|Martin Bormann in 1934|
|Party Minister of the National Socialist German Workers' Party|
30 April – 2 May 1945
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Succeeded by||Position abolished|
|Chief of the Parteikanzlei|
12 May 1941 – 2 May 1945
|Preceded by||Rudolf Hess (as Deputy Führer)|
|Succeeded by||Position abolished|
|Personal Secretary to the Führer|
12 April 1943 – 30 April 1945
|Personal Secretary to the Deputy Führer|
July 1933 – 12 May 1941
October 1933 – 2 May 1945
17 June 1900
Wegeleben, Prussia, Germany
|Died||2 May 1945(aged 44)|
|Political party||National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP)|
(married on 2 September 1929)
Martin Bormann (17 June 1900 – 2 May 1945) was a prominent Nazi official. He became head of the Party Chancellery (Parteikanzlei) and private secretary to Adolf Hitler. He was almost always at his Führer's side. Hitler typically did not issue written orders, but gave them verbally at meetings or in phone conversations; he also had Bormann convey orders. He gained Hitler's trust and derived immense power within the Third Reich by using his position to control the flow of information and access to Hitler. Bormann earned many enemies, including Joseph Goebbels, Hermann Göring, Heinrich Himmler, Alfred Rosenberg, Robert Ley, Hans Frank, and Albert Speer.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Rise in the Nazi Party
- 3 Death, rumours of survival and discovery of remains
- 4 Family
- 5 Nazi awards and decorations
- 6 See also
- 7 Explanatory notes
- 8 Citations
- 9 References
- 10 Further reading
- 11 External links
Born in Wegeleben (now in Saxony-Anhalt) in the Kingdom of Prussia in the German Empire, Bormann was born to a Lutheran family, the son of Theodor Bormann (1862–1903), a post office employee, and his second wife, Antonie Bernhardine Mennong. He had two half-siblings (Else and Walter Bormann) from his father's earlier marriage to Louise Grobler, who died in 1898. Antonie Bormann gave birth to three sons, one of whom died in infancy. Martin (born 1900) and Albert (born 1902) survived to adulthood. Theodor died when Bormann was three, and his mother soon remarried.
Bormann's studies at an agricultural trade high school were interrupted when he joined the 55th Field Artillery Regiment as a gunner in June 1918, in the last days of World War I. He never saw action, but served in the army on garrison duty until February 1919. After working a short time in a cattle feed mill, Bormann became estate manager of a large farm in Mecklenburg. Shortly after starting work at the estate, Bormann joined an antisemitic landowners association. While Hyperinflation in the Weimar Republic meant that money was worthless, foodstuffs stored on farms and estates became ever more valuable. Many estates, including Bormann's, had Freikorps volunteer paramilitary units stationed on site to guard the crops from pillaging. Bormann joined the Freikorps organisation headed by Gerhard Roßbach in 1922, acting as section leader and treasurer.
On 17 March 1924, Bormann was sentenced to a year in prison as an accomplice to his friend Rudolf Höss in the murder of Walther Kadow. Kadow was believed to have tipped off the French occupation authorities in the Ruhr District that fellow Freikorps member, Albert Leo Schlageter, was carrying out sabotage operations against French industries. Schlageter was arrested and was executed on 23 May 1923. On the night of 31 May, Höss, Bormann, and several others took Kadow into a meadow out of town, where he was beaten and his throat cut. After one of the perpetrators confessed, police dug up the body and laid charges in July. Bormann was released from prison in February 1925. Höss, who later served as commandant of Auschwitz concentration camp, was sentenced to ten years. He was released in 1928 as part of a general amnesty. Bormann returned to his job at Mecklenburg and remained there until May 1926, when he moved in with his mother in Oberweimar. He joined the Frontbann, a short-lived paramilitary organisation created to replace the Sturmabteilung (SA; storm detachment), which had been banned in the aftermath of the failed Munich Putsch.
Rise in the Nazi Party
In 1927, Bormann joined the National Socialist German Workers Party (Nazi Party; NSDAP). His membership number was 60,508. He joined the Schutzstaffel (SS) on 1 January 1937. By special order of Heinrich Himmler in 1938, Bormann was granted SS number 555 to reflect his Alter Kämpfer (Old Fighter) status.
