On 29 April 1945, Hitler completed his will and last political testament and married his longtime mistress, Eva Braun. He also received the news that Benito Mussolini met his death in Italy. Mussolini’s corpse, along with that of his mistress, Clara Petacci, had been smashed in fury by a mob and hung upside down outside a gas station.
The following day, 30 April 1945, while holed up in his bunker under his headquarters in Berlin, Hitler committed suicide by swallowing a cyanide capsule and shooting himself in the head. His wife, Eva Braun also killed herself.
This is how the media reported the news.
One of Time magazine’s most iconic covers of all time was used to mark Hitler’s death.
Inside the edition, TIME Magazine would also mention the death of Mussolini.
Karl Lehmann was a German-Jewish refugee. He arrived at Leighton Park in 1936 from Cologne, Germany, where conditions were no longer safe for him. Karl joined the BBC Monitoring Service, first at Evesham, then Reading, where he listened to and translated German wartime broadcasts, including the one on 1 May 1945 announcing the death of Adolf Hitler.
The 24-year-old was monitoring German state radio when listeners were told to prepare for an important announcement.
“They played solemn music and then they said Hitler had died,” he recalls. “They said he had fallen fighting Bolshevism. It was announced in a very sombre way.”
“We were the first people in Britain to hear the announcement,” he remembers. “The whole building cheered. We realised how important it was. It meant the end of the war against Germany.”