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Last days & final hours in Berlin führerbunker

Adolf Hitler's Last days & final hours in the Berlin führerbunker.
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: Third Reich Tours, Hitler Bunker', Eva Braun, Killing Hitler, Hitler's Private Belongings, Rochus Misch, Hitler: Adjutants, secretaries....

Historian Ian Kershaw talks about the Last Days of the Third Reich: Hitler`s Influence Was Fatal
(Q) Professor Kershaw, you have spent the last three years studying the collapse of Nazi Germany. In the end, are we left to shake our heads in amazement at the absurdity of the final phase, or do you, as a historian, also feel something akin to admiration for the perseverance of the Germans?

(A) I`m convinced that we English would have given up much earlier. It`s certainly unusual for a country to continue fighting to the point of complete self-destruction. In any armed conflict, there is eventually a point at which one side realizes that it`s over. If the people in power don`t give up but instead continue to plunge the country into ruin, there is either a revolution from below, as was the case in Germany and Russia near the end of WW1.
(spiegel.de)

Last days of Hitler`s favourite girl, 12-year-old Helga Goebbels, who was killed in the Berlin bunker
In her new book - Chocolate Cake with Hitler - Emma Craigie reveals the story of 12-year-old Helga Goebbels, who was killed by her parents in the Berlin bunker as the Third Reich collapsed. Helga Goebbels was the oldest of the 6 children taken by their parents into führerbunker on April 22 1945. Faced with the defeat the Nazi Propaganda Minister was determined to die alongside the Führer. Other Nazi leaders protected their children by sending them into the mountains, but Magda Goebbels decided that she and the children would join her husband to bring their lives to "the only possible and honourable conclusion".
(telegraph.co.uk)

Hitler`s chauffeur Erich Kempka: I had not expected Hitler to have such a degree of technical knowledge
Wearing his field-grey tunic, Adolf Hitler held a Berlin map in his right hand. His left trembled. It was April 29, 1945 and Soviet troops were closing in. "How do you see things, Kempka?" he asked. I told men were defending the Reich Chancellery, while awaiting our 12th Army... It was the last time I saw Hitler alive. --- In 1930 I became a driver for the Nazi leadership in Essen, joining Fuehrer`s staff 2 years later. I had been summoned to be interviewed by Hitler, along with 30 other men: "What types of vehicle have you driven? Do you know the 8-litre compressor motor?" --- I was Hitler`s chauffeur: The Memoir of Erich Kempka.
(dailymail.co.uk)

A recording of Otto Guensche, Heinz Linge describing the moment they found Hitler`s body discovered
A tape recording of Nazi officers describing the moment they found Adolf Hitler`s body has been found in the Munich public records office. The tape was made on Oct 25 1956 in a court - convened to declare the leader of Nazi Germany dead so that the rights to "Mein Kampf" could be seized by the state. Among those giving evidence were Hitler`s adjutant Otto Guensche and valet Heinz Linge, who first discovered the bodies of Hitler and Eva Braun. On the recording the men recall entering the Führer`s study on April 30 1945 with Martin Bormann and burning the bodies in the Reich Chancellery garden.
(telegraph.co.uk)

What if Hitler had survived -And how he could have escaped the fuhrerbunker
Flying in and out of Berlin: There were few better pilots in the Third Reich than Hanna Reitsch, and none more loyal to its leader, Adolf Hitler. Her flying skills and fanaticism were displayed on April 26, 1945, when Reitsch landed her Fieseler Storch plane on a makeshift airstrip on the Tiergarten. Accompanied by General von Greim, the head of the Luftwaffe, Reitsch made her way to fuhrerbunker, where she found a scene of chaos: Drunken Wehrmacht officers partying with secretaries. It`s also possible that Hitler could have escaped by foot: After all many senior Nazis - like Hitler Youth leader Artur Axmann and Hitler`s chauffeur Erich Kempka - had done so.
(dailymail.co.uk)

