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Escaping Hitler's Bunker (Hardback)

The Fate of the Third Reich's Leaders

WWII Frontline Books Photographic Books Colour Books Hitler & the Third Reich Frontline: WWII Military

By Sjoerd J De Boer
Frontline Books
Pages: 216
Illustrations: 368 colour illustrations
ISBN: 9781526792693
Published: 11th August 2021

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As the Soviet troops fought their way ever closer to the Reich Chancellery in the final days of the Third Reich, deep underground in Hitler’s bunker fateful decisions were being made. Hitler and some of those closest to him resolved to commit suicide, whilst others sought to try and escape. But who did manage to slip past the Russian soldiers and reach freedom? How did they escape, and what routes did they take through the ruined streets of Berlin? Equally, what became of those who escaped, where did they go, and what happened to those who did not get away?

All of these questions are answered in this book. Following years of research in Berlin, the author has been able to identify the various groups and individuals that left the bunker and has traced the paths taken by those who escaped and those that perished.

The final days in Hitler’s bunker are revealed in atmospheric detail, as the Red Army closed in and the inevitable end loomed menacingly nearer with the passing of every hour. Many notable persons, such as Bormann, Speer, Göring and Hanna Reitsch, went to say a last farewell to the Führer, while others, such as Goebbels, prepared themselves for suicide rather than being taken prisoner by the Russians.

By using first-hand testimony from those who survived, photographs of the devastated German capital in 1945, as well as images of the various routes that the escapers followed through Berlin as they appear today, the author explores the last moments of the Third Reich in startling clarity.

"A super glossy book, filled with colour photos of the locations as they are today, and mono ones of what they looked like at the time, this is your guide to the last days in the Fuhrerbunker and what happened to to the leaders of the Third Reich...the real interest is what happened after Hitler's suicide. Here you can follow the Nazi rats as they fled the sinking ship, making this a fascinating account of the downfall of those in power."

The Armourer Magazine, December 2021

This work is by a Dutch historian with an interest in the main German personalities still close to Hitler at the end of WWII. This work concentrates on the last few days of Hitler, his Berlin bunker, and those who remained with him during the days leading to the bitter end of the war. During this period, Hitler was still surrounded by his personal staff, from cleaners and cooks to his personal telephone operator, his stenographers and secretaries, his guards, his chosen ministers with, in some cases, their families and a range of military officers including a number of his senior generals. The total number in the bunker must have exceed a hundred individuals, all of whom could see their final days slipping away as the Russians entered Berlin and began to seal off Hitler’s bunker.

The account presents the reader with an air of approaching doom as Hitler and a number of his staff openly talked of their suicide – rather than be taken prisoner by the Russians. Yet many escaped and evaded the approaching Russians. So a majority of Hitler’s staff either obtained permission to depart or slipped away. A number were given Hitler’s personal assistance in the form of transport out of the city center and even to the two airports still open to the Luftwaffe. As the Russian net tightened such escapes became increasingly difficult and dangerous. The author then lists these escapees and their method and routes of escape, all of which make for fascinating reading.

For this reviewer, the book was of special interest having served in Berlin in the early 1960s when the routes and locations described were still much as they were post WWII, including access into Hitler’s bunker before it was built over.

A well researched and detailed work which will be of interest to the many followers of such new material.

Adrian Greaves - The Anglo-Zulu War Historical Society

This book is a fascinating book looking at the final days of the end of the Third Reich, it looks predominantly at the days and activities going on inside the Hitler bunker. It looks at the people involved from the Nazi leaders, to the wives, girlfriends, but also their staff and probably what you would call their civil service. I really enjoyed reading the text in the book and especially the little boxes that explained what happened and what the outcome was for each individual.

Read the full review here

UK Historian

'Escaping Hitler's Bunker' describers the fear and plotting of political and military leaders, trapped in Hitler's bunker, unable to flee until Hitler commits suicide. As the Russian troops battled with German soldiers in the nearby ruins, female secretarial staff, doctors, nurses, and Hitler's private pilot gathered in groups, waiting to leave and fearful of their treatment if captured by Russian troops. Hitler commits suicide, and in their groups, flee through the ruins, across dead soldiers, shell shattered government buildings and the constant noise of gunfire. The well-illustrated 'ESCAPING HITLER'S BUNKER' is a page turner, giving the reader a glimpse of the fear gripping the leaders of the Third Reich, and the fate of escape parties.

Richard Gough - Historian, writer, author of the Escape from Singapore, The jungle was Red, Outpost of the Empire, SOE Singapore 1941-42. Waiting publication Tony Poe, CIA Paramilitary in SE Asia.

Featured on Traces of War

Traces of War

"Most interesting are DeBoer’s burrowing into the minds of those determine to live in order to read their thoughts about how they would achieve impossible escape."

ARGunners.com

This work is an excellent summation of the masses of information, much first-hand testimony garnered over the years since 1945 and is a fitting conclusion to the saga of the last days of Hitler and the Third Reich.

Martin Willoughby, Chairman of the Wessex Branch of the Western Front Association

About Sjoerd J De Boer

SJOERD J. DE BOER is a Dutch historian and author of books on Adolf Hitler and the Second World War. For his publications and website, he regularly visits historical sites across Europe relating to Hitler and the Third Reich era. As well as specializing in the Nazi history of Munich, Berlin and the Obersalzberg, Sjoerd has also concentrated on Hitler’s service in Belgium and northern France during the First World War. He is the founder of the English-language website www.hitlerpages.com.

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