Saturday, February 9, 2008

POW Remembers Hitler Visiting Camp and Honoring FDR

An aged Adolph Hitler, shown here in the years before his death, visited a small camp of American POWs in Berlin and informed them of the death of FDR, then stood at attention while the camp honored FDR, in a story related by POW Dan Culler.

Here is an amazing story I'd never heard about before, related by good friend Dan Culler, who was himself a POW. I quote Dan's story in its entirety.

"Roosevelt and Hitler

Here is a story you all might find interesting. I learned of it at our weekly POW
meeting at the VA which ended sometime in 2001 because not many of us were left,
and Sam Atterbury our councilor retired. It was told by Harold, one of our POWs who was shot down over Berlin in Jan. 1945 and was placed in a small POW
camp in the Berlin area, with Americans and British.

He mentioned the camp was close to Hitler's last bunker, and they let the allies
know of the camp hoping the allies wouldn’t drop bombs in that area.

Harold said several times Hitler with several guards would come to
the POW camp and would just stand next to the wire and look at the

Then when Roosevelt passed away on April 12, 1945 Hitler
came to the camp and had the guards inform the Americans of
Roosevelt's death and had them assemble in the yard and stand at
attention for a short time in honor of Roosevelt. Hitler and his
guards outside the wire, also stood at attention, and as you know
Hitler committed suicide on April 30, 1945.

How about that gentlemen, here was Hitler a maniac dictator who was responsible for
million of death paying homage to a ruler who help being him down.
Harold said the Russians freed them."


Richard Havers said...

hat's an amazing story Rob. certainly I've never ever heard anything like it. Fascinating.

Richard Havers said...

hat's would be that's :)

Jum said...

The story from a POW named Harold who reportedly witnessed firsthand what he told is quite remarkable indeed. The idea that Hitler left his bunker on April 12, 1945, went to a nearby POW camp and there saw to it that his guards and the camp guards paid a public measure of respect to the just-deceased President Roosevelt by standing at attention...well, that is a stunner! I have never in any of my extensive reading about the end of the war in Europe come across this story. It is astonishing, and were it verified would be a major discovery and cause a revision in WWII history.

However. I am afraid there has been some confusion, and either the story was "garbled in transmission", or there was a misunderstanding about dates, persons involved, or the passage of time and the effect on memory, etc. I'm afraid it just never happened, and here are a few reasons I am comfortable saying that.

First, the news of Roosevelt's death was not even released until April 13, 1945. Also, Hitler never left his bunker in April, 1945. His last stroll under an open sky was in March of 1945 during his well-known review of Hitler Youth who had been decorated for bravery. I have never read of Hitler ever having visited a POW camp, and almost certainly not in the last few years of the war - absolutely not after the July 1944 bomb plot.

Finally, Hitler absolutely detested Roosevelt,and was ecstatic when Goebbels informed him on the 13th of the President's death. Hitler's Order of the Day of April 14, 1945, reflected just how much Hitler "respected" Roosevelt, when it described the President's demise thusly: "Fate has removed the greatest war criminal of all time from the earth."

It's a nice story. But unfortunately that's all it is.