Unconditional surrender of the Wehrmacht

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Colonel-General Alfred Jodl , previously authorized by Karl Dönitz , signs the unconditional surrender of the Wehrmacht on May 7, 1945 in Reims.
As the first free paper - without Nazi propaganda - the Aachener Nachrichten was able to announce the unconditional surrender on May 8, 1945 with the title “The war is over!”. Apart from the Aachener Nachrichten , only the Flensburger Nachrichten of Germany's newspapers announced the surrender that day .

The unconditional surrender of the German Wehrmacht was a declaration by the Wehrmacht at the end of the Second World War in Europe. It contained the promise to end the fighting against the Allied forces . The capitulation was after unsuccessful attempts to negotiate the German side on May 6 at night May 7, 1945 in the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces in Reims signed and entered into force on 8 May. It marked the end of the military hostilities between the National Socialist German Reich and the Allies. In order to ensure the signing of the surrender by the commander-in-chief of the Wehrmacht, Wilhelm Keitel , and the chiefs of the German navy and air force , ratification was agreed. The German delegation flown in from Flensburg- Mürwik signed the document of surrender on 8/9. May in the headquarters of the Red Army in Berlin-Karlshorst .

Even if individual German units continued the fighting against Soviet troops for a few days, May 8 marked the removal of the Nazi tyranny from outside. The military victory of the Allies was the prerequisite for the liberation of millions of people persecuted by the Germans . The political, economic and moral collapse meant the end of the previous political system in Germany. With the Berlin Declaration of June 5, 1945, the four victorious powers assumed supreme governmental power in Germany. Together with the military capitulation, the political consequence of which it was, this declaration formed the basis for the four-power status , according to which the Allies remained responsible for " Germany as a whole " until German reunification on October 3, 1990 .

Demand for an unconditional surrender

The demand for unconditional surrender (unconditional surrender) the Axis powers was by the Western Allies on the Casablanca conference raised at the beginning of 1943: A victory of the Allies over Germany seemed most likely due to a breakup of the anti-Hitler coalition between the Western Allies on the one hand and the Soviet Union on the other hand.

Since unconditional surrender precluded armistice negotiations and partial surrenders , this proved to the Soviet Union that the Western Allies were ready to continue the war against Germany by their side under all circumstances. The Soviet Union followed suit. With reference to this maximum demand, the Reich Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda spoke of a " war of annihilation against Germany" and tried to strengthen the will to defend the population.

Origin of the declaration of surrender

A document of surrender prepared by the European Advisory Commission (EAC) was discussed at the Yalta Conference . Here it was decided to add to the surrender conditions that the Allies would take over the supreme power of government in Germany. The surrender document added that they would take the necessary steps to ensure future peace and security, including the disarmament, demilitarization and division of Germany. The question of whether Germany should remain as a political unit or not was discussed, but remained without concrete results. Although there was a protocol drawn up by the EAC on the future zones of occupation , a concrete plan for how the division of Germany was to be carried out was not connected with it. That is why the Three Powers formed a "Committee on the German Partition Question " ( dismemberment committee chaired by British Foreign Minister Anthony Eden , alongside American and Soviet ambassadors John G. Winant and Fyodor Gussew ) with the task of establishing the dismemberment process To investigate Germany. You should consider yourself whether a representative of France should be called in. The division of Germany was discussed controversially by this London- based body. It was therefore no longer able to make a decision until the Wehrmacht surrendered, so that a coordinated document of surrender could not be issued. Because of this, Eisenhower's headquarters improvised another text at the last moment. Although there was no mention of a division of Germany, Paragraph 4 was included as a political reservation. This stated that this declaration of surrender could be replaced by other general conditions of surrender that could be imposed by the United Nations and on behalf of Germany. Even before the Charter of the United Nations was signed, the “United Nations” was the name given to the peoples who had allied themselves against Germany, Italy, Japan and the states dependent on them.

Partial capitulations

After the Red Army in the Battle of Berlin began the attack on the government quarter, committed Adolf Hitler , of any kind of capitulation rejected, had in the bunker of the Reich Chancellery suicide . Before that, he had installed the successor government under Karl Dönitz in his political will , which had its headquarters in Flensburg . This was for most Germans but irrelevant, since most of the territory of the Reich already by the troops of the victorious powers occupied was. Doenitz tried to negotiate with the Western powers over regional partial surrenders, which should allow soldiers from the East to get into their captivity , while the fighting on the Eastern Front should continue. To this end, the Elbe line should be held against the Red Army under all circumstances. Berlin , which had been declared a “fortress” under General Helmuth Weidling , finally capitulated to her on May 2, 1945.


