The Museum Berlin-Karlshorst is a place of world historical importance: in the museum building, the High Command of the German Wehrmacht signed the unconditional surrender in front of representatives of the Soviet Union, the USA, Great Britain and France on the night of 8-9 May 1945. This followed the general consent to an armistice on May 7th at the American-British headquarters in the French city of Reims. The surrender at the Soviet headquarters in Berlin-Karlshorst was the ceremonial act that sealed the common victory of the anti-Hitler coalition and with which the Wehrmacht leadership recognized their complete defeat - this ended the Second World War in Europe. The hall where the signing took place has been preserved to this day. It forms the heart of the museum.


From 1945 to 1949 the head of the Soviet military administration in Germany resided in the building. After various uses by the Soviet military, 1967 the "Museum of the Unconditional Surrender of Fascist Germany in the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945" was founded. It existed until 1994. With the withdrawal of the Russian troops, the Association "Museum Berlin-Karlshorst e.V." was founded and the "Museum Berlin-Karlshorst" opened on 10 May 1995 on the 50th anniversary of the end of the war in Europe. In 2013 the revised new permanent exhibition "Germany and the Soviet Union in World War II" opened.



Podcast: The surrender signing in Berlin-Karlshorst


The surrender signing in Berlin-Karlshorst in the memoirs of those involved


You can hear verbatim excerpts from the memoirs of:

Marshal Georgi Shukov: Commander-in-Chief of the 1st Belorussian Front, which had taken Berlin (together with the 1st Ukrainian Front). Appointed at short notice as commander-in-chief of the Red Army (in the European theatre of war), he accepted the surrender on behalf of the entire Red Army.

Air Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder: Deputy to Eisenhower, the Supreme Commander of the Western Allied Forces (Allied Expeditionary Corps).

General Jean de Lattre de Tassigny: Commander-in-Chief of the French Army, sent by his government, the government-in-exile under de Gaulle, who had returned from Britain.

Captain Harry C. Butcher: Actually a radio journalist, but as Eisenhower's aide-de-camp he was one of his closest associates. He travels to Berlin as Eisenhower's confidant.

Major Fritz Oppenheimer: US Army officer and advisor in the legal department on Eisenhower's staff. He had fled to the USA as a Jewish lawyer from Berlin to escape the Holocaust. Because of his knowledge of German, he was used as a permanent escort ("Aufpasser") for the German delegation.

Here you can find background-information. (In German language.)