★Martin Bormann

Updated on 5/17/19

For me the best man is the man who removes the most from my shoulders, the man who can take 95 per cent of the decisions in my place.

– Hitler, Table Talk (Cameron & Stevens), October 13-14, 1941


Hermann Giesler, Ein Anderer Hitler. Translated by Wilhelm Kriessmann, Ph.D and Carolyn Yeager (copyright 2009 Carolyn Yeager)

The Artist Within the Warlord (selections from Giesler’s memoirs) by Wilhelm Kriessmann, Ph.D and Carolyn Yeager (copyright 2017 Carolyn Yeager, The Barnes Review)

Hitler’s Henchmen Season 2 Episode 6 (documentary series)

Table of Contents

1. Preface
2. Introduction
3. Testimony
4. Assessing Albert Speer [WIP]

To be added:
-Rudolf Hess’ testimony


Compared to the infamous Goebbels, Himmler, and Göring, Martin Bormann often goes unnoticed and unmentioned. Even Otto Wagener considered him “insignificant” compared to the aforementioned three people. This is in despite of the tremendous influence he wielded in the party and the fact that he is responsible for persuading Hitler to produce the Table Talks, which not only makes him an important asset for establishing the reliability of the Table Talks, but also for determining Hitler’s private beliefs. Objectively speaking, it’s almost inconceivably impossible to reconcile the mainstream caricature of Hitler with the Hitler of these monologues.

Not that many people actually bother to read through the Table Talks (or even know about it’s English translation being unreliable), but some paranoid Jews and Christian appropriators of the National Socialist movement might find the Table Talks to be problematic nonetheless. And so it was inevitable that a flood of doubters, skeptics, reactionaries, and subversives would want to undermine it’s authenticity.

To this end, Bormann is typically denounced as an atheist, a coward, a manipulative traitor, and even a spy of Soviet Russia. These claims are obviously unsubstantiated and such people know virtually nothing about him. Besides, someone in such a privileged position would have very little reason to betray Hitler, especially someone as fanatical as Bormann, who was as fanatical as Goebbels, if not more (although he was still a realist, for even he could see that the war was lost).

Prominent among these accusers is the “new atheist” (and possible Jew) Richard C. Carrier, who gained notoriety by pointing out (there were probably others before him) translation discrepancies in the English translation of the Table Talks. It’s worth noting that he has tried to debunk the existence of Jesus and has also tried to stigmatize Christianity by associating it with Hitler. Not that I don’t mind attacks on Christianity (since it is not the teaching of Jesus), but this is not the way to go about it, especially at a time when many people are turning to Hitler and have no clue what his beliefs really were. Also, since Jesus recognized the Jews for what they were, nullifying his existence would make the anti-Semitic passages in the gospels amount to nothing. We can’t have that happening, now can we. Mr. Carrier claims Hitler was a Christian who only condemned the Roman Catholic conceptions and who adhered to a Christian conception of the afterlife, which is absurd. There is nothing Christian about an afterlife for enlightened spirits. Do recall that Hitler was picturing an Olympus when he brought that up.

Mr. Carrier has introduced a disruptive principle into this study by attempting to misrepresent various Table Talk statements for his anti-Christian agenda and ultimately by dismissing the English translation of the Table Talks as a worthless primary source1:

Whatever Genoud’s motivation for doctoring the text, the fact that Stevens and Cameron’s English translation matches Genoud’ falsified French (as we shall see), and not the actual Bormann-Vermerke published by Jochmann, leaves many questions unanswered. Were they lazy? Duped? Accomplices in crime? Whatever the case, the Trevor-Roper edition is to be discarded as worthless.

It is sufficient to note that, whatever his beliefs were, they are distorted in Genoud, and these distortions among many others were retained in the text of Trevor-Roper. Yet that is the only English translation of the Table Talk in print, and few know how worthless it is.

1. https://www.scribd.com/document/327661726/Richard-Carrier-Hitler-Homer-Bible-Christ

So here we have Carrier only denouncing the English translation of the Table Talks and yet his followers would cite him as debunking the entire table talks. I would remind readers of the following quote:

One has good grounds to be suspicious in regard to any new idea, or any doctrine or philosophy, any political or economical movement, which tries to deny everything that the past has produced or to present it as inferior and worthless. Such an antipathy is usually due to a sense of inferiority or to malicious intention.
– Mein Kampf

Even if Mr. Carrier really did have good intentions, his dismissal may have had the effect of neutralizing even the German translation. Who even inquires into it? His followers and others of their ilk never seem to distinguish between the two translations when they represent the Table Talks as a hoax or an unreliable source. The possible Jewess V. K. Clark made this painfully obvious in a video titled “Hitler’s Table Talk Exploded” (on her channel Powerwolf Podcast, which has been taken down by YouTube) while reading from an article on Mr. Carrier’s website, stating, “This man is a Jewish scholar and we owe him, we owe Mr. Carrier, for single-handedly debunking and destroying Hitler’s Table Talk as anything but worthless.” Even if she didn’t identify him as a Jew (i.e. this man is a scholar of Jewish literature), she still follows the same exact routine.

Needless to say, the indictments of her anti-nationalist sentiment are surplus.


