Martin Bormann, born 17-06-1900, in Halberstadt, had two half-siblings, Else and Walter Bormann, from his father's earlier marriage to Louise Grobler, who died in 1898. Antonie Bormann gave birth to three sons, one of whom died in infancy. Martin (born 1900)
and Albert (born 1902) survived to adulthood. Martin dropped out of college and worked on a farm before joining the German Army during the last few months of the First World War, but never saw action.
From left to right: Martin Jr., Eicke, Irmgard, Gerhard, Heinrich, Eva, Little Gerda, and Fred Hartmut being held by mommy Gerda who looks like she was quite pregnant with the youngest Bormann kid, Joseph Volker, at the time. Missing from the plethora of offspring is Ehrengard-Eicke's twin sister-who died shortly after birth.
After the war he joined the Rossbach Freikorps, where he fought with Rudolf Höss.
Rudolf Höss was later the commandant of concentration camp Auschwitz and hanged, age 46, on 19-04-1946. The gallows was build near his house on the concentration camp ground.
Rudolf Höss. Albert Schlageter. Walter Kadow.
Bormann joined the National Socialist German Workers Party, NSDAP and in 1923 was found guilty with Höss of murdering Walter Kadow, who had been accused of betraying saboteur Albert Leo Schlageter. However, he only spent a year in prison. Bormann joined the National Socialist German Workers Party in 1927, age 27. On 02-09-1929, Bormann married 19-year-old Gerda Buch, whose father, Major Walter Buch,
served as a chairman of the Nazi Party Court. Bormann had recently met Hitler, who agreed to serve as a witness at their wedding. Gerda Bormann would give birth to 10 children; one died shortly after birth. The children of Martin and Gerda Bormann were: Adolf Martin Bormann, born 14-04-130; called Krönzi; named after his godfather Adolf Hitler, Ilse Bormann, born 09-07-1931; twin sister Ehrengard died after the birth; named after her godmother Ilse Hess, later called "Eike", died 1958, Irmgard Bormann, born 25-07-1933, Rudolf Gerhard Bormann, born 31-08-1934; named after his godfather Rudolf Hess (see Rudolf Hess
), Heinrich Hugo Bormann, born 13-06-1936; named after his godfather Heinrich Himmler, Eva Ute Bormann, born 04-08-1938, Gerda Bormann, born 23-10-1940, Fred Hartmut Bormann, born 04-03-1942, Volker Bormann born 18-09-1943, died 1946). Gerda Bormann Buchs born 23-10-1909 fled to Wolkenstein, twenty kilometres north east of Bolzano in Italy, nbu buttbut
but would die of cancer on 23-04-1946, age 36 in Merano, Italy, and buried on the military cemetery together with a German soldier, in grave 610. Later she was removed, cremated and scattered in the sea. The eight children were adopted by the catholic clergyman Theodor Schmitz .
All of Bormann's children survived the war. Martin abandoned the Lutheran faith of his family and was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1953, but left the priesthood in the late 1960s. He married an ex-nun in 1971 and became a teacher of theology, living in Berchtesgaden till now.
Martin Jr with Adolf.
Without any obvious talents Bormann rose steadily in the Nazi hierarchy. In May 1941, the flight of Hess to Britain cleared the way for Bormann to become Head of the Party Chancellery that same month, age 40. Bormann proved to be a master of intricate political infighting. He also had a lover, the actrice Manja Behrens,
with her he spent more time than with his own family. Manja Behrens would die old age 88 on 18-01-2003, in Berlin. Bormann became party treasurer after Adolf Hitler (see Adolf Hitler
)(did you know
) came to power in 1933 he appointed Bormann as national organizer of the party. His adjudant was Wilhelm Zander (see Zander
). Zander made it through the Soviet Army encirclement of Berlin to the west. After the war ended, it was subsequently discovered that he had adopted the surname Paustin and worked as a gardener. He was captured under this name in the American occupation zone and as a consequence the copies of Hitler's will and testament went into the hands of the American and British forces.
