Unconditional Surrender: A Memoir of the Last Days of the Third Reich and the Donitz Administration

Overview

Especially dramatic was the meeting on the night of 30 April when Döonitz asked Himmler to come to his HQ, where he wanted to reveal his own appointment as Hitler's successor. Uncertain as to how this announcement would be received, and warned by Gauleiter Wegener, who was better informed on the political infighting, the Grossadmiral took special precautions. He reinforced the barracks guard with reliable U-boat men, and it was everything I could do to convince these enterprising submariners, sworn to loyalty to ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (6) from $28.63   
  • New (3) from $28.63   
  • Used (3) from $31.23   
Sending request ...

Overview

Especially dramatic was the meeting on the night of 30 April when Döonitz asked Himmler to come to his HQ, where he wanted to reveal his own appointment as Hitler's successor. Uncertain as to how this announcement would be received, and warned by Gauleiter Wegener, who was better informed on the political infighting, the Grossadmiral took special precautions. He reinforced the barracks guard with reliable U-boat men, and it was everything I could do to convince these enterprising submariners, sworn to loyalty to Dönitz, to exercise restraint and keep themselves as inconspicuous as possible so as not to create from the outset an atmosphere redolent with suspicion. Then I received the Reichsführer, invited his escort into the mess, and accompanied him myself to meet the new head of state. The meeting was held in private and was recorded in a memorandum by Dönitz later in these terms:

I spoke with Himmler in my room alone. I thought it was better to place my Browning within reach on my desk underneath a sheaf of papers. I handed him the telegram to read. He went pale. He thought about it. Then he rose and congratulated me. He said, 'Let me be second man in the state'. I declined. … He left between 0200 and 0300 hrs knowing that I would not use him in a senior position. On the other hand I could not cut him loose completely because he controlled the police. Mind you, I knew nothing at that time of the concentration camp atrocities and murder of the Jews.

Unconditional Surrender is a remarkable memoir. Serving as the adjutant to Grossadmiral Karl Dönitz for the last year of the war, Walter Lüdde-Neurath was at the side of the man who was surprisingly chosen by Adolf Hitler to succeed him as head of state as the war was reaching its terrible climax. The author was therefore a key witness to the collapse of the Nazi military machine and the start of a new "unpolitical" government that tried to manage the precarious transition from war to peace.

When he was in Nuremburg prison, Lüdde-Neurath wanted to write his memoir while it was still fresh in his mind and smuggled out papers in the plaster cast of an "unlucky comrade." His account is a fascinating piece of military history and an important discussion of the legality of the Dönitz Administration and the Allies' terms of surrender.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591148944
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2010
  • Pages: 189
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vii

Timetable of Events ix

Foreword jürgen Rohwer, 2010 xiii

Section I Walter Lüdde-Neurath: The Dönitz Government -the Last Days of the Third Reich 1

Author's Foreword, 1948 3

Author's Foreword to the Second Edition, 1953 5

Publisher's Foreword to the Third Edition, 1964 7

Chapter 1 Autumn 1944 to April 1945: Impressions at Führer-Headquarters 9

Chapter 2 Dönitz Leaves Berlin 19

Chapter 3 An Impossible Job - Defend the Northern Region 25

Chapter 4 Regarding the Succession to Hider 29

Chapter 5 Reich President by Signal 35

Chapter 6 The Military Situation on 2 May 1945 39

Chapter 7 Realisation and Decision 43

Chapter 8 Partial Capitulation in the North 49

Chapter 9 Unconditional Surrender 55

Chapter 10 The Fate of the Occupied Territories 61

Chapter 11 The Unpolitical Cabinet 67

Chapter 12 Himmler's Dismissal 73

Chapter 13 Abdication? 79

Chapter 14 East or West? 83

Chapter 15 The Allied Control Commission 89

Chapter 16 The Arrest of the Caretaker Reich Government 93

Section II Walter Baum: The Dönitz Government in Modern Academic Research 99

Chapter 1 The Struggle for the Succession 101

Chapter 2 Making the Dönitz Government 109

Chapter 3 The Capitulation 113

Chapter 4 Finis Germaniae? The Reich as a Problem of International and Constitutional Law 121

Appendices 125

Notes 163

Index 183

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)