1. The Last Days of War
On January 16th 1945, Hitler moved into his new house in the air-raid shelter in Berlin. The Führerbunker, as his bunker was called, would serve as a final refuge for him, his girlfriend Eva Braun and his dog Blondi. They were also joined by senior staff members Martin Bormann and Joseph and Magda Gobbels as well as their six children. 30 nurses were also with them in the bunker, one of which was Johanna Ruf. She would only speak about Hitler’s last days 70 years later.
2. Hitler Panics
The situation at that time was a disaster, the Soviet Red Army was closing in on the capital and Hitler knew the final battle of the war was about to happen, and it wouldn’t end in his favor. This caused Hitler a nervous breakdown on April 22nd, 1945; he was angry and enraged, and launched a tirade of orders against anyone he thought committed treason.
3. Cyanide & Gunshots
Hitler and Ava got married and lived as husband and wife for less than 40 hours. On April 30th, 1945, Hitler and Braun had lunch and then retired to Hitler’s underground study in his FührerBunker. Gunshots were hear at around 15:30, and Hitler was found by his valet in a pool of blood where he used his own gun to shoot himself in the head. Eva Braun was with him, her face indicating she had died from cyanide poisoning.
4. Controversy & Conspiracies
There are many conspiracies and theories surrounding Hitler’s death. Although most historians agree he died in his bunker and ordered for his body and Eva’s to be burned, a lot of mystery still surrounds this matter.
In fact, the skull fragments kept in Russia as Hitler’s remains were tested in 2009, and revealed to belong to a woman under 40. This sparked a lot of curiosity and only made people come up with more conspiracy theories.
5. Escape to Argentina
One of the biggest theories surrounding Hitler’s death or lack thereof is that he escaped to Argentina. Some even claim that there are many FBI documents and photos of Hitler in Argentina after his escape.
6. A Secret Bunker
Hitler was said to own a collection of secret bunkers, one of which in the south of France. Finding one of these bunkers would help in solving the mystery of Hitler’s death.
Many people have tried to find this secret bunker’s location, but to no avail. One day, Mark Askat; an urban explorer and fan of old WWII long forgotten about sites, came along an incredible discovery and recorded it all with his camera.
7. A Needle in a Haystack
Askat went to the south of France to do some digging, he looked and looked for what could be a mysterious WWII building.
Some locals pointed out to one particular building, according to rumors; it could be what Askat was looking for.
8. One Step Closer
After hiking and hiking in the forest, Askat finally found the building the locals had pointed him to. Once he figured out its exterior, his suspicions and the rumors were confirmed; it was indeed an abandoned fortress built by the Germans during WWII. And so, he went in.
9. The Key to the Secret
This bunker was gigantic, it was obviously very important to the Nazis. If historians and researchers are correct, this building could be a part of Hitler’s private collection of bunkers. He probably escaped here when tensions arose and war turned against him.
10. An Underground Network of Bunkers
Askat was inside a bunker known by the Nazis as the Führerhauptquartier Wolfsschlucht II during the war. There were a dozen other similar bunkers, and they served an important part in the Nazi’s hold on the Western Front.
Judging by the bunker’s size and underground network of tunnels and rooms, hundreds of German officers must’ve lived there during the war, hiding and planning their next move.
11. Secret Rooms
While exploring this massive bunker, Askat stumbled upon many underground rooms. Some were obviously meeting places or living quarters, but others weren’t so obvious; and their purpose even felt a little secretive.
Askat walked around taking pictures of every corner, but could he share his discoveries with the world?
12. Could Askat Share His Findings?
Askat ended up sharing his photographs and his discovery with the world, his purpose was after all to preserve history and make people remember it. However, he chose not to mention one little detail which is the bunker’s location in rural France; and the world went crazy for it.
13. Why Does It Remain a Secret?
Askat chose to keep the location of the bunker a secret because it now belongs to the French Foreign Legion. So when entering into the building, Askat was accidentally trespassing and he didn’t want others to make the same mistakes. Hence, he kept the location a secret.
14. More Secrets
A series of around 500 intact underground bunkers have been discovered since 2008. These bunkers were found in interesting locations, for example the Dutch coast where Nazis once reigned.
15. Serene Resort Turned Nazi Bunker City
Scheveningen was a Dutch fishing village and popoular seaside resort. When the Nazis arrived there in 1940, they started to impose their rules and restricted many things for the locals of the area.
In fact, around 135,000 locals were forced to leave their homes in order for thousands of troops to build their bunker complex.
16. An Unexpected Discovery
These last few years, the sands facing the North Sea shifted for the first time in seventy years. Something incredible happened then, the bunkers revealed themselves to the public, it turns out they were under the locals’ eyes during all this time.
17. Preserving the Pearls
After they have been discovered, Dutch ministry of defense architect Gustaaf Boissevain said: “We only have a few on these pearls, there are much more. It’s a real treasure.” 500 bunkers have been recovered so far out of the 900 ones, and they are currently being restored. It’s great treasure, one that will help researchers and historians understand what happened in that region.
18. Art as Resistance
Upon exploration of the tunnels, paintings on the walls were found. They were probably drawn by the Germans stationed in the bunkers, as a way to express their homesickness.
Fokke says: “They were really nice pictures, the soldiers wanted to make it a little more comfortable.” This art proved that despite the war and the blood shedding, these soldiers were people with normal lives before, and some even resisted the war.
19. Nazi Insignia & Aircraft
The walls of the bunkers were also adorned with the Nazi Eagle insignia. This sign meant the goal Hitler had in mind, to spread the eagle as far as possible.
Explorers also found other paintings and images hanging on the walls, this proved that the area had been untouched and remained intact for a long time.
20. Like a Phoenix Rising from the Ashes
Historians and enthusiasts of WWII are interested in preserving this Nazi buried secret. They plan on restoring and preserving the area that once housed and underground village of Nazi officers.
Bunk beds were recently constructed according to the standards of the Wehrmacht, which have been installed in parts of the complex for the public to visit and explore as a part of the foundation’s museum.
21. Better Late Than Never
At 88 years old, Johanna Ruf, one of the nurses in the bunker, decided to share her memories from when she was in the Führerbunker. Her memoir “Eine Backpfeife für den Kleinen Goebbels” (A Slap in the Face for the Young Goebbels) reveals some interesting details about Hitler’s last hours in the bunker, right before the Red Army broke through.
In her book, Ruf confirms that the bodies of Hitler and Eva were burned right as he had instructed.
It seems that the secrets of WWII are never too deep to be discovered.