....... Chapter 1 ........
I.Berlin, End of April 1945
On the 20th
of April, on his 56th birthday, the Führer inspected a battalion
of German soldiers for the last time. They were: very young, almost
children, from the Hitler Youth brigades and they were very old from
the Volkssturms. The shoot, exhibiting a leader, weary albeit
hopeful of some miracle, dressed in a long black leather coat with a raised
collar, greeting, conversing and connecting with the smiling soldiers during
the review, was the last screening in which this character appears alive.
On the same day,
Zhukov, commanding the First
Byelorussian Front and Koniev
commanding the First Ukrainian one broke the last ring of defense of the
capital and over 500,000 Russian soldiers and two armies of tanks
entered the center of the city.
The 22nd of April 1945, twenty
meters below the ground, in his private bunker, Hitler commanded his
last battle. He designed a battle plan for Operation Steiner.
The attack, this attack, in Hitler’s mind, would change the
outcome of the war. Each man and each solider ready to bear arms would
have to participate. Each plane of the Lufwaffe would have to take off.
A general of the SS, Obergruppenführer (Lieutenant General) Felix
Steiner would command the operation.
On paper, Steiner would attack from the
Eberswalde in a zone that was between the Von Manteuffel’s Third Army
Panzer division and Busse’s Ninth Army, to wipe out Zhukov’s armies’
Soviet spearhead. Steiner had no communication with any military unit,
or lists of troupes, or weapons, or anything. With the few troupes he
gathered, he couldn’t stop the power of the Russian armies, three battle
fronts, over two million soldiers, ten thousand cannons and some fifteen
hundred tanks. The city’s fate was a done deal. No internal or
external power could change it. It was only a question of time and of
how many more fatalities.
The German retreat from the Northern part of
the city, that were resisting the enormous Soviet pressure to assemble
Steiner’s line of attack, actually made it easier for Russian tanks,
without opposition, to run around free through the streets of downtown
Berlin. Only the accurate firing from the 8 mm canons out of the
immense towers of reinforced concrete from the Zoo kept them away from
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The German military portions of the
city were composed of dispersed troupes of the Wermacht, KriegsMarine,
and Luftwaffe, two divisions of the Waffen SS, Military Police, Civilian
Police, GESTAPO, Volkssturm Infantrymen and several Battalions of the
Hitler Youth who were armed with automatic guns, rifles, Panzerfaust
grenade launchers, light mortars and machine guns. Twelve different
kinds of Panzers in operational condition completed this sorry
collection. Over ten thousand Allied soldiers, Russians, Ukrainians,
Hungarians and Norwegians fought beside their German brothers. The
Norwegians were organized in the only SS division that was not German,
the Norland Waffen SS.
One hundred thousand German soldiers were
pushed Northward by the Third Army Clash and to the South by the Eighth
Army of the Russian Guard. Troupes of the First Ukrainian Front
commanded by Marshal Ivan Konev were in Charlottenburg. The Ravensbruk
Concentration Camp in the Northern part of Berlin was liberated by the
brave soldiers of the Second Byelorussian Front commanded by Marshal
Konstantin Rokosovsky. There were over one million Soviet soldiers
fighting just in the three rings surrounding Berlin. This figure was
continuously growing each day by the arrival of new troupes that were
gaining ground on the German resistance, which upon the final collapse,
tried to save themselves by surrendering to the West.
In April, upon noticing Russian intent to
conquer more German territory, the Americans and the English advanced
immediately to Hamburg and to the outskirts of Kiel with the assistance
of the Germans rather than fighting them.
The Operation Steiner attack didn’t take
place! It never even crossed the firing line. It ended on the
afternoon of the 30th of that month.
Goebbel’s only and last contribution to the
Battle of Berlin was to send two groups of aged laborers from the
Ministry of Propaganda to paint the slogan: Berlin bleibt deutsch
(Berlin remains German) all over the city walls. But this ended up
being no more than a joke within the incessant advances of Zhukov’s and
Koniev’s Russian Front spearheads.
A correspondent of the Soviet periodical, the
Red Star, described the city as follows: “On the 25th
the German capital is totally cordoned off and cut off from the rest of
the country. During the bloody street battles, Berlin was without water,
without electrical power, no airports and no radio stations. The city
ceased to look like Berlin.”
sunrise on the 29th of April, 1945, the Russians were only
one hundred and fifty meters from the Reich’s Foreign Ministry. The
Germans at this time controlled only a 4.5 Kilometer wide by 4.8
Kilometer long strip of the city from East to West. There was ferocious
resistance in small isolated areas, only by those trying to avoid
executions perpetrated by the SS Details on anyone who had the slightest
idea of surrendering. Over 4500 soldiers were executed as a result of
this presumed cowardice.
The brave Russian combined operations under
fire: 60 MM field artilleries, Katiuska rockets, automatic firearms and
hand grenades, conquered the city one street at a time, one building at
a time, one house at a time and one room at a time.
The XIIth German Army, commanded
by General Wenk, was driven back by the superior Russian forces after
fighting ferocious battles and all hope that the Russian circle around
the capital could be broken dissipated.
