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The Fall of the Angels / Descent into Nightmare, Last Song Before Berlin Fell

Götterdämmerung (The Fall of the Angels / Descent into Nightmare) was the last song played by the Berlin Philharmonic during the Battle of Berlin, April 16th, 1945. It had been ordered by Armaments Minister Albert Speer, who saw it as a fitting finale and was the last song to be played by the orchestra during the war. A particularly heavy bombing raid, itself one of the last before Soviet forces completely surrounded the city and ground combat began, impacted the area at the same time, with the chorus of the music mixing with the sounds of air raid sirens, bomb explosions, the light of the flames as they glimmered across the already ruined and roofless Kroll Opera House must have been horrific. It was also the last song that many would hear in their lives as a great deal of the population of central Berlin would perish in the ensuing ground combat.

Even today, many Germans refer to the last days of World War II as “Der Götterdämmerung”


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