Martin Bormann

Martin Bormann

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Martin Ludwig Bormann was a prominent Nazi official. He became head of the Party Chancellery (Parteikanzlei) and private secretary to Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

. He gained Hitler's trust and derived immense power within the Third Reich by controlling access to the Führer
Führer
Führer , alternatively spelled Fuehrer in both English and German when the umlaut is not available, is a German title meaning leader or guide now most associated with Adolf Hitler, who modelled it on Benito Mussolini's title il Duce, as well as with Georg von Schönerer, whose followers also...

and by regulating the orbits of those closest to him.

Early life and family


Born in Wegeleben
Wegeleben
Wegeleben is a town in the district of Harz, in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It is situated on the river Bode, east of Halberstadt. It is part of the Verbandsgemeinde Vorharz. The town was the birthplace of Martin Bormann in 1900. It has a station on the Magdeburg–Thale railway....

 (now in Saxony-Anhalt
Saxony-Anhalt
Saxony-Anhalt is a landlocked state of Germany. Its capital is Magdeburg and it is surrounded by the German states of Lower Saxony, Brandenburg, Saxony, and Thuringia.Saxony-Anhalt covers an area of...

) in the Kingdom of Prussia
Kingdom of Prussia
The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom from 1701 to 1918. Until the defeat of Germany in World War I, it comprised almost two-thirds of the area of the German Empire...

 in the German Empire
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

, Bormann was born to a Lutheran family, the son of Theodor Bormann (1862–1903), a post office employee, and his second wife, Antonie Bernhardine Mennong. He had two half-siblings (Else and Walter Bormann) from his father's earlier marriage to Louise Grobler, who died in 1898. Antonie Bormann gave birth to three sons, one of whom died in infancy. Martin (born 1900) and Albert
Albert Bormann
Albert Bormann was a NSKK officer, who rose to the rank of Gruppenführer during World War II. He was an adjutant to Adolf Hitler. Albert was the younger brother of Martin Bormann.-Biography:...

 (born 1902) survived to adulthood.

Bormann dropped out of school to work on a farm in Mecklenburg
Mecklenburg
Mecklenburg is a historical region in northern Germany comprising the western and larger part of the federal-state Mecklenburg-Vorpommern...

. He served in an artillery regiment in the last days of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, but never saw action. He then became an estate manager in Mecklenburg, which brought him into contact with the Freikorps
Freikorps
Freikorps are German volunteer military or paramilitary units. The term was originally applied to voluntary armies formed in German lands from the middle of the 18th century onwards. Between World War I and World War II the term was also used for the paramilitary organizations that arose during...

residing on the estate. He took part in their activities, mostly in assassination
Assassination
To carry out an assassination is "to murder by a sudden and/or secret attack, often for political reasons." Alternatively, assassination may be defined as "the act of deliberately killing someone, especially a public figure, usually for hire or for political reasons."An assassination may be...

s and the intimidation of trade union
Trade union
A trade union, trades union or labor union is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with...

 organisers.

On 17 March 1924, Bormann was sentenced to a year in prison as an accomplice to his friend Rudolf Höss in the murder of Walther Kadow
Walther Kadow
Walther Kadow was a German school teacher who was murdered by Rudolf Höss and accomplices in May 1923 in the forest near Parchim. Kadow was a communist, and was suspected of having betrayed German nationalist Albert Leo Schlageter to the French occupation authorities in the Ruhr. Schlageter was...

, who they thought had betrayed Freikorps Albert Leo Schlageter
Albert Leo Schlageter
Albert Leo Schlageter was a member of the German Freikorps. His activities sabotaging French occupying troops after World War I led to his arrest and eventual execution by French forces. His death created an image of martyrdom around him, which was cultivated by German nationalist groups, in...

 to the French during the occupation of the Ruhr District.

On 2 September 1929, Bormann married 19-year-old Gerda Buch, whose father, Major Walter Buch
Walter Buch
Walter Buch was a German jurist and SS-Obergruppenführer war criminal, as well as being Martin Bormann's father in law.-Life:...

, served as a chairman of the Nazi Party Court. Bormann had recently met Hitler, who agreed to serve as a witness at their wedding. Gerda Bormann would give birth to 10 children; one died shortly after birth.

The children of Martin and Gerda Bormann were:
  • Adolf Martin Bormann
    Martin Adolf Bormann
    Martin Adolf Bormann is the eldest of ten children of Martin Bormann and the godson of Adolf Hitler.-Early life:...

     (born 14 April 1930; called Krönzi; named after his godfather Adolf Hitler
    Adolf Hitler
    Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

    )
  • Ilse Bormann (born 9 July 1931; twin sister Ehrengard died after the birth; named after her godmother Ilse Hess, later called "Eike", died 1958)
  • Irmgard Bormann (born 25 July 1933)
  • Rudolf Gerhard Bormann (born 31 August 1934; named after his godfather Rudolf Hess
    Rudolf Hess
    Rudolf Walter Richard Hess was a prominent Nazi politician who was Adolf Hitler's deputy in the Nazi Party during the 1930s and early 1940s...

    )
  • Heinrich Hugo Bormann (born 13 June 1936; named after his godfather Heinrich Himmler
    Heinrich Himmler
    Heinrich Luitpold Himmler was Reichsführer of the SS, a military commander, and a leading member of the Nazi Party. As Chief of the German Police and the Minister of the Interior from 1943, Himmler oversaw all internal and external police and security forces, including the Gestapo...

    )
  • Eva Ute Bormann (born 4 August 1938)
  • Gerda Bormann (born 23 October 1940)
  • Fred Hartmut Bormann (born 4 March 1942)
  • Volker Bormann (born 18 September 1943, died 1946)


Gerda Bormann suffered from cancer
Cancer
Cancer , known medically as a malignant neoplasm, is a large group of different diseases, all involving unregulated cell growth. In cancer, cells divide and grow uncontrollably, forming malignant tumors, and invade nearby parts of the body. The cancer may also spread to more distant parts of the...

 in her later years, and died of mercury poisoning
Mercury poisoning
Mercury poisoning is a disease caused by exposure to mercury or its compounds. Mercury is a heavy metal occurring in several forms, all of which can produce toxic effects in high enough doses...

 on 23 March 1946, in Merano, Italy. All of Bormann's children survived the war. Most were cared for anonymously in foster homes. His eldest son, Martin
Martin Adolf Bormann
Martin Adolf Bormann is the eldest of ten children of Martin Bormann and the godson of Adolf Hitler.-Early life:...