General Weidling, who on April 25th
was personally appointed by Hitler himself as General Commander of
Berlin, was considering an alternate escape plan in the event the
Führer’s General Quarters didn’t want to approve the General Plan. At
the time he was appointed, he already knew that the city was virtually
surrounded. The circle around the city was composed of eight Soviet
That same day, Hitler ordered the Wehrmacht
to establish contact with the city attacking from the Northeast,
Southeast and South, to take the battle of Berlin to “a conclusive
victory.” Weidling’s only troupes that they would still have in the
future were too weak to resist the pressure of Russian fire much longer.
The remnants of Panzer Corp #56 with less than a dozen operational tanks
and several Panzerfausts defended the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and
these were the only ones that could be considered as launching points
for any attack preceding a sortie from the city. Since Hitler’s bunker
was in the building underground, the removal of this corps would leave
him virtually without any other defense. Without this unit and its few
Panzers, coordinating a launching point and a subsequent exit from the
city was a hypothesis that could not materialize.
Nevertheless, the morale of the troupes was
raised when they heard of plans to leave Berlin. Weidling was
pressuring Krebs so that Hitler would take a decision in this regard.
The reply from Krebs was that Hitler was totally turning down the idea
of leaving the capital. This news hit the Ministry of German Defense on
Bendlerstrasse, currently the headquarters of the Berlin Garrison, like
a bucket of cold water.
During this time, over ninety Russian field
canons, 155 and 205 mm Howitzers, rockets and bazookas were firing daily
at the Reichstag. The Russians knew from personal experience that a
city in ruins is very easy to defend, even by the very young and the
aged. When the entire isolation of the German capital by the Russian
troupes was completed and it was certain that the Americans were not
going to intervene, a more tranquil Stalin left the initiative tactic to
his field commanders. New guns and automatic weapons were delivered to
all of the Russian officials.
On April 26, considering all the defense
shortages of Berlin, General Weidling had a valid and up-to-date plan to
get the Führer out of the city. Hitler rejected him. All hope was lost.
The only point of German resistance they had
against the Russians in this case was the ferocious SS defenders, the
antiaircraft canons, the formidable 8 mm and flacks of the enormous
cement platform of the Berlin Zoo, over the house of the hippopotamus (of
which one survived), at about two thousand meters to the North of the
bunker. Their radius of action covered almost the entire territory
still defended by the Germans. There, over fifty canons of the fearful
weapons of 88 millimeters, guided by radar, radio and a network of
staked out observers on adjacent buildings, delivered such precise and
mortifying fire, that only the surrender of the city was going to
In the West, the bridge over the Harel River
and the Spandau bridge, two thousand three hundred meters from the
bunker, adjacent to Heerstrasse and Pichelsdorf streets were solidly in
the hands of the fanatical Hitler Youth.
Berlin, Russian front line |
Gardenstrasses Street. Advanced Position of
the 79th Regiment of Guards. Red Flag Army Clash III.
At night, a Russian patrol brings in a
slightly injured German woman dressed in a field uniform. She is locked
in a room after being seen by the bald Russian nurse and raped by the
guard. No one speaks German and the order is that those prisoners
captured around the Foreign Ministry be interrogated immediately. The
information is passed on to the division.
Just in time, an interpreter from a military
police detail arrived, something known by very few and feared by many,
the SMERSH Unit. The Russian interpreter, Rzeykaya, interrogated the
prisoner: she was a nurse that worked the day shift in the Krankenstube
(field nursing station) of the Foreign Ministry. At night she tried to
cross the Russian lines to visit her mother. She is harmless.
“Where is Hitler,” asked Rzeykaya.
“In the bunker below,” answered the
The information was immediately passed on to
the commander of the division, General V.M. Shatilov, elated by the news,
and confused, announces to his chiefs in Moscow that he is about to
conquer the symbolic building of the Third German Empire, the Foreign
Ministry, and that he might capture Hitler alive.
The Reichstag Building May 13, 1945
It was a
miracle that the field telephone worked. The call went out from
Hitler’s bunker’s switchboard, through the Defense Ministry, to an
advanced position of the German defense on Tiergartenstrasse at the
Ladwebr Canal. There, a sergeant answered and identified himself as
Unteroffizier Hoffman. On the other side of the line, no more or less,
was the personal aide of the Führer, the terrible Martin Bormann. He
wanted to know where Lieutenant Balder, a physician dispatched in this
sector of the front, was. Hoffman replied that Lieutenant Balder was
taking care of some wounded Germans from the last Russian attack.
Bormann’s very stern order was that the doctor should immediately return
to the Führer’s bunker. The phone line cut off at that very moment.
Hoffman remained a few more seconds with the receiver to his ear, as if
to protect himself from the Russian artillery barrage that had just
begun. He closed the Telefunken, grabbed his helmet and his rifle, and
went to get Lieutenant Balder.
Johhan Balder graduated from the Graduate
School of Military Medicine in June of 1939. He was medium height,
blond, light eyes, a pleasant face and always smiling, the son of a
businessman and a teacher. He was born in the capital in 1914, exactly
when the First World War began. He specialized in blood bioanalysis at
the University of Berlin, and worked for a while with Doctor – Captain
Joseph Mengele at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin. He was
the physician who was sometimes called in for Hitler when it was
necessary to take some blood samples for testing.