Negotiations about a partial surrender in Italy took place from February 1945 behind Hitler's back (→  Operation Sunrise ). Among others, HöSSPF Italy Karl Wolff and the American OSS president in Bern Allen Welsh Dulles were involved in them. The unconditional surrender for the units fighting in Italy, which was signed by the Wehrmacht on April 29 in Caserta by an authorized representative of the Supreme Commander in Chief Southwest Colonel General Heinrich von Vietinghoff and on the part of the SS by an authorized representative of SS-Obergruppenführer Wolff, took place on May 2 in force. Doenitz found out about this partial surrender on the night of May 1st and 2nd, so he decided to try to come to a partial surrender with the Allies on the Western Front as well.

Northwest Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands

Admiral General von Friedeburg and Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery on May 4, 1945 when signing the declaration of surrender.

For this purpose, a delegation chaired by the new Commander-in-Chief of the Navy , General Admiral Hans-Georg von Friedeburg , was sent to the headquarters of the Commander-in-Chief of the 21st Army Group , the British Bernard Montgomery , on the Timeloberg near Wendisch Evern near Lüneburg on May 3rd . Montgomery demanded the surrender of all German associations in north-west Germany , Denmark and the Netherlands , which the Dönitz government accepted. The partial surrender, signed on May 4th, came into effect on May 5th at 8:00 a.m.

Therefore, May 5th ( Bevrijdingsdag ) is a public holiday in the Netherlands . On this day, in 1945, the Canadian General Charles Foulkes and the German Commander-in-Chief Johannes Blaskowitz negotiated in the presence of Prince Bernhard as commander of the domestic armed forces in the ruins of the largely bombed Hotel de Wereld in Wageningen about the surrender of the Wehrmacht units in the still occupied part of the Netherlands . Blaskowitz asked for 24 hours to think about it. On May 6, 1945, the prepared surrender conditions for the territory of the " Reichskommissariat Netherlands " were signed in the assembly hall of the agricultural college near the hotel.

Southern Germany

Also on May 3, Doenitz had approved the request of the Commander-in-Chief in the southern area, Field Marshal Albert Kesselring , to be able to negotiate a partial surrender with the Americans. The Army Group G under General Friedrich Schulz surrendered on May 5 in Haar near Munich against the US 7th Army , effective May 6 at noon.

Negotiations in Reims

The request of the German delegation, consisting of Colonel General Alfred Jodl , Admiral General Hans-Georg von Friedeburg and Major i. G. Wilhelm Oxenius , who on May 6, 1945 went to the headquarters of the Western Allied Forces ( SHAEF ), housed in the buildings of today's Lycée Polyvalent Franklin Roosevelt in Reims , France , to negotiate a partial surrender only to the Western Allies , was turned back by SHAEF commander Dwight D. Eisenhower . In accordance with the agreements made jointly by the Allies at the Yalta Conference , he was not prepared to forego total surrender to the Soviet High Command, and on May 7 threatened to continue the bombing of Germany. Thereupon Dönitz instructed and authorized Colonel General Jodl, the chief of the Wehrmacht command staff , who was originally only authorized to “conclude an armistice agreement with General Eisenhower's headquarters” , to sign an unconditional surrender of the German troops by radio. This happened on May 7th between 2:39 and 2:41 a.m. The Reichsender Flensburg announced with a speech by Lutz von Schwerin-Krosigk on May 7th at 12:45 for the first time from the German side the end of the Second World War on the European continent . The unconditional surrender took effect on all fronts on May 8th at 11:01 p.m. Central European Time . This date, on which the war in Europe ended, was celebrated as VE-Day (Victory in Europe-Day) .

Eisenhower's chief of staff, General Walter Bedell Smith , signed for the SHAEF, Major General Ivan Susloparov for the Soviet High Command, and Major General of the French Army, François Sevez, as a witness .

The document signed in Reims did not match the original version drawn up by the European Advisory Commission and submitted to the Allied governments for signature on July 25, 1944. There it was still provided that Germany should surrender all political, administrative and economic sovereignty within the framework of the surrender to the four main victorious powers. The document of surrender, which was used instead, dealt exclusively with military matters. The official takeover of government power over the territory of the German Reich by the Allies took place only a month later through the Berlin Declaration. In this document, the Wehrmacht's declaration of surrender is shown as the basis for the fact that from now on Germany had to submit to all demands of the victorious powers.

