Germany / Landmark

House on the corner of Pippinstraße / Rolandstraße




​​The house at the corner of Pippinstraße and Rolandstraße is believed to be where Colonel Gerhard Wilck signed the surrender declaration of Aachen in 1944.​

​​The house at the corner of Pippinstraße and Rolandstraße in Aachen is a significant site in Aachen's history, as it is believed that the city's final declaration of surrender was signed there. On 21 October 1944 at 12:05, Colonel Gerhard Wilck signed the city's surrender declaration. The first major German city was thus liberated from the Nazi dictatorship. Wilck was commander of the 246th People's Grenadier Division and the last city commander of Aachen as of 12 October. He had tried in vain to defend the city from the Allied troops. Even though Wilck and his predecessor, General Gerhard Graf von Schwerin, had been trying since 10 September 1944 to convince the supreme army command to abandon the city, this proposal was brusquely rejected. Wilck was obliged not to voluntarily surrender an inch of ground to the enemy and to hold the city to the last man. The battle for Aachen had mainly propagandistic purposes, since strategically speaking the city was almost meaningless.

When the German troops were pushed back to a single bunker, U.S. officer John Corley presented Wilck with an ultimatum: surrender or destroy the city. At Corley's office, on the corner of Pippinstrasse and Rolandstrasse, Wilck initially refused to sign the surrender declaration, fearing for his family, who did not live in Aachen. Corley then poured him a glass of whiskey and again urged him to surrender. But Wilck continued to refuse. Only after the third glass of whisky did Wilck sign the declaration and then, with the remaining 3,473 German soldiers, was placed in captivity. Today, the house is used as a residence.

Pippinstraße 1, 52070 Aachen