|Investigations Question Hitler’s Suicide |
New Investigation Questions Hitler’s Suicide
As the Soviet Army surrounded Berlin, signaling the end of the Third Reich’s horrific reign, did Hitler really commit suicide in his underground Bunker, or did he escape to South America to live out his life unpunished?
It’s one of last century’s greatest mysteries, and now experts have determined there is as much evidence suggesting Hitler didn’t die in Berlin as there is he did.
A California University of Pennsylvania senior professor, John Cencich recently completed an investigation into Hitler’s death on behalf of the "History Channel". His conclusion that Hitler did in fact escape Berlin comes after a factual and objective analysis of historical evidence using existing forensic technology combined with the evidence from 1945.
The impetus behind the new investigation comes from the declassification of over 700 pages of documents by the FBI which hint at the possibility Hitler may have survived and escaped to South America. Files from the Office of Strategic Services [the CIA’s predecessor] and other intelligence organizations which have been declassified worldwide were also reviewed.
The documents included a recently discovered memo written by the late J. Edgar Hoover – FBI director at the time – which states that “American Army officials in Germany have not located Hitler's body nor is there any reliable source that will say definitely that Hitler is dead.”
The Russians were the ones to capture Berlin and eventually find the burned bodies who they believed to be Hitler and his wife, Eva Braun. However, even Josef Stalin, the Soviet leader, didn’t believe Hitler was dead and according to Cencich, from the evidence it appears the Russians botched their investigation of the alleged suicide scene.
Add to that the existence of underground tunnels and a subway system which was determined to lead from Hitler’s Bunker to the nearby Tempelfhof Airport and you don’t have to jump very far to reach the conclusion that Hitler could have taken the tunnels to a waiting plane and then a U-Boat to South America. It’s a known fact that other Nazi’s did exactly that.
Cencich was chosen to head this investigation based on his experience and reputation as a senior war crimes investigator for the United Nations. He led a criminal investigation in the former Yugoslavia, one of history’s largest, that involved murders, assassinations, torture, extermination and crimes against humanity.
It’s not likely that this new investigation into the possibility of Hitler’s flight to South America will change the history books or the accepted views of history pertaining to Hitler’s final days. However, according to Cencich, there should at least be a footnote regarding this possibility, because he himself initially saw the likelihood of Hitler’s escape to South America as far fetched, but he doesn’t anymore.
A veteran CIA agent claims to have found evidence that the leader of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler and his mistress Eva Braun faked their his own deaths in the Bunker at the end of the Second World War and then fled to the island of Tenerife, where they traveled to South America, according to a British newspaper.
"The narrative the United States government gives us is a lie. If you look at the FBI files, you need to open an investigation," said Bob Baer, an expert former CIA agent, in an article published by "The Mirror" .
According to the same media, it is one of the conclusions reached by a group of experts who analyzed a series of FBI files never before revealed. From the study of documents, Baer develops the theory that Hitler actually did not commit suicide, nor Eva Braun, but fled to the Canary Islands.
One of the documents to which experts had access said: "The US military officials in Germany have not located the body of Hitler nor is there any reliable source stating that Hitler is dead."
"The Mirror" also includes other testimonials.
"When the war ended many Nazis made an exodus to South America to start a new life away from Europe. According to this hypothesis, Hitler would have traveled by boat from Tenerife to South America to meet with other Nazis, said the former researcher of war crimes for the UN, John Cencich, in a documentary broadcast on British TV.
|Hitler lived: Secret FBI files reveal evil Nazi faked death ...before flying to Tenerife|
An Extraordinary new investigation based on FBI secret files claims Hitler did survive the end of World War 2 – and may have fled to a holiday destination populular with Brits
By Patrick Knox
The Daily Star
8 January 2016
Using never seen before before documents, respected ex-UN war crimes investigator John Cencich concludes the evil dictator did not shoot himself and his wife Evan Braun in the 'Führerbunker'.
It seems World War 2 may have ended happily ever after for the Nazi leader – who lived a life of luxury under the sun while the world mourned and starved.
Mr Crencich, who led probes into war crimes in the former Yugoslavia, said he used to think the Hitler faked death conspiracy theory was "nonsense".
But after sifting through 700 pages of new declassified US secret files and travelling to various points on the suspected escape route, he is now convinced the Führer of the Third Reich lived on bathed in sunshine
“We do know from evidence both of them had doubles. If someone was going to stage a crime scene, this was the perfect way to do it.”
Among the compelling proof that Hitler faked his own death is the fact that his body was recorded by the Russians as being five inches shorter than the dictator, who was five foot six inches.
A skull with a bullet hole was said to be smaller.
Mr Crencich said:
"We do know from evidence both of them had doubles. If someone was going to stage a crime scene, this was the perfect way to do it.
“The accepted truth that he committed suicide is ambiguous".
Based on new evidence John Cencich believes Hitler faked his own death.
Hitler's corpse also disappeared before British and American authorities could check it out.
In the top secret papers, FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover said there was nothing to prove Hitler was dead.
Mr Crienich along with CIA veteran Bob Baer discovered a network of tunnels that formed a route to Tempelhof Airport.
Hitler is believed to have stayed in the Canary Islands after the war.
Hitler is then thought to have flown to fascist Spain and then to the Canary Islands.
The islands include includes sunny destinations favoured by Brits such as Tenerife, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote.
Mystery Villa of Fuerteventura
Lying in an isolated mountainside in one of the most secluded areas of the Canary Islands lies an spacious villa that has given birth to mysterious legends....
This spacious villa lies hidden from the world nestling between the mountains and the wild Atlantic ocean on Fuerteventura.
It can only be reached after a hair raising drive along a dirt track in the mountain borders.
The sheer isolation of Villa Gustav Winter holds a mystery which has yet to be explained. This mystery starts with the appearance and position of the villa itself.
It is surrounded by land which has exactly the same shape and proportions of the island of Fuerteventura itself. And the villa’s location within this enclosed replica corresponds geographically to its true position.
Was this location and shape the result of exact mathematical positioning, or just sheer fluke? The truth will probably never come to light but theories abound.
German-born Gustav Winter arrived on Fuerteventura in the 1930s. He worked for a large company that had just acquired a great expanse of land in the south of the island – the peninsula of Jandia.
Winter became known for his mysterious dark glasses and accompanying black dog and was responsible for building the first port at Morro Jable. However, it is not for these reasons that he is best remembered. His name will always be connected to the small isolated hamlet of Cofete where he built the villa that later gave birth to countless myths.
The Nazis had first begun their search for a base in the Canary Islands when Hermann Göring financed a “fishing expedition” to the islands between 14 July and 14 August 1938.
Leading the search was Gustav Winter, a German engineer and senior Abwehr agent, "in the Canary Islands in charge of observation posts equipped with radio, and of the supplying of German submarines". It was Winter who had conceived the idea of developing the uninhabited Jandía peninsula as a base for Nazi operations. Born at Zastler, near Freiburg, on 10 May 1893, Winter studied in Hamburg before deciding to travel to the new German frontier in Patagonia in 1913.
