The Unsolved Mystery of Martin Bormann

The fate of Hitler’s deputy, Martin Bormann, is one of the unsolved mysteries of World War II, and, it would seem, has provided a role-model for Elvis Presley and Princess Diana. That said, he doesn’t seem to have made too good a job of it and apparently he’s been seen everywhere from Scandinavia to the Caribbean. And his body has never been found. While in 1972, a German court claimed to have found the skull of Bormann, some researchers say that it was no more than a ploy to put the Nazi hunters well off track. Martin Ludwig Bormann (17 June 1900 – 2 May 1945) was a prominent Nazi official. He became head of the Party Chancellery (Parteikanzlei) and private secretary to Adolf Hitler. He gained Hitler's trust and derived immense power within the Third Reich by controlling access to the Führer. The son of a former Prussian regimental sergeant-major who later became a post-office employee, Bormann dropped out of school to work on a farming estate in Mecklenburg. After serving briefly as a cannoneer in a field artillery regiment at the end of World War I, Bormann subsequently joined the rightist Rossbach Freikorps in Mecklenburg and was connected with the so-called 'Feme' murders.

In March 1924 he was sentenced to one year's imprisonment as an accomplice of Rudolf Höss in the brutal, vengeance murder of Walther Kadow (his former teacher at elementary school), who had supposedly betrayed the proto-Nazi martyr Leo Schlageter to the French occupation authorities in the Ruhr. After his release he entered the NSDAP, becoming its regional press officer in Thuringia and then business manager in 1928. From 1928 to 1930 he was attached to the SA Supreme Command and in October 1933 he became a Reichsleiter of the NSDAP. A month later he was elected as a Nazi delegate to the Reichstag. From July 1933 until 1941 Bormann was the Chief of Cabinet in the Office of the Deputy Fuhrer, Rudolf Hess , acting as his personal secretary and right-hand man.

During this period, the 'model secretary', diligent, adaptable and efficient, began his silent, imperceptible rise to the centre of the power apparatus, slowly acquiring master of the bureaucratic mechanism and Hitler's personal trust. He developed and administered the Adolf Hitler Endowment Fund of German industry, a huge fund of 'voluntary' contributions by successful business entrepreneurs to the Fuhrer, which Bormann then reallocated as gifts to almost all the top Party functionaries.

In addition to administering Hitler's personal finances, buying the Berghof at Berchtesgaden and running it as well as the whole complex of properties on the Obersalzberg, Bormann acquired the power to control the living standards of Gauleiters and Reichsleiters, not to speak of members of the Fuhrer's intimate circle. Bormann's brutality, coarseness, lack of culture and his apparent insignificance led the Nazi Old Guard to underestimate his silent persistence and ability to make himself indispensable. Rudolf Hess's flight to Britain opened the way for the 'Brown Eminence' to step into his shoes on 12 May 1941 as head of the Parteikanzlei and to gather the reins of the Party into his own hands and steadily undermine all his rivals for power. Until the end of the war, the short, squat Bormann, working in the anonymity of his seemingly unimportant office, proved himself a master of intrigue, manipulation and political in-fighting. Always the 'narrow Party man' and a fierce guardian of Nazi orthodoxy (he was an arch-fanatic when it came to racial policy, anti-semitism and the Kirchenkampf [war between the churches]), Bormann strengthened the position of the Party against the Wehrmacht and the SS, and increased his grip on domestic policy.

Increasingly he controlled all questions concerning the security of the regime, acts of legislation, appointments and promotions, especially if they concerned Party personnel. He also established espionage in the army, getting younger officers promoted to spy on the political attitudes of their colleagues. He reopened the fight against the Christian churches, declaring in a confidential memo to Gauleiters in 1942 that their power 'must absolutely and finally be broken'. Nazism, based as it was on a 'scientific' world-view, was completely incompatible with Christianity whose influence was regarded by Bormann as a serious obstacle to totalitarian rule. The sharpest anti-cleric in the Nazi leadership (he collected all the files of cases against the clergy that he could lay his hands on), Bormann was the driving force of the Kirchenkampf, which Hitler for tactical reasons had wished to postpone until after the war.

Bormann was invariably the advocate of extremely harsh, radical measures when it came to the treatment of Jews, of the conquered eastern peoples or prisoners of war. He signed the decree of 9 October 1942 prescribing that 'the permanent elimination of the Jews from the territories of Greater Germany can no longer be carried out by emigration but by the use of ruthless force in the special camps of the East'. A further decree, signed by Bormann on 1 July 1943, gave Adolf Eichmann absolute powers over Jews, who now came under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Gestapo.

Bormann's memos concerning the Slavs make it clear that he regarded them as a 'Sovietized mass' of sub- humans who had no claim to national independence. In a brutal memo of 19 August 1942 he wrote: 'The Slavs are to work for us. In so far as we do not need them, they may die. Slav fertility is not desirable.'

By the end of 1942 Bormann was virtually Hitler's deputy and his closest collaborator, showing an uncanny ability to exploit his weaknesses and personal peculiarities in order to increase his own power. Always in attendance on the Fuhrer, taking care of tiresome administrative detail and skilfully steering Hitler into approval of his own schemes, Bormann acquired the inside track for displacing dangerous rivals like Goering, Goebbels, Speer and even Himmler whose access to the Fuhrer was controlled by him.

