Sunday, May 04, 2008

Danmarks befrielse 1945

Speaking of World War II, today marks the 63rd anniversary of the surrender of the German forces in Holland, NW Germany, and Denmark. The Danes celebrate tomorrow, 05 May, as Danmarks befrielse, so I'm jumping a day ahead. It's a smallish detail concerning a major event, but the Germans signed the actual "Instrument of Surrender" on 04 May 1945, 1830 hrs (although the header date on the document appears to be 08 May 1945; for a transcript see The University of Oklahoma College of Law website "US Historical Documents"/"German Surrender Documents Ending World War II"; note that the link is cribbed from Wikipedia's "End of World War II in Europe" entry, Footnote 3). In any case, according to condition 2 of the document: "All hostilities on land, on sea, or in the air by German forces in the above areas to cease at 0800 hrs. British Double Summer Time on Saturday 5 May 1945." So it's quite proper to start celebrating the anniversary some time on the morning of 05 May, the precise hour depending on the translation of "British Double Summer Time" to Danish local time circa 1945.
In reading through the transcript, I particularly enjoyed the language of condition 3: "The German command to carry out at once, and without argument or comment, all further orders that will be issued by the Allied Powers on any subject [italics mine]." Tomorrow morning I'll don a virtual hat to throw in the air.

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