After the outbreak of World War I the following year he sailed for home, but his ship was stopped, and he was interned by the British on a prison ship in Portsmouth. He first came to the attention of British intelligence in 1915, when he escaped by swimming to a Dutch ship, the 'Hollandia', and making his way to Spain. Winter spoke English fluently; upon his arrival in Spain he went to the British consulate, persuaded the consul that he was a British citizen in dire economic straits, and received a cash payment that enabled him to return to Germany. Between 1921 and 1937 he lived in Spain, traveling back to Germany regularly "to continue his studies".
Winter had been on the verge of buying Isla de Lobos ["Wolf’s Island"), a small barren rock to the north of Fuerteventura, but Göring’s funded "fishing trip" in 1938 and Winter’s own travels aboard his yacht 'Argon' led him to a much better site for a clandestine operations base.
The desert-like southern peninsula of Jandía comprised nearly 44,500 acres of uninhabited land, and in 1941, Gustav Winter purchased the whole area through a Spanish front company, Dehesa de Jandía SA. The ostensible intention was to develop this barren area for agriculture, and tens of thousands of trees were planted to support this story. Construction started in 1943.
Franco’s dictatorship provided a ready supply of disposable labor among its political prisoners; the road to Villa Winter is still known as the "Way of the Prisoners". Details are unknown, since the story of the concentration camps at Tefía on the island has yet to be written—as have many other dark tales from the Spanish Civil War and its aftermath.
-- Elizabeth Nash, "Germans Helped Franco Run Civil War Death Camps," London Independent, 22 February 2002
Gustav Winter himself spent much of his time between 1940 and 1944 at the U-Boat base near Bordeaux, returning to Spain only in August 1944 as the Allies overran the French Atlantic coast. In his absence, roads, tunnels into the mountains, defensive positions, and a strange castle-like structure—the "Villa" itself—were all built between 1943 and 1945.
Villa Winter had an extensive, sophisticated military telecommunications system that was probably centered on the Siemens & Haske T43 machine, giving it constant contact with Germany, Argentina, and the U-Boats that were hungry for resupply from other bases on Spain’s supposedly neutral Canary Islands. The villa was equipped with tiled medical treatment rooms and a range of attics fitted out for the accommodation of troops and senior personnel.
By late 1944, with the movement of funds out of Germany in top gear after the Hotel Maison Rouge meeting of that August, the Germans had built a runway at the end of the peninsula; 1,650 yards long by 66 yards wide, this could easily handle four-engined aircraft like the Junkers Ju 290 or the Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor.
Between late 1943 and February 1944, at least 250 Nazi agents made their way into the Canary Islands and the Spanish Saharan colony of Rio del Oro, via the Spanish port of Cádiz. The Spanish authorities did not hinder them in any way. At least four months before the long-awaited Allied invasion of France, Bormann was moving key personnel involved in Aktion Feuerland to new bases, and these relocations to the Canaries rapidly increased later in 1944.
In October 1944, German activities in Spain were increasingly annoying the influential U.S. broadcaster and columnist Walter Winchell—a close friend of FBI director J. Edgar Hoover and usually well informed by both U.S. and British intelligence services.
"Hitler had been building air bases in Spain since 1939.… Work was supervised by German Army engineers, done by Franco’s political prisoners who worked at bayonet point".
He went on to state:
"Spanish islands off the coast of Villa Garcia were cleared of their civilian population last year. Landing fields, advance Luftwaffe, and three whole regiments of Nazi flyers took over the islands. All civilian travel has been suspended between the Spanish mainland and the Balearics and the Canaries".
Civilian travel to the islands was indeed banned. Winchell said that there were two major Nazi bases on Gran Canaria: Gando airfield and a nearby submarine base. If civilians had been able to travel to the islands, Winchell said, they “would see the great storage tanks for submarine fuel, in Las Palmas they would see German officers marching with the Falangists and ten times as many soldiers as in normal times. They would also see the great Nazi seaplane base in Baleares [on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca]".
In an interview shortly before her death, the widow of Gustav Winter firmly denied the allegations leveled at her late husband over the years. She denied that the villa had ever had connections to the Nazis or that it was built as a hideaway for Adolf Hitler – she said the infamous villa was built for the simple reason of exploiting agriculture in the area.
In 1984, an extremely colorful tale about the accidental discovery of a "U-Boat pen" tunneled into the island was published by a German magazine. This fiction has been exploded by the U-Boat historian Jak P. Mallmann Showell in his book "U-Boats At War: Landings on Hostile Shores" [Hersham, UK: Ian Allan, 2000], for which he carried out field research and a comprehensive analysis of U-Boat orders, logs, and mission reports relevant to the Canary Islands. There are detailed records of the U-Boat supply base run from an "interned' German freighter in Las Palmas harbor on Gran Canaria, but no suggestion that U-Boats visited Fuerteventura.
The Allies were seriously concerned that the Canary Islands were being used by the Germans to support U-Boat operations. This suspicion was based on the interception of a secret Kriegsmarine document titled U-Plätze, or "U-Places," which became interpreted as "U-Bases" with the presumption that they were U-Boat bases.
The “U” in fact related to Unterkunft, or "refuge," and there were scores of them dotted around the world, intended to shelter all types of Kriegsmarine vessels—places to undertake repairs or find fresh water.
Similarly there were consistent rumors among the Allies that there were U-Boat bases along the South American coastline, even as far south as Tierra del Fuego. There is no evidence to support such a proposition, but the list of locations in the U-Plätze does mention a tiny island off the coast of Rio de Janeiro.
From here it is thought he eventually travelled by U-Boat to Argentina, where he met wealthy friends.
He led a life of luxury in a secret compound, all the time plotting his return.
Mr Crencich said: "I am really pleased with what we have found. Could he have made it here? Absolutely".
Another version was quoted by the newspaper "ABC" in Spain, based on the book "In the Footsteps of Hitler", by the journalist Abel Basti. According to this researcher, Hitler fled to Patagonia and Paraguay after his flight from Berlin.
Hitler was "buried in British territory – in Jesus Christ's tomb"
Adolf Hitler survived the end of World War 2 and fled to a British territory – and is now buried in Jesus Christ's tomb, explosive new claims suggest.
The Daily Star
29 May 2016
Using never seen before FBI documents, respected ex-UN war crimes investigator John Cencich and journalist Gerrard Williams concluded Hitler escaped the fall of the Third Reich in 1945.
Following an investigation they found Hitler slipped away from Berlin moments before the Soviets invaded – making his way to the Canary Islands and then South America.
But now a conspiracy theory suggests the evil Nazi dictator may have actually taken sanctuary after the war in remote Kashmir in India which was then British colony.
What is more extraordinary is that the evil dictator – who despised all forms of religion in favour of his warped death cult – is buried in a shrine reputed to be Jesus Christ's final resting place.
