Dr Erwin Giesling working with Dr Carl Von Eicken, were Hitler's ENT specialists. They treated Hitler's ear injuries caused by the assassination attempt of 20 July 1944. At the time of the X-ray Hitler was 'suffering' from a festering infection in his left maxillary sinus. Not long after this he had dental surgery performed by Hugo Blaschke (10th November 1944) as a result of a massive infection in tooth No 6 in the left upper Jaw. Since this tooth formed part of a substantial bridge and Hitler refused lengthy treatment, Blaschke decided to cut off the section of the bridge with teeth 5 and 6 and extract tooth 6. Someone has 'added' this dental work to the X-ray.

Dr Giesling had a falling out with Dr Morell, and Hitler terminated his employment (along with others) and subsequently served in a military hospital in Hamburg. Arrested by the British in June 1945 and held until March 1947. After his release he practised in Krefeld where he died on 22 May 1977 aged 69.


Dental detective work gets to the root of Hitler mystery

By Roger Highfield, Science Editor

A new portrait of Adolf Hitler's last days before he committed suicide in the Berlin bunker emerged, revealing how the Nazi leader was tormented by tooth decay, abscesses and gum disease that caused "terrible bad breath".


The study of film footage of Hitler, enhanced by a computer, has confirmed that remains found by the Russians in 1945 were his, helping to end half a century of speculation about his fate and validating an identification technique of increasing value to forensic scientists.

A paper was presented yesterday at an international conference in London by Prof Michel Perrier, 52, of the University of Lausanne, and will be published in the Journal of Forensic Science. It links newsreel footage with X-rays of Hitler's skull, jaw remains found in the bunker beneath the Reich Chancellery garden and his dental records.

Even if Hitler had a double, so many characteristics in his teeth match in each source of evidence that Prof Perrier said yesterday he had no doubt that Hitler died in the bunker.

Hitler married his mistress, Eva Braun, during the night of April 28/29, as Soviet troops advanced towards his bunker complex. On April 30 he committed suicide with his wife. In accordance with his instructions, their bodies were burned.

Russian forces found the remains and conducted the autopsy of the bodies the following month, said Prof Perrier. "What they found were charred pieces of bone, such as pieces of skull, the lower jaw and part of the upper jaw consisting of a bridge with nine units."

Adolf Hitler 'did not shoot himself'
Russia's top KGB archivist has claimed Adolf Hitler poisoned himself rather than committing suicide with a gun in the manner of a "soldier".

By Andrew Osborn in Moscow
May 7, 2010

Lieutenant-General Vasily Khristoforov, the top archivist for Russia's FSB security service, said Soviet military medics at the time were only able to determine that Hitler and his mistress Eva Braun had died after ingesting cyanide on April 30, 1945.

He said the "myth" that Hitler died an honourable death by simultaneously shooting himself in the head as he took a cyanide capsule appeared wide of the mark.

"The presence of the remains of crushed glass capsules in the mouth and the sharp odour of bitter almonds from the corpses, and the results of an internal post-mortem led the (Soviet) commission to conclude that it was death by cyanide poisoning," he said.

"Thus the myth put about by those Nazis left in Berlin that 'the Fuhrer died like a soldier having shot himself in his bunker' was shattered."

Soviet medics found no serious wounds on Hitler's heavily burned body either, he added.

If accurate, Lt-General Khristoforov's account casts doubt on the widely accepted version of how Hitler died. It also raises questions over the authenticity of a skull fragment kept in Russia's state archive that purportedly belonged to Hitler.

The fragment has a bullet hole in it yet American researchers claim that DNA testing of the skull has shown it belonged to a woman aged from 20 to 40 and could not be Hitler's.

The Russians have defended the skull's authenticity but have not offered their own DNA proof and this latest pronouncement appears to reinforce the idea that the skull is not Hitler's.

Nothing was revealed to the public until 1968, fuelling speculation about Hitler's fate. That year a book, Der Tod von Adolf Hitler by Lev Bezymenski contained a description of Hitler's autopsy and his remains.

Bezymenski, a KGB officer was a fine Intelligence officer, but not such a conscientious historian; he was ordered (he said) by the KGB to conceal in his book the fact that Hitler shot himself, and to make various other propagandistic amendments to the version of the autopsy report which he published as an appendix.

A later edition, post-KGB, rectifies this however.

The jaw remains were compared with dental evidence given to the Americans by Hitler's American-trained dentist, Hugo Blaschke, who had been arrested in 1945. Blaschke, an SS general, had treated Hitler from 1934 until shortly before his death.

When his testimony was added to that of his assistant, Käthe Hausermann, there was a great deal of material to check the jaw remains against, and they seemed to match. "Hitler had very bad teeth. He had periodontal disease. He had many reconstructions, some done before the time of Blaschke," said Prof Perrier.

There were no X-rays of Hitler's jaw available at the time, which could have helped to provide even better confirmation. Then, in 1972, archives in Washington released five X-rays of Hitler's head, taken on July 20, 1944. They revealed bridgework, periodontal (gum) disease and "very unusual dental work", said Prof Perrier. These matched Blaschke's evidence and the Russian autopsy.

Prof Perrier has now provided further evidence to link the remains in the bunker to footage of the Führer. He combed Swiss archives for newsreels of Hitler and produced computer-enhanced images of his teeth to compare with the autopsy, X-rays and Blaschke's report. Prof Perrier found clear-cut matches between the computer-enhanced footage of Hitler's teeth and the bunker remains.

Hitler once referred to his dental problems openly, albeit indirectly, after negotiations with General Franco. Hitler's interpreter, Paul Schmidt, wrote that "they talked to or rather at one another" until 2am and failed to agree on anything. Hitler later told Mussolini he would "rather have two or three teeth out than go through that again".

Dr. Robert Dorian, Director of Forensic Dentistry for the Ministry of the Solicitor General of Quebec, in Montreal has compared photos of the corpse's teeth with thousands of open-mouthed close-up photos of the Führer himself. The pattern of gaps between teeth was different; Hitler had a root canal and porcelain tooth that did not show up in the corpse; and the corpse had different lower bridge work from what Hitler is alleged to have had.


