Farewell to Adolf Hitler – An obituary from May 2, 1945

hitler5This is the commentary on Hitler’s death by a Hamburg newspaper, dated Wednesday, 2 May 1945. Herman Okraß, the author of the article,, was an early NSDAP member who had written a book on the early years of the movement. He was the paper’s editor.

After the war, he was sentenced to a prison term, but was released due to time already served.

The source: “Abschied von Hitler,” Hamburger Zeitung, 2 May 1945, p. 1. by Hermann Okraß,

Translation by Randall Bytwerk, 2009, Calvin College.

Farewell to Hitler

“He once said: “I wish nothing on my gravestone other than my name.” Even his name will probably not stand over his grave, for we know that he must have perished while fighting bitterly in the Reich Chancellery. We know that the enemy will be able to find a body in the ruins caused by countless artillery shells and countless flame throwers, and that they may say that it is the Führer’s body, but we will not believe it. If the enemy says that, we will not believe it. That his body is dead we believe, what is mortal of him has perished, has passed away, but he has fulfilled his most beautiful oath, this affirmation: “The most valuable thing God has given me on this world is my people. My faith rests on it, I serve it with my will, and I give my life to it.” His life is fulfilled. He began by fighting for his people, and he ended that way. A life of battle.

Now the world will attempt to explain him. Books will be written about him, some praising, others cursing him. People will criticize him, people will pray for him. A great one has left this world, and where a strong, bright light is extinguished, creatures suddenly appear in the twilight that had hidden from the bright light. That is all foreign to us, far from our way of thinking. For this we affirm: We swore an oath to this man and his teachings, we pledged ourselves to him during our people’s dark days, we rose with him to the heights to which he led our people in the brief, beautiful years of peace, and like all good Germans, we stood by him in battle. The world should not appear small and shabby to us because the victors can rejoice. We can confidently leave his judgment to world history. We today cannot decide it.

But will posterity be able to understand him fully? It is hard for contemporaries to pass judgment about someone of their own era, particularly if it is one as unique as Adolf Hitler. Posterity sees the great from a distance, reads his words, reads our words, but it cannot understand the world of our day in all of is breadth. One can only hope that they believe the great words of the great man. “One could give me whole parts of the earth, but I would rather remain the poorest citizen of this state. — I am not so crazy as to want war. — I was a worker in my youth, and have remained one in my inmost being. — We are not fighting for theories, nor for dogmas. It make no difference whether or not we live. The only thing that is important is that our people lives!”

How will these words sound to posterity? Will they be able to understand why a whole people, in the midst of its deepest poverty, affirmed this man? We may only hope so, for we know that world history will then truly understand this man, his teachings, and our age. We see that more clearly today than ever before, we see it proven by the immeasurably hard battle that our people has withstood so bravely, we see it in the silent unspoken loyalty of the poorest sons of our people that Adolf Hitler gathered as a lens that focuses all light on a single point; the most beautiful virtues, the most fervent desires, the noblest longings, the beautiful will of our people, the longing for the Reich, the drive for social justice, the will for freedom, for clear leadership, our people saw that all united in Adolf Hitler and his idea. That little minds darkened the image of his clear will, that traitors and bad counselors deserted and betrayed him, that finally he was overcome by a great superiority of steel and money, that cannot change the image of him that is in the deepest heart of our people. The present hour may perhaps dim that image, the enormous sacrifices, the sorrow and misery, may distort it, but when one day the senses clear, when thoughts are once again free, he will appear once more even to the last people’s comrade as he did in days in which the whole nation joyfully affirmed him.

The man is dead. He fell fighting. He remained loyal to himself. He wanted the best for his people, which is why it loved him so much. We know that he will continue to live in our land not as a war hero in the form of a metal statue, but rather as a child of the people whose pure will the people understood, and whose most beautiful words will remain a memorial for us, his words that in a people’s deepest need, one must love his people more than himself.”

Translation source:  http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/hitlers-death.htm

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5 Responses to Farewell to Adolf Hitler – An obituary from May 2, 1945

  1. khejr says:

    As I read this translation two things appeared in my mind. First, the image of being at my sister’s wedding banquet in 1981. Among the guests was a friend of the family, a German woman who grew up in Germany during the Third Reich and came to the US after the war (I know, the war against Germans continues). I introduced her to my Jewish girlfriend. Somehow we had a brief conversation about the Jewish-German situation, of which I knew precious little at that time. I remember the look in this German woman’s eyes as she said in broken English, “Well, the German people suffered too and they also have a right to exist”. I dismissed her words at the time, but her face, her eyes and her words come back to me now. Second, is a recurrent dream I have been having. My father, who, as I have indicated before, was in the German Kriegsmarine. In the dream he is in his uniform but as the man I knew when I was growing up in the 1960’s and 1970’s. I tell him that I am very proud of him and I am glad that he served our people. There is so much he could have told me about Berlin in the 1920’s and 1930’s and what life was truly like before and after Hitler assumed power.
    Also, I did a cursory check on Randall Bytwerk, the letter’s translator. Unfortunately, and as expected, his work, which is centered on “Nazi Propaganda”, appears fueled entirely upon a foundation of “Allied Propaganda”.

  2. Markus says:

    Der Führer ist tot. Lang lebe das heilige deutsche Volk!

  3. N Clark says:

    Very nice article. Hitler loved his people and the communist lied about him.

  4. rcholeton says:

    The translation of the obituary was a glowing tribute to a national leader who perhaps was the greatest man in the twentieth century, bar none — a statesman having no peers.

    Adolf Hitler’s ostensible counterparts, as were the wartime leaders in Britain, France, the US, Poland, the Soviet Union, et al, were all by comparison, no more than villainous scumbags and sociopaths — none of whom had a glove on the character, nobility, patriotism and dignity of the Fuehrer.

    It was an inspired obit, with the original writer making special efforts to wax eloquent on how the Fuehrer’s persona was in total dedication to the uplifting of his beloved German people and nation, as he angrily acknowledged the depravity of those warring states around Germany which sought only to ruthlessly destroy what Hitler had built, and without the help of the psychopathic private central bankers whom prior had destroyed Weimar.

    May Adolf Hitler’s outstanding and positive legacy grow in esteem, to overcome the decades of wrongful vilification leveled against him, especially since 1933. The longer that time passes, the truth of what Hitler truly represented and positively accomplished will undoubtedly find its unstoppable way of becoming manifest to the widest possible understanding of world acceptance. Heil Hitler!!

  5. John Leigh says:

    He was a man for the people,absolutely.Unlike so called ‘polititions’ of today.Unbelievable man.

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