Adolf Hitler's death 70th anniversary: Five facts about the final hours of the German Nazi leader

The German Nazi leader's last meal was spaghetti

Rose Troup Buchanan
Friday 01 May 2015 09:24 BST

On the 70th anniversary of Adolf Hitler’s suicide in his Fuhur bunker in Berlin, here are some facts surrounding the Nazi leader’s final hours.

Hitler’s health

A little over ten years ago Erna Flegel’s account from inside the bunker emerged, a nurse assigned to the Reich Chancellery in 1943. As a devoted Nazi she looked on as those closest to Hitler gathered and recorded her impressions of Hitler.

1945: Private First Class Richard Blust of Michigan surveys the bunker at the German Reichschancellery in Berlin where Adolf Hitler and his wife Eva Braun are thought to have committed suicide (Getty)

“He shook a great deal, walking was difficult for him, his right side was still very much weakened as a result of the attempt on his life," she later told CIA interrogators.

The last meal

Hitler’s now wife Eva did not feel well in the run-up to their suicide so retired to her bed. Hitler ate a simple meal with his two secretaries – as he had done since the battle of Stalingrad – of spaghetti with a raisin and cabbage salad. Outside, Berlin’s inhabitants were starving to death.

Even within the bunker those surrounding Hitler were kept in the dark about his death: his personal chef was preparing a meal of mashed potato as he shot himself, records a new book Minute by Minute, by Jonathan Mayo and Emma Craigie.

Russians Blow up Hitler's "Tombstone." Berlin, Germany: Sightseers walk amid the ruins of Hitler's air raid shelter, sometimes referred to as Hitler's "tombstone". (Corbis)

Method of death

After intense discussion with his personal physician. Hitler shot himself through his right temple while holding a cyanide capsule in his mouth. His recently wed wife ate another capsule next to him.

He also was unsure if the cyanide capsules would work and so fed one to his favourite dog, Blondi, in order to make sure. His dog handler Feldwebel Fritz Tornow would later shoot Blondi’s puppies before Hitler’s death and bury them outside.

Braun’s sad end

Eva Braun, who became Hitler’s wife the day before their suicide, was afraid of not dying at the exact same time as the man she called “the chief”. She also refused to be shot, wanting to be “beautiful in death”. The cyanide she took with Hitler reportedly contorted her face.

Hitler never referred to Braun as his wife, instead calling her Fraulein Braun until their suicide. He also had a number of other – less pleasant – nicknames for her, including Tschapperl which meant idiot, bumpkin or wench.

The Goebbels’ children

The wife of Hitler’s propaganda chief, Magda made one last desperate plea for the Fuhrur to flee Berlin. She knew unless Hitler survived, her husband would refuse to leave the bunker, condemning her and her six children to their deaths.

Joseph, Magda and the six Goebbels children with Hitler in 1938 (AFP)

In the moments after the shot killing Hitler rang out, her nine-year-old child Helmut reportedly cried out: “That was a bullseye!”

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