The shells of the over one thousand Russian
canons positioned around Berlin were exploding all over the place.
Large and small pieces of earth, pieces of pavement, bricks from
buildings and metal splinters were raised by the explosions and were
flying through the air, killing every living soul in the area. Their
deadly effect on the soldiers and civilians on either side was greater
than the explosions themselves.
When Sergeant Hoffman arrived at the firing
line, Balder was taking care of a young soldier, no more than 15 years
old, a member of the Hitler Jungend, who suffered a chest injury. The
bullet entered in the proximity of where the soldier had worn an Iron
Cross won for destroying three Russian tanks. The soldier had no chance
to survive, but the doctor was caring for him a few minutes longer until
an aide arrived to support him.
called from the Führer’s bunker to ask him to come there immediately. My
Lieutenant:” Hoffman said with his
look towards the fatally wounded soldier. His thoughts went back to a
small village in Cologne, to where his family and his son of almost the
same age were.
Upset over the death surrounding the young
soldier he was unable to save, Balder got up, wiped the sweat and dust
from his forehead, shut his medical case brandishing the red cross
painted on the cover, picked up his automatic pistol, grabbed his metal
helmet and left without saying anything.
He was located no more than one thousand
meters from his current position in a straight line all the way to the
bunker. He needed to follow along the same avenue, almost parallel to
the canal, until Herman Gorring Strasse, follow along Voss Strasse and
then turn left towards the gray cement building that housed Hitler’s
famous bunker in the basement. The flames shooting out of burning
buildings, the danger of walls toppling as a result of the almost direct
hits coming from Russian artillery stationed on the other side of the
canal increased the peril of making this crossing as much as if he would
have been in the direct line of fire. Skipping from door to door,
observing the intervals between artillery fire and mortars, attempting
to protect himself from the machinegun fire and from shrapnel, he
arrived at the building’s entrance almost an hour later. The ground
floor SS guards knew him and they had been notified of Bormann’s orders
to allow him to enter as soon as he arrived. He left his automatic and
Luger pistols with the SS guards. He quickly descended several levels
of stairs until he arrived at the level where the Führer’s General
Quarters was located.
The bunker smelled bad by comparison to the
air outside which was saturated with smoke from the explosions and low
in oxygen as a result of the fires. There was continuous background
noise resulting from the ventilator and extractor motors of the poorly
designed air conditioning system which worked sporadically.
Martin Bormann was in the foyer with his
usual unpleasant face. “Wait,” the Lieutenant told him,
recognizing him and motioning him towards a green chair. It was the
first time that day that Balder felt secure from the perils of the front
line, no longer having to keep his guard up against enemy fire, and he
was able to rest. Exhaustion drained him at that very moment.
A few minutes later, the office door
upholstered in brown leather, opened and Hitler, Dr. Goebbels, General
Weidling, Krebs and others came out. Balder witnessed Hitler’s farewell
to his collaborators.
Balder stood up and saluted with the Army
salute, not the SS one. The German leader’s appearance was worse than
the last time he had seen him: his hands were afflicted, his face was
the most pale it had ever been, his facial muscles were unresponsive,
his look lost. Not appearing lethargic, his general state was
When the group started heading towards
Goebell’s offices, Martin Bormann approached Balder who was still
standing at attention.
“I need you to take 3 samples of blood and
skin from the Führer for some tests. In each of these three boxes, you
are going to place a flask of blood and in the other the skin and the
hair. They’re for some special exams. I want you to work
professionally and fast. In this glass flask you’re going to place a
sample of hair. Then, I want you to also take a sample of my blood”
he told him in a low voice, in an
amicable and conspiratorial tone, pushing him on the back towards his
want Dr. Ludwig Stumpfegger (Hitler’s personal physician) and Dr.
Theodor Morell (Goebbel’s physician) to know about this. This is a
secret operation. The Führer has given his approval. Only you and I
know of this. Can you keep a secret?
“Yes…, for sure,”
Balder answered, his brain beginning to
analyze the consequences of this action which meant that only the two of
them knew about this. That Hitler would be dead within a short period
of time. That the secret is better kept by one who is dead. And that
now, he, Balder, was also in danger.
The two entered their private office and
Bormann showed him the cylinders and the glass. Three extremely unusual
looking glass flasks, which fit into stainless steel cylinders the size
of a German hand grenade, were on Bormann’s desk. They were well-made,
water and fire resistant, with fine threading, rubber seals and well
polished ends. It was obvious that this was the work of a specialist
and a professional. The double wall of the main cylinder was, Balder
thought, made to preserve the contents at low temperatures with the aid
of a cryogenic liquid.
Bormann stayed behind and Balder took the
glass flasks in a box and headed towards the Führer’s office. He waited
in Hitler’s foyer. Half an hour had transpired and Balder almost fell
asleep in the chair in the bunker’s relative tranquility away from the
terrifying sound of the barricades. When the Führer rang the bell,
Hitler’s private secretary, Junge, invited him to enter the Führer’s
He saluted. He asked permission to wash his
hands in the leader’s private bathroom. He left the coat of his uniform,
dirty and full of dust there. He put on his surgical gloves and without
intervening words, got to work. Hitler was sitting in an armchair,
resting his arms with the sleeves of his white shirt rolled up against
the chair’s arms that were upholstered in green leather. Looking at the
map of Germany---talking almost to himself, “I know we can win, I
know we can win over those damned Bolsheviks…” The doctor looked
for a vein from which he could take blood in the soft part of the left
elbow. Having identified the vein in the forearm, he placed a rubber
strap to cut off the circulation. The Führer’s skin appeared yellow,
like the skin of someone who was sick. A set of 10 cm3 glass
syringes was beside him, prepared and sterilized.
