Summer Auction 2019 Sale 76
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 7/30/2019
Unique and historically crucial original typed document describing in detail the end of the Third Reich as the Flensburg Government, headed by Grossadmiral Karl Donitz, struggles to simultaneously arrange multiple surrenders with the western Allies while attempting to continue the war with the Soviets. The "TOP SECRET" document, 36pp. 4to., was translated from the original and prepared by Commodore TULLY SHELLEY (1892-1963), issued June 19, 1945. It is titled: "GERMANY - DAILY NOTES OF GRAND ADMIRAL DOENITZ COVERING PERIOD 2 MAY 1945 TO 17 MAY 1945, AND PERSONAL FILE". Tully and his naval intelligence staff had obtained Donitz's notes from the admiral's personal adjutant, WALTER LUDDE-NEURATH, and they contain a wealth on information on Donitz's desperate meetings, status reports, and expectations as the Third Reich crumbled to pieces before him. The report, regrettably lacking its cover page and first page of text, otherwise opens with several paragraphs indicating the highlights of the report, including Donitz's insistence that only a single political party retain power, the infighting in the Wehrmacht between those seeking to fight the Soviets versus those opposed, the threat of famine in Germany, etc. The balance of the report is narrative and chronology of events, actually commencing upon Donitz's appointment to head the government on April 30. It continues: "“…The Fuhrer has designated you as his successor instead of ex-Reichsmarshall Goering. Written confirmation follows. From now on, you will order such measures as will be found necessary in the current situation…My Fuhrer, my loyalty to you will be unconditional. I shall make every effort in order to relieve you in Berlin…Reichsleiter Bormann is trying to get to you today in order to brief you on the situation…The military situation is hopeless. In the present stage, the principle goal of the government must be to save as many German people as possible from extermination by Bolshevism. In so far as the Anglo-Saxons oppose this goal, we must continue to fight against them as well…The insistence of the enemy powers on general unconditional surrender blocks this goal because it would deliver to the Russians defenseless millions of German soldiers and civilians. Our aim is therefore surrender only to the West…The naming of an entire Cabinet did not appear pressing; nevertheless the appointment of a Foreign Minister was considered desirable. The former Minister of Finances, Count Schwerin von Krosigk undertook the post of Foreign Minister. 1150 hrs. Discussion of the Bohemian Question. Participants as before plus the Reichsfuhrer SS (Himmler). Depending on supplies and munitions, the territory can be held for three weeks longer. The political situation is precarious and nothing is known to us concerning the agreements arrived at by the Allies at Yalta regarding this area. 1600 hrs. Situation. A further resistance in the Northern area against the Anglo-Americans which until now had only the aim of holding this door open, has now become senseless. Therefore it was decided to enter into conversations with Montgomery as quickly as possible…Bohemia stands on the eve of …declaration of Prague as an open city…Discussion of Norway and Denmark. Norway: The military situation is good. The area is well defended and well supplied…1200 Field Marshal Keitel. The defensive installations of Kiel as a naval base are insufficient on the land side The Grand Admiral approves therefore the declaration of Kiel as an open city. 1530 hrs. The questions of the Netherlands. The Reichkommissar reports concerning his late negotiations with the enemy (Gegner), which are at a satisfactory stage fulfill our military commitments, but do not flood the land. An honorable transition might pick us up a little credit. 1700 hrs. The position of south Germany…Signs of defection among the troops…The people are hostile towards the troops…Kesselring reported by telegraph that he was forced to sign the surrender of the Army Group …Montgomery demanded the unconditional surrender of all German armed forces in Holland, Friesland, Schleswig and Denmark...Moreover, he promised verbally that German prisoners of war would not be handed over by him to Russia. The Grand Admiral therefore approved the signature of the conditions with the postulate of honorable treatment of prisoners of war and an honorable method of surrender…von Friedeburg was ordered back to the negotiations with Montgomery [and] to sound out Eisenhower with the end in view of a further partial surrender in the West. He is above all to explain to him the reasons why a total surrender on all fronts is impossible for us. The Grand Admiral ordered…suspension of U-Boat warfare…Release of the King of the Belgians.1940 hrs. The armistice in the area of Holland, Friesland, Schleswig and Denmark is to come into effect on 5 May at 0600 .Daily notes 5 May 1945. 1200 hrs. General-Admiral von Friedeburg is to be authorized by radio to inform General Eisenhower of the cessation of submarine warfare 1300 hrs. The expression of 'inclusive of ships' was for Montgomery a condition sine qua non. However, he left the possibility open that refugee ships might be allowed to continue…we must wind up the present situation i.e. get out of the war as well as possible and create out of this the foundations for a new edifice…The Grand Admiral formed for himself, therefore, avoiding official Cabinet and appointment of ministers, a simple working cabinet..1900 hrs. The Wehrwolf was forbidden, since its activities is at present a hindrance to the carrying out of political desires. Daily notes 6 May 1945. 