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The Hunt for Martin Bormann - The Truth

Discussion in 'Biographies and Everything Else' started by belasar, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    The Hunt for Martin Bormann - The Truth, by Charles Whiting 1973,1996 Leo Cooper, London 222 pages, 17 photo's Amazon New $7.00 paperback

    This book takes up the story of Reichsleiter Martin Bormann from the last days in the bunker, though the attempted escape of Berlin and his disapearence in that war torn city. As his remains were never identified in 1945 and was not captured by Soviet forces it was thought that he could have escaped justice at the end of the war. His unknown status led to his being tried in absentia at Nuremburg.

    Martin Bormann, known as the 'Brown Eminence' was one of Nazi Germany's most powerfull and least well known men. Though he wore a uniform, he commanded no armies, but rather ran the Nazi Party for Adolf Hitler. In as much as any man could Bormann had the trust of Adolf Hitler. Bormann controlled the civilian appointments within the Party which provided him with a tremendous power base within Germany.

    There is general agreement up to a point about Bormann's fate. He and Dr. Stumpfegger, Hitler's doctor, joined SS Col Eric Kempka, Hitler's driver, and a small mixed column of armor and people trying to cross the river Spree and escape the Russian net. Near the Weidendamm Bridge the tank Bormann, Stumpfegger and Kempka was crouching behind was struck by Soviet fire and blew up. Kempka saw the other two men thrown back a good distance and concluded that they surely must have been killed in the blast.

    From this point Bormann's fate becomes less clear. Some witnesses claim to have seen him and Dr. Stumpfegger alive shortly later. Another claim's to have seen them both changing from military to civilian clothes in a doorway. The last person to claim to see Bormann was Hitler Youth leader Arthur Axmann who stated he saw the bodies of Bormann an Stumpfegger on the Weidendamm bridge, dead but showing no signs of a violent death, implying that they had probably taken poison. No one however seems to believe this last sighting in Berlin. The fact that his remains are not recovered and identified makes hard for many to accept that he is truely dead.

    There were sighting's of Bormann everywhere from Denmark to Italy, Africa to South America and from Australia to the Soviet Union. Remarkable as there were few photo's of Bormann and no 'Deck of Cards' to refer to. The author explores the most credible claims including that of Reinhard Gehlen that Bormann was a Soviet spy. The claim's tend to fall apart under exaimination, but would have lingered on had they not finally looked at the matter in the manner of a police investigation.

    By interviewing people who worked and lived in the area during the last days of the Reich, they began to find people who offered testimony that supported Arthur Axmann's claim to have found the bodies of Bormann and Stumpfegger. A postal worker claimed to be part of a burial party detailed by Russian soldiers that inturned the two men. Some 20 years later this postal worker directed investigators to the spot where a mass grave containing Bormann's body was buried, but no remains were found. About a decade later construction 12 meters from the spot the remains of two men, whose skeletons matched those of Bormann and Stumpfegger with glass shards in the jaws of both men, implying that they had taken poison. Tests done at the time strongly indicated that the remains were those of Bormann. DNA tests in 1998 confirmed these results. Despite this there are still some who believe Bormann may have escaped Berlin.

    Charles Whiting is known to may rouges here for his large number of books written on WWII. I have found his writing to be flawed in the past, and again I find his book disappointing. In one passage he referes to the Abwehr as a Nazi civilian intelligence service. It was of course Military intelligence. Whiting also has something against overweight persons as he refers to such people repeatedly as 'fat'. I had hoped to learn more about Bormann from this book, but apart from the fact he was a womenizer and kept links of sausages hanging from a hook on his office closet door to knosh on when Hitler was out of sight, there was not much.

    While better than The Battle of the Ruhr Pocket, I cannot reccomend this book.

    BR-VII
     
  2. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    Bels

    in a very old interview post war one of the W-SS Königstigers of III. Schwere Panzer Abteilung 503 stated that Bor and a couple of other notables were on the back of the turret/engine compartment clinging to the heavy Panzer as it tried to blow through Soviet MT and armor in the escape from the inerds of Berlin. Obviously because of it's size this lumbering beast attracted all sorts of Soviet tank and AT wepons to be born on it with the result that through multiple hits the Panzer CO stated the dignitaries were there and then "BAM" they were all gone-obliterated. As I do not have the first hand account in front of me right at the moment this is all from memory albeit partially faded.
     
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  3. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Thanks for the post, this book claims that they were walking behind the tank when it was hit. The only thing for sure is that for each witness there is a different story.
     
  4. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    I have read this story somewhere too. I remember it being a Panther - but I could be wrong. It was from a recently-published book (over the past 15 years).
     
  5. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    both of you gents are correct there seems to be several stories that abound. the 11th Pz Grenadier Division had a Panzer unit made up of Stug III's and some outdated Panther Ausf D's. the II Battalion for ID reasons seemed to have absorbed or transforemd the name of the heavy W-SS Königstiger Battalion into it's own though the heavy Battalion served along side of the 11th W-SS it never officially became part of this Grenadier Division during the battles for the east in late 44 till wars end in and around Berlin.
     

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