February 20, 1987


"The teeth of corpse DON'T MATCH Führer's pictures"

1. Two lower bridges in corpse, NOT INSTALLED BY HITLER'S DENTIST when questioned.
2. No evidence of root canal in corpse, DENTIST PERFORMED ROOT CANAL.
4. Gaps on autopsy report not present on HITLER'S DENTAL RECORD.

Dr. Robert Dorion, Director of Forensic Dentistry for the Ministry of Solicitor General, Quebec
Information presented last week to AMERICAN ACADEMY OF FORENSIC SCIENCES

On a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation program called "As It Happens," September 17th, 1974 at 7:15 p.m., a Prof. Dr. Ryder Saguenay, oral surgeon from the Dental Faculty of the University of California at Los Angeles, said that Hitler had ordered a special plane to leave from Berlin with all medical and dental records, especially X-rays, of all top Nazis for an unknown destination. He said that the dental records used to identify Hitler's body were drawn from MEMORY by a dental assistant, WHO disappeared and was never found.



Sunday Express (London)

June 29, 2003

The Fü
hrer's elaborate dental bridge work provides the key to a 50-year-old mystery, reports David Stephenson.

Not without some irony, you would imagine, the KGB had labelled the blue cardboard box Operation Myth. Inside, was the evidence that German forensic scientist Dr Mark Benecke hoped would solve one of the great historical riddles of all time: how did Hitler die and what happened to his remains?

Benecke couldn't believe his luck on a visit last year to the Russian State Archive - which had taken possession of the box from the KGB - when an archivist offered to show him its sensational contents. Incongruously stored in a floppy disk box was the charred top of a human skull with a large bullet hole - but did it really belong to one of the most reviled men in history?

Benecke's fascinating story is told in a National Geographic Channel documentary called Hitler's Skull on Tuesday but, oddly, the most interesting aspect of the story does not centre on the skull cap but on Hitler's teeth.

Benecke was the first person outside Russia to see and closely examine the dictator's elaborate dental bridge work.

The KGB - now known as the FSB - had decided to keep the two dental bridges rather than the skull cap and agreed to show them to Benecke. It was a breathtaking discovery. The scientist managed to match the top bridge to a 1944 X-ray of Hitler's head which American and British secret services had recovered from one of his doctors. Benecke says:

Hitler had very bad teeth. Before the war, he had asked his dentist Blaschke to fix his teeth for a final time. He wanted the bridge to survive for many years.

Blaschke, who had trained in America, made a massive, solid metal bridge for Hitler which was very unusual and easy to recognise.

Along with rumours that Hitler had very bad breath, I cannot imagine how he and Eva Braun ever kissed!"

Hitler married Braun just 36 hours before they both committed suicide on April 30, 1945, as Russian soldiers prepared to storm their bunker in Berlin.

Hitler's remains, along with those of Braun, were incinerated with 140 gallons of petrol. Their bodies were then thrown into a bomb crater in the Chancellery garden, along with other unidentifiable bodies from the nearby hospital.

The German leader had wanted his body burned so that he would avoid the humiliation meted out to fellow fascist Mussolini, whose corpse was strung up before the Italian public.

Later, Hitler's lower jawbone and two dental bridges were found by Red Army soldiers, who put them in a cigar box. The jawbone now seems to have disappeared but the teeth and skull cap were recovered by the Russian secret service.

Dr Benecke, who works with the German police on criminal cases and has a crime show on German television, says his examination and photographs may have helped to solve a 50-year-old mystery.

Dr Benecke added:

This is the first time anyone has pieced the whole thing together: the skull, the teeth and the documentary evidence. As it turned out, I was the first scientist to take pictures of both the teeth and the skull. One colleague had seen them before but that was all.

It's crucial to take high-resolution pictures. You have to document every millimetre, every inch of the object, which I did. The big difference now is that they allowed me time to examine them thoroughly.

This is not the first time that a skull cap supposedly belonging to Hitler has been shown in public.

Three years ago, the Russian State Archive exhibited a section of a forehead which measured approximately 3.5in by 4.5in, which it said was Adolf Hitler's.

It was slightly darkened by charring and had a bullet hole visible above the left temple but this seems to differ from the section featured on the National Geographic documentary, which shows a bullet hole, possibly an exit wound, at the back of the head. That suggests Hitler had shot himself through the mouth.

Dr Benecke says:

From a scientific standpoint, we cannot say. EVIDENCE: The metal dental bridge held by Russia's State Archive is proof that Hitler is dead. It was definitely Hitler's skull until we check for DNA.

The piece of skull is also a little too small. Some other parts would have been more helpful in an attempt to identify how old the person was, for instance.

"From a criminologist's standpoint, however, I was talking to the people in the archive and the story is totally conclusive to me. Why would they forge or falsify evidence? It would have been better for them just to let the skull disappear because Stalin didn't want it to be there in the first place. They could have just have thrown it away or something. It makes it all the more believable that it is the real skull.

So why was the box labelled Operation Myth? A joke?

He says: "I put it to the archivist that, if I had a box in my shelf called "Operation Myth, I would, for sure, in a secret moment, open it but she said:

You don't understand how we were working here in Russian communist times. No one would even touch the box, especially since the RGB had brought it over.'

That's all part of the riddle because the teeth are still held in the former KGB archive as they were recovered from Berlin by the military police and the secret service. In my opinion, the KGB wanted to leak the information that Hitler was really dead. When Stalin died, someone thought it was safe to do so, so the skull was released to the State Archive. They were probably also fed up with all the nonsense conspiracy stories, too.

There were many such stories. Depending on which theory you believe, Hitler escaped the bunker alive and fled to Argentina, Tokyo (by submarine as claimed at one point by Stalin) or Brazil. If he were alive today, he would be 114. Dr Benecke insists:

You could challenge the validity of the skull but the teeth are absolutely conclusive. They are definitely Hitler's.

