbally passed down that the Germans did not consider the French equal to the Americans, British, and Russians (as they had defeated France), thus insisted that their signature would not appear, except in the margin.
Along with the surrender document, another document signed at the same time is also included. The second document is an agreement for formal ratification of the unconditional surrender at a later date, to be specified by Gen. Eisenhower in his capacity as Supreme Commander, which is signed by Col. Gen. Alfred Jodl.
The document in full: “UNDERTAKING GIVEN BY CERTAIN GERMAN EMISSARIES TO THE ALLIED HIGH COMMANDS
It is agreed by the German emissaries undersigned that the following German officers will arrive at a place and time designated by the Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force, and the Soviet High Command prepared, with plenary powers, to execute a formal ratification on behalf of the German High Command of this act of Unconditional Surrender of the German armed forces.
Chief of the High Command
Commander-in-Chief of the Army
Commander-in-Chief of the Navy
Commander-in-Chief of the Air Forces
“Jodl” [signed by Col. Gen. Alfred Jodl]
Representing the German High Command.
DATED 02 41 7th May 1945 Rheims, France”
There’s a total of five copies of the surrender document; one of which is the document offered here. The other four are owned by various institutions in the U.S., England, Russia, and France. The American national copy is owned by the National Archives, who also are aware of the existence of the document offered here.
When the upcoming generations summarize the 20th century – they will do so by referring to the Second World War. A historical event that forever changed the world. The document that ended the Second World War is not only the ultimate military/war-related collectible, but it’s also the most important document ever to be offered for sale. This is the definition of a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity…
What happened between 1939 and 1945 is simply horrible, and heartbreaking – very much so. Approximately 80 million human beings died, both military and civilians. 80 million… This document demonstrates that evilness lost.
– and humanity won.
Size: Approximately 8 x 12.5 in. / 20 x 31,5 cm each, unframed.
Condition: Very good condition; some handling creases; paper clip impression.
Provenance: President Dwight E. Eisenhower (then General and Supreme Allied Commander) who gave his copy to his adjutant whose estate this document later was obtained from; Private collection, USA. Letter of authenticity from Alexander Bitar History.