Martin Bormann

Martin Bormann (June 17, 1900 – May 2, 1945) was a prominent official of Nazi Germany , head of the Parteikanzlei (Chancellery of the Nazi Party). He gained immense power within the Third Reich using his position as Adolf Hitler’s private secretary to control the flow of information and access to Hitler.

Bormann joined the paramilitary organization Freikorps in 1922 while working as a manager of a large estate. He was in prison for about a year, as was his friend Rudolf Höss (then commander of the Auschwitz extermination camp ), for the murder of Walter Kadow . Bormann joined the Nazi Party in 1927 and the paramilitary organization Schutzstaffel (SS) in 1937. He initially worked for the party’s insurance service, although in July 1933 he was transferred to the Führer’s deputy’s office, Rudolf Hess , where he served as Chief of staff

Bormann used his position to create an extensive bureaucracy and to involve himself as much as possible in the making of decisions. He soon found a niche in Hitler’s intimate circle, which he accompanied everywhere, offering briefings and summaries of events and petitions. He began acting as personal secretary to Hitler in 1935, a position for which he was officially appointed in 1943. After Hess’s solo flight to Britain on 19 May 1941 – to establish peace negotiations with the government Bormann assumed the old functions of Hess, with the position of head of Parteikanzlei (Party Chancellery). He came to control final approval of public administration appointments, revision and approval of legislation, and by 1943 he had already taken de facto control over all domestic affairs of Hitler’s government. Bormann was one of the main defenders of the persecution of the Christian churches and favored the bad treatment of Jews and Slavs in the zones conquered by Germany during World War II.

Bormann returned with Hitler to the Führerbunker in Berlin on January 16, 1945, while the Red Army approached the city. After Hitler committed suicide , Bormann and other members of Hitler’s inner circle tried to leave Berlin on May 2 to try to escape being captured by the Soviets. Bormann probably committed suicide on a bridge near Lehrter Station . The body was buried in a nearby ditch around May 8, 1945, but was not found and definitively confirmed until 1972. Bormann was tried in absentia by the International Military Tribunal during the Nuremberg Trials between 1945 and 1946.

Early years and formation

Born in Wegeleben in the then Kingdom of Prussia , located within the German Empire , Bormann was the son of Theodor Bormann (1862-1903), a postal worker , and his second wife, Antonie Bernhardine Mennong. The family was Lutheran . He had two half-brothers (Else and Walter Bormann) from his father’s previous marriage to Louise Grobler, who died in 1898. Antonie and Theodor had three children, one of whom died at an early age. Martin Bormann (born in 1900) and Albert (born in 1902) did manage to reach adulthood. His father Theodor died when Bormann was three, so his mother remarried. 1

Bormann studies at an Institute of Agricultural trade were interrupted when he joined the 55th Field Artillery Regiment as a soldier gunner in June 1918, during the last months of the First World War . He never went into combat, although he performed garrison duties until his demobilization in February 1919. After working for some time in a cattle feed mill, Bormann became manager of a large estate in Mecklenburg . 2 3 After starting work on the farm, Bormann joined an association of anti – Semitic landowners. 4 While increasing hyperinflation in the Weimar Republic caused money to lose its value, food products stored on farms and farms became increasingly valuable. Many farms, including Bormann, had stationed units Freikorps in the vicinity to protect crops from looting. 5 Bormann joined in 1922 to a Freikorps unit led by Gerhard Roßbach , serving as section chief and treasurer. 6

On March 17, 1924 Bormann was sentenced to one year’s imprisonment in Elisabethstrasse Prison as an accomplice to his friend Rudolf Höss in the murder of Walter Kadow . 7 8 The perpetrators believed that Kadow had alerted the French occupation authorities in the Ruhr District that Freikorps member Albert Leo Schlageter was carrying out sabotage operations against the industries in the area under French control. Schlageter was immediately arrested and executed on May 23, 1923. On the night of May 31 Höss, Bormann and many others took Kadow, took him to a meadow on the outskirts of the city, beat him and finally beheaded him. 9 After one of the perpetrators of the crime confessed, the police unearthed the body and filed charges for murder in early July. 10Bormann was released from prison in February 1925. 7 n. 1 He joined the Frontbann , an NSDAP paramilitary organization that had a short life since it was created to replace the Sturmabteilung (SA), which had been banned after the failure of the Munich Putsch . Bormann returned to his work in Mecklenburg and remained there until May 1926, when he moved to live with his mother in Oberweimar. 12