, was Hitler's godson. Martin abandoned the Lutheran faith of his family and was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1953, but left the priesthood in the late 1960s. He married an ex-nun in 1971 and became a teacher of theology
Theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

.

Rise through the Nazi Party


In 1927, Bormann joined the NSDAP
National Socialist German Workers Party
The National Socialist German Workers' Party , commonly known in English as the Nazi Party, was a political party in Germany between 1920 and 1945. Its predecessor, the German Workers' Party , existed from 1919 to 1920...

. His NSDAP number was 60,508 and his (honorary) SS
Schutzstaffel
The Schutzstaffel |Sig runes]]) was a major paramilitary organization under Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. Built upon the Nazi ideology, the SS under Heinrich Himmler's command was responsible for many of the crimes against humanity during World War II...

 membership number was originally 278,267. By special order of Himmler in 1938, Bormann was granted SS number 555 to reflect his Alter Kämpfer
Alter Kämpfer
Alter Kämpfer is a term referring to the earliest members of the Nazi Party, i.e. those who joined it before the Reichstag elections of September 1930, with many belonging to the Party as early as its first foundation in 1919–1923...

(Old Fighter) status. He became the party's regional press officer and business manager in 1928.

Reich Leader and Head of the Party Chancellery


On 10 October 1933, Bormann became a Reich Leader (Reichsleiter
Reichsleiter
Reichsleiter , was the second highest political rank of the NSDAP next only to the office of Führer. Reichsleiter also served as a paramilitary rank, for the Nazi Party and was the highest position attainable in any Nazi-Organisation.The Reichsleiter reported directly to Adolf Hitler, in whose...

) of the NSDAP, and in November, a member of the Reichstag
Reichstag (Weimar Republic)
The Reichstag was the parliament of Weimar Republic .German constitution commentators consider only the Reichstag and now the Bundestag the German parliament. Another organ deals with legislation too: in 1867-1918 the Bundesrat, in 1919–1933 the Reichsrat and from 1949 on the Bundesrat...

. From 1 July 1933 until 1941, Bormann served as the personal secretary for Rudolf Hess
Rudolf Hess
Rudolf Walter Richard Hess was a prominent Nazi politician who was Adolf Hitler's deputy in the Nazi Party during the 1930s and early 1940s...

. Bormann commissioned the building of the Kehlsteinhaus
Kehlsteinhaus
The Kehlsteinhaus is a chalet-style structure erected on a subpeak of the Hoher Göll known as the Kehlstein. It was built as an extension of the Obersalzberg complex erected in the mountains above Berchtesgaden...

(Eagle's Nest). The Kehlsteinhaus was formally presented to Hitler on 20 April 20 1938, after 13 months of expensive construction, and is commemorated on a plaque just above the entrance to the tunnel to the lift up to the Eagle's Nest. During this period, Bormann had also managed Hitler's finances through various schemes such as royalties collected on Hitler's book
Mein Kampf
Mein Kampf is a book written by Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. It combines elements of autobiography with an exposition of Hitler's political ideology. Volume 1 of Mein Kampf was published in 1925 and Volume 2 in 1926...

, his image on postage stamps, as well as setting up an "Adolf Hitler Endowment Fund of German Industry", which was really a thinly veiled extortion attempt on the behalf of Hitler to collect more money from German industrialists.

In May 1941, the flight of Hess to Britain cleared the way for Bormann to become Head of the Party Chancellery
Party Chancellery
Party Chancellery , until 1941 Staff of the Deputy Führer , was the name of the head office of the German Nazi Party .-Organization:...

 (Parteikanzlei) that same month. Bormann proved to be a master of intricate political infighting. Due to his mastery of such infighting, along with his access and closeness to Hitler, and because of the trust Hitler held in him, he was able to constantly and effectively check and thus make enemies of Joseph Goebbels
Joseph Goebbels
Paul Joseph Goebbels was a German politician and Reich Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. As one of Adolf Hitler's closest associates and most devout followers, he was known for his zealous oratory and anti-Semitism...

, Hermann Göring
Hermann Göring
Hermann Wilhelm Göring, was a German politician, military leader, and a leading member of the Nazi Party. He was a veteran of World War I as an ace fighter pilot, and a recipient of the coveted Pour le Mérite, also known as "The Blue Max"...

, Heinrich Himmler
Heinrich Himmler
Heinrich Luitpold Himmler was Reichsführer of the SS, a military commander, and a leading member of the Nazi Party. As Chief of the German Police and the Minister of the Interior from 1943, Himmler oversaw all internal and external police and security forces, including the Gestapo...

, Alfred Rosenberg
Alfred Rosenberg
' was an early and intellectually influential member of the Nazi Party. Rosenberg was first introduced to Adolf Hitler by Dietrich Eckart; he later held several important posts in the Nazi government...

, Robert Ley
Robert Ley
Robert Ley was a Nazi politician and head of the German Labour Front from 1933 to 1945. He committed suicide while awaiting trial for war crimes.- Early life :...

, Albert Speer
Albert Speer
Albert Speer, born Berthold Konrad Hermann Albert Speer, was a German architect who was, for a part of World War II, Minister of Armaments and War Production for the Third Reich. Speer was Adolf Hitler's chief architect before assuming ministerial office...

 and a plethora of other high-ranking officers and officials, both public and private. The ruthless and continuous intriguing for power, influence, and favour from Hitler within the regime came to characterise the inner workings of the Third Reich.

