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Hitler's Last Day: Minute By Minute Part 1

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Hitler's Last Day.

Minute by Minute.

Emma Craigie & Jonathan Mayo.

For David, Maud, Wilf, Myfanwy and Samuel EC.

For Hannah and Charlie.



In memory of Derek Mayo and Michael Scott-Joynt JM.

Acknowledgements.

I would like to thank John Schwartz, Dietlinde Nawrath and Annette Yoosefinejad for talking about their memories and family stories; Patrick Mueller and Myfanwy Craigie for help with translation; the late Elizabeth Bruegger for the information about Harald Quandt in Latimer House; Joanna Hylton, Richard Oldfield, Gillian Rees-Mogg and Charlotte Rees-Mogg for showing, lending and giving me books and Kate O'Brien for recommending sources. I'd also like to thank my family for allowing me to shirk domestic duties in the run-up to Christmas and Jonathan for being a great collaborator in the best sense.

EC.

Many thanks to Sibylle Harrison for her invaluable German translations; the Ruffle family, and in particular Alan Ruffle, for permission to reprint Bert Ruffle's 1945 diary; Robin Mortimer for the book loans; Phil Critchlow for his on-going minute by minute support. Particular thanks to my family who have put up with a husband and father whose head has too often been in April 1945 rather than the present day. I couldn't have asked for a better writing partner in Emma whose idea this book was.

JM.

Thanks to Aurea Carpenter and Rebecca Nicolson for their support and enthusiasm, and to Paul Bougourd for his wise and focused editing.

Cast of Characters.

American.

Major-General Walter Bedell Smith General Eisenhower's Chief of Staff.

General Simon Bolivar Buckner Commander of the US forces on Okinawa Alistair Cooke Journalist for the Manchester Guardian.

Joseph E. Davies Former amba.s.sador to Moscow General Dwight D. Eisenhower Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces.

John Eisenhower Officer in the 3323rd SIAM company; son of Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Flight Lieutenant Alexander Jefferson P-51 pilot and POW.

John F. Kennedy Journalist for the Chicago Herald-American Lieutenant Wolfgang F. Robinow.

German-born US army soldier Franklin D. Roosevelt President of the United States March 1933 to April 1945 Lieutenant Marcus J. Smith US army medical officer working in Dachau.

Lieutenant Colonel Felix L. Sparks US 45th Infantry Division Harry Truman Succeeded Roosevelt as President on 12th April 1945 Lieutenant Bill Walsh US 45th Infantry Division, serving under Lieutenant Colonel Felix Sparks Australian.

Wing Commander Lionel 'Bill' Hudson POW in Rangoon jail Belgian.

Albert Guerisse Doctor for the SOE under pseudonym Pat O'Leary; POW in Dachau British John Amery Journalist and son of Cabinet Minister Leo Amery Winston Churchill British Prime Minister since May 1940.

Lieutenant Commander Patrick Dalzel-Job Member of Ian Fleming's 30 a.s.sault Unit.

Richard Dimbleby BBC correspondent in Germany Major-General Sir Francis de Guingand Montgomery's Chief of Staff Michael Hargrave Medical student heading to Bergen-Belsen Clara Milburn Diarist and mother of POW Alan Milburn General Sir Bernard Montgomery Senior ground force commander for the invasion of Europe Alan Moorehead Daily Express journalist in Germany George Orwell Journalist and author Captain Sigismund Payne-Best British agent for the Secret Intelligence Service Robert Reid BBC correspondent in Germany.

Corporal Bert Ruffle POW in Stalag IV-C Jack Swaab Gunnery officer in the 51st Highland Division Wynford Vaughan-Thomas.

BBC correspondent in Germany Major Elliott Viney POW in Stalag VII-A at Moosburg Second Lieutenant Alan Whicker British Army Film and Photo Unit.

Tony Wigan BBC correspondent in San Francisco Danish Hans Henrick Koch Danish Ministry of Social Welfare.

Dutch Audrey Hepburn-Rushton (aka Edda van Heemstra) Actress Jacqueline van Maa.r.s.en Friend of Anne Frank John Schwartz First cousin of Audrey Hepburn German Ruth Andreas-Friedrich Berlin resident; member of anti-n.a.z.i resistance group Artur Axmann Head of Hitler Youth Nicolaus von Below Luftwaffe officer and adjutant to Hitler; last person to leave bunker before Hitler's death Gerhard Boldt Military intelligence officer working for General Krebs; leaves bunker on mission to contact General Wenck Colonel Bogislav von Bonin.

