Capitulation Act 5 May 1945

The Act of Surrender of 1945 of the German forces in the Netherlands can be found at the City Archives of Wageningen

Capitulation Act 5 May 1945Tradition has it that at the end of the Second Worl War, the German forces in the Netherlands surrendered to the Allied Forces on May 5, 1945 in hotel De Wereld (‘The World’) in Wageningen. That is why every year on May 5 we have the Liberation Festival. To celebrate freedom.
 
In fact though, it was not a real capitulation: that took place the previous day in Germany. The Capitulation Act of May 5th, or ‘Instrument of Surrender’ as it is factually named, is an agreement between general Foulkes on behalf of the Allied Forces and general Blaskowitz on behalf of the German forces in the Netherlands. It dictates the rules for the German (and allied) forces in the Netherlands.
 
There are some differences of opinion as to whether the Act was signed on May 5th, or perhaps a day later. And maybe it was not signed in De Wereld, but in the Aula (auditorium) of Wageningen University. Or maybe even in a farmhouse in the area named the Nude. But it is certain that the preliminary talks were held at the Hotel De Wereld.
 
But the document itself has "Wageningen, May 5, 1945" in both English and German, so we in Wageningen stick to that. For many years, we have celebrated the Liberation from German occupation on May 5th. The evening before, on May 4, the Netherlands commemorate the victims of war.

In 1953, general Foulkes, who had kept the original document, conferred the Act of Capitulation to the city of Wageningen. Since then this document of national importance is kept at the City Archives of Wageningen.

Signing of the capitulation. General Foulkes on the left and Blaskowitz on the right.The full text of the document can be found in the Beeldbank Wageningen.

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