Repetition (ratification) in Berlin

Declaration of surrender by the German Wehrmacht, May 8, 1945, Berlin-Karlshorst
Field Marshal General Wilhelm Keitel , Chief of the Wehrmacht High Command, signs the second, ratifying document of surrender on 8/9 March. May 1945 in Berlin-Karlshorst.

Since the military surrender could only be signed by Jodl, but not by the commanders-in-chief of the individual armed forces of the German armed forces, a document was then signed that ratified this surrender by the high command of the armed forces (OKW) and the commanders-in-chief of the army , air force and Navy provided. This happened retrospectively to May 8, 1945 at 11:01 p.m. CET by signing another declaration of surrender on May 9 at 12:16 a.m. at the headquarters of the Supreme Commander of the Red Army in Germany, Marshal Georgi Konstantinowitsch Zhukov , in the former Pioneer School I in Berlin -Karlshorst , by Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel for the OKW and the Army, Admiral General Hans-Georg von Friedeburg for the Navy and Colonel General Hans-Jürgen Stumpff for the Air Force (as representative of the Commander-in-Chief, Field Marshal Robert Ritter von Greim ), all three authorized by Dönitz. Air Marshal Arthur Tedder signed for the SHAEF and Marshal Zhukov for the Soviet High Command; The French General Lattre de Tassigny and US General Carl Spaatz signed as witnesses . The formal repetition was legally meaningless, but is used far more often for historical representations than the legally effective surrender of Reims.

Since the surrender in the Soviet Union was only announced after this act and due to the time difference (see Moscow time ) the entry into force of the surrender in Moscow falls on May 9, the celebrations for the end of the German-Soviet war in Russia are still today as " Victory Day " was only celebrated on this day.

Doenitz informed all commanders-in-chief of the unconditional total surrender with effect from May 9, 00:00 o'clock. At the same time, however, he ordered the army groups that were fighting the Red Army “to return whatever possible to the west and, if necessary, to fight through through the Soviets” in order to surrender to the Western Allies. As a result, some associations and units tried to delay the handover or even to continue fighting. Eisenhower complained that units of Army Group Center continued to fight in their evasive movement to the west.

The Saucken army in East Prussia did not capitulate until May 14th, after having carried out transports to the Reich, contrary to the surrender regulations and under Soviet fire.

The ACT OF MILITARY SURRENDER dated May 7, 1945.


In the surrender document, Friedeburg, Keitel and Stumpff, on behalf of the OKW, declared the unconditional surrender of all land, sea and air forces that were currently under German command to the Commander in Chief of the Allied Expeditionary Forces and the High Command of the Red Army. The OKW would order them to cease all fighting on May 8, 11:01 p.m. CET, they would have to remain in their positions and deliver all their weapons and equipment to the local Allied commanders or to the officers to be appointed by them. Damage to the material to be delivered, such as the sinking of ships or aircraft, was prohibited. The OKW promised to immediately pass on orders from the Commander in Chief of the Allied Expeditionary Forces and the High Command of the Red Army and to ensure that they are carried out. The military declaration of surrender does not constitute a prejudice "for general surrender provisions that take their place and that are set by the United Nations or in its name and that will affect Germany and the German Wehrmacht as a whole". In the event of non-compliance, the Red Army High Command and the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces reserved all appropriate penalties or other actions. The declaration was written in English, Russian and German, whereby only the English and Russian versions were authoritative.


The Allies were aware in advance that they would no longer find a government capable of acting in the event of the military occupation of Germany. The aim was to find a way of proceeding with which Germany or the German Reich would not be abolished or annexed , but assumed under the joint responsibility of the victorious powers, but without appropriating its financial and legal obligations as legal successors. The legal theoretical considerations for the last legal construction found go back to the work of Hans Kelsen and the British constitutional lawyer William Malkin .

A surrender of Germany, i. H. of the German Reich in 1945, according to the prevailing opinion in jurisprudence , it did not take place ( see main article Legal position in Germany after 1945 ). In particular, the surrender of the Wehrmacht did not aim to change the statehood of Germany; it retained its legal character as a war treaty and international agreement with a purely military content. From it, no conclusions could be drawn about the subjectivity of international law in the German Reich after May 8, 1945.

