Nicolaus von Below

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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
von Below as Luftwaffe adjutant to Adolf Hitler
Born (1907-09-20)20 September 1907
Anklam, Germany
Died 24 July 1983(1983-07-24) (aged 76)
Detmold, Germany
Allegiance  Weimar Republic (1932)
 Nazi Germany (1933–1945)
Service/branch Reichswehr
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 Luftwaffe and an adjutant to Adolf Hitler.

Early life[edit]

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

Service[edit]

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]

Führerbunker[edit]

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]

Nicolaus von Below (second from right, front row) with Hitler and staff in 1940
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-war[edit]

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 media[edit]

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

Von Below also appeared as non-playable character in the 1999 video game Commandos: Beyond the Call of Duty by Pyro Studios, but was named Wilhelm instead of Nicolaus.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Biography (Polish)". Oriese.webpark.pl. 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. Retrieved May 8, 2008. 
  6. ^ "Hitler: The Last Ten Days (1973)". IMDb.com. Retrieved May 8, 2008. 

External links[edit]