Early May 1945, the Second
World War, which had begun in 1939 with the invasion of Poland
, was about coming to an end with the absolute victory of
the Allies over the Axis forces.
Major German cities were being destroyed, concentration
camp prisoners freed, and remaining German soldiers surrendering.
On the 2 nd of May, after having crossed the Oder, Soviet troops triumphantly
entered and took control of Berlin .
Only a few die-hard fanatics continued to put up resistance
against the advance of Allied troops. One Nazism bastion
- the fortress and Eyrie of Berchtesgaden - was still to
be brought down.
Berchtesgaden , a small beautiful locality in the Bavarian
Alps , situated at an altitude of 600 metres and having a
population of a few thousands inhabitants, was surrounded
by several mountains. The Obersalzberg, one of these peaks,
was where Führer Adolf Hitler had a real den constructed.
This hideout, located at an altitude of 900 metres, was
made up of a whole range of fortifications: underground galleries,
various installations, SS barracks, and the Berghof - Hitler’s
At the summit, at an altitude of over 1800 metres, stood
the Eyrie, Hitler’s tea-house. Viewed from the surrounding
valleys, this imposing structure, comprising a living room,
a dining room and several lounges, was a wonderful sight.
On May 4, 1945, aboard an ordinary
armoured Jeep, two Free French Forces soldiers, Captain Touyeras
together with his gunner driver, Corporal Borg, a nineteen-year
old volunteer combatant, carried out an advanced-guard mission
on the Obersalzberg.
After having announced their presence with two bursts
of fire, these two brave guys entered the first into the
fortress to meet the guard of 45 SS soldiers, who surrendered
in a series of improvised call-up formalities.
The following day, 5 th May 1945, in the company of General
Leclerc, Captain Touyeras and Corporal Borg returned to
the place and went right up to the Eyrie, where they had
the honour of hoisting the French colours, thus finalizing
the fulfilment of the Koufra oath of 1 st March 1941; a
fulfilment, which had begun with the liberation of Metz