Historians and political scientists emphasize that the “continued existence of the German Reich” is a mere “ legal fiction ”. According to Manfred Görtemaker , the legal interpretation that the Reich had merely lost its “ability to will and act” while its legal capacity still existed was “little more than a legal dogmatic puzzle”. With Hitler's death and the fall of the Reich Chancellery, the end of the German Reich had actually come before the surrender, the double act of surrender was only a “formal keystone”. For Otwin Massing , the theory that the Reich will continue to exist after 1945 within the borders of 1937 is a "new German Kyffhäuser myth ".

Historians have long seen capitulation as the end of the German Empire. Initially, the surrender explicitly only affected the Wehrmacht. After the "constitutional vacuum" initiated by the arrest of the Dönitz government on May 23rd, Germany's state-political capitulation was completed when the Allies took over government on June 5, 1945 and the Potsdam Agreement of August 2, 1945.

It is disputed whether the surrender meant defeat or liberation for the Germans . In his much-quoted speech on May 8, 1985, the then Federal President Richard von Weizsäcker described the day of surrender, contrary to the previous description, as the “day of liberation from the inhuman system of National Socialist tyranny”. Previously, this was exactly what had been avoided in official announcements in order to distinguish itself from the GDR , which marked the date as the " day of liberation from Hitler's fascism ". Weizsäcker now named January 30, 1933 as the key date, which marked the decline of the German Reich and the beginning of a tyranny that was inflicted on the Germans and from which they were liberated on May 8. This interpretation has met with criticism from historians: Henning Köhler believes that "only the Soviets and their communist henchmen cheered the liberation and the liberators in 1945, while the population did not forget the shock of their countless crimes." For politically persecuted and living Jews it was a long-awaited moment of liberation, but above all the majority of the German population was relieved that the war was finally over. The surrender was "the most comprehensive defeat, the greatest debacle in German history". For Richard J. Evans , the impression of liberation only emerges in retrospect: “For the overwhelming majority of Germans, May 8, 1945 did not bring liberation”. Even Hans-Ulrich Wehler considers it understandable "that the defeat was felt with its consequences from the perspective of most German contemporaries as depressing disaster", while stressing that it was "undeniable" that "of May 1945 an exemption from the National Socialist dictatorship meant from which the Germans could not free themselves ”. The former head of the Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial, Hubertus Knabe , warns to distinguish between East and West Germany , since the citizens of the GDR would only have had the chance to build a democracy from 1989 onwards. Josef Stalin contributed decisively to the defeat of National Socialism, but used the victory to establish his own dictatorship . Alexandra Klei, Katrin Stoll and Annika Wienert see in Weizsäcker's formulation a “presumption to claim the liberation for all Germans,” which “not only completely ignores reality. It also implies a false identification with the murdered and survivors of the National Socialist persecution and extermination policy - while at the same time excluding the real perpetrators for this policy. "

The interpretation of May 8, 1945 as " zero hour ", which has long been widespread among contemporaries , is now rejected by most historians. Neither economically, politically nor personally, had there been a tabula rasa that would justify the expression zero hour. According to the philosopher Steffi Hobuß, it served rather to disguise the continuity of the functional elite from the Nazi era to the Federal Republic: The perpetrators' collective wanted to pretend “as if everything were different now”.

In the Anglo-Saxon countries, May 8th is known as "VE Day" or "VE Day". The abbreviation stands for Engl. Victory in Europe Day ("Victory Day in Europe").


Memorial plaque on the building of the German-Russian Museum Berlin-Karlshorst , the former officers' mess of the pioneer school (Zwieseler Strasse 4)

After the end of the war, the originals of the deed of surrender were initially in the possession of the USA , before they came to Germany in 1968. Since then, they have been kept by the military archive in Freiburg , a department of the German Federal Archives.