One of the Prominente group of prisoners Martin Bormann Hitler's private secretary Eva Hitler nee Braun Hitler's wife Gretl Braun.

Hitler's sister-in-law, Eva's sister Wernher von Braun Inventor of the V2 General Wilhelm Burgdorf German army general; witness to Hitler's last will and testament Gerda Christian Hitler's secretary Captain Willi Dietrich U-boat captain in the Faust wolfpack off Norwegian coast Admiral Karl Donitz Head of German navy, named Hitler's successor in the Fuhrer's last testament General Alexander von Falkenhausen Former German army Commander-in-Chief in Belgium; one of the Prominente group of prisoners Hermann Fegelein Himmler's SS representative in the bunker, married to Eva Braun's sister, Gretl Sister Erna Flegel Nurse in Reich Chancellery emergency hospital Karl Hermann Frank Secretary of State and Chief of Police in Prague Lieselotte G.

Berlin resident and anonymous diarist Joseph Goebbels. .h.i.tler's Propaganda Minister Magda Goebbels Wife of Joseph Goebbels Helga, Hilde, Helmut, Holde, Hedda, Heide Goebbels Children of Joseph and Magda Hermann Goring Recently deposed head of the Luftwaffe Robert Ritter von Greim Hitler's last Luftwaffe chief Clara Greenbaum Prisoner at Bergen-Belsen Hermann Gretz Technician in the bunker Otto Gunsche SS officer and adjutant to Hitler Dr Werner Haase Surgeon in Reich Chancellery emergency hospital Fey von Ha.s.sell.

One of the Prominente group of prisoners Marta Hillers German journalist; anonymous author of memoir, A Woman in Berlin Heinrich Himmler Recently deposed SS chief attempting to negotiate with the Allies General Rudolf Holste General supposed to be attacking Russian forces from the north-west of Berlin Willi Johannmeier SS officer, one of the couriers of Hitler's last testaments Margaret Joyce.

Wife of William Joyce; German citizen from 1940 William Joyce Broadcaster for the Reich Broadcasting Company; German citizen from 1940 General Alfred Jodl Chief of Operations Staff of the Armed Forces High Command; signed German unconditional surrender on behalf of Admiral Donitz Traudl Junge Hitler's secretary Erich Kempka Hitler's driver General Wilhelm Keitel.

Supreme High Command of the German Armed Forces Karl Koller Luftwaffe liaison officer in the bunker General Hans Krebs Chief of Army General Staff Armin Lehmann Hitler Youth runner.

Dr Hans Graf von Lehndorff Doctor in Konigsberg Ewald Lindloff SS officer who buries. .h.i.tler's remains Heinz Linge Hitler's personal valet Heinz Lorenz Hitler's press officer, one of the couriers of Hitler's last testaments Bernd Freytag von Loringhoven Adjutant to General Krebs; leaves bunker with Boldt on mission to contact General Wenck Constanze Manziarly Hitler's cook Emil Maurice Hitler's former chauffer Ernst Michel Former Auschwitz prisoner Rochus Misch Bunker switchboard operator General Wilhelm Mohnke Battle Commander of Berlin's central government district, including the bunkers Heinrich Muller Head of the Gestapo.

Liesl Ostertag Eva Braun's maid Harald Quandt Magda Goebbels' son from her first marriage.

Hanna Reitsch Aviatrix who flies Robert Ritter von Greim in and out of the bunker Walter Sch.e.l.lenberg SS intelligence officer working for Heinrich Himmler, organising negotiations with Count Bernadotte Dr. Ernst Schenck Doctor in the Berlin Reich Chancellery emergency hospital Anni Antonie Schmoger Munich resident.

Captain Adelbert Schnee U-boat commander Field Marshal Ferdinand Schorner aka Blutiger (b.l.o.o.d.y) Ferdinand Named Commander-in-Chief of the German army in Hitler's last testament Claus Sellier Lieutenant in the 79th Mountain Artillery Regiment Arthur Seyss-Inquart Reich Commissioner in the Netherlands Albert Speer.

