Wednesday, December 13, 2017

INSIDE HITLERS BUNKER - BERLIN APRIL 1945 Part 7/


                                                             


                                  INSIDE HITLERS BUNKER - BERLIN APRIL 1945 Part 7/

Hitler is lunching with Eva Braun and the secretaries. Until the autumn of 1942, shortly after the start of the battle of Stalingrad, Hitler used to eat with his adjutants, but he found himself put off his food by the conversation about what was turning out to be the bloodiest single battle in history. He began to share meals with women. The secretaries had a rota to make sure that someone was with him for every meal, including tea in the early hours of the morning. They were instructed not to bring difficult issues into the conversation, but today it is Hitler who raises a difficult subject which has been preying on his mind.
'I will never fall into the enemy's hands, dead or alive. I am leaving orders for my body to be burned so that no one can ever find it.' (Although Russian NKDV Agents later on, were quickly on the scene and recovered part of Hitler's jaw, found his dentist who identified and proved that it was dental work, he/she had carried out on Hitler's teeth,sic.)
Traudl Junge eats mechanically, without noticing what She is eating, as the conversation turns to the best method of suicide.
Hitler says, matter-of-factually, 'The best way is to shoot yourself in the mouth. Your scull is shattered and you don't notice anything. Death is instantaneous.'
Eva is horrified. 'I want to be a beautiful corpse... I'm going to take poison.'
Shw shows the secretaries a little brass box that contains a phial of cyanide, which she keeps in he pocket of her dress.
'I wonder if it hurts very much I'm so frighten of suffering for a long time...I'm ready to die heroically, but at least I want it to be painless.'
Hitler assures her that death by cyanide is painless: 'The nervous and respiratory systems are paralyzed within seconds.' (This is not quite correct,sic)
Gerda Christian and Traudl Junge exchange glances, and then turn in unison to the Führer. 'Do you have any phials which we could use?'  Neither women is keen to commit suicide, but they believe that the poison could be preferable to capture by the Russians.
The Führer nods. He will make sure that they each get one. 'I'm very sorry I can't give you a better farewell present.



         Hitler at the height of his power


Claus von Below who has been waiting in he corridor to speak to the Führer, gets hi opportunity after lunch. He asks permission to attempt a breakout.
Hitler is discouraging . 'It is no longer possible to get through the Russian lined.'
 Von Below is determined. 'Mein Führer, I believe I will be able to reach General Wenck in the southwest.'
'If you get that far you should for Admiral Dönitz's headquarters in the north. I will give you a written permission. 'Alles Gute.'
Dönitz's headquarters is the ideal destination as his wife and children are not far from Plön Castle, along the Baltic coast. Von Below goes to prepare. He decides he will take only the permission, some food and a sub-machine gin.

Nicolas von Below Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F051625-0295, Verleihung des EK an Hanna Reitsch durch Hitler (cropped).jpg

                             Claus von Below

In the toilets opposite the switchboard, the Führer's beloved Alsatian, Blondi, is trembling as her handler, Sergeant Fritz Tornow, holds her nose and forces her jaw open. One of the Reich Chancellery doctors, Werner Haase, crushes cyanide capsules inside her mouth with a pair of plies. Blondi falls sideways, 'as if struck by lightening'.

Adolf Hitler and his dog Blondi, date unknown. Hitler
        poisoned Blondi just before he committed suicide in April 1945.

       Hitler with Blondi - Date unknown



Tornow can't hide his distress from the Führer who comes, very briefly, to inspect the body. Hitler wants to see for himself that the cyanide which the treacherous Himmler has provided does actually work. The telephonist, Rochus Misch, is overwhelmed by the poison's smell of bitter almonds and rushes out of the switchboard room to the cellar of the new Reich Chancellery to get away from it.
Tornow carries Bllondi's body up to the Chancellery gardens, where he buries it. He comes back down for Wulf and the other four puppies. Following orders, he takes them to the garden and shoots them before burying them with their mother.
         Blondi (1941 – 29 April 1945) was Adolf Hitler’s German Shepherd dog, given to him as a gift in 1941 by Martin Bormann. Blondi stayed with Hitler even after his move into the Führerbunker located underneath the garden of the Reichs Chancellery on 16-01-1945. In March or in early April, she had a litter of five puppies with Gerdy Troost German Shepherd, Harras. Hitler named one of the puppies Wulf.

