Here is an unforgettable, graphic account of the final days in the Fuhrer's headquarters, deep under the shattered city of Berlin as World War II in Europe drew to a close. From James P. O'Donnell's interviews with fifty eyewitnesses to the madness and carnage--everyone from Albert Speer to generals, staff officers, doctors, Hitler's personal pilot, telephone operators, and secretaries--emerges an account that historian Theodore H. White has hailed as "superb . . . quite simply the most accurate and terrifying account of the nightmare and its end I have ever read."
James P. O'Donnell, a Signal Corps Intelligence officer in World War II and a Newsweek correspondent, has written a fresh, exciting account of the last few months of Adolf Hitler's life, that period during which the warlord of the Third Reich buried himself in his bunker while his empire and his entourage disintegrated. There is much here that is already known, but O'Donnell's interviews with some 50 WW II survivors who were actually in Hitler's bunker at various times, has led to some fascinating and convincing speculations. O'Donnell makes a good case, for example, that a secret agent (known as "Mata O'Hara") was able to operate at the very fringes of Hitler's inner circle. He proves, as well, that Martin Bormann is as dead as Hitler, and reveals that the first Russians to enter the bunker were not soldiers, but Russian women in search of Eva Braun's discarded clothes. And what is already public knowledge - Hitler's weakening and escape into fantasy, the confusion and waste of the last defense of Berlin, the attempts by Hitler's entourage to escape the oncoming Russians - is here supported and embellished with new evidence: Albert Speer's written recollections of those days, for instance, are supplemented and broadened by his personal interviews with the author. O'Donnell's prose leaves nothing to be desired - it is not only never dull, but it is also witty, and even at times unpretentiously learned. An exciting treatment of a ghoulishly interesting topic. (Kirkus Reviews)