Death of Adolf Hitler

The death of Adolf Hitler , leader of Nazi Party and Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945 , there was the 30 of April of 1945 ; Hitler committed suicide with a shot in the head with his wife, Eva Braun , who resorted to cyanide poisoning . The lack of public information regarding the whereabouts of his remains and the confused reports on it sparked rumors that Hitler might have survived the end of World War II . The question was raised intentionally by the authorities of the Soviet Union , who concealed relevant information about the event.

In 1992, the publication of the records maintained by the Soviet KGB and the Russian FSB confirmed the widely accepted version of Hitler’s death, as described by the British historian Hugh Trevor-Roper ; 1 However, the Russian archives do not show what happened to Hitler’s corpse .

Final Hours

Hitler established his residence in the Chancellery’s bunker on January 16, 1945, from where he held the presidency of a disintegrating Third Reich , because the Allies were advancing both east and west . By the end of April, Soviet forces had entered Berlin and were waging a struggle to the center of the city, where the Chancellery was located .

On April 22, Hitler suffered what some historians describe as a nervous breakdown during one of his meetings to examine the military situation, publicly admitting that the defeat was imminent and that Germany would lose the war. He led some out of the room and stayed with Goebbels and Krebs. Hitler went into a state of hysteria shouting that his generals had betrayed him and that Germany had succumbed to a string of traitors and cowards; Then left the room collapsed anonymously. Nurse Erna Flegel stated that Hitler looked perhaps 15 or 20 years older after that last meeting with his generals and trembled strongly on his left hand. 2

He expressed his intention to kill himself and later asked the doctor Werner Haase to recommend a reliable method of suicide . Haase suggested he combine a dose of cyanide followed immediately with a bullet in the head. Hitler had a stock of cyanide capsules he had obtained through the SS .

On April 28, Hitler learned of Heinrich Himmler ‘s attempt to negotiate independently through the International Red Cross, presided over by Count Folke Bernardotte , a treaty of peace and considered it a betrayal ; He then ordered the arrest and execution of Hermann Fegelein , Himmler’s liaison at the Bunker. This fact was the emotional break-up for Hitler. Since then, Hitler has begun to show symptoms of paranoia , expressing concern about the authenticity of the cyanide capsules he had received through Himmler’s SS, so he ordered Dr. Haase to try them on with his dog Blondi . As a result, the animal died immediately. 3 He also learned of the execution of his ally Benito Mussolini , victim of antifascist partisans, and vowed not to share his fate.

After midnight on 29 of April of 1945 , four Hitler married Eva Braun in a small civil ceremony inside the bunker, having as witnesses Magda and Joseph Goebbels, with the presence of Traudl Junge , his secretary, who prepared What is necessary for the political will. Antony Beevor argues that after taking a modest wedding breakfast with his wife, Hitler took his secretary Traudl Junge to another room and dictated his last will and testament. The writing lasted just over two hours and four copies were prepared, which immediately went to their destinations. He signed these documents at 04:00 and then retired to sleep (some sources indicate that Hitler dictated his last will and testament immediately before his marriage, but all the sources agree at the time of the signature). 5 6

Suicide

At dawn of 30 of April of 1945 , Hitler ordered gather all the medical staff and said goodbye to him, to the astonishment and sobs of those present. According to Junge, Hitler gazed thoughtfully at a picture of Frederick the Great in his office and then ordered the non-essential personnel to leave the Bunker. He summoned Otto Günsche and Heinz Linge , his assistants, and gave them strict instructions on how to act at the time of suicide and what to do with his body and Eva Braun’s . Günsche began preparations and called Erich Kempka , Hitler’s chauffeur, to immediately raise drums of gasoline out of the chancery garden.

Towards noon, he met with his secretaries and silently ate a meal based on pastries; Then said goodbye to each of them giving him a cyanide capsule. He later said goodbye to the Goebbels family, ignoring Magda Goebbels’ requests that he not commit suicide.

Towards 15:30, Hitler and Eva Braun gathered in front of the room of maps contiguous to the private office and took leave of their aides, Heinz Linge and Otto Günsche , who closed the door; A couple of minutes later a single drowned shot was heard.

The aedicans waited about 15 minutes and found Hitler bending over himself in an armchair with a deformed grimace on his mouth, with a 7.65-mm Walther PPK pistol falling from his right hand and a thread of blood staining the face of the Leader. Eva Braun could not reach her weapon and was lying along the couch with her eyes still open; The cyanide effect did not allow the use of the weapon. 7

Linge 8 recounted firsthand what he saw in Hitler’s office:

When I opened the door of his room, I found a scene that I will never forget: to the left of the sofa was Hitler, sitting and dead. Beside her, also dead, Eva Braun. In Hitler’s right temple he could see a wound the size of a small coin, and on his cheek were two threads of blood. On the carpet, beside the sofa, a pool of blood the size of a plate had formed. The walls and sofa were also spattered with blood jets. Hitler’s right hand rested on his knee, palm facing up. His left hand hung limp. Next to the right foot of Hitler, there was a gun of the type Walther PPK caliber 7,65 mm. Next to the left foot, another of the same model, but of caliber 6,35 mm. Hitler wore his gray military uniform and wore the Party’s gold badge, the First Class Iron Cross, and the World War I wounded medal; In addition, he wore a white shirt with black tie, black trousers, black leather socks and shoes.

