Thursday, June 30, 2011

Inside Hitler's Bunker

Many know Adolf Hitler spent the last few months of his life in a bunker underneath the Reich Chancellery in Berlin. But, little is known of what happened in the bunker, now sealed off to the public. Joachim Fest, a Berliner himself, examines life in the Fuhrerbunker during late April and early May 1945.

Fest's Inside Hitler's Bunker: The Last Days of the Third Reich provides an account of the defeat of National Socialist Germany in May 1945. Hitler's actions, decisions, and behaviour from within his bunker are examined in Fest's work. Fest also chronicles German citizens' and military officials' reactions to the advancing Soviet troops and fall of the Third Reich.

Fest portrays Hitler in April 1945 as a depressed, nervous, and suicidal man constantly consuming cake:
"His clothes, which had always been painfully correct, were splattered with food stains; cake crumbs stuck to the corners of his mouth, and whenever he held his eyeglasses in his left hand during a situation conference report, they would clatter softly against the tabletop" (pp. 21-22).
Fest chronicles Hitler's decision to commit suicide. Also recorded are accounts of Hitler pushing his officials to find escape in the west. Hitler and Eva Braun's wedding certificate and ceremony are documented, along with the other German officials who were married in the bunker on the night of April 29th.

German citizens and the military are also examined in Fest's work. Fest's accounts of Berlin at the demise of the Third Reich are not rich in detail - most of the book is centered on the bunker. However, photographs of Berlin during the Soviet advance provide pertinent evidence to his argument.

Fest's work provides an interesting historical account of the fall of the Third Reich. Inside Hitler's Bunker: The Last Days of the Third Reich is an informative, engaging, and fast read.

Bibliographical Reference:
Fest, Joachim. Inside Hitler's Bunker: The Last Days of the Third Reich. New York: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2004.


  1. WWII fascinates me so this book seems like it would be right down my alley!

  2. I like reading about WWII, too, so I should probably check this book out. Great review!

  3. I love WWII stuff! Does this read like fiction? Or...I can't really tell. You say that it examines the I wasn't sure.

  4. Sounds like a fascinating read!!! Great review, and thanks - I'm totally adding this one to my TBR list!

  5. Greetings from Southern California

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    God bless and have a Nice Day :-)

  6. Hi all - thank you for your comments, and sorry for my late reply! Alexis, the book is non-fiction but it is written in a very engaging manner. I hope this answers your question :)


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