0900 hrs. Eisenhower insists on immediate, simultaneous, and unconditional surrender on all fronts. OKW is to guarantee the observance, under penalty of punitive measures...These conditions are unacceptable, because we cannot deliver the armies in the east to the Russians. They are impracticable, because no soldier on the Eastern Front would obey the order to lay down his arms and remain where he is…Col. Gen. Jodl is ordered to do this. 1000 hrs. News of the revolt in Prague. An attempt at a political solution is thereby nullified move the greatest possible number of German soldiers as far as possible to the West.1320 hrs. Discussion of the tasks of the Government. Fundamental: Hold back! Don't stick our necks out, don't be pushy, preserve honor and dignity. 1700 hrs. Dismissal of the Reichsfuhrer SS. The Grand Admiral considers that herewith all relationship between him [Himmler] and the present Government is dissolved. 2000 hrs. According to foreign news, parts of the 9th Army and the largest part of the 12th Army have fought back towards the West and given up to the Americans. Daily Notes 7 May 1945. 0015 hrs. Reception of radio despatch from Col. Gen. Jodl. General Eisenhower insists that we sign today. Otherwise the Allied fronts will be closed to those people who try to give themselves up individually, and all negotiations will be broken off. I see no alternative other than chaos or signature. Considerations: The position of Eisenhower is an absolute extortion. Jodl, who took the strongest position must now have very good reasons if he thinks it's the only way out…1055 Hrs. Receipt of the conditions of surrender from Co. Gen. Jodl. The following points previously considered objectionable stand out conspicuously: Simultaneously to the Eastern and Western enemy…all troops are to 'stand down'. 1445 hrs. proclaimed the armistice to the German people 1600 hrs. The return of Jodl... The inflexible, very rugged attitude of Eisenhower. His extortion through a threat to close borders to subject the still unoccupied portions of North Germany to bombing terror. The general impression after the foregoing was that 'there was no other way out.' Daily Notes. 8 May 1945. In the course of the previous evening and of this morning the Grand Admiral spoke with the Foreign Minister. The Fuhrer died on 30 April. His death was the last service to his people…With the signing of the surrender [Hitler’s] testament is fulfilled…The enemy rules. Is it not proper in these circumstances to retire voluntarily?... Personal and national honor demand a dignified exit...Reasons against retirement National opinion A focal point must remain. The government must share the fate of the people…Since a solution by force majeure is possible through Churchill's announced speech at 1500 this afternoon the grand Admiral decided ahead of time on the occasion of announcing to the German people and to the world at large the unconditional surrender.1230 Speech of the Grand Admiral over the Flensburg radio.1630 hrs Churchill's speech was very short and temperate. He didn't mention the present Government. Therefore the decision as to whether or not to remain is postponed.Daily notes. 9 May 1945..1200 hrs Discussion of questions concerning the government. The foundations for the further existence of the German Volk is the Volksgemeinschaft which National Socialism created. 1815 hrs…Berlin is a field of ruins on an unprecedented scale…hunger and chaos threaten because of over-population, the best nourishing ground for Communism. It can be only of advantage for Stalin to make the most of this condition. Daily notes. 10 May 1945. 0945 hrs…the occupying power has ordered the removal of the national emblem. The Grand Admiral does not intend to order its abolition now 1245 hrs. Award of oak leave to Col. Gen. Jodl.1300 hrs. Field Marshal Schorner... reported that on account of the revolt in Bohemia and consequent breakdown of all…Daily notes. 11 May 1945. 1000 hrs. Text of memorandum to the enemy powers the enemy has planned only a military administration in the various zones of occupation…In recent days the news has increased of unendurable conditions and illegal events in the concentration camps. Since the people nor the Wehrmacht know of these conditions, it becomes imperative in these circumstances to make this distinction publicly clear. The commander in Norway reported the order of the occupying power that individual troops, Waffen-SS, and civilian personnel (Party) are to be arrested contrary to the conditions of the surrender. The Waffen-SS as a part of the Wehrmacht is henceforth disassociated from it. With the remaining formations of the SS and SD, the Wehrmacht has nothing to do and is thus now in no sense responsible for them. Daily Notes 12 May 1945. 