This case reminds me of the Jew Hermann Dessau, who brought attention to the possible falsification of the Augustan History, particularly Hadrian’s letter, which clearly implicates the Jews and Christians of inculcating mammon worship in Egypt. The emperor Julian once reported in one of his letters that wealth and luxury had been made supreme in his time, although he implicated the Christians rather than the Jews (this should not be misconstrued as support for Jews however. Julian wasn’t naive about Jews, he attacked Christianity by undermining it’s foundational system, Judaism). Dessau was firmly opposed by Mommsen, who would later be invoked as an anti-Semitic champion by the National Socialists. As soon as the Jew discovers and points out an inconsistency, he introduces an absurdity of his own.

Honestly, the English translation of the Table Talks isn’t really that dubious. I do not possess a physical copy of this book (I might amend this minor disadvantage soon) so I’m not in the best position to judge it, but regarding the online version, no one in their right mind would argue that it’s unreadable. It may be admitted that the English translation has omitted vital context for some entries (namely the footnotes) and undoubtedly contains various inaccuracies (particularly on matters of religion), but it should go without saying that the German translation of the Table Talks is readily available and can be translated with online sites or dedicated translation software or with the assistance of someone fluent in German.

It’s worth noting that David Irving made an exception for Trevor-Roper among the countless biographers who embellish myths:

With the brilliant exception of Hugh Trevor Roper (now Lord Dacre), whose book The Last Days of Hitler was based on the records of the era and is therefore virtually unassailable even today, each successive biographer repeated or embraced the legends created by his predecessors, or at best consulted only the most readily available works of reference themselves.

Irving also declared:

The Table Talks’ content is more important in my view than Hitler’s Mein Kampf, and possibly even more than his Zweites Buch (1928). It is unadulterated Hitler.


Take your pick.




As a result of his constant attendance upon Hitler, Bormann developed a greater insight into Hitler’s way of thinking than anybody else.
– Heinz Linge

It’s irrefutable that Bormann, by accompanying Hitler wherever he went and never leaving his side, would have been in an uniquely privileged position to correctly assess Hitler’s private philosophy. In a 1942 table talk conversation, on the night of January 12th or 13th, he even indicated that Hitler had always been very religious. Even while Bormann was still Rudolf Hess’ assistant, he had committed himself to purging the NSDAP party of all corruptions he discovered. Hess was even reassured knowing that Bormann was always near Hitler. Ernst Hanfstaengl remembered Bormann as “tidy, modest and thrifty” while Christa Schroeder called him “incorruptible”; the former considered him a good influence on Hitler while the latter considered him one of the few National Socialists with clean hands.


Heinz Linge:
[Bormann] was an uncouth and unbelievably hyperactive personality, a strong personality whose influence even on Hitler I had occasion to remark often. He worked day and night, allowed colleagues and employees no rest and tyrannised them. For the most minor error he would ruthlessly cull a member of staff. He called for a furious work rate and appalled not only his workers and advisers but his adjutants such as Hühner too.

Erich Kempka:
He worked almost day and night without a break and rightfully won the reputation of being a great workhorse. … He had a cat-like, effusive show of friendliness when it suited his purposes, but when not being nice he was utterly brutal. His ruthlessness knew no bounds. His only known good point was his unbelievable work rate.

Herbert Döhring:
He worked day and night. Not one construction company escaped his scrutiny. And when the building work slowed down for some reason he ran straight out to see why… “Keep going! Why have you stopped?”

Nicolaus von Below:
[Speer’s] representative for Army armaments was Saur, an unusually active rival of Speer with an unacceptably ruthless disposition.

Christa Schroeder:
Bormann was simply one of the most devoted and loyal of Hitler’s vassals who would often force through ruthlessly and sometimes brutally the orders and directives given by Hitler. He was neither hungry for power nor the ‘grey eminence’ in Hitler’s entourage.

Whatever he did was carried through with unscrupulous force. He crushed underfoot anybody in his path. He was one of those persons for whom you instinctively stand even if you met him as a stranger in the street.

Goebbels (Diaries), March 27, 1945:
The Führer thinks Saur a stronger personalty than Speer. Saur is a tough stayer who, when given a job, will carry it through, if necessary by force. To some extent he is the opposite of Speer. Speer is more of an artist by nature. Admittedly he has great organisational talent but politically he is too inexperienced to be totally reliable in this critical time.

Goebbels (Diaries), March 14, 1945:
Moreover Dr Ley looks at things more through the spectacles of the pure Party orator and Speer through those of the pure economist and technician. Neither possesses a statesmanlike view of the present war situation.

Heinz Linge:
Once Hermann Fegelein, Himmler’s liaison officer to Hitler, tried to get me to appropriate one of Speer’s memoranda. He and Himmler both thought that Speer wanted to throw in the towel, had gone over to the ‘defeatist camp’ and was endangering
‘victory’. I refused to comply explaining that Hitler had ordered me never to give out any document without his prior authority. Surprisingly Bormann also held back even though Speer was his archenemy. Perhaps he was looking ahead and wanted Speer as an ally for the hour that was at hand.

[A search for “Speer” in the Bormann Letters yields some interesting results.]

Nevertheless, to give the devil his due, he had that kind of genius for work rarely seen on the planet. He would master anything mechanical. He succeeded in making himself indispensable to Hitler, who was without doubt an intelligent man, for when Hitler gave Bormann an order he knew that of all his devoted servants only Bormann would guarantee to carry it out unconditionally, despite all adverse circumstances, and in the shortest possible time.

