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German Instrument of Surrender, May 7, 1945

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Courtesy of National Archives, "Act of Military Surrender (Reims)," 7 May 1945


The unconditional surrender of the German Third Reich was signed in the early morning hours of Monday, May 7, 1945, at Supreme Headquarters in Reims in northeastern France. After the signing of the Reims Accord, Soviet Chief of Staff Gen. Alexei Antonov expressed concern to the Americans that the continued fighting in the east between Germany and the Soviet Union made the Reims surrender look like a separate peace. The Soviet command wanted the "Act of Military Surrender," with certain additions and alterations, to be signed in Berlin. To the Soviets, the documents signed in Berlin on May 8, 1945, represented the official, legal surrender of the Third Reich. The Berlin document had a few significant changes from the one signed a day earlier in Reims.

Transcript of Germany's Instrument of Surrender

Source-Dependent Questions

  • What are the conditions of surrender outlined by the document?
  • How were the terms of surrender different for Germany than Japan? Use specific evidence from the source in your answer. What might have motivated the different response?

Citation Information

"Act of Military Surrender (Reims)," 7 May 1945. Courtesy of National Archives