Saturday, February 27, 2010
Hitler’s Last Lunch
Inside Hitler’s bunker. Picture from http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3048/2447772809_ca301da5a9.jpg
This is an excerpt from the book Adolph Hitler, written by one of his best known biographers, the American writer John Willard Toland (June 29, 1912- January 4, 2004). Toland wrote history in a straightforward narrative, with minimal analysis.
This is how he has described the last day of Hitler’s life, chapter “ Five Minutes Past Midnight”, Vol. II, p. 1000-1002. Take into account he was just married to Eva Braun:
John Willard Toland. From http://www.nndb.com/people/
“ By late morning of April 30 the Tiergarten was overrun by the Soviets and one advance unit was reported in the street next to the bunker. …During lunch with the two secretaries and the cook, he chatted as if it were merely another family circle gathering. He was self possessed and, if anything, quieter than usual. To Traudl it seemed to be “ a banquet of death under the cheerful mask of resignation and composure”.
“But it was no ordinary day and no sooner had the three ladies left than Hitler summoned them back, along with Bormann, the Goebbelses and several others. More stooped than ever, he slowly came out of his room with Eva, who was wearing the black dress that was his favorite; her hair was neatly combed. Hitler began shaking hands with everyone. He was pale and there were tears in his eyes. …The spell was broken somewhat when Eva Hitler, with a sad smile put an arm around her (Traudl). “Please at least try to get out of here”, she said. Her voice broke into a sob. “Then please greet Munich for me.”
Hitler took Gunsche aside and said that he and his wife were going to commit suicide. He wanted their bodies burned. “After my death,” he explained, “I don’t want to be put on exhibition in a Russian wax museum.”
….”The telephone rang. It was Gunsche again. “I need two hundred liters of gasoline immediately”, he said huskily. Kempka thought it was some kind of joke and wanted to know why he needed so much fuel……Kempka said the only gasoline left…was buried in the Tiergarten, which was under deadly fire….”I can’t wait a single hour. See what you can siphon out of the wrecked cars.”
Hitler was bidding his personal pilot for so many years an emotional farewell. As they clasped hands, Baur begged him to escape by plane to Argentina, to Japan, or to the Arab countries where his anti Semitism has made him such staunch friends. But the Fuhrer would not listen”….
“The Hitlers sat together on a couch in their suite. Behind them was the bare space where the portrait of Frederick had hung. Eva was the first to die –by poison. At about 3:30 P.M. Hitler picked up his 7.65 caliber Walther pistol…..On a console was a picture of his mother as a young woman. He put the pistol barrel to his right temple and pulled the trigger”.