Web links

Commons : Unconditional surrender of the Wehrmacht  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. The AN headline 70 years ago: “The war is over!” , Aachener Nachrichten dated May 8, 2015, accessed on May 5, 2015 and the first page of the Flensburger Nachrichten printed with the message: “Unconditional surrender of all fighting troops. Stars in the darkness of the future: unity, law, freedom. Reich Minister Graf Schwerin v. Krosigk to the German People ”of May 8, 1945, in: Eckardt Opitz : Schleswig-Holstein. The country and its history in pictures, texts and documents. Hamburg 2002, p. 231 ( facsimile ).
  2. a b c Since summer time was in effect in the German Reich , the armistice was actually on May 9th from 0:01 am, on this declaration of surrender: The paper that ended the war. In: Spiegel Online , Panorama , May 8, 2005.
  3. ^ Hermann Mosler : End of the war , in: Karl Strupp / Hans-Jürgen Schlochauer (ed.): Dictionary des Völkerrechts , Vol. II, 2nd edition, Berlin 1961, pp. 333–337, here p. 333.
  4. The resolution to amend Article 12 (a) of the Conditions of Surrender read: “The United Kingdom , the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics will have supreme authority over Germany . In exercising this authority, they will take such steps, including the complete disarmament, demilitarization and division of Germany, as they consider necessary for future peace and security ”, quoted from Arthur Conte: Die Teilung der Welt. Yalta 1945 , Munich 1967, p. 320.
  5. Christoph Weisz (Ed.): OMGUS manual. The American military government in Germany 1945–1949. Munich 1994, ISBN 978-3-486-58777-7 , p. 5.
  6. ^ Karl Dietrich Erdmann : The end of the empire and the new formation of German states (=  Gebhardt. Handbook of German History , Vol. 22), dtv, Munich 1980, pp. 36–41.
  7. Ernst Deuerlein : Potsdam 1945. End and beginning. Cologne 1970, p. 13.
  8. ^ Richard J. Evans : The Third Reich. Vol. III: War . Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Munich 2009, p. 918.
  9. Heinrich Schwendemann: "To save German people from annihilation by Bolshevism": The program of the Dönitz government and the beginning of a legend. In: Jörg Hillmann, John Zimmermann (ed.): End of the war in Germany in 1945. Oldenbourg, Munich 2002, ISBN 3-486-56649-0 , pp. 15-19 (accessed via De Gruyter Online).
  10. ^ Allen Dulles / Gero von Schulze-Gaevernitz : Company "Sunrise". The secret story of the end of the war in Italy . Düsseldorf 1967, pp. 249-251.
  11. Wilfried Loth : The division of the world 1941–1955. Cold War history 1941–1955. 3rd edition, Deutscher Taschenbuch-Verlag, Munich 1982, ISBN 3-423-04012-2 , p. 103.
  12. Literature and sources disagree about the exact location; In addition to hair, Baldham, a few kilometers away, is also an option , cf. Bernhard Lohr: Diffuse sources - the capitulation of hair. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung . June 7, 2015, accessed May 7, 2020 .
  13. ^ Richard J. Evans: The Third Reich. Vol. III: War . Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Munich 2009, p. 919.
  14. ^ German Surrender Documents of WWII ( Memento of May 17, 2007 in the Internet Archive ), second document (incorrectly titled "{Reichspresident Donitz's authorization to Colonel General Jodl} {to conclude a general surrender:}" ).
  15. Katja Gerhartz: Minutes of the last moments , Die Welt from May 7, 2005.
  16. ACT OF MILITARY SURRENDER : Page 1 with points 1 to 4 ( memento from September 26, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) and page 2 with point 5 as well as date and signatures ( memento from September 26, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) ( German-Russian Museum Berlin-Karlshorst ). Announcement by the Allies in the Official Gazette of the Control Council in Germany, supplement sheet 1, p. 6.
  17. Earl Frederick Ziemke, The US Army and the Occupation of Germany 1944-1946 , Center of Military History, United States Army, 1990, pp. 144 f.
  18. Earl Frederick Ziemke, The US Army and the Occupation of Germany 1944-1946 , Center of Military History, United States Army, 1990, p. 257.
  19. Declaration in view of the defeat of Germany and the assumption of the highest "governmental power with regard to Germany" on June 5, 1945.
  20. Undertaking. ( Memento from September 26, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Museum Karlshorst.
  21. ^ Headquarters of the SMAD . From the end of April 1945 it was also the seat of the Soviet city commanders in Berlin Bersarin . Information on the building from the Berlin State Monuments Office .
  22. DECLARATION OF CAPITULATION. Page 1 ( Memento from September 26, 2007 in the Internet Archive ), Page 2 with the signatures ( Memento from September 26, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) (Museum Karlshorst).
