Conceivably, he writes in the introduction to the 1956 edition, when we remember the narrow and recondite fronts upon which inter-Bolshevik struggles are fought, the question of Hitlers death, and the official doctrine about it, may have been the symbol of some deeper tension in Russian politics. Trevor-Roper sees the Soviets sharing the West's fear of Nazi revival, but dispelling Hitlers ghost with a distinctive political exorcism. The Russians may well have concealed the manner of Hitlers suicide for precisely the same reason for which Hitler chose it: because it was a soldiers death. The Russian Bolsheviks have therefore preferred in general a less emphatic method: their ideological enemies have slid into oblivion in nameless graves at uncertain dates and no relics of them are available for later veneration. I have already suggested that it was for this reason, and in accordance with this philosophy, that they concealed the circumstances of Hitlers death, hid his bones, and destroyed the scene of his suicide and Nordic funeral. For my book was also written, in the first place, for exactly the same reason which made the Russians frown on it: to prevent (as far as such means can prevent) the rebirth of the Hitler myth. If they fear the truth, does it not seem that they believe in its power: that they think that Hitlers reign really was inspiring, that his end really was glorious, and that secrecy is necessary to prevent the spread of such a view?
In those qualities Hanna Reitsch preferred to remain without a rival." "As Samuel Butler says, 'the advantage of doing one's praising for one's self is that one can lay it on so thick, and exactly in the right places.'" "Narrow-minded and fanatical though he was, Donitz at least had some of the ordinary common sense of the practical man.
A brilliant classic, Trevor-Roper's book, first published in 1950 and amended in 1956, (I have the 1962 edition) step by step follows Adolph Hitler's last week in the bunker and provides a pretty good summary of his last ten months as well as all the myths and legends surrounding his death and supposed survival in South America, (nothing credible there).
Although rare, Trevor-Roper does find an admirable quality or two in some of Hitler's closest circle, but laments their being mesmerized into the Fuehrer's nihilistic program.
All those obstacles in mind, Roper still produced in a mere 200 or so pages a chronicle of Hitlers last days that after 70 years and a bajillion books later, still got the bulk of the story in its main points right. The Soviets after 2 years of playing dumb to Hitler's fate admitted that they had dug up his charred remains from outside the Reichs Chancellory days after the war. The July 20 1944 bombing attempt tore the German state apart in ways I did not appreciate and from then on Hitler leaned more and more on his Naval and Air Force staff (even though both were becoming increasingly non-existent). Even with Berlin in flames, shells landing atop The Bunker and Hitler a smoldering corpse, his surviving Capos like Bormann and Himmler were hoping to join Adm Donitz near the Danish border and negotiate a separate piece with the US and UK to preseve the Nazi State.
My current reading of Haffner's The Meaning of Hitler moved me to pick up an audio edition of Trevor-Roper's book today. After many interruptions, I've finally finished Trevor-Roper's book.
H.R. Trevor Roper hat anhand von Zeitzeugen-Berichten ein ziemlich komplettes Bild von den letzten Tagen Hitlers verfasst. Ich habe die bereits überarbeitete Ausgabe von 1955 gelesen, in der manche Fakten bereits klar widerlegt waren und trotzdem wurden sie in dieser Ausgabe nicht ausgebessert.
Eventually I ended up learning some interesting facts but it was an exaustive reading.