As first commander of the Wehrmacht admiral Dönitz addresses himself to the German Wehrmacht giving the following daily report:

German Wehrmacht, fellows, the Führer has been killed in action. True to his idea to beware the European nations of the bolshevism he has given his life and found the heroic death. With him one of the biggest heroes of German history has gone. In lordly awe and mourning we abate the flags in front of him. The Führer has made me his successor as head of state and first commander of all the corps of the German Wehrmacht, accompanied by the wish to perpetuate the fight against the bolshevists until the combating troupes and ten thousands of families in the eastern parts of Germany will be saved from enslavement and demolition. Against England and America I have to continue the fight as long as they try to bar me from accomplishing the battle against the bolshevism. Of you, that you have already achieved such great historical deeds and now longing for the end of this war, the situation requires unconditioned commitment. I ask for discipline and obedience. Only through unconditional fulfilment of my instructions chaos and doom will be avoided. A coward and betrayer is the one who shirks his duties just now so that he will bring enslavement and death to German women and children. The oath of allegiance that you once took for the Führer, does now of every single one of you, belong to me, the successor deployed by the Führer. German soldiers do your bits! The life of our nation is imperative!


German women and men! Today the supreme commander of the Wehrmacht at the behest of the first admiral Dönitz has declared the unconditioned capitulation of all combating troupes. As leading minister of the Reichsregierung, appointed by the first admiral, I’m addressing myself to the German nation in this tragic moment. After a war of almost six years, meaningful fight of incomparable harshness Germany’s power is now brought down by the overwhelming force of our opponents. Preceding the war would only have meant limp blood shedding and unnecessary destruction. A government that shows a sense of responsibility for the future of the German people had to take conclusions after the breakdown of all physical and material abilities by requesting the cessation of hostilities from our enemies. After awful sacrifices caused by the war it was the admirals’ and his governments most exclusive goal to save the lives of as many people as possible in this final period of the war. Only this decision explains why the war hasn’t been stopped coincidentally in the west and east. In this most dire straits of the German folk and its Reich, we bow in awe to the victims of this war, whose sacrifice is our highest obligation. Our solicitousness and sorrow are directed first of all at the invalids, the surviving dependants and at all those who got wounded by this war. Nobody is allowed to defy the heaviness of the conditions that our enemies will impose on the Germans. It’s worth facing these conditions decisively and unemotionally. No one can be doubtful about the fact that the coming time will be hard for anyone of us and demand sacrifices in any area of life. We have to undertake them and be loyal to the commitments that we have taken over. But we must not despair and abandon ourselves to resignation. Through the darkness of our future we have to let us be enlightened and led by three stars that have been pledge of the real German life: Unity and justice and liberty. From the breakdown of our past we want to keep and rescue a few things. Unity and the idea of ethnic community, which during the years of war have found their most pleasant manifestation: out there in companionship at the front and in opposite cooperativeness at home. We’ll need this companionship in the upcoming adversities of hunger and poverty likewise as during the times of battle and bombings. Only if we keep this kind of unity without falling apart in crisscrossing and bursting groups we will be able to endure the hard future times. We have to make justice the foundation of people’s life. Justness in our nation shall be supreme law and highest guideline. But we also have to accept and regard law as the base for the relation between the different nations. The respect to entered contracts must be as holy to us as the sensation of membership to the European family of the nations as their blood, being willing to offer all human, moral and material forces in order to heal the terrible wounds, caused by the war. After that we can hope that the atmosphere of hate which is right now confronting Germany will vanish for a spirit of reconciliation between the people which is essential for the recovery of our world. Furthermore we can hope to get back the freedom that is the foundation of a nation’s peaceful and dignified existence. We’ll face our future bethinking of our most interior and best powers of German life which have given incomparable forces and values to the world. We’ll connect the proud of the difficult fight that our nation has gone through with the will to contribute our shares as part of the occidental culture for the western work for the peace process corresponding to the best traditions of our nation. May God not leave us in this adversity and bless our heavy hearts.


After heroic fights, after unresting work for the German victory and through infinite sacrifices, our nation honourably has found an inferior position to our enemy superior in number and material. The enemy composes himself to conquer the Reich and is at the gates of our town. Outside the town formations of Wehrmacht and Volkssturm put up a good fight against the frequently predominant opponent. Imperturbably the Hamburgers have fulfilled their duty at the front likewise as at home. Tough and composed you accepted what the war was claiming from you. The enemy in his enormous superiority composes himself to attack Hamburg on earth and from the air. For the city and its people, for ten thousands of women and children this signifies death and destruction of the last sources of existence. The destiny of this war can’t be turned around anymore, but the battle in the city signifies its restless and senseless demolition. In consciousness of my responsibility and in clear awareness of the facts my heart and conscience demand me to rescue our Hamburg its women and children of useless and irresponsible extermination. I know what I take upon myself by this decision. The judgement about my decision, I’ll leave it confidently to the history and you. Hamburgers! All of my work and sorrows have always been dedicated to you, the city and thereby to our nation. It will last like this until destiny will call me. I’ll stay at Hamburg. If the enemy occupies Hamburg tomorrow it’ll be the hardest moment of my life. For this moment I ask you for attitude, dignity and discipline. This war is a national catastrophe for us and a disaster for Europe. May this been recognized by all those that bear responsibility.

May God protect our people and our Reich!

(You’ve just listened to the fateful speech of our Gauleiter to his Hamburgers!)  




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