- Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression
- Vol. VI
Translation of document 3735-PS
Berchtesgaden, 20th June, 1945
Testimony of AIr. Erich Kempka on the last days of Hitler
1. I, Erich Kempka, was born on 16.9.1910 at Oberhausen/Rhineland as the
son of a miner. I have 9 brothers and sisters. Whereas my father died in
January 1945, my mother is living at Oberhausen. I attended the
elementary school up to my 14th year of age and served an apprenticeship
as electrician. After my apprenticeship I worked for one year as a
practical apprentice with the automobile-distributers of DKW at Essen.
Then I got a position as a driver with the "Essener NationaIzeitung,"
which Position I held until 1932. Being a member of the NSDAP since May
1930 I came as a chauffeur to Adolf Hitler by recommendation of
Gauleiter Terboven for whom I had done very much driving. In the years
of 1932 to 1936 I, besides Brigadefuehrer Schreck, was a chauffeur for
about 95% of all the trips of the Fuehrer. Since 1936 I was the sole
chauffeur of the Fuehrer. The Fuehrer himself never drove a car. When
Hitler stayed in
Berlin with his headquarters I was supervisor of the Reichs-Chancellery
garage, to which about 40 vehicles belonged. I was in charge of about
60 drivers. Already in the days before 20th April 1945 I also passed the
nights in the garage situated in the basement of the Reichs-Chancellery.
On 20th April 1945 I went for about one-quarter of an hour to the
Fuehrer's bunker in order to congratulate the Fuehrer upon his birthday.
There was no special ceremony in the Fuehrer's bunker.
2. In the evening of 20th April 1945 I got the order to get ready about
12 vehicles by means of which persons belonging to the Fuehrer's
headquarters and partly their relatives were taken to the Berlin
airfields Staaken, Tempelhof, Schoenwalde, Gatow. These were about 80
persons, among them rear-admiral v. Puttkamer (adjutant of the navy with
the Fuehrer), SS-Sturmbannfuehrer Goehler (representative of
SS-Guppenfuehrer Fegelein), Miss Schroeder and Miss Wolf (two Personal
secretaries of the Fuehrer). Also on 21st April 1945 a number of
vehicles was readied with which were driven 40 to 50 persons to several
airfields. Cars for a direct drive from Berlin to Munich were not
dispatched by me before or after this date. During the night of 22 to 23
of April 1945 the personal physician of the Fuehrer, Prof. Dr. Morell,
two stenographers of the Fuehrer, the consulate-secretary Doehler and
several women were driven to the airfield of Gatow.
Though I did not get any definite statement from authorized sources, I
supposed that the Fuehrer would remain in Berlin after the 22.4.1945.
During the days before 20 April 1945 I often heard the utterance of the
Fitehrer that he would remain in Berlin in any case. In the days after
20 April 1945 I repeatedly asked Sturmbarmfuehrer Guensche (adjutant of
the Fuehrer) whether I was to secure the vehicles because they were
gradually destroyed by artillery-fire. SS-Sturmbannfuehrer Guensche told
me that would not make any difference, we had to go on with the vehicles
as long as possible; the Fuehrer at any rate would stay at the
Reichs-Chancellery. I do not know very much about the military situation
in the town-district because I did not leave the Reichs Chancellery. The
buildings of the Reichs-Chancellery in the days after 22 April 1945
were repeatedly set afire. The fires were extinguished only very
primitively. Communications to the outside were cut since about 25 April
1945. In these days a story, was distributed by the German press-bureau
that Himmler had turned to the western powers and had stated the Fuehrer
was suffering from a cerebral hemorrhage, was completely ill and would
able to live for much longer. I had not read myself this story which was
said to have been printed in the newspapers. As far as I could see
Himmler did not appear in the Reichs-Chancellery during the days around
20 April 1945 or later. (Remark of reporter: Himmler wanted to see the
Fuehrer on 22.4.1945. The Fuehrer who did not want to be swayed from his
resolution to stay in Berlin by anybody, declared that Himmler should
Only on the 1 May 1945 I heard that the Russians had infiltrated into
the Tiergarten on which the Reichs-Chancellery borders and had advanced
to the Reichstag.
