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Hans-Erich Voss

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Hans-Erich Voss
Voss
Voss, as identified in the Original Bunker Scene

Born

October 30, 1897

Died

November 18, 1969 (aged 72)

Rank

Vice Admiral

Appearance

Original Bunker Scene

Hans-Erich Voss (or Voß) (30.10.1897 - 18.11.1969) was the German Navy's (Kriegsmarine) liaison officer to Adolf Hitler and Vice Admiral and one of the final occupants of the Führerbunker during the Battle of Berlin in 1945. He was also among the last people to see both Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels alive before they committed suicide.

Biography

Voss was born in Angermünde, Brandenburg, and graduated from the German Naval Academy in 1917. He served in the German Navy through the Weimar Republic and Nazi periods. In 1942, he was commander of the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, and met Joseph Goebbels, then Reich Propaganda Minister, when Goebbels accompanied a party of journalists on a tour of the ship. As a result of this meeting, Goebbels arranged to have Voss appointed Naval Liaison Officer to Hitler's headquarters in March 1943.

Voss was present during the bomb plot against Hitler on 20 July 1944. He was in the conference room at Hitler's Rastenburg Headquarters Wolfsschanze ("Wolf's Lair") as Kriegsmarine representative. Around 12:30 hours as the conference began, plotter Claus von Stauffenberg made an excuse to use a washroom in Wilhelm Keitel's office where he used pliers to crush the end of a pencil detonator inserted into a 1 kilogram (2.2 lb) block of plastic explosive wrapped in brown paper. The bomb was placed in a briefcase under a table around which Hitler, Voss and more than 20 officers had gathered. Voss was wounded in the bomb blast, but he quickly recovered. He became a recipient of the Wound Badge of 20 July 1944. Initially his award class was presented in black but then it was upgraded to silver and finally gold because he was wounded a number of times after the initial award. Voss was the only member of the Wehrmacht to have received all three badges.

In the final months of the Third Reich, Voss became a close confidante of Goebbels and his wife Magda Goebbels. He was aware that the Goebbels had decided that they would not leave the bunker, but would kill their children and then themselves once Hitler was dead.

Voss was made a Soviet prisoner of war. In August 1951, he was prosecuted by the Soviet authorities on charges that "he held a command post in Hitler's war fleet, that was involved in an aggressive war in breach of international laws and treaties." In February 1952, the Court Martial of the Moscow Military District sentenced him to 25 years' imprisonment. By a decree of the Praesidium of the Supreme Soviet in December 1954, however, he was released and handed over to the German Democratic Republic authorities.

Voss died at Berchtesgaden in Bavaria in 1969.

In Downfall Universe

He can be seen, wearing his rank (star, four gold stripes and a broad gold band) in the classical rant scene, standing in the first row when Hitler orders that only Keitel, Jodl, Krebs and Burgdorf will remain in the room. A second naval officer, Alwin-Broder Albrecht, was Hitler's personal adjutant for maritime affairs, and is not to be confused with Voss.

In Downfall Parodies

He acts just like in the film. He hasn't had any role in the parodies, a fate worse than Walther Wenck.

Analysis

It is believed that Voss was played by another extra on the scene with the 'Mysterious Duo', since 'General X' from the former 'mysterious duo' is another extra playing Albrecht in another day of the filming. The so-called 'General X' is a naval officer, who appears very briefly. Except his head and shoulders, that indicate his branch (wears black navy uniform) he cannot be identified. However, one notes that 'X' appears with another naval officer that holds the rank of a Vice-Admiral but does not look like Voss. Since we know there were only two 'Navy Guys' in the bunker, and since their roles in the film are minor and uncredited - this contributor believes that the production merely hired different extras on different days to play Voss and Albrecht. Therefore, since we can see Voss with his sleeve in the open, 'X' is Albrecht."

Trivia

  • Hans-Erich Voss should not be confused to Hans Voss, who was also a German Naval Officer.

Gallery


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