Race in the Nazi Party

In 1927 Bormann joined the German National Socialist Workers’ Party (NSDAP) with member number 60,508. 13 It would be united to the Schutzstaffel (SS) 1 of January of 1937 with the number 278.267; 14 However, by a special order of Heinrich Himmler , in 1938 Bormann was guaranteed the number 555 as a member of the SS to reflect his status as Alter Kämpfer (Former fighter). fifteen

Early years

Bormann found work at the Der Nationalsozialist , a weekly newspaper edited by Nazi militant Hans Severus Ziegler , who was deputy of the party leader in Thuringia . After joining the NSDAP in 1927, Bormann began his functions as regional press chief, but his lack of public speaking skills made it clear that he was not prepared to hold this position. He soon tested his organizational skills as business manager of the Gau (region in the administrative structure of the party) in Thuringia. 16 In October 1928 he moved to Munich, where he went to work in the insurance office of the SA. Initially, the Nazi Party provided coverage through insurance companies for members who were injured or killed in frequent violent skirmishes with members of other political parties. Over time, however, insurance companies were not willing to pay for such activities, and in 1930 Bormann created the Hilfskasse der NSDAP ( NSDAP Relief Fund), a fund of benefits and bonuses administered directly by the party. Each party member was required to pay premiums and could receive compensation for injuries sustained while performing party functions. Payments made outside the fund were made exclusively at Bormann’s discretion. He began to make a reputation as a financial expert, and many party members felt indebted to him after receiving fund benefits. 17 In addition to its official purpose, the fund was also used as a source of last resort for the financing of the NSDAP, which at that time suffered a chronic shortage of money. 18 19 After the success of the Nazi Party in the General Election of 1930 , in which the Nazis won 107 seats, the party membership increased significantly. 20 By 1932 the fund raised three million Reichsmarks per year. twenty-one

Bormann also worked in the personnel section of the SA from 1928 to 1930, and while there he founded the National Socialist Automobile Corps, precursor of the National Socialist Automobile Transport Corps . The organization was responsible for coordinating the use of motor vehicles belonging to party members, and later was also extended to training party members in driving skills. 22

Reichsleiter and head of the party chancellery

After the Machtergreifung (takeover of the Nazis) in January 1933, the aid fund was reused to provide insurance for accidents and also property, so Bormann resigned from his administration. He asked to be transferred and was transferred, being assigned as chief of staff in the office of Rudolf Hess , the Deputy Fuhrer, on July 1, 1933. 23 24 Bormann also served as personal secretary of Hess since July 4, 1933 to May 1941. 25 Hess’s department was responsible for resolving disputes within the party and acted as an intermediary between the party and the state in relation to political decisions and legislation. 26 n. 2 In this new post, Bormann used his position to create an extensive bureaucracy and to involve himself as much as possible in decision-making. 23 26 On 10 October 1933 Hitler appointed Bormann Reichsleiter (national leader – the highest ranking party) of the NSDAP, and in November was appointed deputy of the Reichstag . 28 By June 1934, Bormann had won acceptance of Hitler’s inner circle and passed to accompany him everywhere, offering briefings and summaries of events and requests. 29

In 1935, Bormann was appointed supervisor of all reforms and renovations of the Berghof , Hitler’s private residence in Obersalzberg . Hitler had purchased the property in the early 1930s, which he had been renting since 1925 as a summer retreat. After becoming Chancellor, Hitler outlined plans for the expansion and remodeling of the main dwelling and put Bormann in charge of the works. Bormann also oversaw the construction of SS guards’ barracks, roads and trails, car garages, a guest house, accommodation for staff and other services. Bormann also acquired the surrounding farms until the Berghof complex covered about ten square kilometers. Members of the inner circle also built houses within that perimeter, as was the case of Hermann Göring , Albert Speer , and Bormann himself. 30 31 n. 3 Bormann also directed the construction of the Kehlsteinhaus (Eagle’s Nest), a tea house near the Berghof, as a gift to Hitler for his 50th birthday (April 20, 1939). Hitler rarely used this residence, but Bormann liked to impress the guests by taking them there. 33

