On 1st September 1939, Friedrich Kellner, a German justice inspector and committed Social Democrat, embarked upon a courageous mission that would continue until 1945. In defiance of the Nazi regime, he secretly documented the brutal realities of life under Hitler’s rule, chronicling its crimes, the persecution of Jews, and the spread of propaganda in what would become a ten-volume, 860-page diary titled Mein Widerstand (‘My Opposition’). In 1960, he met his American grandson, Robert Scott Kellner, who took on the monumental task of translating and editing the diaries, and in 2011 they were finally published.
This is but one entry of thousands, and it marked a monumental moment that would mark the beginning of the end for the Third Reich: the news of Hitler’s death, a turning point that would soon bring a close to the darkest chapter in history.
The Diary Entry
May 1, 1945
Adolf Hitler is said to be dead.
The conflicting news stories are not clear as to how Hitler died. It remains to be seen whether his death is a definite reality or not. There have been no reports about the corpse.
Hitler’s replacement, Fleet Admiral Dönitz, said in the broadcast Hitler had been killed at his command post in the Berlin bunker.
That is thus the beginning of creating a legend.
It is more than strange a successor was already put in place in order to continue the insanity, a proof of how slight the prospects are for an end to lunatics or criminals. Tyrants are strange monarchs. Hitler believed he could transfer his power with a pen stroke, without taking the people into account.
Adolf Hitler, “the most ingenious field marshal of all time,” the all-powerful ruler over the One Thousand Year Reich—which collapsed after twelve years—has disappeared from the scene. The NSDAP has come to a total and inglorious end.
Providence, which Hitler was so fond of calling upon, has decided against him. The craziest of all political systems, the unique-leader state, has found its deserved end. History will note for eternity the German people were not able on their own initiative to shake off the National Socialist yoke. The victory of the Americans, English, and Russians was a necessary occurrence to destroy the National Socialists’ delusions and plans for world domination.
My Opposition: The Diary of Friedrich Kellner – A German against the Third Reich is a breathtaking and important historical record and I implore you all to read it. I must congratulate Kellner’s grandson, Robert Scott Kellner, for dedicating much of his adult life to its safe publication, and I thank him for allowing me to share this entry here. Robert’s story—of his upbringing and the journey he took to find his grandparents—is also incredible, and I recommend watching this documentary on YouTube to better understand it. Additionally, Wikipedia has detailed pages dedicated to both Friedrich Kellner and his diary. All of it is time well spent.