In 1942 Bormann became Hitler's secretary and was given the post of deputy führer. Bormann controlled all the papers Hitler saw and in this way he had a growing influence on government policy. He also sometimes blocked Joseph Goebbels (see Goebbels
)(did you know
), Hermann Goering (see Goering
)(did you know
), Heinrich Himmler (see Himmler
) and Albert Speer (see Speer
) and Ribbentrop (see Ribbentrop
) and his influential wife Annelies Ribbentrop-Henkell (see Ribbentrop-Henkell
), from seeing Hitler (see Did you know
). Rarely leaving headquarters his judgements were invariably wrong during the final stages of the war, Eva Braun (see Eva Braun
) hated him. Bormann took charge of all of Hitler's paperwork, appointments and personal finances. Hitler came to have complete trust in Bormann and the view of reality he presented. During one meeting, Hitler was said to have screamed, "To win this war, I need Bormann!"
. Some historians have suggested Bormann held so much power that, in some respects by 1945, he became Germany's "secret leader" during the war. Bormann was invariably the advocate of extremely harsh, radical measures when it came to the treatment of Jews, of the conquered eastern peoples or prisoners of war. He signed the decree of 09-10-1942 prescribing that "the permanent elimination of the Jews (see Anna Frank
) from the territories of Greater Germany can no longer be carried out by emigration but by the use of ruthless force in the special camps of the East." A further decree, signed by Bormann on 01-07-1943, gave Adolf Eichmann (see Eichmann
), he was hanged in Israel, age 56, on 31-03-1962,
absolute powers over Jews, (see Wiesenthal
) who now came under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Gestapo. When it became clear that Germany would lose the World War II, Bormann attempted to break through the lines of the Red Army with Hitler's driver Erich Kempka (see Kempka
), Wilhelm Mohnke (see Mohnke
), Werner Naumann (see Naumann
), dr. Ludwig Stumpfegger and other. On 02-05-1945 at 23:00 hours the mass escape began. Moving in small groups, they proceeded underground, as planned, to the Friedrichstrasse station. Here they emerged to find the ruins of Berlin in flames, and Russian shells bursting everywhere around them. The first group managed to cross the river Spree by an iron footbridge that ran parallel to the Weidendammer Bridge. The remaining groups likewise emerged at the Friedrichstrasse Station, but there became confused and disoriented. They made their way north along the Friedrichstrasse to the Weidendammer Bridge, where they found their way blocked, at the bridge's north end, by an anti-tank barrier and heavy Russian fire. They next withdrew to the south end of the bridge, where they were soon joined by a few German tanks. Gathering about the tanks, they again pressed forward. Bormann, Artur Axmann, head of the Hitler Youth after Baldur von Schirach (see Schirach
), (see Axmann
) and Ludwig Stumpfegger (see Stumpfegger
, Hitler's surgeon,
Arthur Axmann. Ludwig Stumpfegger.
and others followed the lead tanks as far as the Ziegelstrasse. There a panzerfaust struck the lead tank. The violent explosion stunned Bormann and Stumpfegger, and wounded Axmann. All retreated to the Weidendammer Bridge. Now it was every man for himself. Bormann, Stumpfegger, Axmann, and others followed the tracks of surface railway
to the Lehrter station. There Bormann and Stumpfegger decided to follow the Invalidestrasse east. Axmann elected to go west, but encountered a Russian patrol and returned on the path Bormann and Stumpfegger had taken. He soon found them. Behind the bridge, where the Invalidienstrasse crosses the railroad tracks, they lay on their backs, the moonlight on their faces. Both were dead. Axmann could see no signs of an explosion, and assumed that they had been shot in the back. He continued on his way, escaping from Berlin and spending the next six months hiding out with the Hitler Youth in the Bavarian Alps, where he was eventually captured. On 07-12-1972 when construction workers uncovered human remains, pointed out by the man who buried the two bodies on 08-05-1945, Albert Krummnow, a post office official, see position 2
on the photo belo
w, position 1
was the suspected spot which was a mistake as Krumnow could tell. The identity papers discovered on one of the bodies identified it as Stumpfegger
. The dental work and a healed broken collar bone was strong evidence that the second body was Bormann.
Fragments of glass found in the two men's jawbones led to the conclusion that they committed suicide via cyanide capsules on 02-05-1945
. The sightings proved to be flights of fantasy that Bormann had flew to Argentina.
View looking north from the center of the now-deserted Invalidienstrasse bridge. Railroad tracks formerly ran through this overgrown gully. Sheds on the right (apparently post-war) sheltered waiting passengers. It was here that Artur Axmann found the bodies of Martin Bormann and Ludwig Stumpfegger.