While Hitler spent seasons at his Berghof residence, Bormann was constantly assisting him and in fact acted as Hitler’s personal secretary. Exercising these functions, he began to control the flow of information and access to Hitler. 23 34 During this period, Hitler gave Bormann control of your personal finances. In addition to his salaries as Chancellor and Reichspräsident , Hitler’s profits included the money earned through the copyright of his book Mein Kampf and also the proceeds from the use of his image on the postage stamps. Bormann established the Adolf Hitler Fund for the German Economy ( Adolf Hitler-Spende der deutschen Wirtschaf ), through which money was collected from German industrialists who were favorable to Hitler. Some of the funds received through this program were handed over to various party leaders, but Bormann retained most of it for personal use by Hitler. 35 Bormann and others used to take notes of Hitler’s thoughts expressed during dinner and later monologues until late at night, and kept them. The material would later be published as Hitler’s Private Conversations . 36 37

The Führer Deputy’s office had jurisdiction over the final approval of the appointment of officials, and Bormann reviewed the personal files and made the consequent decisions regarding appointments. This power was actually a competence of the Minister of the Interior Wilhelm Frick , which is an example of the overlapping responsibilities of the Nazi regime. 38 Bormann used to travel everywhere with Hitler, including travel to Austria in 1938 after the Anschluss ( annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany ), and Sudeten after the signing of the Munich Accords a few months later. 39 That same year, Bormann was put in charge of organizing the 1938 Nuremberg Congress , which was the party’s biggest annual event. 40

Hitler used to intentionally cause the main members of the party to fight against each other, and also that members of the NSDAP faced off against public officials. In this way, distrust, competition and internal struggles among subordinates were encouraged to consolidate and maximize their own power. 41 Normally I not give written orders; Instead, he verbally communicated or commanded that they be transmitted through Bormann. 42 Losing Bormann’s favor meant that access to Hitler was cut. 43 In that sense, Bormann proved to be a master of political intrigues and internal power struggles. His ability to control access to Hitler allowed him to reduce the power of Joseph Goebbels , Göring, Himmler, Alfred Rosenberg , Robert Ley , Hans Frank , Speer, and other senior officers, many of whom eventually became his enemies. This continuing intrigue for power, influence, and favor of Hitler came to characterize the inner workings of the Third Reich. 23 44

As the Second World War progressed, Hitler’s attention was focused on foreign affairs and the conduct of war itself, while the rest of affairs lost all interest for him. Hess, who was not directly involved in the war effort, was increasingly left out of the affairs of the nation and Hitler’s attention; Bormann had succeeded in supplanting him in many of his functions and had ultimately usurped his position as a close collaborator of Hitler. Hess was worried that Germany would have to face a war on two fronts after learning of Operation Barbarossa , the planned invasion of the Soviet Union that would take place a few months later. On May 10, 1941, he made a solo trip to the United Kingdom to begin peace negotiations with the British government. 45 46 47 However, he was arrested after his arrival and spent the remainder of the war as a prisoner of the British, and would later be sentenced to death for war crimes during the Nuremberg Trials in 1946. 48 Speer would later say that Hitler Described Hess’s journey “as one of the worst blows of his life,” which he considered a personal betrayal. 49 Hitler ordered that Hess should be shot if he returned to Germany and abolished the post of Führer’s Deputy on May 12, 1941, assigning the former functions of Hess to Bormann, with the title of Head of Partyikanzlei ( Party Chancellery ). 25 50 In this position he was responsible for all NSDAP appointments, and only responded to Hitler himself. 51 His associates began to refer to Bormann as the “brown Eminence,” though they never did in his presence. 52 n. 4

Bormann’s real power and reach increased considerably during the contest. 53 In early 1943, the war had caused an employment crisis for the regime. Hitler created a three-man committee composed of representatives of the State, the Armed Forces and the Party, in an attempt to centralize control of the war economy. Members of the committee were Hans Lammers (head of the Reich Chancellery), Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel , the head of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW), and Bormann, who controlled the party. The committee tried to act independently and propose measures without taking into account the wishes of several ministers, while Hitler reserved the last word. The committee , soon known as the Dreierausschuß (Committee of the Three), met eleven times between January and August 1943. However, they soon encountered resistance from some of Hitler’s ministers, who had their own spheres of Influence and had been excluded from the committee. Seeing this as a threat to his power, Goebbels, Göring, and Speer worked side by side to end any possible committee influence. The result was that nothing changed and that the Committee of Three ended up falling into irrelevance. 54

