Death of Adolf Hitler – A Burning Desire
It was 70 years ago today that the world was finally blessed with the death of the leader of Nazi Germany; Adolf Hitler. A name which needs no introduction as he is possibly the most famous person in the world… for damaging the very fabric of a multicultural world. However, despite the circumstances, there is no denying that the death of Adolf Hitler was a key event of world history and therefore I consider it a topic of discussion. This article will be detailing the death of Adolf Hitler, however I haven’t left myself that much time but I’ll do my best, most of my past studies of Nazi Germany have mainly been from 1933 when Hitler became Chancellor to the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939. The Second World War is therefore quite a gap of knowledge I should really learn more about and that is what I’ll be doing today. This article will be covering the German situation and Hitler’s situation, the nature of the deaths and the reaction of Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich’s demise, I will be adding a section on historical perspectives but that will not be realised until later in the year.
As you have probably read, Benito Mussolini was executed on 28 April 1945 and it was the next day that Hitler learned of his demise, Italian partisans had lay waste to Hitler’s Italian ally. The Russians were also bearing down towards Berlin and the Germany army was completely over matched. While Hitler was hiding in his Fuhrerbunker his ”1000 year Reich” was collapsing right above him. The reason I chose the title was simply because Heinz Linge and Martin Bormann doused the Fuhrer’s body with petrol and lit the fire with thick rolls of paper. The subheadings will consist of the current situation and Hitler’s hiding, the suicide, and initial reactions from the allies and the German people.
The German Problem
Following the decision to push through to the east towards Russia by Germany was probably the worst decision ever to be made by a nation. Hitler’s desire to conquer the east was a display or arrogance of his Aryan Race which left the army doomed by the mass numbers of the red army and the difficult weather conditions as the army trundled north towards Stalingrad. The German forces were eventually pushed back west and by early 1945 the German military situation was on the verge of total collapse and Poland had fallen to the advancing Soviet forces.
Knowing the opposing Soviet forces were closing in on the East side of Berlin and realising his Third Reich was disintegrating around him he decided to retreat to his Fuhrerbunker on 16 January 1945, it would be in Berlin where the final battle would take place and when the war is won or lost but it was clear to many members of the Nazi leadership that there demise was swiftly coming. The Soviet forces were preparing to capture Berlin and as the evidence suggests once this objective was achieved was to integrate a socialist political and economic stance to the citizens of Germany. Political discussions regarding the conclusion of the war were also taking place as it was clear to the allies that Germany would fall so plans were discussed during the Yalta Conference in February on the conditions regarding Germany’s surrender and post war plans.
By mid-April, the Americans were drawing closer to the city via the Elbe and the Soviets had crossed the Oder from the east and the battle for the Seelow Heights had initiated which was the last major German defensive line protecting Berlin from the east. The German army was completely out-manned and out-gunned but the Soviet forces did experience heavy casualties but their numbers were so great that hindrance caused by the swampy ground still left the German forces surrounded and outnumbered. Hitler decided to remain in his bunker for the remainder of the war, he left very rarely (most notably to decorate a squadron of the Hitler Youth), illustrating how desperate Hitler had become with children fighting as the Germany army.
While in the bunker the knowledge of his own fate was clearly taking a toll on Hitler and his mental stability. It is well documented that Hitler was beginning to lose his mind while in the bunker and more interestingly he was beginning to issue military orders for squadron’s of the Germany army which did not exist. This nervous collapse was further hindered when Hitler realised that some of his orders, (most notably Felix Steiner’s Army Detachment Steiner), Steiner had refused to attack knowing full well his that is exhausted military units did not have the capacity for a successful counter-attack and therefore refused. This was a key moment, as it was this which helped illustrate the situation of the falling Third Reich to Hitler himself, following this he decided to stay in Berlin until the end and planned to shoot himself after he culminated in a declaration of the treachery and incompetence of his commanders on 22 April 1945.