Bormann eventually got work with Der Nationalsozialist, a weekly paper edited by NSDAP member Hans Severus Ziegler, who was deputy Gauleiter (party leader) for Thuringia. After joining the NSDAP in 1927, Bormann began duties as regional press officer, but his lack of public speaking skills made him ill suited to this position. He soon put his organisational skills to use as business manager for the Gau (region). He moved to Munich in October 1928, where he worked in the SA insurance office. Initially the NSDAP provided coverage through insurance companies for members who were hurt or killed in the frequent violent skirmishes with members of other political parties. As insurance companies were unwilling to pay out claims for such activities, in 1930 Bormann set up the Hilfskasse der NSDAP (NSDAP Auxiliary Fund), a benefits and relief fund directly administered by the party. Each party member was required to pay premiums, and might receive compensation for injuries sustained while conducting party business. Payments out of the fund were made solely at Bormann's discretion. He began to gain a reputation as a financial expert, and many party members felt personally indebted to him after receiving benefits from the fund. In addition to its stated purpose, the fund was used as a last-resort source of funding for the NSDAP, which was chronically short of money at the time. After the NSDAP's success in the 1930 general election, where they won 107 seats, party membership grew dramatically. By 1932 the fund was collecting 3 million Reichsmarks per year.
Bormann also worked on the staff of the SA from 1928 to 1930, and while there he founded the National Socialist Automobile Corps, precursor to the National Socialist Motor Corps. The organisation was responsible for coordinating the donated use of motor vehicles belonging to party members, and later expanded to training members in automotive skills.
Reichsleiter and head of the party chancellery
After the Machtergreifung (NSDAP seizure of power) in January 1933, the relief fund was repurposed to provide general accident and property insurance, so Bormann resigned from its administration. He applied for a transfer, and was accepted as chief of staff in the office of Rudolf Hess, the Deputy Führer, on 1 July 1933. Bormann also served as personal secretary to Hess, from 4 July 1933 until May 1941. Hess's department was responsible for settling disputes within the party and to act as an intermediary between the party and the state regarding policy decisions and legislation.[a] Bormann used his position to create an extensive bureaucracy and involve himself in as much of the decision making as possible. On 10 October 1933, Hitler named Bormann as Reichsleiter (national leader – the highest party rank) of the NSDAP, and in November, he was named Reichstag deputy. By June 1934, Bormann was becoming a member of Hitler's inner circle, and accompanied him everywhere, providing briefings and summaries of events and requests.
In 1935 Bormann was appointed as overseer of renovations at the Berghof, Hitler's property at Obersalzberg. Hitler bought the property, which he had been renting since 1925 as a vacation retreat, in the early 1930s. After he became chancellor, Hitler drew up plans for expansion and remodelling of the main house, and put Bormann in charge of construction. Bormann also commissioned the construction of barracks for the SS guards, roads and footpaths, garages for motor vehicles, a hotel for guests, accommodation for staff, and other amenities. Retaining title in his own name, Bormann bought up adjacent farms until the entire complex covered 10 square kilometres (3.9 sq mi). Members of the inner circle built houses within the perimeter, beginning with Hermann Göring, Albert Speer, and Bormann himself.[b] Bormann also commissioned the building of the Kehlsteinhaus (Eagle's Nest), a tea house high above the Berghof, as a gift to Hitler on his fiftieth birthday (20 April 1939). Hitler seldom used the building, but Bormann liked to impress guests by taking them there.
While Hitler was in residence at the Berghof, Bormann was constantly in attendance, and acted as Hitler's personal secretary. In this capacity, he began to control the flow of information and access to Hitler. During this period, Hitler gave Bormann control his personal finances. Hitler's income included money raised through royalties collected on Mein Kampf and the use of his image on postage stamps. Bormann also set up the Adolf Hitler Fund of German Trade and Industry, which collected money from German industrialists on Hitler's behalf. Some of the funds received through this programme were disbursed to various party leaders, but Bormann retained most of it for Hitler's personal use. Bormann took notes of Hitler's thoughts, expressed over dinner and in monologues late into the night, and preserved them. The material was published after the war as Hitler's Table Talk.
While the office of the Deputy Führer had final approval over civil service appointments, it was actually Bormann who reviewed the personnel files and made the decisions regarding appointments. This power impinged on the purview of Minister of the Interior Wilhelm Frick, and was an example of the overlapping responsibilities typical of the Nazi regime. Bormann travelled everywhere with Hitler, including trips to Austria in 1938 after the Anschluss (the annexation of Austria into Nazi Germany), and to the Sudetenland after the signing of the Munich Agreement later that year. Bormann was placed in charge of organising the 1938 Nuremberg Rally, a major annual party event.
