INSIDE HITLERS BUNKER - BERLIN APRIL 1945 Part 5/
Joseph Goebbels bursts in on Traudl Junge as he makes final corrections. He is weeping and shaking he chokes out his words: 'The Führer wants me to leave Berlin, Frau Junge! H has ordered me to take a leading post in the new government. But I can't. I can't leave the Führer's side! I am Gauleiter of Berlin. My place is here. I can't see the point of carrying on living if the Führer is dead...'
Traudl Junge has never seen him so upset.
'He said to me: 'Goebbels, I didn't expect you to disobey my last order as well' I can't understand. The Führer has made so many decisions too late - why must he make this last decision too soon?' Goebbels then asks her to take down his testament. She puts aside the documents she's been working on and picks up her shorthand pad and pencil. He starts dictating: 'For the first time in my life, I must categorically refuse to obey an order of the Führer. My wife and children joining me in this refusal. Otherwise - quite apart from the fact that feelings of humanity and loyalty forbid us to abandon the Führer in his hour of greatest need - I should appear for the rest of my life as dishonorable traitor and common scoundrel, and should lose my self-respect of my fellow citizens.
For this reason, together with my wife, and on behalf of my children, who are too young to speak for themselves, but who would unreservedly agree with this decision if they were old enough, I express an unalterable resolution not to leave the Reich capital, even if it falls, but rather, at the side of the Führer, to end a life which will have no further value to me if I cannot spend it in the service of the Führer, and by his side'.
Joseph Goebbels asks for three copies to be sent as addenda with Hitler's political and private testament.
Traudl Junge starts typing and concentrates on typing as fast as she can without making errors.she is longing to go to bed. She has spent most of the last week looking after the Goebbels children, reading them fairy tales. playing forfeits. The thought of them brings a lump to her throat but she feels like an automaton. She keeps typing, trying to get these last three documents word perfect.
Hanna Reitsch has commandeered a car at Lübeck airfield and is driving von Greim towards Admiral Dönitz's headquarters in Plön Castle bear the Baltic (In German :Die Ostsee) Robert Ritter von Greim is feeling very unwell. His leg wound is becoming increasingly painful as infection sets in. Every jolt of the car on the rutted road makes it worse. Their vehicle is under constant bombardment from Russian planes.
Adolf and Eva Hitler retire to their bedrooms. In the past, she had complained that he only loved her when they were in bed together. He would prepare for sex with injections of bovine testosterone and she would take medication to stop her periods when she stayed with him. But those days are over. He gets himself ready for bed. He doesn't like help, he doesn't like to be touched. He washes carefully, he has always been fastidious about cleanliness. He changes into a white cotton nightshirt, and hangs his clothes carefully on a clothes horse. Liesel is waiting for Eva in her bedroom and helps her into an Italian blue silk nightgown. In the quiet of their beds they can hear the rumble of the Russian guns. The enemy are now only few hundred yards from the bunker. The guns have been firing all night, but as dawn approaches the bombardment intensifies.
THE ONLY WOMEN HITLER EVER LOVED WAS GILI RAUBAL
Raubal was in effect a prisoner, but planned to escape to Vienna to continue her singing lessons. Her mother told interrogators after the war that her daughter was hoping to marry a man from Linz, but that Hitler had forbidden the relationship. He and Raubal argued on 18 September 1931 when he refused to allow her to go to Vienna. He departed for a meeting in Nuremberg, but was recalled to Munich the next day with the news that Raubal was dead from a gunshot wound to the lung, she had apparently shot herself in Hitler's Munich apartment with Hitler's Walther pistol.She was 23.
HGitler never went anywhere without his personal weapon, except on the day of Rabaul's suicide and throws suspicion that he could have shot her. Any defensive wounds were never investigated or ignored.
Although the name “Hitler” is practically synonymous with “monster,” it’s easy to forget that the man had friends and family who cared about him. One of those people was his half-niece, Geli Raubal who, at the age of 21, moved in with her uncle after he had hired her mother as a housekeeper. Two years later she would be dead, a bullet from her uncle’s revolver in her lungs.