So what has Benecke learned about the last moments of the dictator's life? He says:

Hitler and his officials first tested that the cyanide was still working by killing his pet dog Blondi about a day before the suicide. That's why you can see a picture of the dead dog.

On the final day, Hitler and Eva Braun were sitting on the sofa on which their bodies were found and, most likely, they took the poison together.

Hitler then shot Braun before shooting himself. You can see a little of the blood on the side of the sofa, parts of which I examined in the State Archive where they are held.

Dr Benecke says that, as far as he is concerned, any mystery surrounding the death of Hitler is over. He adds:

It's good that I did a proper forensic investigation so that we can continue our lives. It puts the whole Hitler story to rest.

Would Benecke like to do a DNA test to finally confirm that these are definitely Hitler's remains?

"Absolutely," he says. "It was only that I didn't have a sterile drill with me at the time that I didn't take a sample. I would like to do a DNA match but, otherwise, the story is over for me. There is no secret left."


Hitler's Skull Fragment Displayed

By Anna Dolgov
Associated Press Writer

What officials claim is a fragment of Adolf Hitler's skull went on display Wednesday, along with documents revealing what happened to the dictator's remains after they were seized by Soviet troops in 1945.


The four-inch fragment -- with a hole where a bullet reportedly exited through the left temple -- was displayed under thick glass at Russia's Federal Archives Service. The exhibition, called "The Agony of the Third Reich: The Retribution," was timed to mark the 55th anniversary next month of the defeat of Nazi Germany.


The piece of skull and the jaw are the only surviving remains of Hitler's body, according to officials at the archive service and at the Federal Security Service, or FSB, the main successor of the KGB.


Photographs of the jaw went on display Wednesday. But the jaw itself, with the dental work that originally allowed the Soviets to identify Hitler's body, is still in secret archives.


"The jaw is the main piece of evidence" in the decades-old Soviet investigation into Hitler's death," said Yakov Pogony, head of the FSB archive department. "And the main piece of evidence must be preserved."

After Hitler shot himself in his Berlin bunker on April 30, 1945, his body was taken outside by his staff, doused with gasoline and set ablaze along with the remains of his long-time companion, Eva Braun.

Soviet troops seized the remains when they captured the bunker. But what happened later has been shrouded in mystery and speculation.

Secret communications between Soviet counterintelligence units in Germany and the government in Moscow tell of repeated burials and exhumations of the remains, and of their final destruction by fire in 1970.

According to the documents, which also went on display Wednesday, the remains had been kept by the counterintelligence unit of the Soviet 3rd Army, part of an intelligence organization called SMERSH
-- a Russian acronym for "Death to Spies." The soldiers buried and dug up the remains at least three times in 1945-46 as the army moved around Germany.


They were finally interred on SMERSH-controlled grounds in Magdeburg, a town about 70 miles west of Berlin -- until the Soviet government in 1970 ordered the remains be dug up and burned, the documents say.


The Magdeburg base was about to be transferred to East German authorities, and the Soviets feared "possible construction or excavation work on this territory that might lead to the discovery of the remains," according to a report by KGB boss Yuri Andropov.


Moscow in 1945, to be included as evidence in an investigation into Hitler's death, said Sergei Mironenko, head of Russia's State Archive.

The skull fragment was found separately in 1946, when the Soviet secret police opened a second investigation, prompted by rumors that Hitler had survived. They again dug up the hole outside Hitler's bunker, Mironenko said. The fragment they found was sent to Moscow.


Russia announced it had the skull fragment in 1993, and some Western experts argued it was not Hitler's. But Mironenko insisted his service had "no doubts that it is authentic."


"It is not just some bone we found in the street, but a fragment of a skull that was found in a hole where Hitler's body had been buried," Mironenko said in an interview.


Still, the archives service has asked Russia's Forensic Medicine Institute -- a top agency for genetic testing -- to help in positively identifying the skull fragment, Mironenko conceded.


So far, there seems to be no conclusive evidence.

"I have not seen any documents providing evidence that this is the skull of Hitler," said Alexander Kalganov, an official at the FSB's archives department.


In April of 2000, a skull fragment went on display in the National Archives in Moscow. It is said to be a piece of Adolf Hitler's skull. According to the Russians, the charred remains of Adolf and Eva Hitler were discovered by the Red Army in 1945; part of the skull was missing on one of the corpses. The Russians took the corpses to a pathology lab and they proceeded to conduct a secret investigation into the death of Adolf Hitler. The jaw fragments were removed and placed into a cigar box and shown to two former dental assistants who worked on Hitler's teeth, Käthe Heusermann and Fritz Echtmann. Both Heusermann and Echtmann positively identified the fragments as belonging to Adolf Hitler. In July of 1946, the Russians conducted a search in the area around the Berlin bunker and discovered the fragments of a skull which had a bullet hole in it. The skull fragments were taken to Moscow and were positively matched to the Hitler corpse. The corpses of Adolf and Eva were kept in Moscow and the skull fragments were kept in the stores of the KGB. In the 1970's the corpses were destroyed on orders from Leonid Breshnev. The skull and jaw fragments were not destroyed. The authenticity of the jaw fragments is not a matter of debate, everyone agrees that these are indeed the fragments of Hitler's jaw.

The Russians put the skull on display in 2000 as part of an exhibit called The Agony of the Third Reich: Retribution. Along with the skull, the exhibit displayed some of Hitler's personal items that were found in the bunker after the collapse of the Third Reich. Parts of a bloodstained mattress were also on display - the mattress is said to have been part of the sofa that Hitler was sitting on when he committed suicide.

Looking at the hole in the skull, it is difficult to tell whether it is an entry wound or an exit wound. According to Hitler's entourage, he used a self-loading 7.65mm Walther PPK. With this type of pistol, it is possible to release the safety catch and cock the hammer using one hand. After a shot is fired, the cartridge case is ejected to the right. Interestingly enough, no bullet was ever found in the Bunker, either lodged in a wall or the floor. According to experts, when a bullet from a 7.65mm Walther PPK is fired into the head, there is an almost 50/50 chance that it will become lodged into the skull. Since no bullet was ever found in the Bunker, if the members of Hitler's entourage were telling the truth that he had shot himself, the bullet probably became lodged in his skull. If the skull fragment is really Hitler's, the hole would have to be an entry wound.