Hitler intentionally played top party members off against each other, and the NSDAP against the civil service. In this way, he fostered distrust, competition, and infighting among his subordinates to consolidate and maximise his own power. He typically did not give written orders; instead he communicated them verbally, or had them conveyed through Bormann. Falling out of favour with Bormann meant that access to Hitler was cut off. Bormann proved to be a master of intricate political infighting. Along with his ability to control access to Hitler, this enabled him to curtail the power of Joseph Goebbels, Göring, Himmler, Alfred Rosenberg, Robert Ley, Hans Frank, Speer, and other high-ranking officials, many of whom became his enemies. This ruthless and continuous intriguing for power, influence, and Hitler's favour came to characterise the inner workings of the Third Reich.
As World War II progressed, Hitler's attention became focused on foreign affairs and the conduct of the war to the exclusion of all else. Hess, not directly engaged in either of these endeavours, became increasingly sidelined from the affairs of the nation and from Hitler's attention; Bormann had successfully supplanted Hess in many of his duties and usurped his position at Hitler's side. Also concerned that Germany would face a war on two fronts as plans progressed for Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union scheduled to take place later that year, Hess flew solo to Britain on 10 May 1941 to seek peace negotiations with the British government. He was arrested on arrival, and spent the rest of the war as a British prisoner, eventually receiving a life sentence for war crimes at the Nuremberg trials in 1946. Speer later said Hitler described Hess's departure as one of the worst personal blows of his life, as he considered it a personal betrayal. Hitler ordered Hess to be shot should he return to Germany and abolished the post of Deputy Führer on 12 May 1941, assigning Hess's former duties to Bormann, with the title of Head of the Parteikanzlei (Party Chancellery). In this position he was responsible for all NSDAP appointments, and was answerable only to Hitler.
Bormann's power and effective reach broadened considerably during the war. By early 1943, the war produced a labor crisis for the regime. Hitler created a three-man committee with representatives of the State, the army, and the Party in an attempt to centralize control of the war economy. The committee members were Hans Lammers (head of the Reich Chancellery), Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, chief of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (Armed Forces High Command; OKW), and Bormann, who controlled the Party. The committee was intended to independently propose measures regardless of the wishes of various ministries, with Hitler reserving most final decisions to himself. The committee, soon known as the Dreierausschuß (Committee of Three), met eleven times between January and August 1943. However, they ran up against resistance from Hitler's cabinet ministers, who headed deeply entrenched spheres of influence and were excluded from the committee. Seeing it as a threat to their power, Goebbels, Göring, and Speer worked together to bring it down. The result was that nothing changed—the Committee of Three declined into irrelevance.
Preoccupied with military matters and spending most of his time at his military headquarters on the eastern front, Hitler came to rely more and more on Bormann to handle the domestic policies of the country. On 12 April, Hitler officially appointed Bormann as Personal Secretary to the Führer. By this time Bormann had de facto control over all domestic matters, and this new appointment gave him the power to act in an official capacity in any matter. Later, faced with the imminent demise of the Third Reich, Bormann systematically set about organising German corporate flight capital, and established off-shore holding companies and business interests in close coordination with the same Ruhr industrialists and German bankers who, although often not Nazis, had helped to facilitate Hitler's explosive rise to power 10 years before.
Bormann was invariably the advocate of extremely harsh, radical measures when it came to the treatment of Jews, the conquered eastern peoples, and prisoners of war. He signed the decree of 31 May 1941 extending the 1935 Nuremberg Laws to the annexed territories of the East. Thereafter, he signed the decree of 9 October 1942 prescribing that the permanent Final Solution in Greater Germany could no longer be solved by emigration, but only by the use of "ruthless force in the special camps of the East." A further decree, signed by Bormann on 1 July 1943, gave Adolf Eichmann absolute powers over Jews, who now came under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Gestapo.
Knowing Hitler viewed Slavic people as inferior, Bormann opposed the introduction of German criminal law into the conquered eastern territories. He lobbied for and eventually achieved a strict separate penal code that implemented martial law for the Polish and Jewish inhabitants of these areas. The "Edict on Criminal Law Practices against Poles and Jews in the Incorporated Eastern Territories", promulgated 4 December 1941, permitted corporal punishment and death sentences for even the most trivial of offenses.
