Item description for In the Bunker with Hitler: 23 July 1944-29 April 1945 by Bernd Freytag von Loringhoven...
Throughout the last nine months of the Third Reich, from 23 July 1944 to 29 April 1945, Captain Bernd Freytag von Loringhoven - aide-de-camp to Hitler's last two army chiefs of staff, the generals Heinz Guderian and Hans Krebs - daily attended Hitler's military briefings with his highest-ranking officers. Daily, too, he maintained contact by telephone or radio with commandants at the front, and often he himself transmitted to them Hitler's orders and the latest intelligence from the bunker. He also watched - while recording his experiences in his private logs - as increasingly the gap widened between the reality of the war outside the bunker and Hitler's willful illusions of imminent victory in the face of absolute ruin. In the last catastrophic week of Hitler's regime Loringhoven, now holed up night and day in the bunker, saw the final hopes of officers and staff dissolve into drink and fade into suicidal despair. He saw, too, his chance to survive: On April 29, when all communications in the bunker broke down, he could no longer do his work, and with Hitler's unexpected blessing, he left. On April 30 Hitler was dead.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.4" Width: 5.6" Height: 0.9" Weight: 0.8 lbs.
Release Date Jul 30, 2007
Publisher Pegasus Books
ISBN 1933648392 ISBN13 9781933648392
Availability 0 units.
More About Bernd Freytag von Loringhoven
Near the end of World War II Bernd Freytag von Loringhoven was appointed aide-de-camp to Hitler's headquarters and finally to the Berlin bunker, where he experienced the last nine months of the Third Reich. He died in 2007 in Munich.
Reviews - What do customers think about In the Bunker with Hitler: 23 July 1944-29 April 1945?
Treason All Around Hitler, Even in the Bunker Aug 13, 2008
THE TREASON SURROUNDING HITLER RAN DEEP
Having just finished the book published by Bernd Freytag von Loringhoven in 2005, In the Bunker with Hitler, apparently when he was 92 years old, I've found that this volume from the former aide-de-camp to Hitler's last two Army chiefs of staff, Heinz Guderian and Hans Krebs (from 23 July 1944 to 29 April 1945), contains only one real nugget that we did not already have from earlier sources.
On page 47, Loringhoven writes that "on 1 April 1944, Wessel had remarked to me that he felt he was being watched by the Gestapo ... we arranged to meet for strolls in the forest surrounding the headquarters. There it was that he mentioned to me the existence of a new plot against Hitler."
By not reporting this event to his superiors, Loringhoven, a member of the General Staff, violated a most basic trust in the officer corps of any military organization, of any nation.
Wessel was Loringhoven's cousin, and, after the 20 July assassination attempt on Hitler, he was sent, on the morning of 26 July to look for him. "I found him a kilometer away, lying dead, a pistol by his side ... My cousin ... had committed suicide."
"I denied everything, a credible position since nobody had seen me walking with my cousin Wessel ... It was only much later that I discovered that my cousin had provided Stauffenberg with the detonator."
Sadly, L., as a busy lower-ranking staff officer, must have had very, very little actual contact with the Fuehrer, even in the bunker. There are only one or two sentences of firsthand quotes in the entire book. L. does not recount very much, as firsthand oberservation of conversations, as an eye-witness. Much of the narrative reads as if simply copied and rewritten from Guderian's own early 1950's memoir. Still, an interesting addition to personal Third Reich home library collections.
A Legacy of Lies Nov 17, 2007
Freiherr von Freytag-Loringhoven lived a fascinating life. He joined the Wehrmacht in 1933 (under a commission to become an officer) just after the Nazis gained power. He spent the next 12 years involved in many of the most interesting aspects of World War II: including the invasion of Poland (as a staff member under Walter Wenck, who would later command the German 12th Army and become the focus of Hitler's famous "Where is Wenck?" calls at the end of the war), the invasion of France, and the invasion of the Soviet Union (working under Blitzkrieg specialist Heinz Guderian) where he eventually becomes promoted to major and in command of a tank battalion that is part of the troops encircled at Stalingrad (he escapes after he is selected to be flown out to take a message personally to Field Marshal Erich von Manstein essentially asking for immediate aid from von Manstein's, Army Group Don, for the imperiled Sixth Army of Paulus).
