Today on April 30, 1945, Adolf Hitler finally conceded to his inevitable fate by committing suicide in Führerbunker alongside wife Eva Braun.
By 1945, World War II was now all but lost for Hitler and his Nazi regime. The Third Reich had now virtually collapsed, and its government leaders were either dead or fleeing from eventual prosecution. Back in January, Hitler decided that he would remain in Berlin for “the last great siege” of the war. On March 19, he issued the Nero Decree which essentially called for the self-destruction of Germany — Albert Speer, the Minister of Armaments and War Production, was appalled and outwardly refused to carry out the order.
The Russians began to mercilessly bombard the capital for almost four months before finally reaching the city outskirts. By now, Hitler was permanently withdrawn to the Fuhrerbunker and rarely seen in public. His state-of-the-art bunker was located fifty-five feet below the chancellery building. It consisted of 18 individual rooms and was entirely self-sufficient with separate water and electrical supply.
By early April, the Red Army was now fighting in brutal close range combat in the streets of Berlin, crushing any pockets of resistance. The Allies were also rapidly advancing on the German capital from the west. Hitler was now just a shadow of his former self, riddled by uncontrollable shaking and constant paranoia. During the final weeks, the Nazi inner circle had secretly abandoned him and were planning for their postwar lives. His remaining comrades pleaded with the Fuhrer to escape to the Alps, but he refused. Just two days before his death, Hitler decided to marry his long-time mistress, Eva Braun. They would live as husband and wife for less than forty hours.
At around 14:30 on April 30, he and Eva retired to his private quarters after saying farewell to everyone in the bunker. The couple poisoned themselves with cyanide pills along with their dog, Blondie. Hitler then shot himself in the head with a pistol. The bodies were hastily cremated in the Chancellery garden, as Soviet forces closed in on the building. In his final orders as the Fuhrer, he appointed Admiral Karl Donitz as Head of State and Joseph Goebbels as Chancellor. The remaining German forces issued an unconditional surrender eight days later.