The Bormann Letters: The Private Correspondence between Martin Bormann and His Wife from January 1943 to April 1945

The Bormann Letters: The Private Correspondence between Martin Bormann and His Wife from January 1943 to April 1945

The Bormann Letters: The Private Correspondence between Martin Bormann and His Wife from January 1943 to April 1945

The Bormann Letters: The Private Correspondence between Martin Bormann and His Wife from January 1943 to April 1945

Excerpt

Martin Bormann, 'Hitler's Mephistopheles', his alter ego, his 'evil genius' as he was often called, 'the Brown Eminence' behind the Fuehrer's throne, was the most powerful, the least public, and the most mysterious of all the Nazi leaders. He deliberately avoided publicity; he despised decorations and public recognition; and his features were unknown to the German people. On the other hand, if he shunned the trappings, he cherished the reality of power. In Hitler's last years, according to his secretary, Bormann reigned undisputed over the court; all the personalities around Hitler were his creatures; he built around the Fuehrer 'a Chinese wall' impenetrable except by his favour; 'he exercised absolute control over the whole structure of the Reich'. Finally, to add to the mystery of his character, we do not know, to this day, whether he is alive or dead. Having performed the last rites at Hitler's funeral-pyre, he disappeared from all record on 1st May, 1945, as the victorious Russians entered Berlin, and none now knows his whereabouts, if alive, or, if dead, his grave. Such is the man whose character is now exposed not by official papers or calculated speeches, but by the intimate letters, the love-letters, which he exchanged almost daily with his wife in the last years of Hitler's war. But first, before coming to the letters, a word about the man.

Martin Bormann was born on 17th June, 1900, at Halberstadt in Saxony, the son of a trumpeter-sergeant-major turned post-office clerk. He went to school at Eisenach and then at Weimar, and in 1919--the defeat of Germany having spared him participation in the war--he first studied, then . . .

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