Rumours immediately began in the media about physical abuse, a possible sexual relationship, and even murder.Otto Strasser, a political opponent of Hitler, was the source of some of the more sensational stories. The historian Ian Kershaw maintains that "whether actively sexual or not, Hitler's behaviour towards Geli has all the traits of a strong, latent at least, sexual dependence."The police ruled out foul play; the death was ruled a suicide. Hitler was devastated and went into an intense depression. He took refuge at a house on the shores of Tegernsee lake, and did not attend the funeral in Vienna on 24 September. He visited her grave at Vienna's Zentralfriedhof (Central Cemetery) two days later. Thereafter, he overcame his depression and refocused on politics.
Hitler later declared that Raubal was the only woman he had ever loved. Her room at the Berghof was kept as she had left it, and he hung portraits of her in his own room there and at the Chancellery in Berlin.
Trudl Junge has finished typing Joseph Goebbels' testament. He almost ears the last sheet from her typewriter, checks and signs it and then retires to his room. Junge finds a spare camp bed and falls into an exhausted sleep as dawn is breaking over Berlin. Many buildings in the centre of the city are ablaze.
The nearby Gestapo headquarters are under heavy artillery and howitzer attack. Following a massacre of the prisoners by the Gestapo guards on 23 April, there are only seven inmates left insid
estapo headquarters at 8 Prinz Albrecht Street in Berlin (193
estapo headquarters at 8 Prinz Albrecht Street in Berlin (1933)
Martin Borman is in the Reich Chancellery cellar He needs very little sleep and keeps the same hours as the Führer, habitually staying up until the early hours. Tonight, before he settles to sleep, he writes a diary entry:
'Saturday 29th April. The second day which has started with a hurricane of fire. During the nighr of 28th-29th April, the foreign press wrote about Himmler's offer of capitulation. The wedding of Hitler and Eva Brown. Führer dictates his political and private wills, Traitors Jodl, Himmler and the generals abandon us to the Bolsheviks. Hurricane fire again. According to the information of the enemy, the Americans have broken into Munich..'
American intelligence scouts are indeed entering Munich as Bormann writes his diary'
After a night of traveling under fire, Reitsch and von Greim arrive at Plön Castle which has, for the last week, functioned as the headquarters of all German Forces in the north of Germany, under the command of Admiral Karl Dönitz.
Robert Ritter von Greim is exhausted from the overnight journey but Hanna Reitsch is still exhilarated by the excitement of all their near misses and their misses and she gives Admiral Dönitz a passionate account of their mission and ferociously denounces Himmler. She passes on Hitler's order for Himmler's arrest. Dönitz explains that Himmler has the protection of a substantial SS Escort Battalion and can't easily be arrested.
Hanna Reitsch, after receiving the Iron Cross
A young officer, Bernd Freytag von Loringhoven, wakes his colleague, Gerhard Boldt. The two men share a room in the upper bunker, where they sleep and work. Their job is to compile twice-daily reports on the military situation for the Führer's military conferences. Their room contains bunk beds, two desks and two telephones as well as a large map. Part of the room is divided off with a curtain, behind which their boss, General Krebs, sleeps. Von Loringhoven is bursting with news but he doesn't want Krebs to catch him gossiping, so as Bolt sits down to work, Loringhoven looks up casually and whispers, 'Our Führer got married last night.'
Boldt looks so astonished that Loringhoven can't suppress his amusement and the two of them collapse with laughter, stopped only by the voice of their boss, through the curtain: 'Have you taken leave of your senses, gentlemen, laughing so disrespectfully at the sovereign leader of your country?' The two men fall silent and von Loringhoven waits until he hears Krebs get up and leave before telling Boldt all he has heard about the events of the night.
On the banks of the river Elbe, Russian and American troops are recovering of days of drinking and dancing.
In an arranged photo commemorating the meeting of the Soviet and American armies, 2nd Lt. William Robertson (U.S. Army) and Lt. Alexander Silvashko (Red Army) stand facing one another with hands clasped and arms around each other's shoulders. In the background are two flags and a poster.
Stalin is paranoid that he will be betrayed - and with good reason. On the 22nd June 1941 German forces invaded Russia, breaking their non-aggression pact, Stalin was so shocked he said that someone should urgently Berlin' as Hitler surely didn't know about the attack.
