What is surprising, then, is that Hitler never visited a single concentration camp, let alone death camp. He kept himself aloof from the dirtiest work of his regime. He did not speak about the "Final Solution", even to his closest entourage, other than in vague terms.Hitler as a soldier during the First World war. Can you spot him?
He spoke publicly, and in the most vicious way, about the persecution of the Jews, but he never associated himself in plain language with their killing, as Himmler did. In October 1943 the Reichsführer addressed SS leaders about what it was like to see 1,000 corpses lying side by side, describing "the extermination of the Jewish people" as a "glorious page in our history that has never been written and is never to be written".
By Professor Ian Kershaw, The Telegraph
Most writers (even on the Internet) rubbish Hitler's hatred for Jews as irrational. Was it? Did Jews exploit Germany when it was in the doldrums after the humiliation at Versailles? Any answers?
Hitler's girlfriend/wife Eva Braun in happier times. Hitler married her shortly before their death.
The existence of Eva Braun - Adolph Hitler's mistress for more than 12 years and, in the end, his wife - was one of the most successfully guarded secrets of Nazi Germany.
According to Hitler's chauffeur Erich Kempka Eva Braun was "the unhappiest woman in Germany. She spent most of her time waiting for Hitler." He had always kept her out of sight - as soon as guests arrived, he almost invariably banished her to her room. Joachim Fest tells in his biography of Hitler how Eva Braun continued to be kept in semi concealment during the years, stealing in by side entrances and using rear staircases, contenting herself with a photograph of Hitler when he left her alone at mealtimes. But gradually she accepted her frustrating role - content to be sole woman companion of the great man.
Hitler's personal valet, Heinz Linge, later recalled how the staff used to call her the "girl in a gilded cage". But Hitler became genuinely fond of Eva and found relaxation in her company. "Fraulein Braun is a young girl," Hitler once said to Linge, "too young to be the wife of one in my position. But she is the only girl for me. So we live as we do. But one day I shall give up the leadership of the Reich. I shall cease to be the Fuhrer and retire to Linz to a house that can be managed by a small staff. Then I will marry Fraulein Braun ..."
Playing with Goebbels' little girl. Goebbels killed his family, then consumed cyanide and shot himself as the Russians were at the doorstep.
Goebbels in a happy mood with Hitler.
The joy at the fall of France. Hitler does a little jig.
Posing before the Eiffel Tower.
Meeting the top aces of the German air force Luftwaffe
The bad news starts pouring in. A grim Hitler visits a spot bombed by the Allied planes. The end was near.
Hitler at his parents' grave.
The last photo taken of Hitler.
After it all ended. Russians examine the blood stains on the sofa. Hitler consumed poison and shot himself on the head.
LAST DAYS OF ADOLPH HITLER
Hitler took up residence in the Führerbunker on 16 January 1945 where he presided over a rapidly disintegrating Third Reich as the Allies advanced from both east and west. By late April Soviet forces had entered Berlin and were battling their way to the centre of the city where the Chancellery was located.
On 22 April Hitler had what some historians later described as a nervous breakdown during one of his military situation conferences, admitting defeat was imminent and Germany would lose the war. He expressed his intent to kill himself and later asked physician Werner Haase to recommend a reliable method of suicide. Haase suggested combining a dose of cyanide with a gunshot to the head.
Hitler had a supply of cyanide capsules which he had obtained through the SS. Meanwhile, on 28 April Hitler learned of Heinrich Himmler's attempt to independently negotiate a peace treaty. Hitler considered this treason and began to show signs of paranoia, expressing worries the cyanide capsules he had received through Himmler's SS were fake. He also learned of the execution of his ally Benito Mussolini and vowed not to share a similar fate. To verify the capsules' potency he ordered Dr. Haase to try them on his dog Blondi and the animal died as a result.
After midnight on 29 April, Hitler married Eva Braun in a small civil ceremony in a map room within the bunker complex. Antony Beevor states that after hosting a modest wedding breakfast with his new wife Hitler took secretary Traudl Junge to another room and dictated his last will and testament. He signed these documents at 04:00 and then retired to bed (some sources say Hitler dictated the last will and testament immediately before the wedding, but all sources agree on the timing of the signing).
Hitler and Braun lived together as husband and wife in the bunker for less than 40 hours. Late in the morning of 30 April, with the Soviets less than 500 metres from the bunker, Hitler had a meeting with General Helmuth Weidling, commander of the Berlin Defence Area, who informed Hitler the Berlin garrison would probably run out of ammunition that night. Weidling asked Hitler for permission to break out, a request he had made unsuccessfully before. Hitler did not answer at first and Weidling went back to his headquarters in the Bendlerblock where at about 13:00 he got Hitler's permission to try a breakout that night. Hitler, two secretaries and his personal cook then had lunch consisting of spaghetti with a light sauce, after which Hitler and Eva Braun said their personal farewells to members of the Führerbunker staff and fellow occupants, including the Goebbels family, Bormann, the secretaries and several military officers. At around 14:30 Adolf and Eva Hitler went into Hitler's personal study.
Some witnesses later reported hearing a loud gunshot at around 15:30. After waiting a few minutes, Hitler's valet, Heinz Linge, with Bormann at his side, opened the door to the small study. Linge later stated he immediately noted a scent of burnt almonds, a common observation made in the presence of prussic acid, the gaseous form of cyanide. Hitler's SS adjutant, Otto Günsche, entered the study to inspect the bodies, which were found seated on a small sofa, Eva's to Hitler's left and slumped away from him. Owing to an exit wound towards the top, left side of his head Hitler appeared to have shot himself in the right temple with a Walther PPK 7.65 mm pistol which lay at his feet. According to Hitler's bodyguard, Rochus Misch, Hitler's head was lying on the table in front of him Blood dripping from his temple and chin had made a large stain on the right arm of the sofa and was pooling on the floor/carpet. Eva's body had no visible physical wounds and Linge assumed she had poisoned herself.
Günsche exited the study and announced that the Führer was dead. Immediately afterwards, several people in the bunker began smoking cigarettes (which had been forbidden, given Hitler's strong dislike for smoking). Several witnesses said the two bodies were carried up to ground level and through the bunker's emergency exit to a small, bombed-out garden behind the Chancellery where they were doused with petrol and set alight by Linge and members of Hitler's personal SS bodyguard. Someone was heard to shout: 'Hurry upstairs, they're burning the boss!' The SS guards and Linge later noted the fire did not completely destroy the corpses but Soviet shelling of the bunker compound made further cremation attempts impossible and the remains were later covered up in a shallow bomb crater after 18:00.