"The West will not abandon us!"
"April 24, early morning. We are at Tempelhof airport. Russian artillery fires without stopping. Our sector is D. Defense’s sector. Commander is upstairs in the aviation ministry building. We need reinforcement for infantry and we get motley additional units.
Behind the lines, civilians are still trying to get away directly under the fire of Russian artillery, pulling some unfortunate nodes that contain everything that they have left. From time to time, some of the wounded try to move to the rear. Most of them nevertheless remain, because they are afraid of being caught and hanged by the field military tribunals. Russian flamethrowers pour their way. The screams of women and children are terrible.
Three in the afternoon, and we have only a dozen tanks and about thirty armored vehicles. These are armored vehicles scattered around the government sector. We constantly receive orders from the office to send tanks to some other hot place in the city, and they never return. Only the hardness of General Mummert keeps us on the limit of forces. We barely have any vehicles to take out the wounded.
Day.Our artillery is retreating to new positions. Russians have a lot of ammunition. Howls and explosions from the "organs of Stalin", the cries of the wounded, the roar of engines and the grinding of automatic weapons, clouds of smoke and the smell of burning. Dead women on the street, killed while trying to get water. But also here and there women with Panzerfausts, Silesian girls, eager for revenge. Rumor has it that Wenk is approaching Berlin, its artillery can already be heard in some southern suburbs. Another army is expected to come to the rescue from the north. 20.00: Russian tanks carrying infantry move to the airport. Heavy fighting.
April 25, 5.30. New massive tank attacks. We are forced to retreat. Orders from the office: our division should immediately move to Alexanderplatz in the north. 9.00: the order is canceled. 10.00: Russian traffic at the airport becomes irresistible. New line of defense in the city center.
Heavy street fighting with many civilian casualties. Dying animals. Women run from basement to basement. We moved northwest.
New order - go north. The command is obviously demoralized, and the Fuhrer’s refuge must have false information: the positions we must take are already in the hands of the Russians.We again retreat under heavy Russian air attacks. The inscriptions on the walls of the house: "The hour before the sunrise is the darkest" and "We are retreating, but we are winning." Deserters hanged or shot. What we see on this march is unforgettable.
General SS Monke's free corps: "Bring your own weapons, equipment, supplies. Every German is needed." Heavy fighting in the business district, inside the stock exchange. The first skirmishes in the subway tunnels through which the Russians are trying to return to their positions. The tunnels are filled with civilians.
April 26: the evening sky flames brightly. Heavy shelling. We are being shot from the shelters of many buildings — probably foreign workers. General Weidling takes office, General Mummert takes armored forces.
Around 5.30 am the next grinding barrage of artillery. Russian attack. We must retreat again, fighting for every street. Three times during the morning we ask: "Where is the Venk?" Wenk's head detachment is said to be in Werder, 35 kilometers south-west of Berlin. In a reliable release of the Ministry of Propaganda, it is said that all troops from the front of the Elbe go to Berlin.
At about eleven in the morning, L., his eyes shine, came from the Ministry of Propaganda with an even more reliable release directly from Secretary of State Naumann. Negotiations were held with the Western powers. We have to make some more sacrifices, but the Western powers will not stand aside and will not allow the Russians to take Berlin. Our spirit rises tremendously. L. reports absolutely confidently that we will fight for twenty-four hours, at the most - forty-eight.
We got the Goebbels Attack newspaper. An article in it confirms the message of L .: "The tactics of the Bolsheviks shows that they understand how soon the Western reinforcements will be in Berlin. This is a battle that will decide our fate and the fate of Europe. If we hold out, we will cause a decisive turn of war."
But one thing puzzles me. The newspaper also says: "If we resist the attack of the Soviets here, on the main line of defense that passes through the heart of Berlin, the fate of the war will be changed regardless of what the United States and England will take."
New command post in the subway tunnels under the Anhalt railway station. The station looks like an armed camp.Women and children crowding in niches and corners and listening to the sounds of battle. Shells hit the roof, cement falls from the ceiling. Powder smell and smoke in the tunnels.
Suddenly, the water splashed in our command post. Screams, shouts, curses in the tunnel. People are fighting around the stairs that lead through the air mines to the street. Water arrives, rushing through the tunnels. The crowd is in a panic, people stumble upon each other, stumble over rails and fall.
Children and wounded abandoned, many trampled to death. Water covers them. It rises by a meter or more, then slowly decreases. Panic lasts for hours. Many drowned.
The reason is that somewhere, on someone's command, engineers blew up the locks of one of the canals to flood the tunnels that the Russians are trying to go through. Late in the afternoon, we change position again. Horrible view at the entrance to the subway station: a heavy shell hit the roof, and men, women, children are literally smeared on the walls. At night - a short break in shooting.
April 27: continuous attack during the night. Increased signs of collapse. But it does not matter, you can not give up the fight at the last moment and then regret it the rest of your life. K. brings the information that the American tank divisions are on their way to Berlin.It is said that in the Reich Chancellery everyone is more confident in the final victory than ever before.
There is no connection between the troops, with the exception of a few regular battalions equipped with radio posts. Telephone cables are torn to pieces. Physical conditions are indescribable. No rest, no help. No regular food, some bread. We get water from the tunnels and filter it. Often there are nervous breakdowns. The wounded can hardly be taken anywhere. Civilians in basements fear them. Too many are hanged as deserters. And field military tribunals expel civilians from basements where they find deserters, because those are the harbingers of criminals.
These military tribunals today appear especially often in our sector. Most of them are very young and fanatical SS officers. The hope of help and the fear of military tribunals brought our men back to the need to fight.
General Mummert asks that the military tribunals no longer visit this sector. A division composed of the largest number of warriors with the highest awards does not have the right to pursue such babies.He decided to shoot any military tribunal that takes action in our sector.
The increasing space of Potsdamer Platz is turning into ruins. Masses of damaged vehicles, half-broken trailers of ambulances with the wounded, still in them.
Dead people everywhere, many of them ugly crushed by tanks and trucks.
At night, we try to reach the Department of Propaganda in the search for news about Wenk and the American divisions. Rumors spread that the 9th Army was also on its way to Berlin. In the west, common peace treaties are signed. Heavy shelling of the city center.
We can not hold our position. At about four in the morning we retreat through the subway tunnels. In the neighboring tunnels, the Russians are moving in the opposite direction - to the positions that we have just lost. ”- from the diary of the administrative officer of the headquarters of the tank division“ Mychenberg ”.