Bunker Time
A Prediction

George Santayana warned the world, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” While I have used that saying many times in essays and in teaching, it is also used at Auschwitz where over a million people were exterminated during WWII.

Arbeit Macht Frei…Work Sets You Free

Santayana’s saying isn’t just some cute saying. I can be a harbinger of things to come…in America. Allow me a moment to give a historical backstory. In the early part of the 20th century, Hitler wanted to be a great painter and failed. He also tried architecture and dabbed in classical music, especially Wagner. However, he wasn’t successful in anything. As WWI was gearing up, he was drafted in the Austro-Hungarian Army, but he needed a physical, which he failed. Finally, he joined the Bavarian Army while he was living in Munich.

The Germans lost WWI and the European Allies made Germany pay for the war, which resulted in a depression in Germany prior to the Great Depression. That surely infuriated Hitler, which caused him and several others to attempt a coup d'état for which he was arrested and sent to prison. As a result, he wrote Mein Kampf. Interestingly, the original title was Four and a Half Years of Struggle against Lies, Stupidity, and Cowardice. His failures at everything including the failed coup created a person that needed to prove himself.

In the late 30s, Hitler had acquired power as the Chancellor of Germany and invaded Poland. Things were going quite well for Hitler…finally. He loved the crowds that applauded his racist notion about the Aryans are better than all the rest. He spoke for hours. Hitler really was interested in making Germany great again. However, after the German military conquest of most of Europe except Great Britain, he went after the USSR. Nonetheless, it was a bridge too far or more precisely a huge area too far.

From then on, it was just a matter of time. By April 22, 1945, Hitler knew that his dream was shattering around him. He had retreated to the Führerbunker on January 16, 1945. Hitler’s bunker was fifty-five feet under the Reich Chancellery. Essentially, it was the only safe place for Hitler to hide.

His safe haven

On the April 22nd, Hitler let his military chiefs know what he thought of them. The problems with the German war effort was due to the generals along with the Jews. The German military let their leader down. A month before, he had ordered a scorched-earth command, which was to destroy anything of any value to the Germans or the Allies. If the Third Reich was going down, Hitler was going to take Germany down also. Afterall, it was the way he could punish them for failing him…their leader.

Other than Eva Braun, Dr. Theodor Morell was one of the few Germans on which he could rely upon. Morell kowtowed to Hitler by giving him miracle cures for all his medical problems.

The head of the SS was Heinrich Himmler. He saw the writing on the wall and decided to try to work out a deal the Americans where he could surrender Germany to the Americans. That idea didn’t go over well with Hitler. Hitler had Himmler’s assistant, Hermann Fegelein, executed. If he couldn’t get to Himmler, he could get to Himmler’s adjutant.

This is a reproduction of what Hitler’s office looked like in the bunker. As the Soviets prepared their final push again Hitler hiding in his bunker, he was informed that Benito Mussolini had been killed by Italian partisans. Then they hanged Mussolini upside down from a light pole.

Hitler’s bunker office

Hitler didn’t what that for himself and Eva Braun. Braun and Hitler got married sometime after midnight on the 29th, and they commit suicide on the 30th. The 1,000 year Third Reich lasted from January 1933 to May 1945, which was just over a dozen years.

But that 75 years ago. Indeed, it is the backstory. Santayana does tie the past with the present. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Does anyone come to mine when thinking about Hitler?

Hitler tried numerous professions most of which never even got off the ground, and the one that did lasted a dozen years and cost the lives of millions. Essentially, he didn’t care about other people’s lives, but he did care about his own.

It the beginning, Hitler adored how the crowds adored him. He felt like a macho man. They believed in his egotism.

When Hitler made military decisions that resulted military fiascos, it was easy to find a fall guy. He never admitted any mistakes or failures. Hitler blamed everyone whether generals or commoners for failing him. He would embarrass them in public, replace them, or just have them killed. He would often become furious and would fly into a rage.

When Hitler knew that he lost the battle to make Germany great again, he retreated to the Führerbunker. Essentially, der Führer was a coward.

Nevertheless, things haven’t really changed much in 75 years later. It is a different country and different leader. Our fake president didn’t go to his bunker due to his fear. He was doing an inspection. This is the Coward-in-Chief’s actual statement. “I’ve gone down two or three times, all for inspection.”

It is a more up-to-date bunker than Hitler’s hiding place….