July 26, 2017

1945. Nazi Germany on the Verge of Collapse

Goebbels Says the Reich is "Tumbling into Ruins"
Sergeant J.D. Eilbeck posts a sign of Adolf Hitler reading "No Way Out" outside the 156th Brigade headquarters, April 4, 1945 (source)
Fifteen days after this article was published, Bill Downs gave a firsthand account of the Nazi surrender to Field Marshal Montgomery at Lüneburg Heath on May 4, 1945.

From the Lancashire Daily Post, April 19, 1945:

Montgomery's troops have reached the Elbe at several points east of Lüneburg.

Lüneburg itself has been captured and the Germans trounced before the Elbe, are racing pell-mell over the Lüneburg Bridge under our shell fire and air attack.

The way is now believed open for our armour to close up to the Elbe on vast stretches.

American troops met in the center of Leipzig, yesterday, after clearing all German resistance except for a pocket around the City Hall, where the commander refused a call to surrender.

General Bradley announces that the American armies must pause temporarily before going on to the next phase of the thrust into the Reich.


According to Bill Downs (C.B.S.) Montgomery's armoured columns have reached a point less than 10 miles from Hamburg.

British troops have reached the outskirts of Emden, says Brussels radio.

The Canadians have captured the port of Harderwijk on the Zuiderzee, 15 miles north-east of Amersfoort, where the Germans were recently reported to be doing a "Dunkirk" towards western Holland.

The Germans are heavily counter-attacking the Canadian line on the Küsten Canal, south of Papenburg in the Ems sector.

The wholesale flooding of the Hook of Holland started yesterday when the Germans blew a 300-yard gap in the sea wall, sending the waters of the Zuiderzee pouring into the rich farmlands below sea level.

The floodwaters are sweeping southwards towards Amsterdam, but unless more dykes are blown they should stop about 10 miles north of the city.

Only a narrow strip of land along the western coast of the Hook will remain above water.


The Third Army had by this morning advanced further in one continuous offensive than any other army in the history of war (says a correspondent).

By reaching the Czechoslovak frontier, armour has covered 500 miles by road in the 46 days since the Third Army launched its offensive from Trier.

Another two-day advance would bring Patton so close to Konev, that it will become dangerous for either side to use long-range artillery.

The junction of the armies and the demarcation of the limits of their advance is therefore imminent.

Patton's men are less than 100 miles from Prague.

First Army troops at Leipzig are now apparently little more than 40 miles from the Russians.

Another Son of the Ex-Kaiser Captured

Another son of the late Kaiser Wilhelm has been rounded up at Frankfurt, it was stated at Shaef, to-day. Which son it is was not disclosed.

He is one of more than 400 suspects now held in gaol as political prisoners, following a two-week drive carried out under the orders of Military Government in Frankfurt to round up fanatical Nazi "werewolves" and other anti-Allied agents.


Never before have the matters been on the razor's edge as they are to-day, said the advanced text issued by the German News Agency, of a broadcast which Goebbels will deliver to-night, on the eve of Hitler's 56th birthday.

Never before has the German people had to defend its bare life under such enormous dangers and by a last all-out effort make sure that the Reich does not break apart.

This is not the time to celebrate the Führer's birthday with the usual words, or to express our traditional good wishes to the Führer. To-day it is necessary to say more and this will be said by a man who has earned this privilege before the Führer and the nation.


Flourishing towns and villages throughout Europe have been transformed into fields of craters. The most outstanding civilisation the world has ever seen is tumbling into ruins.

To-day we are living through the last act of a gigantic tragic drama, which began in August, 1914, and which we Germans interrupted on November 9th, 1918—the outbreak of the German revolution—at a moment when the decision was just about to come.

This is why it had to be done all again and why it had to begin again on September 1st, 1939 (German invasion of Poland). What we thought to spare ourselves in November, 1918, we have to do now two and threefold.

There is no getting away from it—unless the German people turn their backs on a life worthy of human beings and live an existence of which most primitive tribes in Africa would be ashamed.

Let us act like men and like Germans, follow our leader without reserve, and stake our hopes on our lucky star, even if that star is clouded over for the time being.

Let us not be cowards in misfortune, but stay defiant, not offer the world the spectacle of miserable servility but hoist the old Swastika flag instead of the white flag of surrender.


Our enemies may wound us, but they can never kill us. They can knock us about, but never force us to our knees. They can torture but not humiliate us.

Now that we have entered the final and decisive round of the war, shall we abandon all our ideals and all our hopes of a better future in the confusion of the misfortunes that have befallen us?

The war is approaching its end. The madness which the enemy has unleashed upon mankind has already gone beyond its climax.

The leader of the enemy coalition has been struck down by that very fate which kept our Führer alive on July 20th, amid dead, wounded and ruins, that he might complete his work.

A few years after the war Germany will blossom as never before. Her ravaged countryside will be studded with new and more beautiful towns and villages inhabited by happy people.

We shall once again be friends with all nations of good will and with them will heal the scars of our heavy wounds.

If we prevail the work begun in Germany in 1933 and so rudely interrupted in 1939 will be continued. Other nations will join in, not under coercion, but freely.

We shall never leave him (Hitler) in the lurch whatever the danger. May God give him health and strength, and preserve him from all dangers. The rest can be left to us.

In the midst of peril Germany celebrates her greatest triumph. If history tells that this country's people never abandoned their leader and their leader never abandoned its people, that will be victory.

Another Swindle

It can be assumed that Goebbels has already made the speech, if only for a gramophone record. These records will be played tonight from the German radio stations, including the Berlin radio, if it is still on the air.

Neutral reports say that there is not the slightest likelihood that Goebbels is in Berlin. It is most likely that with other Nazis—he had taken to the Bavarian "redoubt."