Every document was subjected to his scrutiny before it reached Hitler, and thus he could exercise his plenipotentiary powers. Hitler found Bormann’s tireless work rate a great help. Often he would emphasise his recognition of it: ‘The Party’s apparatus of command has never worked better.’ No wonder, for every wish and gesture of Hitler’s was interpreted by Bormann as a command. Important bulletins, for example about air raids, the damage inflicted and the emergency measures necessary, reached Hitler quicker through Bormann’s Party chancellery than through the official report channels.

Christa Schroeder’s memoirs
Where others need all day, Bormann does it for me in 2 hours, and he never forgets anything!… Bormann’s reports are so precisely formulated that I only need to say Yes or No…. If I tell him, remind me of this or that in 6 months, I can rest assured that he will do so.

Speer (English memoirs, placeholder):
Around this time [November 11, 1944] Hitler, at a situation conference, commented in the presence of all the generals: “We have the good fortune to have a genius in our armaments industry. I mean Saur. All difficulties are being overcome by him.”
General Thomale put in a tactful word: “Mein Führer. Minister Speer is here.”
“Yes, I know,” Hitler replied curtly, annoyed at the interruption. “But Saur is the genius who will master the situation.”
Oddly enough, I swallowed this deliberate insult without any perturbation, almost indifferently. I was beginning to take my leave of Hitler.

Hermann Giesler, Ein Anderer Hitler
Translated by Wilhelm Kriessmann, Ph.D and Carolyn Yeager
I gained new insight into the character of that powerful man, feared by many and even hated as the “grey party eminence.” During that period he appeared to me more transparent and more understandable than in previous years.

[Giesler was not only privy to reports, but he observed Bormann in his natural habitat and even took into account his methodical approach.]

Hitler, Table Talk (Cameron & Stevens), October 13-14, 1941
What would happen to me if I didn’t have around me men whom I completely trust, to do the work for which I can’t find time? Hard men, who act as energetically as I would do myself.

Hermann Giesler, Ein Anderer Hitler
Translated by Wilhelm Kriessmann, Ph.D and Carolyn Yeager
With a lively alertness and immense industriousness, he worked through piles of files, dictated and phoned without a break. He had the endurance of a fighting bull.

Wolf Rüdiger Hess:
Bormann was an ox with a huge capacity for work. My father preferred to go skiing and so on.

Heinrich Hoffman:
On one occasion in 1944, when I returned to Headquarters from Vienna, I was having dinner with Hitler and I gave him a message from Baldur von Schirach. ‘Schirach,’ I said, ‘protests against Bormann’s accusation that it is now too late to think of organising the anti-aircraft defences of Vienna; he told me that a few weeks after the beginning of the war he had completed his plans for this purpose, but had been instructed by Bormann to take no steps, as premature action would only unsettle the population of the city unnecessarily.’
Hitler seemed to regard this message as an implied criticism of Bormann, for he rounded on me sharply. ‘Get this quite clear in your own mind, Hoffmann, and tell it to your son-in-law, too,’ he cried. ‘To win this war I have need of Bormann! It’s perfectly true that he is both ruthless and brutal. He’s a bull, and not for nothing has he given his son the nickname of “the bull”; but the fact remains, one after the other, everybody has failed in their implicit obedience to my commands – but Bormann, never!’

“Bormann is a rogue and a philistine,” said Hitler, “but I haven’t got anyone more efficient. I know that he’ll carry out every order right down to the last detail and see it through to the end.”

Hermann Giesler, Ein Anderer Hitler
Translated by Wilhelm Kriessmann, Ph.D and Carolyn Yeager
Hitler, Berghof, Spring 1944: “Giesler, I need Bormann and his working strength. He relieves me, he is steady, unshakable and an achiever – I can depend on him!”

He looked searchingly into my face, as if his words held some special application to me personally. ‘Everyone, I don’t care who he may be, must understand clearly this one fact: whoever is against Bormann is also against the State!’

Hermann Giesler, Ein Anderer Hitler:
Translated by Wilhelm Kriessmann, Ph.D and Carolyn Yeager
I was often present at that time when Bormann reported (to Hitler); he did so in a matter-of-fact and concentrated way, with all the pros and cons, mostly about very important matters. Sometimes, when persons and happenings were involved that I was familiar with, I could see how clearly and correctly it had been reported.

Hermann Giesler, Ein Anderer Hitler:
Translated by Wilhelm Kriessmann, Ph.D and Carolyn Yeager
But – rather strange and surprising – at the same time that Bormann dictated to give the gist of the matter, he memorized Hitler’s decisions word for word, following the sentences exactly as they were spoken by Hitler, while in between he shaped the letters and orders that derived from them.

Goebbels (Diaries), May 9, 1943:
Munich, of course, is extremely difficult. I wouldn’t want this post if it were served me on a platter. The Fuehrer said if he had a dozen persons like myself he would appoint me, but I don’t even want to imagine such an assignment, thank you. . . .During this discussion we did not arrive at any final decisions. The Fuehrer wants to sleep over the matter once more. At least we had an opportunity this afternoon to discuss all personalities in public life with him. To my great surprise I noticed how tremendously well the Fuehrer was posted on the so-called big shots. He knows all about them, even though he never makes public use of this knowledge. He sees more clearly than any of us. He notices with regret that there isn’t a single leader of stature in the SA who might become Lutze’s successor. Naturally he would very much like to have me in the Munich post, but of course there can be no question of that. This talk made us realize anew how extremely rare are men of real caliber. If you have to fill two posts of decisive importance in public life you can search with a lantern and won’t find anybody. . . . These two hours with the Fuehrer were very beautiful and engendered confidence. Bormann acted exceedingly loyally. I must say that the criticism leveled at him is for the most part unjustified. When you compare what he keeps in the way of promises and what Goering keeps, Goering is undoubtedly at a disadvantage. There is no longer any real dependence on Goering. He is tired and somewhat washed up.

