General Eisenhower (center), signing an autograph. Charles Kiley (left) just behind the General.
Visiting an air evacuation point for freed American and British prisoners of war.
Eisenhower makes personal survey to ascertain at first hand treatment received by Alied troops at Nazi hands.
The Supreme Commander here asks questions of Staff Sgt. Manuel Truquillo, Oakland Calif.,
for 18 months a prisoner of war.
Details of the Surrender Negotiations
This Is How Germany Gave Up
By Charles Kiley
Stars and Stripes Staff Writer
REIMS, May 8-The Third Reich surrendered unconditionally to the Allies at Gen. Eisenhower's Forward HQ here at 0:2:45 hours on Monday.
The terms of surrender, calling for the cessation of hostilities on all fronts at one minute past midnight (Double British Summer Time) Wednesday, May 9, were signed on behalf of the German Government by Col. Gen. Gustav Jodl, Chief of the Wermacht and Chief of Staff to Fuehrer Karl Doenitz.
Under Jodl's signature were those of Lt. Gen. Walter Bedell Smith, chief of staff to the Supreme Allied Commander; General Ivan Suslaparov, head of the Russian mission to France who was authorized by Moscow to sign on behalf of Soviet forces, and General Francois Sevez of France.
Signed in Five Minutes
The surrender was signed in five minutes in the war room at Supreme Headquarters here, 55 miles east of Compiegne Forest where Germany surrendered to the Allies in the last war, November 11, 1918, and the scene of the capitulation of France to the Third Reich in this war June 21, 1940.
The terms of the surrender were signed in less than ten hours after the arrival of Jodl by plane from Germany, and 34 hours after final negotiations had first begun with the arrival Saturday of Gen. Adm. Hans-George Friedeburg, Commander-in-Chief of the German Navy, who on Thursday had headed the Nazi delegation which surrendered to the 21st Army Group all German armed forces in Denmark, Holland and northwestern Germany.
Eisenhower did not take part in the actual surrender. He remained in his office with his Deputy Supreme Commander , Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder, during the ceremonies.
Flanking Jodl at the surrender table were Friedeburg and Major Gen. G.S. Wilhelm Oxenius, Jodl's aide.
There were no dramatics during the surrender. It was conducted on a business-like basis. Correspondents, cameramen and photographers already were in the war room when the first group of high ranking Allied officers entered at 02:29 hours. In that group were three Russian officers, General Carl A. Spatz and Lt. Gen. F.E. Morgan, Adm. Sir Harold Burrough and Air Marshal Sir J. M. Robb. One minute later Maj. Gen. H.R. Bull, Assistant Chief of Staff, entered the room.
At 02:34 Smith entered, walked to his chair and talked with Morgan and Burrough. Sevez and Col. Pedron arrived at 02:35 and went to their seats. Two minutes later Strong, who had taken part in all preliminary discussions with the Germans as interpreter for Smith as well as in his official capacity as G2, SHAEF, arrived and informed Smith the German delegation was ready.
Smith answered curtly: "Bring them in."
The Germans were escorted by Brig. E.J. Ford. SHAEF chief of operational intelligence, Friedeburg came first, followed by Jodl, erect and expressionless, his uniform neat, his boots highly polished, walked straight to the center of the huge wooden table, and faced Smith. Friedeburg and Ovenius fell in on both sids of Jodl. The Germans and Allied officers took their seats. Strong standing behind Jodl to interpret.
The formality of the surrender got under way as a copy of the surrender terms was handed by Smith to Suslaparov, who listened while his interpreter read it to him in Russian.
At 02:40 hours Suslaparov handed the copy back to Smith, nodding his head in agreement with the terms.
Four Copies Signed
Smith then handed Jodl four copies and told him to sign all four. The copies went from Jodl to Smith to Suslaparov to Sevez for signatures.
Cameramen darted all over the room, climbed ladders and stood on chairs. Flashbulbs went off every second. Motion pictures hummed to record the historic event.
Jodl's face was impassive as he afixed his signatures. Only Friedeburg appeared disturbed by the commotion caused by the photographers.
At 02:46, Smith stood and spoke a few words to Jodl, which could not be heard.