Architect and Minister for Munitions Richard Strauss Composer Dr Ludwig Stumpfegger SS doctor in the Berlin Reich Chancellery emergency hospital Fritz Tornow Hitler's dog handler Walther Wagner Civil magistrate who marries Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun General Helmuth Weidling Commandant of Berlin, leading the defence of the city against the Russians Rudolf Weiss a.s.sistant to General Burgdorf who leaves the bunker with Boldt and von Loringhoven on a mission to contact General Wenck General Walther Wenck Commanding forces south of Berlin, Wenck was. .h.i.tler's last hope for relief of the capital. He was actually trying to give Berliners safe pa.s.sage out of the city Henry Wermuth Prisoner in Mauthausen concentration camp Sisi Wilczek Nurse escaping Vienna for her family home Moosham Castle August Wollenhaupt Hitler's barber Walther Wulff Astrologer who advises Heinrich Himmler Wilhelm Zander One of the couriers of Hitler's last testaments; a.s.sistant to Martin Bormann j.a.panese General Isamu Cho General Mitsuru Ushijima's Chief of Staff on Okinawa Yasuo Ichijima Kamikaze pilot Haruo Ito Commander of Rangoon jail General Mitsuru Ushijima Commander of j.a.panese forces on Okinawa Colonel Hiromichi Yahara Responsible for the strategy for the defence of Okinawa New Zealander Major Geoffrey c.o.x Intelligence officer with the 2nd New Zealand Division Russian Vasily Grossman Journalist accompanying the Russian forces attacking Berlin Nina Markovna Taken to Germany as a forced labourer, together with mother and brother Vyacheslav Molotov Russian Foreign Minister Yelena Rzhevskaya German language interpreter working for SMERSH, the Russian intelligence unit Captain Stepan Neustroev Commander of the 1st Battalion in the 756th Regiment of the 150th Rifle Division whose unit stormed the Reichstag General Vasily Shatilov.

Commander of the 150th Rifle Division of the Soviet army Joseph Stalin Leader of the Soviet Union; real name Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili Swedish Count Folke Bernadotte Swedish diplomat negotiating the release of Scandinavian Jews from German camps.

Felix Kersten Swedish ma.s.seur treating Heinrich Himmler and encouraging peace talks with Count Bernadotte.

Getty Images, Popperfoto.

Adolf Hitler greets members of the Hitler Youth behind the Reich Chancellery building on his 56th birthday, 20th April 1945.

Introduction.

In April 1941, Al Bowlly, one of Britain's best-loved singers, recorded a new Irving Berlin song at Abbey Road Studios in London. 'When That Man Is Dead and Gone' was to become one of the most popular songs of the war. In it he looked forward to the day when the 'news'll flash / Satan with the moustache' is buried 'beneath the lawn'. The song, although written by an American, summed up the mood of the British people in 1941, who regarded Hitler as a ridiculous yet dangerous figure, whose death they would happily celebrate. But it had not always been the case.

Even as late as the 'Phoney War' or what some called the 'Bore War' of the winter of 193940, there was considerable support for reaching an agreement with the German dictator. Within a year that changed. Att.i.tudes hardened because of the humiliation of the Dunkirk evacuation in May 1940, and the Battle of Britain of the summer and autumn that followed, but most especially because of the Blitz, which brought terror to cities such as Bristol, Coventry, Glasgow, Liverpool and London.

The singer Al Bowlly himself was a casualty. A week after recording 'When That Man Is Dead and Gone', a bomb exploded outside his flat near Piccadilly. Lying on his bed reading a cowboy book, Bowlly was killed outright.

The British public first heard about Adolf Hitler in November 1923 when he attempted to seize control of the Bavarian government as a first step towards overturning the Weimar Republic. But his political awakening began in the First World War.

The idea of struggle is as old as life itself, for life is only preserved because other living things perish.

Adolf Hitler, 1928.

On 1st August 1914 Hitler was photographed in a crowd which had gathered to celebrate the outbreak of the First World War in the Odeonsplatz, Munich. He later wrote in Mein Kampf that he 'thanked heaven from the fullness of [his] heart for the favour of having been permitted to live at such a time.' The war was 'a deliverance from the distress that had weighed upon me during the days of my youth'.

