WAR & PEACE

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 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, 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.


Winston Churchill

Signed photograph by Winston Churchill, inscribed to "his friend" Joseph Stalin!


Matte black and white mounted photograph of Winston Churchill. Signed and inscribed on the mount: "From his Friend Winston S. Churchill, September 1944 To Marshal & Premier Stalin who at the head of the Russian Armies & of the Soviet Government broke the main strength of the German military machine & helped us all to open paths to Peace, Justice & Freedom.”

At the time on the signing, September 1944, Germany's defeat was in sight. Churchill returned to London in late September 1944 after being located in North America for the Second Quebec Conference. Two weeks after, Churchill would meet with Stalin and other Soviet and U.S. leaders during the Fourth Moscow Conference, which was probably when Stalin would have received this item. However, the backside of this photograph reads: "This photograph was inscribed by the P.M. for Stalin but it was then found that the silver frame for which it was destined obscured the inscription. He therefore rewrote it on another photograph and gave me this one. JRC". Meaning that this signed and inscribed photograph was never given to Stalin, but instead to Churchill's private secretary Sir John Colville.

This is arguably one of the most spectacular signed materials related to the Second World War. An inscribed photograph from and to one of the "Big Three" (Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt) is incredibly significant!

Size: Approximately 11 x 14 in. / 28 x 35 cm, unframed.

Condition: Very good condition, somewhat creased margins.

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

SOLD!


HI&RM Emperor Napoleon I

Incredible pocket watch personally owned by the iconic Emperor!


A gentleman's open face pocket watch, personally owned by HI&RM Emperor Napoleon I of France. The pocket watch is in silver and vermeil. The cover is engraved with an eagle on a cloud with a royal crown above the head, holding a branch in its beak, surrounded by detailed engravings. Features white enamel dial with Arabic figures, and a gold mechanism cover with the incredible engraving: “L'EMPEREUR AU DOCTEUR BARON DES GENETS 1812”, which is French for “The Emperor to the doctor Baron des Genets 1812” and simply indicates that the watch was given by Emperor Napoleon I in 1812.

The watch was given to Baron René-Nicolas Dufriche Desgenettes in 1812. Desgenettes was responsible for leading the French Army's department of medicine during the Napoleonic era, and was highly regarded by Napoleon, who gave him the title of Baron of the French Empire in 1810. Desgenettes passed away in 1837 and the watch remained a property of his family. Between 1895 to 1920, Prince Louis II of Monaco famously collected artifacts with a connection to Emperor Napoleon I; this pocket watch was one of the items. The watch was owned by the royal family in Monaco until 2014 when it was sold, along with other collectibles to fund money to restore Palais Princier de Monaco.

Size: Approximately 2.3 inches / 5,8 cm in diameter, with a weight of 108 grams.

Condition: Fine vintage condition; the movement is not working but can be fixed; overall light scratching and tarnishing to the inside of the watch.

Provenance: HI&RM Emperor Napoleon I of France; Baron René-Nicolas Dufriche Desgenettes; HSN Prince Louis II of Monaco; HSH Prince Rainier III of Monaco; HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco; Private collection, USA. Letter from Napoleon expert about the symbolic engraving. Letter of authenticity from Alexander Bitar History.

SOLD!


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 have handwritten ink corrections by de Gaulle. The final version that was spoken on 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!”

An 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.


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 an 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 the 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 the Swedish government declared him dead. Reports state 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 owned 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!


Albert Einstein

Remarkable letter incorporating his thoughts about Nazi Germany…


Handwritten and signed letter by Albert Einstein with extraordinary content regarding the German's continued "attachment to Nazi-dom", the destructive nature of humanity, and American culture post the Second World War, including its "imperialism and military psychology" as well its "intellectual theft". The letter, dated January 22 1945, is written to Einstein’s friend Otto Juliusburger, who was a Jewish-German psychiatrist that emigrated to the United States during World War II.

The letter in full: "Dear Friend, I thank you today for your kind wishes and send you mine, somewhat shamefully late, but still, you can say, at the start of the year. At one point I had a correspondence with [philosopher and scientist Josef] Popper-Lynkeus that in a way I feel ashamed of. In it, I criticized his concept of a 'duty to provide subsistence' as being impractical, and I am afraid that criticism was not good. I did agree with him that protecting the individual from material want was an undeniable and important duty of society, but believed that interference of such magnitude into the freedom of the individual was not desirable and not warranted for the attainment of the goal. In doing so, I totally failed to recognize the high instructive value of such a development, which would, after all, be the exact opposite of society's requiring military duty, even concerning the instructive impact. You propose classes in social-ethics instruction. No doubt, that would be good, but talk remains talk and tends to ossify. Action has greater impact.

I can well imagine how excited you are that your research results in pernicious anemia and somatic treatment of psychological illnesses have been accepted. You did not mention the people here. Small surprise there since intellectual theft is one of the hallowed traditions of this blessed country, which is well-known to the initiated. It adorns the thief while also helping overcome the inferiority complex that still operates under the surface.

The Germans have not succeeded in concealing their attachment to Nazi-dom. I hope that will cause others to destroy the German danger more radically than after the last war - so that jealousy of the victors will not result again in rivalry for the German confederation. Mankind in the mass is a fatal beast about which you can never tell when and where it will destructively pounce. Victory has not been good for those here, as imperialism and military psychology have taken hold. And yet one cannot be grateful enough for that victory.

Enjoy your days compiling your works. To you and your dear wife I wish happy and harmonious days. Warmly, A. Einstein".

An additional postscript written vertically in the left margin reads: ""Have you heard that our dear [Gustav Peter] Bucky narrowly escaped death thanks to surgery performed at the last minute? Apparently it was a case of medically adventurous proportions (obstruction of stomach and intestines caused by an interior hernia). [Rudolph] Nissen's surgery must have been the accomplishment of a genius."


This is truly a remarkable letter by Einstein in which he explains his thoughts about Nazi Germany. It’s seldom to see such a personal letter by the great scientist.

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

Condition: Very good condition; two horizontal folds.

Provenance: Private collection, USA. Letter of authenticity from Universal Archives/John Reznikoff. Letter of authenticity from Alexander Bitar History.

SOLD!


Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln – the man who freed the slaves – send his regards to a former pro-slavery Congressman.


Handwritten and signed letter by Abraham Lincoln. The letter in full: "Springfield, Ill. July 29, 1860. Hon. John Hickman. My dear Sir: I have just received and read the speech you sent me, which you delivered recently at Philadelphia—It is indeed an excellent one; and you will please accept my thanks for both the making and sending of it. Yours very truly, A. Lincoln".

The letter was sent to Congressman John Hickman, a pro-slavery Democrat, who later became an anti-slavery Republican. In 1862, when Lincoln was president, he signed the "Emancipation Proclamation" which freed the slaves. A handwritten letter like this one is extremely rare and shows President Lincoln's desire for making slaves free!

Size: Approximately 4 x 6.5 in. / 10 x 17 cm; unframed.

Condition: Good condition; two horizontal folds; handling creases and scratches; toning; three stains on the lower left, one rather big.

Provenance: Private collection, USA. Letter of authenticity from Universal Archives/John Reznikoff. Letter of authenticity from Alexander Bitar History.

SOLD!