He stuck him with the needle and immediately,
upon moving the piston, the force of the vacuum went down and the
cylinder filled up with very dark blood. To fill the three flasks he
had to repeat the procedure two times. Each time, Hitler breathed
deeper, absorbed by the pain of the needle. The flasks contained an
anticoagulant. He immediately placed the flasks into a larger metallic
container which needed to be filled with liquid nitrogen to preserve the
contents by freezing, exactly as they did at the Kaiser William
Out of the three, two spaces were reserved
for the glass flasks with the blood, skin and hair.
Each large cylinder already contained a round
3-4 cm3 glass flask like the ones used to collect semen.
These were filled with a white gelatinous material, and were already
under the effect of the cryogenic cold.
When he closed the cover of the third
cylindrical cryogenic thermos with all the flasks inside, these were
immediately picked up by an assistant who silently left towards
Bormann’s office. Balder placed a small bandage around the vein from
which he had taken the blood and another around the skin where he had
taken a sample of skin. Hitler was still in the armchair, under the
effect of a sedative the doctor had previously administered.
Having finished the job, Balder left the room.
He went to Bormann’s private office at the end of the hall. There he
repeated the routine and placed samples of blood taken from Commander
Bormann into a flask identical to those used for Hitler. There was only
one difference in the markings of the cylinders. Bormann’s were marked
with a small B on the cover. Hitler’s had an H. He
finished his professional work in silence. Borman thanked him and
murmured something that sounded like he was going to consider him at the
final hour. Lately, the final hour and in general the word
final had a macabre meaning. Balder saluted and left. Outside of
the office, at the exit, the secretary gave him a bottle of Cognac and a
box of sausages and ham.
A sentry of the SS with the insignias of the
Das Reich Divison was waiting for him and returned his automatic
weapon and his Luger. He escorted him to a hallway which started in the
basement of the Foreign Ministry, twenty meters below the street level
and went up to the ground level of the building above. At the end of
the hallway, the narrow stairs ended in a room that had high windows
facing Herman-Goerring Strasse. Everything was broken into pieces at
this level by fires from machine guns, canons and explosions. Beneath
the debris, the elegant decoration of the past was vaguely remeniscent.
return to your post Lieutenant,” he
was told by the SS sentry. Balder left the bottle and the box on the
window sill and jumped out to the street. He looked around,
straightened his uniform, the automatic pistol and raised his hands to
get the bottle of Cognac and the box with the ham. At that moment, the
SS sentry had an automatic pistol pointed at him. Without mincing words,
he fired a burst, the sound of which was perfectly confused with the
continuous background noise from the Russian artillery and machine guns
from the other side of the Landwebr Canal.
Martin Bormann was satisfied. He was holding
in his hands the three stainless steel containers containing the samples
of blood, skin, hair and semen marked with the letter H in his
hands. Three samples from Hitler and a sample of his own. He
had only three refrigeration boxes. One problem: so he eliminated a
set of Hitler’s samples and substituted it with his own.
He had an idea of how the samples will be
used, of their significance, importance and transcendence. Weeks before
his disappearance from the Auschwitz-Birkenau Complex, he talked with
Mengele by phone, and he explained and suggested what could be done with
the samples in a not too distant future. They had the technology and
the means. It was like an insurance policy for the continuity of the
…On the other had, Mengele was familiar with
Dr. Hans Spemann and his work with Genetic Theory, because he had been
his teacher at the Medical Institute of Berlin. Since 1938 when Spemann
released his work to the scientific world and advanced the real
possibility of cloning in animals, Mengele was fascinated by the idea.
All that Spemann said was that an embryo needed to be fused with an egg
cell. The possibility of cloning was there, only the tools and the
experiments were needed. Entering the SS was a determining factor
because they controlled the network of extermination and concentration
camps where he could move his science forward.
Bormann put each set in one of the metallic
boxes. From another metallic cylinder which looked like an extinguisher,
wearing special heavy leather gloves, he filled the containers with
liquid nitrogen, the cryogenic agent which would maintain the freshness
of the genetic samples. He followed Dr. Mengele’s instructions. Having
finished the operation, he closed them with a hermetic cover and with a
combination lock. Only he and Mengele knew the combination. Once he
had the boxes filled and shut on the desk, he sat down to write three
One letter was addressed to a Commander of a
submarine. The letter, together with one of the metallic boxes would be
transported to Kiel by a motorcycle riding messenger from the Greater
State of OKW in an official pouch.
The second was sent to a pilot at the
Tempelhof airport. The destination of the second box was to the same
port of Kiel where the UB-293’s departure was delayed upon Bormann’s
express orders until the material was received. It was only a
precaution in case the motorcycle or the airplane didn’t arrive in time
to their Kiel destination.