The theory that Hitler fled to Kashmir via the Middle East and Afghanistan has been floating around among Kashmiris for years.
But it has only gained traction after the investigation by Mr Cencich and Mr Williams concluded Hitler escaped the fall of the Third Reich alive.
Spearheading the theory is respected Kashmiri writer and historian Farooq Renzu Shah.
"Hitler escaped to Kashmir, India, where his grave is in Rozbal garden".
In the shabby backstreets of Srinagar is an old building known as the Rozabal shrine.
But it is padlocked tight and it has a watchman guarding it to make sure no-one goes near the corpse.
Mr Shah believes the truth about Hitler could be found in official documents which he is now calling to be declassified.
He claims Adolf was pals with an Indian nationalist and Nazi sympathiser called Subhas Chandra Bose.
Bose collaborated with the Japanese in the fight against British rule in India.
Bose shared a hatred of the British with Axis powers Japan and Germany because of their colonization of India. He headed the Indian National Army – devoted to booting out the Brits.
He even lived in Third Reich for a spell during the war and formed a good friendship with Hitler.
Using his connections in India, he was said to have arranged a safe haven for the Nazi chief among the then Maharaja of Kashmir who kept the world’s most hated man in his palace, lavishing him in a life of luxury amid stunning scenery.
It is unclear from the theory when he died.
But Hitler was suffering the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and could have only lived a few more years with medicine available in the 1940s.
It is claimed he was then taken to a tomb in Rozabal which is reputed to be the final resting place of Christ – the least likely place anyone would expect the fugitive Führer to be buried.
But because the site is holy an exhumation is unlikely any time soon because of strict laws safeguarding spiritual sites.
Yet while the theory remains that Hitler escaped his Bunker in Berlin and fled to a safe haven, Russia insists he did die and it has the bones to prove it.
According to Russian government authorities, the Führer’s skull and jaw with some teeth intact are safely stored away in one of Vladimir Putin's vaults in Moscow.
This has raised the prospect of Hitler being cloned should any DNA remain in his bones.
But the remains have not been confirmed as Adolf's and some claim the Soviet Union faked the discovery to avoid the embarrassment of Hitler escaping under their noses.
Yet until the bones with the Russians and those in Kashmir can be subject to DNA tests we will never know the true fate of Adolf Hitler.
-- NARA has a file named "ENTRY 216 boxes 250/64/34/02 [box 8]' which details Hitler's proposed escape to India in 1945.
Planes Ready for Hitler to Escape
Western Star and Roma Advertiser [Toowoomba, Qld]
9 February 1945
Hitler and other Nazi leaders intend to fly to Japan when Germany collapses, says "Daily Mail's Stockholm correspondent.
Six specially built planes, with a speed of 400 m.p.h., are standing by — two in Berlin, two at Hitler's secret residence, in central Germany, and two in reserve. It is proposed that these planes shall take Hitler, Ribbentrop, Himmler, and other Nazi leaders out after it has become clear that all has been lost.
Rumors started to circulate about a double for Hitler. He was supposed to be a total look-alike, and he was trained to "be" Hitler and was supposedly going to die a martyr’s death on the battlefield so that Hitler could be glorified without dying.
–- "New York Times" 19 April 1945.
The strategy of the Nazis to use Hitler's doubles, in order to cover the Führer's escape, transcended and became public on 26 April 1945 when the battle for the capture of Berlin took on its full potential.
Perhaps for this reason -the attention of the world concentrated on the formidable attack launched by the Soviets and the strenuous resistance of the German forces- this information happened almost unnoticed for the great public. On that day the journalist Robert Sturdevant, of the "Associated Press", announced a news that initially had its origin in the so-called "Free German Press Service", an organization of anti-Hitlerist Germans residing abroad. The information noted that "a carefully trained ex-grocer, who resembles Hitler in an extraordinary way, has been sent to Berlin to die on the barricades in order to give the world the impression that the Führer has died in the struggle".
The news identified Hitler's "double" as "August Wilhelm Bartholdy, former merchant of the town of Plauen, who was specially trained to speak as the Führer, as a result of his long association with him in Berchtesgaden". It was further added that "Bartholdy will act as Hitler's trump card, creating a legend around his death, while the Führer vanishes".
The version anticipated that "in the next few days Bartholdy will appear in the final fight of the last Berlin barricades and will be killed in front of the camera of Hitler's self-sacrificing photographer, Hoffmann, who has been entrusted with that mission".
The press service mentioned also speculated with the possibility that in addition the Nazis filmed a sequence with that double to prove that he had died in Berlin, while Hitler disappeared from the scene [Agencia AP 25 April 1945].
"Along with the authentic news from the perishing Third Reich came a rash of rumors and 'reports'. The dizziest to reach print was whelped by the unreliable "Free German Press Service," operated in Stockholm by Germans who call themselves 'emigres' F.G.P.S.'s latest gasp: The 'Hitler' who was in Berlin was not Hitler at all. It was a Plauen grocer named August Wilhelm Bartholdy, whose face was his misfortune: he looked like the Führer. Grocer Bartholdy, said F.G.P.S., had been carefully coached and combed, then sent to Berlin "to die on the barricades. ... He will act as Hitler's trump card...
-- "Time Magazine" 7 May 1945
In the book "The Exile of Hitler" by Planeta , its author, Abel Basti, describes in detail how the Nazi leader escaped from Berlin and arrived in Argentina. In May 1945 Berlin fell after being unable to resist the siege of Soviet forces. When the Russians entered the Bunker, which protected the Nazi leader, they had to solve a great enigma:
Did Hitler really commit suicide, as the Nazis said? In that attempt to elucidate the truth, they found corpses -they
were doubles of the Führer- left to confuse the Allies. This work details the investigations by the Soviets as well as the treatment that the media of the time gave to the case; And also the official communications related to the fate spread by the German authorities. In addition to the analysis of public information, recently declassified documents and different investigations are studied that go in the same direction and arrive at the same result:
Hitler escaped and his supposed suicide was a fabulous farce.
The book is intended to put an end to hiding the escape and life in exile of the German dictator.
Hitler was deliberately poisoned by Himmler or an accomplice, according to statements of highly-placed persons, says the "Daily Express" on 25 July 1945.
One is Count Bernadotte, vice-president of the Swedish Red Cross, who was Himmler's first peace agent. The other is Walter Schellenberg, Himmler's right-hand man, who has been brought to London for questioning.
Count Bernadotte's story, says the "Daily Express," is that Himmler, early in April, was thinking of poisoning Hitler with a medicine prepared by Professor Max Decrinis, of Cologne University. He recalls that Himmler had predicted the probable date of the death of Hitler, who was said at the time to be seriously ill. Himmler's ambition. was to seize power in Germany, and Schellenberg was anxious to help.