This has made him deeply suspicious of his Allies. He is convinced that the US and Britain would like to secure a separate peace with Germany, and then all three countries would turn on Russia. Until Stalin received a telegram from Churchill on the 5th June 1944 (tonight we go...'), he had been unconvinced that the second front - the invasion of northern Europe led by General Eisenhower - would actually take place. Russia has suffered greatly during its four-year battle with Germany. It's estimated that ten million Russian soldiers died in action in the Second World War. representing 65% of all Allied military deaths - the proportion of British and US military deaths was 2% each, a further three million Russians died after they became prisoners of the war, and seven million Russian civilian were killed.
Stalin is after revenge, and he wants to get to Berlin first, capture Hitler and put him on trial.
The people of Berlin emerge from their shelters in ruins and overcrowded underground bunkers to search for food. Sixteen-year-old Armin Lehmann, who is working as a Hitler Youth courier, is horrified by the desperation he has witnessed in recent days. He is haunted by the high pitched sound of a squealing horse which had been injured by shrapnel. Two men were hacking at its flesh with a knife and saw. The didn't have the ammunition to kill it first.
The Reichstag was the target both Soviet Marshals wanted
In Munich 47-year-old teacher Anni Antonie Schmöger and her sister are at seven o'clock at mass, they've decided to come to early service in case there is an air raid later. On the way to church, Anni was disappointed to see that some of her neighbors had white flags hanging outside their houses. She can't bear to think that Americans will soon be marching through her city.
Suddenly air raid sirens sound and the congregation hear the sound of bombs exploding close by. Everyone runs for the door including Anni and her sister. Then they change their minds and run back - they haven't yet had communion.
Twenty-year-old German Lieutenant Claus Sellier, wearing only his underwear, is looking out of the Hotel 'Gasthaus zum Brau' in Loder, Bavaria. He's watching orderlies putting luggage in the back of Volkswagen=type Jeeps parked in a row along the street. Standing nearby are a group of somber-looking officers, they shake hands and one by one drive off. Sellier and his colleague and friend Fritz (writing in later life, Claus never mentions Fritz's surname) are now the only guests left in the hotel.
Claus walks away from the hotel window and starts to put on his uniform.
In the corridor dining room of the upper bunker three young officers, Lorenz, Zander and Johannmeier, are having breakfast. They have been given the mission of delivering the three copies of Hitler's and Goebbels's testaments: One to Grand Admiral Dönitz, whom Hitler names in the political testament as jis successor as chancellor of Germany, one to Field Marshal Schörner, named as the new head of the army, and the final copy to the Nazi Party headquarters in Munich. A carbon copy has been kept for the bunker.
The three officers help themselves to food from a stacked trolley. There is fresh bread from Berlin's only surviving bakery, plus salami, roast beef, pickles and cheese from the vast stores in the Reich Chancellery cellars. The couriers eat as much as they can and stuff their pockets. Only Wilhelm Zander is gloomy. The 34-year-old has begged to be excused from this mission. He wants to die in the bunker. If this is the end of Nazism he can see no reason to carry oin.
Ferdinand Schörner-Field Marshal
A couple of miles away, in a neighbor's Berlin flat, 34-year-old Journalist Marta Hillers has just finished a breakfast of Ersatz coffee and bread and butter (Butterbrot) when a group of Russian soldiers stride in. Her neighbor keeps the front door unlocked to avoid having it smashed. They are used to invasions of the boorish Russian soldiers but one of today's intruders seems different. Marta Hillers described him briefly in her diary which was published anonymously after the war: 'Narrow forehead, icy blue eyes, quiet and intelligent.' His name is Andrei, and he is a school teacher by profession. He tells her that it isn't Hitler who is to blame for the war, but the capitalist system which created him. The conversation did me a lot of good...simply because one of them treated me as an equal, without once touching me, , not even with his eyes.
his German woman killed herself. Berlin April 1945. Was it the fear and anticipation? Or had she suffered and could not take it anymore?
Most days, since Russians arrived Marta Hillers has been raped. The previous afternoon two grey-haired Russian soldiers barged in. One of them stood guard as the other threw Hillers onto a bed. He smelled of brandy and horses. He raped her and then forced open her jaws and 'with great deliberation he drops a gob of gathered spit into my mouth...'
'Komm Frau' (Come women) Russian Soldiers raped 1.2 million German Women
Continued under Part 6/
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