The Secret Bunker

Hitler Bunker (interior)

Adolf Hitler ordered the construction of two underground bunkers 50 feet below the garden of the Chancellery buildings in Berlin. They contained more than thirty one rooms on two floors. The Vorbunker was located beneath the large hall behind the old Chancellery, which was connected to the new Chancellery. The Fuhrerbunker was located somewhat lower than the Vorbunker and west of it. The two bunkers were connected via sets of stairs set at right angles.

The complex was protected by several feet of concrete, with an emergency exit into the gardens. The complex was built in two phases, one part in 1936 and the other in 1943. The 1943 development was built as part of an extensive program of subterranean construction in Berlin begun in 1940. The accommodations for Hitler were in the newer, lower section and by February 1945 had been furnished with high quality furniture taken from the chancellery building along with several framed oil paintings.

The bunker was supplied with large quantities of food and other necessities and successfully protected its occupants from the relentless and lethal shelling that went on overhead in the closing days of April 1945. Many witnesses later spoke of the constant droning sound of the underground complex's ventilation system.

Hitler's Bunker

Hitler moved into the bunker in April of 1945 as the Soviet troops were unstoppably advancing into Berlin. He chose to stay in Berlin during the last days of the war despite the attempts of his staff to persuade him to escape to the mountains. Hitler was accompanied by his long time companion Eva Braun. Also, several high-ranking Nazi ministers chose to share the destiny with their Führer. Among them were Hitler's top aide Martin Bormann and Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels. The latter brought his entire family--his wife and six children to live in the bunker.

Hitler wasn't simply hiding in the bunker, he was still in power and his orders continued to be carried out to every possible extent. On April 23, Hitler received a telegram from Hermann Goering, whom Hitler designated as his successor by a decree in 1941. Goering was in the safe area in the south next to Berchtesgaden. Goering stated that if Hitler wasn't going to respond by 10pm the same day, he [Goering] would take the power into his own hands as the Reich's leader. Hitler became furious, and replied that Goering committed a crime and that the punishment for this was death. In early morning of April 25th, Goering was arrested by the SS.

On April 28th, Hitler was informed that the Reichsfuhrer SS Heinrich Himmler (the same man whose direct orders sent millions of people to concentration camps) was involved in negotiations with the West and discussed German surrender. In response, Hitler ordered Himmler's arrest and ordered Himmler's personal representative in the bunker, who incidentally was the husband of Eva Braun's sister, to be taken out and shot.

Hitler understood that this was the end. With betrayal of Goering and Himmler, with Soviet troops already in Berlin, with the country in ruins, with non-existent armies to defend the Reich, there was only one way out.

On April 29th, Hitler married Eva Braun in a civil ceremony in the bunker. Eva Braun was 33 years old. She was indifferent to politics, and as Hitler's mistress for many years, she spent most of her time reading novels, watching romantic movies and taking care of her appearance. She was athletic, sports-oriented woman, and a good dancer. Had she chosen to stay alive, she probably would have gotten a "slap on the wrist", because she was hardly responsible for any Nazi crimes. Instead, she stayed with Hitler to the bitter end.
In the afternoon of April 30th, after his last vegetarian meal, Hitler and Eva Braun said goodbye to all the remaining bunker staff, and retreated to their private room. Shortly after, there was a sound of a gunshot. Goebbels and Bormann entered the room after a few minutes and found Hitler lying dead on a sofa. He killed himself with a shot into his right temple. Eva Braun was also dead. She had swallowed poison a few minutes before Hitler took his own life.

Eva Braun

According to Hitler's will, the bodies were brought up outside the bunker, cremated with gasoline and buried. As Hitler's body was engulfed in flames, Bormann and Goebbels gave their Führer the final salute.

On the following day, Goebbels and his wife poisoned their six children in the bunker. Life without "Uncle Adolf" was unimaginable. Then they went outside and requested the SS orderly to shoot them in the back of the head. This request was carried out. The bodies were later soaked in gasoline and set on fire. This was the end of the Nazi Reich.


The Fuehrerbunker: Info and Plans