This week in the War, 26 March–1 April 1945: Hitler goes into his bunker

Fuehrerbunker: Entry into the bunker complex, with the old Reich Chancellery in the background [Bundesarchiv Bild 183-V04744]

On 1 April 1945, Adolf Hitler vacated his apartments and his headquarters in the Reich Chancellery and descended into his bunker beneath the Reich Chancellery gardens: the Fuehrerbunker.

From then on, he lived below ground and only occasionally ventured to the surface, the last time being on his birthday, 20 April (on which day he was 56 years old).

There was still some drama to be played out:

12 April: The death of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the brief hope on Hitler’s part that Roosevelt’s death would trigger Britain and the United States to join Germany in the war against the Soviet Union;

23 April: Goering’s attempt to seize power from Bavaria and his subsequent fall from grace;

28 April: The discovery that Himmler had been making peace overtures with the western powers and his subsequent disgrace;

30 April (in the early morning hours, just after midnight of 29 April): Hitler marries his long-time mistress, Eva Braun, in a civil ceremony in the Fuehrerbunker;

30 April: Hitler’s death by suicide.


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