Bormann supported the hard-line approach of Erich Koch, Reichskommissar in Reichskommissariat Ukraine, in his brutal treatment of Slavic people. Alfred Rosenberg, serving as head of the Reich Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories, favoured a more moderate policy. After touring collective farms around Vinnytsia, Ukraine, Bormann was concerned about the health and good physical constitution of the population, as he was concerned that they could constitute a danger to the regime. After discussion with Hitler, he issued a policy directive to Rosenberg that read in part:
The Slavs are to work for us. In so far as we don't need them, they may die. The fertility of the Slavs is undesirable. As to food, they are to not get more than necessary. We are the masters; we come first.
While the Article 24 of the NSDAP party platform called for toleration of Christian denominations and a Reichskonkordat (Reich Concordat) treaty with the Vatican was signed in 1933 guaranteeing religious freedom to Catholics, Hitler believed religion was fundamentally incompatible with National Socialism. Bormann, who was strongly anti-Christian, agreed; he stated publicly in 1941 that "National Socialism and Christianity are irreconcilable." Out of political expediency, Hitler intended to postpone the elimination of the Christian churches after the war. However, his repeated hostile statements against the church indicated to his subordinates that continuation of the Kirchenkampf (church struggle) would be tolerated and even encouraged.
Bormann was one of the leading proponents of the ongoing persecution of the Christian churches. In February 1937 he decreed that members of the clergy should not be admitted to the NSDAP. The following year he ruled that any clergy holding party offices should be dismissed, and any party member who was considering entering the clergy had to give up his party membership. While Bormann's push to force the closure of theological departments at Reich universities was unsuccessful, he was able to reduce the amount of religious instruction provided in public schools to two hours per week and mandated the removal of crucifixes from classrooms. Speer notes in his memoirs that while drafting plans for Welthauptstadt Germania, the planned rebuilding of Berlin, he was told by Bormann that churches were not to be allocated any building sites.
In 1941 the Catholic Bishop of Munster, August von Galen, publicly protested against Action T4, the Nazi non-voluntary euthanasia programme under which the mentally ill, physically deformed, and incurably sick were to be killed. In a series of sermons that received international attention, he criticised the programme as illegal and immoral. His sermons led to a widespread protest movement among church leaders, the strongest protest against a Nazi policy up until that point. Bormann and others called for Galen to be hanged, but Hitler and Goebbels concluded that Galen's death would only be viewed as a martyrdom and lead to further unrest. Hitler decided to deal with the issue when the war was over.
Last days in Berlin
Bormann, his adjutant, SS-Standartenführer Wilhelm Zander, and his secretary, Else Krüger, were with Hitler in the Führer's shelter (Führerbunker) during the Battle of Berlin. The Führerbunker was located under the Reich Chancellery (Reichskanzlei) garden in the government district in the centre of Berlin. On 23 April, his brother Albert Bormann left the Berlin bunker complex by aircraft for the Obersalzberg. He and several others had been ordered by Hitler to leave Berlin.
On 28 April, Bormann wired the following message to Großadmiral Karl Dönitz: "Situation very serious ... Those ordered to rescue the Führer are keeping silent ... Disloyalty seems to gain the upper hand everywhere ...Reichskanzlei a heap of rubble."
At 04:00 on 29 April 1945, Wilhelm Burgdorf, Goebbels, Hans Krebs, and Bormann witnessed and signed Hitler's last will and testament. Hitler dictated this document to his personal secretary, Traudl Junge. Shortly before signing the last will and testament, Hitler married Eva Braun in a civil ceremony.
The Soviet forces continued to fight their way into the centre of Berlin. Adolf and Eva Hitler committed suicide during the afternoon of 30 April, Eva taking cyanide and Adolf Hitler shooting himself. As per instructions, their bodies were taken out to the Reich Chancellery garden and burned. In accordance with Hitler's last will and testament, Joseph Goebbels, the Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, became the new "Head of Government" and Chancellor of Germany (Reichskanzler). Martin Bormann was named as Party Minister, thus officially confirming his position as de facto General Secretary of the Party.
At 14:46 on 1 May, Reichskanzler Goebbels and Bormann sent a radio message to Dönitz informing him of Hitler's death. In accordance with Hitler's last wishes, Dönitz was appointed as the new "President of Germany" (Reichspräsident). Goebbels and his wife Magda committed suicide later that same day.
On 2 May, the Battle in Berlin ended when General der Artillerie Helmuth Weidling, the commander of the Berlin Defence Area, unconditionally surrendered the city to General Vasily Chuikov, the commander of the Soviet 8th Guards Army.