Eva Braun and Blondi, Adolf Hitler's German shepherd
                          Eva Braun and Blondi

 Lieutenant Claus Sellier is standing by the side of the Autobahn close to the Austrian border in the German Alps. He is shocked by what he sees - nothing but lines of filthy stranded trucks in both direction, and slumped in the fields around are groups of weary-looking soldiers. They have no petrol and nowhere to go, Claus turns to Fritz and says, 'Let's get away from here. Let's find a farm and stay overnight and rest. None of this makes sense to me anymore.'
He recalled later, 'The once formidable German military machine was a dying corpse, struggling, but barely alive.'

A convoy of three cars carrying a group of young aristocratic friends, and laden with rice, flour and tinned goods, is traveling through the Austrian Alps, heading for Moosham Castle, the family home of the Count and Countess Wilczek. The Count and Countess's daughter, Sisi Wilczek. is one of of the passengers in the front car, siting with her handbag and a shoe-box on her lap. Until the beginning of April, Sisi had been living in the family palace in Vienna and working as a nurse. On 3rd April she managed to catch the last train to leave Vienna before the arrival of the Russian forces. She gathered all the family's remaining cash-several million Marks and several million Czech Kronen - and stuffed them into the shoe-box which she clung tof or the last three and a half weeks. She is now only hours from her destination. the young people in the convoy were on the edges of the 1944 plot to kill Hitler and have seen many of their friends executed for their involvement.

           
bbbbbbbbbbbbGräfin Sisi Wiczek

Shortly after passing through the town of Bad Aussee, Sisi and her companions realize that that there is no sign of the third car, They pull over and decide to get out and stretch their legs while they wait for it to catch up. Eventually the third car arrives and the convoy continues slowly up the mountain road. After about four miles Sisi suddenly shrieks. She has left her handbag and the shoe-box on the roadside where they had stopped.
The front car turns back, While the others wait. They reach the spot and to Sisi's huge relief, she immediately spots the shoe-box on the side of the road, but there is no sign of her handbag. They decide to drive a bit further to see if they can find the person who has taken it and soon catch up with two women riding bicycles. Sisi's handbag is dangling from on of the handlebars. There's an unpleasant altercation as the women insists the handbag is theirs and threaten to call the police. But Sisi is not going to leave without it. When the car turns around and heads back to join the others, Sisi has her family fortune and her handbag safely on her lap.

The children, who are very practiced singers, go through their repertoire of German folk songs and lullabies. Staff Lieutenant Franz Kuhjlmann, who had been  brought along by another officer, is very struck by the ghostly, unreal atmosphere. He later recalled that it felt if everyone in the room knew that this was a farewell for ever, the end of a world for which millions had fought and shed their blood, and that all the sacrifices had been in vain'.


In the hills above the chaos of the Bavarian Autobahn, The young German lieutenants Claus Sellier and his friend Fritz are standing outside a barn beside a picturesque farmhouse.  They know there are people inside the barn as the door was shut as they approached. 'Don't be afraid,' Claus calls, were passing through and we would like to sleep in your barn.' Silence.
We'll help you with repairs around the house.'
The barn door opens slowly and the two soldiers see the frightened face of a young girl. She then slams the door shut. Claus gives their names and their ranks. After a while the door opens and the girl appears with three younger girls holding onto her skirt. She tells them that her name is Barbara and that she's 15, and introduces her two sisters and a cousin. Their fathers are away fighting in the war, and her mother died four months ago.
'Come into the house. I have just finished baking bread, Barbara says
'And I helped make cookies!' adds the cousin.

Image result for Pinterest German Alpine House

                                                        Alpine House

The light is beginning to fade when Johannmeier, Lorenz and Zander, Hitler testament couriers, reach Pichelsdorf Bridge over the River Havel. A battalion of Hitler Youth volunteers are holding the bridge up the bridge i the hope that General Wenck's 12th Army will soon cross it and relieve the centre of Berlin. The three men are exhausted by a traumatic journey through the ruins of Berlin, passing huddled women and children, and exhausted soldiers hiding in burned-out houses. They have succeeded in getting through three lines of Russian soldiers: One at the Victory column in the Tiergarten, the second at the Berlin Zoo station and the third just before Pichelsdorf. They squeeze into the battalion commander's small concrete bunker and sleep.