The minister of foreign affairs von Ribbentrop did not see the Fuehrer
as far as I recollect at any rate not after the 20.4.1945. After
22.4.1945 the following still stayed with the Fuehrer: General Krebs
(chief of general-staff of the Army), General Burgdorf (chief adjutant
of the Wehrmacht and chief of the army personnel department),
vice-admiral Voss (representative of Grand-Admiral Doenitz),
Reichsleiter Martin Bormann, Reichsminister Dr. Goebbels with his wife,
secretary of state in the ministry for propaganda Dr. Naumann, SS -
Hauptsturmfuehrer Schwegermann as adjutant of Dr. Goebbels,
SS-Gruppenfuehrer Fegelein (representative of Reichsfuehrer SS with the
Fuehrer). SS-Sturmbamifuehrer Guensche (adjutant of the Fuehrer), SS
Sturmbarmfuehrer Linge (valet of the Fuehrer), SS-Gruppenfuehrer
Rattenhuber (leader of the SD in the Fuehrer's headquarters),
SS-Standartenfuehrer Dr. Stumpfegger (the Fuehrer's first physician
after Prof. Dr. Morell. had left). I personally. saw Reichsleiter Martin
Bormann several times up to the morning of 2 May 1945. It is impossible
that he could have been at Berchtesgaden or vicinity between 22 April
1945 and 2 May 1945. The children of Reichsminister Dr. Goebbels who
were brought to the bunker of the Reichs-Chancellery on 22.4.1945, were
taken away with a nurse only on 1 May 1945 from the Reichs-Chancellery.
Fieldmarshall Keitel and Col. General Jodl according to what I have seen
and heard must have left Berlin already on 22 April 1945.
SS-Gruppenfuchrer Fegelein telephoned me, I believe, in the afternoon of
28.4.1945 and asked me to come to see him in the Fuehrer-bunker in the
evening in order to receive there important papers concerning the
Fuehrer, the Reichsfuehrer SS and himself personally in order to destroy
all or to hide them so well that they coud not be found in case the
Russians should come through to the Reichs-Chancellery. I went to the
evening in order to meet SS-Guppenfuehrer Fegelein. I did not meet
Fegelein. Reichsleiter Martin Bormann asked me where Fegelein was. I
could tell Reichsleiter Bormann that SS-Gruppenfuehrer Fegelein had
ordered a car and had driven to his dwelling. They endeavored to find
Fegelein. Later on I heard that SS-Gruppenfuehrer Fegelein had
reappeared at the Reichs Chancellery in civilian clothes and had been
interrogated there by a SS-Gruppenfehrer Mueller whom I had never seen
before and who was said to belong to the SS-Hauptamt or to the SD.
Fegelein is said to have admitted before Mueller that he before several
times had been at Nauen in order to meet the Reichsfuehrer SS there; he
had endeavoured to get out of the Reichs-Chancellery and let the
Russians pass him and try to get through to the Reichsfuehrer SS in
civilian clothes. According to what I had been told Fegelein was
declared guilty of high treason and shot by order of SS-Gruppenfuehrer
In the days after the 20.4.1945 I have still seen Hitler several times
in his bunker in the Reichs-Chancellery. He had not changed in his
behaviour and gave a quiet impression. Eva Braun stayed with the
Fuehrer. After 28.4.1945 there were rumours in the Reichs-Chancellery
that the Fuehrer had been married during the night from 28 to 29.4.1945
to Eva Braun. A Regierungsrat or Oberregierungsrat of the ministry for
propaganda had performed the official ceremony. At the same time two
orderlies had been married. There was no publication of the marriage of
the Fuehrer to Eva Braun. I also did not congratulate the Fuehrer. Only
on 1 May 1945 secretary of state Dr. Naumann confirmed the fact of the
marriage of the Fuehrer.
I spoke to the Fuehrer for the last time on 29 April 1945. I reported to
him that I was engaged in bringing food into the inner part of Berlin in
order not to let the food fall into the hands of the Russians and in
order to provide the hospitals situated in the government-district. In
the Reichs-Chancellery itself there was a Hauptverbandsplatz [Battalion
aid-station]. The hotel "Adlon," the building of the Gauleitung of the
NSDAP of Berlin, and other buildings had been converted into hospitals.
The bunkers of the Reichs-Chancellery where several hundreds of wounded
had been quartered had not suffered any damage by the artillery-fire.
There was no enemy infantry attack against the Reichs-Chancellery until
the morning of 2 May 1945.