Hitler Was Healthy
Army News [Darwin, NT]
8 May 1945
LONDON: A German doctor, who attended Hitler after the attempt on his life at Munich and who since has been captured by the Americans, scouts the idea that Hitler died a natural death as some claim he did. The doctor said that last time he saw Hitler he was perfectly healthy. His ears, which had been affected in the bomb explosion, were cured completely and his heart was perfectly sound.
"Hitler had years of life before him", he said.
According to Schellenberg, Decrinis had pronounced Hitler to be a victim or "Parkinson's disease," the obscure malady which affects the brain, makes the face a mask and causes a loss of limb control. Schellenberg says that Hitler died on 27 April, and he is satisfied that the "medicine" caused death, though he does not know who gave it.
The SS began to disintegrate in 1945. Individual SS officers hoped to exploit tensions between the western Allies and the Soviet Union to open negotiations for a separate peace with the western Allies that would permit the Nazi state to survive and fight on against the USSR. These officers included SS General Karl Wolff—the Highest SS and Police Leader for German-occupied Italy; SS General Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Heydrich's successor as chief of the RSHA; SS General Walter Schellenberg, the chief of the RSHA Department VI [SD Foreign Intelligence Agency] and even Himmler himself. Facing unyielding demands for unconditional surrender, the SS men who sent out feelers, lacked the authority—or the conception of themselves in a post-Nazi state—to offer unconditional surrender even to the western Allies.
Wolff succeeded in persuading German military authorities in Northern Italy to surrender to the Anglo-Americans on 2 May 1945, five days before the end of the war.
A rumor that General Kurt Dittmar, Official Military Commentator of the German Armed Forces, had committed suicide in April 1945 was dispelled on the 23 April when he surrendered to soldiers of the 30th U.S. Infantry Division at Magdeburg. He later told his captors that the National Redoubt did not exist, and that Hitler was in Berlin, predicting that within a few days Hitler would either be killed or commit suicide.
Was Hitler Murdered?
The Telegraph [Brisbane, Qld]
12 November 1946
LONDON: The theory that Hitler did not die by his own hand but was murdered by Göbbels, Himmler or others, is supported in a book to be published shortly by General Ecer, Czechoslovak member of the Allied War Crimes Commission.
Ecer had access to all the secret documents of the Nuremberg Court and also interviewed all the prominent Nazis, including Göring, Ribbentrop, Keitel, and Frank, before their detention.
The theory that Hitler was murdered, says Ecer, is supported by these facts:
Shortly before the Russians penetrated the Bunker under the Chancellery, Hitler ordered that every thing in the room should remain unchanged to give the Russians an exact idea of the circumstances under which his death occurred. It wns not obeyed! Everything in the room where Hitler died was destroyed on Göbbels's orders, suggesting that Göbbels was anxious to destroy all evidence which would solve the enigma of Hitler's death.
Where Is Hitler?
The Dubbo Liberal and Macquarie Advocate [NSW]
1 May 1945
LONDON: Speculation as to whether Hitler is alive or dead has been more confused by a statement by the Hamburg Radio that he is still alive. A broadcast from this station at 8 p.m. last night asserted that Hitler awarded an Oak leaf to the Iron Cross to four German officers.
The broadcast, however, may be merely Propaganda to buoy what remains of German morale.
Did Hitler Suicide?
Examiner [Launceston, Tas]
4 May 1945
LONDON [A.A.P]: Hitler committed suicide, says a Moscow communique. Göbbels, Nazi Propaganda Minister, also took his own life.
The Moscow communique says that prisoners captured in Berlin included Göbbels' deputy, Dr. Hans Fritzsche, who told the Russians that Hitler, Göbbels and General Krebs, newly appointed Chief of the German General Staff, all committed suicide.
It is recalled that Göbbels in his last speech said he would rather commit suicide than live in Germany under a "Bolshevik terror".
President Truman stated in Washington yesterday that on the best authority available at this time he was convinced that the German Führer was dead.
Declared Hitler Suicided
Northern Star [Lismore, NSW]
29 June 1946
NUREMBURG: Lord Chancellor Earl Jowitt in the visitors' gallery of the War Crimes Tribunal heard Hans Frizsche, who was the last of Hitler's lieutenants to remain alive in Berlin to the end, declare that Hitler suicided. Frizsche said a report was circulated that Hitler died in battle, but the last statement the witness prepared for issue gave as a fact that Hitler suicided.
"I wanted to nip in the bud any chance that the Hitler myth would grow up".
He added that Hitler's suicide was the first of his reasons for disillusionment with the Nazi regime.
In April 1945, Fritzsche was present in the Berlin Führerbunker during the last days of Adolf Hitler and Göbbels. After Hitler's suicide on 30 April 1945, Göbbels assumed Hitler's role as Chancellor. On 1 May, Göbbels completed his sole official act as chancellor. He dictated a letter to Soviet Army General Vasily Chuikov, requesting a temporary ceasefire and ordered German General Hans Krebs to deliver it. Chuikov commanded the Soviet forces in central Berlin. After this was rejected, Göbbels decided that further efforts were futile. Göbbels then launched into a tirade berating the generals, reminding them Hitler forbade them to surrender.
Fritzsche left the room to try and take matters into his own hands. He went to his nearby office on Wilhelmplatz and wrote a surrender letter addressed to Soviet Marshall Georgy Zhukov. An angry and drunk General Wilhelm Burgdorf followed Fritzsche to his office. There he asked Fritzsche if he intended to surrender Berlin. Fritzsche replied that he was going to do just that. Burgdorf shouted that Hitler had forbidden surrender and as a civilian he had no authority to do so. Burgdorf then pulled his pistol to shoot Fritzsche, but a radio technician "knocked the gun" and the bullet fired hit the ceiling. Several men then hustled Burgdorf out of the office and he returned to the Bunker. Fritzsche then left his office and went over to the Soviet lines and offered to surrender the city.
Fritzsche was sent to Nuremberg, and tried before the International Military Tribunal. He was charged with conspiracy to commit crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity. In his positions in the propaganda apparatus of the Nazi State, Fritzsche played a role to further the conspiracy to commit atrocities and to launch the war of aggression.
According to journalist and author William L. Shirer, it was unclear to the attendees why he was charged. Shirer remarked that "no-one in the courtroom, including Fritzsche, seemed to know why he was there –he was too small a fry– unless it were as a ghost for Göbbels..." He was one of only three defendants to be acquitted at Nuremberg [along with Hjalmar Schacht and Franz von Papen].
Hitler's Death: Japanese Version
Kalgoorlie Miner [WA]
5 May 1945
NEW YORK: Tokio radio, quoting a "Domei News" agency despatch from Hamburg just before Hamburg's fall, said that Hitler was descending the stairs of his Berlin official residence when one of the Soviet shells falling around exploded right in front of him and took his life.
"Domei News Agency", on 10 May, also according to Tokyo Radio, quotes two Japanese newspaper editorial comments on the causes of the German defeat. Mainichi Shimbun says Hitler made the fatal mistake of under-estimating the power of the Soviet Union when he plunged into a two-front war.
