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Nicolaus von Below
Nicolas von Below Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F051625-0295, Verleihung des EK an Hanna Reitsch durch Hitler (cropped).jpg
Born (1907-09-20)20 September 1907
Died 24 July 1983(1983-07-24) (aged 76)
Place of birth Anklam, Germany
Place of death Detmold, Germany
Allegiance Germany Germany (1932)
Flag of German Reich (1935–1945).svg Nazi Germany (1933–1945)
Service/branch War Ensign of Germany (1922–1933).svg Reichswehr
Balkenkreuz.svg Luftwaffe
Rank Oberst
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Wound Badge

Nicolaus von Below (20 September 1907 – 24 July 1983) was an officer in the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) before and during World War II.

Early lifeEdit

Below was born on the estate of Jargelin near Anklam[1] in the Province of Pomerania. He was a member of the German aristocracy.

ServiceEdit

Below was German dictator Adolf Hitler's Air Force (Luftwaffe) adjutant from 1937 through 1945. Hitler generally disliked and was suspicious of soldiers with aristocratic backgrounds. This was particularly true as the tide of the war turned against Germany. But Below, with the rank of colonel, was one of the few members of Hitler's entourage to continually serve in a close capacity for so many years.

During the time between the Christmas and New Year's holiday of 1944, Hitler told Below: "I know the war is lost, the enemy's superiority is far too great." But Hitler, still dwelling on the July 20 Plot to kill him, placed the blame on traitors. He then told Below: "We will never surrender, we may go down, but we will take a world with us."[2]

FührerbunkerEdit

On 12 April 1945, Below was a guest of Albert Speer to see the last performance of the Berlin Philharmonic before the city was captured by the Red Army. He later wrote: "The concert took us back to another world."[3]

On 15 April, Eva Braun was moved into the room next to the room Hitler occupied in the Führerbunker. Below wrote the following of her: "She was charming and obliging and showed no weakness right up to the last moment."[4]

Bundesarchiv Bild 183-R99057, Führerhauptquartier, Adolf Hitler mit Stab

Nicolaus von Below (second from right, front row) with Hitler and staff in 1940

Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F051625-0295, Verleihung des EK an Hanna Reitsch durch Hitler

Nicolaus von Below (left) with Hitler, Hermann Göring and Hanna Reitsch in 1941

On 29 April, after the wedding of Hitler and Braun, Below was an "unofficial" witness to the last will and testament of Adolf Hitler. He did not sign the document. Below left Berlin on 30 April.

Post-warEdit

After the war, Below wrote a book containing the memoirs of his service during World War II entitled At Hitler's Side (2001) (ISBN 1-85367-468-0). He died in Detmold, Germany, in 1983.

Portrayal in the mediaEdit

Nicolaus von Below has been portrayed by the following actors in film and television productions:

ReferencesEdit

  1. "Biography (Polish)". Oriese.webpark.pl. http://oriese.webpark.pl/below.htm. Retrieved 2013-02-07. 
  2. Beevor, Antony (2002). Berlin: The Downfall 1945, Viking-Penguin Books, ISBN 0-670-03041-4, p. 8.
  3. Beevor, Antony (2002). pp. 188-189.
  4. Beevor, Antony (2002). p. 254.
  5. "The Death of Adolf Hitler (1973) (TV)". IMDb.com. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0283307/. Retrieved May 8, 2008. 
  6. "Hitler: The Last Ten Days (1973)". IMDb.com. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070184/. Retrieved May 8, 2008. 

External linksEdit



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