Saturday, June 17, 2017

last days of Hitler, from Goebbels wiki

After midnight on 29 April, with the Soviets advancing ever closer to the bunker complex, Hitler married Eva Braun in a small civil ceremony within the Führerbunker.[221][d] Afterwards, Hitler hosted a modest wedding breakfast with his new wife.[222] Hitler then took secretary Traudl Junge to another room and dictated his last will and testament.[223][d] Goebbels and Bormann were two of the witnesses.[224]
In his last will and testament, Hitler named no successor as Führer or leader of the Nazi Party. Instead, he appointed Goebbels as Reich Chancellor; Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz, who was at Flensburg near the Danish border, as Reich President; and Bormann as Party Minister.[225] Goebbels wrote a postscript to the will stating that he would disobey Hitler's order to leave Berlin: "For reasons of humanity and personal loyalty", he had to stay.[226] Further, his wife and children would be staying, as well. They would end their lives "side by side with the Führer".[226]
In the mid-afternoon of 30 April, Hitler shot himself.[227] After Hitler's suicide, Goebbels was depressed. Voss later recounted Goebbels as saying: "It is a great pity that such a man is not with us any longer. But there is nothing to be done. For us, everything is lost now and the only way out left for us is the one which Hitler chose. I shall follow his example."[228]
On 1 May, Goebbels completed his sole official act as Chancellor. He dictated a letter to General Vasily Chuikov and ordered German General Hans Krebs to deliver it under a white flag. Chuikov, as commander of the Soviet 8th Guards Army, commanded the Soviet forces in central Berlin. Goebbels' letter informed Chuikov of Hitler's death and requested a ceasefire. After this was rejected, Goebbels decided that further efforts were futile.[229]
Later on 1 May, Vice-Admiral Voss saw Goebbels for the last time: "... While saying goodbye I asked Goebbels to join us. But he replied: 'The captain must not leave his sinking ship. I have thought about it all and decided to stay here. I have nowhere to go because with little children I will not be able to make it, especially with a leg like mine...' "[230]
The Goebbels family. In this vintage manipulated image, Goebbels' stepson Harald Quandt (who was absent due to military duty) was added to the group portrait.
On the evening of 1 May 1945, Goebbels arranged for an SS dentist, Helmut Kunz, to inject his six children with morphine so that when they were unconscious, an ampule of cyanide could be then crushed in each of their mouths.[231] According to Kunz's later testimony, he gave the children morphine injections but it was Magda Goebbels and SS-Obersturmbannführer Ludwig Stumpfegger, Hitler's personal doctor, who administered the cyanide.[231]
At around 20:30, Goebbels and Magda left the bunker and walked up to the garden of the Chancellery, where they committed suicide.[232] There are several different accounts of this event. According to one account, Goebbels shot Magda and then himself. Another account was that they each bit on a cyanide ampule and were given a coup de grâce immediately afterwards.[233] Goebbels' SS adjutant Günther Schwägermann testified in 1948 that they walked ahead of him up the stairs and out into the Chancellery garden. He waited in the stairwell and heard the shots sound. Schwägermann then walked up the remaining stairs and, once outside, saw their lifeless bodies. Following Goebbels' prior order, Schwägermann had an SS soldier fire several shots into his body, which did not move.[232]
The bodies were then doused with petrol, but they were only partially burned and not buried.[233] A few days later, Voss was brought back to the bunker by the Soviets to identify the partly burned bodies of Joseph and Magda Goebbels and their children. The remains of the Goebbels' family, Hitler, Braun, General Krebs, and Hitler's dogs were repeatedly buried and exhumed.[234] The last burial was at the SMERSH facility in Magdeburg on 21 February 1946. In 1970, KGB director Yuri Andropov authorised an operation to destroy the remains.[235] On 4 April 1970, a Soviet KGB team used detailed burial charts to exhume five wooden boxes at the Magdeburg SMERSH facility. Those were burned, crushed, and scattered into the Biederitz river, a tributary of the nearby Elbe.[236]

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