3. On 30 April 1945 at 1430 hours SS-Sturmbarmfuehrer Guensche
telephoned me and asked me to come to the Fuehrer-bunker. Besides that I
was to take care that 5 cans of gasoline, that is to
say 200 ltr., were brought along. at once took along two or three men
carrying the cans. More men were following because it took some time to
collect 200 ltr. of gasoline. By order of SS-Sturmbarmfuehrer Guensche
the cans were brought by these men to the entrance of the Fuehrer-bunker
located in the garden of the Reichs-Chancellery, which was next to the
so-called tower-home and about 20 m beside the so-called Haus Kempka, my
quarters (see drawing annex number 1). The men at once returned after
deposing the cans. There was a sentry of the SD at the entrance of the
bunker. I then went into the ante-chambre of the briefingroom (see room
Ill, annex 2) where I met Sturmbannfuehrer Guensche. Guensche told me
that the Fuehrer was dead. He did not tell me any details about the
death of the Fuehrer. He only explained he had got the order from the
Fuehrer to burn him at once after his death, "so that he would not be
exhibited at a Russian freak-show." A short time after that
SS-Sturmbarmfuehrer Linge (valet of the Fuehrer) and an orderly whom I
do not remember came from the private room of the Fuehrer (see room I,
annex 2) carrying a corpse wrapped in an ordinary field-gray blanket.
Based on the previous information from SS-Obersturmbarmfuehrer Guensche
at once supposed that it was the corpse of the Fuehrer. One could only
see the long black trousers and the black shoes which the Fuehrer
usually wore with his field-gray uniform jacket. Under these
circumstances there was no doubt that it was the corpse of the Fuehrer.
I could not observe any spots of blood on the body wrapped in the
blanket. Thereupon came Reichsleiter Martin Bormann from the living-room
of the Fuehrer and carried in his arms the corpse of Mrs. Eva Hitler,
nee Braun. He turned the corpse over to me. Mrs. Hitler wore a dark
dress. I did not have the feeling that the corpse was still warm. I
could not recognize any injuries on the body. The dress was slightly
damp only in the region of the heart. Behind Reichsleiter Bormann there
came also Reichsminister Dr. Goebbels. SS-Sturmbannfuehrer Linge and the
orderly now went upstairs with the corpse of the Fuehrer to the bunker
exit towards the garden of the Reichs-Chancellery (see annex 1,
Turmhaeuschen). I followed with the corpse of Mrs. Hitler.Behind me came
Reichsleiter Bormann, Dr. Goebbels and SS-Sturmbannfuehrer Guensche.
Reichsleiter Martin Bormann wore uniform. According to my recollection
Dr. Goebbels also wore uniform. It was shortly before 1500 hours, if I
remember that I received the first notice from Guensche at 1430 hours
and needed 5 to 10 minutes to reach the Puchrer-hunker.Linge and the
carried the corpse of the Fuehrer from the westwardly directed bunker
exit in the tower-house and put the wrapped corpse on the flat ground in
a small depression which was about 4 to 5 m distant from the bunker exit
(see the spot marked by two crosses on annex 1). There was no lawn,
rather bare sand; in the last period construction work was being done in
the Reichs-Chancellery. I put the corpse of Mrs. Hitler next to the
Fuehrer's. Immediately SS-Sturmbannfuehrer Guensche poured the complete
contents of the five cans over the two corpses and ignited the fuel.
Reichsleiter Martin Bormann, Reichsminister Dr. Goebbels,
SS-Sturmbannfuehrer Guensche, SS-Sturmbannfuehrer Linge, the orderly and
I stood in the bunker entrance, looked towards the fire and all saluted
with raised hands. The stay in the bunker exit lasted only a short time
because the garden of the Reichs-Chancellery was under heavy
artillery-fire. The short-lasting leaving of the bunker exit already
meant a danger to our lives. The ground of the garden of the
Reichs-Chancellery was ploughed by shell holes. Besides us the event
could only have been observed by the tower post of the SI). This one
however was not notified of what had happened.
Upon returning into the Fuehrer-bunker no words were exchanged.
Guensche, Linge and another person went into the living-room of the
Fuehrer. In order to return to the garage I had to pass through the
Fuehrer-bunker and wanted to look once more at the rooms in which the
Fuehrer had lived last. I followed the personnel mentioned into the
living-room of the Fuehrer. Opposite the entrance of the room the
dimensions of which are only 3 x 4 m stood a narrow sofa (see drawing
annex 3). Before the right front leg of the sofa (compare a) lay a
Walthe r- Pistol, 6.35 mm cal., which, as I knew, belonged to Miss Eva
Braun. Also on the floor approximately before the middle of the sofa lay
a Walther-Pistol, 7.65 mm cal. I supposed that this pistol belonged to
the Fuehrer. I myself did not touch anything in the room, but silently
stood there only for a few seconds. I did not put any questions and no
one else spoke to me. According to the situation it was clear to me that
the Fuehrer and Miss Eva Braun shot themselves. From the location of the
two pistols I concluded that the Fuehrer sat about on the middle of the
sofa before firing the shot and that Eva Braun had sat on the right part
of the sofa.
