Today in History: October 24, 1951 – Truman Officially Ends War with Germany
Six years after VE-Day (Victory over Europe) on May 8, 1945, President Truman signed Proclamation 2950, declaring that war with Germany was officially over.
“Most Americans assumed that the war with Germany had ended with the cessation of hostilities six years earlier” (Source). Same is true today. However, it is interesting to note that at the end of the war, a treaty hadn’t even been signed! Complications prevented it, namely the territory that Germany had been taking over since 1938 (although, it is a bit surprising that he waited a whole 5 years before invading).
Although, in this case it had more to do with how Germany was divided, split between the British, Americans, French, and Soviets. Essentially, this meant that it was actually divided between the democratic Allies and the communist Soviets. What resulted was a bit of tension. Each side claimed the other had violated post-war treaties. Tensions rose.
Finally, in 1948, Stalin ordered a blockade of Berlin, despite the fact that the other Allies still controlled the Western half.
As a result, Truman was forced to order an airlift to fly much-needed supplies into Berlin, such as food and fuel. While tensions were being worked out, the treaty was put on hold. Tensions only grew worse on October 3, 1951, when Stalin began an atomic weapons test.
But, on October 24, 1951, almost 10 years after the declaration of war with Germany, Truman announced that war was over.