What were Hitler's last words?
Second World War : The last three days of the imperial capital
The end is near, it is an end with many horrors. The Second World War unleashed by Adolf Hitler in 1939, the “total war” evoked by his Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels in 1943, is raging in Berlin. The city is in its last convulsions.
Eight and a half meters below the earth, the man who is responsible for millions of deaths and suffering around the world and who with all his remaining power wants to put an end to everything and everyone, including himself, is waiting.
In the “Führerbunker” under the garden of the Reich Chancellery, the new one on Vossstrasse and the old one on Wilhelmstrasse, Hitler staged the downfall with the most loyal of his followers.
It is April 28, 1945 that the “Führer” decides to put an end to his life: Hitler learns that Heinrich Himmler, Reichsführer SS, wants to start negotiations with the Western Allies about a surrender from Lübeck. A fit of rage followed and the order to somehow get hold of the Himmlers.
On the night of the 29th, after marrying his long-time lover Eva Braun, Hitler wrote two wills, his political one - in them he made Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz, Commander-in-Chief of the Reichsmarine, his successor as Reich President and Commander-in-Chief of the Wehrmacht and Joseph Goebbels Chancellor - and his private life.
"Myself and my wife choose death to suffer the shame of deposition or surrender," wrote Hitler in his private will. "It is our will to be burned immediately at the point where I did most of my daily work in the course of twelve years of service to my people."
Dispute in the "Führerbunker"
That night, Captain Gerhard Boldt was roused from his sleep in the “Führerbunker”. Hitler's chief adjutant Wilhelm Burgdorf shouts at Reichsleiter and Hitler's private secretary Martin Bormann. A moment ago both of them had been drinking happily together with Hans Krebs, Chief of Staff of the Army.
"For you, people were only the tools of your insatiable lust for power," Burgdorf is said to have shouted at the end. “You have destroyed our centuries-old culture, the German people. This is your terrible fault! "
Bormann is said to have replied coolly: “But, my dear, you don't have to get personal. (...) Cheers, my dear! "
At the same time, people in Berlin were shooting, stabbing and knocking themselves out of their lives, on the one hand soldiers of the Red Army, on the other hand soldiers of the Wehrmacht and the SS, not only German SS men, but also French ("Charlemagne" division) ), Scandinavian (Division "Nordland") and Latvian (15th Fusilier Battalion), plus members of the "Volkssturm" with men who are still able to fight and boys of the "Hitler Youth" who are already able to do military service.
At the same time civilians crouch in cellars and bunkers, subway shafts and sewers of the city, fearing for their lives, hoping for their survival.
Wilhelm Mohnke, commander of the defense forces of the government district, gives Hitler a status report on April 29.
Hitler: "Where is the Russian?"
Mohnke: “In the north, the Russian is just before the Weiderdammer Bridge. In the east at the Lustgarten. In the south at Potsdamer Platz and at the Ministry of Aviation. To the west in the Tiergarten, 300 to 400 meters in front of the Reich Chancellery. "
Hitler: "How long can you hold out?"
Mohnke: "At most 20 to 24 hours."
Monday April 30, 1945
Berlin, Vossstrasse, Reich Chancellery, Führerbunker, 1 a.m .: Hitler receives an answer to his radio message, which he had sent off the previous evening. Field Marshal General Wilhelm Keitel, Chief of the High Command of the Wehrmacht (OKW), and Colonel General Alfred Jodl, Chief of the Wehrmacht Command Staff in the OKW, comment on his four questions:
1. Point Wenck (Walther Wenck, Commander in Chief of the 12th Army) is located south of Schwielowsee.
2. 12th Army can therefore not continue the attack on Berlin.
3rd 9th Army with crowd included.
4th Corps Holste (Rudolf Holste, Commanding General of the XXXXI Panzer Corps) pushed into the defense.
Overall situation: hopeless.
Dorotheenstrasse, Reich Ministry of the Interior, 4 a.m .: Soviet soldiers have the "House of Himmler" in their hands. The fighting over the building dragged on for more than 21 hours, with man against man fighting for every room.
