Nazi Leaders, and notable high ranking Axis officials.
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: Hermann Goering, Heinrich Himmler, Famous Descendants, Assassination of Heydrich, Martin Bormann, SS Daggers, Watches Hitler gave to nazi leaders.
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Theodor Eicke, the man who created the concentration camp model, was released from a mental asylum on Himmler`s orders
A son of a station master and the youngest of 11 children, Theodor Eicke, did not like school too much, failing to graduate and dropped out at the age of 17. He fought in WWI and received the Iron Cross for bravery. In the 1920s he went on to pursue a career in the police. There he started as an informer and later became a regular policeman. He got into trouble at work because of his hatred for the Weimar Republic and his involvement in violent political demonstrations. In a nutshell, Eicke`s view of the Weimar Republic was allied with those of the Nazi party, so it was only natural that he would join them.
Photos of high-ranking Nazis awaiting the Nuremburg Trials as they relax in a British POW camp
A remarkable collection of images of high-ranking Nazi officers at a British POW camp in the aftermath of WWII have been unearthed after 70 years. Senior figures including Gerd von Rundstedt, who was commander in chief of the German army in Western Europe, were held at Island Farm POW camp near Bridgend, south Wales, while awaiting the Nuremburg Trials. The authorities had to find suitable accommodation for a large number of POWs captured in Europe and Island Farm, with its concrete huts surrounded by open fields, fitted the bill. The fascinating collection of photographs, documents and letters were compiled by the camp`s intelligence officer, Captain Ted Lees. Among them are notes from Captain Lees who recalls a conversation with Rundstedt, to whom he became a confidante despite being Jewish, where he criticises Hitler for his infamous `halt order` which allowed the Allies to escape from Dunkirk.
Album of mugshots and signatures of Nazi war criminals awaiting justice unearthed
A chilling album featuring mugshots and signatures of Nazi war criminals which were taken as they awaited justice has been unearthed after more than 70 years. The gallery - a who`s who of Hitler`s henchmen involved in the Holocaust - was assembled by an Allied intelligence officer whose job was to interrogate the depraved individuals. A vital part of the questioning was to get them to provide an authentic signature to compare it with handwriting of Nazi officials who signed off orders for war atrocities.
How the diary of the man who convinced Hitler that Jews were a threat was found in N.Y.
For almost six decades, it was missing, all 400-plus revealing, handwritten pages. The diary of Alfred Rosenberg, a Nazi theorist whose views on race are thought to have helped incite Hitler`s persecution of Jews, vanished. It would take two men a dozen years to track down the elusive artifact, one of few known diaries by a member of Hitler`s inner circle. Working with federal investigators, they found it in 2013, in the offices of a publishing house in upstate New York, a place far more modest than the Bavarian castle atop a hill, Kloster Banz, where the diary had been first discovered in a vault after the war.
Alfred Rosenberg, the evil mastermind who more than anyone shaped Hitler`s thinking
In this prologue to The Devil`s Diary, we meet Alfred Rosenberg, the evil mastermind who shaped Hitler`s thinking. Rosenberg`s fingerprints would be found on more than a few of Nazi Germany`s most notorious crimes. He orchestrated the theft of artwork, archives, and libraries from Paris to Krakow to Kiev — the loot that the Allies` Monuments Men would track down in Germany`s castles and salt mines. In 1920, he planted the idea in Hitler`s mind that a global Jewish conspiracy was behind the communist revolution in the Soviet Union, and he repeated the claim over and over.
Backstory: The enigmatic Franz von Papen and the crystal vase
No Weimer-era politician played a greater role in placing the crown of tyranny on the brows of Hitler than Franz von Papen. And yet he was a man of contradictions, for no sooner had he engineered Hitler`s appointment as chancellor in 1933 than he expressed doubts about the excesses of Nazi terror. Von Papen almost paid with his life for that affront during the Night of the Long Knives, when friends were murdered, but he remained loyal to Hitler`s Germany. Von Papen served the Third Reich with distinction as ambassador to Austria and Turkey, but was free of personal animosity toward Jews. He faithfully supported Nazi policies of the deportation of Turkish Jews in France by advising the Turks not to interfere in these matters, but worked with the Vatican`s Apostolic Delegate to Turkey, to save Jews.