That distress began in early childhood. Adolf Hitler was born in 1889 in the town of Braunau am Inn in Austria. His father Alois was a bad-tempered, authoritarian and unpredictable man, frequently drunk. According to Adolf's younger sister Paula, her brother received daily thrashings. Their mother Klara was much younger than their father, and closely related to him. She addressed him as "Uncle". Hitler later told people that she would sit outside the room, waiting for the beatings to finish so that she could comfort her son. She was, in Paula's words, 'a very soft and tender person' and Adolf adored her. His father died when Adolf was 14 and his mother when he was 18. Her doctor, who had attended many deaths, later recalled, 'I have never seen anyone so prostrate with grief as Adolf Hitler.'

Hitler had already faced disappointment when he failed to get a place to study architecture at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts shortly before his mother's death. After her funeral in 1907 he returned to the Austrian capital. He lived in cheap lodgings and then, after a period of sleeping on park benches, moved into a men's hostel. He fraudulently claimed financial support pretending to be a student and supplemented this by selling small paintings and sketches, but lived an indolent life. He rose at noon and stayed up late at night working on grandiose architectural projects, designing castles, theatres and concert halls. He wrote operas and plays. Each project began with manic euphoria, but none were finished. His ambitious dreams alternated with periods of depression.

Was there any shady undertaking, any form of foulness, especially in cultural life, in which at least one Jew did not partic.i.p.ate? On putting the probing knife to that kind of abscess one immediately discovered, like the maggot in a putrescent body, a little Jew who was often blinded by the sudden light.

Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf.

Hitler frequently got into furious arguments at the night kitchens where he went for bread and soup. According to one of his early flatmates in Vienna, Jewish-Czech August Kubizek, the 19-year-old Hitler quarrelled with everyone and had frenzies of hatred. The anti-Semitism of Vienna, crudely expressed in endless cheap pamphlets, gave Hitler the relief of a focus for his feelings of fury and resentment. Writing Mein Kampf 15 years later, he claimed that this was the period when his view of life took shape: 'since then I have extended that foundation very little, and I have changed nothing in it.'

This festering aggression found a new outlet in the First World War. Hitler was accepted into the German army as a regimental staff runner and suddenly his aimless life had a structure and purpose. In the next four years he was twice wounded and twice decorated but he never rose above corporal. According to one of his fellow soldiers he sat in a corner 'with his helmet on his head, lost in thought, and none of us could coax him out of his apathy'. He was seen as a loner, a dreamer. His only friend was a dog, a white terrier he called Foxl which had wandered over from the English trenches. According to his military chief, Fritz Wiedemann, Hitler was brave but odd, and couldn't be promoted further because it was clear that he couldn't command respect.

In these nights hatred grew in me hatred for the originators of this dastardly crime.

Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf.

On 10th November 1918, the day before Armistice Day, Hitler was in hospital in north-east Germany convalescing after his second injury. As he recalled in Mein Kampf, a pastor came in to address the patients. With regret he told them that Germany had become a republic; the monarchy had fallen; the war was lost. To Hitler the news was unbearable: 'I could stand it no longer. It became impossible for me to sit still one minute more. Again everything went black before my eyes; I tottered and groped my way back to the dormitory, threw myself on my bunk and dug my burning head into my blanket and pillow.

'Since the day when I had stood at my mother's grave, I had not wept... But now I could not help it...

'And so it had all been in vain... Did all this happen only that a gang of wretched criminals could lay hands on the Fatherland?... I, for my part, decided to go into politics.'

A man I've heard a man, he's unknown, I've forgotten his name. But if anyone can free us from Versailles then it's this man. This unknown man will restore our honour!

Rudolf Hess, May 1920.

After leaving hospital Hitler went to live in Munich and started attending political meetings. He made his first public speech on 16th October 1919 in a beer cellar in a Munich suburb to an audience of 111 people. He spoke till he was sweating and exhausted, unblocking a dam of hatred towards the political establishment, frustration at the humiliation of the defeat of the 191418 war and determination to overturn the traitors who, in June, had signed the Versailles Treaty. Hitler was thrilled to discover 'what I had always felt deep down in my heart... proved to be true. I could make a good speech'. The audience was electrified by his raw intensity. He was voicing the pain of people who felt powerless and offering hope of a glorious future to people who felt battered by defeat. Within weeks he was attracting audiences of 400; the following February he addressed 2,000 people crammed into a huge beer hall in the centre of the city. People stood on the tables and roared as he shrieked abuse at the Jews. There was tumultuous applause as he declared, 'Our motto is only struggle! We go forward unshakably to our goal!'