1630 hrs…A considerable number of German scientists and research workers have received from the enemy profitable offers…1700 hrs. The occupying power has forbidden the flying of the swastika flag. In individual places, enemy nationals have taken down or displaced pictures of the Fuhrer. The question arises as to whether we should remove them generally through our own command…The German Wehrmacht has sworn an oath to the Fuhrer... The Grand Admiral could no more break his oath to the German soldiers, than any soldier could break his to him. They do not seem to be willing to grant any leeway at all to him and his government as head of state. This, however, does not release the government from the responsibility of helping the German people in any way it can. Daily Notes 13 May 1945…Rooks has ordered the arrest of Field Marshal Keitel…Daily Notes. 14 May 1945. 0100 hrs. Report of the shooting of Captain Luth by his own sentry in the grounds of the Navy school in tragic circumstances…1740 hrs. minutes of Jodl's conversation with Maj. Gen Rooks Since orders and decorations stand under the protection of international law, he will in no circumstances agree to their confiscation. Daily notes. 14 May 1945...the following rules for the conduct of the officers surrender was inevitable and should be loyally carried out shameful commands (for example taking off of medals) will not be obeyed to be proud of the performances of the Wehrmacht and the people during the war, avoidance of loose talk. Daily notes. 16 May 1945. 1715 hrs. The development of the situation in Germany is currently a circumstance of the greatest anxiety the Grand Admiral decided to receive the British reporter Ward in order to explain the situation frankly to him…1730 hrs. reports and currently mounting propaganda concerning the conditions in the German concentration camps render a public clarification essential, the Wehrmacht nor the German people had any knowledge of these things and that they were concealed from them in every way. Daily notes 17 May 1945. 1230 hrs. The governing body of the German Red Cross which has its last location in Flensburg is no longer capable of activity, since almost all its leading members are arrested by the occupying powers because they belong to the SS. 1830 hrs. Mr. Ward, a reporter, from the BBC The Grand Admiral explained frankly the current situation and problems, the psychological errors of the Anglo-Saxons. 1900 hrs. Busch reported concerning his work with Montgomery, which in distinction from the first negotiations are now exorbitantly bad and dishonorable by their measure, the English have practically abolished public life…National Emblem, Cockades, and any insignia or mark of distinction of National Socialist origin may not be worn…It is the politics of the Allies to root out everything National Socialistic…Allied officers on duty are to be saluted, otherwise not…The unconditionalness of the military surrender means, as has been previously laid down, juristically speaking, only that the insistence of the enemy on full disarmament, etc., must be undertaken without contradiction or reservation. As for the rest, the enemy has relative to the Geneva and Hague Conventions no further reaching rights than those…”. Overall very good condition. Ludde-Neurath used his daily notes as the basis for his 1950 book “The Donitz Government – The Last Days of the Third Reich.” Provenance: The present document was previously the property of Major General Sir Kenneth Strong, Eisenhower's Chief of Intelligence, and produced for his own personal evaluation of the workings of the Flensburg Government. The Flensburg Government was the short-lived administration that attempted to rule Nazi Germany during a period of several weeks at the end of World War II and formed following the suicide of Adolf Hitler with Grand Admiral Karl Donitz named as his successor. During his brief period in office Donitz devoted most of his efforts to ensuring the loyalty of the German armed forces and trying to surrender German troops to the British or Americans versus the Russians, as he feared Soviet reprisals. Former armaments minister Albert Speer suggested that after the surrender the Flensburg government should dissolve itself. Instead Donitz and his ministers chose to continue in hope of presiding over post-War Germany as a provisional government. The speech by Winston Churchill announcing victory to the British people is evidence of de facto recognition of the Flensburg Government's authority, at least up to the moment of the unconditional surrender, since Churchill specified that the surrender had been authorized by "Grand Admiral Donitz, the designated Head of the German State". After the unconditional surrender, the Flensburg government was not recognized by the Allies. The Soviet government made it clear what it thought about the Flensburg government, calling it the "Donitz Gang". On 23rd May a British officer went to Donitz's headquarters and asked to speak to the members of the government. Donitz, von Friedeburg and Jodl were then taken aboard the Patria, where Maj. Gen. Rooks informed them of the dissolution of the Government and their arrest. With the arrest of the Flensburg Government on 23rd May 1945, the German High Command also ceased to exist, and no central authority was kept in place to govern Germany. Ultimately, the Third Reich ceased to exist on June 5, 1945.
Current Bidding (Reserve Not Met)
Minimum Bid: $2,500.00
Final prices include buyers premium:
Estimate: $5,000 - $7,000
Auction closed on Wednesday, July 31, 2019.
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