Documents

The German Surrender Agreement

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.


CLICK HERE to see a part of a History Channel documentary in which the surrender document is featured.

Mr. Norman Polar, historian and author, explains –
”On May 6, 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 arrive, 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, 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: [1] “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.”

[2] “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.

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 as an 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

SIGNED
“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 will summarize the 20th century – they will do so by referring to the Second World War. A historic 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 surrender document demonstrate that evilness lost

– and humanity won.

Size: Approximately 8.5 x 13 in. / 21,5 x 33 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.

Price: Upon request


Charles de Gaulle

Charles de Gaulle’s victory speech on May 8 1945; announcing the German surrender of the Second World War!


This historic document was used by Charles de Gaulle (then general and Chairmen of the Provisional Government in France) to announce the European victory of the Second World War – Germany’s surrender. General de Gaulle made the announcement on public radio at 3 pm on May 8 1945.

The two pages are printed with text in French and has handwritten ink corrections by de Gaulle. The final version that was spoken in the radio is indeed the exact text that’s shown on the document, making it the final draft; all corrections are correct in the speech. The words “texte definitif” (English: “final text”) is written on the upper part of the first page, as well as the date ”8/5/45”.

The speech in full: “[1] La guerre est gagnée! Voici la Victoire! C’est la Victoire des Nations Unies et c’est la Victoire de la France.

L'ennemi allemand vient de capituler devant les armées alliées de l’Ouest et de l’Est. Le Commandement français était présent et partie à l’acte de capitulation. Dans l’état de désorganisation où se trouvent les pouvoirs publics et le commandement militaire allemands, il est possible que certains groupes ennemis veuillent, ça et là, prolonger pour leur propre compte une résistance sans issue. Mais l’Allemagne est abattue et elle a signé son désastre!

Tandis que les rayons de la Gloire font, une fois de plus, resplendir nos drapeaux, la patrie porte sa pensée et son amour d’abord vers ceux qui sont morts pour elle, ensuite vers ceux qui ont, pour son service, tant combattu et tant souffert. Pas un effort de ses soldats, de ses marins, de ses aviateurs, pas un acte de courage ou d’abnégation de ses fils et de ses filles, pas une souffrance de ses hommes et de ses femmes prisonniers, pas un deuil, pas un sacrifice, pas une larme, n’auront donc été perdus!

[2] Dans la joie et la fierté nationale, le peuple français adresse son fraternel salut à ses vaillants alliés qui, comme lui, pour la même cause que lui, ont durement, longuement, prodigué leurs peines, à leurs héroïques armées et aux chefs qui les commandent, à tous ces hommes et à toutes ces femmes qui, dans le monde, ont lutté, pâti, travaillé, pour que l’emportent, à la fin des fins, la justice et la liberté.

Honneur! Honneur pour toujours, à nos armées et à leurs chefs! Honneur à notre peuple, que des épreuves terribles n’ont pu réduire, ni fléchir! Honneur aux Nations Unies, qui ont mêlé leur sang à notre sang, leurs peines à nos peines, leur espérance à notre espérance et qui, aujourd’hui, triomphent avec nous.

Ah! Vive la France!”

Full English translation: ”The war has been won. This is victory. It is the victory of the United Nations and that of France. The German enemy has surrendered to the Allied Armies in the West and East. The French High Command was present and a party to the act of capitulation. In the state of disorganization of the German public authorities and command it is possible that certain enemy groups may intend here and there to prolong on their own account a senseless resistance. But Germany is beaten and has signed her disaster. While the rays of glory once again lend brilliance to our flags, the country turns its thoughts and affection first of all toward those who died for her and then toward those who in her service struggled and suffered so much. Not one single act of courage or self-sacrifice of her sons and daughters, not one single hardship of her captive men and women, not one single bereavement and sacrifice, not one single tear will have been wasted in vain. In the national rejoicing and pride, the French people send brotherly greetings to their gallant Allies, who, like themselves and for the same cause, have sustained so many hardships over such a long period, to their heroic armies and to those commanding them, and to all those men and women who, throughout the world, fought, suffered and worked so that the cause of liberty and justice might ultimately prevail. Honor, eternal honor, to our armies and their leaders. Honor to our nation, which never faltered, even under terrible trials, nor gave in to them. Honor to the United Nations, which mingled their blood, their sorrows and their hopes with ours and who today are triumphant with us. Long live France!”

Original audio recording of the speech is available for free on YouTube – CLICK HERE!

Charles de Gaulle later became President of France (1959-1969) and is known as the greatest Frenchmen of all time (Le Plus Grand Français de tous les temps). This de Gaulle speech has been quoted as not only a beautiful speech but also very iconic. Nonetheless, whoever it may have been that made this historical speech for France, it’s fair to state that this document is the most important French document in modern times. And indeed, a high-end Second World War collectible.

Size: Approximately 8.5 x 13.5 in. / 21,5 x 34 cm each, unframed.

Condition: Good condition; handling creases; some kind of paper clip impression.

Provenance: Private collection, France. Private collection, USA. Letter of authenticity from Alexander Bitar History.

Price: Upon request


James Dean

Arguably the most important James Dean document of his career, allowing him to become a Hollywood actor.