SS Ideology, Volume I
The man who has it is rich even if he goes about in rags and lives in earth caves. Whoever lives in a palace and has all the expensive trappings in life is nonetheless the poorest guest upon this earth, if he does not have this genuine joy in life. It begins with a simple consciousness of existence. There are men who after a good night’s sleep, look at the new day and complain because they stand before work and tasks. Others arise after a few hours of restless sleep with a hardly understandable feeling of contentment, glad about the reality of their life, and perhaps simply because it gives them breath, sight, feeling, hearing and thinking. The war has shown us in an amazing manner that our pleasure in the simple things in life can be much deeper and more meaningful than the once so highly praised “pleasures”. And this demonstrates genuine modesty and the capacity for strong feeling.

Hermann Giesler, Ein Anderer Hitler
Translated by Wilhelm Kriessmann, Ph.D and Carolyn Yeager
During the difficult days in August 1944, when the disloyalty and treason were apparent, Bormann said to me with a very serious meaning:

“I have one task and one goal and that is to serve the Führer as a National Socialist. My only ambition is to do that as well as I am able. The Führer gives me the authority which I need to do it. I activate it, but solely for this my task. Certainly, you have no doubts that I am totally obligated to the Führer. I don’t want anything else but to take some of the heavy burden off his shoulders, and that is not easy!”

Goebbels (Diaries), March 20, 1942:
The Fuehrer, thank God, appears to be in good health. He has gone through exceedingly difficult days, and his whole bearing shows it. The Fuehrer is really to be pitied. He must take the entire burden of the war upon his shoulders, and nobody can relieve him of the responsibility for all the decisions that must be made.
I became especially conscious of this during a talk with Schaub. He told me that the Fuehrer had recently been somewhat ailing. One can understand this, for even physically it is impossible for one person to carry such a gigantic load over an extended period. Added to this is the fact that the Fuehrer practically lives in a concentration camp.
Whether the guards before his GHQ are furnished by the SS or by some PW camp—the effect is the same. The loneliness of GHQ and the whole method of working there naturally have at long last an extraordinarily depressing effect upon the Fuehrer. He hasn’t the slightest opportunity for relaxation, and as long as he is awake is surrounded by work and responsibility. The solitude in which he is compelled to perform his duties must sooner or later affect him deeply and gnaw at his vitals.
If during the past winter, which is still loath to take leave, he managed to pull through relatively well, that is proof of his truly bearlike nature. The generals, for the most part, have not helped matters either.
Opinions about the leadership of the German Wehrmacht are quite different today from what they were, for instance, after the offensive in France. High general staff officers are in no way able to stand severe
strain or cope with heavy spiritual crises. That’s something they haven’t learned. They were not taught sufficiently to emulate the example of Prussian generals. Besides, the initial successes in this war have filled them too much with the idea that everything can succeed at first try and that serious difficulties cannot possibly arise anywhere.
The Fuehrer alone saved the front during the past winter. The fact that he would not yield and gave no sign of weakness whatever was the real reason that the front did not become shaky but stood firm on the whole.
Realizing this situation, I consider it all the more my duty to let the Fuehrer now and then have reports, news, and items that will distract him somewhat from his immediate war tasks. It must be done adroitly, so that he won’t notice it, for as soon as he does, he resents all such attempts. I am glad that during the past weeks I always sent material to GHQ that interested the Fuehrer from the purely human side, especially items about art and cultural life from which he is completely cut off, although in normal times they quite preoccupy him.

Martin Adolf Bormann:
Dedicated and single-minded… He was single-minded in his work for his Führer, to whom he devoted himself. His single-mindedness was not for his own benefit but was really for Hitler and his ideas because he believed they were Germany’s salvation.

Martin Adolf Bormann:
I think that, for my father, Hitler was the person… to whom he devoted his life and all his energy… in an act of personal sacrifice, as it were, he dedicated his life to him. It was perhaps greater than the bond with his family.

[Martin Adolf Bormann was a son of Martin Bormann and a godson of Hitler.]

Hermann Giesler, The Artist Within the Warlord, p.g. 230:
Translated by Wilhelm Kriessmann, Ph.D and Carolyn Yeager
I was surprised about these themes and how he summarized them; I was fascinated by the richness of his thoughts and his creative power.
During one interruption–he was called to the telephone–I whispered to Bormann, “That should be recorded; that is of great importance!” Bormann answered, “I’ve tried it for quite awhile.”

[Giesler was a latecomer to Hitler’s private conversations. After hearing them for the first time, he described Hitler as “often visionary and promethean”. He basically confirms that Bormann was archiving Hitler’s conversations.]

