Published: 08th May 2021
#ThrowbackToday: World War II came to an end as Germany surrendered. But why is Victory Day celebrated twice?
Keitel went to Karlshorst on May 8, a suburb of Berlin, where the document was supposed to be signed in the presence of Soviet Marshal Georgy Zhukov and a small Allied delegation
German Nazi General Wilhelm Keitel formally surrendered to the Allies — the United States, the UK, France and the Soviet Union — in Berlin on May 8, 1945. When German and Allied military officials gathered in Berlin near midnight on May 8 to sign surrender documents, the atmosphere in the room was emotional and political at the same time. When the news broke, everyone from soldiers to civilians celebrated Victory Day in Europe while the then Soviet Union marked May 9 as Victory Day. This marked the end of the nearly six-year-long war.
Keitel went to Karlshorst on May 8, a suburb of Berlin, where the document was supposed to be signed in the presence of Soviet Marshal Georgy Zhukov and a small Allied delegation. But it didn't go as smooth. Keitel wanted to add a small clause that would give his troops a grace period of at least half a day to make sure that they got their cease fire orders and that they wont be penalised for continuing to fight. Zhukov offered Keitel a verbal promise but no clause was added to the document. This caused a delay and the document was not signed till it was already May 9. So, the World War II ended not once but over two days and the Russians celebrated it on May 9.