Original 1955 Screen Actors Guild membership application of James Dean that later made him a member. The document is signed "James Dean". The document in full: "I wish to be eligible to act in motion pictures and I am therefore applying for membership in the Screen Actors Guild. I understand the obtaining of employment is my own responsibility and it is not the function of the Screen Actors Guild to aid in securing employment for its members."

James Dean is widely known as one of the greatest and most iconic actors of all time. Dean tragically died at the young age of 24; prior to that he starred in three pictures, receiving two Academy Award nominations for leading roles. To act in Hollywood motion pictures, one has to become a member of the Screen Actors Guild. This is a one-of-a-kind item that allowed Dean to became an actor.

Size: Approximately 7 x 5 in. / 18 x 12 cm, unframed.

Condition: Very good condition; somewhat yellowed on the edges.

Provenance: Private collection, USA. Letter of authenticity from PSA/DNA. Letter of authenticity from Alexander Bitar History.

Price: Upon request


Albert Einstein

Einstein explains The Special Theory of Relativity to a physics teacher!


A set of two documents; the first is dated September 4 1953 on Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study letterhead, in which Einstein writes to physics teacher Arthur L. Converse, in part: "There is no difficulty to explain your present experiment on the basis of the usual electrostatic theory. One has only to assume that there is a difference of potential between the body of the earth and higher layers of the atmosphere, the earth being negative relatively to those higher layers ... [Einstein then draws the Earth and the atmosphere, referring to it for clarification] The electric potential p rises linearly with the distance h from the surface of the earth ... For all your experiments the following question is relevant: How big is the electric charge produced on a conductor which is situated in a certain height h, this body being connected with the earth".

The second document is a two-page questionnaire containing questions written by Converse. In one answer, Einstein seems to disagree with the question, providing both a diagram and mathematical equation and then a question mark to try to aid understanding. He later writes "not clear" to one answer along with a question mark and additional diagram with the notation "charge of electroscope increased proportional to h".

The original mailing envelope, postmarked September 7 1953 from Princeton, is accompanied with the two documents.

This is an extremely rare set of documents that really shows Einstein's generosity, with the highlight of the Special Theory of Relativity content. Arguably one of the most unique Einstein documents ever to be offered for sale.

Size: Approximately 8.5 x 11 in. / 22 x 28 cm each, unframed.

Condition: Good condition; two horizontal folds on both documents: handling creases on the questionnaire document.

Provenance: Arthur Converse; Private collection, USA. Letter of provenance from previous owner. Letter of authenticity from Alexander Bitar History.

SOLD!


Raoul Wallenberg

Exceedingly rare document, showing the heroic act of Wallenberg that saved the life of a Jew.


Signed Hungarian document by “The Royal Swedish Ambassador” Raoul Wallenberg with the letterhead "Royal Swedish Embassy Budapest", dated September 22 1944. The document in full: “To the Central National Authority for Controlling Foreigners, Budapest. We have the pleasure to inform you that the Royal Swedish Embassy in Budapest has issued a protective passport for Mrs. Zsigmond Simkó pursuant to which the above named person should be considered a Swedish subject. The Embassy respectfully requests exemption from wearing the distinctive sign with regard to the person named. The Embassy confirms that the reciprocity outlined in the respective Order is applicable in Sweden.”

The document is marked with the stamp of the Royal Swedish Embassy and ​confirms that the recipient, Mrs. Zsigmond Simkó, has been awarded Swedish citizenship. In 1944, reports about mass deportation of Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz became public.

Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat who spoke fluent Hungarian, was chosen as an American ambassador to lead a top-secret relief mission in Hungary. Wallenberg was set to issue fake passports for the Jews, claiming that they were Swedish citizens, thus their lives would be saved. In early 1945, Wallenberg was captured by the Germans; and it wasn't until 2016 that Swedish government declared him dead. Reports states that Wallenberg saved 15,000 Jews before he was captured.

Although the vast majority of documentation from Wallenberg's heroic act are destroyed, offered here is an extremely rare example that has survived. This is the only one of its kind in private hands.

Size: Approximately 8 x 6 in. / 20 x 15 cm, unframed.

Condition: Fine condition; one vertical fold; some handling creases.

Provenance: Private collection, USA. Letter of authenticity from Alexander Bitar History.

SOLD!


The Beatles

Rare fully signed Beatles set from 1969!


A set of two Apple Corps. documents from 1969 regarding a change of secretary. The printed text is exactly the same on both documents, the only different being that the first have "Apple Films Limited." as heading, whilst the latter have "Python Music Limited.", both are however part of the head company "Apple Corporation Limited". The first document is signed by Beatles' road manager Neil Aspinall, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison. Ringo Starr wasn’t available at the time of the first document being signed – therefore the second, additional letter that is signed by Neil Aspinall and Ringo Starr.

In 1969, Beatles had practically already split up; all the Lennon-McCartney-compositions from 1968 to 1970 were in a way solo songs. However, Beatles produced their finest songs in that period, including Abbey Road in 1969. A fully signed 1969 set is indeed very rare, thus no surpass that it took two documents for the agreement offered here.

Size: Approximately 7 x 10 in. / 18 x 25 cm each, unframed.

Condition: Very good condition; some miner handling creases on both items; two horizontal folds on the latter document.

Provenance: Apple Corps.; Private collection, England. Two separate letters of authenticity from Frank Caiazzo. Letter of authenticity from Alexander Bitar History.

SOLD!