Attack on the "German Kremlin"
Koenigsplatz (today Republic Square), 4.30 a.m .: Soviet soldiers launch an attack on the Reichstag building. The attack fails under the unexpectedly violent fire of German soldiers who have holed up in the ruins of the Kroll Opera House, opposite the Reichstag.
The Soviet leadership has chosen the Reichstag, an empty ruin with walled-up window openings, to be the “German Kremlin”, the “landmark of Berlin”.
The background to this is the Reichstag fire in 1933 and its consequences: the arson not only led to a trial against the alleged perpetrator Marinus van der Lubbe, a politically left-wing worker; it also served the Nazi regime as a pretext to legalize the persecution of its political opponents and thus the smashing of the Communist Party. The Reichstag building symbolizes the end of the Weimar Republic and the beginning of the Third Reich.
Vossstraße, Reich Chancellery, Führerbunker, 5 a.m .: Heavy artillery fire from Soviet positions roused the bunker residents from their sleep.
6 o'clock: Hitler sits on the chair next to his bed, sleepless, in a dressing gown and slippers, and talks to Wilhelm Mohnke, in command of the government district's defense forces.
Hitler: How much longer can it be held?
Mohnke: Not more than a few hours, the Russians got within a few hundred meters all around.
Vossstraße, garden of the Reich Chancellery, 7 a.m .: Eva Braun, Hitler's wife for a day, comes to the emergency exit of the “Führerbunker”; she wanted to "see the sun again". Shortly afterwards Hitler appears in the half-light of the staircase. He turns around on one of the upper steps when the fire gets stronger.
If the German people are defeated, they should perish and make way for the biologically stronger.
Koenigsplatz (today Republic Square), around 9.30 a.m .: Soviet soldiers resume their attack on the Reichstag building, they fail again.
Bendlerstrasse (today Stauffenbergstrasse),Bendlerblock, command post of the combat commandant of Berlin, around 10 a.m .: The officers around General Helmuth Weidling discuss plans to break out the remaining German troops from Berlin.
The outbreak is expected to occur at 10 p.m.
Vossstraße, Reich Chancellery, Führerbunker, 12 noon: Situation conference. Soviet troops have opened the storm on the Reichstag. Vanguards have already penetrated the tunnel on Vossstrasse, in the immediate vicinity of the Reich Chancellery. The city can no longer be defended.
When he suggested that he might try “to get out of here” and break through to the Wenck Army near Potsdam, Hitler replied that it was pointless.
Hitler withdraws for a final talk with General Hans Krebs, Chief of Staff of the Army. It is said to have said: "If the German people are defeated, they should die and make way for the biologically stronger."
Then Hitler approaches Otto Günsch, his personal adjutant. He makes it clear to him that he, Hitler, must not fall into the hands of the Russians, neither alive nor dead. He will take his own life with “Fräulein Braun”.
Koenigsplatz (today Republic Square), 13 o'clock: Soviet soldiers attack the Reichstag building again after a 30-minute barrage. This attack was also repulsed, with the support of the guns of the flak tower at the zoological garden.
Vossstraße, Reich Chancellery, Führerbunker, 2 p.m .: Hitler eats his last meal in his living room and study in the company of his four secretaries and his diet cook. To a secretary, the small group looks like “a banquet of death”.
With the words “Now the time has come, it is over!” Hitler is said to have picked up the plaque after a short time.
3pm: A leaden silence weighs on the rooms of the underground bunker, whereas in the canteen of the front bunker, bunker residents enjoy themselves with alcohol, music and dance.
Around 3.15 p.m .: Hitler and Eva Braun step into the conference corridor in the main bunker to say goodbye to their closest colleagues.
Joseph Goebbels wife Magda tries in a personal conversation with Hitler to persuade him to leave Berlin after all. Vain.
An orderly hurries into the canteen in the front bunker and asks the celebrants to be quiet: The Führer is about to die. The binge continues.
