Spring Auction 2019 Sale 75
Search By:
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/30/2019
A document of great historical importance, the handwritten dispatch by chief German peace negotiator HANS-GEORG VON FRIEDEBURG to President of Germany Grossadmiral Karl Donitz setting forth the demand for unconditional surrender put forth by the Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower on behalf of the Allied powers. Some background is called for. Following the tactical surrender of German forces in northern Germany, Holland and Denmark at Luneberg Heath on May 4, 1945, Donitz dispatched Adm. Hans-Georg von Friedeburg (1895-1945), deputy commander of the U-boat forces and the last Commander-in-Chief of the Kriegsmarine, to SHAEF headquarters at Rheims where he arrived at 1700 on May 5th. He was reminded of the hopeless situation of the German military and then given the Act of Military Surrender to study. He prepared this 2pp. 4to. document in pencil and on the scene to be relayed to Donitz for approval. It reads, in part: "...Encrypted telegram by General Admiral von Friedeburg to Grand Admiral Donitz 1) Holding present front Lohr, Rendulic and Schorner determined by agreed immediate and simultaneous American and Soviet operations. Request General Colonel Jodl concerning Lohr thereby insubstantial 2) Chief of General Eisenhower's staff makes double proposal: either my authorization to sign unconditional and simultaneous surrender in all theaters of war; or personal dispatch Chief OKW, ob. d. H. [Schorner, for the army] Ob. d. M. [von Friedeburg, for the Kriegsmarine] and O. d. L. [Stumpf, for the Luftwaffe] for the purpose of signature of simultaneous surrender. 3) Unconditional surrender includes staying in current positions and prohibition of scuttling or damaging ships and aircraft of all kinds and ensuring the transmission and execution of all further commands of the Allied and Soviet High Command at all theaters of war by OKW. 4) In case of immediate surrender honor Army and Navy expressly guaranteed, meanwhile, if otherwise the new government will carry the guilt if the fight continues. Hela [?] and further plan means continuation of battle on all fronts. 5) Operation Assistance [for] German government upon looming famine and the ensuing chaos will be expected here. About details discussion only possible after signing. 6) Decision on paragraph 2 of extreme urgency. In the case of my authorization would xxx immediate written permission with signature. Heads of state in headquarters M.G. [to be] delivered. 7) With my signature immediate surrender will be confirmed, later solemn ratification through chiefs in paragraph 2 is demanded. [Signed] von Friedeburg." Fine condition. Unable to send the document with any German code or available frequency, von Friedeburg allowed the message to be translated into English, coded, and then sent by SHAEF to Donitz in Flensburg where he was presiding over the post-Hitler temporary German government. The message reached Donitz on the morning of May 6th and its terms caused an uproar, but in light of the hopeless situation, Donitz sent Jodl to Rheims with instructions to delay the surrender as long as possible. Donitz's hope was that Jodl would secure more time for German soldiers to surrender to the Americans and British, and might even be able to make a peace with those allies alone. Failing to gain any further time, on May 7th, Jodl signed the surrender to the A.E.F. in Rheims, and on the following day surrendered to the Allied powers in Berlin. Hans-Georg von Friedeburg, present at the signing of the German surrenders in Luneburg Heath (which he signed), Rheims and in Berlin, committed suicide on May 23, 1945, the same day that members of the Flensburg Government were arrested, and he became a prisoner of war of the British Army in Plön. This lot was obtained by our consignor directly from Major-General Sir Kenneth William Dobson Strong (1900-1982), a senior officer of the British Army who served as Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence (G-2) at Eisenhower's Allied Force Headquarters (AFHQ). In May 1944 he joined SHAEF and played a leading part in the negotiations for the unconditional surrender of Germany.
Current Bidding (Reserve Not Met)
Minimum Bid: $15,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium:
Estimate: $30,000 - $40,000
Auction closed on Wednesday, May 1, 2019.
Email A Friend
Ask a Question
Have One To Sell

Auction Notepad


You may add/edit a note for this item or view the notepad:  

Submit    Delete     View all notepad items