On May 7, 1945, Germany signed an unconditional surrender at Allied headquarters in Rheims, France, bringing an end to World War II in Europe.
Read the original AP story. From here.
From the Archives of The Associated Press:
Edward Kennedy, AP’s chief of bureau in Paris, was the first to file a story announcing the end of the war in Europe. Kennedy and other reporters had witnessed the German surrender at Reims, France, and had been told by military officials that they could not report the event until it had been announced by the Allied governments in Washington, London and Moscow. The military later said it would be the following day before the surrender news could be transmitted because a second surrender ceremony was being planned for Berlin. Kennedy decided to break the embargo when the surrender was announced – at the request of the Allies – on German radio. Military censors retaliated by suspending the AP’s filing privileges from Europe. (The ban was lifted after six hours.)
Here is the first word that moved over the AP wire at 9:35 a.m. New York time on May 7, 1945:
REIMS FRANCE–ALLIES OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCED GERMANY SURRENDERED UNCONDITIONALLY.
That transmission was followed one minute later by:
BY EDWARD KENNEDY
REIMS, FRANCE, MAY 7-(AP)-GERMANY SURRENDERED UNCONDITIONALLY TO THE WESTERN ALLIES AND RUSSIA AT 2:41 A.M. FRENCH TIME TODAY.
Here is the rest of Kennedy’s story:
The surrender took place at a little red schoolhouse that is the headquarters of Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower.
The surrender was signed for the Supreme Allied Command by Lt. Gen. Walter Bedell Smith, chief of staff for Gen. Eisenhower.
It was also signed by Gen. Ivan Susloparov of the Soviet Union and by Gen. Francois Sevez for France.
Gen. Eisenhower was not present at the signing, but immediately afterward Gen. Jodl and his fellow delegate, Gen. Admiral Hans Georg Friedeburg, were received by the Supreme Commander.
They were asked sternly if they understood the surrender terms imposed upon Germany and if they would be carried out by Germany.
They answered yes.
Germany, which began the war with a ruthless attack upon Poland, followed by successive aggressions and brutality in concentration camps, surrendered with an appeal to the victors for mercy toward the German people and armed forces.
After having signed the full surrender, Gen. Jodl said he wanted to speak and received leave to do so.
“With this signature,” he said in soft-spoken German, “the German people and armed forces are for better or worse delivered into the victor’s hands.
“In this war, which has lasted more than five years, both have achieved and suffered more than perhaps any other people in the world.”