After the July 20, 1944 assassination plot against Hitler fails and the purge of the officer corps begins, Guderian is named Chief of the Army General Staff and Loringhoven his aide-de-camp. After Hitler sacks Guderian in a tumultuous row over Hitler's growing gap between fantasy and reality, Hans Krebs is appointed the new army chief of staff and Loringhoven remains on as aide-de-camp for Krebs. During this period Loringhoven dutifully fulfilled his duties, which included twice daily briefings with Hitler (and a wide assortment of top-ranking Wehrmacht officers and Nazi party officials) first at the Wolf's Lair in East Prussia and then, as the Soviets advance, at the Fuhrer's bunker under the Reich Chancellery in Berlin.
Loringhoven's reminiscences of these hectic times as aide-de-camp to Guderian and Krebs, where Loringhoven himself had to provide daily situation briefings assembled from intelligence reports from the front (at least when he could, toward the end he was reduced to compiling reports from radio newscasts by Reuters and BBC and by telephoning homes in Berlin to see if their sector had been overrun yet -- when a Russian answered the phone he didn't need to ask).
His book is a revealing look at the mindset of the rulers of the Third Reich, especially after he was invited to live in the bunker toward the end of April 1945 (an invitation he considered a death sentence, however, he is miraculously allowed to leave by Hitler the day before Hitler commits suicide). We do not learn much, however, that he has not already revealed before in countless interviews since the end of World War II, beginning with his interrogation by historian Hugh Trevor-Roper, who used the information he gleaned as a springboard for his seminal 1947 book, "The Last Days of Hitler."
We are reminded first-hand in Loringhoven's book of many things about these last days: for example, that the conversations and mindset of the people in the bunker during the last days were often farcical and absurd; that although Hitler was deluded and often angry he never screamed or foamed at the mouth, instead his rage was one of ice-cold and forceful aggression; that Hitler was obsessed with wreaking vengeance on all those responsible, however remotely, for the July 20 attempted assassination and this hampered his ability to govern; that drunkenness was a not uncommon means of avoiding contemplating the inevitable end (Loringhoven claims to have never seen any sexual orgies/dalliances attested to by others); that the news that Himmler had attempted to negotiate a peace hit Hitler like a psychological bomb.
All of this information is quite interesting. What I find disturbing is the author spent the 60 years before the publication of this book in denial. Denial about his intimate involvement in Nazism (the fact that he was vetted to work in the bunker after the July 20 assassination attempt speaks for itself), if not outright support, and denial of any knowledge about atrocities, including the murder of Jews and other innocent civilians.
For example, the author puts a clever spin on his joining the Wehrmacht in 1933: He states he originally wanted to be a lawyer but changed his mind when he found out that in order to be a lawyer he had to join the "ultra-conservative and anti-Semitic" Nazi party, so he joined the Wehrmacht because it did not require membership in the Nazi party, but at the time membership in any party for members of the Wehrmacht was forbidden so the fact it did not require membership in the Nazi party appears to be a flimsy excuse and the Wehrmacht itself was both "ultra-conservative and anti-Semitic", especially the officer corps of which he was a member.
In addition, he claims to have never heard anything about atrocities against the Jews until after the war, stating that while there were "rumors" of such things he did not even know the name of a single concentration camp and discussing such things was "taboo". I find this hard to believe as well and an almost incredible statement considering his wartime experiences in Poland, France, and the Soviet Union and, again, his association with the top leadership of the Nazi party the last nine months of the war when the killings of Jews and others actually accelerated and he was privy to conversations involving Speer and others who were indirectly, if not directly, responsible for the oversight of concentration camps used for slave labor.
Loringhoven had a chance to come clean in these memoirs (he died shortly after their publication) about these issues as well as provide some real background about his pre-bunker wartime experiences in Poland, France, and the Soviet Union. Because he chose not to, I give the book an overall 3-star rating (5 stars for its historical value regarding the goings on in the bunker and 1 star for the author's lack of candor).