This week in the War, 30 April–6 May 1945: Death of Adolf Hitler

The Stars and Stripes, the official US Army magazine, announces Hitler’s death [Public domain]

On the afternoon of 30 April 1945, Adolf Hitler finished lunch in his bunker and, after sending everyone except Eva Braun away, he shot himself; Eva took cyanide.

Hitler’s Third Reich and the program he had laid out in Mein Kampf was over.

Munich had fallen that day, so had Turin in northern Italy. Mussolini was already dead, having been shot by partisans a few days earlier. By evening, the Soviet flag would be flying from the roof of the burned-out Reichstag.

Joseph Goebbels was quick to follow the example of his Fuehrer. Goebbels requested the SS to poison his young children and afterwards to shoot his wife and himself.

First edition of Mein Kampf, July 1925 [Public domain]

Martin Bormann, the other high-ranking Nazi who had been with Hitler until the final moments, was bent on escape.

On 2 May, German forces in Berlin surrendered to Marshal Zhukov.

Wernher von Braun, one of the leading rocket scientists from the German Army Research Centre at Peenemünde, surrendered to American forces in southern Germany. He was recruited and transported to the USA to work in America’s rocket program.

This entry was posted in World War II and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.