Bormann took charge of all of Hitler's paperwork, appointments and personal finances. Hitler came to have complete trust in Bormann and the view of reality he presented. During one meeting, Hitler was said to have screamed, "To win this war, I need Bormann!" Some historians have suggested Bormann held so much power that, in some respects by 1945, he became Germany's "secret leader" during the war. A collection of transcripts edited by Bormann during the war appeared in print in 1952 and 1953 as Hitler's Table Talk
Hitler's Table Talk
Hitler's Table Talk is the title given to a series of wartime conversations and monologues delivered by Adolf Hitler, which were transcribed from 1941 to 1944...

 1941–1944
, mostly a re-telling of Hitler's wartime dinner conversations.

Bormann's bureaucratic
Bureaucracy
A bureaucracy is an organization of non-elected officials of a governmental or organization who implement the rules, laws, and functions of their institution, and are occasionally characterized by officialism and red tape.-Weberian bureaucracy:...

 power and effective reach had broadened considerably by 1942. Later, faced with the imminent demise of the Third Reich, he systematically set about organising German corporate flight capital, and established off-shore holding companies and business interests in close coordination with the same Ruhr industrialists and German bankers who, although often not Nazis, had helped to facilitate Hitler's explosive rise to power 10 years before. (See Ratlines
Ratlines (history)
Ratlines were a system of escape routes for Nazis and other fascists fleeing Europe at the end of World War II. These escape routes mainly led toward havens in South America, particularly Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, Uruguay, and Chile. Other destinations included the United States and perhaps...

)

His view of Christianity was epitomized in a confidential memo to the Gauleiter
Gauleiter
A Gauleiter was the party leader of a regional branch of the NSDAP or the head of a Gau or of a Reichsgau.-Creation and Early Usage:...

s in 1942 by stating that Nazism "was completely incompatible with Christianity". Contrary to Hitler's tactical judgment, Bormann pushed the Kirchenkampf
Kirchenkampf
Kirchenkampf is a German term that translates as "struggle of the churches" or "church struggle" in English. The term is sometimes used ambiguously, and may refer to one or more of the following different church struggles:...

 forward at the height of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. He reopened the fight against the Christian churches, declaring in a confidential memo to the Gauleiters in 1942 that their power 'must absolutely and finally be broken.' Bormann viewed the power of the churches and Christianity to be completely incompatible with Nazism, and saw their influence as a serious obstacle to totalitarian rule. The sharpest anti-cleric
Anti-clericalism
Anti-clericalism is a historical movement that opposes religious institutional power and influence, real or alleged, in all aspects of public and political life, and the involvement of religion in the everyday life of the citizen...

 in the Nazi leadership (he collected all the files of cases against the clergy
Clergy
Clergy is the generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given religion. A clergyman, churchman or cleric is a member of the clergy, especially one who is a priest, preacher, pastor, or other religious professional....

 that he could lay his hands on), Bormann was the driving force of the Kirchenkampf
Kirchenkampf
Kirchenkampf is a German term that translates as "struggle of the churches" or "church struggle" in English. The term is sometimes used ambiguously, and may refer to one or more of the following different church struggles:...

, which Hitler for tactical reasons had wished to postpone until after the war.

In February 1943, the German defeat at the Battle of Stalingrad
Battle of Stalingrad
The Battle of Stalingrad was a major battle of World War II in which Nazi Germany and its allies fought the Soviet Union for control of the city of Stalingrad in southwestern Russia. The battle took place between 23 August 1942 and 2 February 1943...

 produced a crisis in the regime. Bormann exploited the disaster at Stalingrad, and his daily access to Hitler, to persuade him to create a three-man junta
Military junta
A junta or military junta is a government led by a committee of military leaders. The term derives from the Spanish language junta meaning committee, specifically a board of directors...

representing the State, the Army and the Party, represented respectively by Hans Lammers
Hans Lammers
Dr.jur. Hans Heinrich Lammers was a German jurist and prominent Nazi politician. From 1933 until 1945 he served as head of the Reich Chancellery under Adolf Hitler....

, head of the Reich Chancellery, Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel
Wilhelm Keitel
Wilhelm Bodewin Gustav Keitel was a German field marshal . As head of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht and de facto war minister, he was one of Germany's most senior military leaders during World War II...

, chief of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht
Oberkommando der Wehrmacht
The Oberkommando der Wehrmacht was part of the command structure of the armed forces of Nazi Germany during World War II.- Genesis :...

("Armed Forces High Command", or OKW), and Bormann, who controlled the Party and access to the Führer
Führer
Führer , alternatively spelled Fuehrer in both English and German when the umlaut is not available, is a German title meaning leader or guide now most associated with Adolf Hitler, who modelled it on Benito Mussolini's title il Duce, as well as with Georg von Schönerer, whose followers also...

. This Committee of Three would exercise dictatorial powers over the home front. Goebbels, Speer, Göring and Himmler all saw this proposal as a power grab by Bormann and a threat to their power, and combined to block it.

However, their alliance was shaky at best. This was mainly due to the fact that during this period Himmler was still cooperating with Bormann to gain more power at the expense of Göring and most of the traditional Reich administration. Göring's loss of power had resulted from an overindulgence in the trappings of power and his strained relations with Goebbels made it difficult for a unified coalition to be formed, despite the attempts of Speer and Göring's Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe is a generic German term for an air force. It is also the official name for two of the four historic German air forces, the Wehrmacht air arm founded in 1935 and disbanded in 1946; and the current Bundeswehr air arm founded in 1956....

deputy Field Marshal
Field Marshal
Field Marshal is a military rank. Traditionally, it is the highest military rank in an army.-Etymology:The origin of the rank of field marshal dates to the early Middle Ages, originally meaning the keeper of the king's horses , from the time of the early Frankish kings.-Usage and hierarchical...

 Erhard Milch
Erhard Milch
Erhard Milch was a German Field Marshal who oversaw the development of the Luftwaffe as part of the re-armament of Germany following World War I, and served as founding Director of Deutsche Luft Hansa...

, to reconcile the two Party comrades.