Campaign Churches

While article 24 of the Nazi Party platform called for conditional tolerance for all Christian denominations and a Reichskonkordat (Reich Concordat), which was signed with the Vatican in 1933 and intended to ensure religious freedom for Catholics, Hitler Believed that religion was fundamentally incompatible with National Socialism. Bormann, who was deeply anti-Christian, was in agreement with the views of the party leader; In 1941, Bormann publicly stated that “National Socialism and Christianity are irreconcilable.” 55 56 Out of the political conveniently for him, Hitler sought to postpone the elimination of Christian churches until after the war. 57 However, his repeated hostile statements against the church indicated to his subordinates that the continuation of the Kirchenkampf (fight against the Church) would be tolerated and even fomented. 58

Bormann was one of the main promoters of the persecution of the Christian Churches by the National Socialist regime. 59 In February 1937 he decreed that no member of the clergy could be admitted to the Nazi Party. The following year it decreed that members of the clergy who held a party post should be expelled, and also that any member of the party who was considering the possibility of entering the clergy should renounce their affiliation to the party. 60 Although the attempt to Bormann by closing the departments of theology universities Reich failed, was itself able to limit to two hours per week religion classes to be taught in public schools and also managed the removal of crucifixes from the classrooms. 61 n. 5 Speer noted in his memoirs that while plotting for the Welthauptstadt Germania , Berlin reconstruction project, Bormann commented that no building site should be assigned to the churches. 63

As part of the campaign against the Catholic Church , hundreds of monasteries from Germany and Austria were confiscated by the Gestapo and its occupants were expelled. 64 In 1941 the Catholic bishop of Münster, August von Galen , publicly protested against this persecution and against the T4 Program , the Nazi plan for non-voluntary euthanasia under which the mentally disabled, the mentally ill, the physically disabled, and the incurable patients were Killed. In a series of sermons that had an unexpected international repercussion, Galen openly criticized the T4 program, calling it illegal and immoral. His sermons led to a widespread protest movement among church leaders, which until then constituted the most energetic protest against an official regime policy. Bormann and others claimed that Galen was hanged, but Hitler and Goebbels concluded that his death would be seen as martyrdom and that it would only lead to further protests. Hitler decided to settle this question once the war was over. 65

Personal secretary of the Führer

Concerned about military issues and spending more and more time at his military headquarters on the Eastern Front, Hitler began to rely more and more on Bormann to manage the country’s internal policies. On April 12, 1943, Hitler officially named Bormann as his personal secretary. 66 However, Bormann had long since taken control of all domestic affairs, and his new appointment gave him official powers to act in any field. 67

Bormann was invariably the defender of extremely harsh measures when it came to the treatment of Jews, the conquered populations of Eastern Europe, and prisoners of war. 68 He signed a decree on May 31, 1941, which extended the Nuremberg laws of 1935 to all annexed territories of the East. 68 In addition, it signed a decree of October 9, 1942 which established as permanent the Final Solution in Greater Germany, while the Jewish Question could no longer be solved by emigration and could only be resolved through the use Of “relentless force in the special fields of the East,” that is, extermination in the Nazi death camps . 68 A later decree, signed by Bormann on 1 July 1943, gave Adolf Eichmann absolute powers over the Jews, who came under the sole jurisdiction of the Gestapo. 68 The historian Richard J. Evans estimates that between 5.5 and 6 million Jews (representing two – thirds of the Jewish population of Europe) were exterminated by the Nazi regime. 69