The Hitler couple take their own lives
Around 3:30 p.m .: Gertraud (Traudl) Junge, one of Hitler's secretaries, claims to have suddenly heard a pistol bang on her way from the lower to the upper bunker rooms.
Hitler's valet Heinz Linge claims to have noticed the smell of powder and reported to Martin Bormann: "Herr Reichsleiter, it happened!"
Bormann, Linge and Hitler's adjutant Otto Günsch then claim to have gone to Hitler's living room and study and seen: Hitler sits slumped on the sofa, his head bowed forward, his eyes open; a coin-sized hole gapes on his right temple, a bloody trickle runs down his cheek; a pistol, a Walther with the caliber 7.65 mm, lies on the floor; Eva Braun is sitting next to him, her legs drawn to her body, her lips discolored bluish.
The riddle of the “Führer” suicide
Reich Youth Leader Artur Axmann, who joins them, claims to have seen it: Blood trickles ran down his cheeks over both of Hitler's temples. And: "Hitler shot himself in the mouth."
Erich Kempka, Hitler's driver, also said: "The boss shot himself in the mouth with his pistol in his study."
To this day it is not clear how Hitler died. A shot in the temple, a shot in the mouth?
And: Did he, like Eva Braun, chew a capsule with hydrogen cyanide beforehand and then shoot himself. Or did he let himself be shot?
Johann Rattenhuber, head of the "Command for the Protection of the Fuehrer", suspected valet Linge of having shot Hitler. Linge firmly denied that.
Soviet investigators concluded that the adjutant shot Gushi.
Bendlerstrasse (today Stauffenbergstrasse),Bendlerblock, command post of the combat commandant of Berlin, 4 p.m .: General Helmuth Weidling receives a letter from the “Führer” from an SS storm leader of the Mohnke combat group: He allowed the troops to break out of the Berlin pocket in small groups; he still firmly refuses to surrender.
Weidling decides to audition in the "Führerbunker".
Vossstrasse, Reich Chancellery, Führerbunker, around the same time: SS men carry Hitler's corpse, wrapped in a woolen blanket, into the garden of the Reich Chancellery; Martin Bormann wears Eva Braun.
Under fire, they lay the dead next to the emergency exit of the bunker, pour gasoline over them and set them on fire.
Erich Kempka, Hitler's driver: “The flames consumed the gasoline. Pouring new fuel into the extinguishing flames was impossible. Again and again, the remains of the not yet charred bodies had to be doused with fresh gasoline and then set on fire. "
It is unclear how: whether with matches, with a rag soaked in gasoline or with a torch made of forms. Or with both and, because the fire is difficult to get going and later goes out again and again.
The charring corpses of Hitler and Eva Braun are repeatedly doused with gasoline and set on fire until well into the evening.
Munich, 4:05 p.m .: Hitler's "capital of the movement" is officially handed over to the Americans.
Goebbels wants a truce
Berlin, Bendlerstrasse (today Stauffenbergstrasse),Bendlerblock, command post of the combat commandant of Berlin, 6 p.m .: General Helmuth Weidling receives a letter from another SS man, signed by Adjutant Wilhelm Mohnkes, commander of the defense forces of the government district. He, Weidling, should "report immediately to General Krebs in the Reich Chancellery". All intended outbreak measures are to be stopped.
Koenigsplatz (today Republic Square), around the same time: Soviet soldiers penetrate the Reichstag building. A close combat begins.
Vossstrasse, Reich Chancellery, Führerbunker, 7 p.m .: General Weidling, the combat commandant of Berlin, arrives at the Reich Chancellery and is immediately taken to Hitler's living room and study in the main bunker.
It took Weidling almost an hour to get through the approximately 1200 meters from the Bendlerblock, his command post, to the Reich Chancellery.
Hans Krebs, Chief of Staff of the Army, informed Weidling in the presence of Goebbels and Reichsleiter Bormann: The “Führer” had committed suicide, his body had been burned, the strictest silence had to be kept about it, only Marshal Stalin had been informed of this by radio - the latter is questionable.
