?The Germans who heretofore held together like glue?some of them now turned to the enemy and turned in anyone who they thought had any connection to the Nazi government. They were always suspicious of Otto, and several times we had US Government (uniformed and plainclothes) come and take Otto away?It disgusted me, I lost all respect for so many I thought were friends.?
He was arrested some 5 times and interrogated by the CIC and OSS. I have a copy of a letter he wrote to European edition of Stars and Stripes in 1948 dispelling a rumour that Hitler escaped in one of the Staffel aircraft at war?s end. Remember that during these chaotic last days of the war Otto is still wearing his Lufthansa, not Luftwaffe, uniform:
<<Regarding your newspaper article of the 7th of March 1948, and to end the rumours of an eventual escape of Hitler in an airplane, I want to report the following?
When the Russians came closer to the German borders the squadron was moved in January 1945 from Rastenburg in East Prussia to Pocking in Bavaria, located north of Salzburg. There a Junkers 290 was remodeled for Hitler which after completion was destroyed during the flight in March 1945 from Pocking via Munich Airport/Riem to Berlin, in a bombing attack. Since Hitler was in Berlin his old plane, the Focke Wulf 200 Condor had to be flown to Berlin by his personal pilot SS-General Baur and second pilot in command, SS-Sturmbannfuhrer Betz.
In the middle of April I received the order from General Baur to bring a part of the squadron during the night to Berlin. After landing I had a meeting with Baur in the Tiergarten, where we were told that the end of the war was not going to be at Obersalzberg, as first thoughtbut in the north of Norway. Infected by the madness of his boss, Baur declared triumphantly that even though the Americans and British had nearly reached the River Elbe, and the Russians were at the Oder, finally, with the new weapon, an atomic-like bomb, we would win the war. To my modest question how could we possibly win as we were encircled and our air force was destroyed by the enemy, he said I was a saboteur.
Baur threatened me with death if I repeated any such statements of doubt. Baur also told us that the east-west axis of the Tiergarten would be used as a runway. The trees would be cut down to make a landing possible for the Condor aircraft. Also two Fieseler Stoerche would have to be placed at constant readiness for Baur and Betz.
The squadron was stationed at the Airport Schoenwalde northwest of Berlin, with the remaining planes and personnel at Pocking under orders to transfer to Schoenwalde as soon as possible. Baur and Betz remained in the Reichs Kanzlei with Hitler. As the Russians moved closer to Schoenwalde, we moved to Berlin/Staaken. The Russians were advancing from Potsdam. After their artillery fire destroyed two Fiesler Stoerche we moved to Rechlin/Gatow. From Rechlin we informed Baur of the loss of two Stoerche, whereupon he ordered me to fly two more into Berlin that evening and land in front of the Brandenburg Tor. I contradicted his order and he threatened to have me shot. Himmler?s HQ was near Rechlin, and he was supposed to fly to Berlin, but instead his mediator Fegelein was flown to Berlin in a two-seater Me 109. By that time Hitler?s planes, Himmler?s, Doenitz?s, Speer?s and other?s were with the squadron.
Several days later the squadron had to move again to Luebeck. In Luebeck the very last plane, a Ju 52 from Berlin piloted by Hanna Reitsch, landed. On board was the wounded commander of the Luftwaffe, Feldmarshall Ritter von Greim. Hanna Reitsch told us personally that in the Reichskanzlei Hitler down to his lowliest follower were terribly nervous ?und spinnen?( ?)
From Luebeck we fled to Schleswig and finally on to Flensburg, where we saw the end of the war. The planes of the Staffel were handed over to the RAF.
Regarding the reports of Baumgarten and Mackensen made public by you, I can only say they are not the truth. If Hitler really wanted to flee by plane, he would surely have flown with General Baur who was with him in the Reichskanzlei and who was seriously wounded fleeing the Fuehrerbunker. He was supposed to be in Russian hands, suffering a leg amputation. To my knowledge Hitler only one time in his life flew with someone other than Baur.
In France during the war, I was present when Hitler had to leave and, since Baur was not available, the flight was canceled even though other good pilots were on hand. If Mackensen declares that Hitler went to Tempelhof in a tank, to be transported away in a Ju 52, it would have been impossible has the Russians had already occupied the field. Takeoff and landing in Berlin was only possible on the east-west axis. As I already said hanna RTeitsch was the last to escape from Berlin in an airplane. She is presently in the American Zone and could verify my statements. By my observations there are only three possibilities for Hitler?s end?suicide, KIA during the taking of the Reichskanzlei, or capture by the Russians. A flight by Hitler I deem impossible.
I would like to add that I was not a Party Member.
I have been interrogated several times by the Secret Service as well as by the CIC concerning my duties with the Squadron.>>
Edited by Luftmensch, 31 December 2005 - 05:27 .