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Adolf Hitler’s suicide on April 30, 1945 ended “the thousand-year Reich.” In May, the German military signed an unconditional surrender and the Allies took power. The Nazi regime was finished.
News of Hitler’s death was broadcast on the radio: “This afternoon our Führer, Adolf Hitler, fell at his command post in the Reich Chancellery after fighting to his last breath for Germany against Bolshevism.” Hitler, however, did not fall in battle, but rather took his own life. A short time later, his long-time follower and friend, Joseph Goebbels, committed suicide with his wife, after poisoning their six children. Their deaths marked the collapse of the “thousand-year Reich.” A few days later, in early May 1945, the German armed forces, the Wehrmacht, signed an unconditional surrender, leaving Germany under Allied control. While the war in Europe was over, the conflict in the Pacific raged on until a new weapon changed everything.