MG is a service officer and now a senior corporate advisor. A prolific writer with thousands of articles and publisher of 6 novels.
Adolf Hitler is dead and gone but even now thousands are interested in how he lived and what he did. Of particular interest to historians all over the world are the last days of the Fuehrer when he was confined to his bunker in April 1945. The war was over, bar the shouting and the Soviet army was reaching the Reichstag and Hitler's bunker. At that momentous moment, the man who was in the bunker along with Hitler was his personal pilot Lieutenant General Hans Baur.
He was faithful to Hitler and remained in the bunker till the end when he was captured by the Russians. As he was Hitler's pilot he was singled out for special treatment but was finally released in 1955 and extradited to France. There he served another two years before being released in 1957 and allowed to go back to Germany.
Much of what we know about the events in the bunker in the last days of Hitler is based on the book written by Baur after he returned to West Germany in 1957. His autobiography Ich flog die Mächtigen der Erde (I flew the mighty of the earth) was published and translated all over the world. Baur who was born in 1897 was married three times and finally passed away in 1993.
He had a checkered career as an aviator. He was personally selected by Hitler as his pilot in 1933. He remained with him till 1945 and was captured from the bunker by the Russians. Hitler had given him the option to escape from the bunker at about the same time Hanna Reitschde had flown out but he stayed on and tried to persuade the leader to escape. Hitler refused and when he committed suicide Baur was one of the men who oversaw the burning of Hitler and Eva Braun's body.
In the bunker
From the diary of Hans Baur, we can glean that Hitler had taken a fatalistic decision not to leave Berlin. As he was Hitler's personal pilot, Baur was in the bunker as well. He observed the moods of Adolf Hitler as he faced up to the Russian onslaught. He mentions that Hitler never had any remorse for what he had done and overall he felt he had been betrayed by his generals.
He gives us a very interesting anecdote of the life of Hitler in the bunker. Sometimes he would come out and feed the squirrels in the Reich garden. He would give them nuts and the squirrels would come close to him. As per Baur just before Hitler went into his room and shot himself he presented a costly painting to him as a gift. He also told him that he had decided to kill himself and went inside the room to shoot himself.
Earlier Baur tried to persuade Hitler to leave the bunker. He told him that the whole world would accept him and in particular, he could find a safe haven in South America, and even the Arab Sheiks were favorably inclined to him would hide him and give him asylum. He told him that he had kept a Fieseler Fi 156 Storch light plane that could take off from one of the avenues ready to take him out. This was the same plane used by the famous aviator Hanna Reitsche to escape from the Bunker.
The Storch was a light plane that had the ability for short takeoff and landing. It had a stall speed of only 31 mph and was ideal to takeoff from the Tiergarten near the Brandenburg Gate. Baur told Hitler that he would fly him to Bavaria which was still under the control of the Germans and from there they would make a breakout to either the middle east or South America. Hitler refused but he told Baur that he better escape himself. He refused to leave Hitler and decided to only leave after Hitler shot himself. By then the road which was to be used as an airstrip was unusable and Baur had the mortification of being shot in both his legs and resulted in one of his legs being amputated in his attempt to escape.
Later he mentioned in his biography that he could not leave Hitler, as Hitler had been the best man at his wedding in 1940 after the death of his first wife. He claimed Hitler was his friend and at the same time he also mentioned that he had nothing to do with the political decisions of the Nazi party as his job was basically to fly Adolf Hitler.
He has described the morbid atmosphere and fear of the last days in the bunker with the Russians advancing inch by inch despite strong assistance by the German soldiers and their allies in particular the French.
Baur mentions that Hitler had a fear that the Russians would use gas bombs to flush him out of the bunker and before that happened he told him he would shoot himself dead.
Baur was the last man Hitler spoke to before he went inside the chamber to shoot himself.
Baur paid a heavy price for his loyalty to Hitler and with an amputated leg he was captured by the Russians who kept him in prison till 1955. His second wife died during his incarceration. Matters did not end there but after he was released by the Russians, he was imprisoned by the French for another two years and finally released in 1957. Baur married a third-time after coming back to Germany and his wife was with him till he passed away in 1993 because of old age. Baur had three children from his first two wives but overall he was a small man in the Nazi power structure. The Russians thought that they would be able to get a lot of vital information from him but the fact is he had nothing as his main job was only to fly. He was close to Hitler and he mentions that he wanted him to become a vegetarian but he did not convert.
One really wonders what would have happened if Hitler had accepted Baur's offer to escape in the small plane. There was every likelihood that he would have been successful. It would open the hornet's nest in case he had gone to Argentina or come under the control of some Arab Sheik. However, all this is in the realm of conjecture and the fact is that Adolf Hitler after the last meeting with Baur shot himself dead. However, conspiracy theories of his escape are still doing the rounds.
MG Singh (author) from UAE on March 06, 2021:
Bill, Its such a pleasure to read your comment.
Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on March 06, 2021:
Fascinating account of Hitler’s last days and hours. I was not familiar with the story of Hans Baur but you have peaked my interest. I will have to read his book. I love WWII history so I found this very interesting, thanks for sharing.
MG Singh (author) from UAE on March 06, 2021:
Tom, there is no doubt that Baur's account is more than what meets the eye. He's silent on a lot of things and one should not forget that he was extremely loyal to Adolf Hitler. He could have hidden the exact whereabouts of Hitler to save his boss. The Russians were pretty devious and they never divulged a lot of things. It was nice of you to comment.
tom on March 05, 2021:
baur was interrogated by russians,some say hitler escaped to argentina by submarine and died there ,eva brauns daughter still lives there,martin bormann helped hitler to settle,storch excellent vstol aircraft ,used by rommel,bunker had tunnels,baur in his book silent about hitlers escape,russians never showed hitlers skull,bones and body,bavaria national redoubt fortifications,
MG Singh (author) from UAE on March 05, 2021:
Thank you call Colvi for commenting. You are right, he has not mentioned anything in the book about his imprisonment in Russia and the reason could be that Russians did not treat him badly and he went into the custody when one of his legs have been amputated and they probably gave him good medical treatment as well.
Colvil D'souza on March 05, 2021:
This is a very interesting account of the last days of Hitler. I have read the book written by Hans Baur but what I find in the book is that he has not mentioned anything about his incarceration in Russia and that is a mystery to me. He spent 10 years as a Russian POW