Last will and testament of Adolf Hitler


Last will and testament of Adolf Hitler

The last will and testament of Adolf Hitler was dictated by Hitler to his secretary Traudl Junge in his Berlin Führerbunker on April 29 1945, the day he and Eva Braun married. They committed suicide the next day (April 30), three days before the surrender of Berlin to the Soviets on May 2, and just over a week before the end of World War II in Europe on May 8. It consisted of two separate documents, a will and a political testament.

Will

was a short document signed on 29 April 1945 at 4:00 am:
* It acknowledged his marriage—but does not name Eva Braun—and that they choose death over disgrace of deposition or capitulation; and that their bodies were to be burnt.
* His art collection is left to "a gallery in my home town of Linz on Donau".
* Objects of "sentimental value or is necessary for the maintenance of a modest simple life" went to his relations and his "faithful co-workers" such as secretary Frau Winter.
* Whatever else of value he possessed went to the National Socialist German Workers Party.
* Martin Bormann was nominated as the will's executor.The will was witnessed by Dr. Joseph Goebbels, Martin Bormann and Colonel Nicholaus von Below.

Testament

was signed at the same time as Hitler's last will, 4:00 am on April 29, 1945. The first part of the testament is a restatement of the political position and justifications which he had stated many times before. His intention to commit suicide soon after writing the testament and the imminent destruction of the Third Reich did not alter his political position. The second part lays out Hitler's intentions for the government of Germany and the Nazi Party after his death. Also included in the testament are several statements that he did not want to instigate war with other nations and blamed Jews for the war.
* Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring is to be expelled from the party.
* Reichsführer-SS and Minister of the Interior, Heinrich Himmler, is to be expelled from the party.
* Grossadmiral Karl Dönitz is to be appointed President of the Reich and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

Hitler appointed the following as the new Cabinet and as "leaders of the nation":
* President of the Reich ("Reichspräsident"): Karl Dönitz
* Chancellor of the Reich ("Reichskanzler"): Dr. Joseph Goebbels
* Party Minister ("Parteiminister"): Martin Bormann
* Foreign Minister ("Aussenminister"): Arthur Seyss-Inquart
* Interior Minister ("Innenminister"): Gauleiter Paul Giesler
* Minister of War ("Kriegsminister"): Karl Dönitz
* Commander-in-Chief of the Army ("Oberbefehlshaber des Heeres"): Field Marshal Ferdinand Schörner
* Commander-in-Chief of the Navy ("Oberbefehlshaber der Kriegsmarine"): Karl Dönitz
* Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force ("Oberbefehlshaber der Luftwaffe"): General Robert Ritter von Greim
* Commander-in-Chief of the SS and Chief of Police ("Reichsführer-SS und Chef der Deutschen Polizei"): Gauleiter Karl Hanke
* Minister of Economy ("Wirtschaft"): Walter Funk
* Minister of Agriculture ("Landwirtschaft"): Herbert Backe
* Minister of Justice ("Justiz"): Otto Thierack
* Minister of Culture ("Kultus"): Dr. Gustav Adolf Scheel
* Minister of Propaganda ("Propaganda"): Dr. Werner Naumann
* Minister of Finance ("Finanzen"): Johann Ludwig Graf Schwerin von Krosigk
* Minister of Labour ("Arbeit"): Dr. Theo Hupfauer
* Minister of Munitions ("Rüstung"): Karl-Otto Saur
* Director of the German Labour Front and member of the Cabinet ("Leiter der Deutschen Arbeitsfront und Mitglied des Reichskabinetts: Reichsminister") Dr. Robert Ley.

Witnessed by Dr. Joseph Goebbels, Wilhelm Burgdorf, Martin Bormann, and General Hans Krebs.

On the afternoon of 30 April, about a day and a half after he signed his last will and testament, Hitler committed suicide.

Authorship

In his book "The Bunker", James O'Donnell, after comparing the wording of Hitler's last testament to the writings and statements of both Hitler and Joseph Goebbels, concluded that Goebbels was at least partly responsible for helping Hitler to write it. Junge claimed Hitler was reading from notes when he dictated the testament; since Hitler could barely write by this stage, O'Donnell made a good argument that it was actually Goebbels who had written these notes.

Death of the witnesses

All four witnesses to the political testament died shortly afterwards. Goebbels and his wife committed suicide (and also killed their 6 children) on May 1. Burgdorf and Krebs committed suicide together on the night of May 1May 2 in the bunker. Bormann's exact time and place of death remain uncertain; his remains were discovered near the site of the bunker in 1972 and identified by DNA analysis in 1998. Therefore, he was most likely killed the same night trying to escape from the Führerbunker. [Martin Bormann – in one of the groups attempting to escape from the bunker – managed to cross the Spree. He was reported to have died a short distance from the Weidendammer bridge, his body was seen and identified by Arthur Axmann who followed the same route.(Antony Beevor "Berlin: The Downfall 1945", Penguin Books, 2002, ISBN 0-670-88695-5. p.383)]

References

* [http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/hitlerwill.html Hitler's Last Will] Source: Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Government Printing Office, Washington, 1946–1948, vol. VI, pg. 259–260.
* [http://www.ess.uwe.ac.uk/documents/poltest.htm Adolf Hitler's Final Political Testament] in English Source: United States, Office of United States Chief of Counsel for Prosecution of Axis Criminality, Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, 8 vols. and 2 suppl. vols. (Government Printing Office, Washington, 1946–1948), VI, 259–263, Doc. No. 3569-PS. ( [http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/policy/1945/450429a.html backup site] )
* [http://www.ne.jp/asahi/masa/private/history/ww2/text/politisches.html Adolf Hitler Politisches Testament] (in German). [The German version of the testament includes the fifteen other names only noted as "Here follow fifteen others" in the English versions of the testament listed in the Reference section.]

Further reading

* [http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/holocaust/h-death.htm The Death of Hitler] explains why Hitler had fallen out with Goering.

Footnotes


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