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Notice demanding the surrender of the city of Utrecht to German forces

Object | Accession Number: 2012.385.1

Notice issued May 14, 1940, by the German Supreme Military Commander to the Military Commander of the city of Utrecht, Netherlands, demanding the city's unconditional surrender to Germany. It warns that the city is surrounded by German forces, including Stuka bombers, and that the Dutch commander should consider sparing Utrecht and its residents the fate of Warsaw. If Utrecht does not surrender, it will be regarded as a fortress and attacked. The German blitzkrieg attack on the Netherlands began on May 10 with bomb attacks near Rotterdam. On May 14, Rotterdam was attacked and occupied by German troops. This threat to attack Utrecht persuaded the Dutch government to order their forces to stand down and surrender that same evening. This notice was dropped by airplane over the city and saved by a Dutch woman who, with her husband and two small children, lived through the occupation and bombing of her home and neighborhood during the war. She and her husband operated a bakery and had to sneak out at night to purchase bags of flour on the black market. Most of the Netherlands remained under German occupation until the German May 5, 1945, surrender in the region. Canadian forces entered Utrecht on May 7 and the war in Europe was over on May 8.

Artwork Title
Ultimatum to Surrender
issue:  1940 May 14
issue: Utrecht (Netherlands)
Object Type
Handbills (tgm)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Victor J. Putnam
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 18:26:45
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