Death, rumours of survival and discovery of remains
Axmann's account of Bormann's death
At around 11:00 pm on 1 May, Bormann left the Führerbunker with SS doctor Ludwig Stumpfegger, Hitler Youth leader Artur Axmann and Hitler's pilot Hans Baur as part of one of the groups attempting to break out of the Soviet encirclement. At the Weidendammer Bridge, a Tiger tank spearheaded the first attempt by the Germans to storm across the bridge, but it was destroyed. Bormann and Stumpfegger were "knocked over" when the tank was hit. On the third attempt, made around 1:00, Bormann in his group from the Reich Chancellery crossed the Spree. Bormann carried with him a copy of Hitler's Last will and testament. Leaving the rest of their group, Bormann, Stumpfegger and Axmann walked along railway tracks to Lehrter station, where Axmann decided to go in the opposite direction of his two companions. When he encountered a Red Army patrol, Axmann doubled back and later insisted he had seen the bodies of Bormann and Stumpfegger near the railway switching yard with moonlight clearly illuminating their faces. He did not have time to check the bodies, so he did not know how they met their fate.
Axmann, Werner Naumann, and their adjutants escaped Berlin. Axmann hid in the Bavarian Alps under the alias "Erich Siewert". He was arrested in December 1945 while organising an underground Nazi movement. Naumann found asylum in Argentina, where he became an editor of the neo-Nazi magazine Der Weg.
Tried at Nuremberg in absentia
During the chaotic closing days of the war, there were contradictory reports as to Bormann's whereabouts. For example, Jakob Glas, Bormann's long-time chauffeur, insisted he saw Bormann in Munich weeks after 1 May 1945. The bodies were not found, and a global search followed including extensive efforts in South America. With no evidence sufficient to confirm Bormann's death, the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg tried Bormann in absentia in October 1946 and sentenced him to death. His court-appointed defence lawyer used the unusual and unsuccessful defence that the court could not convict Bormann because he was already dead.
At the Nuremberg Trials, Arthur Seyss-Inquart, the Reich Commissioner for the Netherlands, testified that he had called Bormann to confirm an order to deport the Dutch Jews to Auschwitz, and further testified that Bormann passed along Hitler's orders for the extermination of Jews during the Holocaust. A telephone conversation between Bormann and Himmler, who was his main antagonist in the struggle for power within the Nazi elite, was overheard by telephone operators during which Himmler reported to Bormann the extermination of 40,000 Jews in Poland. Himmler was sharply rebuked for using the word "exterminated" rather than the codeword "resettled," and Bormann ordered the apologetic Himmler never again to report on this by phone but through SS couriers.
In 1963, a retired postal worker named Albert Krumnow told police that around 8 May 1945 the Soviets had ordered him and his colleagues to bury two bodies found near the railway bridge near Lehrter station. One was dressed in a Wehrmacht uniform and the other was clad only in his underwear. Krumnow's colleague Wagenpfohl is said to have found an SS doctor's paybook on the second body identifying him as Dr. Ludwig Stumpfegger. He gave the paybook to his boss, postal chief Berndt, who turned it over to the Soviets. They in turn destroyed it. The Soviets allowed Berndt to notify Stumpfegger's wife. He wrote and told her that her husband's body was "... interred with the bodies of several other dead soldiers in the grounds of the Alpendorf in Berlin NW 40, Invalidenstrasse 63."
Discovery of remains and controversy surrounding identification
The hunt for Bormann lasted 26 years without success. International investigators and journalists searched for Bormann from Paraguay to Moscow, and from Norway to Egypt. Digs for his body in Paraguay in March 1964 and Berlin in July 1964 were unsuccessful. The German government offered a 100,000-mark reward in November 1964, but no one claimed it. The final straw came in July 1965, when the search of Albert Krumnow's Berlin location turned up nothing. The German government determined that Berlin was simply "too full of cemeteries and mass graves dating from the last days of the war."
On 7 December 1972, Axmann's and Krumnow's accounts were bolstered when construction workers uncovered human remains near the Lehrter Bahnhof in West Berlin just 12 m (39 ft) from the spot where Krumnow claimed he had buried them. Dental records—reconstructed from memory in 1945 by Dr. Hugo Blaschke—identified the skeleton as Bormann's, and damage to the collarbone was consistent with injuries Bormann's sons reported he had sustained in a riding accident in 1939. The second skeleton was deemed to be Stumpfegger's, since it was of similar height to his last known proportions. Fragments of glass in the jawbones of both skeletons suggested that Bormann and Stumpfegger had committed suicide by biting cyanide capsules to avoid capture. Soon afterward, in a press conference held by the West German government, Bormann was declared dead, a statement condemned by Britain's Daily Express as a whitewash perpetrated by the Brandt government. West German diplomatic officials were given official instruction that "if anyone is arrested on suspicion that he is Bormann, we will be dealing with an innocent man".