DNA tests reveal that Adolf Hitler`s skull fragment in Russia belongs to a woman
In Adolf Hitler biographies the story of Fuhrer`s last hours is traditionally this: he committed suicide with Eva Braun by taking a cyanide pill and shooting himself on 30 April 1945. Some historians wondered if the Führer had shot himself, speculating that stories of Hitler`s death had been embellished to present his suicide in a heroic light. But a fragment of skull with bullet hole - taken from the bunker by the Russians - seemed to settle the argument. Until now. DNA test by American researchers revealed that the skull fragment, held by Soviet intelligence, belonged to a woman under 40.
(guardian.co.uk)

Adolf Hitler`s bodyguard Rochus Misch is the last survivor of Hitler`s bunker
Rochus Misch`s old photo albums include colour images of Misch in an SS uniform at Adolf Hitler`s home in the Alps, Hitler staring at rabbits, and photos of Hitler`s mistress and wife Eva Braun. For 5 years SS Oberscharfuehrer Rochus Misch was part of Adolf Hitler`s inner circle. He is the last survivor of the fuhrerbunker and the events of 30 April 1945: the day Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun committed suicide. "I heard somebody shouting to Hitler`s attendant: Linge, Linge, I think it`s happened. ... Martin Bormann, Hitler`s private secretary, ordered everyone to be silent. Then Bormann ordered Hitler`s door to be opened. I watched as they wrapped Hitler up."
(bbc.co.uk)

With Hitler to the End: The Memoir of Hitler`s Valet by Heinz Linge [book review]
Heinz Linge was never far away from Adolf Hitler - and stood by him until the end in Berlin in 1945, where he helped to burn Hitler`s body. Linge joined the Waffen-SS in 1933, and was later picked out to serve on Hitler`s household staff at Berghof - becoming his personal valet after the start of WWII in 1939. "On April 27, 1945, Hitler called me into his study: `I am going to shoot myself here together with Eva Braun. You will wrap our bodies in woollen blankets, carry them up to the garden and then burn them.` ... Opening the door to Hitler`s room, I saw a sight that will never leave me. He and Eva were slumped on the floral sofa."
(dailymail.co.uk)

Hitler`s SS bodyguard Rochus Misch recalls: Hitler was the simplest person I knew
Rochus Misch, no longer able to deal with all the interviews, has published "Der letzte Zeuge". Mitch, drafted into Hitler`s personal Begleitkommando in 1940, reveals us what Hitler ate, his kindness toward staff, his affection for his dog Blondi. "The private Hitler was a normal, simple man, the simplest person I knew. It was just to the outside world that he slipped into his Fuehrer role." He is annoyed that "Der Untergang" depicts the Fuehrerbunker as a place filled with visitors. "Most of that happened in the cellars of the New Reich Chancellery." He also tells how Magda Goebbels dressed her 6 children in white nightshirts before killing them.
(bloomberg.com)

Eyewitness in Hitler`s Berlin bunker - Bernd Freytag von Loringhoven
Bernd Freytag von Loringhoven has had a distinguished career in the postwar German military, the Bundeswehr. But he also served in the Nazi Wehrmacht, ending up for the last months of WWII in Hitler`s bunker, the nerve center of the Third Reich. When he got to the bunker in July 1944 he had participated in the Blitzkrieg 1940 invasion of France and gone on to fight on the Eastern Front - and in Stalingrad. Disillusioned by political interference with military strategy he believed had doomed Nazi Germany to defeat, he found himself as an aide to the Panzer general Heinz Guderian.
(highbeam.com)

Hitler`s SS bodyguard Rochus Misch turns 90, keeps secrets to himself
The last living witness to the final hours of Adolf Hitler, the Nazi leader`s bodyguard Rochus Misch, has turned 90 but vowed to keep his secrets to himself. He was 27 when he left Hitler`s führerbunker on May 2, 1945 as Soviet troops stormed the chancellery. He has kept quiet on who killed Hermann Fegelein, who was married to the sister of Eva Braun. According to Misch, Hitler did not give the order to shoot Fegelein. "I know it from an officer from the Reich security service whose colleague shot Fegelein. I know his name, but I am keeping it for myself." Rochus Misch has written a book "I Was Hitler`s Bodyguard", which is due to appear later this year.
(abc)