However, the result was that nothing was done—the Committee of Three declined into irrelevance due to the loss of power by Keitel and Lammers and the ascension of Bormann, and the situation continued to drift, with administrative chaos increasingly undermining the war effort. The ultimate responsibility for this lay with Hitler, as Goebbels well knew, referring in his diary to a "crisis of leadership," but Goebbels was too much under Hitler’s spell ever to challenge his power.

Bormann was invariably the advocate of extremely harsh, radical measures when it came to the treatment of Jews, of the conquered eastern peoples or prisoners of war. He signed the decree of 9 October 1942 prescribing that "the permanent elimination of the Jews from the territories of Greater Germany can no longer be carried out by emigration but by the use of ruthless force in the special camps of the East." A further decree, signed by Bormann on 1 July 1943, gave Adolf Eichmann
Adolf Eichmann
Adolf Otto Eichmann was a German Nazi and SS-Obersturmbannführer and one of the major organizers of the Holocaust...

 absolute powers over Jews, who now came under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Gestapo.

Bormann's memos concerning the Slavs make it clear that he regarded them as a 'Sovietized mass' of sub-humans who had no claim to national independence. In a brutal memo of 19 August 1942, he wrote: "The Slavs are to work for us. In so far as we do not need them, they may die. Slav fertility is not desirable."

At the Nuremberg Trials
Nuremberg Trials
The Nuremberg Trials were a series of military tribunals, held by the victorious Allied forces of World War II, most notable for the prosecution of prominent members of the political, military, and economic leadership of the defeated Nazi Germany....

, Arthur Seyss-Inquart
Arthur Seyss-Inquart
Arthur Seyss-Inquart was a Chancellor of Austria, lawyer and later Nazi official in pre-Anschluss Austria, the Third Reich and for wartime Germany in Poland and the Netherlands...

, the Reich Commissioner for the Netherlands, testified that he had called Bormann to confirm an order to deport the Dutch Jews to Auschwitz
Auschwitz concentration camp
Concentration camp Auschwitz was a network of Nazi concentration and extermination camps built and operated by the Third Reich in Polish areas annexed by Nazi Germany during World War II...

, and further testified that Bormann passed along Hitler's orders for the extermination of Jews during the Holocaust. A telephone conversation between Bormann and Heinrich Himmler
Heinrich Himmler
Heinrich Luitpold Himmler was Reichsführer of the SS, a military commander, and a leading member of the Nazi Party. As Chief of the German Police and the Minister of the Interior from 1943, Himmler oversaw all internal and external police and security forces, including the Gestapo...

, who was his main antagonist in the struggle for power within the Nazi elite, was overheard by telephone operators during which Himmler reported to Bormann the extermination of 40,000 Jews in Poland. Himmler was sharply rebuked for using the word "exterminated" rather than the codeword "resettled," and Bormann ordered the apologetic Himmler never again to report on this by phone but through SS couriers.

Berlin


Bormann, his adjutant, SS-Standartenführer
Standartenführer
Standartenführer was a Nazi Party paramilitary rank that was used in the so-called Nazi combat-organisations: SA, SS, NSKK and the NSFK...

Wilhelm Zander
Wilhelm Zander
Wilhelm Zander was an adjutant to Martin Bormann during World War II.As the war in Europe ended, he had accompanied Bormann to the Führerbunker in Berlin...

, and his secretary, Else Krüger
Else Krüger
Else Krüger was Martin Bormann's secretary during World War II.She was in the Führerbunker during the Battle of Berlin. Krüger was with Eva Braun, Gerda Christian, Traudl Junge, and Constanze Manziarly when German dictator Adolf Hitler told them that they must prepare to leave for the Berghof like...

, were with Hitler in the Führers shelter (Führerbunker
Führerbunker
The Führerbunker was located beneath Hitler's New Reich Chancellery in Berlin, Germany. It was part of a subterranean bunker complex which was constructed in two major phases, one part in 1936 and the other in 1943...

) during the Battle of Berlin
Battle of Berlin
The Battle of Berlin, designated the Berlin Strategic Offensive Operation by the Soviet Union, was the final major offensive of the European Theatre of World War II....

. The Führerbunker was located under the Reich Chancellery
Reich Chancellery
The Reich Chancellery was the traditional name of the office of the Chancellor of Germany in the period of the German Reich from 1871 to 1945...

 (Reichskanzlei) gardens in the centre government district of Berlin. On 23 April, his brother Albert Bormann
Albert Bormann
Albert Bormann was a NSKK officer, who rose to the rank of Gruppenführer during World War II. He was an adjutant to Adolf Hitler. Albert was the younger brother of Martin Bormann.-Biography:...

 left the Berlin bunker complex by aircraft for the Obersalzberg. He and several others had been ordered by Hitler to leave Berlin.

On 28 April, Bormann wired the following message to Großadmiral Karl Dönitz
Karl Dönitz
Karl Dönitz was a German naval commander during World War II. He started his career in the German Navy during World War I. In 1918, while he was in command of , the submarine was sunk by British forces and Dönitz was taken prisoner...

: "Situation very serious . . . Those ordered to rescue the Führer are keeping silent . . . Disloyalty seems to gain the upper hand everywhere . . . Reichskanzlei a heap of rubble."

At 04:00 on 29 April 1945, Wilhelm Burgdorf
Wilhelm Burgdorf
Wilhelm Burgdorf was a German general. Born in Fürstenwalde, Burgdorf served as a commander and staff officer in the German Army during World War II.- Military career :...

, Joseph Goebbels
Joseph Goebbels
Paul Joseph Goebbels was a German politician and Reich Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. As one of Adolf Hitler's closest associates and most devout followers, he was known for his zealous oratory and anti-Semitism...

, Hans Krebs
Hans Krebs (general)
Hans Krebs was a German Army general of infantry who served during World War II.-Early life:Krebs was born in Helmstedt. He volunteered for service in the Imperial German Army in 1914, was promoted to lieutenant in 1915, and to first lieutenant in 1925...

, and Bormann witnessed and signed Hitler's last will and testament
Last will and testament of Adolf Hitler
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 , two days before the surrender of Berlin to the Soviets on May 2, and just over a...