The remains were conclusively identified as Bormann's in 1998 when German authorities ordered a genetic test on the skull. The testing was led by Wolfgang Eisenmenger, Professor of Forensic Science at München University. The test identified the skull as that of Bormann, using DNA from one of his relatives. Bormann's remains were cremated, and the ashes scattered in the Baltic Sea on 16 August 1999.
Despite these DNA tests, there had been criticism regarding the authenticity of the remains. For example, Hugh Thomas' 1995 book Doppelgängers claimed there were forensic inconsistencies suggesting Bormann had died after 1945. When exhumed, Bormann's skeleton was covered in flecks of red clay, whereas Berlin is a city based on yellow sand. This indicated to some that the body had been re-interred from somewhere with a clay-based soil, such as Paraguay, the Andes Mountains or even Russia (as the Gehlen theory surmised).
Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal refused to accept the government's declaration of Bormann's death, persisting in the belief that Bormann escaped Berlin with Axmann and headed south to the safety of the Alps. There he was rumoured to have been seen in both Bavaria and Austria. Bormann's aide Wilhelm Zander was captured in Passau, along the Austrian frontier, in December 1945. From the Alps, Wiesenthal believed, Bormann and others escaped to South America.
On 2 September 1929, Bormann married 19-year-old Gerda Buch, whose father, Major Walter Buch, served as a chairman of the Untersuchung und Schlichtungs-Ausschuss (USCHLA; Investigation and Settlement Committee), which was responsible for settling disputes within the party. Hitler was a frequent visitor to the Buch house, and it was here that Bormann met him. Hess and Hitler served as witnesses at the wedding.
The children of Martin and Gerda Bormann were:
- Adolf Martin Bormann (14 April 1930 – 11 March 2013); called Krönzi ("crown prince"); named after Hitler, his godfather.
- Ilse Bormann (born 9 July 1931); named after her godmother, Ilse Hess. Later called Eike after Hess' flight to Scotland. She died in 1958. A twin sister, Ehrengard, died in 1932.
- Irmgard Bormann (born 25 July 1933).
- Rudolf Gerhard Bormann (born 31 August 1934; named after his godfather Rudolf Hess). His name was changed to Helmut after Hess' flight to Scotland. 
- Heinrich Hugo Bormann (born 13 June 1936; named after his godfather Heinrich Himmler).
- Eva Ute Bormann (born 4 May 1938).
- Gerda Bormann (born 4 August 1940).
- Fritz Hartmut Bormann (born 3 April 1942).
- Volker Bormann (born 18 September 1943, died 1946).
Gerda Bormann suffered from bowel cancer in her later years, and died on 23 March 1946, in Merano, Italy. Bormann's children survived the war, and were cared for in foster homes. His eldest son, Martin, was Hitler's godson. Martin was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1953, although prior to his father's break with religion the family had been Lutheran. He left the priesthood in the late 1960s. He married an ex-nun in 1971 and became a teacher of theology.
Nazi awards and decorations
- Frontbann Badge (1932)
- Golden Party Badge (1934)
- Olympic Games Decoration First Class (1936)
- Honour Chevron for the Old Guard
- SS-Honour Ring (1937)
- Honour Sword of the Reichsführers-SS (1937)
- Blood Order (1938)
- Nazi Party Long Service Award in Bronze and Silver
- Order of the Crown of Italy
- Grand Officer and Knight of the Grand Cross (Italy)
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- Antony Beevor Berlin: The Downfall 1945, Viking-Penguin Books, 2002, p. 343. Records the marriage as taking place before Hitler had dictated the last will and testament.
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- Kershaw 2008, p. 955.
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- Joachimsthaler 1999, p. 187.
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- Beevor 2002, p. 383.
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- Bormann case for the defence at Nurenberg trials
- Lang 1979, p. 417.
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- Karacs, Imre (4 May 1998). "DNA test closes book on mystery of Martin Bormann". Independent (London). Retrieved 2010-04-28.
- Lang 1979, pp. 52–53.
- McGovern 1968, pp. 20–21.
- "Traueranzeigen: Martin Bormann" (in German). Westfälische Rundschau. 15 March 2013. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
- Lang 1979, p. 53.
- McGovern 1968, p. 189.
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- Martin Bormann "The Brown Eminence" by the Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team