How do you cope when you find out that your father was one of the most evil men in history, and worse your Godfather was the most evil man known to mankind?
Martin Adolf Bormann (14 April 1930 in Grünwald – 11 March 2013 (aged 82) in Herdecke) was a German theologian laicized Roman Catholic priest, the eldest of the ten children of Martin Bormann and a godson of Adolf Hitler.
His father Martin Bormann was the personal Secretary to Hitler.
Preoccupied with military matters and spending most of his time at his military headquarters on the eastern front, Hitler came to rely more and more on Bormann to handle the domestic policies of the country. On 12 April 1943, Hitler officially appointed Bormann as Personal Secretary to the Führer. By this time Bormann had de facto control over all domestic matters, and this new appointment gave him the power to act in an official capacity in any matter.
Bormann Jr was born as Adolf Martin Bormann in Grünwald, Bavaria, the oldest of the ten children of the head of the Nazi Party Chancellery and private secretary to Führer Adolf Hitler, Martin Bormann (1900–1945) and his wife, Gerda Buch (1909–1946). Nicknamed Krönzi, short for Kronprinz (German for crown prince), he was an ardent young Nazi, attending the Nazi Party Academy of Matrei am Brenner in the Tyrol from 1940 to 1945.
Until he was 15, he loved his father as any child should. Martin Bormann Sr was, by all accounts, a good family man, dutifully visiting his wife and nine children from wherever he was based, taking pains to ensure their schooling and home life was correct. When he was 10, young Martin was sent to the elite Nazi Party Academy in Bavaria (“to make me a good German,” he smiles), where he stayed for five years until the Third Reich started collapsing.
On 15 April 1945, the school closed and young Martin was advised by a party functionary in Munich, named Hummel, to try to reach his mother in the still German-occupied hamlet of Val Gardena/Gröden, near Selva/Wolkenstein in Italian South Tyrol. Unable to get there, he found himself stranded in Salzburg where the Gauleiter provided him with false identity papers and he found hospitality with a Catholic farmer, Nikolaus Hohenwarter, at the Querleitnerhof, halfway up a mountain in the Salzburg Alps.
After Germany surrendered, his mother, Gerda, was subjected to relentless interrogation by officers of the CIC (Combined Intelligence Committee, the joint American-British intelligence body). She died of abdominal cancer in the prison hospital at Merano on 23 April 1946.
The following year, her teenage son Martin learned of his mother’s death from an article in the Salzburger Nachrichten and only then confessed his true identity to Nikolas Hohenwarter, who reported the information to his local priest at Weißbach bei Lofer. Subsequently the priest advised the rector of the Church of Maria Kirchtal, who then took the boy into his care.
Bormann converted to Catholicism. While serving as an altar boy at Maria Kirchtal, he was arrested by American intelligence officers and imprisoned at Zell am See for several days of interrogation before being returned to his parish. He stayed there until he joined the religious congregation of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart in Ingolstadt. He had been able to resume contact with his brothers and sisters, all of whom, except for one sister, had also been received into the Catholic Church.
After Hitler committed suicide on 30 April 1945, his fugitive father Martin Bormann suddenly vanished.
Martin A. Bormann said he did not know what happened to his father when interrogated: he was repeatedly tested for lies but was deemed truthful. Over the coming years, several organisations, including the CIA and the West German Government, attempted to locate Bormann without success.Sightings were reported at points all over the world, including Australia, Denmark, Italy, and South America.In 1971 Bormann supported the government officials’ conclusion that the disappearance of Martin Bormann Sr. was inconclusive and the search for Bormann Sr. was officially ended in November 1971. Thereafter, on 7 December 1972, construction workers uncovered human remains near Lehrter station in West Berlin. Upon autopsy, fragments of glass were found in the jaw of the skeleton, which was identified as Martin Bormann Sr. through reconstructed dental records; the glass fragments suggested he had committed suicide by biting a cyanide capsule to avoid capture. Forensic examiners determined that the size of the skeleton and shape of the skull were identical to Bormann’s. The remains were conclusively identified as Bormann’s in 1998 when German authorities ordered genetic testing on fragments of the skull.On 16 August 1999 the remains were cremated and Martin Bormann Jr. was permitted to scatter his father’s ashes in the Baltic Sea.
On 28 July 1958, he was ordained a priest. In 1961, he was sent to the newly independent Congo (formerly the Belgian Congo), where he worked as a missionary until 1964, when he had to flee the country due to the Simba rebellion. In 1966, he returned to the Congo for a year.
Following a near-fatal injury in 1969 he was nursed back to health by a nun, Sister Cordula, who then also renounced her vows. They were married in 1971.
He became a teacher of theology and retired in 1992. As recently as 2001, he toured schools in Germany and Austria, speaking about the horrors of the Third Reich, and has even visited Israel, meeting with Holocaust survivors.
In 2011, Bormann was accused by a former pupil at an Austrian Catholic boarding school of raping him as a 12-year-old when Bormann was working there as a priest and schoolmaster in the early 1960s.
Other former pupils alleged severe physical violence had been used against them and others. Bormann denied knowledge of the events.Father Walter Licklederer of the order in Salzburg where the abuse is alleged to have taken place said he was ‘shattered’ by the claims
Bormann died in 2013 in Herdecke, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
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