How a German Jew caught Rudolf Höss, the Kommandant of Auschwitz
At the end of 2006, journalist Thomas Harding attended the funeral of his great-uncle, Hanns Alexander. Two of Hanns`s nephews gave a eulogy that traced their uncle`s life, from his upbringing in Berlin to his family`s flight from Nazi Germany to England, and then to his war effort with the British Army against his native country. Much of this was known to the congregation. However, Harding was jolted by one detail that had never been aired: In 1945 Hanns had changed from soldier to Nazi hunter and was responsible for tracking down the Kommandant of Auschwitz, Rudolf Höss. His interest piqued, Harding began investigating and the result is the meticulously researched and rivetingly reported `Hanns and Rudolf.`
Long-lost diary of top Nazi leader Alfred Rosenberg discovered in Buffalo
400 pages from the long-lost diary of top Nazi leader Alfred Rosenberg has been discovered in the United States. Rosenberg`s memos to Hitler were cited as evidence during the Nuremberg trials, and he directed the systematic Nazi looting of Jewish art, cultural and religious property throughout Europe. His diary `complements, and in part contradicts, already known documentation.` The discovery could offer new insight into meetings Rosenberg had with Hitler and other top Nazi leaders, including Heinrich Himmler and Herman Goering. It also includes details about the German occupation of the Soviet Union, including plans for mass killings of Jews and other Eastern Europeans.
1913: When Hitler, Trotsky, Tito, Freud and Stalin all lived in one section of Vienna
In January 1913, a man whose passport had the name Stavros Papadopoulos disembarked from the Krakow train at Vienna`s North Terminal station. "I was sitting at the table," wrote the man he had come to meet, "when the door opened with a knock and an unknown man entered. The writer of these lines was a dissident Russian intellectual, the editor of a radical newspaper Pravda (Truth). His name was Leon Trotsky. The man he described was not, in fact, Papadopoulos. He had been born Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, was known to his friends as Koba and is now remembered as Joseph Stalin. Trotsky and Stalin were just two of a number of men who lived in central Vienna in 1913 and whose lives were destined to mould, indeed to shatter, much of the 20th century.
The Pursuit of the Nazi Mind: Hitler, Hess and the Analysts by Daniel Pick
When Rudolf Hess bailed out of his Messerschmitt into a field in Scotland in 1941, he was travelling light. If official reports are to be believed, he was carrying a flight map, some photos of him with his son, and the business cards of two German friends. There were no other documents, no id. However, his pockets were "stuffed full of pills and potions, including a curious elixir that had been given to him by the Swedish explorer Sven Hedin, who had in turn received it from a Tibetan lamasery." Examined by the Medical Research Council a fortnight later, this was described as "a remarkable collection of drugs", apparently designed to ward off "all assault of the devil as far as his flesh was concerned".
Otto Strasser in Paradise: A Nazi in Nova Scotia by H. Millard Wright (book review)
A veteran of the First World War, Otto Strasser, and his brother Gregor, were some of the first members of the Nazi Party. Otto first met Hitler over lunch with his brother in 1921. By 1933, Hitler was chancellor and he had fired Gregor as head of the national propaganda apparatus in favour of Joseph Goebbels and was "determined to rid himself of Otto Strasser." Hitler tried to assassinate Strasser three times: first with Hermann Göring, then Heinrich Himmler`s S.S. and finally the Führer`s spy corps. None were successful, nor were Strasser`s own attempts on Hitler. And, of all places, this rivalry led to Paradise, N.S., in the Annapolis Valley.