Freytag von Loringhoven who stayed with Hitler in the bunker dies
Lieutenant General Baron Bernd Freytag von Loringhoven, descended from the German aristocracy that derived from the Teutonic knights, has died at 93. As an adjutant to General Hans Krebs he was one of the handful of Wehrmacht staff officers who stayed with Adolf Hitler in the bunker in Berlin until the final hours. The twilight scenes of the "thousand-year reich" were described in The Last Days of Hitler by historian Hugh Trevor-Roper, who was assigned to establish the facts about Hitler`s death on April 30 1945. April 29, 3 officers were sent out of the führerbunker, bearing a signed copy of Hitler`s political and personal testament for Grand-Admiral Karl Dönitz.
(guardian)

American soldier searched for Adolf Hitler in Iceland
A history book reveals that an American soldier searched for Nazi leader Adolf Hitler in Iceland shortly before the end of WWII. Hitler was believed to be in hiding in the home of author Gunnar Gunnarsson - known for his connections to the Nazis during WW2 and, on 20 March 1940, he was the only Icelander to ever meet Hitler. His house was searched twice by allied forces during the war. On the second occasion, 6 May 1945, an American soldier knocked on his door. He later learned that the soldier had been looking for Adolf Hitler. A week earlier a German plane had been spotted flying over the area, dropping something off near his house.
(icelandreview)

Death in the Bunker: The True Story of Hitler`s Downfall
Adolf Hitler spent the last ten days of his life in a bunker deep under the Chancellery of the Third Reich. Here we are given the story via archival footage as well as extensive interviews with Traudl Junge, Hitler`s secretary to whom he dictated his will; Rochus Misch, Hitler`s bodyguard and courier; Armin D. Lehmann, Hitler`s courier responsible for carrying orders from the Führerbunker; Bernd Freytag von Loringhoven, tank commander and adjutant to two of Hitler`s generals. There is also much film here of Hitler himself, shown with his generals, giving praise to members of the HitlerJugend, and Eva Braun.
(-)

Adolf Hitler`s SS bodyguard Misch attended Fuhrerbunker sign unveiling
The site of Adolf Hitler`s bunker was marked publicly - with a sign bearing graphics, photos and a chronology of events in both German and English - for the first time by a historical group trying to demystify one of the Third Reich`s most burdened places. Former SS Staff Sgt. Rochus Misch, a Hitler bodyguard throughout the war, attended the unveiling and recalled his experiences. "During the last 12 days of the war, I was down here with Hitler and the other bodyguards all the time," said Misch pointing to the place where Hitler killed himself on April 30, 1945, as Soviet troops closed in.
(usatoday.com)

1945: Germany announces Adolf Hitler is dead
Adolf Hitler has been killed at the Reich Chancery in Berlin, according to Hamburg radio. At 2230 local time a newsreader announced that reports from the Fuhrer`s headquarters said Hitler had "fallen at his command post in the Reich Chancery fighting to the last breath against Bolshevism and for Germany". It said he had appointed Grand Admiral Doenitz as his successor. There followed an announcement by Admiral Doenitz in which he called on the German people to mourn their Fuhrer who, he said, died the death of a hero in the capital of the Reich.
(bbc)

Adolf Hitler`s secretary Traudl Junge lived in Australia   (Article no longer available from the original source)
ADOLF Hitler`s devoted secretary, who spent the final days of the Third Reich huddled with the Fuhrer in his Berlin bunker, quietly lived in Australia for several years in the 1970s and 80s after she was earlier refused permanent residency for being a Nazi sympathiser. Traudl Junge - the central character of the recent controversial movie Downfall - tried to beat the onset of depression years after World War II by starting a new life in Australia, family members and friends in Sydney and Melbourne have revealed for the first time.
(The Advertiser)