Krebs should negotiate a ceasefire with the Russian high command.
Weidling: "So this was the end!"
Plön, 7.30 p.m .: Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz receives a telegram from Goebbels and Reichsleiter Bormann from the Führerbunker: “Instead of the previous Reichsmarschall Göring, the Führer appoints you, Herr Großadmiral, as his successor. Written power of attorney on the way. From now on you should have all the measures that arise from the current situation. "
Not a word about Hitler committing suicide.
Berlin, Vossstrasse, Reich Chancellery, Führerbunker, around the same time: The remainder consult. Reichsleiter Bormann suggests daring to break out with members of the "Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler"; Wilhelm Mohnke, commander of the defense forces of the government district, thinks this is hopeless.
It was agreed to start negotiations with the Soviet High Command: General Hans Krebs, Chief of Staff of the Army, should visit Colonel-General Vasily Chujkov, Commander-in-Chief of the 8th Guard Army.
The red flag is hoisted on the Reichstag
Vossstraße, garden of the Reich Chancellery, around 8 p.m .: Hermann Karnau, member of the security service, looks again after the corpses of Hitler and Eva Braun next to the emergency exit of the "Führerbunker".
Before that, the skeletons could still be seen, which collapsed into a shallow heap of ash when he tried to step one foot deeper into the earth; now, "the individual flakes were already flying in the wind".
Koenigsplatz (today Republic Square), Reichstag, 10.40 p.m .: The Soviet NCO Mikhail Minin hoists the red flag, the banner of the Soviet Union, on the roof of the building.
Vossstraße, garden of the Reich Chancellery, around 11 p.m .: The almost completely burned corpses of Hitler and Eva Braun next to the emergency exit of the “Führerbunker” are pushed onto a tarpaulin, lowered into a shell hole, covered with earth and tamped down with a wooden pounder - according to Hitler's adjutant Otto Günsch.
Wilhelmstrasse, Reich Aviation Ministry, command post "Citadel", shortly before midnight: A delegation of German parliamentarians makes their way to the command post of the Soviet 102nd Guards Rifle Regiment.
The parliamentarians are authorized by the High Command of the Wehrmacht to ask that General Hans Krebs, Chief of Staff of the Army, may start negotiations.
Colonel Theodor von Dufving, Chief of Staff of General Weidling, the combat commandant of Berlin: “I climbed over a wall and was suddenly surrounded by Russians who lit me up with flashlights, patted me on the shoulder and talked to me as if we were old friends would be. "
Colonel-General Wassilij Tschujkow, Commander-in-Chief of the 8th Guard Army, agrees to negotiate with General Krebs.
What else happened on April 30, 1945:
Soviet commanders appoint a district mayor for Berlin-Tempelhof and a mayor for the Marienfelde district.
KPD functionary Walter Ulbricht arrives in Berlin, he was previously with Marshal Georgij Schukow, in his command post in Bruchmühle near Strausberg.
With nine other KPD functionaries, Ulbricht set out early in the morning from the Vnukowo airport near Moscow for Germany. You are initially in Schwerin an der Warthe (today Skwierzyna) got under.
The ten-person "Ulbricht Group" has the task of supporting the Political Headquarters of the 1st Belarusian Front in restoring public life and the administration of Berlin and then preparing the establishment of parties, unions and organizations.
Tuesday May 1, 1945
Berlin, Schulenburgring 2, 3.50 a.m .: General Hans Krebs arrives at Colonel General Vasily Chujkov's headquarters. After a few preliminary speeches, Krebs informs Tschujkow "confidentially" that Hitler and his wife had committed suicide the day before. Chujkov claims that he already knows this - he does not know it.
Krebs suggests "peace negotiations between the two states" which "suffered the greatest losses in the war".
Chujkov immediately recognizes the attempt to divide the allies against Germany after all. He informed Marshal Georgij Schukow in his command post in Bruchmühle near Strausberg about Hitler's suicide and the German proposal.