"Nippon Times" ascribes the German defeat to the unwillingness of the German armies to fight to the last man.
Hitler Dead, Says Rundstedt
The Daily News [Perth, WA]
5 May 1945
LONDON: "Hitler is certainly dead," captured Field-Marshal von Rundstedt told the British "United Press" correspondent with the Seventh Army.
"It happened in Berlin and it certainly wasn't suicide", he added.
General Aleksandr Anatolevich Vadis, conveyed to Moscow on 7 May that Hitler was dead, based on fragments of an upper jaw and a full lower jaw, which may have been ripped from badly charred corpses, or turned up in sifted earth and found on 5 May, but not autopsied until 8-9 May, with no report in the autopsy [or that of the "Braun" corpse], that any dental or facial structures were missing.
Worker [Brisbane, Qld]
14 May 1945
Many people believe that Hitler still lives. They suggest that Himmler's story about Hitler dying after a brain seizure, the announcement by Admiral Dönitz that Hitler died as a common soldier in Berlin, and the remarks of Göbbels' offsider [Dr. Hans Fritzsche] that Hitler, Göbbels and a German general had committed suicide are conflicting causes for doubt. They want to see the body, and suggest also that by some chance Hitler and his pals got into a submarine and skipped to Japan.
If there is doubt about Hitler's death, there is none about Dr. Göbbels, whose body [and those of his wife and family] was found in Berlin. Suicide.
Josef Göbbels Is Dead
The Canberra Times [ACT]
17 May 1957
BERLIN: Josef Göbbels, Hitler's propaganda chief, was officially declared dead by the Zehlendorf, W. Berlin, district court yesterday - 12 years after he had his six children killed and committed suicide In Hitler's Bunker.
Anton Joachimsthaler and Joachim Fest, both state that all the Russians ever found were some teeth, a lower jaw, and other charred bits, and a few charred bits, turned up after sifting the soil in the Chancellery garden for days after the capitulation of the City.
Hitler in Eire?
Examiner [Launceston, Tas]
17 May 1945
LONDON [A.A.P.] - Mr. Churchill was asked in the Commons on Tuesday if the Government was satisfied that Hitler's death had been established beyond all shadow of doubt.
"I know no more than any other member who reads the newspapers. Therefore I have only my own opinion to go by".
To a member who asked whether there was any truth in a suggestion that Hitler was being harboured in Eire by Mr. de Valera, Mr. Churchill said he would have enquiries made.
Latest on Hitler
Army News [Darwin, NT]
18 June 1945
LONDON: Here is the latest on Hitler, reported to the Cairo correspondent of the "Daily Mail" by what he describes as a "reliable source".
The Führer is in Eire. He arrived there by air dressed as a woman, and accompanied by a woman and threea children.
"There was no suggestion of connivance by the authorities of Eire".
Gerhard Herrgesell, the shorthand writer who had recorded Hitler's private meetings since 1942, told correspondents at Berchtesgaden that it was not unlikely that Colonel Günsche, the SS Adjutant in charge of the underground Chancellery in its last hours, killed Hitler, with Hitler's knowledge. He said that Günsche's specific assignment was to kill Hitler and to dispose of the body in such a way that the Russians could; not possibly find it, then turn the gun on himself.
Hitler's "Double" Found
Townsville Daily Bulletin [Qld]
7 June 1945
LONDON: Reuters' representative with the 21st Army Group, who was one of the correspondents in Berlin for the signing of the four powers declaration, says reports are current in Berlin that a Russian search party found a badly charred body, closely resembling that of Hitler's.
The reports, which appear to have good backing, stated the element of doubt in the identification of the corpse was very small.
Many of the Bunker personnel in Russian captivity were told they would later see Hitler's body--and it was never shown to them because, as Fest puts it, "there was no body to show!"
However, it seems, the Soviets were convinced that the teeth in their possession were those of Hitler and - logically - that Hitler was therefore dead. Indeed, in mid-May, Soviet intelligence officers confirmed to their Western counterparts that Hitler had "been poisoned" and Zhukov admitted to Khrushchev that they had found Hitler's "charred carcass".
Hitler's Fate: Conflicting Reports
Western Star and Roma Advertiser [Toowoomba, Qld]
8 Jun 1945
According to Leon Degrelle, Belgian Rexist leader, Hitler is alive and in hiding; according to Himmler, Hitler is dead.
The Madrid correspondent of "American Associated Press" says Degrelle, who is in Spain, declared that he talked with Hitler in Berlin the day before the Russians entered the city.
"Hitler was preparing to escape and did not appear in the mood cither for suicide or a fight to the death", said Degrelle.
The conflicting story is told by friends of of Captain Clement Wells, of the Boyal Aimy Medical Corps, who was present when Himmler died and who is now in London on leave. A few minutes before Himmler's suicide, Army nrmy officers asked him: "Do you know I where Hitler is?" Himmler hesitated, his eyes kept their usual stare, and then, with a smirk, he replied, "He's gone now".
Soon though, Soviet leaders had opted to deny the obvious and chose instead to sow confusion over Hitler's death, insinuating that the German dictator had somehow survived and had escaped to the Western zones of occupation - thereby giving themselves an excellent stick with which to beat the West in the opening exchanges of the Cold War. It is the subsequent campaign of disinformation and obfuscation that led to the outlandish tales of Hitler's survival, in the jungles of Patagonia, in fascist Spain, or in a secret base, that resurface to this day.
Russians Almost Certain
Goulburn Evening Post [NSW]
7 June 1945
LONDON: From four bodies, all answering Hitler's description, found in the ruins of an underground fortress in Berlin, the Russians after careful examination of the teeth and other characteristics, have singled out one which they are almost certain is Hitler's, says a combined press correspondent in Berlin.
He says the Russians found Göbbels' body practically decapitated by a shell splinter. He, with members of his family, took poison, shortly before the fall of Berlin.
At a major press conference on 9 June 1945, Marshal Georgy Zhukov, Soviet commander of the Russian Zone of Occupation stated: "It is well known that two days before Berlin fell Hitler married Eva Braun” he said. He added that the Russians had found references to the marriage in the diaries of Hitler’s personal adjutants. Zhukov said "We have found no corpse that could be Hitler’s" and added that Hitler and Braun had good opportunities to get away from Berlin: "He could have taken off at the very last moment, for there was an airfield at his disposal.” Zhukov told the press: "The circumstances are highly mysterious. We did not identify Hitler’s body and I cannot say anything about his fate. …" Zhukov added, "Now it is up to you British and Americans to find him".
-- "Associated Press", 'Zhukoff [sic] Says Hitler Wed Actress in Berlin, May Be Alive in Europe', "The New York Times", 10 June 1945.
Hitler Married To Nazi Actress
LONDON, 21 April 1945 [UP]--Civilians in Leipzig believe Adolf Hitler married Germany's most famous film actress, Olga Teschekowa, three weeks ago, a British correspondent with the First U. S. Army reported today.