His authority was extraordinary. He was charming - Hitler`s nurse
For 60 years, Erna Flegal said nothing about her role in the Third Reich. She never spoke of her part as nurse in the Führer`s Berlin bunker. Now, Ms Flegel has spoken out for the first time - of Hitler`s final hours, of her friendship with the superb Magda Goebbels, and her jealous loathing for Eva Braun. Her testimony casts fresh light on the last days of the Nazi era and has never appeared in the books about Hitler. Flegel described how she began working as a Red Cross nurse at the Reichschancellery in Berlin in January 1943. She had been moved there from the eastern front. "[Hitler] was always polite and charming. There was really nothing to object to."
(Guardian)

Body of Adolf Hitler reburied 8 times   (Article no longer available from the original source)
A badly charred corpse of Hitler was found in a bomb crater in the Imperial Chancellery`s garden 60 years ago. His mortal remains were reburied 8 times and eventually destroyed by fire. The first burial took place on April 30th, 1945. The Fuhrer, his newly-fledged wife Eva Braun, and his two dogs were buried in the garden of the Imperial Chancellery. A Russian soldier Ivan Churakov found two unidentified corpses in a crater on May 4th. The Russians removed the remains but put them back into the ground on the same day because Hitler`s body was thought to have been already found.
(Pravda)

Elena Rzhevskaya, woman who held secret evidence of Hitler`s identity
In the smouldering ruins of Berlin, Elena Rzhevskaya stooped by a radio to hear the announcement of the Nazis` final capitulation. But the young interpreter from Soviet military reconnaissance was subdued as her comrades across the city broke into wild celebrations. Tucked in the satin-lined box she was clutching were the flesh-specked jawbones of Adolf Hitler, wrenched from his corpse just hours earlier by a Russian pathologist. A burnt body thought to be the Fuhrer`s had been found by a Red Army soldier near his bunker days before, but Joseph Stalin ordered the discovery be concealed. It was not until the 1960s that her secret would be revealed.
(buzzle)

Eyewitness Freytag von Loringhoven: Hitler`s last days
Bernd Freytag von Loringhoven is one of the last living eyewitnesses to Hitler`s final days. He escaped Hitler`s bunker just 24 hours before the dictator shot himself. As an aide to army chiefs he had had daily contact with Hitler. He describes the order to join his boss Gen Krebs in Hitler`s bunker, just over a week before the dictator`s suicide, as a death sentence. He had already survived the fighting on the Russian front and was one of a few to escape from Stalingrad. He met Hitler for the first time in July 1944. His predecessor had been executed for his part in the bomb plot against Hitler.
(BBC)

Only person still alive to have seen the Nazi leader and his wife Eva Braun dead   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Berlin - Rochus Misch still remembers the sight as if it were yesterday: 60 years ago on Saturday he looked through a doorway and saw Adolf Hitler had committed suicide. Misch, 88, is the only person still alive today to have seen the Nazi leader and his wife Eva Braun dead in their bunker deep under the shattered city of Berlin.
(News24)

Visitors are keen to know all about where the Nazi dictator spent his final hours   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Where was Adolf Hitler`s bunker? Berlin city guides have heard this question often in recent weeks since 60 years after the end of WW2 interest in seeking out the authentic locations of Nazi "wickedness" is more lively than usual. Visitors are keen to know all about where the Nazi dictator spent his final hours - yet there is little of substance to show them. The last remnants of Hitler`s underground refuge were blown up at the beginning of the 1990s.
(News24)

