DEAD: Adolf Hitler

DEAD: ON THIS DATE

Adolf Hitler (aged 56)
Leader of Germany from 1934 to 1945

Adolf Hitler (20 April 1889 – 30 April 1945) was a German politician and leader of the Nazi Party (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei; NSDAP). He rose to power as Chancellor of Germany in 1933 and later Führer in 1934. During his dictatorship from 1933 to 1945, he initiated World War II in Europe by invading Poland in September 1939. He was closely involved in military operations throughout the war and was central to the perpetration of the Holocaust.

DEATH: After midnight on the night of 28–29 April, Hitler married Eva Braun in a small civil ceremony in the Führerbunker. Later that afternoon, Hitler was informed that Mussolini had been executed by the Italian resistance movement on the previous day; this presumably increased his determination to avoid capture.

On 30 April 1945, Soviet troops were within a block or two of the Reich Chancellery when Hitler shot himself in the head and Braun bit into a cyanide capsule. Their bodies were carried outside to the garden behind the Reich Chancellery, where they were placed in a bomb crater, doused with petrol, and set on fire as the Red Army shelling continued.Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz and Joseph Goebbels assumed Hitler’s roles as head of state and chancellor respectively.

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