According to Hitler's entourage, when they entered the room after he had shot himself, he was seated on the couch, his body leaning slightly forward and to the right. His arms were hanging loosely and his right arm was between his thigh and the armrest of the couch. His head was slightly leaning to the right and blood was dripping onto the armrest of the couch and onto the carpet. There were two pistols lying on the floor in front of him: both were Walther PPKs, a 7.65mm and a 6.35mm. Only the 7.65mm smelled of powder smoke and a single shot had been fired from it. The 6.35mm was fully loaded.


Scientists: Skull piece that Russian officials say came from Hitler's body actually from woman

29/09/2009 5:01:00 PM

Pat Eaton-Robb,

A piece of skull with a bullet hole through it that Russian officials claimed belonged to Adolf Hitler actually came from a woman, scientists at the University of Connecticut concluded.

The cranium fragment is part of a collection of Hitler artifacts preserved by Soviet intelligence in the months after Hitler and Eva Braun reportedly committed suicide in a Berlin bunker in April 1945.

The collection, now housed in the Russian State Archive in Moscow, also includes bloodstained pieces of the sofa where Hitler reportedly shot himself after taking a cyanide pill. The artifacts were put on public display in 2000.

Connecticut archaeologist Nick Bellantoni was asked to examine the skull and blood samples for a History Channel documentary on Hitler's death that aired this month.

Bellantoni said his initial forensic exam of the skull fragment showed it didn't match what he knew of Hitler's biology.

"The bone was very small and thin, and normally male bones are much more robust in our species," Bellantoni said Tuesday. "I thought it probably came from a woman or a younger man."

Bellantoni then took several pinhead-size pieces of the skull fragment and swabs of the blood stains back to the university for analysis.

Linda Strausbaugh, a professor of molecular and cell biology, got help from two former students who work in the New York City medical examiner's office. The former students, Craig O'Connor and Heather Nelson, are experts in working with challenging DNA samples and were able to extract enough DNA from the bone pieces to do a forensic study, Strausbaugh said.

She said they determined that the DNA came from a 20-to 40-year-old woman. The skull fragment could have come from Braun, but to know that, the lab would need samples of her DNA, she said. Also, the DNA samples were very degraded, making identification unlikely, Strausbaugh said.

Witnesses never reported Braun being shot in the head, Bellantoni said, and she is thought to have died of cyanide poisoning.

"This person, with a bullet hole coming out the back of the head, would have been shot in the face, in the mouth or underneath the chin," he said. "It would have been hard for them to miss that."

DNA from the bloodstain swabs showed at least some of it came from a man, Strausbaugh said.

"The DNA is relatively degraded and we don't have a full range of markers that we'd like to have," she said.

Russian officials have said Hitler and Braun's bodies were removed from a shell crater outside the bunker shortly after he died.

An autopsy allegedly showed Hitler's body was missing part of his cranium. A Soviet team went back to the crater in 1946 and allegedly found the piece of cranium that the UConn scientists examined.

Russian officials have said the rest of Hitler was buried beneath a Soviet army parade ground in the former East German city of Magdeburg. They said his remains were exhumed in 1970 and incinerated, and the ashes were flushed into the city's sewage system.

Both Strausbaugh and Bellantoni said there is nothing in their findings that significantly challenges the conclusion that Hitler died in the bunker.

"My gut feeling is he did commit suicide there, and maybe the blood sample we found is his," Bellantoni said.

"What this does is it raises a question: If this is not him who is it?" he later added. "And, two, what really happened there?"


Adolf Hitler alive: weird conspiracy theories
The discovery that the skull believed to be Adolf Hitler's was actually a woman's has reignited conspiracy theories.

By Tom Chivers
September 29, 2009

Rumours of Hitler’s survival have been widespread for years, with some even claiming he is alive today.

While that is unlikely – the Nazi leader would celebrate his 121st birthday in April – the possibility that he made it out of the Berlin bunker has been seriously put forward on several occasions. Here are four of the strangest theories.

Hitler fled on a 'ghost convoy' to Argentina

Several prominent Nazis – including 'architect of the Holocaust' Adolf Eichmann and Dr Josef Mengele, the 'Angel of Death' – certainly did flee to Argentina.

And the arrival of two U-Boats in the South American country in the weeks after the war led to more speculation that Hitler joined his former underlings there. But Heinz Schäffer, one of the officers on the U-Boats, has always strenuously denied being part of a 'ghost convoy'.

The two U-Boats, U-530 and U-977, surrendered at Mar del Plata in Argentina in July and August 1945 respectively.

Hitler 'fled to Antarctica in a U-Boat'

Among the theories of Hitler's whereabouts after the fall of Nazi Germany in 1945 was that he was smuggled out of Germany and onto a U-Boat.

From there, the story goes, the Nazi leader was taken to a secret military base in Antarctic. In the late 1950s British and American forces found the base and destroyed it with atomic weapons.

The theory falls down on three major points. One, there was never a German military presence in Antarctica, despite a pre-war mission there to see whether a whaling base would be feasible.

Two, while the two U-Boats mentioned above did arrive in Argentina after the war, they could not possibly have made it to Antarctica. The sea ice in the winter blocks all access to the land where any base would have been.

Three, while atomic bombs were detonated in the southern hemisphere in 1958, they were atmospheric tests, hundreds of miles above the surface of the Earth. All three took place between 1400 and 2150 miles north of Antarctica.

Using secret rocket technology, Hitler fled to a Nazi base on the moon

The point when Hitler conspiracy theories lose touch with reality altogether. The Nazis' development late in the war of high-technology weapons – including the V2, an early ballistic missile, and the Me 262 jet fighter – inspired some to believe that Germany had secretly won the space race.
It was also suggested that the Nazis had made contact with UFOs and that they had made it to the Moon as early as 1942. Furthermore, Russian and American astronauts actually made it there in the 1950s, and stayed at a Nazi lunar base.