After returning to the garage I notified my men that the Fuehrer was
dead. A ceremonial was not held. I cannot say for which reason the date
of death of the Fuehrer was given as 1 May 1945 over the radio. I cannot
say with complete sureness
that the death of the Fuehrer, as previously described, took place on 30
April 1945. For on the same evening General Krebs had led negotiations
for the return of the wounded with the Russian general Tschukow. It may
be expected, that General Krebs regarded the continuation of the fight
after the death of the Fuehrer as futile. So far as I know nothing was
done later on to remove any traces of the corpses at the place of their
burning. This also was not necessary, because the traces had been wiped
out by the uninterrupted artillery-fire on the government district.
4. In the late afternoon of 1 May 1945 I received official notice from
SS-Sturmbannfuehrer Guensche, who was the commandant of the
Reichs-Chancellery, that on the same evening at 2100 hours the break
from the Chancellery was to take place. All men who were able to walk
and wanted to go along as well as the women who had belonged to the
Fuehrer's surroundings were to take part. SS-Brigadefuehrer Mohnke was
destined as the leader of the group to break out: he had previously a
combat group within the government district. The persons included in the
break assembled at 2100 hours in the coal-bunker of the new
Reichs-Chancellery, before the Hauptverbandsplatz. The number of persons
assembled there may have amounted from 500 to 700, among them a number
of women. All available weapons, rifles, submachineguns, pistols,
automatic carbines, light machine-guns and Panzerfaeuste were
distributed to the combat-groups I to 6. Brigadefuehrer Mohnke took the
lead and led combat-group 1. Ambassador Hewel (representative of the
Foreign-minister in the Fuehrer's headquarters), SS-Sturinbannfuehrer
Guensche as well as the Mrs. Christian (wife of Brig. Gen. Christian of
the Luftwaffe), Mrs. Junge, Miss Kriteger. the secretaries of the
Fuehrer, belonged to combat-group 1, about 50 to 60 persons. The men and
women singly left the Chancellery through a narrow hole in the wall
along Wilhelm-Strasse near the corner of Wilhelm-Strasse and
Voss-Strasse. Because of the heavy artillery-fire everyone ran as
quickly as possible to the next entrance of the subway in reach. The
next entrance of the Kaiserhof-stop about 50 m from the building of the
Reichs-Chancellery had collapsed after a direct artillery-hit. Therefore
we went to the entrance approximately 200 m distant from the
Reichs-Chancellery which was located opPosite the Hotel Kaiserhof. This
entrance was open. At the subway-station the single groups gathered
again and went to the subway-station Friedrichstrasse along the tracks
of the subway. There were many civilians on the platforms of the
subway-station Friedrichstrasse, soldiers sat around on the stairs of
As leader of my group which consisted of approximately 60 drivers I left
the subway-station through one of the exits which are located north of
the city railway-station Friedrichstrasse in the Friedrichstrasse.
Outside everything was quiet. Without danger I went about 200 m up to
the road-lock on the Weidendammer bridge (about 300 m north of the
railway-station Friedrichstrasse). A few meters behind the road-lock I
came upon a group of soldiers who told me that shortly before a group
of. 50 to 60 persons had passed this spot towards north. This was the
leading-group Mohnke. The soldiers declared that they had already tried
to break through, but that they had been beaten back. Russian troops had
occupied the houses and basements to both sides of the Friedrichstrasse
north of the Weidendammer bridge. I now returned and fetched my men from
the subway-station in order to let them take cover in the Admiralspalast
which was located in front of the subway-exit. After several groups had
arrived in the meantime another break-through was decided upon.