Jodl stood, faced Smith.
"General," Jodl began.
"With this signature the German people and the German armed forces are for better or worse delivered into the victors' hands.
"In this war, which has lasted more than five years, both have achieved and suffered more than perhaps any other people in the world.
:In this hour I can only express the hope that the victor will treat them with generosity."
Jodl broke halfway through his address, and appeared on the verge of tears. He regained his composure, however, and finished with a strong voice. His hands were trembling when he finished.
Smith simply nodded his head and the three German delegates left the room to be taken to Eisenhower in the Supreme Commander's office.
Eisenhower and his Deputy Supreme Commander, Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder, were waiting for the Germans.
There was no exchange of salutes. Jodl, Friedeburg and Oxenius stood at attention before Eisenhower as he sternly asked them:
"Do you understand the terms of this unconditional surrender and are you ready to comply with them?"
Jodl, in the center of the German trio, clicked his heels and bowed his head in the affirmative after Strong interpreted the Supreme Commander's question.
The Germans left the General at 02:57, after a two minute audience.
Suslaparov led the Russian officers into the Supreme Commander's office and firmly grasped Eisenhower's hand. The Supreme Commander beamed and said, "This is a great moment for all of us."
Suslaparov spoke and when his words were interpreted Eisenhower replied: "You said it."
Congratulations were exchanged among all the officers present. Eisenhower putting his arm around Tedder's shoulder, grasping his hand and saying, "Thank you very much, Arthur."
The Supreme Commander, enjoying his greatest moments since he was given command of Allied Forces, refused to pose for pictures until his "gang," including the officers present at the surrender, his naval aide and close friend, Capt. Harry C. Butcher, and his personal secretary, 2/Lt. Kathleen Summersby, were gathered around him.
Later, Eisenhower went to his war room for the first time during the night, where the Germans had been able to see the huge battle maps and air operation maps on the walls while they were surrendering, to have his "Victory Address" recorded.
In his address, the Supreme Commander said, "Just a few minutes ago Germany surrendered all of its land, sea and air forces. It has been thoroughly whipped!"
Completes Casablanca Plans
Eisenhower then told how the event completes the mission and plans laid by President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill at Casablanca in January, 1943. He said the defeat was accomplished’ "with the aid of our Russian allies," and that it was fitting that the surrender should take place in the heart of France, where resistance movements and valor had been inspirational. Eisenhower also said that the victory was achieved by the help of "every oppressed nation in Europe."
To the soldiers, sailors and airmen of all services of all Allied nations, Eisenhower said he owed a "debt of gratitude that can never be repaid."
Negotiations for the unconditional surrender began Saturday evening when Friedeburg, a short swarthy man of about 60 with deep-set eyes and bushy eyebrows, arrived. He was accompanied by tall, nervous Col. Fritz Poleck, a member of the Ober Kommando Wehrmacht (OK W), the Nazi equivalent of the War Department or the British War Office. Poleck, who played no actual role in the surrender, was also present when Friedeburg on Thursday surrendered more than 1,000,000 German forces in Denmark, Holland and northwestern Germany to the 21st Army Group at Luneberg, south of Hamburg.
Friedeburg conferred with Smith and Strong for 22 minutes but it was clear from the outset that he was not empowered to sign an unconditional surrender of what was left of the Third Reich.
Friedeburg finally dispatched a message in SHAEF code to Fuehrer Doenitz. The message was transmitted to British 2nd Army HQ and taken by courier to German HQ.
The message aid that Eisenhower's chief of staff had put forward two proposals:
1-That Friedeburg receive full authority to make complete and unconditional surrender in all theaters.
2-That Doenitz send his chief of staff and commanders in chief of the Army, Navy and Air Force with the necessary authority to make the complete surrender.
Friedeburg, in the message, also outlined the conditions restricting the movement of surrendering troops, aircraft and ships and the demand that OK W guarantee the forwarding and execution of the Allied Command orders. He also pointed out that he was informed that the new German government would be charged with the guilt of continuance of hostilities unless they agreed promptly to surrender terms.
The second stage of the surrender was set Sunday, May 6, 11 months to the day after the Allies invaded the West Wall at Normandy. Eisenhower received word that Jodl requested a visit to Supreme HQ and he was promptly flown from 21st Army Group to Reims.