Here is a small example of how Bormann knew the way to arouse Hitler’s admiration. On a summer’s afternoon in 1938 at the Berghof, we were ready to go for a drive. Hitler gazed over the mountain scenery and observed to Bormann that he always found the panorama glorious but it was such a shame that the little old farmhouse on the slope below his property was so ugly! As soon as the old peasants, who had guaranteed occupancy until death, had passed on, the house should be pulled down.
When we returned from Munich twenty-four hours later, Hitler and I could scarcely believe our eyes. Where only yesterday we had seen the ugly little farmhouse, today there was only a meadow where red poll cattle grazed. What could have happened? As soon as the car bearing myself and Hitler had disappeared from view the previous day, Bormann had arranged with the old couple to give up the property voluntarily. He had found them a new house and they were apparently very happy to be able to please Hitler. While busy clearing out their possessions, a great army of workers was shipped in and in twenty-four hours the farmhouse had vanished as though it had never been.
A second example proves how attentive Bormann was to hear any of Hitler’s ideas. As is known, thousands of people used to make their way past the Berghof when Hitler was in residence in the hope of seeing him. He would often stand for hours in the open while people drove by. One hot summer’s evening he mentioned to Bormann that he found it too much of a strain, principally because he did not feel well if he spent too long in the sun. When Hitler emerged from the Berghof next day at the usual hour in order to greet the crowd waiting to see him, he was speechless to see, at the very spot where he was accustomed to stand, an enormous tree, its trunk thicker than a man, and whose leafy branches created full shade against the rays of the sun. The previous night Bormann had had it transported up to the Berg and planted there. The tree obviously liked the spot and remains there to this very day. As soon as Hitler was away, Bormann subjected the roots to an intense period of watering to ensure they took properly.
Can Hitler be blamed for being impressed by all this?

Bormann, being Bormann, saw to it at once. He had a linden tree fetched from somewhere near Munich… The hole had already been dug. On his birthday in 1937 it was planted in the pouring rain. As always he was there to supervise.

I read often after the war that Hitler was so fearful of assassination attempts he always had the window blinds let down when he travelled by train. This was not the reason: his eyes were intolerant of sunlight. Even bright artificial light hurt them and accordingly his headwear always had a large brim, or peak worn low. Heinrich Hoffmann, his personal photographer, had to succeed with the first few flashbulbs or abandon their use. On Obersalzberg before the war a large tree was planted on the spot where Hitler took march-pasts in summer. Since he wanted to appear bare-headed without a sun canopy, and the tree was the only way.

Hermann Giesler, Ein Anderer Hitler
Translated by Wilhelm Kriessmann, Ph.D and Carolyn Yeager
Bormann noticed everything; it reflected his former job as an estate administrator.

Margarethe Mittelstrasser:
Hitler went to Munich for one or two days and when he came back there was just a meadow. It was Bormann’s doing. He turned up with a team of workmen and they slaved away, demolishing, removing and levelling. Nothing was left but grass.

Laura Schroedel:
In the first years when I worked in the Brown House and Bormann was just chief of staff it was actually quite nice. When Bormann became “Reichsleiter of the Mountain” as he was called then, he had to deal with things on the Obersalzberg… the expropriations and so on. Then Bormann became… we said he was a devil.

To his underlings he became the most irrational superior. One moment he would treat them in the kindest and most pleasant manner, even giving out presents, and a few minutes later he would be a sadist–belittling, offensive and wounding. Often he would go into such a rage that one would think he has lost his reason.

[Kempka hated Bormann, his testimony should be assessed with caution. His choice of the word “sadist” is unsuitable as it implies cruelty and taking pleasure in it.]

During the French campaign I saw an episode that betrayed his character and nature. He had an assistant in Dr Heinrich Heim whose serenity stood in stark contrast to that of his master. After Heim had again infuriated Bormann with his unshakeable calm, and withstood a raging diatribe, Heim turned to me impassively and said in a voice that Bormann could not avoid hearing: ‘You see, Herr Linge, he comes from the land. Before this he only had contact with animals. One must therefore overlook it when he roars so loudly.’ Hitler, who was told about this, laughed and promised ‘little Heim’ as he called him, whose knowledge of art he esteemed highly, the post of his personal librarian once the war was over.

Even among so many ruthless men, he stood out by his brutality and coarseness. He had no culture, which might have put some restraints on him, and in every case he carried out whatever Hitler had ordered or what he himself had gathered from Hitler’s hints. A subordinate by nature, he treated his own subordinates as if he were dealing with cows and oxen. He was a peasant.

Reinhard Spitzy:
Bormann made himself absolutely indispensable and everything worked very smoothly under him. But he was the evil spirit of the place. I personally hate Bormann.

Bormann’s great passion was building. It was his method to sketch all the fancy ideas that he knew he shared with Hitler. Thus on the Obersalzberg he converted the houses that appeared to him appropriate for the purpose, making them into guest houses and small villas while creating for himself the wonderful opportunity to go over the plans with Hitler and so ingratiate himself with him even more.

His close personal relationship to Hitler, at which he was working doggedly when I joined Hitler’s staff, was achieved by enlarging Hitler’s country house Wachenfeld on Obersalzberg. He arranged finance for this endeavour skilfully by diverting Party funds and gave Hitler, who had no real understanding of money, the feeling that here was somebody who might relieve him of all the burdens in this area with which he did not wish to be encumbered.

Max Hartmann:
Money wasn’t a consideration for Bormann. I don’t know where the money came from but he always had plenty, no matter what he used it for.

Goebbels (Diaries), April 3, 1945:
Once more a mass of new decrees and instructions issue from Bormann. Bormann has turned the Party Chancellery into a paper factory. Every day he sends out a mountain of letters and files which the Gauleiters, now involved in battle, no longer even have time to read.