I made one break-through attempt with my group. Without being fired upon
we came through the second road-tylock on the Weidendammer bridge. But
10 or 20 m behind the second roadblock we received strong machine-gun
fire from all sides and had to retreat again. Further break-out attempts
which failed were undertaken. The break-through of the first group
probably succeeded only because of the surprise of our opponents. Later
on I met Mrs. Junge on a march. She told me that the leading-group under
Brigadefuehrer Mohnke had had to start after a few hundred meters. About
0530 hours a negotiator appeared and had made known that General
Tschukow wished a temporary armistice until 0615 hours. During these
negotiations Mrs. Junge together with the other women had left the
basement. Ambassador Hewel had taken poison. SS-Gruppenfuehrer
Rattenhuber who also belonged to Group I had received a serious injury.
During our stay in the Admiralspalast Reichsleiter Martin Bormann,
Brigadef uehrer and State's secretary Dr. Naumann, the adjutant of Dr.
Goebbels, Schwegermann, and other higher personalities appeared about 2
or 3 o'clock in the morning. I declared to Reichsleiter Bormann that it
was impossible to push through without heavy weapons. Later on 5 to 6
tanks and armoured recogn. cars arrived which were manned by soldiers.
It was decided that the tanks were to attempt the break-through and that
the men who had broken out of the Reichs-Chancellery were to advance
under the protection of the tanks. Behind one tank State's secretary Dr.
Naumann went as the first in the top of the
tank-turret, behind him Reichsleiter Martin Bormann followed by
SS-Standartenfuehrer Dr. Stumpfegger. I went behind Dr. Stumpfegger.
More men joined us. After the tank had gone about 30 to 40 m he received
a direct hit with a Panzerfaust. The tank flew apart. I saw a short
flash of lightning and flew to the ground where I remained lying
unconsciously. My last impression was that Dr. Naumann, Bormann and Dr.
Stumpfegger fell together and remained lying. I could no longer
recognize any injuries. Because Dr. Stumpfegger who preceded me was 30
cm taller than I he protected me from the full blast and I escaped with
splinter injuries at my thigh and my upperarm. After an undetermined
period I regained consciousness, saw only fire around me and crept back
on the ground. I got up behind the road block and sat down on the street
because just then I could not see correctly. SS-Standartenfuehrer Beetz
(after SS Gruppenfuehrer Baur the second command pilot of the Fuehrer)
was the first whom I saw. He had a serious head injury. Just then I saw
a new attack started from our side, but 1 decided not to go along any
more because of its futility. I returned to the Admiralspalast,
assembled my men and declared them that they were dismissed.
Each one could go on on his own, join a combat group or go home. I also
advised them to procure for themselves civilian clothes. I myself
returned to the Friedrichstrasse railway station with 7 men, among them
the lieutenant of the armoured troop Joerke who had been assigned to us
with 3 armoured half tracks. We crossed the Spree river on the foot path
directly under the city railroad. were able to reach a house on the
northern bank of the Spree river without being fired upon and from there
across several elevations up to a spot in the region of Albrechtstrasse,
Karlstrasse or Ziegelstrasse. The city railroad runs along there. We
reached a band of the city railroad in which a dump of medical equipment
was located. There we met two Jugoslavs and 2 Russian civilians who had
chosen the city railway band as their quarters. These at once
sympathized with us and promised to procure civilian clothes for us.
When a part of us had already civilian clothes the first Russian
soldiers arrived at the yard. Lieutenant Joerke who still had no
civilian clothes was hidden by us. We others quickly changed clothes.
The Russians demanded that we come into the yard. A Jugoslav woman
introduced me as her husband, while the others were designated as camp
labourers. We decided to f orm small groups and thus to go into the
street. At this attempt I was recognized by a Russian soldier and had to
return again. The Russian soldiers procured food and drinks. I
have participated at this ceremony which lasted until 2 o'clock of the
following night. After the ceremony the Jugoslav woman left, but
returned in the morning and brought me a coat. In this disguise I was
able to leave the house and walked via Tegel to Henningsdorf.
In Henningsdorf I was stopped by Russian soldiers and brought into a
yard. There were German soldiers who all wore civilian clothes. We spent
a few hours there. We were asked for papers. Nine-tenths of the men had
no papers. Nevertheless all of us were dismissed. I joined three men who
walked towards Kremmen. In the afternoon we were again arrested in a
village before Kremmen and locked up in a chicken stable. We were not
given any food. On the next morning about 5 o'clock we were brought
before the commanding officer of the troops. The commander was told that
we had been arrested at night as partisans with weapons in a forest. We
were then brought to Velten to the regional commandant there, a colonel.
He was told the same thing. One of my German escorts understood Russian
and notified the commandant that we had not been in the forest that
night, but had been arrested without weapons in the afternoon at 6
o'clock in the middle of a village. The commandant had sent for an
The negotiation lasted about half an hour. Probably inquiries were made.
