TIME World War II

Inside Hitler’s Bunker: Capturing an Eerie Chaos Beneath Berlin

Photos made after the Fall of Berlin illuminate the sordid underworld where Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun died

Not long after Red Army troops won the brutal Battle of Berlin in the spring of 1945, effectively marking the end of the Second World War in Europe, LIFE magazine photographer William Vandivert descended into Adolf Hitler’s bunker beneath the ruined city. Soviet troops had already ransacked the subterranean warren — including the room where Hitler and his wife of 48 hours, Eva Braun, killed themselves on April 30 — leaving behind scenes of silent, chaotic upheaval masterfully chronicled by Vandivert in haunting black and white.

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