The Brief Luxurious Life of Adolf Hitler, 50 Feet Below Berlin

70 years ago a photo of our our future history books


The Russians were closing in and Berlin was under a barrage of bombing raids when, on this day, Jan. 16, 70 years ago, Adolf Hitler went underground. In a structure that still remains, about fifty feet below the gardens of the Reich Chancellery, he lived out his remaining 105 days in the Führerbunker.

For an air-raid shelter, it was practically luxurious. Equipped with its own heating, electricity and water, according to Ian Kershaw’s Hitler: A Biography, the 3,000-square-foot reinforced bunker was accessible via a red-carpeted corridor lined with paintings re-hung from Hitler’s grander chambers in the Chancellery under which it was location. In his study hung his most revered piece of art: a portrait of Frederick the Great.

For the first month or two, at least, Hitler’s daily life changed little in the bunker, as Robert Payne depicts it in The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler

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