Military history

CHAPTER 31

 1. Count Lutz Schwerin von Krosigk’s unpublished diary. I have given the essential extracts in End of a Berlin Diary, pp. 190–205.

Trevor-Roper, in The Last Days of Hitler, also quotes from it. Trevor-Roper, the historian, who was a British intelligence officer during the war, was assigned the task of investigating the circumstances of Hitler’s end. The results are given in his brilliant book, to which all who attempt to write this final chapter of the Third Reich are indebted. I have availed myself of a number of other sources, especially the firsthand accounts of eyewitnesses such as Speer, Keitel, Jodl, Gen. Karl Koller, Doenitz, Krosigk, Hanna Reitsch, Capt. Gerhardt Boldt and Capt. Joachim Schultz, as well as one of Hitler’s women secretaries and his chauffeur.

 2. Gerhardt Boldt, In the Shelter with Hitler, Ch. 1. Capt. Boldt was A.D.C. to Guderian and then to Gen. Krebs, the last Chief of the Army General Staff, and spent the final days in the bunker.

 3. Albert Zoller, Hitler Privat, pp. 203–5. According to the French edition (Douze Ans auprès d’Hitler) Zoller was a captain in the French Army attached as interrogation officer to the U.S. Seventh Army and in this capacity questioned one of Hitler’s four women secretaries; later, in 1947, he collaborated with her in the writing of this book of recollections of the Fuehrer. She is probably Christa Schroeder, who served Hitler as stenographer from 1933 to a week before his end.

 4. Krosigk’s diary.

 5Ibid.

 6. Quoted by Wilmot, op. cit., p. 699.

 7. Trevor-Roper, op. cit., p. 100. The account was given by one of Goebbels’ secretaries, Frau Inge Haberzettel.

 8. Michael A. Musmanno, Ten Days to Die, p. 92. Judge Musmanno, a U.S. Navy intelligence officer during the war, personally interrogated the survivors who had been with Hitler during his last days.

 9. Keitel interrogation, NCA, Suppl. B, p. 1294.

10NCA, VI, p. 561 (N.D. 3734–PS). This is a lengthy summary of a U.S. Army interrogation of Hanna Reitsch on the last days of Hitler in the bunker. She later repudiated parts of her statement, but Army authorities have confirmed its substantial accuracy as containing what she said during the interrogation on Oct. 8, 1945. Though Frl. Reitsch is a highly hysterical person, or was during the months that followed her harrowing experience in the bunker, her account, when checked against the evidence of the others, is a valuable record of Hitler’s very last days.

11. Gen. Karl Koller, Der letzte Monat, p. 23. This is Roller’s diary covering the period from April 14 to May 27, 1945, and is an invaluable source for the last days of the Third Reich.

12. Keitel in his interrogation at Nuremberg, NCA, Suppl. B, pp. 1275–79. Jodl’s account was given to Gen. Koller the same night and recorded in the latter’s diary of April 22–23. See Koller, op. cit., pp. 30–32.

13. Trevor-Roper, op. cit., pp. 124, 126–27. The author gives Berger’s account, he says, “with some reservations.”

14. Keitel recalled the remark in his interrogation, loc. cit., p. 1277. Jodl’s version is in Koller’s diary, op. cit., p. 31.

15. Bernadotte, The Curtain Falls, p. 114; Schellenberg, op. cit., pp. 399–400. They agree substantially in their versions of the meeting.

16. Speer on the stand at Nuremberg, TMWC, XVI, pp. 554–55.

17. Hanna Reitsch interrogation, loc. cit., pp. 554–55.

18Ibid., All the subsequent quotations and the events described by Hanna Reitsch are taken from this interrogation and are found in NCA, VI, pp. 551–71 (N.D. 3734–PS). They will not therefore be cited in each case.

19. Keitel, in his interrogation, loc. cit., pp. 1281–82, quoted the message from memory. The German naval records give a similarly worded radio message from Hitler to Jodl dated 7:52 P.M., April 29 (FCNA, 1945, p. 120), and Schultz’s OKW Diary (p. 51), which gives the same text, records it as received by Jodl at 11 P.M. on April 29. This is probably an error, since by that hour of that evening Hitler, judging by his actions, no longer cared where any army was.

20. Trevor-Roper, op. cit., p. 163, gives the first message. The second I have found in the Navy’s records, FCNA, 1945, p. 120. The further message from the naval liaison officer in the bunker, Adm. Voss, is also given in FCNA, p. 120.

21. The text of Hitler’s Political Testament and personal will is given in N.D. 3569–PS. A copy of his marriage certificate was also presented at Nuremberg. I have given the texts of all three in End of a Berlin Diary, pp. 177–83, n. A rather hastily written English translation of the will and testament is published in NCA; VI, pp. 259–63. The original German is in TMWC, XLI, under the Speer documents.

22. Gen. Koller, op. cit., p. 79, gives the text of Bormann’s radiogram.

23. The text of Goebbels’ appendix was presented at the Nuremberg trial. I have given it in End of a Berlin Diary, p. 183n.

24. Kempka’s account of the death of Hitler and his bride is given in two sworn statements published in NCA, VI, pp. 571–86 (N.D. 3735–PS).

25. Juergen Thorwald, Das Ende an der Elbe, p. 224.

26. This account of the death of the Goebbels family is given by Trevor-Roper, op. cit., pp. 212–14, and is based largely on the later testimony of Schwaegermann, Axmann and Kempka.

27. Joachim Schultz, Die letzten 30 Tage, pp. 81–85. These notes are based on the OKW diaries for the last month of the war and I have used them to bolster a good many pages of this chapter. The book is one of several published under the direction of Thorwald under the general titleDokumente zur Zeitgeschichte.

28. Eisenhower, op. cit., p. 426.

29End of a Berlin Diary.

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