In the Bunker with Hitler: 23 July 1944-29 April 1945

Overview

The last survivor of Hitler's Berlin bunker tells the story of the final days of the Third Reich.
Throughout the last nine months of the Third Reich, from 23 July 1944 to 29 April 1945, Captain Bernd Freytag von Loringhoven daily attended Hitler's military briefings with his highest-ranking officers. He also watched—while recording his experiences in his private diaries—as increasingly the gap widened between the reality of the war outside the ...
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Overview

The last survivor of Hitler's Berlin bunker tells the story of the final days of the Third Reich.
Throughout the last nine months of the Third Reich, from 23 July 1944 to 29 April 1945, Captain Bernd Freytag von Loringhoven daily attended Hitler's military briefings with his highest-ranking officers. He also watched—while recording his experiences in his private diaries—as increasingly the gap widened between the reality of the war outside the bunker and Hitler's willful illusions of imminent victory in the face of absolute ruin.
In the last catastrophic week of Hitler's regime Loringhoven, now holed up night and day in the bunker, saw the final hopes of officers and staff dissolve into drink and fade into suicidal despair. He saw, too, his chance to survive: On April 29, when all communications in the bunker broke down—and with Hitler's unexpected blessing—he left. On April 30 Hitler was dead.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

This intriguing wartime memoir by von Loringhoven (b. 1914), the personal assistant of Hitler's last two chiefs of staff, chronicles his experiences as a German soldier finding himself inside Nazi Germany's Führerbunker, the bunker that housed Hitler during the last half of WWII. "Unable to reconcile" himself with the "ultra-conservative, anti-Semitic views" of the National Socialist Party before the war, von Loringhoven decided against the legal profession because "every budding lawyer... [is] indoctrinated with Party ideology." Instead, he joined the German army, believing (naïvely, as it became clear) that "the Army stood quite aloof from Party politics." Von Loringhoven soon became enmeshed in the Nazi regime; as aide-de-camp to Gen. Hans Kreb, Hitler's personal adviser, von Loringhoven found himself within the crumbling, defeated world of the Führerbunkerduring the last months of the war. By war's end, the author says, he "had the disagreeable impression of having been used as fodder for the adventures of a charlatan." Von Loringhoven's depiction of bunker life and of his own escape, permitted by Hitler himself, will interest those fascinated by WWII. Photos, maps. (Nov.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
The last bitter days of the Nazi regime, recalled by a former army officer now living in Munich. Born in 1914 to a well-off family from Westphalia that settled in the Baltic, von Loringhoven hoped to study law but by 1934 felt obliged to join the military for protection from the snares of National Socialism. An older cousin helped him get into the cavalry-and was later implicated in the July 1944 plot to assassinate Hitler. The author and his fellow young aristocratic officers felt they "had been tricked" by Hitler's attack on Poland. They served in a division sent to the Rhineland, where German atrocities against the Poles had begun. "We had not the faintest idea of the terror yet to be unleashed on the population by the SS," he notes in one of several wide-eyed disclaimers. Appointed to a staff position under General Guderian, commander-in-chief of the Second Panzer Army, the author moved into the heat of action on the eastern front against the superior Russian T-34 tanks. Due to Hitler's insistence on grasping every detail and refusal to delegate duties, the war was prosecuted with galling inefficiency, and suspicion grew between the Fuhrer and his generals. Following the assassination attempt spearheaded by Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, Hitler purged the ranks of his most exemplary officers. In the ensuing atmosphere of terror and persecution, generals shrank from offering their true opinions of the German losses at the daily situation meetings in which the Fuhrer, the only one allowed to sit, castigated them for hours about their "defeatism." Von Loringhoven gives remarkable portraits of the henchmen and schemers around Hitler and of the last desperate days in the bunker under theChancellery as the Russians approached. Chilling and clinically detailed: an important account of a horrific period in history.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781933648392
  • Publisher: Pegasus
  • Publication date: 5/1/2007
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Near the end of World War II Bernd Freytag von Loringhoven was appointed aide-de-camp to Hitler's headquarters and finally to the
Berlin bunker, where he experienced the last nine months of the Third
Reich. He died in 2007 in Munich.
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