. Hitler dictated this document to his personal secretary, Traudl Junge
Traudl Junge
Traudl Junge was Adolf Hitler's youngest personal private secretary, from December 1942 to April 1945.-Early life:...

. Bormann was Head of the Party Chancellery
Party Chancellery
Party Chancellery , until 1941 Staff of the Deputy Führer , was the name of the head office of the German Nazi Party .-Organization:...

 (Parteikanzlei) and was also the private secretary to Hitler. Shortly before signing the last will and testament, Hitler married Eva Braun
Eva Braun
Eva Anna Paula Hitler was the longtime companion of Adolf Hitler and, for less than 40 hours, his wife. Braun met Hitler in Munich, when she was 17 years old, while working as an assistant and model for his personal photographer and began seeing him often about two years later...

 in a civil ceremony.

The Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 forces continued to fight their way into the centre of Berlin. Adolf and Eva Hitler committed suicide
Suicide
Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one's own death. Suicide is often committed out of despair or attributed to some underlying mental disorder, such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, alcoholism, or drug abuse...

 during the afternoon of the 30 April. Eva took cyanide
Cyanide
A cyanide is a chemical compound that contains the cyano group, -C≡N, which consists of a carbon atom triple-bonded to a nitrogen atom. Cyanides most commonly refer to salts of the anion CN−. Most cyanides are highly toxic....

 and Adolf Hitler shot himself. As per instructions, their bodies were taken to the garden and burned. In accordance with Hitler's last will and testament, Joseph Goebbels
Joseph Goebbels
Paul Joseph Goebbels was a German politician and Reich Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. As one of Adolf Hitler's closest associates and most devout followers, he was known for his zealous oratory and anti-Semitism...

, the Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, became the new "Head of Government
Head of government
Head of government is the chief officer of the executive branch of a government, often presiding over a cabinet. In a parliamentary system, the head of government is often styled prime minister, chief minister, premier, etc...

" and Chancellor of Germany (Reichskanzler). Martin Bormann was named as Party Minister, thus officially confirming his position as de facto General Secretary
General Secretary
The office of general secretary is staffed by the chief officer of:*The General Secretariat for Macedonia and Thrace, a government agency for the Greek regions of Macedonia and Thrace...

 of the Party.

At 03:15 on 1 May, Reichskanzler Goebbels and Bormann sent a radio message to Dönitz informing him of Hitler's death. In accordance with Hitler's last wishes, Dönitz was appointed as the new "President of Germany" (Reichspräsident
Reichspräsident
The Reichspräsident was the German head of state under the Weimar constitution, which was officially in force from 1919 to 1945. In English he was usually simply referred to as the President of Germany...

). Goebbels and his wife committed suicide later that same day.

On 2 May, the Battle in Berlin
Battle in Berlin
The Battle in Berlin was an end phase of the Battle of Berlin. While the Battle of Berlin encompassed the attack by three Soviet Army Groups to capture not only Berlin but the territory of Germany east of the River Elbe still under German control, the Battle in Berlin details the fighting, and...

 ended when General der Artillerie Helmuth Weidling
Helmuth Weidling
Helmuth Otto Ludwig Weidling was an officer in the German Army before and during World War II...

, the commander of the Berlin Defence Area, unconditionally surrendered the city to General Vasily Chuikov
Vasily Chuikov
Vasily Ivanovich Chuikov was a Russian lieutenant general in the Red Army during World War II, twice Hero of the Soviet Union , who after the war became a Marshal of the Soviet Union.-Early life and career:Born into a peasant family in the village of Serebryanye Prudy, he joined the Red Army during...

, the commander of the Soviet 8th Guards Army. It is agreed that, by this day, Bormann had left the Führerbunker. It has been reported that he left with Ludwig Stumpfegger
Ludwig Stumpfegger
SS-Obersturmbannführer Ludwig Stumpfegger was a German SS doctor in World War II and Adolf Hitler's personal surgeon from 1944....

 and Artur Axmann
Artur Axmann
Artur Axmann was the German Nazi leader of the Hitler Youth from 1940 through war's end in 1945.-Early life:Axmann was born in Hagen on 18 February 1913...

 as part of a group attempting to break out of the Soviet encirclement of the city.

Death, rumours of survival and discovery of remains



Axmann's account of Bormann's death


As World War II came to a close, Bormann held out with Hitler in the Führerbunker
Führerbunker
The Führerbunker was located beneath Hitler's New Reich Chancellery in Berlin, Germany. It was part of a subterranean bunker complex which was constructed in two major phases, one part in 1936 and the other in 1943...

 in Berlin. On 30 April 1945, just before committing suicide
Death of Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler committed suicide by gunshot on Monday, 30 April 1945 in his Führerbunker in Berlin. His wife Eva , committed suicide with him by ingesting cyanide...

, Hitler signed the order to allow a breakout. On 1 May, Bormann left the Führerbunker with SS doctor Ludwig Stumpfegger
Ludwig Stumpfegger
SS-Obersturmbannführer Ludwig Stumpfegger was a German SS doctor in World War II and Adolf Hitler's personal surgeon from 1944....

, Hitler Youth
Hitler Youth
The Hitler Youth was a paramilitary organization of the Nazi Party. It existed from 1922 to 1945. The HJ was the second oldest paramilitary Nazi group, founded one year after its adult counterpart, the Sturmabteilung...

 leader Artur Axmann
Artur Axmann
Artur Axmann was the German Nazi leader of the Hitler Youth from 1940 through war's end in 1945.-Early life:Axmann was born in Hagen on 18 February 1913...

 and Hitler's pilot Hans Baur
Hans Baur
General Hans Baur was German dictator Adolf Hitler's pilot during his political campaigns of the 1920s and 1930s...

 as part of one of the groups attempting to break out of the Soviet encirclement. At the Weidendammer Bridge
Weidendammer Bridge
The Weidendammer Bridge is an long bridge where the Friedrichstrasse crosses the Spree river in the central Mitte district of Berlin, Germany...

