Berger, Heinrich, born in 20-01-1905 in Berlin, was an enthusiastic stenographer from his youngest years and made his stenographer teacher examination already on age 17, but would receive the certificate first by age 20. He then studied civil law at the Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität in Berlin . He was appointed as stenographer candidate in the government of the Prussian district and from there assigned to the Reichstag government.
Berger as civilian was chosen since 1942 for the administration service around Hitler and had to join the conference on 20-07-1944 as a stenographer.
The conference took place in the wooden main room of Wolf’s Lair instead of the underground concrete bunker due to the hot weather. At around 12:30 as the conference began, Oberst der Panzertruppen, Graf Claus Schenck von Stauffenberg made an excuse to use a washroom in Wilhelm Keitel‘s office where he used pliers to crush the end of a pencil detonator inserted a 1 kilogram (2.2 lb) block of plastic explosive wrapped in brown paper, that was prepared by von Freytag-Loringhoven . Loringhoven committed suicide at Mauerwald in East Prussia age 42 on 26-07-1944.
Von Stauffenberg prepared the bomb which was slow going due to war wounds that had cost von Stauffenberg an eye, his right hand, and two fingers on his left hand. Interrupted by a guard knocking on the door that he had to hurry up. As Stauffenberg was disabled following the loss of his right hand and two fingers from his left hand, Major Ernst John von Freyend
, adjutant to Wilhelm Keitel, offered to carry it for him. Von Freyend survived the explosion and died age 70 on 24-03-1980. Von Stauffenberg at first refused, but then relented upon approaching the conference room and he asked von Freyend to put him as near as possible to Hitler so that ‘I catch everything the Führer says for my briefing afterwards’. Freyend placed the briefcase by the conference map table to the right of General Adolf Heusinger who was standing next to Hitler and von Stauffenberg adjusted its position. However, After a few minutes, von Stauffenberg received a planned telephone call and left the room. Heinz Brandt, wanting to get a closer look at a map on the table, re-positioned the briefcase farther away from Hitler on the other side of a thick table leg, thus unwittingly deflecting the blast from Hitler but causing his own death with the loss of one of his legs when the bomb detonated. Seven minutes later, between 12:40 and 12:50 the bomb exploded, demolishing the conference room. Three officers and Berger were seriously injured and died soon after. Hitler survived, as did everyone else who was shielded from the blast by the conference table leg Hitler’s hair was scorched, his right arm was temporarily paralyzed, his right leg was ugly burned, his eardrums were torn, and he was totally dazed. The vibrations he suffered, a symptom of his nervous condition, became even more serious. He also had a few burns and torn pants. His first reaction was anger because his new pants were destroyed. His second reaction was to order the SD to break all connections with the outside world; nobody was allowed to know what had happened.
Heinrich Berger, number 11 on the drawing, was wounded the most bad of all. His friend and colleague, the second civilian stenographer, Heinz Buchholz pulled him from the table. He had lost both his legs, they couldn’t stop the bleeding and he died soon after.
Hitler’s trousers were singed and tattered and he suffered from a perforated eardrum, as did most of the other 24 people in the room. Had the second block of explosive been used, it is probable that everyone present would have been killed. More then twenty were injured, a ten seriously and only 4 were killed in the room. Generaloberst Günther Korten age 45, and Oberst Heinz Jürgen Brandt , age 37, Aide de camp to General Adolf Heusinger and General Rudolf Schmundt
age 48, Chief of the Army Staff Office. Also heavenly injured was Leutnant Heinrich Borgmann,
who was first posted to Eastern Front and was awarded the Oak Leaves to the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross on 11-02-1942 when serving with Infanterie-Regiment 46. He was promoted to major and appointed to the Army Staff at Adolf Hitler’s headquarters as an adjutant in October 1943 and was then promoted to Oberstleutnant. Borgmann survived with serious injuries. After recovering he was posted to an infantry division as an Oberst. He was appointed commander of the Volksgrenadier-Division “Scharnhorst”. with the 12th Army under command of General der Panzertruppe Walther Wenck.
The division was named after Gerhard Johann David Waitz von Scharnhorst (1755 – 1813), a General in Prussian service. As the Chief of the Prussian General Staff, he was noted for his military theories, his reforms of the Prussian army, and his leadership during the Napoleonic Wars.
Borgmann was killed during a low-level air attack on his staff car in 05-04-1945, age 32. Berger was married with Hertha and had three children. Wolfgang, Brigitta und Dorothea. Hertha a Christian women like her husband refused a national socialistic state funeral and as he was a civil worker the family didn’t receive any state payment like the three killed officers. His daughter Dorethea was 2 years old when her father died.
Heinz Berger is buried with his wife Hertha, who died 39 years later on 02-04-1993, age 84, on the cemetery of Ströbitz, a suburb of Cottbus.