The Holocaust Historiography Project

Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression: Volume VII

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Translation of document D-444

[Order of the Day and Speech of Doenitz on Death of Hitler, 1 May 1945]

21.30, 21.42, 21.57

Atention, attention! The German Radio will broadcast a serious and important announcement to the German people (Music by Wagner and Bruckner).

22.26

(Repetition of the announcement)

(Drums) It has been reported from teh Fuehrer's Headquarters, that our Fuehrer Adolf Hitler has died this afternoon in his Battle Headquarters at the Reichschancellery fighting to the last breath for Germany against Bolshevism.

On the 30th April the Fuehrer nominated Grand Admiral

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Doenitz to be his successor. The Grandadmiral and Fuehrer's successor will speak to the German nation.

Doenitz:

German men and women, soldiers of the German armed forces. Our Fuehrer Adolf Hitler is dead. The German people bow in deepest sorrow and respect. Early he had recognized the terrible danger of Bolshevism and had dedicated his life to the fight against it. His fight having ended, he died a hero's death in the capital of the German Reich, after having led a straight and steady life.

His life was dedicated to the service of Germany. His devotion in the fight against the Bolshevist flood was in the interest not only of Europe but of the entire civilized world. The Fuehrer has nominated me as his successor. Fully conscious of the responsibility, I am taking over the leadership of the German nation in this fateful hour, my first task is to save German men from being destroyed by the advancing Bolshevist enemy. For this reason only do the Armies continue fighting. As far and as long as the achievement of this task is being prevented by the British and Americans, we have to defend ourselves against them too and must go on fighting. Thus the Anglo-Americans are no longer carrying on the fight for their own peoples but only for the spreading of Bolshevism in Europe. What the German people have achieved in this war through fighting and sufferings they have undergone at home are unique in history. In the coming emergency arising for our people I shall to the best of my ability make it my business to secure for our brave women, men, and children the most tolerable conditions essential to life.

In order to do this, I need your help. Give me your confidence, as your road is also my road. Uphold order and discipline in towns and country. Let everybody remain at his post doing his duty. Only thus will we be able to mitigate the suffering, which the future will bring for every one of us, and prevent the collapse. If we do all that is in our power, God will not forsake us after so much suffering and sacrifice.

("Deutschland, Deutschland ueber Alles" and the "Horst Wessel" Song)

22:30

There is now a radio silence of three minutes.

22.33

As Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Grandadmiral Doenitz issued the following order of the day to the German Armed Forces:

German Armed Forces, my comrades. The Fuehrer is dead. Faithful to his great idea to save the peoples of Europe from Bolshevism. He has devoted his life and has died the death of a hero. With him one of the greatest heroes of German history has gone. With proud respect and sorrow we lower the flags for him.

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The Fuehrer has designated me to be his successor as head of State and as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. I am taking over the Supreme Command of all branches of the German Armed Forces with the will to carry on the struggle against the Bolshevists until the fighting forces and until hundreds of thousands of families of the German Eastern area have been saved from slavery and destruction.

Against the English and Americans I must continue to fight on as long as they prevent me from carrying on the fight [-- translator's addition — ? against Bolshevism].

The situation requires from you, who have achieved such great historic deeds, and who ar elonging for the end of this war, further unconditional devotion. I demand discipline and obedience. Only by carrying out my orders unconditionally will chaos and destruction be avoided. He is a coward and traitor who, especially at this time, evades his duties and thus brings death or slavery to German women and children.

The oath sworn by you to the Fuehrer is now owed to me by everyone of you as the successor appointed by the Fuehrer.

German soldiers do your duty. The life of our nation is at stake.

(serious music)
Reichsprograme North (Hamburg)

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