Knowing that Hitler regarded the Slav populations as inferior, Bormann opposed the introduction into the occupied eastern territories of the German criminal prosecution law. Bormann pressed, and finally got, the promulgation of a strict independent penal code that applied the martial law for the Jewish and Polish inhabitants of these areas. The “Edict on the Criminal Practices of Poles and Jews in the Eastern Territories Incorporated,” promulgated on December 4, 1941, authorized physical punishment and the application of death sentences for even the most trivial offenses and offenses. 70 71 Bormann supported the hard-line policy pursued by Erich Koch , Reichskommissar in the Reichskommissariat Ukraine , which dealt brutally with Slavic populations. Alfred Rosenberg , who served as head of the Reich Ministry for the occupied Eastern territories , favored a more moderate policy. After a visit to several collective farms in the Ukrainian region of Vinnytsia , Bormann was very worried about the health and the good physical constitution of the population, since he thought that these populations could constitute a threat for the regime. After discussing with Hitler, he issued a directive addressed to Rosenberg, which in part said:

The Slavs must work for us. As long as we do not need them, they must die. The fertility of the Slavs is entirely undesirable. As for food, they should not take more than they need. We are the masters, we are the first. 72

Bormann and Himmler shared responsibilities n. 6 in the organization of the Volkssturm , a militia created on October 18, 1944 as a last resort that forcibly enlisted all healthy men between the ages of 16 and 60 who were still in good condition. Badly trained and poorly equipped, many of its troops were sent to fight the Eastern Front, where about 175,000 of them died without their deaths having an appreciable impact on the Soviet advance. 73

Last days in Berlin

Hitler transferred his headquarters to the Führerbunker in Berlin on January 16, 1945, where the Fuehrer (along with Bormann, his secretary Else Krüger , and others) remained until the end of the war. 74 75The Führerbunker was located under the garden of the Chancellery of the Reich , the governmental district of the city center. The Battle of Berlin , the largest Soviet offensive of the war, began on April 16, 1945. 76 To April 19 the Red Army had begun to encircle the city. 77 On 20 April, during its 56th anniversary, Hitler made his last visit to the area. In the shattered garden of the Chancellery of the Reich, decorated with the Iron Cross several young soldiers of the Hitler Youth . 78 That same afternoon, Berlin was bombed by Soviet artillery for the first time. 79 On 23 April, Albert Bormann left the bunker complex and flew to Obersalzberg. He and many others had been ordered by Hitler to leave the city. 76

In the early hours of the morning of April 29, 1945, Wilhelm Burgdorf , Goebbels, Hans Krebs , and Bormann witnessed and signed the Testament and Hitler’s last will . Bormann was appointed executor of the estate. That same night, Hitler contracted marriage with Eva Braun in a civil ceremony to which Bormann attended. 80 81

As Soviet forces continued to struggle on their way to central Berlin, Hitler and Braun committed suicide in the afternoon of April 30. Braun took a cyanide capsule and Hitler shot himself in the head with his pistol. 82 According to Hitler’s instructions, their bodies were taken to the garden of the Reich Chancellery and incinerated. According to Hitler’s last wishes, Bormann was appointed Party Minister, which officially confirmed his position as Secretary-General of the de facto party. Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz was named the new Reichspräsident (president of Germany) and Goebbels became head of government and Chancellor of Germany . 83 However, Goebbels and his wife Magda committed suicide that same day. 84 On 2 May, the Battle of Berlin ended when General der Artillerie Helmuth Weidling , the commander of the defensive area of Berlin, unconditionally surrendered the city to General Vasily Chuikov , the commander of the Soviet 8th Guards Army. 85

Death, rumors about his flight and location of his remains

Axmann version on the death of Bormann

Around 11:00 on May 1, Bormann left the Führerbunker with SS doctor Ludwig Stumpfegger , the leader of the Hitler Youth , Artur Axmann , and Hitler ‘s personal pilot, Hans Baur . All of them formed one of the groups that tried to break the Soviet siege. 86 87 Bormann took with him a copy of Hitler’s will and last will. 88 The group left the Führerbunker and traveled on foot to the railway tunnel U-Bahn that led to the Friedrichstrasse station , where they surfaced. 89 Several party members tried to cross the river Spree up to the Weidendammer bridge , protected by the advance of a Tiger tank . The vehicle, however, was struck by a salvo of Soviet artillery and was destroyed, while Bormann and Stumpfegger fell to the ground by the effect of the shock wave. 86 Bormann, Stumpfegger, and many others tried to cross the river on a third attempt. 86 This time, Bormann, Stumpfegger, and Axmann walked along the railway line to the Lehrter station , where Axmann decided to leave the other group members and leave them in the opposite direction. 90 Shortly after he ran into a patrol of the Red Army , so Axmann retraced his steps. Shortly afterwards he would have seen two bodies, which he would later identify as Bormann and Stumpfegger, lying on a bridge near the park of railroad tracks. 90 91 He did not have time to check it exhaustively, so he could not find out how they had died. 92 Axmann would give this version of the facts later, when it was captured by the allies; But since the Soviets claimed that they had not found Bormann’s body, their final fate remained doubtful for many years. 93