For added measure, it is claimed that the Moon is perfectly habitable for humans, but that NASA claims it is barren and airless in order to stop Third World countries visiting it.

Hitler is alive and well and staying in San Diego

Well, not really. This one is a joke – but there is a structure, visible on Google Maps, that might make you think otherwise. A barracks building in the US Navy base in San Diego's Coronado island, known as the 'Seal's Lair', is very definitely in the shape of a swastika.

In 2007, the US Navy said it was going to redesign the 1960s-built edifice, spending around $600,000 (£375,000) to make it less master-racy. They admitted they noticed the shape when it was built, but didn't think anyone would spot it from the ground.

SEPTEMBER 29, 2009

Did Adolf Hitler escape from the Bunker after all?

Alan Nothnagle

Back when I was growing up, Hitler sightings were a running joke, a semi-comical preview of the Elvis and Jacko sightings that haunt our tabloids today. I still have a vivid memory of one such story in the National Enquirer. The front page depicted a wrinkled, grizzled ex-Führer hiding out in Argentina. According to the Enquirer, Hitler had been the driving force behind the recent Falklands War and was now on the run yet again. This came just a couple of years after the appearance of The Boys from Brazil starring poor old Gregory Peck as Josef Mengele in the most thankless role he ever let himself get talked into playing. These sightings finally dried up around 1989, when Hitler passed the hundred mark, and I thought we were well rid of them. But now that new evidence has surfaced challenging the standard version of Hitler's suicide in the Reich Chancellery Bunker in April of 1945, you would be well advised to fasten your seatbelt and prepare for a Hitler sighting renaissance.

A scoop to die for

The sudden upsurge in online speculation about Hitler’s true fate has been provoked by a History Channel documentary called Hitler’s Escape, which was first aired on September 26. It promises to be the scoop of the young century. For the making of the film, American archaeologist and bone specialist Nick Bellantoni from the University of Connecticut flew to the Moscow State Archive to examine a skull fragment with a bullet hole through it that the Russian government has been publicly claiming belonged to Hitler since 2000. Bellantoni swabbed the bone fragment and had the genetic material analyzed at a laboratory back home in New England. His examination revealed it to be not that of the fifty-six year-old dictator but rather the remains of a young woman. “The bone seemed very thin. Male bone tends to be more robust,” he says. “And the sutures where the skull plates come together seemed to correspond to someone under 40.” A DNA examination also proved that the skull is female. Did it instead belong to Eva Braun, Hitler’s thirty-three year-old girlfriend and – for some forty hours – his wife, who supposedly died with him in the Bunker? No, Bellantoni says. Eva is known to have died after biting a cyanide capsule>

Hitler - a man of many graves

Now does this evidence prove that Hitler “escaped” the Bunker and took off for South America, as the History Channel would have us believe? Since the TV show’s case rests on the identity of the bone fragment, it is worth taking a look at the story behind it. According to official Soviet reports, on May 4, 1945 the military intelligence agency SMERSH unearthed Hitler’s purported remains on Stalin’s personal orders after seizing the ruins of the Reich Chancellery and examined them at a commandeered laboratory in the town of Buch on the outskirts of Berlin. These remains included the skull fragment and part of a jaw bone, which the SMERSH pathologists confirmed as belonging to Hitler after interrogating Hitler’s dentist and nurse. The jaw contained glass fragments of the kind one would absorb after biting on a poison capsule. According to the report they filed on May 8, Hitler had died of cyanide poisoning and not from a bullet after all. It also claimed that he had only one testicle. Many Western historians have assumed that both of these statements have little basis in fact and were merely intended to humiliate Hitler in the eyes of the world. SMERSH then buried the Führer’s remains near the eastern German town of Rathenow.

But Stalin still did not believe his nemesis was really dead. In late 1945 Soviet General Bogdan Kobulov began a new investigation. The eyewitness accounts he gathered told that Hitler had shot himself through the head. In early 1946 the Soviets dug up the bones and examined them once more, then took them to a SMERSH base near Magdeburg and buried them a second time. In 1970 KGB boss Yuri Andropov was growing uneasy that the East Germans would come across the remains after they took possession of the base from the KGB and possibly revert to fascism. He ordered the bones unearthed and destroyed in a top secret operation. Special agents placed the bones in Kalashnikov crates and soaked them with twenty liters of gasoline before setting them on fire. They then scattered the ashes across a vacant lot outside the town of Schönebeck. Only the skull fragment was secured and deposited in the Moscow archive.

A dramatic exit

If we choose to believe Bellantoni’s account, the fragment most definitely did not belong to Hitler. But why should it have anyway? Let’s look at what happened in the Bunker in the spring of 1945. With the war as good as lost, Hitler informed his immediate circle that he intended to take his own life rather than to allow himself to be captured by the approaching Red Army and ordered that his body be completely destroyed by fire. He asked physician Werner Haase to try out one of his cyanide capsules on his beloved dog Blondi and then prepared for his own suicide.

According to sworn testimony by witnesses on the scene, Hitler and Eva Braun entered their private quarters in the Bunker on the afternoon of April 30 with strict orders not to be disturbed. Some witnesses heard a shot. Hitler’s SS valet, Heinz Linge, and his private secretary, Martin Bormann, then entered the room to find Hitler slumped on the couch with a bullet wound in the side of his head. Eva Braun also lay dead. A scent of burnt almonds hovered over both corpses, suggesting that both had taken cyanide.

Hitler’s adjutant Otto Günsche joined Linge in wrapping the bodies in blankets and carrying them up into the open air. There they laid them in a shell crater and poured two hundred liters of gasoline onto them. They set fire to the corpses and watched them burn. After the flames had consumed this grueseome offering, all that was left of Hitler and his wife were a few scorched bones that crumbled into dust at a touch of Linge's boot. He and some other men transferred these remains to another crater and covered them over with rubble, stamping it tight.