Zhukov informed Josef Stalin after he had him in his dacha in Kunzewo near Moscow (today in Moscow) woke up from sleep.
It is a pity that it did not succeed in him (Hitler) to be taken alive.
According to Zhukov, Soviet leader Stalin is said to have commented on Hitler's suicide with the words: “Now he has played out this wretched villain. It is a pity that it was not possible to take him alive. ”And he informs his marshal,“ that we do not want any negotiations with the Germans. We insist on unconditional surrender. "
General Krebs advises Colonel General Chujkov that he is not authorized to negotiate a surrender. He had to consult with the "Führerbunker".
Vossstraße, Reich Chancellery, Führerbunker, shortly before 8 a.m.: Martin Bormann sends a second telegram to Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz: “Testament (Hitler's) in force. I will come to you as soon as possible. In my opinion, postpone publication until then. "
Schuleburgring 2, 10.15 a.m .: The negotiations between General Krebs and Colonel General Chujkov are not progressing. The Soviet side issued an ultimatum: if the German side did not immediately agree to an unconditional surrender, military operations would be fully resumed.
1:08 p.m .: After nine hours of negotiations with Colonel General Tschujkow, General Krebs makes his way back to the Reich Chancellery and the “Führerbunker”. He has a paper with him in which the Soviet side demands the following:
1. Berlin surrenders.
2. All those who surrender have to lay down their arms.
3. Life is guaranteed to all soldiers and officers.
4. Help is provided to the wounded.
5. The possibility of radio negotiations with the Allies will be created.
I once conquered Berlin against the Reds, I will defend it against the Reds to the last breath.
Plön, 3:18 p.m .: Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz receives a telegram from Goebbels: “Fiihrers different yesterday at 3:30 pm. Testament from 29.4. assigns you the office of Reich President. Reichsleiter Bormann tries to come to you today to explain the situation to you. The form and timing of the announcement to the public and troops is up to you. Confirm receipt. "
Doenitz still does not know that Hitler committed suicide.
Berlin, Vossstrasse, Reich Chancellery, Führerbunker, around 3:30 p.m .: General Krebs reports on the results of his negotiations with Colonel General Chujkov. The demand for surrender outraged Goebbels: "I once conquered Berlin against the Reds, I will defend it against the Reds to the last breath."
A lieutenant colonel of the Waffen SS authorized by Goebbels went to the battle line a little later and handed over a sealed letter signed by Reichsleiter Bormann and General Krebs. It says: There will be no surrender, the fighting will continue.
Between 5pm and 6pm: Magda Goebbels brings her six children - five girls (4, 6, 8, 11 and 12 years) and a boy (9) - to bed in the front bunker.
The Goebbels couple met several times with medical officer Ludwig Stumpfegger, Hitler's attending physician, and dentist Helmut Kunz, adjutant of the SS medical administration, to clarify how their children can be killed quickly and painlessly.
Rochus Misch, operator in the “Führerbunker”, reports that the children were given cocoa with a sleeping pill before they went to bed.
Dentist Helmut Kunz gave the children morphine injections to numb them.
Magda Goebbels finally drops hydrogen cyanide into the mouths of her anesthetized children in the presence of medical officer Stumpfegger.
The twelve-year-old Helga Goebbels is not sufficiently anesthetized; she refuses to swallow the poison - her body, found later, has bruises on her face.
“It's done!” With these words Magda Goebbels is said to have appeared shortly afterwards in the main bunker, where her husband was waiting for her. Both went to his study. There she is said to have laid solitaire while crying.
Fire-free! from all pipes
The Goebbels met with Martin Bormann and Reich Youth Leader Artur Axmann in the early evening to exchange memories.
Government district, 6.30 p.m .: After the failure of negotiations on a surrender, the Soviet positions open fire from all pipes.
7.40 p.m .: The German combat and command posts receive the message: "The Führer is dead."
And further: Fightable volunteers from all associations would be led by the last commander of the "Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler" (Otto Kumm) break out at night.
The outbreak will fail.