The last 12 days of Adolf Hitler recalled
William Boyd vividly captures the scene of Hitler’s final 12 days on earth. The last newsreel film of Hitler, he was 56, was taken during a brief appearance he made when he emerged from his bunker to present decorations to the boys of the Hitler Youth, the last line of defence. The last photographs of Hitler were taken that day. William Boyd studied the newsreel of this occasion many times and relates that Hitler was a very sick man in 1945, though no one knows exactly what was wrong with him. Evidence points towards Parkinson`s syndrome. When he had to stand for any length of time he would wedge his left leg against the wall. His left hand and arm often shook.
(the-kingdom)

Hitler`s nurse Erna Flegel breaks silence - Was in berlin bunker
Survivor of Adolf Hitler`s wartime bunker in Berlin has been tracked down. Mrs Erna Flegel said she stayed in the bunker after Hitler killed himself and was there when Soviet troops arrived. She said Hitler was so paranoid that he even suspected spies had filled his cyanide capsule with false poison. From January 1943 until the end of the war her task was to give medical treatment to Hitler and his inner circle. She was interviewed by US secret service agents in 1945, but otherwise has kept silent about her World War II experiences.
(bbc)

Capturing the heart of Adolf Hitler`s Third Reich
Two days after Adolf Hitler killed himself in his bunker underneath the Reichskanzlei, the fighting finally stopped in Berlin - a city then in ruins from air bombardment and the shelling of Soviet artillery. Lothar Loewe, a member of the Hitler Youth drafted into the armed forces recalls how everybody tried to escape from Berlin and surrender to the Western powers. After the fall of Berlin, the war was not over - some units of the German army continued fighting for another week, and some deserters were even shot a day after the unconditional surrender was signed.
(bbc)

In Hitler`s lair - Hitler`s bodyguard SS Staff Sgt. Rochus Misch
On the streets of Berlin, Soviet and German forces were locked in the apocalyptic finale to WWII in Europe. But 30 feet underground, in Adolf Hitler`s bunker, a strange calm had taken hold. SS Staff Sgt. Rochus Misch, Hitler`s bodyguard, had just been told that the Fuehrer was not to be disturbed. And everybody knew what that meant. Somebody mustered the nerve to enter the sitting room, and Misch peered inside. What he saw, he said, is carved forever in his memory: Hitler crumpled over a table, his cheek streaked with blood from the self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head.
(sptimes)

How Hitler spent his last days - Life in the Bunker
After 9 months in Hitler`s bunker, with Berlin about to fall, Bernd Freytag von Loringhoven was allowed to leave. "As Hitler shook my hand and wished me luck, I saw a glint of envy in his eye," says the former Wehrmacht aide-de-camp. A day later Hitler was dead and he was in a canoe on Havel River trying to reach the last German-held position in Berlin. For the last few months of the war Hitler lived in the fetid air of the bunker occasionally going outside to play with his dog. Hitler got up at around midday. The main event was the afternoon military meeting. It would be announced, "Meine Herren, der Führer kommt", and everyone made the Nazi salute.
(guardian)

Irish president consoled Nazis over Hitler`s death
Ireland`s president during World War II offered condolences to Nazi Germany over the 1945 death of Adolf Hitler, newly declassified government records show. Historians had believed that Ireland`s prime minister at the time, Eamon de Valera, was the only government leader to convey official condolences to Eduard Hempel, director of the German diplomatic corps in Ireland. De Valera`s gesture -- unique among leaders of neutral nations in the final weeks of WWII -- was criticized worldwide.
(latimes)

Revealed: the man who wed Hitler and Eva
If the marriage of Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun wasn`t actually made in hell, they were at least wed in some of the most hellish conditions imaginable. Facing death together in their Berlin bunker, they celebrated their vows by sharing a glass of champagne with Joseph Goebbels and his family. But key pieces of information about Hitler`s wedding and final hours are missing. One unanswered question concerned the presence of a mysterious, low-ranking Nazi official at the nuptials. Who was he? Two British writers have finally uncovered the truth about Walter Wagner.
(guardian)