Court in Nuremberg in absentia

During the chaotic days after the end of the war, conflicting reports of Bormann’s whereabouts emerged. It was said that Bormann had been seen in Argentina, in Franco ‘s Spain , and in many other places. 94 Bormann’s wife had been placed under surveillance in case he tried to contact her. 95 Jakob Glas, one of the drivers of Bormann for a longer time, insisted he had seen Bormann in Munich in July 1946. 96 If Bormann was still alive, many public warnings were issued about the imminent Nuremberg trials in Newspapers and on the radio in October and November 1945 to notify him of the charges against him. 97

The trial began on November 20, 1945. In the absence of evidence of Bormann’s death, the International Military Tribunal tried him in absentia , as permitted by article 12 of the Tribunal’s own constitution. 98 He was charged with three counts: conspiracy to wage a war of aggression, war crimes and crimes against humanity . 99 The accusation was assigned to Lieutenant Thomas F. Lambert Jr. and his defense to Dr. Friedrich Bergold. 100 The prosecution said that Bormann had participated in the planning of the Final Solution and co-signed virtually all anti- Semitic legislation promulgated by the Nazi regime. 101 Bergold, unsuccessfully, stated that the court could not convict Bormann because he was already dead. But because of Bormann’s dark role during the war, Bergold was unable to refute the prosecution’s claims about the extent of his involvement in decision-making. 96 Bormann was convicted of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity and acquitted of charges of conspiracy to wage a war of aggression. On October 15, 1946 he was sentenced to death by hanging, on the condition that if he were to be found alive later, new facts brought to light could be taken into account to reduce the penalty or annul it. 99

Discovery of the remains

Over the years, numerous organizations, including the CIA and the government of West Germany, tried to locate Bormann without success. 102 In 1964 the West German government offered a recompense of DEM 100,000 for any information that would lead to the capture of Bormann. 103 Numerous sightings of Borman were reported in all parts of the world, including Australia, Denmark, Italy, and South America. 53 104 In his autobiography, the Nazi intelligence officer Reinhard Gehlen claimed that Bormann had been a Soviet spy, and had escaped to Moscow. 105 Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal believed that Bormann was living in South America. 106 In spite of everything, in 1971 the government of western Germany declared its search for Bormann finished. 107

In 1963 a retired postal officer named Albert Krumnow informed police that on or about 8 May 1945 the Soviets had ordered him and his companions to bury two bodies found in the vicinity of the railway bridge Lehrter Station. One was dressed in the Wehrmacht’s uniform , while the other was in his underwear . 108 One of the co-Krumnow, Wagenpfohl, he had found on the second body a primer of SS doctor that identified him as Dr. Ludwig Stumpfegger. 109 Wagenpfohl handed him the riot act to his superior, the postmaster Berndt, who in turn handed it to the Soviets. However, they destroyed it. Wagenpfohl wrote to Stumpfegger’s wife on 14 August 1945 and informed him that her husband’s body was “buried with the bodies of many other soldiers killed on the grounds of the Alpendorf in Berlin at number 63 Of the Invalidenstrasse “. 110

The excavations carried out on 20-21 July 1965 at the place specified by Axmann and Krumnow failed to locate the bodies. 111 However, on December 7, 1972 some construction workers found human remains near the Lehrter station in West Berlin , just 12 meters from where Krumnow had claimed that they were buried. 112 After the autopsy, the glass fragments were found in the jaws of the two skeletons suggested that had committed suicide by biting capsules cyanide to avoid capture. 113 The dental records – reconstructed from the memories of 1945 of Dr. Hugo Blaschke – identified one of the skeletons as the one of Bormann, just as the damages in the clavicle corresponded with the injuries that Bormann had suffered in an accident Of horseback riding in 1939, as their children could confirm. 112 Forensic investigators determined that skeletal size and skull shape were identical to Bormann. 113 Similarly, the second skeleton was considered to belong to Stumpfegger, since it maintained a stature similar to the last known stature of Stumpfegger. 112 Through composite photographs, the images of the skulls overlapped with the photographs of the faces of the men and turned out to be completely congruent. 113 The facial reconstruction carried out on the two skulls in early 1973 was able to confirm the identities of bodies. 114 Soon after, the West German government declared Bormann officially dead. The family was not allowed to incinerate the body, in case a new forensic examination would prove necessary. 115