By 27 April 1945 Berlin had been cut off from the rest of Germany and all secure radio communications with defending units had been lost and therefore those in the bunker had to rely on telephone communications which were easily intercepted but all these factors did not matter, Hitler and the rest of the bunker new their fate. On 29 April 1945 all the defences of Berlin that remained had either been defeated or encircled. Along by his side since Hitler entered the bunker was his wife, whom he married only two days before they both committed suicide, and his long time canine companion, Blondi.
Hitler was warned by his officers that the Soviet forces were only a day or two from reaching the bunker and this left Hitler with very few options, his officers urged him to escape to a small town in the Bavarian Alps called Berchtesgaren which Hitler owned a home. However knowing full well he would eventually be found and captured, he chose suicide. It is widely believed that in order to test the potency of the Cyanide capsules they were first tested on his dog Blondi to ensure their reliability. Accordingly, both he and his wife swallowed cyanide capsules and Hitler also shot himself with his service pistol. Witnesses had reported hearing a loud gunshot at about 15:30 on 30 April 1945. Hitler was informed by his doctor that swallowing a cyanide capsule followed by a gunshot to the head would prove most effective. Cyanide proved a popular tool for Germany soldiers who wanted to avoid being publicly persecuted for their crimes against humanity. This is most notable when one of Hitler’s most notable Nazi leaders; Hermann Goering committed suicide by consuming a cyanide pill after being sentenced to death by hanging at the Nuremberg Trials.
The bodies of Hitler and Eva were carried up to the ground level to the garden behind the Reich Chancellery, they were then doused with petrol and set alight. The bodies were lit for over two hours and it did not even destroy the remains. It was on this day that the world had rid of the great dictator which attempted to grasp the world of its dignity and destroy the very fabric of humanity through backward views illustrated in his book… Mein Kampf. Stalin was informed of Hitler suicide just 13 hours after the event and he ordered that Hitler’s corpse be found as proof following the demand for the German army’s unconditional surrender. The remains were later recovered in part by Russian troops on 2 May but it was not until 1956 that the German court officially declared Hitler dead.
Different versions of Hitler’s fate were presented by the Soviet Union according to its political desires. In the years immediately following 1945, the Soviets maintained Hitler was not dead, but had fled and was being shielded by the former western allies. This tactic illustrated the hostilities between Russia and the Western allies following the end of the Second World War and the road to the long political Cold War. The corpses of Hitler and Eva were thoroughly burned but not completely and luckily the remains of Hitler’s lower jaw remained in tact which allowed the identification of the remains to be confirmed as that of Adolf Hitler’s.
Website Plans for the Future – 2015
This post is literally to provide you guys with a brief description and dates of any website plans, following posts, and articles I will be releasing. Most of them will be corresponding to important anniversaries of events and therefore expect a lot of posts of the same theme from other websites. This is something I am thoroughly excited as since I’ve started my new job it allows me to plan my hobby ahead and that is giving you people decent insightful articles to read, I hope you will enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them. However, it is a tall order to ask of one person so if anyone would like to contribute then please drop me an email, the details will be at the bottom of the article and if you have any ideas or want to write an article yourself then don’t be afraid to get in contact as I welcome third party members.
I’ll try my best to stick with the plan, however I do not know how busy I will be but it will help to post a plan to let you guys know as well as myself when to produce and release my articles. Because we are coming across many Centennial anniversaries of events during the First World War then as you may have guessed many of the articles will be based on them. This article will experience many updates and changes if I think of any more articles to write.
Timeline of Future Articles for 2015
25/05/2015 – The Phantom Punch: Years of Evidence
This article will look back at the second fight between Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston, a fight most famously known for the ‘phantom punch’, the article will compile evidence and debates regarding whether Sonny Liston really did throw in the towel.
15/06/2015 – The Magna Carta: The Great Charter
On this date 800 years ago, the Magna Carta was agreed by King John of England and therefore put into practice, this article will attempt to cover the context of the legislation and provide leads and links to individuals who want to compile their own opinion of this famous legislation.
18/06/2015 – Battle of Waterloo: Strategy and Tactics
200 years ago the Battle of Waterloo took place in Belgium between the Seventh Coalition and France. This article will look back in commemoration and the strategy and tactics used in warfare, it will hopefully provide a different lens to look through than previous articles I have written.
