the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month

Karlshorst, Berlin 2010

© Leslie Hossack

World War I officially ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, with the signing of the Armistice. Remembrance Day is still observed at that time, and this year’s ceremonies will take place tomorrow at the 11th hour, on 11/11/11.

World War I, The War to End All Wars, was fought from 1914 to 1918. Just over 20 years later in 1939, World War II broke out and lasted almost seven years. Nazi Germany, and the war in Europe, finally came to an end with the signing of an unconditional surrender on May 8th 1945.

This historic event took place in the building shown above, which is located in the Karlshorst district of Berlin. It was built in 1936-1938, and served as the officers’ mess of the German Armed Forces Pioneer School. After WW II,  it was the seat of the Soviet Military Administration in Germany from 1945-1949. Today it is the German-Russian Museum.

This photograph was taken in 2010, 65 years after the signing of the instrument of surrender took place in the large ground floor room at the back of the building.

Shortly before midnight on May 8, a second unconditional surrender was signed in the outskirts of Berlin, Germany. The signing ceremony took place in a villa in an eastern suburb of Berlin called Karlshorst. Representatives of the USSR, Great Britain, France, and the United States arrived shortly before midnight. After Soviet Field Marshal Georgy Zhukov opened the ceremony, the German command representatives headed by General Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel were invited into the room, where they signed the final German Act of Unconditional Surrender entering into force at 23:01 Central European Time.

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