This Week In History - 11 May 1945
Record Gazette, 11 May 1945
ON TO PEACE - GERMANY SURRENDERS
Monday, May 7 Day Fighting Ended In War with Germans
Tuesday Observed as Public Holiday to Mark Event; Church Services were held Monday; to Increase Tempo of War Against Japs
Goal of more than five years of fighting – surrender of Germany – was reached officially Monday of this week, when representatives of the United Nations signed the official documents with representatives of the defeated nation.
Early Monday morning reports of the final surrender were broadcast, and as it became more apparent the news was genuine people throught the district expressed their thankfulness and jubilation at the end of hostilities.
The first official reports of the surrender were given in the following brief news despatches:
LONDON, May 7 – The war against Germany, the greatest conflict in history, ended today with the unconditional surrender of the Wehrmacht and the government announced tomorrow will be celebrated as V-E Day.
The surrender to the Western Allies and Russia was made at Gen., Eisenhower’s headquarters at Reims, France by the German high command.
In the hour before the news from Reims, German broadcasts told the German people Grand Admiral Karl Doenitz had ordered capitulation of all fighting forces, and called off U-boat warfare.
Joy at the news was tempered only by the realization that the war against Japan remains to be resolved, with many casualties still ahead.
REIMS, France, May 7 – Germany surrendered unconditionally to the Western Allies and Russia at 2.41 a.m. French time today.
The surrender took place at a school house which is the headquarters of General Eisenhower.
The surrender which brought the war in Europe to a formal end after five years, eight months and six days of bloodshed and destruction was signed for Germany by Col.-Gen. Gustav Jodi as the new chief of staff of the German army; for the Allied Supreme Command by Lt.-Gen. Walter Bedell Smith, chief of staff for Gen. Eisenhower; by Gen. Ivan Susloparof for Russia and by Gen. Francois Sevez for France.
Gen. Eisenhower was not present at the signing.
At Peace River jubilation was great, with expressions of joy well contained. The local celebration was combined with the first day of the festival, all adding a holiday spirit, as business places closed for Monday afternoon and for the official celebration Tuesday. The tag day, in aid of the children of Dover, brought a good response from citizens.
Services of thanksgiving were held in St. James’ cathedral and St. Paul’s United church Monday evening.
At the cathedral Rev. F.E. Smith officiated, address being delivered by Bishop Sovereign, a large number of citizens attending the service.
St. Paul’s United church was filled for the service, at which the roll of honor was unveiled and the names of those from the town who had fallen in battle were read.
Sunday, May 13, Mother’s day has been officially proclaimed a a [sic.] day of thanksgiving, with all churches in the town and district observing the occasion by special services, to which all citizens are invited.
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