The dead Goebbels couple is set on fire
Berlin, Vossstrasse, Reich Chancellery, Führerbunker, around 8.30 p.m .: Goebbels and his wife go to the bunker entrance in the garden of the Reich Chancellery. As he leaves, at the foot of the stairs, he says: "Les jeux sont faits" - the game is over.
The Goebbels poisoned themselves a few meters away from the place where what was left of Hitler and Eva Braun is buried.
It is said that they shot each other afterwards.
It is also said that after they had poisoned themselves, they were shot by an SS man.
Goebbels has instructed his adjutant Günter Schwägermann to see to it that the corpses are cremated and to ensure that he, Goebbels, and his wife are actually dead before they are cremated.
Schwägermann and a couple of SS men carry gas cans up to the garden of the Reich Chancellery. A guard fired at the corpses lying at the bunker exit
The dead are doused with gasoline and set on fire. The fire goes out after a few minutes. Nobody cares, everyone is busy saving their life.
Mauerstraße, Reich Ministry of Propaganda, around 9 p.m .: State Secretary Werner Naumann, Goebbels personal advisor, informs his staff: “Adolf Hitler committed suicide yesterday afternoon. Dr. Goebbels is dying. ”And: The people who remained in the Reich Chancellery would attempt to escape.
Ministerialrat Hans Fritzsche, who now suspects that he is the most senior government official in the city, decides to make an offer of surrender to the Soviet side on his own initiative. He formulates a letter.
Vossstrasse, Reich Chancellery, Führerbunker, 10 p.m .: Wilhelm Mohnke, commander of the defense forces of the government district, has formed six (according to other sources ten) groups of ten to fifteen people who are now three quarters of an hour later than planned, leaving the bunker every ten minutes.
Daring escape from the "Führerbunker"
The first group dares to break out of the “Führerbunker”. The refugees crawl out of the cellar window below the “Führerbalkons” at the Reich Chancellery and run over the devastated Wilhelmplatz towards the Kaiserhof underground station (today Mohrenstrasse), stumble and slide over rubble to the platform and walk over the tracks towards the Friedrichstrasse underground station.
The group wants to go from the Friedrichstrasse underground station to the Stettiner station in the tunnel under the Spree (today Nordbahnhof) get behind the Soviet lines and then move to the flak tower in Humboldthain, from where each group is supposed to find a way to the west.
Hans Krebs, Chief of Staff of the Army, and Wilhelm Burgdorf, Hitler's chief adjutant, as well as Franz Schädle, commander of Hitler's personal bodyguard, seriously wounded, want to stay in the “Führerbunker”. The three men will commit suicide.
I take over the supreme command of all parts of the German armed forces with the will to continue the fight against the Bolsheviks (...).
Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz
Hamburg, Rothenbaumchaussee, Funkhaus, 10:26 p.m .: The "Großdeutsche Rundfunk" interrupts its program. A broadcaster announced: “It is reported from the Führer Headquarters that our Führer Adolf Hitler is this afternoon (sic!) in his command post in the Reich Chancellery, fighting to the last breath for Germany. On April 30, the Führer appointed Grand Admiral Dönitz as his successor. The Grand Admiral and successor to the Führer speaks to the German people. "
Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz: “German men and women, soldiers of the German Wehrmacht! Our Führer, Adolf Hitler, has fallen. The German people bow in deep sorrow and awe. (...)
My first task is to save German people from annihilation by the advancing Bolshevik enemy. The military struggle continues only for this purpose. (...)
Everyone does his or her duty in his or her place (...). "
Order of the day to the German Wehrmacht
Radio spokesman: "As Supreme Commander of the Wehrmacht, Grand Admiral Dönitz sends the following order to the German Wehrmacht."
Dönitz: “The Führer has fallen, true to his great idea of protecting the peoples of Europe from Bolshevism, he committed his life and died as a hero. With him one of the greatest heroes of German history passed away. In proud awe and sadness we lower the flags before him. (...)
