This Day In History: April 16

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On April 16, 1945, Adolf Hitler proclaims from his underground bunker that deliverance was at hand from encroaching Russian troops—and that his beloved capital city of Berlin would remain German. A “mighty artillery is meeting the enemy,” proclaims Der Fuhrer. "This time the Bolsheviks will experience Asia's old fate. That is, he must and will bleed to death in front of the capital of the German Reich."

In his April 16 order, Hitler tried to shame his troops into holding the line against the Allies. "Whosoever does not do his duty at this moment is a traitor to our nation. The regiment or division that leaves its position acts so disgracefully that it will have to be ashamed before the women and children who are withstanding the bombing terror in our towns."

Two weeks later, on April 30, Hitler would commit suicide in his bunker, rather than face responsibility for his monstrous war crimes. On May 7, Germany officially surrendered unconditionally.