The third was directed to a Captain with some
specific instructions. He was a member of the SS Mohnke Brigade,
which at 9:30 PM were gathering at the Friedrichstrasse metro station.
They were trying to leave the city via the tunnels of the metro towards
the north to Wanasse, the weakest ring of the Russian ring, to escape
northward towards Hamburg. All were dressed in the regular uniforms of
the Wermacht without insignias or rank, as privates. It was the most
secure route out of the besieged capital and to get to where they could
surrender to the Americans. They would have a better chance of
surviving the treatment they would receive from the Americans than from
the Russian prison camps.
Hitler’s aides, Julius Schaub and Major Otto
Gunsche gave him a document written in large letters so that the Führer
could read it without glasses. It was the report regarding the fates of
Mussolini and Clara Petacci. Having read it, Hitler made his final
decision and sealed his destiny. He gave detailed instructions of what
should be done with his body after the suicide.
That Berlin had no way out and that the
situation was hopeless was confirmed that very night when General
Wilhelm Keitel, OKW, informed him that no German military outfit from
the outside could penetrate the Russian rings. Not only were there no
fresh troupes, but at the current pace of fighting, there were munitions
left only for another two days. The resistance would collapse for lack
of weapons. Ironically, the only military outfit that was operating
properly was one formed by foreigners from Norway, the Waffen SS
Special Mission to Kiel
Rulke spent the entire war as a member of the military staff
Quartermasters’ motorcycles. In his youth, he was a Motocross champion
in his native city of Lintz. These days he was happier rather than sad.
The end of the war was near and with a little bit of luck, he would be
able to survive. The city suffered from serious shortages of energy,
food and water, but working in such close proximity to the supreme
headquarters of the Wehrmacht, life was easier: bread, jam, butter,
sausages and coffee were all available. Four years ago, he had been
recruited as a soldier. Now he was Sergeant Rulke, and the proud
recepient of an Iron Cross , Second Clkass, received only 24 hours
earlier, for crossing the Soviet lines three times in the last 10 days,
delivering secret fields orders and documents.
He survived the war. He was terrified to
fall into the hands of the Russians as a prisoner. He believed that
some miracle would be able to get him out of Berlin. And the miracle
occurred when his superior, Captain Herman Minke sent him to Bormann’s
office. He entered, saluted and stood at attention.
There, Bormann handed him a small but heavy
wooden box wrapped in a waterproof fabric and sealed with red wax. The
order was signed by him and countersigned by the city’s commanding
officer with a large black seal, it was being sent express, urgent and
with priority to Kiel. He asked several times about his escape route
and his chances of getting past Russian patrols unnoticed.
He couldn’t believe his good fortune; to get
out of the hell of this city; a task that was anything but easy; but he
knew how to do it. He explained his idea of an escape route to him.
The rest of the day he worked to get his BMW
motorcycle into shape. He checked the tires, the motor, filled it with
oil and gas, and checked the breaks. He made sure that the muffler made
the least sound possible. He placed Bormann’s package on the
motorcycle’s grill. He tied it up with strong leather straps. He
painted all the nickel parts that could reflect light black. He ended
up with just a black metal mass. He checked his pistol, his cartridge
holder and his automatic rifle; enough munitions, two splinter grenades
and two smoke grenades; a knife and a few tools. He stopped by the
canteen and picked up a few rations of black bread, some margarine, a
thermos with black coffee and several sausages.
He got his papers and the exit permit. He
ate, drank the black coffee and put several more sandwiches into his
knapsack. He filled his canteen with water and waited for nightfall.
The only open road was the one to Wittenberge,
crossing the Spree River. He bid his friends farewell and left, happy
about his good fortune. He went around the bunker, rode up the hill in
the Tiergarten. Behind the officer’s club there was a dirt road which
the officers used in the good old days before the capital’s siege. He
went past the woods and came around to behind the University. He could
see Schlosstrasse. There he made a right turn again, through another
narrow dirt road. It rather reminded him of the Arden Woods of Belgium.
He was above and could see the Russian units below firing artillery and
Katiuskas over the center of the city. He continued on the hills on a
At night it was dangerous and he could crash
into a tree or fall. He was only a few hundred meters from the Olympic
Stadium where in 1936 Germany demonstrated its greatness and its
technological advances to the world. He left it on his left and started
descending until the canal, past the woods of Hohenzollern, he crossed
the Havel River and keeping to the river’s edge, he exited the city. He
selected a dirt road on the left towards Neuruppin, passing through
Heiligense. There he crossed the German lines. It was the area of
weakest contact with the Russians. He was afraid to turn on the
camouflaged light of the motorcycle. He made it to the Wittenberge
woods this way. There he stopped for a few minutes. He turned on a
small lantern and looked at the map.
Across the Elba River, he could make it all
the way to Hamburg. But both the Americans and the Russians were around
there. It was better to continue northward. He turned the lantern off,
put the map in his jacket and continued his nocturnal voyage. All of a
sudden, he heard voices and mechanical sounds. He stopped immediately
at a ditch in the road on the right close to the ground. It was a
Russian patrol, with soldiers mounted on a Russian jeep called Gas. The
noise from their conversation and the engine could be heard for hundreds
of meters. He waited for a few more minutes before getting up from the
ground. For a few hundred meters he rode the motorcycle like a bicycle,
putting it in neutral gear.