That is the official version. Heinz Linge died in 1980 and Otto Günsche passed away in 2003. So why not ask a living eyewitness? Well, one such witness has been asked. In fact, he’s been asked and asked. Rochus Misch was Hitler’s personal bodyguard and is alive and unrepentant in Berlin at the age of 92. The Soviets interrogated him for nine years at Lubyanka Prison and at Butyrka military prison in Moscow before finally releasing him to West Germany in 1954. He published his memoirs, Der letzte Zeuge [The Last Witness] – based on a series of interviews with a French journalist – in 2008. In an exclusive interview for Salon.com back in 2005,  Misch told his version of events to freelance journalist Ida Hattemer-Higgins:

I was curious. I still don't remember whether it was Linge or Günsche who first opened the door to Hitler's rooms, but one of the two. I was really curious and came forward a few steps. Then somebody opened the second door -  I still don't know who it was, probably Linge. And it was then, as the second door opened, I saw Hitler, dead, lying on a chair. Eva [Braun] on the couch completely clothed. In a dark dress and white, white skin. She was lying back. … Then I was on my way over to the Reich Chancellery, already in the passageway, but I had an uncanny feeling, very scared and uncertain, so I turned around. When I got back they already had Hitler down on the floor. I watched them packing him up, in a blanket. Well, so it went. Then they carried him out, and I went away finally and made the communication to the commanding officer.

A new lease on life?

So did Hitler somehow miraculously escape from the Bunker after refusing all the many opportunities he was offered to do so – including a dramatic airplane flight out of the besieged city with Nazi flying ace Hanna Reitsch at the controls? And, at age 120, is he still out there somewhere up to his old tricks, advising Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and secretly designing Barack Obama’s “death panels”? Considering how often Hitler’s name pops up in political discourse these days, it sure seems as if he still walks among us. All we have to go on is the sworn testimony of those who were on the scene in Berlin.

So what are we to make of the skull fragment? It may have belonged to Eva Braun after all. Or how about this: Perhaps the SMERSH, faced with an impossible task forced on them by grand inquisitor Stalin himself, simply pounced on the first scrap of human material they could find and swore on their mothers’ lives that it belonged to Hitler in a desperate effort to save their own miserable existence. It’s not as if there weren’t enough skull fragments to choose from in those days.

But how accurate is this entire report in the first place? On the Monday following the History Channel broadcast, a spokesperson for the Moscow State Archive issued a statement that his institution had never heard of anybody called Bellantoni, and no one had taken any samples from any bone fragments. In any case, the spokesperson pointed out, while the Soviet government used to enjoy showing the bone off to guests as a sort of trophy, the Archive itself had never claimed the fragment positively belonged to Hitler. And even Bellantoni admits that the bone “could have been [from] anyone. Many people died near the bunker.”



From The Times December 9, 2009


The fragment of skull that Russian officials claim to be from Hitler

Battle of Hitler’s skull prompts Russia to reveal all
Tony Halpin in Moscow and Roger Boyes

Deep in the Lubyanka, headquarters of Russia’s secret police, a fragment of Hitler’s jaw is preserved as a trophy of the Red Army’s victory over Nazi Germany. A fragment of skull with a bullet hole lies in the State Archive.

So when American academics claimed that DNA tests showed the skull to be that of a woman, they challenged a long-cherished tale of the hunt for Hitler’s remains. Yesterday the chief archivist of the Federal Security Service (FSB) insisted that the bones were genuine and told of how the KGB destroyed almost all traces of the dictator’s corpse.

Lieutenant-General Vasily Khristoforov said that the remains had been incinerated in 1970 and the ashes thrown into a river in East Germany.

Agents under orders from the head of the KGB, Yuri Andropov, had dug up a grave containing Hitler, his wife Eva Braun and the family of his henchman Josef Göbbels. The officers had removed the remains from a burial ground in a Soviet base at Magdeburg, Andropov having written to Soviet party chiefs recommending that the bodies be destroyed after it was decided to pass the base to East Germany.

In April 1970, Andropov compiled a report declaring that “the remains were burnt on a vacant area outside Schönebeck, 11 kilometres from Magdeburg, ground into ashes, gathered and thrown into the Biederitz river” — either the Elbe river near Biederitz suburb or the Biederitzer See.

General Khristoforov told the Interfax news agency that Hitler’s remains had been destroyed out of concern that his grave could become a Nazi shrine. “It was not worth leaving any grounds for the rise of a cult of worship . . . there are people who profess the fascist ideology, regrettably even in Russia.”

War correspondents in 1945 are shown the grave where Adolf Hitler's charred body is alleged to have been buried, behind the Chancellery in Berlin

Hitler’s remains arrived in Magdeburg in early 1946 after a peripatetic eight months. The bodies of Hitler and Braun had been crudely cremated on April 30, 1945, at the site of his bunker in Berlin. He had bitten a cyanide pellet then shot himself.

When the Red Army reached the bunker they found the two charred corpses alongside the bodies of Göbbels and his wife. At first there was some doubt as to whether it was really Hitler. It was transported for examination to a field hospital near Berlin.

Hitler’s dental records were located and glass splinters found in his jawbone, suggesting that he had bitten a poison capsule. The early report made no mention of a gunshot wound, perhaps because Soviet officers did not want to anger Stalin by suggesting that Hitler had died a “hero’s death”. But in the meantime, witnesses from the bunker were telling their interrogators that Hitler had indeed shot himself.

The mixed signals must have unsettled Stalin. As long as uncertainty remained, the counterintelligence organisation Smersh and NKVD units wanted to hang on to Hitler’s remains. Every time the Smersh unit moved, Hitler went with it — buried in a wood on the fringes of Berlin, then in Rathenow, and then again when an investigation committee was set up and he was taken to Magdeburg.

Hitler’s jawbone and a fragment of his skull had been sent to the Kremlin. The rest of the remains were kept at the Soviet compound in Magdeburg until it was decided to hand the barracks to the East German military.

