German Surrender telegram: Sent by Doenitz to his commanders in the field, recovered from Field Marshal Ritter von Greim, Commander of the Luftwaffe. captured [Munich?], 8th May 1945 8 x 8 in (21 x 21 cm)

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Lot 161
German Surrender telegram: Sent by Doenitz to his commanders in the field, recovered from Field Marshal Ritter von Greim, Commander of the Luftwaffe. captured [Munich?], 8th May 1945
8 x 8 in (21 x 21 cm)

Sold for US$ 25,000 inc. premium
German Surrender telegram: Sent by Doenitz to his commanders in the field, recovered from Field Marshal Ritter von Greim, Commander of the Luftwaffe. captured [Munich?], 8th May 1945
A pink-papered German telegram proforma, with telex tickertape pasted over on each side, in German, stamped "Robinson" upper left (codename for the Luftwaffe), dated and received 8th may at 22.40, with thicker paper ticker tape strips cut out and pasted on the form reading:
1. am 7 Mai 1945 0241 uhr ist gesamie.
Kapitulation burch oberkommando der wehrmacht fuer alles trei tkraefte zu lande, zu wasser und in der luft ...
2. danach ist mit dem 9. mai 10945 0100 uhr deutsher sommerzeit jede kampie
taetigkett einzustellen ... signed Doenitz. Edges of pink proforma worn with a few small tears, and very slight loss not affecting text, in modern display box.
Provenance: Acquired from Von Greim by his American interrogator, Colonel Max Von Rossum Daum, along with Von Greim's Blue Max medal as a WWI Ace and his Third Reich Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves & Swords.

An important historical document for the history of the 20th Century. Here Doenitz reports to his Commanders in the field and specifically the Head of the Luftwaffe, Robert Von Greim, that he has signed unconditional surrenders to the allies, and that at 1 am on the 9th May all hostilities will cease. This telex tickertape came down the wire at 22.40 on May 8th to "Robinson 5," [possibly a Munich airbase outside the city which fell on May 1st?], Robinson being the code name for Goering as the head of the Luftwaffe, 5 being one of 7 potential Luftwaffe bases around Germany. At this point Doenitz had already completed the Surrender to the Allies in Reims on May 7, and the Russian Surrender had been signed earlier that same day in Berlin. Doenitz obviously thought it necessary to repeat his order at this time of night to make sure that Von Greim's forces surrendered at 1 am the following day, some 2 hours 20 minutes after the receipt of this message! At that time the remnants of the Luftwaffe, had tried to gather in the Bavarian heartland but the airfields were being constantly bombed. As Von Greim famously said when he was captured: "I am the Head of the Luftwaffe, but I have no Luftwaffe."

The story of Von Greim at the end of the war is equally interesting. On April 26th 1945 he was summoned to Berlin by Hitler in his Bunker, flew in with flying ace Hanna Reitsch landing in the Tiergarten. At Hitler's bunker he was promoted to Commander of the Luftwaffe replacing Goering who had committed treason by talking to the Allies. Hitler ordered him on April 28th to fly to Plon so he could arrest Himmler for treason. Somehow with Russian soldiers fighting house to house, he managed with Reitsch to take off again from the Tiergarten. If he reached Plon, we dont know, but he was arrested in Austria by US forces on the 8th of May and this piece of paper was apparently on his possession, and taken by the arresting American Officer. He was due to be part of a US soldier's exchange with the Russians, but fearing his fate, took his life with a cyanide capsule in Salzberg, Austria on May 24th 1945.
8 x 8 in (21 x 21 cm)
Contacts
German Surrender telegram: Sent by Doenitz to his commanders in the field, recovered from Field Marshal Ritter von Greim, Commander of the Luftwaffe. captured [Munich?], 8th May 1945 8 x 8 in (21 x 21 cm)
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