On this day in 1945, Admiral Karl Dönitz became the head of the Third Reich. Hitler had died the previous day in Berlin, and appointed Admiral Dönitz his successor. Therefore, he became President of the Reich (German: Reichspräsident).
At the time, Admiral Dönitz was near the city of Flensburg (the north of Germany). Flensburg is a port city located just a few kilometers from the border with Denmark. Previously, Admiral Dönitz had been Commander-in-Chief of the Navy (Oberbefehlshaber der Kriegsmarine), and had headquarters in Mürwik (a suburb of Flensburg), the seat of the German Naval Academy. This academy was the central point for the education of German naval officers, roughly equivalent to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis.
The Germans call the impressive red building of the Naval Academy Mürvik near Flensburg Rotes Schloss am Meer (lit. “Flensburg the Red Castle By the Sea”). The Danish coast is located about 2 kilometers from the building`s location, on the other side of the fjord.
Admiral Karl Dönitz was the last head of the Third Reich. He ruled a very short time because the allied troops conquered almost the entire German territory. His government capitulated. Dönitz and his colleagues were arrested on 23 May 1945.