A little after 11 p.m., Gertrude Junge, the 25-year-old secretary to Adolf Hitler, woke from a one-hour nap, and, thinking it was time for the nightly tea with her boss, headed for his study.
“Have you had a nice little rest, child,” her boss asked her as he shook her hand. “Yes, I have slept a little,” she replied.
Getting any sleep in Hitler’s bunker, deep underground in Berlin, might have been difficult that night in April 1945.
Russian troops were only about 1,000 yards away, and the war was all but lost by then. The head of Hitler’s dreaded SS, Heinrich Himmler, was already negotiating with the Western Allies. The Third Reich was almost over.
But the dictator had something else on his mind at tea time.
“Come along,” he said to Junge, “I want to dictate something.”
They went into the conference room next to Hitler’s quarters, and Junge began to uncover the typewriter she usually used to take down his dictation.
Not this time, however, as Greg Bradsher recounts … [ Read all ]
This morning in Dallas, TX, the Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero, Senior Archivist Greg Bradsher, and President of the Monuments Men Foundation Robert M. Edsel announced the discovery of two original albums of photographs of paintings and furniture looted by the Nazis.
The Monuments Men Foundation will donate these albums, which have been in private hands since the end of World War II, to the National Archives.
These albums were created by a special Nazi task force, the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR), to document the systematic looting of Europe by Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. The ERR was the main Nazi agency engaged in the theft of cultural treasures in Nazi-occupied countries.
“The Foundation often receives calls from veterans and their heirs, who don’t know the importance of items they may have picked up during their service, or aren’t aware that anyone is looking for the items,” Edsel said. “These albums are just the tip of the iceberg for hundreds of thousands of cultural items still missing since World War II.”
In the closing days of World War II, U.S. soldiers entered Adolf Hitler’s home in the Bavarian Alps. Many picked up souvenirs to prove they had been inside the Berghof.
Cpl. Albert Lorenzetti (989th … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on March 27, 2012, under - World War II, News and Events, preservation, Rare Photos.
Tags: 989th Field Artillery Battalion, art, Berchtesgaden, Girl with Two Doves, hitler, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Monuments Men, Nazis, Nuremberg, Robert Edsel, Rothschild, stolen art, World War II, WWII
Today’s guest post comes from Miriam Kleiman of the Public and Media Communications Office.
Before joining the Public Affairs staff, I was a researcher for the “Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group.” I reviewed records of Nazi war criminals, including those recruited by the U.S. intelligence. Needless to say, this was not an upbeat task.
But one day I found a file that was astonishing and entertaining: a file on the arrest and interrogation of Dr. Hugo Johannes Blaschke, Hitler’s dentist.
(In my many years of research, this file was the first and only war crimes–related file that I ever copied and shared with my dentist, who has never mentioned it in subsequent appointments. )
Born in West Prussia and raised in Berlin, Blaschke studied dentistry at the University of Pennsylvania from 1908 to 1911 and was a member of Psi Omega Zeta dental fraternity. Yet Hitler’s Ivy League–educated dentist was arrogant and unbothered by World War II and its aftermath.
During interrogation, Blaschke criticizes Hitler, but not for war crimes. Instead, he blasts Hitler as a frustrating patient who delayed appointments, was careless about dental hygiene, and only called when he was in pain. Blaschke mentions the war as a side … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on January 31, 2012, under - World War II, Myth or History, Unusual documents.
Tags: Adolf Hitler, Army Counter-Intelligence Corps, dentist, ecords of the Army Staff, hitler, Hugo Johannes Blaschke, Psi Omega Zeta, RG 319, teeth
Today’s guest post was written by Miriam Kleiman, who works in the National Archives Public Affairs Office.
George Clooney’s next film—which he will write, direct, and star in—is based on holdings from the National Archives!
Clooney announced last weekend that his number-one priority is to make a film about the “Monuments Men,” a group of cultural scholars and historians who donned Army uniforms to serve the Allies by rescuing, identifying, and trying to return precious artworks looted by Adolf Hitler.
Clooney shared with the press that while the Monuments Men were not trained for combat, they did face live fire and even had to give orders. He offered a possible example: “Don’t aim your tank over there, that’s the Leaning Tower of Pisa!” And it will be a big-budget film, not a small artsy one.
Clooney is now working on the screenplay. The movie will be an adaptation of Robert Edsel’s 2009 book, The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History.
Edsel is no stranger to the National Archives. His work is largely based on National Archives records, including those of the Office of Strategic Services Art Looting Unit, images from the U.S. Army Signal Corps, … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on January 18, 2012, under - World War II, News and Events, Unusual documents.
Tags: Alfred Rosenberg, Bavaria, Captured German Records, Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg, Eisenhower, ERR, George Clooney, George Patton, Hermann Goering, hitler, Hitler albums, Hollywood, Jewish art collections, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Monuments Men, National Treasure, Neuschwanstein, Nicholas Cage, Office of Strategic Services Art Looting Unit, Omar Bradley, Robert Edsel, Rose Valland, U.S. Army
Each of the German victories, and there were a surprising number of these, made [Adolf Hitler] happy, but he was highly annoyed by the series of triumphs by the marvelous colored American runner, Jesse Owens. People whose antecedents came from the jungle were primitive, Hitler said with a shrug; their physiques were stronger than those of civilized whites and hence should be excluded from future games.
—Albert Speer Inside the Third Reich
Jesse Owens was the son of a sharecropper and the grandson of slaves. After winning four gold medals and embarrassing Adolf Hitler in Berlin, FDR would not call him to congratulate him, nor would Truman. But for a moment in history, the racism that pervaded in the United States fell behind the Olympian as he ran for glory for the Stars and Stripes.
Owens made history well before 1936. In 1935, his reputation was established as one of the greatest runners in history. In the span of 45 minutes and suffering from a back injury, the African American runner set three world records and tied a fourth at a track meet in Ann Arbor, MI. He was a sophomore in college.
On August 2, the first day of competition at the 1936 games, Germany took its first gold in the shot put—its first in the modern games. Hitler … [ Read all ]
Posted by Rob Crotty on September 14, 2010, under - Civil Rights, - World War II.
Tags: accurate history, american history, berlin olympics, famous african americans, hitler, jesse owens, NARA, national archives, National archives and records administration, odd history, Pieces of History, prologue blog, Prologue magazine, random history, weird US history, world war two