Bernd Freytag von Loringhoven was born in 1914 into an aristocratic German family. In 1934 he embarked on a career as an officer in the Reichswehr. He was one of the lucky few officers to escape the Russians at Stalingrad in 1943. After another year on the Russian Front he found himself appointed ADC to General Guderian, which took him via Hitler’s HQ in East Prussia to the bunker in Berlin. Captured by the Americans at the end of the war, he filled four large notebooks with memories from the bunker during his two and a half years in prison, but kept them hidden for sixty years.
After the war he joined the new German army, the Bundeswehr, eventually becoming its Deputy Chief of Staff. Now aged 92, he lives in Munich. It was the journalist Francois d’Alancon, a chief reporter for La Croix, Paris, who convinced him to tell of his experiences – the last nine months of the Third Reich.