I take over the supreme command over all parts of the German armed forces with the will to continue the fight against the Bolsheviks until the fighting troops and until the hundreds of thousands of families of the German east dream are saved from slavery and annihilation. (...)
The oath you took to the Fuehrer now applies to each and every one of you without further ado, as the successor appointed by the Fuehrer. German soldiers, do your duty! The life of our people counts. "
Berlin, Bendlerstrasse (today Stauffenbergstrasse),Bendlerblock, command post of the combat commandant of Berlin, 10.40 p.m .: General Helmuth Weidling sees no way out. A successful break out of the pocket formed by the Soviet units is unthinkable.
In Soviet hands are: the Zoologischer Garten station, the east-west axis to the Brandenburg Gate, the Weidendamm Bridge (Weidendammer Bridge), Spittelmarkt, Leipziger Strasse, Potsdamer Platz, Potsdamer Brücke and Bendlerbrücke.
General Weidling speaks to his soldiers, there are over 100 men. He describes the situation, sees only one way out and receives unanimous approval: surrender.
Combat commander Weidling sends an open radio message in Russian over the enemy lines five times in a row: “Here LVI. German Panzer Corps! Here LVI. German Panzer Corps! We ask that the fire be stopped. At 0.50 Berlin time we send parliamentarians to the Potsdamer Brücke, a white flag in front of a red light. We ask for your response! We are waiting!"
Shortly afterwards the Soviet side reports: “Understood! Roger that! Send your request to the Chief of Staff! "
A little later, Colonel-General Vasily Chujkov gave his consent to receive parliamentarians.
A breakthrough with 68 men and five tanks
Kastanienallee, around 11 p.m .: Combat groups of the "Greater Germany" guard regiment are gathering, they want to dare to break out. At Schönhauser Allee station they manage to break through the Soviet lines with 68 men and five tanks.
The soldiers will come as far as the Oranienburg area, where they will blow up their tanks due to a lack of fuel and break through in four groups towards the Elbe and Schleswig-Holstein.
Friedrichstrasse, 11.45 p.m .: The group with Erich Kempka, Hitler's driver, who had fled the “Führerbunker”, reached the Friedrichstrasse underground station.
Kempka: “A shocking picture presented itself to our eyes. Soldiers exhausted to death, wounded without any care and refugees lay around on the walls, on the platforms and stairs. "
Mauerstrasse, Reich Propaganda Ministry, around midnight: The first refugees from the ministry are returning. They say: there is no escape. One of them tells of "a blind storm at Friedrichstrasse station that led to a bloodbath at the Weidendammer Bridge".
The SS clears the bunker at the Anhalter Bahnhof
Anhalter Bahnhof, on the night of May 2nd: Up to 12,000 men, mostly old women and children, fear and hope in the bunker, which has been created for 3,000 people. It's pitch dark, the power went out for a week. Those seeking refuge are in feces because the toilets are no longer pumped out.
The SS clears the bunker; it drives people through the underground tunnel connected to the bunker in the direction of Friedrichstrasse and Stettiner Bahnhof (today Nordbahnhof).
What else happened on May 1st, 1945:
Soviet soldiers celebrate on Wörther Platz (today Kollwitzplatz) the victory over Hitler-Germany on the international day of struggle of the working class.
A Soviet commander appoints a district mayor for Reinickendorf.
The ten-person “Ulbricht Group” arrives in Bruchmühle near Strausberg, the command post of Marshal Georgij Schukow, seat of the political headquarters of the 1st Belarusian Front.
Wednesday May 2, 1945
Berlin, Masurenallee, Haus des Rundfunks, 0.50 a.m .: The Großdeutsche Rundfunk, which broadcasts from a radio bunker, ceases operations.
The 18-year-old broadcaster Richard Beier refuses: “This means that Großdeutsche Rundfunk ends its broadcasting episodes. We greet all Germans and once again commemorate the heroic German soldiery, on land, on water and in the air. The Führer is dead, long live the Reich. "
Bendlerstrasse (today Stauffenbergstrasse),Bendlerblock, command post of the combat commandant of Berlin, around 1 a.m .: Colonel Theodor von Dufving, General Weidling's chief of staff, walks towards the Landwehr Canal, accompanied by soldiers and an interpreter. The group carries a white flag.
