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Martin Adolf Bormann

Martin Adolf Bormann
Adolf Martin Bormann

(1930-04-14)14 April 1930
Grünwald, Bavaria, Germany
Died11 March 2013(2013-03-11) (aged 82)
Herdecke, Germany
OccupationTheologian and priest
Cordula (m. 1971)
Ecclesiastical career
ChurchRoman Catholic Church
Ordained26 July 1958

Martin Adolf Bormann (born Adolf Martin Bormann; 14 April 1930 – 11 March 2013[1]) was a German theologian and laicized Catholic priest. He was the eldest of the ten children of Martin Bormann.

Early life

Bormann was born in Grünwald, Bavaria, the oldest of the ten children of the head of the Nazi Party Chancellery and private secretary to Führer Adolf Hitler, Martin Bormann (1900–1945) and his wife, Gerda Buch (1909–1946). Nicknamed Krönzi, short for Kronprinz (German for crown prince), he was an ardent young Nazi, attending the Nazi Party Academy of Matrei am Brenner in the Tyrol from 1940 to 1945.

On 15 April 1945, the school closed and young Martin was advised by a party functionary in Munich, named Hummel, to try to reach his mother in the still German-occupied hamlet of Val Gardena/Gröden, near Selva/Wolkenstein in Italian South Tyrol. Unable to get there, he found himself stranded in Salzburg where the Gauleiter provided him with false identity papers and he found hospitality with a Catholic farmer, Nikolaus Hohenwarter, at the Querleitnerhof, halfway up a mountain in the Salzburg Alps.


After Germany surrendered, his mother, Gerda, was subjected to intense interrogation[2] by officers of the CIC (Combined Intelligence Committee, the joint American-British intelligence body). She died of abdominal cancer[3] in the prison hospital at Merano on 23 April 1946. The following year, her teenage son Martin learned of his mother's death from an article in the Salzburger Nachrichten and only then confessed his true identity to Nikolas Hohenwarter, who reported the information to his local priest at Weißbach bei Lofer. Subsequently the priest advised the rector of the Church of Maria Kirchtal, who then took the boy into his care.

Bormann converted to Catholicism. While serving as an altar boy at Maria Kirchtal, he was arrested by American intelligence officers and imprisoned at Zell am See for several days of interrogation before being returned to his parish. He stayed there until he joined the religious congregation of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart in Ingolstadt. He had been able to resume contact with his brothers and sisters, all of whom, except for one sister, had also been received into the Catholic Church.[4]

After Hitler committed suicide on 30 April 1945, his fugitive father Martin Bormann vanished. Martin A. Bormann said he did not know what happened to his father when interrogated: he was repeatedly tested for lies but was deemed truthful. Over the coming years, several organisations, including the CIA and the West German Government, attempted to locate Bormann without success.[5] Sightings were reported at points all over the world, including Australia, Denmark, Italy, and South America.[6][7] In 1971 Bormann supported the government officials' conclusion that the disappearance of Martin Bormann Sr. was inconclusive and the search for Bormann Sr. was officially ended in November 1971. Thereafter, on 7 December 1972, construction workers uncovered human remains near Lehrter station in West Berlin.[8] During a postmortem fragments of glass were found in the jaw of the skeleton, which was identified as Martin Bormann Sr. through reconstructed dental records; the glass fragments suggested he had committed suicide by biting a cyanide capsule to avoid capture.[8][9] Forensic examiners determined that the size of the skeleton and shape of the skull were identical to Bormann's.[9] The remains were conclusively identified as Bormann's in 1998 when German authorities ordered genetic testing on fragments of the skull.[10] On 16 August 1999, the remains were cremated and Martin Bormann Jr. was permitted to scatter his father's ashes in the Baltic Sea.[10]

Life as a priest

On 26 July 1958,[11][12][13] he was ordained a priest. In 1961, he was sent to the newly independent Congo (formerly the Belgian Congo), where he worked as a missionary until 1964, when he had to flee the country due to the Simba rebellion. In 1966, he returned to the Congo for a year.[14][15][16]

Life after the priesthood

Following a near-fatal injury in 1969 Bormann was nursed back to health by a nun named Cordula. He left the priesthood in the early 1970s, and they later both renounced their vows and were married in 1971. They never had any children.

Bormann became a teacher of theology and retired in 1992. In 2001, he toured schools in Germany and Austria, speaking about the horrors of the Third Reich, and even visited Israel, meeting with Holocaust survivors.[17]

In 2011, Bormann was accused by a former pupil at an Austrian Catholic boarding school of having raped him as a 12-year-old when Bormann was working there as a priest and schoolmaster in the early 1960s. Other former pupils alleged severe physical violence had been used against them and others. Bormann was unwilling and/or incapable to comment on the accusations, suffering from dementia. No legal proceedings followed, but the independent Klasnic Commission [de], established to investigate abuse by Catholic Church members in Austria, awarded the accuser compensation.[18][19]

Bormann died in 2013 in Herdecke, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.


  1. ^ "Traueranzeigen: Martin Bormann" (in German). Westfälische Rundschau. 2013-03-15. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
  2. ^ Lebert, p. 95
  3. ^ Lebert, p. 97
  4. ^ Lebert, S. and N. (2000). My father's keeper. Munich: Verlagsgruppe Bertalsmann GmbH.
  5. ^ Whiting 1996, pp. 127, 144.
  6. ^ Hamilton 1984, p. 94.
  7. ^ Whiting 1996, pp. 98–99, 101.
  8. ^ a b Whiting 1996, pp. 217–218.
  9. ^ a b Lang 1979, p. 432.
  10. ^ a b Miller 2006, p. 154.
  11. ^ MSC (Missionnaires du Sacré-Coeur de Jésus). 1963. Album Societatis Missionariorum Sacratissimi Cordis Jesu a Consilio Generali Societatis ad modum manuscripti pro Sociis editum. Roma: MSC. p. 255
  12. ^ Bormann, Martin Jr. 1965. Zwischen Kreuz und Fetisch: Die Geschichte einer Kongomission. Bayreuth: Hestia.
  13. ^ Bormann, Martin Jr. 1996. Leben gegen Schatten: Gelebte Zeit, geschenkte Zeit. Paderborn: Bonifatius.
  14. ^ MSC (Missionnaires du Sacré-Coeur de Jésus). 1966. Album Societatis Missionariorum Sacratissimi Cordis Jesu, A Consilio Generali Societatis ad modum manuscripti pro Sociis editum. Rome: MSC. p. 260
  15. ^ "Interkulturelle Konfliktbewältigung - DEN ABGRUND ÜBERBRÜCKEN", Jüdisches Kulturzentrum Graz, 4-6 November 2004,
  16. ^ "Bormann's Son Back From Congo With 25". New York Times. 29 November 1964.
  17. ^ "Simon Finch, 'Sins of the father'". The Spectator. 15 January 2000.
  18. ^ Tony Patterson (2011-01-04). "Son of Hitler's deputy faces accusations of sexual assault". The Independent. Retrieved 2011-01-04.
  19. ^ "Klasnic-Kommission entschädigt Missbrauchsopfer" [Klasnic-Commission compensates abuse victims]. ORF (in German). 2012-06-11. Retrieved 2019-05-09.