Edward Connolly, the "Exchange Telegraph Agency" correspondent, said the Leipzig civilians told him the marriage took place at Bad Frankenhausen. They described Hitler as madly in love with Olga, who is more than 50, but "is good to look at".
Major General Floyd Parks, who was commanding general of the U.S. sector in Berlin, later stated for publication that he had been present when Zhukov stated he believed Hitler might have escaped.
Colonel General Nikolai E. Berzarin, Soviet commander of Berlin, turning to the question of whether Hitler had died in Berlin, said, "There are all sorts of people who were close to him who say that he killed himself. Still others say he was killed by an exploding shell," however, Russian soldiers had not yet found Hitler’s body. "My personal opinion is that he has disappeared somewhere into Europe". Berzarin said "Perhaps he is in Spain with Franco. He had the possibility of getting away".
The newly Soviet appointed German Bürgermeister of Berlin, Arthur Werner, said "Hitler...we just don’t know…There are many Germans who say he has found refuge in another country".
The following day, 10 June, Maj. Gen. Kenneth W. D. Strong, the SHAEF G-2, asked a Soviet intelligence officer regarding Zhukov’s statement that Hitler was still alive. The Soviet officer replied that the Russians had revised their earlier opinion that Hitler was dead, and that none of the evidence at present in their possession indicates definitely that this was so. Ambassador Murphy informed the State Department that while SHAEF G-2 did not exclude the possibility that Hitler may be in the Allied area, they did not accept the implication of Zhukov’s statement that primary responsibility rested with "us for finding him".
-- Telegram Sent, No. 3541, Caffery [from Murphy] to the Secretary of State, 14 June [11 written over with 14] 1945, Classified Cables Sent to the State Department, 1945-1949 [NAID 1719688] Record Group 84.
On 10 June in Madrid the Spanish Foreign Minister had his press secretary deny Zhukov’s report that Hitler might have found shelter in Spain. The Spanish statement said: "Hitler, married or single, alive or dead, is not on Spanish soil, nor would he be allowed here, and if he entered he would not receive shelter".
-- Wireless to "The New York Times", 'Hitler Not on Spanish Soil, Foreign Minister Says', "The New York Times", 11 June 1945.
The Russian press on 14 June reviewed an article by Elliott [probably George Fielding Eliot] in the "New York Herald Tribune" commenting on Zhukov’s reported statement that the English and Americans should organize a search for Hitler. Elliott reportedly expressed agreement with Zhukov and was cited as emphasizing the probability of the Soviet statement that Hitler at present was outside the Soviet occupation zone. Elliott was quoted to effect that Hitler probably fled to Spain where there were many German refugees who probably would seek to organize Hitler’s flight.
Is Hitler in Spain?
21 June 1945
London: Is Hitler in Spain? The question is revived in a circumstantial despatch from the Barcelona correspondent of the "Daily Express," relating the secret arrival on 1 May, the day before. Berlin surrendered to the Russians, of a three-engined German plane at the Reus airfield, about 80 miles south-west of Barcelona.
The pilot got out and talked with the Spanish control officer, who got into the plane for a quarter of an hour and then telephoned the military governor of Barcelona.
Two passengers descended from the plane, the air crew giving them the Nazi salute. One was reported to be the son of the plane manufacturer Heinkel, and the other kept his raincoat muffled across his face. The governor of Barcelona arrived in a special plane and held a discussion with the strangers, after which he made a series of telephone calls to Madrid. A Spanish plane then arrived, to which the Germans transferred, the rain-coated figure again getting ceremonial Nazi salutes. The plane took off for an unknown destination.
The "Daily Express" says that Allied authorities are seeking an explanation, particularly as to who was the man in the raincoat.
Elliott was also quoted describing a possible escape route for Hitler to Argentina. The news item concluded by quoting Elliott’s opinion that the Allies ought to organize measures to apprehend Hitler including if necessary military operations against Franco’s Spain.
"Time" magazine on 2 July reported that at the end of June a SHAEF spokesman had said, summing up the Hitler situation:
"We have every reason to believe he is dead, but no evidence that he is not still alive".
It also reported the Russians, who had done all the investigating in Berlin, had not amended their reports that no trace of Hitler had been found; no believable witnesses in their custody had actually seen him die; and Hitler had ordered his henchmen to spread the story that he was dead.
-- 'International: Where There’s Smoke…', "Time", Vol. XLVI No. 1, 2 July 1945.
Not Hitler's Body
The Braidwood Dispatch and Mining Journal [NSW]
6 July 1945
LONDON: The charred body found by Russian officers in a shelter under the Reich Chancellery was not that of Hitler, a member of Marshal Zhukov's staff told the "Daily Telegraph" Berlin correspondent.
"It was the body of a double and a rather poor one at that," he said.
"We were so convinced that it was not Hitler's body that experts who examined it immediately ordered its re-interment in the garden".
The officer added that no trace of a body resembling that of Eva Braun, who was reported to have died with Hitler, had been found.
Chauffeur "Saw Hitler Burning"
The Sun [Sydney, NSW]
21 June 1945
LONDON: Still another version of how Hitler died is given by the Führer's chauffeur, Eric Kempka, now in British hands. Kempka says that Hitler and his sweetheart, Eva Braun, shot themselves two days after they were married in an underground shelter behind the Chancellery in Berlin. Kempka [according to a "British United Press" correspondent in North Germany] says that at 3 am on 2 May [the day Berlin fell to the Russians] he personally carried Braun's body out of the shelter. Later he saw the two petrol-soaked bodies burning.
Another "British United Press" correspondent reports an interview at Herford [near Hanover] with a German police witness named Hermann Karnau, which substantiates Kempka's statement Karnau said he saw the bodies of Hitler and Braun burning outside the Chancellery shelter in the early hours'of 2 May.
"I saw Hitler lying on the ground about six feet from the exit, in the open air," said Karnau.
"He was on his back, with his knees slightly drawn up.
"Eva Braun was beside him, lying on her face.
"Both bodies were on fire.
"Beside them were four empty gasoline cans, and there was an incredible odor".
Chauffeur Confirms Hitler's Death
Daily Examiner [Grafton, NSW]
5 July 1946
NUREMBERG: "I am able to say that Hitler died on 30 April 1945, between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. I carried out Hitler's wife and I saw Hitler in a blanket," declared Hitler's chief chauffeur, Hans Erich Kempka, when giving evidence before the International tribunal.
Asked if it was really Hitler, Kempka replied it was a small blanket and Hitler's legs were hanging out.
LONDON: The mystery of whether Hitler is alive or dead remains unsolved, in spite of several bodies having been found in the mined Berlin Chancellery.
The "Daily Express" correspondent in Berlin reports that 150 foreign journalists on 9 July 1945 combed the Chancellery and Hitler's air raid shelter.
They found no sign of anything burned to confirm the story of one of Hitler's police guards that he saw the bodies of Hitler and Eva Braun burned outside the shelter.