As far as we could tell, apart from Himmler, everyone was against him. No one liked him. The Gauleiters wanted nothing to do with him. Nor the Reichsleiters either. He had practically no friends.

Outwardly they [Bormann, Himmler] were the best of friends. When they met they poured praises on each other. Instead of offering the right hand they would clasp both hands jovially. Actually they were archenemies and hated each other.

Traudl Junge:
Curiously enough, Himmler and Goebbels entirely ignored each other. It wasn’t too obvious, but still you couldn’t help noticing that their relationship was a superficial veneer of civility. The two of them met relatively seldom; they didn’t have much to do with each other, and were not, like the warring Bormann brothers, kept on the same leash by their master.

[Motives are ascribed to Hitler’s chiefs by onlookers. It should be easy to see how these other members of Hitler’s inner circle were in no position to judge Hitler’s chiefs.]

Nicolaus von Below:
The Russian Communist propaganda has succeeded in convincing their men that they are fighting a war against barbaric savages and that no prisoners are being taken. This explains why many soldiers, but especially officers and commissars, commit suicide when faced with surrender.

Erich Kempka:
Quite apart from these myths and fantasies about Müller and Bormann, the idea that the Bolsheviks had any use for Party bosses or SS people is absurd. Even if the Kremlin had wanted the bulk of the Party members in 1945, they would certainly not have wanted Bormann, who was hated by everybody at the upper levels. As the Red Army murdered, plundered and raped its way across central Germany, the Soviet NKVD threw hundreds of thousands of former Party members officers, soldiers and police into concentration camps run by the Soviets on German soil. The death toll of those who did not survive beatings and starvation in these exceeded 90,000. If the Soviets had kept their criminal army in check, if they had wanted to retain Germany as an entity, if they had declared a general amnesty, at least for the mass of the functionaries and NSDAP members without influence, the German masses would have gone over to them in droves.
Particularly amongst the Americans and British, numerous Jewish emigrants delighted in exacting a vicarious revenge: German soldiers on the Elbe and in Upper Austria in the hands of the Western Allies were passed over to the Russians if they had been facing them at the end, and they saw how the British and Americans returned Cossacks, Tartars, and Caucasians to the Red hangmen for having fought for Germany. No, the Soviets did not want the German people!

The author lists camps at: Oppeln, Troost/Gross-Strehlitz (Upper Silesia), Graudenz (West Prussia), Posen, Landsberg/Warthe, Frankfurt/Oder, Weesow/Werneuchen, Berlin-Hohenschönhausen, Ketschendorf/Fürstenwalde, Jamlitz, Neubrandenburg, Mühlberg, Buchenwald, Torgau, Sachsenhausen and Bautzen.

[This is coming from someone who especially loathed Bormann.]

Rochus Misch:
The Party leadership had to be passed to somebody else, and Hitler then appointed Martin Bormann as chief of the Party chancellery. In this, Hitler chose the wrong man, in our opinion. ‘Goebbels in, Bormann out,’ we said. We might have admitted that Martin Bormann’s contacts with us were conciliatory to some extent, but nobody had a soft spot for him. Even his own brother did not exist for him, after Albert Bormann had married a woman completely unacceptable in Martin’s eyes. Goebbels we liked. He was usually cheerful and was man enough to contradict Hitler even if only to turn down a dinner invitation. That impressed us. Meanwhile Bormann always fawned on Hitler. Certainly almost everyone did, but Bormann was the champion at it.

Otto Wagener (Memoirs of a Confidant, p.g. 126):
Thus [Hitler] lapsed into the habit of lending greater credence to and feeling more comfortable with those who agreed with whatever he said, who had no minds of their own nor were intent on voicing their own ideas, and who even warned him against others and urged caution toward them. For, so he believed, they were acting this way solely for his sake and could not have any real personal motives.

Hans-Ulrich Rudel, Stuka Pilot, p.g. 289:
“I think the Russians are clever enough,” I reply, “to make use of my experience. In the field of combating tanks alone, which must play a part in any future war, my instruction may prove disadvantageous for the enemy. I am credited with over five hundred tanks destroyed, and assuming that in the next few years I were to train five or six hundred pilots each of whom destroyed at least a hundred tanks, you can reckon out for yourself how many tanks the enemy’s armament industry would have to replace on my account.”

[Rudel would have probably been an exception to the Soviet treatment.]

Goebbels (Diaries), May 12, 1943:
The Fuehrer showed that he had read about and studied all these problems. There is hardly a fact, hardly a theory, hardly a date, that he doesn’t know and that he isn’t able to cite from memory. I have the greatest respect for the Fuehrer’s tremendous intellectual achievement in all fields of knowledge. It is a pity that such talks can’t be made known to a lot of people. Their veneration for the Fuehrer could only be increased thereby.

[Goebbels does not seem to have been aware at this time that Bormann was archiving Hitler’s private talks.]

Hitler’s Private Testament:
Given at Berlin, April 29, 1945, four o’clock

As executor I appoint my most loyal Party Comrade,
Martin Bormann
whom I hereby authorize to make all final decisions.
He is entitled to hand whatever may serve as a personal memento or help to sustain a simple middle-class life to my sisters and also to my wife’s mother and to the faithful collaborators he knows so well, headed by my former secretaries, Frau Winter and others, who for years have assisted me in my work.