Bahnhof Berlin Zoo City West.jpg

B erlin Zoo Station  - as it is now

The officers who have escaped from the Führerbunker, Boldt, Weiss and von Loringhoven, reach the underground shelter at Berlin Zoo Station, having made their way past two lines of Russian soldiers, dodging gunfire and leaping over shell craters and decaying bodies. When they get to the Zeiss- Planetarium they decide to go inside to rest. It has taken the three men four hours to scramble along a distance that would normally be a 30-minute walk. They lie down, exhausted and gaze up at the artificial sky of he domed planetarium roof. Beyond it, visible through a shell hole, they can see the real darkening sky.

In a cellar beneath an apartment block in the town of Thüringen on the outskirts of Berlin, 17-year-old Lieselotte G. (the 'G' is for anonymity) is wring her diary. Two weeks ago she returned from boarding school to be with her mother. Lieselotte's father is a soldier fighting in Russia, 120 miles to the south. Her brother Bertel is with the Volkssturm - the German territorial army  - defending east of Berlin. Lieselotte is glad she's is home but frequent air rids mean that they have to constantly run to the cellar, and there are power cuts that last up to four hours. A white flag flies out side their apartment.
Now, a week after the Russians started breaking in. Lieselotte has her durst opportunity to update her diary.
;Hundreds of people killed themselves in our district last Sunday. Our Pastor has shot himself, his wife and chis daughter, because the Russians broke ino their cellar and started doing it with this girl. Our teacher Miss K. hanged herself because she is a Nazi. It's lucky the gas is off, otherwise even more people would have killed themselves, we might have too... I thought a Russian would take me... I would have had an abortion, I don't want to bring a Russian child into this world.' (Lieselotte's family all s survived the war, and Thüringen became part of East Germany)



Kleines Berlin (Little Berlin in German) is the complex of underground air-raid tunnels dating to World War II, which still exists in TriesteItaly


Boldt, Weiss and van Loringhoven, the three young officers who are trying to escape to Wenck's 12th Army, have become trapped in a shelter in the south-west corner of the Tiergarten. Berlin's great park resembles no-mans-land from the war. It is full of muddy craters, and the trees are shredded to ribbons. The shelter is so tightly packed with people that it is difficult to breathe and impossible to sit. The three men have no ides how they are going to find the River Havel in the darkness of this moonless night. A colonel from the Home Guard, very impressed by the fact that these men have come from the Führerbunker, offers them use of an armoured vehicle and a guide. 

Image result for Wikipedia German Army armoured car 1945

           Dingo, armoured vehichle - posr war(post-war)

Johannmeier, Lorenz and Zander, the the three couriers who are carrying Hitler;s testaments, have climbed down underneath Pichelsdorf bridge. They managed to find two small rowing boats. Johannmeier takes one, Zander and Lorenz the other. They set off, under cover of darkness, south down the River Havel. They plan to row for about ten kilometers to the Wannsee bridgehead where they hope to find Wenck's 12th Army. Behind them the smoldering capital glows red, ahead the darkness of the river on a moonless night.

Lieutenant Claus Sellier is lying awake in the straw of Barbara's alpine barn, pondering what to do next. Fritz is asleep close by. In Claus's jacket is the second of two packages that they've been asked to deliver by their camp commander. This one has to go to the Army Provision Headquarters at Traunstein about 20 kilometers to the north.
After arriving at the barn, they spent the rest of the afternoon splitting wood and helping prepare the evening meal. They talked about the war and reassured the girls that, despite rumours in the village, when black GIs arrive, they won't eat them alive. Claus told them about 23-year-old Jesse Owens, the black American athlete who won four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics in 1936 and had become friends with German competitors.
Protecting Barbara and the girls seems more important than their army mission right now. He and Fritz could use Barbara's father's clothes and pretend to be farmers until he comes home.Yet he has a duty to finish their task. Undecided, Claus can't get to sleep.

The driver of the armored car which has been put at the disposal of the three officers escaping the bunker, Boldt, Weiss and von Loringhoven, decides he can't go any further through the rubble-strewn streets. The three officers get out at the Olympic Stadium where a Hitler Youth Unit is based. This is the vast, circular amphitheater where, nine years earlier, Hitler hoped to display to the world the supremacy of the Aryan race, but was in fact confronted by the brilliance of the black American athletes who won 14 medals between them. The building is one of the very few in the city which remains almost completely unscathed by the war. It is empty except for a small number of teenage soldiers. The three men find some shelter and try to get some sleep.

In the Führerbunker switchboard room, Rochus Misch falls asleep with his head on the telephone junction box.


                              Image result for Wikipedia Picture Switchboard Room 1945
                                                                 Switchboard Room

                                                               Continued under Part 8