As Western Allies started to retake Europe and with Berlin under siege, murderous Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler had no choice but to give up his sick hope of global conquest and glory.
It was becoming clear by 1943 that Germany would not withstand the pressure of the Allied Forces, with the German 6th Army being destroyed at the Battle of Stalingrad in February that year.
Then by mid-1944, the Western Allied armies began to push Germans back towards Berlin, with several German military commanders acknowledging their imminent defeat, even plotting to remove Hitler from power.
In January 1945, faced with the siege of Berlin by the Soviets, Hitler withdrew into his bunker to spend his final days before his death.
How did Hitler die?
Adolf Hitler killed himself on April 30 1945, at an underground shelter at the Reich Chancellery. His death came two days after his fascist ally Benito Mussolini was assassinated at a small northern Italy village.
Knowing he was doomed to fail, Hitler shot himself in the temple, after biting down on a cyanide capsule to make sure he would not survive.
According to a Moscow archive – published in an account called The Hitler Book – the Nazi leader's final days were marked with paranoia and anxiety.
Excerpts from the book reveal that Hitler used to scratch his neck and ears until they bled, as well as demand that his toilet water and the water in which his eggs were boiled by analysed for traces of poison.
Just before taking his own life, he also ordered his valet, Heinz Linge, to pour petrol over his body and burn it, saying: "You must never allow my corpse to fall into the hands of the Russians. They would make a spectacle in Moscow out of my body and put it in waxworks."
He also left a letter dubbed his 'suicide note', with a chilling message which read: "I shall remain in Berlin, so as to take part, in honourable fashion, in the decisive battle for Germany, and to set a good example to all those remaining. I believe that in this way I shall be rendering Germany the best service.
"For the rest of you, every effort must be made to win the struggle for Berlin. You can there help decisively, by pushing northwards as early as possible."
Hitler's wife Eva Braun, who he married just a day earlier, also killed herself by cyanide pill soon after Hitler's gruesome death.
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Cowardly Hitler and Braun had taken residence at the bunker on January 16 alongside propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, his wife Magda and their six children, as well as members of the party’s trusted inner circle and staff.
The dictator had made his final appearance above ground on April 20 – his 56th birthday – emerging from his underground prison to hand out the Iron Cross to members of the Hitler Youth.
As Soviet forces closed in on the building, Hitler and Braun’s bodies were hastily cremated in the chancellery garden.
What happened after Hitler died?
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Shortly after Hitler's death at the end of April 1945, World War II in Europe came to an end on May 8, 1945.
German forces had issued an unconditional surrender, leaving the country to be split between the four Allied powers.
As news of Germany's surrender spread around the world, overjoyed crowds gathered in the streets to celebrate the declaration of Victory in Europe, known as V-E Day.
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Later that same year, US president Harry S Truman announced Japan's surrender, which brought World War II to an end.
On September 2, 1945, formal surrender documents were signed aboard the USS Missouri, with the day being designated as the official Victory over Japan Day (V-J Day).
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