Mass suicides in 1945 Nazi Germany

During the final weeks of Nazi Germany and the war in Europe, many civilians, government officials and military personnel throughout Germany committed suicide. In addition to high-ranking Nazi officials like Adolf Hitler, Joseph Goebbels, Heinrich Himmler, Philipp Bouhler and Martin Bormann, many others chose Selbstmord rather than accept the defeat of Germany. Motivating factors included fear of reprisals and atrocities by the Allies and especially the Red Army, Nazi propaganda that glorified suicide as preferable to defeat, and despondence after the suicide of Adolf Hitler. For example, in May 1945, up to 1,000 people killed themselves before and after the entry of Red Army into the German town of Demmin which resulted in a wave of rapes, pillage, and executions committed by Red Army soldiers. In Berlin alone more than 7,000 suicides were reported in 1945.
Three distinct periods of suicides have been identified between January and May 1945 when thousands of German people took their own lives. Life Magazine reported that: "In the last days of the war the overwhelming realization of utter defeat was too much for many Germans.
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