Hitler`s female secretaries, and what they thought of the Nazi Dictator
Official Nazi-era footage usually depicts Hitler as a man yelling his speeches, but he had other, even funny, sides too, as memoirs by his long-time secretary Christa Schroeder reveal: "In the initial stages of the Russian campaign I found that Hitler was nearly always good-tempered and ready for a joke. One night after the usual tea hour at Wolfsschanze ended Hitler accompanied us to outside the bunker doors. Suddenly I realized that I had left my flashlight in Hitler`s room, and asked the manservant to fetch it. He returned empty-handed. `Where could it be then?` I said. Hitler, in jovial frame of mind, defended himself with a smile: `I have not stolen it. I may be a thief of lands, but not of lamps. And it is better that way, for they hang you for the little item, but for the bigger on they let you go!`"
And it was not always easy to be Hitler, as Traudl Junge`s recollections show: "I asked Hitler why he only ever went to hear Die Meistersinger or other Wagnerian operas. [Hitler answered:] `It is just my luck that I can never say I like something without finding that I`m stuck listening exclusively to one piece of music or hearing one particular opera. I once said that Meistersinger is really one of Richard Wagner`s finest operas, so since then it is supposed to be my favourite opera and I do not get to hear anything else.`"
The Hitler I Knew: Memoirs of the Third Reich`s Press Chief by Otto Dietrich (book review)
Journalist Otto Dietrich entered Adolf Hitler`s inner circle in 1931, and from 1933 to 1945 he served as Führer`s press chief. After the collapse of the Third Reich, disillusioned Otto Dietrich wrote his memoirs, to be published after his death.
Hitler`s foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop planned to retire in Cornwall after Nazi invasion of Britain
One of the Nazi leaders set his heart on a retirement in Cornwall after Nazi Germany`s invasion of Britain. Joachim von Ribbentrop, the Nazi foreign minister, planned to reside in St Michael`s Mount, one of the most beautiful locations in the UK. He had served as the Nazi ambassador to Britain in the 1930s and had his eye on the picturesque tidal island in 1937. He also planned to keep Tregenna Castle as a holiday home. Von Ribbentrop`s yearning to live in Cornwall came to light after local artist Andrew Lanyon researched Nazi connections with the county.
Revealed: The lightweight reading choices of the Nazi leaders and popular books in the Third Reich
While the Nazi leaders posed as intellectuals reading tomes about race, culture and war, their aides reveal how they only ever saw "entertainments" stacked in studies or on bedside tables. Luftwaffe chief Hermann Goering liked Jules Verne, while Hitler favoured the works of Karl May. SS boss Heinrich Himmler read Jules Verne, Jack London, Hermann Hesse and Alexander Dumas. Christian Adam - who researched the reading habits of the Nazi elite for his book "Reading under Hitler: Authors, Best-sellers and Readers in the Third Reich" - says the popularity of escapist literature grew as the war went on.
15 most evil Nazis, including Ilse Koch, Reinhard Heydrich, Oskar Dirlewanger...
(14) Ilse Koch, the wife of Buchenwald commandant Karl Koch, was known as The "Bitch of Buchenwald" because of her cruelty towards prisoners. --- (12) Franz Stangl was a commandant of the Sobibor and Treblinka and the superintendent of the T-4 Euthanasia Program. --- (11) Paul Blobel commanded Sonderkommando 4a of Einsatzgruppe C, responsible for the Babi Yar massacre. --- (9) Ernst Kaltenbrunner was chief of RSHA after Reinhard Heydrich was assassinated. --- (7) WW1 veteran Oskar Dirlewanger led the SS Dirlewanger Brigade, a penal battalion comprised of the most vicious criminals in Nazi Germany. (6) Odilo Globocnik liquidated the Warsaw and the Bialystok Ghettos.
Model Nazi: Arthur Greiser and the Occupation of Western Poland by Catherine Epstein
15,000 Poles attended a hanging in Poznan in July 1946. The man hanged was Arthur Greiser, the Nazi Party leader in the Warthegau, a part of western Poland annexed to Nazi Germany after the 1939 invasion. Few people remember Greiser today, but at the peak of his career he was one of the most powerful local Nazi administrators, trying to achieve the utopia of an ethnically cleansed Nazi empire. Greiser carried out a ruthless policy of Germanisation that aimed at total control over the conquered population, removal of its national character and the extermination of all those who didn`t fit the Nazi ideology.