, a Tiger tank
Tiger tank
Tiger tank may refer to:*Tiger I, or Panzerkampfwagen Tiger Ausf. E, a German heavy tank produced from 1942-1944*Tiger II, or Panzerkampfwagen Tiger Ausf. B, a German heavy tank produced from 1943-1945, also known as Königstiger, King Tiger or Royal Tiger...

 spearheaded the first attempt to storm across the bridge, but it was destroyed. Bormann and Stumpfegger were "knocked over" when the tank was hit. There followed two more attempts and on the third attempt, made around 1:00, Bormann in his group from the Reich Chancellery crossed the Spree
Spree
The Spree is a river that flows through the Saxony, Brandenburg and Berlin states of Germany, and in the Ústí nad Labem region of the Czech Republic...

. Leaving the rest of their group, Bormann, Stumpfegger and Axmann walked along railway tracks to Lehrter station
Berlin Hauptbahnhof
' , is the main railway station in Berlin, Germany. It began full operation two days after a ceremonial opening on 26 May 2006. It is located on the site of the historic Lehrter Bahnhof, and until it opened as a main line station, it was a stop on the Berlin S-Bahn suburban railway temporarily...

, where Axmann decided to go alone in the opposite direction of his two companions. When he encountered a Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 patrol, Axmann doubled back and later insisted he had seen the bodies of Bormann and Stumpfegger near the railway switching yard with moonlight clearly illuminating their faces. He did not check the bodies, so he did not know what killed them.

Axmann, Werner Naumann
Werner Naumann
Werner Naumann was a State Secretary in Joseph Goebbels' Propagandaministerium during the Third Reich. He was appointed head of the Propaganda Ministry by Führer Adolf Hitler in his political testament after Dr. Goebbels was promoted to Reichskanzler.-Early life and political career:Naumann was...

, and their adjutants escaped Berlin. Axmann hid in the Bavarian Alps under the alias "Erich Siewert". He was arrested in December 1945 while organising an underground Nazi movement. Naumann found asylum in Argentina, where he became an editor of the neo-Nazi magazine Der Weg.

Lieutenant General Konstantin Telegin, of the Soviet 5th Assault Army, remembered his men bringing Bormann’s diary to him. "It was brought-in immediately after the fighting had ended. As far as I can remember, it was found on the road when they were cleaning up the battle area." Inspired by the diary and reports from prisoners, Telegin said, "Naturally, we sent a recon group to the bridge, who searched the site of the breakthrough attempt. All they found were a few civilians. Bormann was not found."

Tried at Nuremberg in absentia


During the chaotic closing days of the war, there were contradictory reports as to Bormann's whereabouts. For example, Jakob Glas, Bormann's long-time chauffeur, insisted he saw Bormann in Munich weeks after 1 May 1945. The bodies were not found, and a global search followed including extensive efforts in South America. With no evidence sufficient to confirm Bormann's death, the International Military Tribunal
Nuremberg Trials
The Nuremberg Trials were a series of military tribunals, held by the victorious Allied forces of World War II, most notable for the prosecution of prominent members of the political, military, and economic leadership of the defeated Nazi Germany....

 at Nuremberg
Nuremberg
Nuremberg[p] is a city in the German state of Bavaria, in the administrative region of Middle Franconia. Situated on the Pegnitz river and the Rhine–Main–Danube Canal, it is located about north of Munich and is Franconia's largest city. The population is 505,664...

 tried Bormann in absentia
In absentia
In absentia is Latin for "in the absence". In legal use, it usually means a trial at which the defendant is not physically present. The phrase is not ordinarily a mere observation, but suggests recognition of violation to a defendant's right to be present in court proceedings in a criminal trial.In...

in October 1946 and sentenced him to death
Capital punishment
Capital punishment, the death penalty, or execution is the sentence of death upon a person by the state as a punishment for an offence. Crimes that can result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes or capital offences. The term capital originates from the Latin capitalis, literally...

. His court-appointed defence lawyer
Lawyer
A lawyer, according to Black's Law Dictionary, is "a person learned in the law; as an attorney, counsel or solicitor; a person who is practicing law." Law is the system of rules of conduct established by the sovereign government of a society to correct wrongs, maintain the stability of political...

 used the unusual and unsuccessful defence that the court could not convict Bormann because he was already dead.

In 1965, a retired postal worker named Albert Krumnow stated that around 8 May 1945 the Soviets had ordered him and his colleagues to bury two bodies found near the railway bridge near Lehrter station. One was "a member of the Wehrmacht" and the other was "an SS doctor".

Krumnow’s colleague, Wagenpfohl is said to have found a paybook on the SS doctor’s body identifying him as Dr. Ludwig Stumpfegger. He gave the paybook to his boss, postal chief Berndt, who turned it over to the Soviets. They in turn destroyed it. The Soviets allowed Berndt to notify Stumpfegger’s wife. He wrote and told her that her husband’s body was "…interred with the bodies of several other dead soldiers in the grounds of the Alpendorf in Berlin NW 40, Invalidenstrasse 63."

In mid-1965, Berlin police excavated the alleged burial site looking for Bormann's remains, but found nothing. Krumnow stated he could no longer remember exactly where he buried the bodies. Stern magazine
Stern (magazine)
Stern is a weekly news magazine published in Germany. It was founded in 1948 by Henri Nannen, and is currently published by Gruner + Jahr, a subsidiary of Bertelsmann. In the first quarter of 2006, its print run was 1.019 million copies and it reached 7.84 million readers according to...

 editor Jochen Von Lang, whose investigation inspired the dig, later wrote, "even if bones had been discovered, it would have been exceedingly difficult to identify them as those of Martin Bormann." He went on to opine that the only way to identify Bormann would be to find "glass particles" from a cyanide
Cyanide
A cyanide is a chemical compound that contains the cyano group, -C≡N, which consists of a carbon atom triple-bonded to a nitrogen atom. Cyanides most commonly refer to salts of the anion CN−. Most cyanides are highly toxic....

 capsule in the jaw and that "would border almost on the miraculous."