Then we were searched. All articles of ordinary use, knives, razors,
fountain pens, pencils, etc. were taken away from us. We were then
dismissed with a pass in the direction of Bernau. However, we four men
again marched off in the direction ofKremmen. 2 men went ahead. With my
escort I passed north of Fehrbellin via Neustadt a.d. Dosse towards
Havelberg. About 10 km before Havelberg. in the village of Kuemmeritz,
we were again stopped by a sentry beside whom a closed car was standing.
He asked us whether we were "Wehrwolf". We denied it. After he had asked
several times he went to the car and brought a carbine. He took it off
safety, aimed at us and once more repeated his question. Then we m-ere
loaded upon a car. We were driven through the vicinity for a long time.
About six times we were taken out of the car and interrogated like
before with rifles aimed at us. Again we were searched. Things that
could be used were kept. Other things were thrown away. My wallet which
at first was taken from me was returned. We were told that we could go.
Before leaving a Russian soldier gave me a cigarette.
With the uncertain feeling that one would fire at us we left. In the
evening of Sth May 1945 we arrived in Havelberg. We looked for the next
best barn in order to sleep. On the next morn-
ing we were again thrown out very early; this was a camp for various
foreigners. These were led to work in the morning. We were able to leave
with the water carriers. We went through Havelberg to a farm. There we
received milk and went to sleep. We awoke at 3 o'clock in the afternoon.
2 other Germans who wanted to cross the Elbe river, but could no longer
cross it, had been living with this farmer for one or two days. We
conferred to make an attempt to cross the Elbe River together on the
following day. We remained with the farmer for one or two days.
In the morning of 11th May 1945 we crossed the Havel River near
Havelberg in the direction of Sandau and reconnoitered the situation
there. Boys declared us that the Elbe was situated behind the woods. We
would only have to go through a swamp. When we came there on the next
morning about 11 o'clock the woods were heavily occupied. However, we
crept through the woods and landed in the swamp. All the day long until
about 2 o'clock at night we stayed in the swamp. Then we crossed the
dam, went into the water at once and swam to the other side. After we
had dressed we were stopped by the Russians about 300 m farther. This
had really been only one arm of the Elbe river. We were returned to
Havelberg to a camp. In Havelberg we were held for 16 days together with
30 to 40 men and transported to Kyritz via Golewen. On the next day I
left Kyritz again with a Marine. We walked to the next railway station
and from there rode with a workers' train to Wittenberge. In Wittenberge
we tried to receive permission to stay for three days. However, we were
denied it with the reason that Wittenberge could not feed itself and
that for the time being no food would be provided for transients. We
continued in the direction of the Elbe River. On our way we were stopped
by a Cossack. There we worked for a whole day, carted dung, swept the
yard and cleaned dishes. On the same day we left the Cossack and went to
the edge of the city of Wittenberge where we spent the night with
On the next day we looked at the situation on the Elbe River and agreed
to swim across the Elbe River at the point of this house. We procured
the upper part of a baby car in order to store our things in it while
swimming across the Elbe River. Thus we swam across the Elbe River at
0130 hours. We reported to the Buergermeister in Gottberg. The locality
was occupied by Americans. The Buergermeister told us that a change of
command between Americans and English was just taking place and advised
us to move on until a new command had been established. We
then went to Vorsfelde. There I received a march order to Salzburg from
an English command post.
I still remember the following details. On the morning of 2 May 1945
SS-Hauptsturmfuehrer Schwegermann notified me that Dr. Goebbels and his
wife were dead. They had both died in the Fuehrer's bunker. Thereupon
the Fuehrer's bunker had been ignited. I did not ask any further
question, but I suppose that Dr. Goebbels and his wife had committed
General Burgdorf and SS-Sturmbannfuehrer Schaedle of the Fuehrer Escort
Command still remained in the Reichs-Chancellery. Schaedle told me that
he would shoot himself if the Russians were to push through to the
Reichs-Chancellery. So far as I know further members of the Fuehrer
Escort Command did not remain there. It is possible that some returned
after futile breakthrough attempts.
After 20 April 1945 Reichsminister Speer came to the ReichsChancellery
with a Stork (compare to US L-5) which was flown by Thea Rasche. I
expect that the plane had landed on the Hofjaegerallee (across road to
the East-West axis). However, the Fuehrer at once sent Speer away. I do
not believe that aircraft have landed and started on the East West axis.