In Schwerin, he ran into the first German
patrol. He smoked a cigarette with them, told them about the latest
happenings in Berlin, got some gas by using a hose from one of the
command-cars and continued until Lubek. An Allied airplane tried to
fire on him, but again, he pulled over to the side of the road between
some trees. The bullets whizzed by him only a few meters away. He
brushed the dirt off himself, checked his load and took to the road
The city was desolate. He found a place to
gas up and rest for a few hours. A Marine Infantry Detail was quartered
in a broken down hotel. He entered, showed the sentry his papers and
directed himself towards the Guard Officer on duty. He saluted him,
again showed him his orders. He asked for some gas and the officer
showed him to the back where again, with his hose, he siphoned gasoline
from the tank of an Army truck. He placed his motorcycle beside the
truck and rested on a canvas for a few hours.
When he awakened to the sound of the battery
of distant artillery, he ate a sandwich, drank water, washed his face,
put on his helmet and took off towards Kiel. He crossed the Schwartau,
Bad, Eutin, Rensburg roadblocks and reached Kiel in the afternoon. At
the same time, an Allied reconnaissance plane wanted to machine gun him
down but he stopped and hid in the ditches of the road. The bursts of
gunfire from the plane ended up only a few meters away from the place.
He stayed crouched to the ground a few minutes longer until the noise
from the engine was lost. He got up, cleaned the dirt off himself,
picked up the heavy motorcycle, started it and continued on his road.
The landscape of the countryside was in contrast with Berlin’s
destruction and desolation. Here, the damage was less and the Army was
in control. He was safe. He survived. Almost 345 kilometers in
territory that was under constant enemy attack.
Asking a military policeman for directions,
he went straight towards the Staff building of Doenitz, which was moved
to the city of Flensburg, close to the border with Denmark.
The Berlin Bunker |
The afternoon of April 30th.
At 4:15 PM, exactly one hour after the only
shot was heard from Hitler’s private room, Martin Bormann made a secret
call. It is believed that he spoke with Franz von Paulus who for his
part advised Stalin of the Führer’s suicide. For two days Hitler’s
death was kept secret from the people.
Martin celebrated the event with a bottle of
cognac. Arthur Axmann, the leader of the Hitler Youth, who abandoned
his command of boys at the Pichelsdorf Bridge, remained in the bunker,
trying to escape with Bormann. Upstairs, on the main floor levels, the
German soldiers who were defending the Foreign Ministry were having a
party. Practically the entire bunker was partying in a more relaxed
atmosphere, celebrating the last party of their days, before the
Russians would invade the building. Only Goebbels was traumatized by
Bormann called the bunker’s switchboard,
which was answered by the SS soldier Rochus Misch. He asked about the
party of the upper floors. He wanted to know what troops were there and
speak with his commander to prepare his exit and not stop the party.
At that moment, Bormann, Lieutenant General
Hans Krebs, JEM, General Wilhelm Burgdorf, the chief aide, VA Voss, two
secretaries, the Goebbels family, Martha and her 6 little boys and
Doctor theodor Morell were in the bunker. In the entire complex of the
Old-New Foreign Ministry, there were some five or six hundred survivors
of Hitler’s entourage.
Without knowing it, the red Russian flag was
already waving on the second floor of the building on the northern wing
since 14.25 o’clock. Only at night, after 22:50, would the flag be
brought up to the roof, not after ferocious and desperate battles with
its SS defenders.
Bormann, now the second in command, sent a
telegram to Admiral Karl Doenitz in the city of Plon appointing him as
Hitler’s successor without mentioning his death. He wanted to keep this
information under his sleeve so he could accede to an important post in
Doenitz’s new post-Hitlerian government. He didn’t have the authority
to do it, but this seemed to be the only thing he could do in light of
It was Goebbels, at 3:15 PM, one hour before
dying, together with his wife on the same emergency exit terrace of the
Fuehrerbunker, with two bullets emitted by an SS soldier, who sent the
last radio communication that left the Berlin bunker.
GRAND ADMIRAL DOENITZ |
Führer died yesterday at 15:30 (3:30 PM). The will dated April 29
appointed you as President of the Reich…(The names of those appointed to
the presidential cabinet follow). STOP
order of the Führer the will was sent from Berlin to your headquarters …
Bormann is trying to reach you today and to advise you of the situation.
The date and the manner in which to make the announcement to the press
and to the troops are left to your discretion. Confirm receipt.
Coincidentally, Himmler was in
Doenitz’s office and heard the conversation. He was not arrested.
Doenitz took command of what remained of the Third Reich.
While the fire was still consuming the body
of Hitler body, the criminal founder and dictator of the cruelest
conquering regime known to history, Goebbels, in his mind, wanted to
imitate the Viking funeral of his master.