An "Associated Press" story from Stockholm on 15 July, reported that a Swedish newspaper reported that day that a rumor was circulating in Bern, Switzerland, that Hitler was hiding in the principality of Liechtenstein under the name of "Dr. Brandl". The story added that Braun was not with Hitler but probably in Argentina.
During July, various Allied personnel visited the Bunker in Berlin and subsequently reported on their visits. When Judge Michael Musmanno visited the Bunker, the Russian commandant in charge of the area, Major Feodorovitch Platonov, at once broke into a spirited argumentative denial that Hitler was dead. Musmanno had not made any assertion in the matter one way or the other. He had merely stated that he was examining the place where Hitler lived his last days and hours.
The Russian major, pointing at a spot in the garden exclaimed:
"It is not true that Hitler was found there! Our experts have established that the man found here didn’t look like Hitler at all. And we didn’t find Eva Braun either!"
On 17 July, Permanent Under-Secretary of State Sir Alexander Cadogan noted in his diary after visiting the Bunker, that he was shown a shallow crater in which he was told Hitler and Braun had been buried and later dug up and cremated". This is also a rumor, of which there are many, and nobody knows the truth…"
At the Potsdam Conference Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy, Chief of Staff to the President, wrote that Stalin and Molotov, Truman, Secretary of State James Byrnes and he were together for lunch on 17 July and Stalin repeated what he had already told Hopkins in Moscow: "He believes that the Führer had escaped and was hiding somewhere. He went on to say that the painstaking Soviet search had failed to discover any traces of Hitler’s remains or positive proof of his death". During the lunch Byrnes asked Stalin his views of how Hitler had died: "To my surprise, he said he believed that Hitler was alive and that it was possible he was then either in Spain or Argentina". Some ten days later Byrnes asked Stalin if he had changed his views and he said he had not.
-- William D. Leahy, "I Was There" [New York, London, Toronto: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1950]; James F. Byrnes, "Speaking Frankly" [New York and London: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1947].
The Daily News [Perth, WA]
21 July 1945
KIEL: Admiral Godt, operations chief of the German Undersea Fleet, denied that U-530, which surrendered at Argentina, left Kiel on 3 March for Norway with Hitler and Eva Braun on board. He described reports that the U-Boat put the pair ashore at Argentina as "wild rumours".
The Montevideo correspondent of the "Chicago Tribune" said that Hitler and Eva Braun were on a German estate in Patagonia, having been landed on a lonely part of the Argentine shore by U-530.
The correspondent added that significance is now attached to the words of General Basilo Pertine [a former Argentinian Minister for War] at a banquet in Frankfurt on 4 June, who said:
"I am glad to announce that our friends are safe at last".
A few weeks after Berlin surrendered a German submarine surfaced near a small boat off the coast of Patagonia one dark night. From the submarine, which Argentine anti-Nazi underground leaders of "Patria Libre" say was U-530, three persons were transferred by a small boat to a German-owned sheep ranch, where elaborate preparations had long been made to receive them.
At the time, unconfirmed news reports from Buenos Aires said that U-530's passengers were Adolf Hitler, Eva Braun, and Deputy Führer Martin Bormann. Whether this is true or whether the three perished in the ruins of Berlin, as Allied investigators believe, the U-530 must certainly have been on a mission of great importance.
The anti-Nazi Argentine underground leaders further say the Nazi organisation in Argentina has scale models, blueprints, and formulae for the terrible weapons of destruction Germany was about to produce when her armies collapsed.
These are said to be in the hands of General Basilio Pertine, former Argentine War Minister, and president or a director of five blacklisted Nazi firms, including Hermann Göring's Sema Arms Factory, near Buenos Aires.
In late August 1945. one of Pertine's friends returned to Argentina by submarine. He is Willie Köhn, chief of the Latin-American division of the Nazi Foreign Office. One of his first contacts was Karl Friedrich Bormann, son of Martin Bormann, who had arrived in Buenos Aires six months before to arrange for the flight of his father and other prominent war criminals.
-- Stanley Ross, who recently toured South America
"News" [Adelaide] 4 Mar 1946
A later report, by South American paper "La Critica" said that the pair were on Queen Maude Island, in the Antarctic.
Brazzaville [French Equitorial Africa] Radio quoted the newspaper, and added that Hitler and Eva Braun were landed at a former submarine base for German Antarctic explorers.
The U-530 would give no explanation of its whereabouts since Germany surrendered.
César Ameghino, the Argentine Foreign Minister denied reports that Hitler and Eva Braun had landed from the German submarine U-530 on the Argentine coast.
A spokesman of the U. S. State Department announced that the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires will investigate the reports that Hitler is in Argentina.
The spokesman pointed out that Argentina had given assurances to the Allied Governments that war criminals would not be harboured.
The editor of the Buenos Aires newspaper "El Tribuno" told "Associated Press" that two submarines were sighted by more than 100 people shortly before 11 a.m. on 17 July. The vessels surfaced three miles off San Clemente and Dexl Tuyu only a few days after the U-530 surrendered at Mar del Plata.
NEW YORK, 21 August 1945: Another report suggesting that Hitler may be in the Argentine is given in the Uruguayan newspaper, "El Dia". It follows the arrival last week-end of a second German U-Boat -U-977-at Mar del Plata, a port in the Argentine.
The "Chicago Tribune" correspondent in Montevideo says that the arrival of this submarine has strengthened the belief that both U-Boats unloaded war criminals on Argentine territory.
"El Dia" says that Hitler well may be one of those wanted men since reports of his death have never been confirmed.
At his first news conference, Colonel-General Alexander V. Gorbatov, the Russian member of the Allied Kommandantur in Berlin, on 30 July was questioned as to his views regarding the fate of Hitler. He answered that there was still no definite satisfactory evidence of his death. He added, however, that among Russian officers the saying was that if Hitler was alive he was certainly not in Russian-occupied territory. He also noted that he had heard reports that Hitler’s dentist had taken a human jawbone to Moscow and identified it as that of Hitler, but Gorbatov said he knew nothing of the matter beyond that.
Reds Doubtful About Hitler
The Daily News [Perth, WA]
31 July 1945
LONDON: Russian military government authorities in Berlin have no definite proof of Hitler's death and do not exclude the possibility of his still being alive and in hiding. This was stated by Russian Military Governor in Berlin, Colonel General Gorbatov, at the first press conference of the Russian military government, says "Reuters" Berlin man.
The Russians pursuing investigation of Hitler's fate, are convinced that if he is still alive he is not in the Red Army zone.
Gorbatov said that the Nazi Party put out many circumstantial stories with the obvious intention of discouraging further investigation into Hitler's whereabouts. They also began many rumours that he was still alive in order to encourage Nazi underground movements.
Hitler Still Alive?
Army News [Darwin, NT]
15 August 1945
BERLIN: British officers in northern Germany believe Hitler is still alive, and more than 1,500,000 Germans still in prison cages are being interrogated. It is believed that Hitler is disguised as an ordinary German soldier, and the British are determined to find him if he is still alive.