Soon after 22nd April 1945 heavy artillery fire was laid on the East
/ss/ Erich Kempka
4 July 1945
Supplementary statement of Mr. ERICH KEMPKA
After Herman Karnau's story was read to me, which was written by Staff
Writer Daniel DeLuce on 6/30/45 at Montgomery's headquarters, I state:
1. I am sure that the story of the death of Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun,
as I have given it, as well as the burning of both of them on 4/30/45,
happened. I can give a few reasons for my positive statement. The escape
of the troops of the Reichs-Chancellery happened on 5/1/45 at 2100. More
than a day's time elapsed between Hitler's death and escape of the
troops. After Hitler and Eva Braun were cremated, there was a meethig in
the bunker of the Reichs-Chancellery between Gen. Krebs, Gen. Burg-
dorf and Reichs Minister Dr. Goebbels. As a result of this meeting, Gen.
Krebs, as Chief of Staff of the German Army, received an order from Dr.
Goebbels to make contact with the Russians in order to conf er about the
fate of the German wounded in the district of Greater Berlin. At the
same time, it also became known that the rest of the troops were to
leave the Reichs-Chancellery on the evening of 4/3/45. Gen. Krebs wasn't
able to leave the Reichs-Chancellery until 1800. The conference between
Gell. Krebs and the Russians dragged away into the evening. For this
reason, the departure from the Reichs-Chancellery was delayed. The cooks
and kitchen personnel who were ready to leave with the rest already had
their belongings packed and had to unpack again. I didn't see Gen. Krebs
after 4/30/45. But we did not have to worry about the fate of the
wounded, since the Russians assured us they would abide by International
Law. I can remember the happenings of 5/1/45 in the Reichs-Chancellery.
Since there was heavy artillery fire on the whole Government settlement,
not much could be done. In the afternoon of 5/1/45, the Commander of the
Government settlement, SS-Brigadefuehrer Mohnke gave the order that in
the evening of 5/1/45 at 2100 the departure from the Reichs-Chancellery
was to take place.
2. To the statement of Karnau that at 1600 on 5/1/45 he saw Hitler still
alive, and that 1830 he witnessed the cremation of the two bodies, I
can't agree. I remember surely that I was called by SS-Sturmbannfuehrer
Guensche on 4/30/45 by telephone to come over and have some gasoline
brought there. From that I conclude that the cremation happened around
1500. It is possible that Karnau witnessed other cremations. During
these days, many times two, three, four or five cans of gasoline were
asked for. the contents with which important papers were burned in the
vicinity of the bunker exit.
3. To a great part of the story Karnau, Herman, gave about the
cremation, I agree, but to a small part, I do not agree. I don't know
Herman Karnau personally, nor did I ever hear his name before. But this
is no reason for me to doubt the existence of his person or of his name.
I only knew part of the members of the SD Police at the Fuehrer
Headquarters. Karnau could have been the guard who was at the exit of
the Fuehrer's bunker leading into the garden of the Reichs-Chancellery.
This guard had to be present there at the cremation, also. Because of
the heavy artillery fire, he could not have been in the garden of the
ReichsChancellery, but be had to be by the entrance of the bunker. He
must nave been standing close to the rest of them during the cremation.
I think it is impossible that Karnau recognized the Fuehrer by his
moustache shortly before the cremation. The upper part of Hitler's body
was fully covered by a blanket. I don't think it possible that, by
laying the body on the ground, the blanket was blown back sufficientlY
to uncover the head of the body. All that could be seen were the feet,
which stuck out fifteen to twenty centimeters. The black low-cut shoes,
black socks. black pants, which the Fuehrer usually wore, could be seen.
Eva Braun, as I said before, was easy to recognize. She was not covered
by a blanket. She wore shoes with a high heel, and it is possible that
the shoes had a cork sole.
