Lieutenant-general Hans Baur, who is thought to be Adolf Hitler’s pilot and a close confidant, has revealed in his journal that the Nazi leader told him “'I'm ending it today” on the day of his suicide. Baur’s diary, re-released recently, sheds light on the Reich’s leadership in the days before the fall of Berlin when the German capital was taken by the Soviet Union in 1945.
According to the pilot, he “tried to persuade him that there were still planes available” and suggesting that he could take him “to Japan or Argentina, or to one of the Sheiks, who were all very friendly to him on account of his attitude to the Jews”. But Hitler refused, insisting he would “stand or fall with Berlin”.
“A man must summon up courage enough to face the consequences — and therefore I'm ending it now. I know that tomorrow millions of people will curse me — that's fate”, he said, according to Baur’s notes.
Hitler’s pilot claimed that the Nazi leader was afraid of the Red Army using gas shells because they knew that he was in his bunker, the place where he eventually met his death.
“In any case, I'm not — and I'm ending it today”, Hitler said to his pilot, according to the journal.
Baur, who himself tried to escape the collapsing Reich, but was caught, spent several years as a Soviet prisoner and died in 1993 aged 96, said that Hitler came up to him and took both his hands in his during their last meeting.
'"Baur, I want to say goodbye to you. The time has come. My generals have betrayed me; my soldiers don't want to go on and I can't go on”, the Führer’s pilot put in his diary.
Baur insisted that Hitler's complete confidence in him had developed into “a more intimate and friendly relationship”, with the Nazi Führer even calling him his personal friend. Hitler even attended his pilot’s wedding and gave the loyal staffer a car for his 40th birthday.
Baur's account of life inside the Reich’s leadership was first published in Germany more than 50 years ago, but recently re-printed in the UK under the title “I was Hitler's Pilot”.