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On the night of October 15 1946 ten of the twelve major war criminals condemned to death at the Nuremberg trials were executed Of the two who eluded the hangman one was ReichMarshal Hermann Goring who committed suicide by swallowing a lethal vial of cyanide two hours before his execution The other man was Reichsleiter Martin Bormann who had managed to gain an enormous amount of power within the Nazi Party He was virtually unknown outside of the Party elite as he had worked in the shadows of Hitler As the end of the war drew near many of the top Nazis were fleeing Hermann Goring had fled west and had been captured by American soldiers after the death of Hitler had been announced In Hitlers political will Goring had been expelled from the party while Martin Bormann had been named Party Minister According to Jochen Von Lang Gobbels and Bormann had held a military briefing on the night of May 2 1945 Gobbels had already decided to commit suicide but Bormann desperately wanted to survive The last entry into his diary was escape attempt Martin Bormanns whereabouts after this night is unknown There are many speculations as to his fate ranging from the probable to the spectacular Reichsleiter Bormann who according to A Zoller exercised absolute control over the whole structure of the Reich and yet virtually unknown to the public was born June 17th 1900 He was born in Saxon to a Postal Clerk Bormann joined an anti-Semitic organization in 1920 and by 1923 he was a member of the Freikorps During this period he was imprisoned for a year for murder and one year after his release Bormann joined the Nazi Party as a financial administrator By 1933 he had worked his way to being made a Reichsleiter a General of the SS and the Chief of Staff to Rudolf Hess When Hess took flight to England Bormann gladly
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