Friday, January 16, 2015

This Day in WWII History: Jan 16, 1945: Hitler descends into his bunker

On this day, Adolf Hitler takes to his underground bunker, where he remains for 105 days until he commits suicide.

Hitler retired to his bunker after deciding to remain in Berlin for the last great siege of the war. Fifty-five feet under the chancellery (Hitler's headquarters as chancellor), the shelter contained 18 small rooms and was fully self-sufficient, with its own water and electrical supply. He left only rarely (once to decorate a squadron of Hitler Youth) and spent most of his time micromanaging what was left of German defenses and entertaining Nazi colleagues like Hermann Goering, Heinrich Himmler, and Joachim von Ribbentrop. Constantly at his side during this time were his companion, Eva Braun, and his Alsatian, Blondi.

On April 29, Hitler married Eva in their bunker hideaway. Eva Braun met Hitler while working as an assistant to Hitler's official photographer. Braun spent her time with Hitler out of public view, entertaining herself by skiing and swimming. She had no discernible influence on Hitler's political career but provided a certain domesticity to the life of the dictator. Loyal to the end, she refused to leave the bunker even as the Russians closed in.

Only hours after they were united in marriage, both Hitler and Eva committed suicide. Warned by officers that the Russians were only about a day from overtaking the chancellery and urged to escape to Berchtesgarden, a small town in the Bavarian Alps where Hitler owned a home, the dictator instead chose to take his life. Both he and his wife swallowed cyanide capsules (which had been tested for their efficacy on his "beloved" dog and her pups). For good measure, he shot himself with his pistol.

Map of the Reich Chancellery, see legend below
Rot markiert: Führerbunker
  1. Mittelbau mit Marmorgalerie (Mittelbau Marble Gallery)
  2. Eingang zur Reichskanzlei (Entrance to the Reich Chancellery)
  3. Eingang zur Präsidialkanzlei (Entrance to the Office of the Reich President)
  4. Kasernenbauten (Barracks Buildings)
  5. Hebebühne zu den Katakomben (Lift to the Catacombs)
  6. Gartenportal zu Hitlers Arbeitszimmer (Garden portal to Hitler's Office)
  7. Bauzufahrt zum Führerbunker (Entranceway to the Fuhrer Bunker)
  8. Zufahrt – Tiefgarage und Führerbunker (Access - Underground Parking and Fuhrer Bunker)
  9. Einfahrt – Tiefgarage und Feuerwehr (Entrance - Parking and Fire Brigade)
  10. Zufahrt Führerbunker (Access - Fuhrer Bunker)
  11. Haus Kempka (Kempka House)
  12. Gewächshaus (Greenhouse)
  13. Ehrenhof (Courtyard of Honor)
  14. Festsaal mit Wintergarten (Ballroom and Conservatory)
  15. Alte Reichskanzlei (Old Reich Chancellery)
  16. Speisesaal (Dining Hall)
  17. Propagandaministerium (Ministry of Propaganda)
  18. Erweiterungsbau zur Reichskanzlei (Reich Chancellery Extension)
  19. U-Bahn-Eingang Wilhelmplatz (Wilhelmsplatz Subway Entrance)
  20. Kaufhaus Wertheim (Wertheim Department Store)
  21. Leipziger Platz (Leipziger Plaza)
  22. Ministergärten (Ministry Garden)
  23. Tiergarten (Great landscape park Tiergarten)
  24. Hermann-Göring-Straße (Herman Goring Street)
  25. Voßstraße (Voss Street)
  26. Wilhelmstraße (Wilhelm Street)

Vorbunker (Outer bunker/Ante-bunker)[edit]

  1. Keller des Wintergartens (basement of the winter garden)
  2. Keller des Festsaales (basement of the ballroom)
  3. Kannenberggang (Kannenberg passage)
  4. Aufenthaltsräume (lounges)
  5. Waschraum/Duschen (lavatory/showers)
  6. Toiletten (toilets)
  7. Anrichtraum/Küche (pantry/kitchen)
  8. Wache (guard room)
  9. Maschinenraum (engine/generator room)
  10. Alte Wache (old guard room)
  11. Haupteingang (main entrance)
  12. Notausgang (emergency exit)
  13. Warteraum (waiting room)
  14. Sekretärin (secretary)
  15. Aufenthaltsraum – Wache (guards' lounge)
  16. Treppenhaus zwischen Bunker und Führerwohnung (staircase between bunker and Hitler's apartment)
  17. Gasschleuse (airlock)
  18. Aufenthaltsraum (lounge)
  19. Speiseraum (dining room)

Hauptbunker (Main bunker)[edit]

  1. Betonverfüllung (concrete backfill)
  2. erster Notausgang des Hauptbunkers (first emergency exit of the main bunker)
  3. Abwasser/Strom (sewage/electricity)
  4. Badezimmer (bathroom)
  5. Privates Gästezimmer Adolf Hitlers (Adolf Hitler's private guest room)
  6. Vorraum Adolf Hitlers (Adolf Hitler's lobby)
  7. Arbeitszimmer Adolf Hitlers (Adolf Hitler's study)
  8. Schlafraum Adolf Hitlers (Adolf Hitler's bedroom)
  9. Kartenzimmer/Lageraum (map room/situation room)
  10. Warteraum/Lagevorraum (waiting room/anteroom to the situation room)
  11. Flur und Wartebereich (corridor and waiting room)
  12. Fernschreiber/Telefon (teleprinter/telephone)
  13. Sanitätsraum (infirmary)
  14. Raum – Dr. Morell (room of Hitler's personal physician, Dr. Morell)
  15. Schlafraum (bedroom)
  16. Personal (staff/servants)
  17. zweiter Notausgang des Hauptbunkers (second emergency exit of the main bunker)
  18. Beobachtungsturm, im Bau (observation tower (under construction))
  19. Belüftungsturm, im Bau (ventilation tower (under construction))
  20. Lüftungsturm für Generator, im Bau (ventilation tower for generator (under construction))
  21. Bunkerwände (bunker walls)
  22. Haus Kempka (the home of Hitler's chauffeur, Erich Kempka)
  23. Bunkerzufahrt (bunker entrance)
  24. Pergola (pergola)
  25. Auswärtiges Amt (Foreign Office)
  26. Führerwohnung (Hitler's apartment)
  27. Lastenaufzug (goods lift)
  28. Fundamente/Alte Reichskanzlei (foundations/Old Reich Chancellery)

1 comment:

  1. Hitler escaped to Argentina where he lived for many years.The bones from the burned bodies outside the bunker were dna tested a few years ago and were proven to not be Hitlers.