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The cost and ending of the war

The defeat of Germany

After Hitler's suicide, the instrument of surrender was signed and ended the Second World War.

In March 1945, Germany was invaded from the East and from the West. The Wehrmacht mustered its remaining forces, trying to halt the Soviet armies that had reached the Oder, while to the west, British and American troops crossed the Rhine. To Churchill’s considerable distress, Eisenhower allowed the Soviets to seize Berlin.

Holed up in his Chancellery bunker, Hitler committed suicide on 30 April. General Jodl signed the act of capitulation in Reims on 7 May. The following day, at Stalin’s request, a second solemn surrender took place in Berlin, putting an end to the war in Europe.