Stockholm's Alexander Bitar Collectibles is offering an incredible piece of 20th century history to the market: the document that ended the Second World War – the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany.
On May 6, 1945, Admiral Dönitz sent his army commander General Jodl and Admiral von Friedeburg to President Dwight E. Eisenhower's headquarters in Northern France to negotiate the surrender of all the German forces.
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. The event took place 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
The piece features an interesting part of the agreement. It shows how the French representative signed the piece in the lower margin of the document on both the original agreement, which was issued to Eisenhower, and on the American, British and Russian copies. It is believed that this is because the Germans did not consider the French the same as the American, British or Russians as they had defeated France, and therefore were insistent that the French signature was in the margin only.
There are a total of five copies of the surrender document, four which are owned by various institutions in the U.S., England, Russia and France and this one that is being offered at Alexander Bitar. The American national copy is owned by the National Archives, who also are aware of the existence of the document offered at Alexander Bitar.