From a building on Bendlerstrasse it can be heard: "A German never surrenders!" And: "You are traitor!"
Colonel von Dufving's group reached a Soviet barricade. Suddenly hand grenades, thrown by German soldiers, explode.
After the bombardment stopped and the Soviet soldiers had difficulty in holding back the German parliamentarians, Dufving says he is empowered to declare that General Weidling has decided to give up the resistance and capitulate.
Colonel-General Wassilij Tschujkow, Commander-in-Chief of the 8th Guard Army, is informed; he accepts the declaration. Dufving is sent back to Weidling.
Wounded in the hallway and in the basement
Chaussee- and Ziegelstraße, around 2 a.m.: The group around Reichsleiter Martin Bormann, who fled the “Führerbunker”, sought refuge in a corner house. Hours ago there were about fifteen people, now there are only six. They meet members of other groups from the bunker.
Wounded men and women crowd in the hallway and basement of the corner building. "Some of them had their bodies torn open by shell hits," reports Hans Baur, Hitler's chief pilot. "The misery was terrible."
Bormann and State Secretary Werner Naumann, Baur and medical officer Ludwig Stumpfegger, Reich Youth Leader Artur Axmann and his adjutant Günter Weltzin try to make their way to the Schultheiss brewery on Schönhauser Allee, one of the points where all groups from the "Führerbunker" want to gather. The staff of Command Section H is located in a basement of the brewery.
Reichsleiter Bormann is killed
On the way there, the fugitives from the “Führerbunker” meet the group with Erich Kempka, Hitler's driver. They move on under the protection of three German tanks. Suddenly they come under fire.
Kempka passes out from the force of an explosion. When he comes to, his group is disbanded. "Everyone should try to get civilian clothes if possible and make their way through enemy lines."
Bormann and Stumpfegger are a little later on Invalidenstrasse near the Lehrter train station (today the main train station) Commit suicide; their remains were discovered during construction work in 1972.
Baur and Weltzin are captured, Axmann and Naumann are escaped.
Bendlerstrasse (today Stauffenbergstrasse),Bendlerblock, command post of the combat commandant of Berlin, at 3 a.m .: Colonel Theodor von Dufving, General Weidling's chief of staff, returns and reports that Colonel-General Tschujkow, Commander-in-Chief of the 8th Guard Army, has agreed to negotiate the terms of surrender with General Weidling.
Schuleburgring 2, 3.50 a.m .: The parliamentarians sent by Ministerialrat Hans Fritzsche, three civilians and one soldier, arrive; they hand over Fritzsche's letter to Chujkov. Central sentence: "I ask you, as one of those who remained alive, to place Berlin under your protection."
After a phone call with Marshal Zhukov, Chujkov informs the parliamentarians: The Soviet high command accepts the surrender of Berlin. Fritzsche should speak to the soldiers and the population via a transmitter.
A phone rings. A Soviet lieutenant general reports from the command post of the 47th Guards Division: "It is reported from the front line that the German units are lining up in columns."
Another report comes in at the same time: General Weidling has gone into Soviet captivity.
Weidling and Tschujkow negotiate
4 o'clock: General Weidling, accompanied by three staff officers, arrives at Colonel General Chujkov's headquarters.
Chujkov wanted to know where General Krebs, Chief of Staff of the Army, was. Weidling doesn't know. And whether or not he has been informed either.
Whether the request to stop the fire was known to all units. Weidling says that he is not in contact with all units and that the SS is not under his command.
Weidling does not comply with Tschujkov's request to sign an order of surrender. In a subsequent argument, Weidling suffers a nervous breakdown.
Wilhelmstrasse, between 4 a.m. and 9 a.m.: German "flying standing courts" hang seven Hitler Youths on lampposts.
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