The day World War II ended in Europe – level 2
Before his death, Hitler wrote his last will. He wanted Karl Dönitz to be the new leader.
On May 2, 1945, Dönitz sent a radio message to all Germans. He told them that the leader was dead. The Germans were shocked. They couldn’t believe that Hitler left them.
At that time, the Red Army broke into Berlin and gained control over it.
Some Germans still wanted to fight, but Dönitz knew that the war was finished. He knew that Germany had to surrender. He had one main goal. He wanted German soldiers to surrender to the Americans, not the Red Army. He believed that the Americans could treat the Germans better than the Russians. This plan was quite successful, and 1.8 million German soldiers escaped Soviet capture.
The capitulation of Germany was finally signed on May 8, 1945. The worst war in history ended.
Difficult words: will (a document which says what will happen after you die), gain (to get), surrender (to stop fighting because you can’t win), treat (to behave towards somebody), capture (when you catch somebody, capitulation (a moment when you leave the fight because you can’t win).
What factors do you think influenced Hitler's decision to choose Karl Dönitz as the new leader after his death?
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