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Defeat of Nazi Germany in April 1945, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 428

Essay

The final destruction of Hitler and the Nazis third Reich happened on April 16th 1945. From the East it was Stalin’s Russian Army  that despatched over 6,300 tanks, 8,500 aircraft and over 20 armoured divisions. The final salvo in the destruction of Berlin. The allied forces halted 60 miles from Berlin at the request of Stalin so as to allow the Soviet troops to complete the occupation. The Germans put up stiff resistance but were simply overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of the Soviet Army. The Russian soldiers exacted a terrible revenge on the German civilian population “The last days of savage house to house fighting and street battles had been a human slaughter, with no prisoners being taken on either side.” (Eyewitness to History, 2002).

Hitler was in an underground bunker where he directed the German armies in the final days. On April 20th 1945, his 56th birthday he received a gift from the Russian army by way of a huge artillery barrage on Berlin whilst the allied forces bombed it from the air. In the final hours that followed Hitler married his long-time mistress in the Bunker and then they both committed suicide. The remains of Hitler’s body were seized by the Russian Army. “Hitler’s body was said to have been finally destroyed in April 1970 by the KGB. Two fragments of the body, a jawbone and skull, were preserved. They were displayed in an exhibition at the Russian Federal Archives in Moscow in April 2000.” (MI5 Security Services, 2010)

This was the end of the German Third Reich.  General Wilding surrendered the City to the Russian Army and on May 9th 1945 Field Marshall Keitel signed the surrender terms at the Russian Headquarters in Berlin.  In the days that followed many high ranking German Officers were arrested and later put on trial at the famous trials of Nuremburg. This included Goering who committed suicide“.The 21 defendants came from very different backgrounds. Some, like Hitler’s chosen successor Hermann Goering, were senior politicians – their responsibility clear.” (Overy, 2008)  Berlin became a divided city between East and West and subsequently a cold war commenced between East and Western Europe.  It was later discovered that Stalin had been exterminating and ethnic cleansing large numbers of dissidents and Romany people in the East.

Works Cited

Eyewitness to History. (2002). The Battle of Berlin 1945. Retrieved 11 11, 2010, from Eyewitness to History: http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/berlin.htm

MI5 Security Services. (2010). History: Hitler’s Last Days. Retrieved 11 11, 2010, from MI5 Security: https://www.mi5.gov.uk/output/hitlers-last-days.html

Overy, R. (2008, 09 08). Nuremberg: Nazis On Trial. Retrieved 11 11, 2010, from BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwtwo/nuremberg_article_01.shtml

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