By July 1921, Hitler had a.s.sumed leadership of the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, NSDAP, later known as the n.a.z.is. By the autumn of 1923 he had gathered more than 55,000 followers, a thousandfold increase from when he joined as the 55th member. Intoxicated by this success, and inspired by Mussolini's successful 'March on Rome' the previous October, Hitler decided to attempt a coup later known as the Beer Hall Putsch and a.s.sert his position as the leader of all the anti-Republican protest groups in Munich. The putsch was planned one day and executed the next.

A little man... unshaven with disorderly hair and so hoa.r.s.e that he could hardly speak.

Description of Hitler in a Times report of the Munich Beer Hall Putsch On the evening of 8th November, Hitler burst into a Munich beer cellar where 3,000 people were listening to speeches by Bavarian politicians. He was accompanied by one of his most glamorous supporters the war hero and ace fighter pilot Hermann Goring and a team of helmeted storm troopers pushing a heavy machine gun. Hitler leapt onto a chair, waving a dog whip and brandishing a pistol. In order to make himself heard he fired a shot at the ceiling and then shouted across the vast room, 'The national revolution has broken out in Munich! The whole city is at this moment occupied by our troops! The hall is surrounded by 600 men. n.o.body is allowed to leave!'

The city was not occupied by n.a.z.i troops and the putsch fizzled out after a 30-second exchange of gunfire in which four policemen and 14 n.a.z.is were killed. One of the activists was a young chicken farmer with a soft pudgy face and gla.s.ses. He held his head high and carried a standard bearing a swastika. His name was Heinrich Himmler.

Hermann Goring was shot in the leg. Adolf Hitler tripped and dislocated his shoulder. Both men fled the scene. Goring managed to escape to Austria where he was treated for his injuries and given morphine for the pain. It was the beginning of a lifelong addiction. Hitler only managed to get as far as a friend's house outside Munich and was arrested two days later. Together with several other organisers of the march he was tried for treason. Hitler was given the minimum sentence of five years and in April 1924 was sent to Landsberg Prison.

In Landsberg, Hitler had a large room with windows looking out over beautiful countryside. Many of the prison guards were n.a.z.i Party members and secretly showed their respect with greetings of Heil Hitler. He was allowed to receive flowers and gifts and had so many visitors that once numbers topped 500 he decided to restrict them. He spent most of his time writing, or rather dictating, Mein Kampf, setting out a political ideology which he never revised. He argued that the future success of the German nation required triumph over the evil conspiracies of the Jews and communists and territorial expansion in the east.

After the shambles of the 1923 putsch, Hitler spent ten years building up the n.a.z.i Party and, with the support of the former chicken farmer Heinrich Himmler, developed the SS as an effective military elite. The focus of his ambition turned from Bavarian politics to national leadership.

That is the miracle of our age, that you have found me, that you have found me among so many millions! And that I have found you, that is Germany's good fortune!

Adolf Hitler, 13th September 1936.

Hitler's appointment as Chancellor of Germany on 30th January 1933 was greeted by huge, orchestrated torchlight processions. The reality was that the n.a.z.i Party had come to power with minority support following an election that failed to deliver a majority government. Germany was suffering catastrophic inflation and high unemployment, which Hitler tackled with a ma.s.sive programme of road building, construction and military rearmament. The expansion was funded by huge borrowing, the seizure of a.s.sets and printing money.

At the same time Hitler introduced policies designed to destroy opposition. Trade unions and all other political parties were banned. Opponents were murdered or sent to newly created concentration camps. In pursuit of a notion of racial perfection, laws of 'Racial Hygiene' were brought in. s.e.x was forbidden between so-called Aryans and Jews or 'gypsies, negroes or their b.a.s.t.a.r.d offspring'. A eugenics programme for the medical murder of people with disabilities was secretly established.

The changes were enforced by violence, delivered by the SS and the newly formed Gestapo, and by extravagant propaganda. A young journalist with a PhD in Romantic Literature, Joseph Goebbels, was put in charge of controlling the media. A young architect, Albert Speer, was brought in to design the visual impact of ma.s.s rallies and marches.

My dear wife.