General Khristoforov insisted that the FSB had no reason to question the authenticity of the skull fragments in its possession. In September professors at the University of Connecticut had claimed that DNA samples showed the skull to have come from a woman aged up to 40.

General Khristoforov said: “Hitler’s jaw is at the FSB archives, the fragment of skull at the State Archive. These materials are the only documentary evidence of Hitler’s death.” He did not offer DNA proof. The jaw has never been seen in public.

We really do have Hitler's skull, say Russians... despite US claim bones are female

By Alan Hall
9 December 2009

Russian secret service officials claim they have genuine fragments of the skull of Adolf Hitler and have dismissed American reports which suggest it belongs to a woman.

Vassili Khristoforov, head of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), said: ‘The FSB archives hold the jaw of Hitler and the state archives a fragment of Hitler’s skull.

‘With the exception of these remains, seized on May 5, 1945, there exist no other bits from the body of Hitler.’

Russian secret service officials insist the skull fragments belong to Adolf Hitler, and have dismissed American reports which suggest they belong to a woman

The traditional story is that Hitler committed suicide with his lover Eva Braun as the Russians bombarded Berlin in 1945

In September academics from the University of Connecticut, in the US, said their DNA analysis showed the skull fragment to be that of a woman, aged between 20 and 40.

But they did not test the jawbone, and that, say the Russians, is positively male.

The researchers had not approached the FSB archives about testing the jawbone, said Khristoforov.

‘And even if they had the DNA of our fragments, with what could they then have compared it?’ he asked.

‘These remains are unique, there is nothing comparable. We are talking about the only evidence of this kind of the death of Hitler, and that is why the FSB had kept it in its archives.’

The American report in October inflamed speculation that Hitler may have escaped from the blazing ruins of Berlin in 1945 instead of taking his own life in the bunker.

The piece of skull - complete with bullet hole - had been taken from outside the Fuhrer’s bunker by the Russian Army and preserved by Soviet intelligence.

The traditional story is that Hitler committed suicide with his lover Eva Braun as the Russians bombarded Berlin.

Although some historians doubted he shot himself and suggested it was Nazi propaganda to make him a hero, the hole in the skull fragment seemed to settle the argument when it was put on display in Moscow in 2000.

According to witnesses, the bodies of Hitler and Braun were wrapped in blankets and carried to the garden just outside the bunker, placed in a bomb crater, doused with petrol and set ablaze.

In May 1945 a Russian forensics team dug up what was presumed to be the dictator’s body. Part of the skull was missing, apparently the result of the suicide shot. The remaining piece of jaw matched his dental records, according to his captured dental assistants. And there was only one testicle.

A year later the missing skull fragment was found on the orders of Stalin, who remained suspicious about Hitler’s fate.

Just how and when he died is now shrouded in mystery.

Although Nick Bellantoni, an archaeologist with the University of Connecticut, insists the skull fragment does not belong to Hitler, he says it is unlikely to have belonged to Braun either, who was 33.

'There is no report of Eva Braun having shot herself or having been shot afterwards,' he said. 'Many people died near the bunker.'

Unknown to the world, the corpse then believed to be Hitler's was interred in Magdeburg, East Germany.

There it remained long after Stalin’s death in 1953.

Finally, in 1970, the KGB dug up the corpse, cremated it and secretly scattered the ashes in a river.

Only the jawbone (which remains away from public view), the skull fragment and the bloodstained sofa segments were preserved in the deep archives of Soviet intelligence.

Mr Bellantoni studied the remains after flying to Moscow to inspect the gruesome Hitler trophies at the State Archive.

He was allowed only one hour with the Hitler trove, during which time he applied cotton swabs and took DNA samples.

The samples were then flown back to Connecticut.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Russia Casts Doubt on Hitler Skull Theory in Apparent Cover-Up ... Arranged by whom?

Read to the end of this article from the Telegraph and the denials from Russian archivists crumble against a concrete wall of documents and film footage. Who wants to bury Hitler in his bunker? And if Hitler did escape, where did he go? Was he protected by America's clandestine services, as were Barbie, Mengele, von Bolschwing, Skorzeny and numerous other European far-right pariahs from The Big One? Hitler's faked death would be the work of Gestapo leader Heinrich Müller, an expert at faking the deaths of Nazi officials who escaped through the ratlines. When authorities attempted to exhume Müller's corpse after the war, his coffin was opened and five skulls were found inside. ... Probably Jewish ...

Alex Constantine


Russia has questioned the credibility of new research claiming Adolf Hitler may have escaped at the end of the Second World War
By Andrew Osborn in Moscow
29 Sep 2009

Officials in Moscow say they have no record of a US researcher who claims to have examined a skull fragment said to belong to the late Nazi dictator.

Russia responded after a History Channel documentary claimed to have subjected the bone, which is kept in Moscow, to DNA testing and discovered it belonged to a woman and not Hitler.

The program suggested its findings bolstered the theory that Hitler did not commit suicide in 1945 as is widely thought.

But Vladimir Kozlov, deputy director of Russia's state archive where the fragment is stored, has cast doubt on the programme. He says he has no record that an American scientist called Nick Bellantoni who is shown in the program taking samples from the skull had ever been granted access.

"Nobody with that name – Bellantoni – has been into the archive for the last four years," he told state news agency RIA Novosti. "None of the directors or people who grant permission for this kind of thing know this name."

In the program, Dr Bellantoni is shown handling what looks like the skull fragment and removing five small pieces to take away for tests. But Mr Kozlov said no archivist would have allowed the American scientist to do this.

Even if the skull fragment does turn out to be that of a woman, Mr Kozlov said it would not undermine the accepted version of Hitler's death anyway. The definitive piece of evidence is a portion of Hitler's jawbone, also stored in Moscow, he added.

In the program, the narrator says Dr Bellantoni won access to the Russian archive after "heated negotiations". He is seen entering the archive, leafing through a Soviet-era file on Hitler's death, and examining a bloodied piece of Hitler's sofa along with the contested skull fragment. He tells viewers that he has only been given one hour in the archive. Soviet forces say they found the charred remains of Hitler's corpse in the ruins of Berlin in 1945. But theories that Hitler escaped and that the remains belonged to a doppelganger have failed to die.

