History of Europe


Plan of the bunker, built in 1944, in the attached image.

On April 20, 1945, Hitler celebrated his 56th birthday amid a rather gloomy atmosphere. He was depressed, m he had the look of a tired and downcast man, finished. He did not want celebrations, despite which, after midnight from the 19th to the 20th, he received congratulations from the inhabitants of the bunker. In the morning, he was woken up with the news that the Russians had breached the defenses and were a hundred kms away. of Berlin. Afterwards he received congratulations on his birthday from the most prominent figures of the Reich who were in Berlin:Göring, Dönitz, Keitel, Ribbentrop, Speer, Jold, Himler, Kaltenbrunner... They all swore allegiance to him.

On the 21st, Hitler rejected offers to leave Berlin and decided to stay. At this moment, perhaps he was already caressing suicide in the face of the realization that the war was lost. His attitude contrasted with that of other leaders who, with one apology or another, began to move away from Berlin, such as Göring, Dönitz, Himmler, Ribbentrop, Kaltenbrunner, Speer (he temporarily returned to the bunker later) etc., so did high-ranking officials. from army. Of the great leaders of Nazism, only Goebbels and Bormann remained.
The unstoppable advance of the Russians continued. On the 22nd, the news arrived that they had broken through the defense cordon and were in the northern suburbs of Berlin. They informed him that they could not stop the attack due to the lack of troops . Hitler suffered a fit of anger. For the first time, someone in his inner circle heard him say that the war was lost. Again all attempts to persuade him to leave Berlin failed. Goebbels saw him as consistent, others, however, thought that he was abandoning the German people when they needed him most.

On the 24th, the Soviet armies of Zhukov and Konev were in the southern suburbs of Berlin completing the siege of the city. On the morning of the 25th, the center of the city received intense artillery fire. In the evening of the 26th, the Soviet soldiers were in Alexandesplatz, the heart of the city. The situation was getting worse by the minute. The 28th continued the continuous Russian bombardment and house-to-house fighting in Berlin. Hitler dismissed Waffen SS General F. Steiner for his "negligence" in helping Berlin. In the bunker there was still hope that General Walther Wenck, who was advancing towards Potsdam, could help Berlin, but the reality was that Wenck could not even reach Potsdam.

On April 29, Hitler was to make three important decisions. The first Shoot General Hermann Fegelein, Himmler's liaison with the Foreign Ministry and Eva Braun's brother-in-law, for supposing him to be aware of his chief's plans to reach a peace agreement with the Western Allies.

The second decision was to marry Eva Braun. This She had gone days before to the bunker determined to accompany Hitler to his end. Hitler no longer cared about getting married, he did it to please Eva. To celebrate the wedding, A municipal official (Walter Wagner), who was fighting in a nearby trench, was brought in. The wedding took place in the session room, the bride and groom swore to be of Aryan descent (rather doubtful in both cases), Goebbels and Bormann acted as witnesses. The inhabitants of the bunker toasted with champagne in an atmosphere of fictitious euphoria produced by alcohol.

"At the end of my life, I have decided to marry the woman who, after many years of true friendship, has come to this city of her own free will , when I was already almost completely besieged, to share my fate. It is the wish of her to die with me as my wife ... "

That same night, Hitler made his third big decision of the day. He retired with his secretary Traudl Junge to dictate his private and public will. In the private will, he bequeathed his possessions (most of them to the State) and expressed his wish that his body and that of his wife be cremated immediately. In his public will, he blamed the Jews and Communists from the outbreak of war and the death and destruction caused by it, encouraged German troops to continue fighting, prophesied the resurrection of a new National Socialism, named Dönitz for his loyalty as his successor at the head of the Reich, he named Bormann Party Minister, ratified the expulsion from the Party and dismissal of Himmler and Göering from all their positions for their attempts to collude with the enemies, made several other appointments and expressed his wish to die in Berlin. He did not assume any responsibility for the start of the war or for the defeat. After four in the morning, it was signed by Goebbels, Bormann, Burgdorf and Krebs.
That same day, the 29th, the news arrived of the execution of Mussolini and his lover Clara Petacci with the details of the humiliations to which their corpses had been subjected in Milan. Hitler enraged said: "They won't catch me dead or alive . They won't turn me into a carnival doll in Moscow and they won't mess with my remains ". This led him to take measures so that his body was burned after his death.
Ampoules of cyanide were distributed to all the personnel he wanted so that, if necessary, they could take their own lives if they so wished. To Hitler, his doctor recommended that he take a cyanide capsule and then shoot himself in the head. Hitler tested the poison on his beloved dog Blondi, who was struck down (Eva criticized him for this act). On the night of the 29th to the 30th, the atmosphere in the bunker was marked by high alcohol consumption. Hitler did not drink. Late at night, he gathered the bunker staff to say goodbye to them, shook their hands and recommended that they leave the place. At about three in the morning he retired to rest.

On the morning of the 30th, he was informed that Soviet troops had entered the subway tunnels and were less than half a km from the bunker, and that the Foreign Ministry was being bombed. At the briefing that morning it was stated that Berlin could fall that very night. At noon he called Bormann and confirmed that he and his wife were going to commit suicide. He then called his personal assistant Otto Grünsche and charged her with preparing everything necessary for the cremation of his body and that of his wife. Grünsche telephoned Hitler's driver, E. Kempka, to get all the gasoline available.

Hitler ate as usual at one o'clock (spaghetti with tomato sauce) accompanied by his two secretaries and his dietitian. Hitler and Eva Braun said goodbye to their secretaries Traudl Junge and Gerda Christian, the Goebbels, M. Bormann and Generals Krebs and Burgdorf

Hitler retired to his chambers with Eva Braun. Those present in the bunker knew what was going to happen. After waiting a while, they entered the room where they found the corpses sitting on a small sofa, Hitler's body had a shot to the head and traces of cyanide in his mouth, Eva had died of poison at the age of 33, her head she was leaning on her husband's shoulder.
They took the bodies of both, in a blanket, to the courtyard of the Foreign Ministry and placed them in a crater produced by a Russian artillery hit , close to the emergency exit. There, amid shelling, they set fire to the bodies. Goebbels and other leaders were present. The few attendees immediately returned to the interior of the bunker before the fall of Russian shells, for this reason they could not verify that if the fire completely finished with the bodies. A few days later, Soviet soldiers found the skulls and teeth of Hitler and Eva.

After these events, many rumors spread about whether Hitler had died or not. Stalin hid the truth from the Allies and decided to take advantage of hoaxes at the time of the Cold War. He made sure that he had fled and lived somewhere in the United States or South America, even in Spain. These theories, today, are not supported in any way.

Another thing is what happened to the remains of his corpse, with which the flames did not end. But that's another story.