Did Adolf Hitler really blow his brains out in the ruins of Berlin in 1945 – or did he (as conspiracy theorists insist) escape on a secret flight out of the capital?
A new book, The Death of Hitler: The Final Word, by Jean-Christophe Brisard aims to put long-standing rumours to an end.
The book describes how French researchers analysed two bits of Hitler’s body still held by the Russian government – a skull fragment and some teeth.
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Comparing them to autopsy reports from just after the war, the researchers concluded that the body is definitely Hitler’s.
Conspiracy theorists have long suggested that Hitler may have escaped alive – helped by the complicated history of his remains, which were burned before being dug up by the Soviets.
Other prominent Nazis such as Auschwitz’s ‘Angel of Death’ Josef Mengele were spirited out of Germany by SS officers in the last days of the war, and lived in South America.
Lead author Philippe Charlier said, ‘There is no possible doubt. He did not flee to Argentina in a submarine. He is not in a hidden base in Antarctica or on the dark side of the moon.’
Charler’s tests on HItler’s teeth show no traces of metals – which hint that the dictator didn’t shoot himself in the mouth, as many believed.
Mysterious blue stains on the teeth suggest that he may have used cyanide instead (having already poisoned his dog, Blondi, in anticipation of the end).