Lynn Gardner, a spokeswoman for the History Channel, insisted the program makers did access the archives. She said a named witness could support this and that they had a receipt for the money they had paid to film inside the archive.

“We have documentation of this access,” she said. “We take every possible measure to ensure the accuracy of our product.”

Hitler’s Jaws of Death
By Antony Beevor
October 12, 2009

The assertion by American researchers that Hitler might have escaped from Berlin because a skull fragment in a Moscow archive was not his but a young woman’s is rich in paradox. Stalin went to great lengths in 1945 to conceal the fact that Hitler’s body had been identified by pathologists working for Smersh, the Soviet military counterintelligence agency. Stalin even misled his own commander in chief, Marshal Georgi Zhukov, demanding to know why he had failed to find Hitler’s corpse. And Pravda declared that rumors of the discovery of Hitler’s body were a fascist provocation.

Stalin ruled by creating fear and uncertainty among both subordinates at home and among his Western allies abroad, who were of course seen as potential enemies. Even after Hitler’s jaws, with their distinctive bridgework, had been identified by the assistant to the Führer’s personal dentist, the Soviet authorities nurtured rumors that Hitler was hiding in Bavaria. As Bavaria was part of the American zone of occupation, the implication was that the Americans had concealed him and were somehow in league with the Nazis. Now, 64 years later, an episode of the History Channel series “MysteryQuest” — with the outrageous title of “Hitler’s Escape” — has distorted the revelation of the skull to scare up a similar fugitive ghost, to the furious exasperation of the Russian authorities.

On May 2, 1945, members of the Smersh detachment of the Soviet Third Shock Army, having heard of Hitler’s suicide two days earlier, sealed off the Reich Chancellery garden and Hitler’s bunker there as they searched for the body. All those on the Smersh team were sworn to secrecy and warned that any mention of their work would be treated as treason. Even Marshal Zhukov was refused entry to the bunker during the search on the ground that “it wasn’t safe down there.”

All members of Hitler’s household who had been identified were held in the Reich Institute for the Blind, on the Oranienstrasse. One after another they were interrogated by a major known to history only as Bystrov. Stalin was so desperate for news that a general from the N.K.V.D., the K.G.B.’s predecessor, was sent to supervise the interrogations. He was given a secure line with a scrambler so that he could report back to Moscow after each interview.

On May 5, Smersh operatives finally discovered Hitler’s body along with that of Eva Braun in the chancellery garden; the two corpses had been doused in gasoline and set on fire by SS aides, in accordance with Hitler’s orders, and then buried in a shell crater. The Soviets smuggled the remains to an improvised morgue in Buch, a suburb of Berlin. Hitler’s body was too badly burned to be recognizable, so the jaws were removed since they offered the best means of identification. The assistant to Hitler’s dentist was tracked down and brought to examine them.

Yelena Rzhevskaya, the interpreter with the Smersh group, later recounted how on the evening of May 8, when Soviet troops prepared to celebrate the German surrender, she was given a box covered in red satin and told to guard it with her life. She described it as “the sort used for cheap jewelry.” The box held Hitler’s jaws. Rzhevskaya was given it because, as a woman, she was considered less likely to get drunk that night and lose it.

The skull and the jaws are still separate because Smersh hung on to its precious evidence. The cranium, recovered later, allegedly at the same site, was taken by the N.K.V.D., and that is why it has been in the State Archive of the Russian Federation since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The jaws are almost certainly still held in the Lubyanka, the Moscow headquarters of the Russian secret police, along with other prizes retrieved by Smersh from the garden, like Hitler’s Nazi party badge, which was taken from the body of Magda Göbbels.

Although we have been subjected over the last few months to a barrage of disinformation from the Russians about the start of World War II — including attempts to blame the Poles and the British for its outbreak — I would tend to believe their version in the case of its ending. Even if the cranium is not Hitler’s but some unknown woman’s, the jaws are almost certainly genuine. The Russians could end speculation and ridiculous conspiracy theories by allowing an international team to carry out DNA tests on them.

In any case, Stalin was obsessed with every detail about his archenemy Hitler, whom he both feared and admired in a distorted way. The investigations of his death were meticulous, as the Smersh reports show. Witnesses to the suicide and the burning of the bodies were interviewed again and again by Smersh and the N.K.V.D., and some by the British — in fact, by the historian Hugh Trevor-Roper, who wrote The Last Days of Hitler.

There were no major discrepancies in any of the accounts, so suggestions that Hitler did not commit suicide and had escaped from Berlin represent nothing but gratuitous sensationalism. It is just another attempt to exploit the nightmare conspiracy theory that the source of unparalleled evil lived on somewhere, in secret.

Antony Beevor is the author of D-Day: The Battle for Normandy and The Fall of Berlin 1945











A 120-Year-Old Hitler Might Be Walking Around Somewhere

After testing the supposed skull of Adolf Hitler — which has been held by the Russians ever since soldiers recovered the Führer's burnt corpse in a ditch outside of his bunker in 1945 (they cremated it years later, except the skull and jaw) — a team of scientists from the University of Connecticut has concluded that it actually couldn't be Hitler's skull at all, but that of a woman who died under the age of 40. This raises some tantalizing possibilities, which listed below in descending order of plausibility:

• The Russians removed the wrong corpse from the ditch outside Hitler's bunker.

• The right corpse was removed, but at some point in the past 60 years it was switched, purposely or by mistake, with the skull previously thought to be Hitler's skull. The real skull is in the private collection of some rich Russian oligarch, or in a secret underground government vault.

• Hitler escaped the bunker and lived out the rest of his life as an unassuming shop clerk in a small German town, selling cheese and dry goods until he died without notice in the mid-seventies.
• Hitler was actually a woman under 40.
• Hitler escaped and is still walking around somewhere. Keep your eyes peeled for a 124-year-old German man, because he's probably Hitler.


Hitler Death and Survival Legends

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