06/08/2015 – The Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
This article will look at the events surrounding the difficult decision to drop the first and only nuclear weapons on an enemy. It was a demonstration of sheer power used to put an end to the war and deter the Soviet Union then on and therefore initiated the nuclear arms race.
22/08/2015 – The Two Faced Romanticising of Richard III
This article will explore the life of Richard and go into significant depth of why this controversial king holds a tough grip on those of the United Kingdom. I will analyse his short life, the Princes of the Tower, his handicaps and finally the discovery of his remains and his reburial in Leicester Cathedral.
21/09/2015 – Dick Turpin and the Essex Gang
This article will look at Dick Turpin’s time within the Essex Gang, before the years of his Highwayman exploits. It will cover his activities while he was in the gang as well as his early life, further articles may be produced that illustrate Turpin’s later life as I do find him an interesting character.
05/11/2015 – Guy Fawkes Night – Romanticising Villains
This article will look at the Gunpowder Plot and the romanticising of the individuals (obviously the most notable and prominent is Guy Fawkes) and the article will mainly look at the aftermath and festivities following the events of the Gunpowder Plot, I mean why would an attack on the House of Lords be romanticised?
27/11/2015 – Welcome to the Machine
Pink Floyd were founded 50 years ago in late 1965 and I decided I wanted to write an article on their history and why I believe thy deserve a place on this website like they deserve a place in my heart. The title plays homage to a track on their 1975 album; Wish You Were Here and their unique and mellow sound has helped me through so many essay and revision sessions than I care to admit.
The Armenian Genocide – Shedding Light to a Great Tragedy
A Few Words…
Before I start getting to the topic at hand, I just want apologise for my slacking over the past week, many anniversaries of key events throughout the week have happened, most notably two tragic events had happened 100 years ago such as the Armenian Genocide and the Gallipoli Campaign. Both tragic events which saw the deaths of many and are topics which I will be commemorating over the next few days. Another article I will be producing is of the opposite spectrum as the 70th anniversary of the death of Hitler is quickly approaching and I will be covering the mysteries, disputes and debates which have centred around the Austrian tyrant.
The Armenian Genocide
Until now, the Armenian Genocide has been something I haven’t known much about, in a time during the First World War as we know an event so massive pretty much covers all aspects of those years between 1914 and 1918. Despite my ignorance I thought I should look it up and do a little research to commemorate the lives lost from the sick decision taken by the Ottoman Government at the time for systematic extermination of its minority Armenian subjects inside their historic homeland, which lies within the territory constituting the present-day Republic of Turkey. The Ottoman Empire did actually enter the First World War and joined the central powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria). While this was happening, the empire’s Armenians were deported from Eastern Anatolia to Syria as part of the Armenian Genocide. As a result, approximately 800,000 to 1.5 million were killed. Other indigenous and Christian ethnic groups were targeted by the Ottoman empire such as the Assyrians and the Ottoman Greeks and their treatment was considered by many historians to be under the same genocidal policy that the Armenians were victims of. The article will briefly cover the context of the Armenian Genocide and the main perpetrator, Talaat Pasha.
Prelude to the Genocide
The Young Turk Movement
The Ottoman Empire had reigned supreme in this areas for many centuries and it was until around 1908 that a step was taken for the hope for equality to be materialised under the banner, the Young Turk Movement. The goal was to reform administration of the perceived decadent state of the Ottoman Empire and modernise it to European standards. Although the movement combined to produce an anti-government established, it was in fact made out of two distinct groups which although shared the anti-government values of the Ottoman Empire, views differed in many aspects, one were the liberal constitutionalists and the others were the nationalists, the former was accepting of the Armenian issues and the other… not so much.