The remains were definitively identified as those of Bormann in 1998 when the German authorities ordered to carry out genetic examinations to the bones. The tests, using DNA from one of his relatives, identified the skull as belonging to Bormann. 116 117 The tests were conducted by Wolfgang Eisenmenger, professor of forensic sciences at Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich . 116 The remains of Bormann were definitively incinerated and their ashes were thrown over the Baltic Sea on 16 August 1999. 116


On September 2, 1929, Bormann married Gerda Buch, 19, whose father – Major Walter Buch – was the head of the Untersuchung und Schlichtungs-Ausschuss (USCHLA, or “Commission of Inquiry and Conciliation”), responsible body To reconcile the party’s internal disputes. Hitler was a frequent visitor to the house of the Buch family, and it was there that Bormann met Walter Buch. Hess and Hitler served as godparents of the wedding. 118 119 Bormann also had a number of lovers, including actress Manja Behrens . 120

The children of Martin and Gerda Bormann were:

  • Martin Adolf Bormann (April 14, 1930 – March 11, 2013); Called Krönzi (“Prince of the Crown”); 121 named after Hitler, his godfather. 122
  • Ilse Bormann (born 9 July 1931); Named after his godmother, Ilse Hess. 123 Later they changed the name to Eike after the flight of Hess to Scotland. 124 He died in 1958. His twin sister, Ehrengard, died in 1932. 116
  • Irmgard Bormann (born July 25, 1933). 116
  • Rudolf Gerhard Bormann (born August 31, 1934); Named after his godfather Rudolf Hess. It changed its name to Helmut after the flight of Hess to Scotland. 116 124
  • Heinrich Hugo Bormann (born June 13, 1936) named after his godfather Heinrich Himmler. 116
  • Eva Ute Bormann (born May 4, 1938). 116
  • Gerda Bormann (born August 4, 1940). 116
  • Fritz Hartmut Bormann (born April 3, 1942). 116
  • Volker Bormann (born 18 September 1943, died in 1946). 116

Gerda Bormann and his sons left Obersalzberg and marched to Italy on 25 April 1945, following an allied air attack. Gerda died of cancer on April 26, 1946, in Merano , Italy. 125 The children of Bormann survived the fighting, and were cared for in foster homes. 122 His eldest son, Martin, was ordained a Catholic priest and worked in Africa as a missionary. Later, he left the priesthood and contracted marriage. 126


  • Frontbann Badge (1932) 116
  • Golden Plate of the Party (1934) 116
  • Insignia of the Olympic Games (1936) 116
  • Cabrio de Honor of the Old Guard 116
  • SS-Totenkopfring (1937) 116
  • Sword of Honor of the Reichsführers-SS (1937) 116
  • Order of the Blood (1938) 116
  • NSDAP-Dienstauszeichnung in Bronze and Silver 116
  • Grand Officer and Knight of the Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown of Italy 116

Explanatory notes

  1. Back to top↑ Hoess, who later became the commander of the extermination camp Auschwitz , was sentenced to ten years. He was released in 1928 as part of a general amnesty decreed by the Weimar Republic. eleven
  2. Back to top↑ In practice, this requirement used to be avoided. 27
  3. Back to top↑ The Bormann family also had a house in Munich, in the suburb of Pullach . 32
  4. Back to top↑ The term is a reference to Cardinal Richelieu (which became known as the “Red Eminence”), to refer toexisting power behind the throne in the court of Louis XIII of France . 52
  5. Back to top↑ Hitler later removed the restriction on crucifixes, considering thatwas counterproductive because it was affecting the morale of the population. 62
  6. Back to top^ Bormann was in charge of the organization, while Himmler was in charge of training and providing equipment. 73