Page last updated at 11:05 GMT, Friday, 30 October 2009

Secrets hope as Hitler aide dies

Adolf Hitler in 1941
Hitler eventually dismissed Fritz Darges over an incident with a fly

The memoirs of one of Adolf Hitler's closest aides could shed new light on the Nazi leader's personal involvement in the Holocaust, media reports say.

Fritz Darges, who has died aged 96, was a member of Hitler's inner circle for four years of the war.

As Hitler's last SS adjutant, he was present for all major conferences, the UK's Daily Telegraph reported.

Historians believe his manuscript could provide key evidence that Hitler ordered the deaths of six million Jews.

If so, it would debunk claims by revisionist historians that the Nazi dictator knew nothing of the Holocaust, the newspaper reported.

In an interview with a German newspaper shortly before his death, Mr Darges told how he met Hitler at the Nuremburg party rally in 1934.

"He had a sympathetic look, he was warm-hearted. I rated him from the off," he is quoted as saying.

"I must, and was, always there for him, at every conference, at every inter-service liaison meeting, at all war conferences. I must say I found him a genius. We all dreamed of a greater German empire. That is why I served him and would do it all again now," he was quoted as saying.

'Sacked over fly'

He also told the German newspaper how he was dismissed by Hitler over a bizarre incident involving a fly.

The fly had been buzzing around the room during a strategy conference in July 1944, irritating the Nazi leader.

Hitler ordered Mr Darges to get rid of it, but the SS adjutant suggested that as it was an "airborne pest" the job should go to Luftwaffe adjutant, Nicolaus von Below.

He said Hitler then flew into a rage and dismissed him, saying: "You're for the eastern front."

Mr Darges had trained as an export clerk but joined the SS in April 1933.

He became senior adjutant to Hitler's secretary Martin Bormann in 1936 and was promoted to the Fuhrer's personal staff in 1940.

He died at his home in Celle, near Hannover, last weekend.

Print Sponsor

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2020 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific