On This Day: April 30th

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On the 30th of April in 1945 Adolf Hitler and his wife Eva Braun committed suicide in the Fuhrer’s bunker in Berlin. It was the last of Hitler’s headquarters used during the Second World War, he took up residence in the Fuhrerbunker in January 1945 and it became the centre of the Nazi regime as the war headed closer to a defeat for Hitler. Hitler and his wife Eva Braun had only been married less than two days when they committed suicide on the 30th. British, American and Canadian forces were advancing from the west and the Soviets steamrolled from the east, the wars defeat was inevitable with Hitler concealed in the bunker awaiting the end. Suicide was the only option for Hitler he couldn’t face the allies and a trial or for Hitler an even worse case scenario with the potential for being captured by the Soviets. With the Soviets less than 500 metres from the bunker Hitler was told the soldiers at the Fuhrerbunker would run out of ammunition that same night, the possible reinforcements were either cut off or pushed back, there was only one option for Hitler. Suicide. Eva Braun had taken cyanide that they had been given and Hitler had shot himself in the head, they were both dead. The corpses were burned by SS officers and were buried in a shallow bomb crater.

A further part of this day in the story of World War II was the Soviet soldiers raising the victory banner over the Reichstag building in Berlin. It was raised by three Soviet soldiers: Alexei Berest, Mikhail Yegorov, and Meliton Kantaria, from Ukraine, Russia, and Georgia respectively. How it happened:

Report of the commander of the 3rd assault army to the head of political administration of The Red Army about the fight for Reichstag and placing the Victory Banner on it. (quotes)[1]

July 2, 1945.

The Commander of the 1st Belarussian Front Marshal of Soviet Union comrade Zhukov ordered the troops of 3rd assault army headily enter Berlin, to secure the downtown and Reichstag and to place the Victory Banner on it. <…>

Having defeated the last enemy strongholds the troops of the army entered Berlin at 6:00 AM on the 21st of April 1945. <…>

After seizing the downtown the troops of the 3rd assault army penetrated the neighborhood of Reichtag at the end of 29 of April 1945..

On the 30th of April with the sunrise they started the massive assault on Reichtag. <…>

On the 30th of April 1945 at 14:25 the fighters of superior corporal Syanov’s group fought their way to the roof and reached the dome. The courageous warriors – Communist Lieutenant Berest, Comsomol Member Soldier Egorov and member of no party Junior Corporal Kantaria have set the banner, the symbol of our Great Victory, the Proud Flag of the Soviet Union flew above the German Parliament building!

The burned and pierced by bullets Banner was victoriously flying above defeated Berlin <…>

The Commander of the troops of the 3rd Assault Army, Soviet Union Hero, Сolonel-General Kuznetsov

Member of Military Board of the 3rd Assault Army Major-General Litvinov

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