Hunting Evil: The Nazi War Criminals Who Escaped and the Quest to Bring Them to Justice by Guy Walters (WW2 book review)
Over 60 years after the end of World War II, there are still Nazi mass murderers and Nazi guards among us who have escaped justice. The book reveals how Hitler`s henchman Martin Bormann was thought to be living in South America long after his actual death. Bormann was reported dead by the Hitler Youth leader Artur Axmann, who escaped with him from Hitler`s fuehrerbunker in 1945 and saw Bormann dead. Yet nobody believed it. The body of the Gestapo chief Heinrich Müller was found with his id papers near the Reich Chancellery and laid to rest in a mass grave - but many still claim his disappearance is a WW2 mystery.
Martin Sandberger: For years the highest ranking SS member alive, who lived in Germany undisturbed
He was a model pupil of SS leader Heinrich Himmler and a Nazi officer on the front lines of the Holocaust, sentenced to death by hanging by a US military court - but with the help of powerful friends he walked free. For decades Martin Sandberger - the highest ranking member of the SS alive - lived in Germany undisturbed. Shortly before his death he granted his last and only interview. Historian Michael Wildt depicts Sandberger as a poster child of the elite, academically trained type of perpetrator who, acting on orders from the Reich Security Head Office (RSHA), set up mass murder in the east.
Dentist of the Devil by Menevse Deprem-Hennen -- Johannes Blaschke treated Nazi leaders
Adolf Hitler portrayed himself as a fearless ruler who was afraid of no-one. But behind closed doors, the Nazi leader was scared of going to the dentist. His personal dentist Johannes Blaschke - a Major General in the Waffen SS - revealed how Hitler once insisted simple root-canal work was spread over 8 days because he "couldn`t stand the pain." The book, "Dentist of the Devil" by Menevse Deprem-Hennen, she chronicles the work of Blaschke, who was in charge of the Fuehrer`s teeth for almost 20 years. Deprem-Hennen gained access to Blaschke`s unseen medical files on Hitler and other Nazi leaders who were his patients in the 1930s and 1940s.
Adolf Hitler`s favourite thug: Sturmabteilung (SA) commander Ernst Roehm
The SS men in black uniforms walked into the cell, placing a pistol and a single bullet on the table: "You`ve got 10 minutes," said one. The man in the cell, Ernst Roehm, had lived by violence all his life: He had killed in WWI trenches, on the streets of Germany, and taught killing to his men. But what troubled him was the fact that his end had been ordered by his friend Adolf Hitler - Roehm was one of the few people who addressed Hitler as "Adolf". When the time was up Theodor Eicke and SS captain Michael Lippert returned. Roehm refused to commit suicide, so the SS officers shot him. The days of Ernst Roehm`s SA were over: Heinrich Himmler`s SS took over.
Reichsleiter Dr. Robert Ley - thread at Axis History Forum
This Axis History Forum -thread features dozens of pictures of Reichsleiter Dr. Robert Ley - head of the German Labour Front 1933-1945.
Photos of children of Nazi leaders - thread at AxisHistory forum
Photographs of the children of the Nazi leaders, including Gudrun Himmler, Edda Goering, children of Martin Bormann, children of Magda and Joseph Goebbels and Rudolf v. Ribbentrop.
The Quandt family trying to explore the Nazi past
In addition to being one of the most important German arms producers during World War II, the Quandt family also had a private link to the Nazis: Guenther Quandt`s first wife Magda Ritschel married Joseph Goebbels. After tv documentary "The Silence of the Quandt Family" recounted the use of Nazi prisoners helped the Quandt family make its fortune, Stefan Quandt explained: "The allegation that the family`s assets can be traced back to the time of the Third Reich defrauds 50 years of ... success ... before the year 1933." The family hired historian Joachim Scholtyseck to research the family history - findings may lead the Quandts to face the skeletons in the family closet.
