Hitler's Last Day: Minute By Minute Part 24

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Heinz Linge

Hitler's valet was one of the last to leave the bunker on 1st May 1945. He was captured by the Russians the next day and held in Moscow's Lubjanka prison where he was frequently tortured. He was released in 1955. He travelled to London shortly afterwards and gave an interview to the BBC's In Town Tonight programme. He settled in West Germany, wrote his memoirs and died in 1980.

Heinz Lorenz

See Johannmeier above.

Bernd von Loringhoven

See Boldt above.

Constanze Manziarly

Hitler's cook was in the group lead by General Mohnke which broke out of the bunker on 1st May 1945, but she became separated from the others and was presumed dead. Her body has never been found.

Nina Markovna

Within days of the end of the war, the Americans left Triptis and the Russians moved in; the town was now part of their zone of occupation as agreed at Yalta. All Russians were forced to return to the Soviet Union, but Nina and her family managed to escape to the French zone, and for a while Nina found work dancing with a ballet troupe. In 1947, while working in a Red Cross club, she met a young GI, and they married. They crossed the Atlantic as soon as they could, as Nina wanted the child to be born in America.

Emil Maurice

Maurice served in the Luftwaffe for much of the war. He was captured by the Russians in 1948 and served four years in a labour camp. He died in 1972.

Rochus Misch

Misch was one of the last people to leave the bunker, making his escape early on 2nd May. He was soon captured by the Russians and held in labour camps until 1953. Like others who had been in the bunker, he was frequently tortured for information about Hitler. On release he returned to his wife in Berlin and became a painter and decorator. He died in 2013 at the age of 96. He insisted for the rest of his life, 'He was a wonderful boss.'

General Wilhelm Mohnke

Mohnke led the first party to break out of the bunker on 1st May, and surrendered to the Russians the following day. He was held by the Russians until 1955, spending the first six years of his incarceration in solitary confinement. On his release he returned to live in West Germany and became a dealer in trucks and trailers. He died at the age of 90 in 2001.

General Bernard Montgomery

In the 1946 New Year's Honours list, Montgomery was named a viscount. His staff already knew, as he'd been practising his signature for weeks. Montgomery remained hugely popular with the British public and retired from the army in 1958. He died on 24th March 1976.

Heinrich Muller

Muller was last seen in the bunker on 1st May 1945. There were many rumours that he went to work for the Russians or the CIA, but both the Soviet and US secret services have now released archives which show that they were never in contact with him. In 1967 West Germany sought the extradition from Panama of a man called Francis Willard Keith, whose physical appearance was so close to Muller's that his wife, Sophie Muller, was convinced it was him. Fingerprints proved otherwise. It is now presumed that he died in Berlin in early May 1945.

Liesl Ostertag

In the last surviving letter from Eva Braun to her sister Gretl she wrote, 'The faithful Liesl refuses to abandon me. I've proposed several times that she should leave. I should like to give her my gold watch.' Anneliese Ostertag escaped the bunker and survived. She was interviewed by Nerin E. Gun for his 1968 biography of Eva Braun.

Captain Sigismund Payne-Best

After a short stay in an Italian hospital, Payne-Best flew home to England on 22nd May to be reunited with his wife, whom he had not seen since 9th November 1939. In 1950, with the permission of MI6, he published a memoir of the war, which became a bestseller. Sigismund Payne-Best died in 1978, aged 93.

Harald Quandt

Magda Goebbels' oldest son was released from a British prisoner-of-war camp in 1947. With his half-brother he inherited his father's industrial empire in 1954. This made him one of the richest men in Germany. He married and had five daughters. He died in a plane crash in Italy in 1967.

Hanna Reitsch

After a couple of days at Plon Castle, Hanna Reitsch and Robert Ritter von Greim set off together on a flying tour of army outposts. Their aim was to encourage troops to keep on fighting and ignore calls to surrender.

However von Greim's injury became so painful that they had to stop, and she spent several days nursing him. They were captured by the Americans on 9th May 1945. Reitsch told her interrogators that von Greim would never have allowed himself to capitulate if he had not been so ill from his infected wound.

When she was arrested Reitsch was carrying the letters from Joseph and Magda Goebbels to her son Harald. She had, however, destroyed Eva Braun's last letter to her sister Gretl. She was not a fan of Eva Braun. She told her American interrogator that Braun occupied most of her time with 'fingernail polishing, changing of clothes for each hour of the day, and all the other little feminine tasks of grooming, combing and polishing'. Reitsch claimed she destroyed Eva Braun's letter on the grounds that it was 'so vulgar, so theatrical, and in such poor, adolescent taste' that its survival would damage the reputation of the Third Reich. For her own safety, in case she was captured, Reitsch had also destroyed the official letters that she had been given by Bormann.

Reitsch was held by the Americans for 18 months. She learned that on 3rd May her sister had killed her three children and herself, alongside both Reitsch's parents, fearing that they were about to be handed over to the Russians. She also learned of von Greim's suicide.

After her release, Reitsch returned to gliding. The Allies had introduced rules banning Germans from flying powered planes. She became German gliding champion in 1955 and set many endurance, distance and alt.i.tude records. In recognition of her compet.i.tive flying, John F. Kennedy invited her to the White House in 1961.

She set up gliding schools in India and Africa and spent much of the rest of her life in Ghana. She died in 1979 at the age of 67.

Lieutenant Wolfgang F. Robinow

For the young German-born GI, the rest of 1945 consisted of interrogating prisoners and arresting n.a.z.is the most famous of whom was the film maker Leni Riefenstahl 'because the commanding officer wanted her autograph'. He once asked a Gestapo officer how many people he had killed. He replied, 'Are you in the habit of counting the number of slices of bread you have for breakfast in a year?'

Robinow stayed in Germany and lived in Munich until 2003, when he moved to Frankfurt to be closer to his children and grandchildren.

Bert Ruffle

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Hitler's Last Day: Minute By Minute Part 24 summary

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