Hitler’s Shameful and Unheroic Death (Μικρή συλλογή άρθρων)

Α)Hitler’s Shameful Death: The Fuhrer’s Unheroic Final Moments


: Hitler's Shameful Death

In May 1945 when Hitler’s death was announced by its Nazi propagandist, it was made to look like the German warlord died a hero. According to the Hamburg radio station’sannouncement, Hitler fought against Bolshevism to his last breath. But details about his final moments revealed Hitler died a shameful death.

Instead of dying as a warrior, Hitler was forced to commit suicide due to the defeat and humiliation he was faced with. He is alleged to have died in his bunker by either biting a cyanide capsule or shooting himself in the head. He was responsible for the deaths of millions of persons across Europe.

After Hitler’s shameful death,  Grand Admiral Karl Doenitz took over his place claiming he was chosen by the Fuhrer to become his successor. This was much to many people’s surprise as Heinrich Himmler, the chief of SS was the one many thought would be replacing Hitler.

Doenitz told the people he was taking over leadership and that his priority was to save the German people. But the war was over for Germany as they surrendered on May 4 to Field Marshal Montgomery.

With Hitler gone in a shameful death, well known Nazi propagandist and one of Hitler’s close lieutenant – Joseph Goebbels killed himself and his entire family a day after the Fuhrer’s death. Goebbels first arranged for his six children to be to be killed by his dentist by injecting them with morphine. An ampoule of cyanide was then crushed into the mouths of the children who were already unconcious. After killing his children, Goebbels and his wife committed suicide at the Reich Chancellery.

In the town of Demmin, about nine hundred people committed mass suicides out of panic. With rumours of rape and executions spreading around, many residents and refugees acroos the country also took their lives by hanging, drowning, cutting their wrists, or shooting themselves, the Express reports.

Outside Germany, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini who sided with Germany during the war was captured and killed as he attempted to escape a few days before Hitler’s shameful death, Express reports.

After Hitler’s shameful death, many of his loyalist were arrested and tried for war crimes. Some of them were Admiral Doenitz, as well as SS chief Heinrich Himmler who commited suicide at the age of 44 while serving his jail term. Lord Haw Haw, an Irishman born in America and a Nasi propaganda radio show presenter was arrested, tried and hanged at London’s Wandsworth Prison in January 1946.





Giles Milton – Surviving History

The news could scarcely have been bleaker for Hitler and his inner circle.

The Soviet army was within a few hundred yards of the fuhrer’s famous Berlin bunker and its capture was only a matter of time. The nearby Schlsischer railway station had already been seized. The Tiergarten was also in Soviet hands and the important tunnel in the Vossstrasse was rumoured to have been occupied. Hitler knew that the Third Reich was entering its final chapter.

In the small hours of 28-29 April, 1945, he summoned a loyal official named Walter Wagner into his private conference room: Wagner’s position as city administrator gave him the right to officiate at wedding ceremonies. Hitler declared that he and his long-term mistress, Eva Braun, were to be married immediately.
Hitler in 1945: desperate Eva Braun in 1945

The formalities were kept brief. The couple declared themselves to be of pure Aryan descent and free from hereditary disease. Then, having given their assent by simple word of mouth, they were pronounced man and wife.

The newlyweds walked out into the corridor, where they were congratulated by Hitler’s faithful secretaries, Gerda Christian and Gertrud Junge.

They all sat together for several hours, drinking champagne and talking of happier times. The conversation then took a more depressing turn as Hitler spoke of his impending suicide. National Socialism, he said, was dead. It would never be revived. His resolve to kill himself was given fresh impetus by news that he received early in the morning of the 29 April. He learned that Mussolini and his mistress Clara Petacci had been executed by partisans and strung from their feet in Milan’s market place. ‘I will not fall into the hands of an enemy who requires a new spectacle to divert his hysterical masses,’ said Hitler.
Gertrud Junge: lived until 2002

In the afternoon of that same day, Hitler had his favourite Alsatian dog, Blondi, destroyed with poison. His two other dogs were shot by the sergeant who cared for them.

Hitler then distributed cyanide capsules to his secretaries for use in extremity. He expressed his regret at not giving them a better parting gift, adding that he wished his generals had been as reliable as them.
That evening, long after dark, the officers and ladies who lived in the Outer Bunker were informed that Hitler wished to say goodbye to them and that no one was to go to bed.
The summons came at half passed two in the morning: some twenty loyal servants assembled as Hitler emerged from his private quarters to say his farewells. He then returned to his rooms; everyone felt that his suicide was imminent.
Russian troops enter Berlin

Yet he was still alive as dawn broke the sky on 30 April and he continued to receive military reports on the situation across Berlin. At 2pm, he ate lunch with his two secretaries.

His SS adjutant, Sturmbannfuhrer Guensche was meanwhile fulfilling the fuhrer’s orders to acquired 200 litres of petrol; the reason why he wanted the fuel was as yet unknown.
When Hitler had finished lunch, he emerged from his private quarters accompanied by his wife. Another farewell ceremony took place, this time with Bormann, Goebbels and others. Eva embraced Gertrud Junge and said, ‘Take my fur coat as a memory. I always like well-dressed women’.
The sofa where Hitler died: copyright Life.

Hitler then address the little group. ‘It is finished,’ he said. ‘Goodbye.’ He led Eva back into their private rooms for the last time. Soon afterwards, a single gunshot was heard.
‘Suddenly there is the sound of a shot,’ wrote Gertrud Junge, ‘so loud, so close that we all fall silent.’
‘That was a direct hit,’ said Goebbels. ‘The Fuhrer is dead now.’

The little group who had gathered in the corridor lingered a few minutes before entering Hitler’s private room. Hitler himself was lying on the sofa, drenched in blood. He had shot himself through the mouth.
Eva Braun was also sprawled on the sofa. A revolver was by her side but she had not used it: she had swallowed poison instead.
Two SS men were summoned to the room, among them Hitler’s servant Heinz Linge. They wrapped the Fuhrer’s body in a blanket and carried it into the courtyard.
The crater where Hitler was buried

Eva Braun’s body, too, was taken outside. One of those carrying her corpse noted she was wearing a blue summer dress made of real silk and that her hair was artificially blonde.

The two bodies were doused in the petrol that had been delivered earlier that day and then set alight. A small group of mourners stood to attention, gave the Nazi salute and withdrew to the bunker. In the background, the deep boom of the Soviet artillery lent a theatrical touch to the scene.
More petrol had to be poured on the corpses because they would not burn properly. Even after many hours, when the flesh had melted away, Hitler’s blackened shinbones were still visible.
Shot out bunker

Shortly before midnight, as Soviet troops neared the perimeter of the bunker, the two charred corpses were tipped into a bomb crater and covered with soil.

According to Russian reports, the bodies were later exhumed by the Soviet troops who captured the bunker and taken to Magdeburg in East Germany. It was in Magdeburg that Hitler’s body was finally destroyed in April 1970 by the KGB, more than a quarter of century after his suicide.
Yet even that was not quite the end of the story. Two fragments of his body, the jawbone and skull, were preserved as grisly relics.

They were last displayed in an exhibition at the Russian Federal Archives in Moscow in April, 2000.

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