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Unseen Photos of Hitler’s Death Scene

In Europe, History, images on January 20, 2013 at 17:14

As Allied forces closed in on Berlin in April 1945, the man who once thought all of Europe was within his grasp drove a bullet through his head.

LIFE.com released previously unseen images of the Adolf Hitler’s underground bunker and the bloodstained coach where he and his mistress, Eva Braun, committed suicide.

Hitler's Death Scene.

War correspondents examining arm of sofa stained with blood which might have been Eva Braun’s, as one of them uses a candle to search the floor for evidence of suicide in Adolf Hitler’s underground shelter beneath the Reichschancellery.

Hitler's Death Scene

Burned and scattered papers on desk inside Adolf Hitler’s command bunker where he and his mistress Eva Braun were said to have committed suicide, under the Reichschancellery building.

Hitler's Death Scene

Mold covered Nazi SS officers cap (w. Death Skull insignia) on floor inside Adolf Hitler’s command bunker where he and mistress Eva Braun allegedly committed suicide.

Hitler's Death Scene

German fuhrer Adolf Hitler looking dapper in double-breasted suit and hat, standing w. Eva Braun.

William Vandivert was the first Western photographer on the scene after the battle for Berlin ended. The 33-year-old’s photos speak of death and destruction. During the course of the war, American, British, and Soviet forces launched more than 350 air strikes on Germany’s capital. Thousands of civilian men, women and children were killed, and the city’s famous landmarks were indistinguishable from the rubble.

  Vandivert “found almost every famous building (in Berlin) a shambles. In the center of town GIs could walk for blocks and see no living thing, hear nothing but the stillness of death, smell nothing but the stench of death,” LIFE reported.

Underneath the Reich Chancellery, the seat of the German government, Vandivert and other journalists found Hitler’s Fuhrerbunker, or “shelter for the leader.” They used candles to illuminate the dark, sordid room, searching for clues about Hitler’s last moments.

They found desks, newspapers and dust. It was evident that the Russian combat engineers who first burned through Hitler’s door had looted his hiding place.

Vandivert wrote to his editors in New York, describing the grisly scene.

  1. Any thing to do with Adolf Hitler & WW II is good news to me. Nice Post

    Like this

  2. I’m glad you’ve posted these shots. This post even caused my wife to stop and stare for a bit.

    Like this

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