Following Government Reactions
It was this that initially led to the turmoil that would happen less than a decade later and following events included violent government reactions such as the Adana Massacre of 1909. The Young Turk Movement saw the birth of a revolutionary movement aimed to disband the government called the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP), the Committee was behind a wave a mutinies against the government and it was groups like this which caused the government to crack down on what they perceived to be enemies of the state. The Adana Massacre was simply a reactionary movement of those sympathetic and supportive of the empire. The movement initially targeted those of the Young Turk Movement but this process spilled over to Armenians who they considered to also support a restoration of the constitution. The Ottoman Army was called in and their violent approach showed the brutality of the empire, instead of trying to quell the violence in defence, they chose to suppress and pillage Armenian enclaves. The Adana Massacre therefore had an estimated Armenian death count of around 15,000 to 30,000.
This event is crucial in beginning the victimisation process of the Armenian people, the preceding events help show the context of the genocide that even now the Turkish government and following others tend to tone down. The beginning was an atypical reactionary movement to those revolutionary groups hoping to overthrow an outdated repressive government which threatened the safety of all of those who don’t agree with the politics of the Ottoman Empire.
Deportation of Armenian Intellectuals
This is considered the real beginning of the Armenian Genocide and the first true step of the sick genocidal campaign. It was basically the removal of the leaders of the Armenian community within the Ottoman Capital and later other locations, the individuals were arrested and then taken to holding centres near Ankara. The order was taken by the interior minister of the Ottoman Empire, Talaat Pasha and as a result he is widely considered to be the main perpetrator of the Armenian Genocide. This initially took place on 24 April, 1915 and on the first night around 235 to 270 Armenian intellectuals were arrested. By the end, the total was up to 2,345 and these individuals were relocated within the Ottoman Empire and many of them were eventually killed, signalling the beginning of the Armenian Genocide. Many historians and me included saw the removal of leaders and intellectuals as a way of depriving the Armenians with any true resistance, the Ottoman government began from the top to remove any potential resistance and therefore leaving the rest of the Armenian population to ponder the risks of their future without guidance.
A day of remembrance was issues on 24 April following the day that marked the beginning of the deportation of Armenian intellectuals. The first commemoration was held on 24 April, 1919 and is there to commemorate the individuals who fell victim to the cruel actions of the Ottoman Empire. Luckily Talaat Pasha died not long after in 1921, the deaths of millions are rested on his shoulders and his barbaric nature has been quoted as he’s reported to have said:
”I have accomplished more toward solving the Armenian problem in three months than Abdulhamid II accomplished in thirty years!” (Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story).
Operation Nemesis was the codename deemed for the covert operation of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation with the task of assassinating the key Ottoman military and political figures who were key parts for the deportation and genocide of the Armenian population. Some even considered Talaat Pasha to the main target, especially the leader of the group; Shahan Natalie who dubbed Pasha as the primary target ”Number One.” His assassin was Soghomon Tehlirian, an Armenian survivor who was tasked to hand himself to the law following the assassination and he was found not guilty following the nature of his victim.
The massacres of the Armenian genocides saw a variety of horrific ways to die, writing this part makes me shudder and the victims we given no remorse or respectful deaths, instead the scumbag Ottoman Empire chose mass burnings, drowning of individuals, drug overdoses and poisoning. This information was found through the testifying of witnesses of these actions against the Armenian population. I actually read this through the wiki page, although not really a reliable source, it does contain legitimate references, click HERE for the link.
Recognition of the Genocide
I was actually shocked to realise that Turkey does not recognise the actions against the Armenians as genocide. This cause many of the Armenian population to push for formal recognition of the genocide within other European countries. There are still issues with who considers it a genocide, Barack Obama for example never formally recognised the events as genocide and has abstained from using the word ”genocide.” On 24 April, 2015, the German parliament overwhelmingly adopted the resolution recognising the Genocide. In my opinion and after a bit more reading I consider the events within the Ottoman Empire as Genocide against the Armenian population, the Ottoman Empire were afraid of revolutionary trends within the Empire and acted as most repressive government know how, with violence. The events that took place should not be forgotten and I hope if some people who read my basic view of the Genocide will learn more of the events that took place and recognise the great tragedy. These times witnessed the cruel cleansing from a fear of revolution. Fortunately the empire was defeated in the First World War and witnessed a drastic change in politics for the benefit of humanity, and those responsible were rightly assassinated and laid waste on the streets under Operation Nemesis.