While the bodies of Goebbels and Martha were
following the same ritual, burning up with the little bit of gasoline
that SS Captain Guenther Schwagermann, his special aide, several hundred
civil servants, military men and politicians who lived and worked in
Hitler’s last enclave, attempted to escape from the city. Following the
last operational Panzer, the plan was to follow on foot the metro lines
below Wilhelmplatz station, opposite the Foreign Ministry, until the
Friedrichstrasse Bahnhof (station) and from there, cross the Spree River
and cut the Russian lines to the North. Many passed. Others died
trying. Axmann relates later that the Panzer took a direct Russian
artillery impact and in the explosion he saw Bormann mortally wounded
where the road crossed the railroad tracks beneath the Invaliddenstrasse
bridge; Kempka repeated the same story. Others claimed that Bormann
took cyanide. They searched for his body but it was never recovered.
Those who remained in the city and had a last
drop of common sense left tried to end the carnage that was the Battle
Contact with the Russians was established.
Under pressure from Stalin, they wanted to end everything by May 1st,
Labor Day celebrated by the rest of the World. They forced everything
to conquer the city that day. Over one hundred thousand soviet soldiers
died just to satisfy Stalin’s whim.
General Krebs, Chief of Staff, who spoke
Russian, was sent to speak with Russian General Chuikov, commander of
the Eighth Army of Guard Tanks. On May 1st, they met in
Schulenbergring close to the Tempelhof Airport, at 4:00 AM. Charged
with negotiating an armistice, he couldn’t get any more out of the
Russians that an unconditional capitulation. Krebs returned to the
bunker, reported his mission and committed suicide. His body and that
of General Burgdorf would be recovered days later by a SMERSH unit, in
the underground of the New Foreign Ministry.
Chuikov, exasperated by how slow the
negotiations with the Germans were going, ordered a new barrage of
artillery. On May First, at 3:50 o’clock he was advised of Hitler’s
death and of the added cremation of his body in the upper garden of the
Reichstag. The next negotiation was General Weidling’s who dictated an
order that the defenders of Berlin surrender. On May 2nd he
crossed the lines that divided the two armies and delivered the Berlin
Garrison which still had 70,000 soldiers in the line of fire.
Only at 15:00 o’clock did the Soviet canons
stop shooting and become silent. The last defenders of the Reichstag,
who were hiding in the basement and in the underground of the Kroll
Opera, began to surrender. The Battle of Berlin was ending. Everything
was in ruins. Weidling and the entire Staff were taken prisoner. Some
spent five, others den and even up to 15 years in hard captivity in the
Soviet Gulags. The superior officers were sent by plane and after hard
and marathon interrogatories were jailed in a military prison camp 60
kilometers north of Moscow.
The Russians paid very dearly for conquering
the Capital of the Third Reich: with the lives of over 500,000 soldiers
and some fifteen hundred tanks. The Battle of Berlin was the greatest
of the Second World War.
The Americans arrived in Berlin on July 1st,
1945. The British arrived the next day.
VI. London, May 2, 1945
Minister Churchill in a confidential conference of parliament advised
that the end of hostilities in Europe could be announced at any moment:
“I don’t have a special announcement to make regarding the war in Europe,
except that it is definitely more satisfactory today than on the same
date five years ago.”
The Third and Seventh American
Armies, under the command of General George Patton was only 30
kilometers from Linz and 64 kilometers from the Russian troops to the
West of Vienna. They advanced without resistance into the heart of Nazi
Germany. They were about 150 kilometers from the Allied troops in Italy.
The Third Army took control of the Braunan zone, the birth place of
Adolf Hitler in the Inn River.
The Russians had already occupied Linz, but
they confront ferocious resistance from the SS troops in the mountainous
passes of the Alps.
Fascist General Rodolfo Graciano
announced last night the unconditional surrender of the Ligurian Army. Liutenant
General Pemsel, German chief of staff of the Luguria army confirmed the
announcement made by his superior, General. Gracianni.
(AP) | Mussolini, was secretly
buried in a clay field in Milan, Italy, close to a piece of land marked
especially for the burial of Nazis.
Howard M. Norton, the war correspondent for the Baltimore Sun,
reported in a cable from Italy: The tomb wasn’t marked. An Italian
Catholic Army Chaplain gave a brief benediction. “Mussolini was buried
in the same bloody shirt and muddied clothes in which he was shot and
then hung in Plaza Loreto. He was buried in a tomb that was emptied,
without anyone knowing the name of the occupant. His lover, Clara
Petacci, of the Nazi high hierarchy, was buried in the same manner. End
(AP) | The German resistance in the
heart of Berlin collapsed yesterday when the last 14,000 fanatic Nazis
surrendered to the Red Army after their leader Adolph Hitler committed
Military Bulletin) | Troops of the
Red Army placed over 100 barricades in Berlin and in the administrative
center of the city, on its impenetrable road towards the Foreign
Ministry of the Reich and the underground fortress of the Tiergarten.
(AP) | A Nazi broadcasting station
in Hamburg announced last night that Adolph Hitler died yesterday at
noon in Berlin and that Admiral Karl Doenitz according to personal
selection was named heir to command the German nation.
“We are reporting from the general quarters of
the Führer that our commander, Adolph Hitler, fighting with his last
breath against the Bolchevics, died for Germany, in his operational fort
in the Rechischancelerly”, a voice
announced in German in the transmission that was intercepted by the
Associated Press’ radio surveillance post in London.