As witnesses: Martin Bormann, Dr. Goebbels, Nicolaus von Below

Nicolaus von Below
During 27 April Hitler spoke to me of my future plans. I told him I had none but would wait and see how things developed before deciding. I knew that my wife and children were safe. Hitler gave me a cyanide capsule in case I encountered a difficult situation with no way out. I put my poison away safely. Hitler then surprised me by saying, ‘I have decided to order the commander of Berlin to break out. For myself I will remain here and die in the place where I worked so many years of my life. But my staff must also attempt to go. Most of all, it is important to me that Goebbels and Bormann should get out safely.’ Thus, after originally insisting on being surrounded by people he could trust to the last, he had now reversed his intention.

Heinz Linge
Besides Dönitz, Goebbels, Bormann and ourselves, that is to say, his closest circle, Hitler trusted nobody.

Nicolaus von Below
Two others must be mentioned not belonging to Hitler’s personal staff but always close to him – Press officer Reichsleiter Dr. Dietrich, and Reichsleiter Martin Bormann. Until 1941 Bormann was Party Chief and liaison man between Hitler and Hess; later, as Hitler’s secretary, he became involved in matters of policy.

Otto Dietrich:
Hitler trusted him right down till the end, recognizing in Bormann a blindly obedient instrument who would pass on and execute his commands without the slightest deviation. In Hitler’s will, which bears Bormann’s signature as witness, Hitler recommended him to posterity as his “most loyal Party comrade.”

Assessing Albert Speer

[Here it’s worth stressing that Speer’s testimony is not reliable on it’s own, being riddled with myths and contradictions. It really must be asked why only Speer, and not Hitler’s other important architect Hermann Giesler, has received the attention of mainstream historians. True, Speer’s position as the mainstream historian’s favored poster-child can prove advantageous for Hitler’s cause, but there are also many errors that need to be expunged.]


Giesler, The Artist Within the Warlord, p.g. 138-140:
Translated by Wilhelm Kriessmann, Ph.D and Carolyn Yeager
With Speer, everything was practical and calculated – even as a ‘friend’ I considered him a stranger and full of riddles. Now his name appeared, though with a question mark, on the list of ministers of the traitors.

[Giesler gives an example of Speer taking advantage of Hitler’s musical tastes (Bruckner’s 4th symphony) in order to curry favor with Hitler. In his letters (if genuine), Bormann represents Speer and Saur (you will recall that Saur was remarkably similar to Bormann) as conniving, power hungry individuals. Perhaps it is not Bormann who was the schemer, but his rivals!]

Heinrich Hoffman:
[Hitler’s] favourites were extracts from the Wagner operas; then, almost as a concession, would come the Beethoven symphonies and the music of Richard Strauss, while really light music would be represented by Die Fledermaus and The Merry Widow. At these ‘musical causeries by the fireside’, Bormann, whom he dubbed ‘The Master of the Archives’, gave proof of his musical appreciation by taking on the job of putting on the records.

Traudl Junge:
Bormann operated the gramophone.

Leni Riefenstahl:
Speer was the only defendant at the Nuremberg trial who had pleaded guilty, thus eliciting innumerable comments from friend and foe alike. Books were written about him, films made about him and the verdicts on his conduct were extreme. Many of his friends did not understand him and their judgement was harsh. Believing that his inner transformation was opportunistic, they labelled him a traitor.
Other people, especially some who had been persecuted, tried to forgive him – and, in my opinion, Speer wanted this forgiveness; he craved it. I truly believe that he suffered the torments of hell, and rather than taking the easier path, that of suppression, he sought confrontation.
So long as Hitler was alive, Speer was virtually in bondage to him. How else, after being condemned to death by Hitler, could Speer have returned to him just before the end of the war to say farewell before his own possible death and yet have the strength to refuse Hitler’s ‘Scorched Earth’ order? Who else in the Third Reich displayed such great courage?

[Always keep this criteria in mind. In all fairness, by surviving the war, Speer helped preserve crucial insight into Hitler, even if it does occasionally come down to us as distorted. – Other individuals who dared to contradict Hitler: Goebbels, Hugo Blaschke, Therese “Lelly” Baumann]

Leni Riefenstahl:
Speer sent me his book with a brief letter:

September 1969
Dear Leni,
Here is the long-awaited book, which I send with some hesitation, since I fear that it will somewhat alter your opinion of me; though not for the worse, I hope. I assume that you will understand how urgently I wished to give future generations a standpoint to help them avoid similar difficulties. I have to admit I have my doubts about the ability of human beings to learn anything. However, one should – each in one’s own way – contribute what one can . . .
Sincerely, Albert

I was deeply impressed by these lines and extremely anxious to read the book. Would it contain an explanation of our tragedy? Once I began reading, I couldn’t put it down, for it was riveting. I am one of those who believe in Speer’s inner transformation;


Riefenstahl (Memoirs):
When Speer telephoned me and asked whether I had any corrections, I indicated a few errors of which the most serious was something he had written about Rudolf Hess. Surprisingly, not a word of what he said about him in one particular context was true:

