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Berlin and the end of Nazi Germany.

30-04-2019

During the Battle of Berlin (16 April 1945 – 2 May 1945), Hitler and his staff lived in the underground Führerbunker , while the Red Army approached. On 30 April, when Soviet troops were one or two blocks away from the Reich Chancellery, Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun committed suicide in the Führerbunker. On 2 May General Helmuth Weidling Helmuth Weidling, 15 januari 1943  unconditionally surrendered Berlin to Soviet General Vasily Chuikov. Helmuth Weidling Weidling died on 17 November 1955, age 64, apparently in the custody of the KGB in Vladimir. KGB records listed the cause of death as “arterial and cardiac sclerosis along with circulatory collapse.” Hitler was succeeded by Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz as Reich President and Joseph Goebbels as Reich Chancellor. Goebbels and his wife Magda committed suicide the next day, after murdering their six children.

 

Helga Susanne, born 1 September 1932, Hildegard Traudel, born 13 April 1934, Helmut Christian born 2 October 1935, Holdine Kathrin, born 19 February 1937, Hedwig Johanna, born 5 May 1938 and Heidrun Elisabeth[, born 29 October 1940, Heidrun shared a birthday with her father. Rochus Misch

  described her as a “little flirt” and said she frequently joked with him in the bunker. “Heide” was four years old at the time of her death

On 4–8 May 1945 most of the remaining German armed forces surrendered unconditionally. The German Instrument of Surrender was signed 7 May, marking the end of World War II in Europe.

Suicide rates in Germany increased as the war drew to a close, particularly in areas where the Red Army was advancing. More than a thousand people (out of a population of around 16.000) committed suicide in the town of Demmin

  and around 1 May 1945 as the 65th Army of 2nd Belorussian Front 2gi białoruski.jpg first broke into a distillery and then rampaged through the town, committing mass rapes, arbitrarily executing civilians, and setting fire to buildings. High numbers of suicides took place in many other locations, including Neubrandenburg (600 dead), Stolp in Pommern (1.000 dead), and Berlin, where at least 7.057 people committed suicide in 1945. 

German casualties.

Estimates of the total German war dead range from 5.5 to 6.9 million persons. A study by German historian Rüdiger Overmars puts the number of German military dead and missing at 5.3 million, including 900.000 men conscripted from outside of Germany’s 1937 borders, in Austria, and in east-central Europe. Estimated in 2014 that in all about 353.000 civilians were killed by British and American bombing of German cities. An additional 20.000 died in the land campaign. Some 22.000 citizens died during the Battle of Berlin. Other civilian deaths include 300.000 Germans (including Jews) who were victims of Nazi political, racial, and religious persecution, and 200.000 who were murdered in the Nazi euthanasia program. Political courts called Sondergerichte, under jurist Roland Freisler, sentenced some 12.000 members of the German resistance to death, and civil courts sentenced an additional 40.000 Germans. Mass rapes of German women also took place.

At the end of the war, Europe had more than 40 million refugees, its economy had collapsed, and 70 percent of its industrial infrastructure was destroyed. Between twelve and fourteen million ethnic Germans fled or were expelled from east-central Europe to Germany . During the Cold War, the West German government estimated a death toll of 2.2 million civilians due to the flight and expulsion of Germans and through forced labour in the Soviet Union. This figure remained unchallenged until the 1990s, when some historians put the death toll at 500,000–600,000 confirmed deaths. In 2006 the German government reaffirmed its position that 2.0–2.5 million deaths occurred.

 

 

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