30, the Führer named Grand Admiral Kurt Doenitz as his successor. The
Grand Admiral will now address the German people.”
recording of Bruckner’s solemn Seventh Symphony was interrupted by a
martial band and a person who identified himself as Doenitz spoke and
swore to continue the war: “…it is my first mission to save Germany
from the destruction advanced by the Bolchevic enemy. “ For this reason
alone, the fight goes on.”
world will never know the truth about the death of Hitler in the final
Battle of Berlin.”
Adolph Hitler died yesterday at his command post in Berlin, as
announced by the voice on Hamburg Radio, the world would not
precisely know for a very long time, if ever. He could have been dead
for days or weeks or could be alive and the announcement could only have
been a smoke screen to camouflage his escape.
what Radio Hamburg announced was considered to be the official
end of Adolph Hitler as far as the German authorities were concerned.
Whether dead or alive, the Nazi hierarchy and proceedings decided that
the myth of a dead Hitler could serve their purposes better than
a live Hitler leading the last hope of victory in Berlin.
A legend of Hitler, dying in a
Gotterdaemmerung finale in the terrible tragedy that it generated
could also serve the Nazi propaganda plans for years and future
The possibility exists that Adolph Hitler
died as reported earlier. So do the doubts.
Berlin | 4 hours before
the capitulation |
08.00PM, Zulu time
earlier, Soviet infantry broke through the defense of the Zoo and was
firing upwards, where the last units of German the now famous 88MM AA
artillery canons were stationed on the cement rooftops.
On April 30 at noon, the 150th and
171st Russian regiments with the aid of 6 and 8 inch canons,
Katiuska rockets and seized German Panzerfaust antitank weapons started
the last attack towards the Reichstag. This marked the day of the final
decision, because without the 88 mm artillery of the Zoo, their AA
weapons and the heavy machine guns emplacements, and the aproaching of
the deadline of the Unconditional Capitulation running out, the temporary takeoff
runway was defenseless.
It was a single-seater plane made out of
special wood and with wings covered in cloth so it would not be detected
by radar: a reconnaissance Fokker. The aviation techs worked for weeks
repairing it to have it operational. They removed all the non-essential
equipment to install the extra seat behind the pilot and an extra
gasoline tank. It was hidden in an underground mechanical shop and the
exit was cleaned daily by a squad of eight elements of the Hitler Youth,
from any debris resulting from the bombings. Departure orders were
received on the night of April 30th. The technicians brought out the
plane and positioned it at the end of Charlottenburger Chausee Avenue.
The soldiers removed the stones and debris from the roads, now a runway,
so that they were clean.
The pilot, dressed in the prescribed
Luftwaffe uniform, stepped up, checked the plane and electrical
indicators and upon his signal, the mechanic started the engine using a
metal handle/crankshaft. the engine was on idle, almoust silently, in
the immense see of night war moise.
Out of the shadows, a person approached and
was assisted by a soldier to climb up in the backseat. The passenger
was dressed in a large black leather jacket with the collar raised, a
cap with a visor and a small case. The woodbrakes of the wheels were
removed. from the front seat the pilot saluted the ground personnel and
shut the plane’s cockpit. With the engine running at maximum, the
tachometer at 2,250 RPMs and the flaps at 15 degrees, the pilot
maneuvered the takeoff from the short runway. The runway couldn’t have
been shorter. The small single engine plane carrying the unidentified
passenger, its navigation lights off, took off from the improvised
runway on the street of the administrative center of the city, East of
It barely gained altitude, practically
grazing the rooftop of the building housing the Protocol Administrative
Offices. After takeoff with minimum maneuvering velocity, he turned 90
degrees to the right, at a 30 degree coordinated angle, rising at 500
feet per minute, circling over the same place, taking into consideration
the black and smoky silhouette of the Reich’s Foreign Ministry building
to avoid Russian anti-aircraft artillery fire. At an altitude of 4500
feet, getting little attention from the Russian Anti-Air defense, now
bussy withe vistory celebrations, food and drinkshe, leveled off and
headed towards an unknown destination towards the North-West.
Both the pilot and the passenger looked
backwards where a city in flames and agony was dying. It was the last
plane that took off from Berlin before the total and unconditional
surrender of the city and its Garrison to the Russian assault troops.
OUR TIMES |
latest medical discoveries and genetic engineering wager towards only
one direction and conclusion: that human cloning has become
inevitable. Someone somewhere will achieve it.
In November 2001, the first embryonic cells
were produced “In Vitro” from nuclei that were implanted from
other tissue. With the pretext that they were only going to produce
polypotential cells that could be converted into any human tissue, the
difference towards achieving total cloning of a human being resides only
within the borders of desire, political motivation and economic power.
Once we have the first totally cloned human
being, we will suffer a commotion similar to those throughout history
that took place after any other important discovery of man. There will
be much debate, many discussions, measures of power taken, but the
research will continue forward. Nothing can detain it. It will be like
Our basic ethics of life and death will be
broken. We will become aware that most of our ideas were wrong.
Unable to stop or prohibit human cloning, we
could probably destroy the genetic material of undesirable humans such
as criminals and terrorists, to achieve the political and social
stability of the planet.
The United States, Italy and Japan have
adopted measures against cloning. The United Nations has declared
cloning to be: “a violation of the dignity of man.” England is
for it. Singapore, India, Russia and Brazil haven’t made cloning
against the law.
a matter of time before…