Two decades of unconfirmed sightings


Unconfirmed sightings of Bormann were reported globally for 20 years, particularly in Europe, Paraguay and elsewhere in South America. Some rumours claimed that Bormann had plastic surgery
Plastic surgery
Plastic surgery is a medical specialty concerned with the correction or restoration of form and function. Though cosmetic or aesthetic surgery is the best-known kind of plastic surgery, most plastic surgery is not cosmetic: plastic surgery includes many types of reconstructive surgery, hand...

 while on the run. At a 1967 press conference, Simon Wiesenthal
Simon Wiesenthal
Simon Wiesenthal KBE was an Austrian Holocaust survivor who became famous after World War II for his work as a Nazi hunter....

 asserted there was strong evidence that Bormann was alive and well in South America. Writer Ladislas Farago
Ladislas Farago
Ladislas Farago was a military historian and journalist who published a number of best-selling books on history and espionage, especially concerning the World War II era....

's widely-known 1974 book Aftermath: Martin Bormann and the Fourth Reich argued that Bormann had survived the war and lived in Argentina. Farago's evidence, which drew heavily on official governmental documents, was compelling enough to persuade Dr. Robert M. W. Kempner
Robert Kempner
Robert Kempner was a German-born American lawyer.Kempner was a successful Jewish lawyer in Berlin during the 1920s who then became the chief legal advisor to the Prussian police...

 (a lawyer at the Nuremberg Trials) to briefly re-open an active investigation in 1972. However, Farago's claims were generally rejected by historians and critics. Allegations that Bormann and his organisation survived the war figure prominently in the work of David Emory
David Emory
David "Dave" Emory is an American talk radio host based in the San Francisco Bay Area.-Weekly For The Record radio program:...

.

Allegations of being a Russian spy


Reinhard Gehlen
Reinhard Gehlen
Reinhard Gehlen was a General in the German Army during World War II, who served as chief of intelligence-gathering on the Eastern Front. After the war, he was recruited by the United States military to set up a spy ring directed against the Soviet Union , and eventually became head of the West...

 states in his memoirs his conviction that Bormann was a Russian agent and that at the time of his 'disappearance' in Berlin he in reality went over to his Russian masters and was spirited away by them to Moscow. He bases his conclusion on a conversation he had with Admiral Canaris and on his conviction that there was an enemy agent at work inside the German supreme command. He deduced the latter from the fact that the Russians appeared to be able to obtain "rapid and detailed information on incidents and top-level decision-making on the German side". Of course, at the time he was writing up his memoirs (late 1960s to early 1970s), Gehlen was not aware of the British breaking of the Enigma
Enigma machine
An Enigma machine is any of a family of related electro-mechanical rotor cipher machines used for the encryption and decryption of secret messages. Enigma was invented by German engineer Arthur Scherbius at the end of World War I...

 codes. Gehlen goes on to say that he discovered that Bormann was engaged in a Funkspiel
Funkspiel
Funkspiel was the name given to a counter-espionage operation carried out by German counter-intelligence during the Second World War. It consisted of using captured and "turned" clandestine radio operators in France to send false messages back to the enemy , and allowed the German services to...

 with Moscow with Hitler's express approval. He claims that in the 1950s, when he headed first the Gehlen Organization
Gehlen Organization
Gehlen Organization was an intelligence agency established in June 1946 by U.S. occupation authorities in the United States Zone of Germany, and consisted of former members of the 12th Department of the Army General Staff...

 and later the Bundesnachrichtendienst
Bundesnachrichtendienst
The Bundesnachrichtendienst [ˌbʊndəsˈnaːχʁɪçtnˌdiːnst] is the foreign intelligence agency of Germany, directly subordinated to the Chancellor's Office. Its headquarters are in Pullach near Munich, and Berlin . The BND has 300 locations in Germany and foreign countries...

 (BND), the West German Intelligence Service, he "was passed two separate reports from behind the Iron Curtain
Iron Curtain
The concept of the Iron Curtain symbolized the ideological fighting and physical boundary dividing Europe into two separate areas from the end of World War II in 1945 until the end of the Cold War in 1989...

 to the effect that Bormann had been a Soviet agent and had lived after the war in the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 under perfect cover as an adviser to the Moscow government. He has died in the meantime." (quotes from the 1971 ed.) After the collapse of the Soviet Union, based on KGB
KGB
The KGB was the commonly used acronym for the . It was the national security agency of the Soviet Union from 1954 until 1991, and was the premier internal security, intelligence, and secret police organization during that time.The State Security Agency of the Republic of Belarus currently uses the...

 archival material from this period, it was claimed that the Russians may indeed have had a spy in the bunker, code named Sasha. However, Sasha was said to have been a Russian, not Bormann.

Discovery of remains and controversy surrounding identification


The hunt for Bormann lasted 26 years without success. International investigators and journalists searched for Bormann from Paraguay to Moscow and from Norway to Egypt. Digs for his body in Paraguay in March 1964 and Berlin in July 1964 were unsuccessful. The German government offered a 100,000-Mark reward in November 1964, but no one claimed it. The final straw came in July 1965, when the search of Albert Krumnow’s Berlin location turned up nothing. The German government determined that Berlin was simply "too full of cemeteries and mass grave
Mass grave
A mass grave is a grave containing multiple number of human corpses, which may or may not be identified prior to burial. There is no strict definition of the minimum number of bodies required to constitute a mass grave, although the United Nations defines a mass grave as a burial site which...

s dating from the last days of the war."

On the political end, the hunt for Bormann became a recurring memory of the Nazi regime and also an embarrassment that would not go away. On 13 December 1971, the West German government officially called an end to the search for Bormann. This pronouncement was met with protest from Jewish human rights groups and Nazi-hunters like Simon Wiesenthal who insisted the search must continue until Bormann was found, alive or dead.

