Charles De Gaulle Announces the Unconditional Surrender of Germany

In a broadcast to the French people:

…La guerre est gagnee! Voici la Victoire! C’est la Victoire des Nations Unies et c’est la Victoire de la France! … Honneur pour toujours a nos armees et a leurs chefs! Honneur a notre people que des epreuves terrible n’ont pu reduire, ni flechir! Honneur aux Nations Unies qui ont mele leur sang a notre sang, leurs peines a nos peines, leur Esperance a notre esperance et qui, aujourd’hui triomphent avec nous. Ah! Vive la France!…

The heroic announcement by De Gaulle one day prior to the formal German ratification of the Surrender on May 9 1945, proclaiming victory in characteristically stirring tones and paying tribute to the sacrifices made both by the French and by the Allies.

Marked at head in pencil “texte definitif” and bearing the date 8 May 1945, de Gaulle’s corrections written in blue ink between the lines and in the margin. The instrument of surrender was signed by the Germans at 2:41 a.m. on 7 May 1945, by which all hostilities were to cease at midnight on 8 May. The formal ratification by the German high command was not made until 9 May; de Gaulle however seized the first available opportunity to proclaim the allied victory in Europe.