I recall, incidentally, that the footage taken during one of the solemn
sessions of the 1935 Party Congress was spoiled. At Leni Riefenstahl’s suggestion Hitler gave orders for the shots to be refilmed in the studio. I was called in to do a backdrop simulating a section of the Kongresshalle, as well as a realistic model of the platform and lectern. I had spotlights aimed at it; the production staff scurried around – while Streicher, Rosenberg and Frank could be seen walking up and down with their manuscripts, determinedly memorizing their parts.
Hess arrived and was asked to pose for the first shot. Exactly as he had done before an audience of 30,000 at the Party Congress, he solemnly raised his hand. With his
special brand of ardour, he turned precisely to the spot where Hitler would have been sitting, snapped to attention and cried: ‘My Leader, I welcome you in the name of the Party Congress! The congress will now continue. The Fuhrer speaks!’
He did it all so convincingly that from that point on I was no longer so sure of the genuineness of his feelings. The three others also gave excellent performances in the emptiness of the studio, proving themselves gifted actors. I was rather disturbed; Frau Riefenstahl, on the other hand, thought the acted scenes better than the original presentation.
By this time I thoroughly admired the art with which Hitler would feel his way during his rallies until he had found the point to unleash the first great storm of applause. I was by no means unaware of the demagogic element; indeed I contributed to it myself by my scenic arrangements.
Nevertheless, up to this time I had believed that the feelings of the speakers were genuine. It was therefore an upsetting discovery, that day in the studio, when I saw that all this emotion could be represented ‘authentically’ even without an audience.

That whole episode was a figment of Speer’s imagination and had nothing to do with reality. I am sure that his intention was not bad; but, during the twenty years of his imprisonment, he had naturally mixed up a few things.
When I explained it to him and was able to prove that the events had been different from his portrayal of them, he regretted his mistakes and promised to rectify them in future editions. Yet how could Speer, a fanatical stickler for the truth, make such errors?

[Riefenstahl then goes on to describe how the scene actually occurred and her explanation for Speer’s mistake.]

William L. Shirer:
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich
Hitler told Albert Speer, the Minister for Armament and War Production:
“If the war is lost, the nation will also perish. This fate is inevitable. There is no necessity to take into consideration the basis which the people will need to continue even a most primitive existence. On the contrary, it will be better to destroy these things ourselves, because this nation will have proved to be the weaker one and the future will belong solely to the stronger eastern nation (Russia). Besides, those who will remain after the battle are only the inferior ones, for the good ones have all been killed.”

[Highlighted is a probable interpolation. It’s not found in the German memoirs plus Hitler was not a fatalist (in respect to fate’s operations).]

Speer (German memoirs):
Wenn der Krieg verlorengeht, wird auch das Volk verloren sein. Es ist nicht notwendig, auf die Grundlagen, die das deutsche Volk

Albert Speer:
Inside the Third Reich, p.g. 440
“This time you will receive a written reply to your memorandum!” [Hitler] made a brief pause, then in an icy tone continued:
“If the war is lost, the people will be lost also. It is not necessary to worry about what the German people will need for elemental survival. On the contrary, it is best for us to destroy even these things.
For the nation has proved to be the weaker, and the future belongs solely to the stronger eastern nation.
In any case only those who are inferior will remain after this struggle, for the good have already been killed.”4

Inside the Third Reich, Notes – Chapter 29: Doom
4. I quoted this remark of Hitler’s in the letter I wrote to him on March 29, 1945. At that time I softened it with, “If I did not misunderstand you. . . . ” But this phrase was merely intended to give Hitler a chance to pretend he had not made the statement. In the same letter I summarized the impact Hitler’s words had on me as follows: “These words shook me to the core.”

[In the first place, this statement omits the Soviet’s obvious competetion (America). There’s also a high probability that it comes down to us distorted. It’s worth noting that this quote is paraphrased in the 2004 film Downfall. In the film, Speer argues that Germany would go back to the Middle Ages – despite being surrounded by a multitude of technology driven nations. Also, a people don’t die out for a lack of knowledge. In my view, Speer clumsily attempts to tie in scorched-earth policy with his own perception of Hitler’s ideology. I will concede that the last statement (“inferior will remain”) is plausible.]

Hitler, Memoirs of a Confidant, p.g. 210:
The limes is the geographical border of the Center Party’s power. Such true warriors as might have survived in this region was killed or banished from the land by inquisitions and witch burnings.

[Incidentally, Speer’s Hitler expressed similar sentiment (“the war is lost”) elsewhere, only this time, it becomes apparent that Speer is giving out his own interpretation on the matter.]

Albert Speer:
Inside the Third Reich, p.g. 483
And then with startling abruptness, [Hitler] lapsed back into his apathy:
“Well, all right. Let Goering negotiate the surrender. If the war is lost anyhow, it doesn’t matter who does it.” That sentence expressed contempt for the German people: Goering was still good enough for the purposes of capitulation.

[Also, I would contest that it did matter who negotiated the surrender.]

Inside the Third Reich
But at the same time I wrote to my fiancee:
A little racial mixture is always good. And if today we are on the downward path, it is not because we are a mixed race. For we were already that in the Middle Ages when we still had a vigorous germ in us and were expanding, when we drove the Slavs out of Prussia, or later transplanted European culture to America. We are going downhill because our energies have been consumed; it is the same thing that happened in the past to the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. There is nothing to be done about that.


Karl Wahl met Hitler for the last time on 25 February 1945 in Berlin. Wahl was well aware then that the war was lost. The latter issued on this occasion in front of a large number of Gauleiter the statement that “the German people did not have the inner strength they were perceived to have” and therefore were losing the war. Wahl attributed this harsh statement to the stress the Führer was in and perceived him to be mortally ill. Nevertheless, he could not understand why Hitler continued the war. [unsourced]

[Need to verify & read context]