Georg Ludwig Heinrich Nicolaus Freiherr von Below ( Jargelin , Germany , 20 of September of 1907 – Detmold , 24 of July of 1983 ) was a colonel in the Luftwaffe , liaison and assistant ( aide ) of Adolf Hitler in the Reichstag during World War II .
Nicolaus von Below was born in 1907 in Jargelin, a town of Pomerania , within a family of the German nobility.
In 1937, at the age of 29, Hermann Göring appointed him as Hitler’s aide- de- camp in the chancellery. He was in this post, very close to the German statesman, and was a frequent guest at Berghof meetings with his wife, Maria von Below. Both Below and his wife whom Hitler liked, they were recipients of several confidences of the statesman and also were close friends of Albert Speer . 1
Maria von Below, who called her husband Klaus, stated in an ex-post interview that her husband was totally apolitical, decent and solemn, and that he had a strong loyalty to Hitler.
He witnessed at the end of July 1944, when Luftwaffe general Wolfram von Richthofen asked Hitler to test the possibility of a peace: 2
I was dismayed when I heard it, I knew that Hitler was less willing than ever to hear that subject … Hitler replied that he had already tried this subject and that the conditions offered were absolutely intolerable …
Following one of those meetings in 1944, von Below heard for the first time from Hitler that the war was lost:
I know the war is lost, the enemy’s superiority is too great … […] we will never surrender, we can go down but we will go with a world with us
Nicolas von Below was present at the opposite end of Hitler, in the Wolfsschanze when the attack of Stauffenberg happened which only left with surface wounds, and because of its noble origin fell under the distrusts of the Führer distancing him from the circle of confidence; But without asking for their change.
In April 1945 Von Below was invited by Albert Speer to witness the last performance of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra before the fall of the city, was a further occupant of the Chancellery ‘s bunker and one of the signers of Hitler’s private testament , 3 written shortly after the marriage between Eva Braun and Hitler, 29 of April of 1945.
[Eva Braun] … was charming and helpful and showed no weakness until the last moment.
He was allowed to leave the bunker on the night of April 29 along with other personalities.
He was captured by British forces in the Rhineland and remained in captivity until 1947. He wrote an autobiographical book called At side of Hitler ( Next to Hitler ).
Von Below told the Nuremberg jury that he knew nothing of the Final Solution and that he only learned in the same trial of the horrors of concentration camps. Later, in his work On the side of Hitler , Von Below described that he received reports of mass executions in Ukraine and that when he obtained details of these executions he was told that they were partisan executions. 4
I asked [ Karl Wolff ] to investigate and inform me. As I had no news I approached him … […]. He gave me a very ambiguous answer about some cases of sabotage and asked me to refrain from asking for further inquiries …
Nicolaus von Below and wife tried unsuccessfully to help with their testimonies to Nazi leaders at the Nuremberg Trials , especially Wilhelm Keitel and General Alfred Jodl and maintained his friendship with Albert Speer while serving a sentence in Spandau. 5
Nicolaus von Below passed away in 1983 in Detmold , Germany, to the 76 years of age.
- At side Hitler’s (2001). ISBN 1-85367-468-0 .
- Back to top↑ Albert Speer. His struggle with truth . Gitta Sereny; Pag.138-139
- Back to top↑ Albert Speer. His struggle with truth . Gitta Sereny; Pag.524-525
- Back to top↑ Kershaw, 2000 , p. 801.
- Back to top↑ Albert Speer. His struggle with truth . Gitta Sereny; Pag.406-407
- Back to top↑ Albert Speer. His struggle with truth . Gitta Sereny; Pag.276