Inside Hitler`s Bunker by Joachim Fest
Hitler`s last days in his bunker - Nothing could have symbolised the atavism of the Nazis better than his reversion to a troglodytic twilight, detached from the downfall of his Third Reich, culminating in his wedding to Eva Braun and their suicide. We owe this vivid image largely to the Hugh Trevor-Roper, who arrived in Berlin as a young intelligence officer and interviewed many of the survivors. Was Hitler mad: At the end of his life, he sometimes gave the impression of a drugged and demented dictator in denial. Some considered the Führer to be living in a fantasy world and some openly disobeyed him – most importantly Goering and Himmler.
(telegraph)

HitlerJugend messenger Armin Lehmann - Memoirs From Hitler`s Bunker
He was a high-flying member of the Hitler Youth, just 16yo and one of the youngest, proudest occupants of the Fuhrer`s bunker. Armin Lehmann, brought up to idolise Hitler, revelled in his duties as a courier for the German High Command in the WW2. In April 1945, he was chosen to run messages between the radio room below the party Chancellery and Hitler`s secret bunker in Berlin. He had distributed Hitler`s last orders not to surrender. "It never entered my mind, even then, as the bombs rained down, that we would lose," said Lehmann, author of "In Hitler`s Bunker: A Boy Soldier`s Eyewitness Account of the Fuhrer`s Last Days."
(rense)

Hitler aide SS officer Otto Guensche dies - helped to burn Hitler`s body
An aide to Adolf Hitler who says he helped to burn his body in Berlin in the final days of WWII has died at the age of 86. Otto Guensche was an SS officer and a member of Hitler`s inner circle. He was captured by Red Army troops, but was released after several years to live quietly in western Germany. He was with Hitler when he survived an assassination attempt in July 1944, and was in the bunker in 1945 where Hitler and Eva Braun committed suicide. In a recent interview, he said that the Fuehrer had personally ordered him to burn his body. He added that he threw the rag which started the fire after chief of staff Martin Bormann had failed to ignite the bodies.
(bbc)

Hitler`s secretary Traudl Junge tells of Hitler, the friendly boss
Hitler`s former secretary has given an intimate account of her "easy going" and "friendly" boss. Traudl Junge who typed Hitler`s last will and testament in his Berlin bunker tells of the fascination she felt for the Nazi leader she loved working for in a book entitled To the Last Hour. It is one of the most vivid - and probably the last - first-hand accounts of his final hours from a member of his inner circle. "I have to say I was fascinated by Adolf Hitler and he was a pleasant boss and a fatherly friend," she writes. Hitler asked Ms Junge: "How are you my child? Have you had some rest? I want to dictate something." It was his final will and testament.
(telegraph.co.uk)

Hitler`s "suicide bunker" unearthed in Berlin
Workmen in the German capital, Berlin, have unearthed the remains of the bunker where Nazi leader Adolf Hitler is said to have committed suicide. Historians have always known the site of Hitler`s hide-away, which was sealed off by the Red Army after Berlin capitulated to the Russians. The bunker, just to the south of the Bradenburg Gate is where Hitler and his new wife Eva Braun are thought to have taken their lives in the final days of WWII.
(bbc)

News 2nd May 1945 - Hitler Dead - Doenitz Appointed Fuhrer
Adolf Hitler, is dead. Grand Admiral Doenitz, Commander-in-Chief of the German Navy, has been appointed the new Fuhrer. The German radio gave the news to the world at 10.25 last night in the following words: "It is reported from the Fuhrer`s headquarters that our Fuhrer, Adolf Hitler, has fallen this afternoon in his command post in the Reich Chancellery fighting to his last breath against Bolshevism. It is significant no reference was made in the announcement to Himmler, who has already offered unconditional surrender to Britain and the United States, and was expected to comply with the Allied demand that capitulation must be made also to Russia.
(leninimports)


See also:
Third Reich Tours
Hitler Bunker'
Eva Braun
Killing Hitler
Hitler's Private Belongings
Rochus Misch
Hitler: Adjutants, secretaries....