Hitler Death Photos Of Celebrities Famous People
By late 1944, both the Red Army and the Western Allies were advancing into Germany. Recognising the strength and determination of the Red Army, Hitler decided to use his remaining mobile reserves against the American and British troops, which he perceived as far weaker.On 16 December, he launched an offensive in the Ardennes to incite disunity among the Western Allies and perhaps convince them to join his fight against the Soviets.The offensive failed. Hitler's hope to negotiate peace with the United States and Britain was buoyed by the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt on 12 April 1945, but contrary to his expectations, this caused no rift among the Allies.Acting on his view that Germany's military failures had forfeited its right to survive as a nation, Hitler ordered the destruction of all German industrial infrastructure before it could fall into Allied hands. Arms minister Albert Speer was entrusted with executing this scorched earth plan, but he quietly disobeyed the order.
Front page of the US Armed Forces newspaper, Stars and Stripes, 2 May 1945, announcing Hitler's death
On 20 April, his 56th birthday, Hitler made his last trip from the Führerbunker ("Führer's shelter") to the surface. In the ruined garden of the Reich Chancellery, he awarded Iron Crosses to boy soldiers of the Hitler Youth.By 21 April, Georgy Zhukov's 1st Belorussian Front had broken through the defences of German General Gotthard Heinrici's Army Group Vistula during the Battle of the Seelow Heights and advanced into the outskirts of Berlin.In denial about the dire situation, Hitler placed his hopes on the undermanned and under-equipped Armeeabteilung Steiner (Army Detachment Steiner), commanded by Waffen SS General Felix Steiner. Hitler ordered Steiner to attack the northern flank of the salient and the German Ninth Army was ordered to attack northward in a pincer attack.
During a military conference on 22 April, Hitler asked about Steiner's offensive. He was told that the attack had not been launched and that the Soviets had entered Berlin. This prompted Hitler to ask everyone except Wilhelm Keitel, Alfred Jodl, Hans Krebs, and Wilhelm Burgdorf to leave the room.Hitler then launched a tirade against the treachery and incompetence of his commanders, culminating in his declaration—for the first time—that the war was lost. Hitler announced that he would stay in Berlin until the end and then shoot himself.
By 23 April the Red Army had completely surrounded Berlin,and Goebbels made a proclamation urging its citizens to defend the city.That same day, Göring sent a telegram from Berchtesgaden, arguing that since Hitler was isolated in Berlin, he, Göring, should assume leadership of Germany. Göring set a deadline after which he would consider Hitler incapacitated.Hitler responded by having Göring arrested, and in his last will and testament, written on 29 April, he removed Göring from all government positions.On 28 April Hitler discovered that Himmler, who had left Berlin on 20 April, was trying to discuss surrender terms with the Western Allies.He ordered Himmler's arrest and had Hermann Fegelein (Himmler's SS representative at Hitler's HQ in Berlin) shot.
After midnight on 29 April, Hitler married Eva Braun in a small civil ceremony in the Führerbunker. After a modest wedding breakfast with his new wife, he then took secretary Traudl Junge to another room and dictated his will.The event was witnessed and documents signed by Krebs, Burgdorf, Goebbels, and Bormann.Later that afternoon, Hitler was informed of the execution of Mussolini, which presumably increased his determination to avoid capture.
On 30 April 1945, after intense street-to-street combat, when Soviet troops were within a block or two of the Reich Chancellery, Hitler and Braun committed suicide; Braun bit into a cyanide capsuleand Hitler shot himself.Both their bodies were carried up the stairs and through the bunker's emergency exit to the bombed-out garden behind the Reich Chancellery, where they were placed in a bomb crater and doused with petrol.The corpses were set on fire as the Red Army shelling continued.
Berlin surrendered on 2 May. Records in the Soviet archives, obtained after the fall of the Soviet Union, state that the remains of Hitler, Braun, Joseph and Magda Goebbels, the six Goebbels children, General Hans Krebs, and Hitler's dogs were repeatedly buried and exhumed.On 4 April 1970, a Soviet KGB team used detailed burial charts to exhume five wooden boxes at the SMERSH facility in Magdeburg. The remains from the boxes were burned, crushed, and scattered into the Biederitz river, a tributary of the nearby Elbe.According to Ian Kershaw the corpses of Braun and Hitler were fully burned when the Red Army found them, and only a lower jaw with dental work could be identified as Hitler's remains.