“An insider view of Hitler’s closest circles, providing an invaluable account of the final months of the war” (History of War).
Erich Kempka served as Adolf Hitler’s personal driver from 1934 through to the Führer’s dramatic suicide in 1945. His candid memoirs offer a unique eyewitness account of events leading up to and during the war, culminating in those dark final days in the Führer’s headquarters, deep under the shattered city of Berlin.
He begins by describing his duties as a member of Hitler’s personal staff in the years preceding the war, driving the Führer throughout Germany and abroad, and accompanying him to rallies. The crux of his memoir, however, covers his life with Hitler in the Berlin Führerbunker. Crucially, Kempka witnessed Hitler’s marriage to Eva Braun and his last dinner and personal farewell to all those present, before he and his wife committed suicide. Hitler’s final order to Kempka was that he have ready enough petrol to burn him and his wife. Under constant Soviet artillery fire, Kempka, Linge, and others poured petrol over the bodies and burnt them.
The account concludes with Kempka’s hazardous escape out of a burning Berlin more than 800 kilometers through Allied-occupied Germany, his arrest, and interrogation before being sent to serve as a witness at Nuremburg.