Tale of Heinrich Hoffmann, Hitler`s favourite photographer, can finally be told
The recollections of Adolf Hitler`s favourite photographer Heinrich Hoffmann have been published in book "The Hitler Picture". He made a small fortune from photographing the Führer, but his saving were seized by the Allies and he died in poverty in 1957. Before his death, he gave a series of interviews to Joe Heydecker, who died 10 years ago with instructions that the conversations were not to be published until now. Hoffmann, more than any other, helped creating the myth of the "Führer Superman". Hoffmann recounts how he first met Hitler in 1929 and was one of few who knew of his relationship with Eva Braun.
The Reichstag fire conviction of Marinus van der Lubbe overturned
Prosecutors have annulled the conviction of Dutch communist Marinus van der Lubbe, accused of burning down the Reichstag building in 1933. He was convicted of arson and high treason and executed on Jan. 10, 1934. It said that the conviction was overturned automatically under a 1998 law enabling the rehabilitation of people convicted of crimes under the Nazis. Historians still argue whether van der Lubbe set the Feb. 27, 1933, fire, which came just a month after Adolf Hitler`s rise to power and was followed by the suspension of civil liberties. Some think the Nazis set it themselves to give Hitler an excuse for his crackdown against a "communist conspiracy."
Hitler`s Fixer - Martin Bormann documentary
As Adolf Hitler`s deputy and friend, Martin Bormann was one of the most powerful men in the Third Reich, controlling access to the Fuhrer and managing his life. Hitler singled Martin Bormann out as "my most faithful party comrade" and selected him the next leader of the Nazi Party. He was found guilty of war crimes by the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg in 1946 and condemned to death in absentia. Did Martin Bormann find safety in Paraguay or was one of two skeletons excavated in Berlin in 1972 that of this man of mystery?
Top Nazis brought to a secret Camp 165 in Scotland for brainwashing
Newly unveiled documents have revealed that a Caithness POW camp had a secret role as a place where some key figures in Adolf Hitler`s Third Reich were questioned and subjected to "de-Nazification". While the existence of Camp 165 at Watten, near Wick, is known, historian Valerie Campbell has come into possession of files which reveal the existence of an inner compound called "Little Belsen". Inmates included Paul Werner Hoppe: the commandant of Stutthof camp, Dr Paul Schroder: the man behind the Nazi`s V2 project, Hitler`s adjutant and SS commander Max Wunsche, Nazi propagandist Gunter d`Alquen, and U-boat captain Otto Kretschmer.
Germany: full state honour burial for former Nazi Filbinger
The black forest city of Freiburg held a burial with full state honors for the former Nazi navy judge Hans Filbinger. A no-protest zone was declared around the cathedral. Filbinger was responsible for revising cases of WW2 German Navy deserters, demanding the death penalty for sailors instead of 8 years of jail and disohonorable discharge. Executions ordered by Filbinger continued right up until the last days of the war, demonstrating his fascist fanaticism. Filbinger was the only german nazi-judge who brought death penalty upon a german navy deserteur in a British camp for german POW - with the support of the British Forces, in the last days of WW2.
Dictators’ Downfall - Hearts of Darkness: Adolf Hilter, Mussolini
"Hearts of Darkness Part 7a" focused on the rise of two of the most notorious figures in the 20th century. While Adolf Hitler’s and Benito Mussolini’s regimes differed in the speed with which each achieved total power, the two leaders had exuded similar messianic pretensions. Once in control, they accepted the divinity their adoring publics granted them. What had taken Benito Mussolini 3 years took Adolf Hitler a mere 3 months. The Führer’s regime seemed to arrive fully developed early in 1933. Historian Fritz Stern: "In 90 days, a one-party state had been established." The Duce had only gradually achieved his totalitarian state.
Royal relic fights for future of Romania - King Michael I
King Michael I, the last living head of state from World War II, is locked in a battle to restore the power of history`s forgotten monarchy. He has already won permission to return from exile but he still has an uphill struggle to achieve the full restoration of royal property. Michael lunched with Adolf Hitler, shook Winston Churchill`s hand and lived briefly under Stalin`s thumb. He is a quiet, an undemanding and, inevitably, a disappointed man. "Unfortunately, I had 4 years with the Nazis and 3 years with the Soviets, and you get to the point - how should I say - you have radar in your nose."
