Photo: Ronald Playforth
Early in May, 1945, officers from the German army and Gestapo met with Allied commanders, including Field Marshall Montgomery to offer their country's surrender at his headquarters near Hamburg. Interestingly, the only color photographs of this event were taken by a clerk, Ronald Playforth, who hid in the trees during the meeting.
Thequintessential wrote a brief synopsis of this event:
His pictures show Admiral Hans Georg von Friedeburg, the most senior member of the delegation, General Eberhard Kinzel, chief of staff of the north west Germany army, and Major Friedl, a 6ft 6ins Gestapo chief. They were received by Field Marshall Montgomery, with his customary black beret and army uniform, who, when the Germans tried to negotiate, reportedly gave them a ‘tongue lashing’ about the bombing of Coventry and the horrors of Belsen. The delegation reported back to their HQ and Admiral Karl Doenitz – Hitler’s successor – and were given permission to sign the surrender papers, which they did the next day, May 4. When it was all over Montgomery is said to have leaned back and said simply: ‘That concludes the surrender.’