Bormann exploited his position of trust to build a Chinese wall against reality, in which Hitler could indulge his fantasies and in which more sensible, conciliatory proposals from other members of the Party were screened from him. Bormann reduced everything to simple, administrative formulae that freed Hitler from the burdens of paper work. He drew up his appointments calendar and decided whom he should see and whom he should not. Hitler rewarded these and other services by the trust he placed in Bormann, whom he once called 'my most loyal Party comrade'. He was made executive head of the Volkssturm, the desperate levy en masse of the German civilian population organized as the Allies stood poised to invade the Reich.

By now virtually the secret ruler of Germany, Bormann did not cease his Machiavellian bureaucratic intrigues against his rivals. As a result of his machinations Hitler dismissed Goering and Himmler's influence was severely curtailed. It was the indispensable Bormann, the most mysterious and sinister figure in the Third Reich, who signed Hitler's political testament, who acted as the witness to his marriage to Eva Braun and watched his Fuhrer commit suicide in the Chancellery bunker. Ordered by Hitler 'to put the interests of the nation before his own feelings' and to save himself, Bormann left the Fuhrerbunker on 30 April 1945. Accounts of what happened afterwards vary widely.

According to Erich Kempka (Hitler's chauffeur), Bormann was killed trying to cross the Russian lines by an anti-tank shell which hit the tank in which they were trying to escape, causing it to burst into flames. Kempka, who was temporarily blinded at the time, claimed nonetheless to have seen Bormann's dead body. Hitler Youth Leader, Artur Axmann, on the other hand, believed that Bormann committed suicide and claimed to have seen Bormann's body on 2 May 1945 in the Invalidenstrasse, north of the River Spree in Berlin.

Doubts, however, have persisted and numerous sightings of Bormann have been reported, beginning in 1946 when his presence in a North Italian monastery was announced. In the same year, his wife Gerda (a rabid Nazi and daughter of Supreme Party Judge, Walter Buch) died of cancer in South Tyrol, though his ten children survived the war. It was then alleged that Bormann had escaped (like other loyal Nazis) via Rome to South America. Rumoured to have settled in Argentina where he was living secretly as a millionaire, allegedly spotted in Brazil and also in Chile, Bormann's traces proved as elusive as the anonymity in which he first rose to power.

Evidence from British intelligence officers has pointed to the fact that Bormann may have come to Britain after the War. Having the authority to release all German funds in Swiss banks, he was apparently brought to Britain and used by British intelligence to their advantage while being housed in a small village. Unconfirmed sightings of Bormann were reported globally for two decades, particularly in Europe, Paraguay, and elsewhere in South America.

Some rumours claimed that Bormann had plastic surgery while on the run. At a 1967 press conference, Simon Wiesenthal asserted there was strong evidence that Bormann was alive and well in South America. Writer Ladislas Farago's widely-known 1974 book Aftermath: Martin Bormann and the Fourth Reich argued that Bormann had survived the war and lived in Argentina. Farago's evidence, which drew heavily on official governmental documents, was compelling enough to persuade Dr. Robert M. W. Kempner (a lawyer at the Nuremberg Trials) to briefly re-open an active investigation in 1972, but Farago's claims were generally rejected by historians and critics.

Allegations that Bormann and his organization survived the war figure prominently in the work of David Emory. Axmann and Krumnow's accounts were bolstered in late 1972 when construction workers uncovered human remains near the Lehrter Bahnhof in West Berlin just 12 meters from the spot where Krumnow claimed he had buried them. Dental records — reconstructed from memory in 1945 by Dr. Hugo Blaschke — identified the skeleton as Bormann's, and damage to the collarbone was consistent with injuries Bormann's sons reported he had sustained in a riding accident in 1939. Fragments of glass in the jawbones of both skeletons indicated that Bormann and Stumpfegger had committed suicide by biting cyanide capsules in order to avoid capture. Soon after, in a press conference held by the West German government, Bormann was declared dead, a statement condemned by London's Daily Express as a whitewash perpetrated by the Brandt government. West German diplomatic officials were given the official instruction: "If anyone is arrested on suspicion that he is Bormann we will be dealing with an innocent man." Some controversy continued, however. For example, Hugh Thomas' 1995 book Doppelgängers claimed there were forensic inconsistencies suggesting Bormann died later than 1945.

(Sources : Conspiracy Theories by Kate Tuckett; Wikipedia; and http://www.thirdreich.net/Bormann_Bio.html)

(Pic source : wikipedia)



Written By Tripzibit on Apr 6, 2009 | 15:48

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2 komentar:

Denford said...

I am fascinated by Hitler's Reich because of the minute and frightening similarities to the regime our President, Robert Mugabe, is running here in Zimbabwe.

Borman was indeed a powerful figure in the Third Reich, which I have studied extensively.

The best biography of Hitler so far,in two volumes, Hubris and Nemesis, written by Ian Kershaw is very convincing in debunking most of the myths and legends around the Third Reich.

He presents conclusive arguments that Borman did indeed die in Germany before the war was even officially ended.

Borman telegraphed Admiral Donitz, who had been appointed new Head of State by Hitler in his will, just after Hitler die.
He asked Donitz not to do anything before he, Borman, arrived, saying, "I am on my his way to you." He hoped to continue his role as right-hand man to the Head of State.

He never got there.

He did die in Berlin.

I would urge you to read the two-volume book if you are keen on understanding the true nature and evil intent of Nazi Germany

tripzibit said...

(Denford) Wow, i didn't know that your president's regime has similarities with Hitler's regime. Really interesting. I'll search those book that u've mentioned. Thank you :)