Jodl arrived at the airfield at 17:08 hours accompanied by Oxenius. They were allowed to confer with Friedeburg and Poleck for 30 minutes before Jodl and Friedeburg were summoned for discussions with Smith and Strong.
The conference between Smith and Strong, Jodl and Friedeburg lasted 65 minutes. At 19:20 hours, Smith left his office and went straight to Eisenhower. Strong, meanwhile, sent for Suslaparov.
Jodl and Friedeburg returned to the office assigned to them and joined Poleck and Oxenius.
At 19:39 hours Smith returned to his office, where he conferred with Jodl and Friedeburg briefly for six minutes. At 19:45 the German representatives retired to their office.
No Time Wasted
One minute later Suslaparov and Colonel Zenkovitch entered Smith's office and were advised of the situation. Seven minutes later, Smith came out of his office to order coffee.
The German delegation left Supreme HQ at 21:12 hoursd and were taken to a house reserved for them and remained there until they were called to headquarters for the actual signing of the surrender terms.
Friedeburg suddenly came into the picture last Wednesday. It was then that the 21st Army Group established contact with a German delegation which on the following day surrendered Germark, Holland and northwestern Germany. Friedeburg headed the German group. The surrender was purely a tactical, battlefield surrender, authorized by Eisenhower and carried out by Field Marshall Sir. Bernard L. Montgomery.
After this surrender has been completed it was made known by the Germans that they wished to discuss the surrender of the whole of the German armed forces.
Accordingly, Eisenhower instructed that the German representatives be brought to his headquarters at Reims on Saturday.
Friedeburg and Poleck left Luneberg at 08:00 hours by plane on Saturday. They were accompanied by Lt. Col., the Viscount Bury and Maj. F.J. Lawrence, both British officers with the 21st Army Group.
The party changed planes at Vorst, Germany and headed for Reims, but rain and strong winds forced the plane down at Brussels. After a lunch of Spam sandwiches and Scotch ale at a RAF snack bar the party drove to Reims in an automobile driven by Pvt. Bobbie Alexander, at ATS girl from Inverness, Scotland.
Friedeberg fell asleep in the car almost immediately, having had little sleep for the past ten days. He had also slept on the plane, while Poleck remained awake throughout.
Friedeberg, Poleck and their escorts arrived at Supreme HQ, formerly an industrial college, at 17:04 hours. Their arrival coincided with the announcement of the surrender of three German armies to General Jacob L. Devers 6th Army Group.
Gen. Foord Meets Germans
The Germans were met at the entrance of the headquarters by British Brig. E.J. Foord, chief of operation al intelligence at Supreme HQ. the visitors and Ford exchanged military salutes,
Friedeberg and Poleck were taken to the first floor of the building and granted requests to wash before meeting the Chief of Staff. Friedeberg hummed softly to himself while washing. Poleck appeared slightly dazed.
At 1200 hours Strong escorted Friedeberg to Smith's office. The German naval chief did not salute, but came to attention as he passed a group of high ranking Allied officers outside Smith's office.
At the beginning of his discussions with Smith, Friedeberg was required to show his credentials and authority to represent Doenitz.
Although it was clear that Friedeberg was not authorized to negotiate an unconditional surrender, he was allowed to study the Allied terms of surrender prior to communicating to Doenitz.
Doenitz's answer was Jodl, his chief of staff, who brought to Supreme HQ the proper credentials and authority to act on behalf of Doenitz.
After Jodl had conferred with Smith, communications were dispatched once more to Doenitz, informing him that Jodl had studied the surrender terms and was ready to sign.
Not until some time after midnight was Doenitz's answer received. When it arrived no time was lost in bringing the unconditional surrender to climax.
Group of press in Berlin, gathered for the surrender of the Germans to the Russians, May 8, 1945:
Capt. Dick Underwood, co-pilot of Gen. Eisenhower's plane, fourth from left, back row;
Lt. Leo Moore, SHAEF photographer, front with Russian photographers, third from right;
Charles Kiley, Stars and Stripes (far right). Russian photographers unidentified.