The last will and testament of Adolf Hitler was dictated by Hitler to his secretary Traudl Junge in his Berlin Führerbunker on April 29, 1945, the day he and Eva Braun married. They committed suicide the next day (April 30), three days before the surrender of Berlin to the Soviets on May 2, and just over a week before the end of World War II in Europe on May 8. It consisted of two separate documents, a will and a political testament.
- It acknowledged his marriage—but does not name Eva Braun—and that they choose death over disgrace of deposition or capitulation; and that their bodies were to be cremated.
- His art collection is left to "a gallery in my home town of Linz on Donau".
- Objects of "sentimental value or is necessary for the maintenance of a modest simple life" went to his relations and his "faithful co-workers" such as secretary Frau Winter.
- Whatever else of value he possessed went to the National Socialist German Workers Party.
- Martin Bormann was nominated as the will's executor.
Template:Wikisource The last political testament was signed at the same time as Hitler's last will, 4:00 am on April 29, 1945. The first part of the testament is a restatement of the political position and justifications which he had stated many times before. His intention to commit suicide soon after writing the testament and the imminent destruction of the Third Reich did not alter his political position. The second part lays out Hitler's intentions for the government of Germany and the Nazi Party after his death. Also included in the testament are several statements that he did not want to instigate war with other nations and blamed Jews for the war.
The second part dealt with the question of who was to succeed him. Hitler had designated Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring as his successor in the event of his death, but expelled him from the party and canceled his succession rights for asking permission to take over a few days earlier. Instead, Hitler named Grossadmiral Karl Dönitz as President of the Reich and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. Reichsführer-SS and Interior Minister Heinrich Himmler was also expelled from the party for attempting to negotiate a peace deal with the Allies without Hitler's permission. Hitler accused Göring and Himmler of betraying him and bringing "irreparable shame on the whole nation" by negotiating with the Allies.
Hitler appointed the following as the new Cabinet and as "leaders of the nation":
- President of the Reich (Reichspräsident), Minister of War (Kriegsminister) and Commander-in-Chief of the Navy (Oberbefehlshaber der Kriegsmarine): Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz
- Chancellor of the Reich (Reichskanzler): Dr. Joseph Goebbels
- Party Minister (Parteiminister): Martin Bormann
- Foreign Minister (Aussenminister): Arthur Seyss-Inquart
- Interior Minister (Innenminister): Gauleiter Paul Giesler
- Commander-in-Chief of the Army (Oberbefehlshaber des Heeres): Field Marshal Ferdinand Schörner
- Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force (Oberbefehlshaber der Luftwaffe): Field Marshal Robert Ritter von Greim
- Reichsführer-SS and Chief of Police (Reichsführer-SS und Chef der Deutschen Polizei): Gauleiter Karl Hanke
- Minister of Economy (Wirtschaft): Walter Funk
- Minister of Agriculture (Landwirtschaft): Herbert Backe
- Minister of Justice (Justiz): Otto Thierack
- Minister of Culture (Kultus): Dr. Gustav Adolf Scheel
- Minister of Propaganda (Propaganda): Dr. Werner Naumann
- Minister of Finance (Finanzen): Johann Ludwig Graf Schwerin von Krosigk
- Minister of Labour (Arbeit): Dr. Theo Hupfauer
- Minister of Munitions (Rüstung): Karl-Otto Saur
- Director of the German Labour Front and member of the Cabinet (Leiter der Deutschen Arbeitsfront und Mitglied des Reichskabinetts: Reichsminister) Dr. Robert Ley
On the afternoon of 30 April, about a day and a half after he signed his last will and testament, Hitler committed suicide.
In his book The Bunker, James O'Donnell, after comparing the wording of Hitler's last testament to the writings and statements of both Hitler and Joseph Goebbels, concluded that Goebbels was at least partly responsible for helping Hitler to write it. Junge claimed Hitler was reading from notes when he dictated the testament; since Hitler could barely write by this stage.
Death of the witnessesEdit
All four witnesses to the political testament died shortly afterwards. Goebbels and his wife committed suicide. Burgdorf and Krebs committed suicide together on the night of May 1 – May 2 in the bunker. Bormann's exact time and place of death remain uncertain; his remains were discovered near the site of the bunker in 1972 and identified by DNA analysis in 1998. Therefore, he was most likely killed the same night trying to escape from the Führerbunker.
- ↑ Martin Bormann – in one of the groups attempting to escape from the bunker – managed to cross the Spree. He was reported to have died a short distance from the Weidendammer bridge, his body was seen and identified by Arthur Axmann who followed the same route.(Antony Beevor Berlin: The Downfall 1945, Penguin Books, 2002, ISBN 0-670-88695-5. p.383)
- Adolf Hitler's Final Political Testament in English Source: United States, Office of United States Chief of Counsel for Prosecution of Axis Criminality, Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, 8 vols. and 2 suppl. vols. (Government Printing Office, Washington, 1946–1948), VI, 259–263, Doc. No. 3569-PS. (backup site)
- Adolf Hitlers Testaments (in German, Text and Pictures).
- The German version of the testament includes the fifteen other names only noted as "Here follow fifteen others" in the English versions of the testament listed in the Reference section.
- The Death of Hitler explains why Hitler had fallen out with Goering.
- Hitler's Will bringing to light Hitler's personal and political testaments.
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