Royals and the Reich - Adolf Hitler`s Blue-Blooded Servants
"Royals and the Reich: The Princes von Hessen in Nazi Germany" by Jonathan Petropoulos lays to rest the myth of anti-Nazi resistance in high places. His book focuses on two blue-blooded servants of the Nazi regime: Princes Philipp and Christoph von Hessen. Christoph was a senior SS man, whose role in intelligence involved him in the Night of the Long Knives in 1934. He later received the Iron Cross. It was only in 1944, when the fascist adventure looked doomed, that upper-class began to distance themselves from Nazis. After WW2, Philipp became part of a circle that gathered around the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and British fascist leader Oswald Mosley.
The fates of dictators
Nazi leaders: The Military Tribunal at Nuremberg sentenced 12 members of the Nazi inner circle to death in 1946. All were hanged on Oct. 16, except for Hermann Goering, who committed suicide before his execution, and Martin Bormann who was tried and convicted in absentia. 7 Japanese leaders, including PM Hideki Tojo, were executed in Dec 1948 after being found guilty by the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal of numerous atrocities during World War II. Adolf Eichmann: Top Gestapo official who helped orchestrate the mass killing, Eichmann was executed in May 1962 after being convicted by an Israeli court.
Ernst Hanfstaengl worked for both Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Adolf Hitler (Article no longer available from the original source)
Ernst Hanfstaengl created the "Heil Hitler" chant, he spread America`s straight-arm salute in Germany, and he taught the Nazi Party leader to use swastika-style symbolism in signatures. He was the only person known to have worked directly for both Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Adolf Hitler -- Both promoted national socialism, both enlarged government massively. By the time he was in the U.S., the straight-arm salute was used for various purposes, including the National Anthem the Star Spangled Banner, for flags and as a general greeting. About 1921, he travelled back to Germany and heard for the first time a speech by Adolf Hitler.
The Führer`s Photographer -- The Eye of the Third Reich
On his 34th birthday Walter Frentz was accorded a special honor. Adolf Hitler`s preferred photographer was allowed to sit next to the Nazi dictator in 1941. Although he never became a member of the Nazi party, Frentz played a unique role in Adolf Hitler`s entourage during the Third Reich. For years he was trusted to film Hitler for the weekly newsreels and other Nazi propaganda. Wherever the Führer was, he was too. But most of the photographs he took were never meant for the public. A new biography, The Eye of the Third Reich, shows unpublished shots of Hitler and other top Nazis, like SS leader Heinrich Himmler.
Heinrich Harrer - mountaineer and explorer
A Mountaineer and explorer whose youthful idealism coincided with the rise to power of Adolf Hitler and Nazism, Heinrich Harrer became a controversial figure, dogged into old age by his membership of the SS. Harrer made no secret of his sympathy for National Socialism, and when in the same year Austria was absorbed into the Third Reich he was photographed with Hitler and, before cheering crowds, was congratulated by him on the successful climb. As well as Seven Years in Tibet, Harrer wrote The White Spider, a history of the north face of the Eiger, and Tibet is My Country.
Repost: Oil Baron Getty Revealed as Hitler Fan
Newly released documents have revealed that oil billionaire and museum founder J. Paul Getty was a friend and admirer of Adolf Hitler and even lent his support to Nazi Germany in the early days of World War II. Getty appears to have been at the center of a shadowy group of financiers that provided support to Nazi Germany in the early days of WWII. The dossier says Getty sold one million barrels of oil to Germany. The fuel had to be delivered via Russia, a German ally at the time, because a British blockade was in place.
The man who succeeded Hitler - Karl Doenitz
The man took over the Third Reich after Hitler committed suicide on 30 April, was not Field Marshal Hermann Goering, or SS chief Heinrich Himmler, but the head of the navy, Karl Doenitz. He did not last long. He authorised the German surrender one week later, and was arrested by British forces on 23 May. Hitler and Doenitz became particularly close from the beginning of 1945. This was partly because Doenitz promised Hitler a "revolution at sea" to be achieved by new U-boats capable of remaining submerged for long periods.