Hitler's body was laid on its back, as Karnau said. It is the truth that
Hitler's knees were pulled up a bit. Contrary to Karnau's statement, I
remember that Eva Braun was also laid on her back so that her face was
upwards. I still remember that, because of the wind, her skirt was blown
up so that her garters could be seen. The place where both were lain out
was about three or four meters away from the exit of the bunker. Hitler
and Eva Braun were not laying parallel to each other, but Eva Braun's
body was at an angle to Hitler's (see sketch). Hitler's body was on the
left, and Eva Braun's body was on the right, as seen from the exit of
Karnau's statement that next to the bodies there were four empty
gasoline cans could be true. There were at least five cans brought
there. One can holds twenty liters. Two hundred liters were not
available in the garage any more. That amount was brought there. It
could be that eight cans of approximately 160 liters, at the most, were
brought to the place of the cremation. Karnau gave the distance from the
place of cremation to the bunker as two meters, whereas, I think it was
three to four meters. Karnau's statement that Dr. Stumpfegger was
present at the cremation of Hitler's and Eva Braun's bodies could be
true. I said in my statement of 6/20/45 that SS-Sturmfuehrer Linge and
an "orderly" carried Hitler's body. Now I believe that it is possible
that the person named as "orderly" by me could have been Dr.
Stumpfegger, since it was Dr. Stumpfegger who pronounced Hitler and Eva
Braun dead. The belief of Karnau that Dr. Stumpfegger, who was the
assistant and follower of Dr. Morell, last with the rank of
SS-Standartenfuehrer, poisoned Hitler and Miss Eva Braun, is untrue from
my observations. I saw a wound on the body of Eva Braun, and
I also saw in Hitler's private room. the two pistols described by rne.
Besides that, SS-Sturmfuehrer Guensche told me after the cremation of
both bodies (I believe on 5/1/45) that the rug which was in Hitler's
private room was burned because it was full of blood spots. This I did
not observe during my stay in Hitler's private room in the afternoon of
4/30/45 shortly after the cremation, because it was a multi-colored
rug-that Hitler's shepherd bitch was poisoned three days before 4/30/45,
I saw during my stay at the Reichs-Chancellery. Who did the poisoning, I
That in a newspaper statement reported to have been made by the Russian
Marshall Chukov that Hitler and Eva Braun could have escaped from the
Berlin area by air, I can't agree. On 4/30/45 and two or three days
previous, no one could possibly have left the inner parts of Berlin by
air. There was a heavy artillery fire on all the inner parts of Berlin
during those days. Neither did I hear about a plane arriving or leaving
after the 25th or 26th of April 1945. After the 22nd of April 1945, the
usual briefing didn't take place. On the 25th or 26th of April 1945 Dr.
Speer, the Reichsminister, arrived with the Storch. On orders of the
Fuehrer, he had to leave immediately. It was told that the Storch landed
in the vicinity of the Siegessaule. I believe that he was standing at
the Hofiaegerallee (Cross-road to the East-West Axis).
I am changing my statement on page 6 of 6/20/45 on grounds of later
recollection, to the effect that I carried Eva Braun's body through
different rooms of the bunker to the beginning of the steps. There
SS-Sturmbannfuehrer Guensche took Eva Braun's body away from me.
Guensche then placed Eva Braun's body next to Hitler's, on the outside.
4. SS-Sturmbannfuehrer Guensche told me shortly after the cremation on
4/30/45 was publicized, that Hitler had ordered that the bunker in the
Reichs-Chancellery was to remain the way he left it. He meant that the
Russians were to see that he was down there till the last moment. But,
in fact, the bunker was set afire. On the night of 1-2 May, 1945, Dr.
Goebbel's chauffeur, SS-Obersturmbannfuehrer Alfred Rach, who, together
with State Secretary Dr. Naumann, arrived at the railroad station,
Friedrichstrasse, said that the bunker was set afire on orders of Dr.
Goebbels, From the talking of Rach, I came to the conclusion that Dr.
Goebbels and his wife either shot or poisoned themselves at the
Reichs-Chancellery, and gave orders previously to have the
Reichs-Chancellery set afire. Dr. Goebbels and his wife didn't
make any attempt to leave the Reichs-Chancellery. It is possible that
Dr. Goebbels did not know about the Fuehrer's will to keep the Fuehrer's
bunker intact. Hitler's valet, SS-Sturmbannfuehrer Linge I saw a few
times during the night 1-2 May, 1945, on the place of escape and at the
railroad station, Fried richstrasse. Where he went to, I don't know. The
SS-Sturmbannfuehrer, Schedule, named in the newspaper report of Daniel
de Luce, is the SS-Sturmbanilfuehrer Schadle. the leader of the
Fuehrer's guard command named by me, who, together with Gen. Burgdorf,
remained at the Reichs-Chancellery.
Although it was said in the press report that Hitler and Eva Braun had
two children, I must say is impossible. I knew Eva Braun since 1932, and
I know of no indications that she brought a child into the world.
/8/ GERHARI) HERGESELL