  23. Horst Pötzsch : The End of the Second World War , The Capitulation , in: Federal Center for Political Education , December 28, 2005, accessed on December 24, 2017.
  24. ^ Sven Felix Kellerhoff : End of the war in 1945: Stalin absolutely wanted his own surrender. In: Welt Online , May 7, 2015, accessed December 24, 2017.
  25. ^ A b John Zimmermann: The German military warfare in the west 1944/45 . In: The German Reich and the Second World War , Vol. 10/1: The collapse of the German Reich 1945 . DVA, Munich 2008, p. 476.
  26. ^ Military surrender document of May 8, 1945 , in: documentArchiv.de (accessed on May 28, 2019).
  27. ^ Matthias Etzel, The Repeal of National Socialist Laws by the Allied Control Council (1945–1948) (=  Contributions to the Legal History of the 20th Century , Vol. 7), Mohr Siebeck, 1992, ISBN 3-16-145994-6 .
  28. ↑ On this, Dahm / Delbrück / Wolfrum, Völkerrecht , Vol. I / 1, 2nd edition, p. 145 fn. 15 (“... the concept of political surrender is alien to international law”).
  29. After Stephan Hobe , Otto Kimminich, introduction to international law , UTB, 9th, updated and expanded edition 2008, p 587th
  30. Joachim Wintzer: Germany and the League of Nations 1918–1926 . Schöningh, Paderborn 2006, p. 97; Herfried Münkler : The Germans and their Myths . Rowohlt Berlin, Berlin 2008, p. 542.
  31. ^ Manfred Görtemaker: History of the Federal Republic of Germany. From the foundation to the present , CH Beck, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-596-16043-X , p. 18 .
  32. ^ Otwin Massing: Identity as a Mythopoem. On the political symbolization function of constitutional sayings . In: State and Law , Vol. 38, Issue 2 (1989), p. 235 f.
  33. ^ Thilo Vogelsang : German Empire. In: the same, Carola Stern , Erhard Klöss and Albert Graff (eds.): Dtv-Lexikon on history and politics in the 20th century . Dtv, Munich 1974, Vol. 1, p. 182; Karl Dietrich Erdmann: The end of the empire and the new formation of German states (=  Gebhardt. Handbook of German History , Vol. 22), dtv, Munich 1980, p. 35 f .; Hans-Ulrich Thamer : Seduction and Violence: Germany 1933–1945. Siedler, Berlin 1994, p. 769 f .; Elke Fröhlich : Capitulation, Germany 1945. In: Wolfgang Benz , Hermann Graml and Hermann Weiß (eds.): Encyclopedia of National Socialism . Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1997, p. 541; Heinrich August Winkler : The long way to the west , Vol. 2: German history from the “Third Reich” to reunification. CH Beck, Munich 2000, p. 114.
  34. Elke Fröhlich : Capitulation, Germany 1945. In: Wolfgang Benz, Hermann Graml and Hermann Weiß (eds.): Encyclopedia of National Socialism . Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1997, p. 541.
  35. V.A7 Weizsäcker's speech. In: Torben Fischer, Matthias N. Lorenz (Eds.): Lexicon of “Coping with the Past” in Germany: Debate and Discourse History of National Socialism after 1945. 3rd edition, transcript, Bielefeld 2015, p. 253.
  36. ^ Henning Köhler: Germany on the way to itself. A history of the century , Hohenheim-Verlag, Stuttgart 2002, pp. 638, 437 f.
  37. ^ Richard J. Evans: The Third Reich. Vol. III: War . Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Munich 2009, p. 920.
  38. ^ Hans-Ulrich Wehler: Deutsche Gesellschaftgeschichte , Vol. 4: From the beginning of the First World War to the founding of the two German states 1914–1949. CH Beck, Munich 2003, p. 941 f.
  39. Hubertus Knabe: Day of Liberation? The end of the war in East Germany , Propylaen, Berlin 2005, pp. 15–37.
  40. Alexandra Klei and Katrin Stoll and Annika Wienert: May 8th, a public holiday? Critical remarks on the concept of liberation in the context of German commemorative culture . In: Zeitgeschichte-online , May 2020.
  41. Steffi Hobuß: Myth "Zero Hour" . In: Torben Fischer and Matthias N. Lorenz (eds.): Lexicon of 'coping with the past' in Germany. Debate and discourse history of National Socialism after 1945. 3rd, revised and expanded edition, transcript, Bielefeld 2015, ISBN 978-3-8376-2366-6 , p. 45 (accessed via De Gruyter Online); Rudolf Morsey : The Federal Republic of Germany. Origin and development until 1969 (=  Oldenbourg Grundriss der Geschichte , Vol. 19), Oldenbourg, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-486-70114-2 , p. 11 (accessed via De Gruyter Online); Edgar Wolfrum : The 101 Most Important Questions. Federal Republic of Germany. CH Beck, Munich 2011, p. 14; Michael Gehler : Germany. From division to agreement. 1945 until today. Böhlau, Wien / Köln / Weimar 2010, p. 54 (accessed via De Gruyter Online).
  42. ^ Frank Zimmermann: End of the war: Original documents of surrender are in Freiburg . In: Badische Zeitung , May 5, 2010.