This is h.e.l.l. The Russians don't want to leave Moscow. It's so cold my very soul is freezing. I beg of you stop writing about the silks and boots I'm supposed to bring you from Moscow. Can't you understand I'm dying?

Adolf Fortheimer, German Soldier, December 1941.

In 1939 Hitler reflected on the achievements of the first six years of his leadership in a speech to the German parliament, the Reichstag: 'I have restored to the Reich the provinces grabbed from us in 1919; I have led millions of deeply unhappy Germans, who have been s.n.a.t.c.hed away from us, back into the Fatherland; I have restored the thousand-year-old historical unity of German living s.p.a.ce; and I have attempted to accomplish all that without shedding blood and without inflicting the sufferings of war on my people or any other. I have accomplished all this, as one who 21 years ago was still an unknown worker and soldier of my people, by my own efforts...'

By the end of 1938 the Rhineland, Austria and Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia had all been pulled into a greater Germany without any international opposition. But the invasion of Poland triggered the British and French declarations of war on Germany on 3rd September 1939. Undeterred, in April 1940, Hitler invaded Denmark and Norway, again without encountering significant opposition. Then in the spring of 1941 German troops were sent into the Balkans, Yugoslavia, Greece, North Africa and the Middle East, and later into Iraq and Crete. The beginning of the end of this ma.s.sive expansion came in June 1941 when, in contravention of a non-aggression pact of 1939, Hitler launched a ma.s.sive attack on Soviet Russia. Six months later he declared war on the United States. By Christmas 1944 Germany was pincered between these two advancing superpowers.

On 15th January 1945, Hitler retreated from the hideous reality of defeat. He rushed back to Berlin, and buried himself in his Fuhrerbunker, giving orders to Albert Speer that all German infrastructure and industry be destroyed. There would be no surrender. Victory or destruction were the only options.

There were two bunkers beneath the Reich Chancellery building in Berlin. The older one, the upper bunker, had been designed by Albert Speer as an air raid shelter in the early 1930s. It was built beneath the cellars of the old Reich Chancellery and was ready for use by 1936. A lower bunker, which became known as the Fuhrerbunker, was constructed in 1944. It was located 8.5 metres below the garden and protected by a 3-metre-deep concrete roof.

During January 1945 Hitler slept in the Fuhrerbunker but worked in the remaining rooms of the Reich Chancellery. In the early afternoon of 3rd February 1945, the US Air Force undertook a ma.s.s bombing attack on Berlin, creating a fireball which burned for five days and inflicting the worst damage that the capital had yet suffered. From this point Hitler stayed underground.

Most of the senior n.a.z.is had sent their families to safety and had moved out of the capital. Only Joseph Goebbels remained in Berlin, sleeping in a luxurious bunker built beneath his family home. The head of the SS, Heinrich Himmler, had been living in a sanatorium in the beautiful resort of Hohenlychen since January, receiving treatments for stress and severe stomach pain. Himmler held a very inflated view of himself as a figure of international stature and had become convinced that he was the best person to negotiate the peace and lead Germany into the future. At the suggestion of his Swedish ma.s.seur, Felix Kersten, who took advantage of his relationship with the SS chief to try and get concentration camp prisoners released, Himmler had two secret meetings: one with Count Folke Bernadotte, a Swedish diplomat, and one with Norbert Masur, the Swedish representative of the World Jewish Congress. Ostensibly the purpose of both meetings was to discuss the release of prisoners, but Himmler's motive was to open up a channel of communication with the Western Allies. He hoped that Masur would put the issue of the Final Solution behind him.

You know what I wish? I wish they had killed Hitler and then there would be a chance to end the war!

Albine Paul, n.a.z.i Party supporter, spring 1945.

On 11th March 1945 there was a service of remembrance for the war dead in the village of Markt Sch.e.l.lenberg, close to Hitler's mountain retreat in Obersalzberg. At the end of his speech the local army commander called for a Sieg Heil to the Fuhrer. There was a deadly silence. None of the civilians, Home Guard or soldiers responded. On this cold morning everyone kept their mouths shut and their right arms tightly by their sides. At hundreds of rallies held during the previous 12 years these people, and millions of others, had leapt, mesmerised, to their feet to "Sieg Heil" the close of Adolf Hitler's rousing speeches. But the spell had been broken.

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Hitler's Last Day: Minute By Minute Part 1 summary

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