Modern scholars have uncovered a great deal of new information about Hitler, his frame of mind and his overall state of health. It is now believed that Hitler’s sanity may have been deteriorating throughout much of his rule. Accounts indicate that he might have suffered from tremors and a host of other ailments. Diagnoses such as Parkinson’s Disease and others have been put forth.
Whatever the case, it was known to the members of the Nazi Party that Hitler would not rule for very long and that they must be prepared for a new Fuhrer (“supreme leader”) after his death. Many of the other top Nazis envisioned themselves in this role. However, whatever the state of Hitler’s health and its decline, he did not live long enough for anything to be known for sure.
Hitler’s personal physician and other staff kept a tight lid on any real information about his health. It is very possible that Hitler may have been in a declining state of health by 1945. However, his death was by suicide rather than by any natural cause.
Like so many of the other Nazi leaders, Hitler had no intention of answering for the crimes that he had perpetrated against the Jews. By the middle of 1945, it was clear to everyone within Hitler’s inner circle that Germany would be defeated in the war.
At first, the Nazi leaders sought ways to ensure that the Nazi Party would retain power after the fall of Hitler. However, these plans were dashed once the D-Day Invasion took place. The Nazis, especially the SS, enacted strategies to burn and destroy the evidence of the Holocaust: They’d shoot and burn prisoners, march others to death to keep them from falling into the hands of the Allies, and dynamite outlying Holocaust death camps to prevent them from being seen.
It soon became clear that the full horrors of the Holocaust would be revealed to all. When this was the case, there was no future for Hitler or his racist ideology. By April 1945, Berlin was surrounded by both the Russian military and the combined forces of the British and Americans. The city was being bombed on a regular basis and even the underground bunker where Hitler was hiding would soon fall into Allied hands.
On April 30, 1945, Hitler had his wife Eva Braun commit suicide by cyanide capsule. He then shot himself through the temple with a pistol. His body is believed to have been seized by the Soviet Army, cremated and scattered.
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