Heinz Linge

Final destination of the corpse

Immediately Hitler’s assistants drew both bodies wrapped in a carpet. Linge and Günshe transported Hitler’s body on the carpet, while Martin Bormann and Erich Kempka moved the corpse of Eva Braun , although Bormann treated the body with very little consideration. The corpses were taken up to the courtyard of the Chancellery of the Reich , being deposited in a hole of howitzer; Otto Günsche sprayed both bodies with about 200 liters of gas from the cars still in the cellars of the Chancellery. Faced with the impossibility of approaching a match because of the strong wind, Bormann produced a torch that he turned on and handed it to Erich Kempka, so that he could set fire to the corpses. Were present Joseph Goebbels and other dignitaries.

The fall of shells of the Red Army in the patio prevented the aeducans to continue in the outside, reason why they could not supervise that the rest were consumed completely; Before this, the Nazi chiefs present there chose to bury both corpses, although due to the rush of the moment they only managed to do it superficially.

When the May 1 the Admiral Karl Doenitz announced within the death of Hitler in his bunker, Stalin was skeptical and made direct pressure to the NKVD and the head of it, Lavrenti Beria , so that the units of the NKVD in Berlin hallasen the Alleged remains of Hitler in the shortest possible time. A special Soviet unit of the SMERSH undertook an exhaustive search in the Chancellery of the Reich and there they were able to find the bodies of Hitler and Eva Braun 9 of May . The dental pieces of both skulls were intact and were compared to dental files supplied by an assistant of Hitler’s dentist; Detailed interrogations were also carried out on all the aides and assistants captured in the Führerbunker , whereby the findings of the SMERSH were ratified.

However, the government of the Soviet Union did not disclose further information about the death of Adolf Hitler, and even Stalin denied before US diplomats any certainty of Hitler’s death. The Stalinist regime considered it appropriate to maintain doubts about the body of the Nazi leader as a propaganda weapon during the Cold War , accusing the US governments . UU. And Britain to conceal an alleged “escape” from Hitler to Spain or South America , whether in a submarine or under a false identity. This uncertainty, heightened by the fact that the Soviet government refused to give detailed information about the body of Hitler or Eva Braun, unleashed all sorts of myths about Hitler’s final destiny that endure to this day.

After Stalin ‘s death in 1953 , the official policy of the USSR was based on doubts about the death of Hitler, in line with the regime ‘s propaganda , although in 1969 a Soviet journalist managed to publish a detailed book on the fate of the corpses Of the Führer and his wife.

Revelations after the end of the USSR

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 foreign investigators were allowed access to the Soviet archives of World War II , but these did not give new information as the final destination of Hitler’s remains remained classified as top secret information . Gradually, declassified documents of the KGB allowed to reconstruct what happened, and to prove that the NKVD did discover and identify the remains of Hitler a few days after ceasing the battle of Berlin , next to the rest of Goebbels family.

The NKVD authorities ordered the remains to be taken to a NKVD headquarters in the city of Magdeburg ( East German territory ), along with the remains of the Goebbels family, and in February 1946 they were buried in wooden boxes inside Of a barracks garden. Only the top hierarchy of the NKVD (and its successor , the KGB ) knew the contents of those boxes, as well as their precise location.

In 1970 the KGB ceded control of its facilities from Magdeburg to the government of the Democratic Republic of Germany , but before carrying out the transfer Soviet Prime Minister Yuri Andrópov sent from the USSR a special KGB team to Magdeburg to secretly destroy the corpses buried there in 1946. after unearthing the boxes in April of 1970 , Soviet agents burned the remains of bodies found inside, and then crushed the ashes, throwing them immediately after the Biederitz, a tributary of the river Elbe . Referring to Fig.

Dramatizations

  • Hitler: the last ten days (1973), a film about the days leading up to Hitler’s death that starred Alec Guinness , but received bad reviews for having many inaccuracies.
  • The Bunker (1978), directed by James O’Donnell , describes the last days in the Fuhrer’s headquarters from January 17 to May 2, 1945. An adaptation for television in 1981, starring Anthony Hopkins .
  • Der Untergang ( The Sinking , 2005), German film about the last days of Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich. He also presents interviews with Traudl Junge .

References

  1. Back to top^ Trevor-Roper, Hugh (1947, reprint 1992). The Last Days of Hitler . Chicago, IL: University Of Chicago Press. ISBN  0-226-81224-3 .
  2. Back to top↑ Testimony of a Bunker nurse .
  3. Back to top↑ Lehmann, Armin D. (2004). In Hitler’s Bunker: A Boy Soldier’s Eyewitness Account of the Fuehrer’s Last Days , Lyon’s Press. ISBN 978-1-59228-578-5 .
  4. Back to top↑ Hitler’s last days: “Hitler’s will and marriage” “In the small hours of 28 to 29 April.”
  5. Back to top^ Beevor, Antony (2002). Berlin – The Downfall 1945 . Penguin Books . P. 343. ISBN  0-670-88695-5 . Beevor records the marriage taking place before Hitler had dictated his last will and testament.
  6. Back to top↑ Hitler’s last days: “Hitler’s will and marriage” , on the website of MI5 , thanks to the available sources for which Trevor Roper (asagent of MI5 during World War II) in the last days of Hitler records Marriage as taking place after Hitler had dictated his last will and testament.
  7. Back to top↑ Hitler’s last goodbye .
  8. Back to top↑ Life and Testimony of Heinz Linge
  9. Back to top↑ «NKVD reveals the end of Hitler’s remains.