Almost a year later, on 7 December 1972, Axmann and Krumnow's accounts were bolstered when construction workers uncovered human remains near the Lehrter Bahnhof
Berlin Hauptbahnhof
' , is the main railway station in Berlin, Germany. It began full operation two days after a ceremonial opening on 26 May 2006. It is located on the site of the historic Lehrter Bahnhof, and until it opened as a main line station, it was a stop on the Berlin S-Bahn suburban railway temporarily...

 in West Berlin
West Berlin
West Berlin was a political exclave that existed between 1949 and 1990. It comprised the western regions of Berlin, which were bordered by East Berlin and parts of East Germany. West Berlin consisted of the American, British, and French occupation sectors, which had been established in 1945...

 just 12 m (39.4 ft) from the spot where Krumnow claimed he had buried them. Dental records — reconstructed from memory in 1945 by Dr. Hugo Blaschke
Hugo Blaschke
Dr Hugo Johannes Blaschke was a German dental surgeon notable for being Adolf Hitler’s personal dentist from 1933 to April 1945 and for being the chief dentist on the staff of Heinrich Himmler with the rank of SS Brigadeführer.Blaschke was born in Neustadt and studied dentistry in Berlin and at...

 — identified the skeleton
Skeleton
The skeleton is the body part that forms the supporting structure of an organism. There are two different skeletal types: the exoskeleton, which is the stable outer shell of an organism, and the endoskeleton, which forms the support structure inside the body.In a figurative sense, skeleton can...

 as Bormann's, and damage to the collarbone was consistent with injuries Bormann's sons reported he had sustained in a riding accident in 1939. The second skeleton was deemed to be Stumpfegger‘s, since it was of similar height to his last known proportions. Fragments of glass in the jawbones of both skeletons suggested that Bormann and Stumpfegger committed suicide by biting cyanide
Cyanide
A cyanide is a chemical compound that contains the cyano group, -C≡N, which consists of a carbon atom triple-bonded to a nitrogen atom. Cyanides most commonly refer to salts of the anion CN−. Most cyanides are highly toxic....

 capsules to avoid capture. Soon after, in a press conference held by the West German government, Bormann was declared dead, a statement condemned by Britain's Daily Express
Daily Express
The Daily Express switched from broadsheet to tabloid in 1977 and was bought by the construction company Trafalgar House in the same year. Its publishing company, Beaverbrook Newspapers, was renamed Express Newspapers...

as a whitewash perpetrated by the Brandt
Willy Brandt
Willy Brandt, born Herbert Ernst Karl Frahm , was a German politician, Mayor of West Berlin 1957–1966, Chancellor of West Germany 1969–1974, and leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany 1964–1987....

 government. West German diplomatic officials were given official instruction that "if anyone is arrested on suspicion that he is Bormann we will be dealing with an innocent man".

The remains were conclusively identified as Bormann's in 1998 when German authorities ordered a gene
Gene
A gene is a molecular unit of heredity of a living organism. It is a name given to some stretches of DNA and RNA that code for a type of protein or for an RNA chain that has a function in the organism. Living beings depend on genes, as they specify all proteins and functional RNA chains...

tic test on the skull. The test identified the skull as that of Bormann, using DNA
DNA
Deoxyribonucleic acid is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms . The DNA segments that carry this genetic information are called genes, but other DNA sequences have structural purposes, or are involved in...

 from one of his relatives. Bormann's remains were cremated
Cremation
Cremation is the process of reducing bodies to basic chemical compounds such as gasses and bone fragments. This is accomplished through high-temperature burning, vaporization and oxidation....

 and the ashes scattered in the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

 by Bormann's son Martin Adolf Bormann
Martin Adolf Bormann
Martin Adolf Bormann is the eldest of ten children of Martin Bormann and the godson of Adolf Hitler.-Early life:...

, a Roman Catholic and retired priest.

Despite these DNA tests, there had and continues to be controversy regarding the authenticity of the remains. For example, Hugh Thomas' 1995 book Doppelgängers claimed there were forensic inconsistencies suggesting Bormann died later than 1945. When exhumed, Bormann’s skeleton was covered in flecks of red clay, whereas Berlin is a city based on yellow sand. This indicated to some that the body had been re-interred from somewhere with a clay-based soil, such as Paraguay, the Andes Mountains or even Russia (as the Gehlen theory surmised).

Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal refused to accept the government’s declaration of Bormann‘s death, persisting in the belief that Bormann escaped Berlin with Axmann and headed south to the safety of the Alps. There he was rumoured to have been seen in both Bavaria and Austria. Bormann’s aide Wilhelm Zander
Wilhelm Zander
Wilhelm Zander was an adjutant to Martin Bormann during World War II.As the war in Europe ended, he had accompanied Bormann to the Führerbunker in Berlin...

 was captured in Passau, along the Austrian frontier, in December 1945. From the Alps, Wiesenthal believed, Bormann and others escaped to South America.

Others, like English scholar and intelligence officer Hugh Trevor-Roper, decried the evidence upon which the German government based its searches for Bormann: the testimony of one man. He and others argued that the testimony of Artur Axmann, the only man who said he saw Bormann dead was falsified to protect Bormann who was then on the run. Both men were unrepentant Nazis and shared the motivation to keep their cause alive. Axmann, they argued, probably escaped Berlin with Bormann. Russian author Lev Bezymenski wrote that Axmann’s statements had, "the apparent aim of convincing the world that the Reichsleiter had been killed." Bezymenski also wrote that Axmann’s statements, "give rise to a lot of doubt, especially when one considers that he changed his explanations at least three times in the postwar years." Some also believed it implausible that the Soviets would identify the body of Stumpfegger and ignore Bormann’s body, supposedly at Stumpfegger’s side. Further, it was said that Bormann was reinterred only to later be "discovered" by the German government.

See also

  • Glossary of Nazi Germany
  • List of Nazi Party leaders and officials
  • ODESSA
    ODESSA
    The ODESSA, from the German Organisation der ehemaligen SS-Angehörigen, meaning “Organization of Former SS Members,” is believed to have been an international Nazi network set up toward the end of World War II by a group of SS officers...

     (Bormann Organization or group)

External links