Nazi Air Ace Killed Himself
Udet Saw Defeat For German Arms
By CURT RIESS
Copyright, 1945, NEA Service, Inc.
BERLIN. — The world-famous flyer, Ernst Udet
, wasn't killed while trying out a new model of the Luftwaffe in 1941, as official reports stated then. He committed suicide because he foresaw his own doom and the defeat of the Luftwaffe, this correspondent learned today from an unimpeachable source.
Udet had won world fame during the last world war as a member of the feared Richthofen flying squadron, easily outclassing all rivals. Udet had never been a Nazi and was even known for his sharply ironical criticism of Hitler before 1933.
That is why everybody was astonished when he entered the party and became leading man in the Luftwaffe. Ever since his sudden death, rumors have indicated that he didn't die as officially stated. This correspondent declared in 1942 that his death was caused either by suicide or assassination.
Now I have talked to the woman who loved Udet and who was his mistress during the last years of his life. She has furnished what I consider ample proof of his suicide. This is her story.
Udet never entered the party, but late in 1933 he was informed by Goering, his former comrade in the Richthofen squadron, that "he had been welcomed into the party." Since he didn't wish to flee from Germany he couldn't refuse the job in the Luftwaffe. Soon he was top production man, as chief of the so-called C department.
Udet found out that all production figures were shamelessly falsified. Not even Goering was given correct figures, and then Goering changed them again to please Hitler more. The idea was to heighten German and lower Allied production figures.
Hitler, who constantly dreamed of destroying the British isles, demanded more bombers. Udet, in spite of falsified production figures, knew German capacity and knew also that Germany couldn't produce enough bombers to defeat England. Also, knowing Allied production potentialities, he was certain that American and English bombers would eventually devastate Germany. Therefore he declared:
"Let's stop producing bombers. We need fighters. Twenty thousand fighters by the end of 1943, or Germany is lost."
Goering told him that Hitler wouldn't listen to such talk and insisted on bombers. When Udet made a second attempt to persuade Goering, the Reichmarshal said:
"If you remain stubborn, I can't protect you any longer."
Udet, dining that night with his mistress in an elegant restaurant in the west end of Berlin told her, "That means the concentration camp. I don't want to end there. I will kill myself."
During the next two days the lady in question never left Udet, who all the time was more or less drunk. Then she left him to go home to have a night's sleep. As soon as she entered her apartment the telephone rang. Udet's voice came over the wire.
"You leave me alone in the darkest moment of my life. Good-by [sic]."
She raced back to Udet, but found him dead. He had shot himself.
PLACED UNDER PLANE
Half an hour later officials of the Luftwaffe removed Udet's body. It was taken to a nearby airport and neatly arranged under a wrecked plane. Then the story of the accident was released.
I talked to inhabitants of the apartment building where Udet lived at No. 4 Pommerschestrasse. They confirmed the story and told me that the Gestapo had threatened death to any who would reveal the unofficial version.
Subsequent developments proved that Udet was a good judge of what the Luftwaffe couldn't accomplish, and of what the Allied air forces were capable of doing to Germany.
Reno Evening Gazette - Wednesday, July 18, 1945