Erna Flegel

Last updated
Erna Flegel
Born(1911-07-11)11 July 1911
Died16 February 2006(2006-02-16) (aged 94)
Occupation Nurse

Erna Flegel (11 July 1911 – 16 February 2006) was a German nurse. In late April 1945 she worked at the emergency casualty station at the Reich Chancellery in Berlin. She was captured in the Reich Chancellery by the Red Army on 2 May 1945.

Germany Federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, and the Alps, Lake Constance and the High Rhine to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.

Reich Chancellery The building in Berlin housing the Chancellor of Germany and other administrative offices of Germany during the German Empire, Weimar Republic and Nazi period

The Reich Chancellery was the traditional name of the office of the Chancellor of Germany in the period of the German Reich from 1878 to 1945. The Chancellery's seat, selected and prepared since 1875, was the former city palace of Prince Antoni Radziwiłł (1775–1833) on Wilhelmstraße in Berlin. Both the palace and a new Reich Chancellery building were seriously damaged during World War II and subsequently demolished.

Red Army Soviet army and air force from 1917–1946

The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army, frequently shortened to Red Army was the army and the air force of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, and, after 1922, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The army was established immediately after the 1917 October Revolution. The Bolsheviks raised an army to oppose the military confederations of their adversaries during the Russian Civil War. Beginning in February 1946, the Red Army, along with the Soviet Navy, embodied the main component of the Soviet Armed Forces; taking the official name of "Soviet Army", until its dissolution in December 1991. The former official name Red Army continued to be used as a nickname by both sides throughout the Cold War.

Biography

From January 1943 until the end of World War II, as well as during the Battle of Berlin, Flegel served as a nurse for Hitler's entourage. She worked alongside one of Hitler's physicians, Dr. Werner Haase, as a nurse at Humboldt University Hospital and was transferred to the Reich Chancellery in late April 1945. She worked in an emergency casualty station located in the large Reich Chancellery cellar, above the Vorbunker and Führerbunker . [1]

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Battle of Berlin Final major offensive of the European theatre of World War II

The Battle of Berlin, designated the Berlin Strategic Offensive Operation by the Soviet Union, and also known as the Fall of Berlin, was one of the last major offensives of the European theatre of World War II.

Adolf Hitler Leader of Germany from 1934 to 1945

Adolf Hitler was a German politician and leader of the Nazi Party. He rose to power as Chancellor of Germany in 1933 and later Führer in 1934. During his dictatorship from 1933 to 1945, he initiated World War II in Europe by invading Poland in September 1939. He was closely involved in military operations throughout the war and was central to the perpetration of the Holocaust.

During her time in the Führerbunker she befriended Magda Goebbels and sometimes acted as a nanny to the Goebbels children until their murders by their parents. She met Hitler once when he wanted to thank her, Dr. Haase and Dr. Ernst-Günther Schenck for their emergency medical services for wounded German soldiers and civilians. [2]

Magda Goebbels German politician

Johanna Maria Magdalena "Magda" Goebbels was the wife of Nazi Germany's Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels. A prominent member of the Nazi Party, she was a close ally, companion and political supporter of Adolf Hitler. Some historians refer to her as the unofficial "First Lady" of Nazi Germany, while others give that title to Emmy Göring.

Nanny person employed to take care of children in their home

A nanny is a person whom provides child care. Typically, this care is given within the children's family setting.Throughout history, nannies were usually servants in large households and reported directly to the lady of the house. Today, modern nannies, like other domestic workers, may live in or out of the house, depending on their circumstances and those of their employers. There are many employment agencies that specialize in childcare. Nannies in many areas are a sought after member of the workforce. Many nannies become a part of their family's household. Although previously looked at as a lesser-than job, today's demand has made it a popular and valued addition to the lives of the family's household.

Goebbels children

The Goebbels children were the five daughters and one son born to Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels and his wife Magda Goebbels. The children, born between 1932 and 1940, were murdered by their parents in Berlin on 1 May 1945, the day both parents committed suicide.

Thereafter, Flegel returned to work at the emergency casualty station. She remained there along with Dr. Haase, Helmut Kunz and a fellow nurse, Liselotte Chervinska until they were all taken prisoner by the Soviet Red Army on 2 May. [3] Flegel was quickly released and stated that the Soviet troops treated her well. She stayed in the bunker complex another six to ten days before leaving. Later she was interrogated by the Americans in November 1945 and then lived in anonymity until 1977, when documents including her interrogation were declassified. The media later tracked her down to her residence, a nursing home in Germany. She died in Mölln in 2006, aged 94. She was portrayed in the 2004 German film Der Untergang (Downfall) by Liza Boyarskaya. [4] [5]

Helmut Kunz SS officer

Helmut Kunz was an SS dentist who, after the suicide of Adolf Hitler, was ordered to administer anesthetic to the six children of Joseph Goebbels before they were killed.

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References

  1. Lehrer, Steven (2006). The Reich Chancellery and Führerbunker Complex, McFarland. Jefferson, NC. pp 117, 119; ISBN   0-7864-2393-5
  2. Vinogradov, V. K. (2005). Hitler's Death: Russia's Last Great Secret from the Files of the KGB. Chaucer Press. p. 62; ISBN   1-904449-13-1
  3. Vinogradov, V. K., et al. (2005), p. 62.
  4. "'Hitler's nurse' breaks silence", bbc.co.uk, 2 May 2005.
  5. "Interview: Erna Flegel", Guardian.co.uk, 2 May 2005.