With growing suspicions that Hitler's suicide had been a Nazi farce, on 3 August the news agency EFE released information that stated: "The Western allies maintain a special surveillance service throughout 125,000 square miles in case Hitler had not died and was hidden somewhere in Germany".
In that context, on 13 August, US Senator Theo Bilbo announced that he would present a bill in the US Congress to establish a one million dollar reward for "anyone who captured Hitler alive".
Bilbo said that if passed, the legislative initiative "would grant immunity against his persecution, as a war criminal, of any person who contributed to the capture of Hitler". That is to say, if some fugitive and repentant Nazi hierarchy wanted to "cleanse himself," all charges against him would be annulled if, in return, he gave the authorities the exact information that would enable him to catch the Führer.
"I do not think Hitler is dead. I believe that he should be captured, tried and executed as a war criminal, "Bilbo said. He also said that "if anyone opposes Congress paying the reward, he will gladly pay his share of the million" [Associated Press, Mississippi, 13 August 1945].
During July and August reports continued to surface of Hitler being alive. One in July indicated that he had taken a submarine to either Argentina or Chile; others that he was alive and hiding in Argentina. Reports of sightings continued in September.
Radio Voice Like Hitler's
The Evening Advocate [Innisfail, Qld]
16 August 1945
STOCKHOLM: The Swedish newspaper, "Aftonbiadet", which before the war was controlled by the Nazis, says that on Sunday night [4 days earlier] a radio station calling itself "Dietrich Eckardt" reappeared and announced that Hitler himself would speak.
"A voice remarkably like that of Hitler said:
'Now the hour has come when I can speak to the German people again and answer the question does he live or not?
"The world can rest assured that he lives.
"The Potsdam conference means the destruction of 20,000,000 people. The eyes of even the most foolish people are now open and the hour will come when I will call upon the German people for the final struggle".
-- See File: 862.002, Hitler, Adolf, Central Decimal File [NAID 302021] Record Group 59. For related correspondence see File: XE003655, Hitler, Adolf, Personal Name File, Intelligence and Investigative Dossiers Personal Files, 1977-2004 [NAID 645054] Record Group 319 and FBI File: 65-53615, Headquarters Files from Classification 65 [Espionage] Released Under the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Disclosure Acts, 1935-1985 [NAID 565806] Record Group 65.
Tweed Daily [Murwillumbah, NSW]
18 August 1945
NEW YORK: The correspondent of the "New York Times" at Boston says:
"Hitler and other leading Nazis who may have escaped from Europe are being sought in Boston and other seaports on incoming ships".
This was disclosed during an examination of the passengers and crew of a Swedish freighter.
A news story from London on 8 September under the headline "World-Wide Search for Hitler Goes On", began "A manhunt that ranges from Berlin to Madrid, from Tokyo to Buenos Aires, is underway today on the chance that Adolf Hitler is still alive". Continuing, "The actual fate of the former Chancellor is the war’s biggest mystery and the Allies, not daring to gamble on such an issue, are tracking down every clue, investigating every rumor lest the story that Hitler took his own life beneath Berlin’s Reichschancellory prove to be history’s greatest and most tragic hoax". The reporter indicated that the Allies were checking every report, "no matter how fantastic". He noted that "One story has it that Hitler escaped to Japan by submarine; another that he is in Argentina; a third that he is hiding in Sweden. The latest rumors are that he is on board a yacht in the estuary of the Elbe River or living in luxury at a long-prepared lodge in the Bavarian Mountains".
-- "United Press", 'World-Wide Search for Hitler Goes On', "The New York Times", 9 September 1945.
Moscow newspapers on 9 September carried a "Tass" item with heading 'Rumors about Hitler', date line Rome, 8 September, saying Rome Radio has reported that Hitler has been seen in Hamburg, living under another name.
Sunday Times [Perth, WA]
9 September 1945
LONDON: Strong rumors that Hitler and his henchman Martin Bormann have been seen in Hamburg are being investigated by British security police.
Hamburg radio recently picked up a broadcast believed to have been made by Bormann to Sweden, declaring that Hitler was alive and in good health in Germany.
According to a report from the American Forces Radio in Paris, Hitler is said to be alive somewhere, in the Hamburg area.
After questioning scores of Germans in the dock district without result, security police picked up a clue to a mysterious yacht which they traced to the small Elbe estuary port of Glückstadt. The yacht was reported to have left port at night early in May. Navy patrol boats set off in pursuit, but coud find no trace of the craft.
Within the last few days the search for the mysterious vessel has been continued.
The ex-Führer has been variously reported as killed in action in Berlin, his body burned in the Chancellery destruction, killed by a poison injection, administered by his personal physician, murdered by the Gestapo, escaped by special plane with his mistress and entourage to Spain.
Hitler is Listed as "Missing"
News [Adelaide, SA]
16 August 1952
BERLIN: West Berlin Registrar's Office regards Hitler as missing.
The office, which keeps records of all deaths for West Germany and West Berlin, said today its records did not contain a death certificate for Adolf Hitler.
It told the District Attorney of Berchtesgaden, Bavaria, Hitler's last official residence, that since it had no record of his death, Hitler must be regarded as missing.
The Berchtesgaden Court is entitled to declare Hitler dead if it considers available evidence justifies that finding.
LONDON, 14 October 1954 [A.A.P.] Hitler is dead beyond a doubt, the District Court at Berchtesgaden, where Hitler had his mountain retreat, announced today.
Although bodies were identified as those of Hitler and his mistress, Eva Braun, there have been persistent rumors over the last nina years that he escaped and fled to a secret hideout.
The Court, which is dealing with a request by an Austrian Court for an official death certificate, said:
"According to all investigations carried out so far there can be no doubt that Hitler committed suicide on 30 April 1945, in his Berlin Bunker Chancellery".
The Berchtesgaden court has refused to speculate that Hitler may be a prisoner of the Russians; that he escaped to Argentina or some South Sea isle on a submarine; or that, his features altered by plastic surgery, Hitler has gone back to housepainting in some German village as plain "Fritz Krause". The court has even refused to issue a death certificate merely "presuming" Hitler to be dead. Hitler, the court has ruled, is dead beyond all doubt.
When the finding is confirmed by a higher Court, Hitler's name will be entered in a special book of deaths in the registration office of Charlottenberg. Already 302,379 names of men declared missing over the past 18 years have been entered as legally dead.
But sceptics note that last year 242 persons, listed as dead in the book, reappeared.
Examiner [Launceston, Tas]
28 October 1954
Martin Bormann, Hitler's deputy, was legally declared dead in Berlin on Tuesday. Bormann, who disappeared during the last days of the battle for Berlin in 1945, has been "seen" in more than a dozen countries since the war.
A Berlin official announced that his name had been entered in the city's special register of people assumed dead, although full proof was lacking.
At the war's end the Allies burned Hitler's uniforms, amid seriocomic secrecy, fearing they might become the "holy cloth" of a Nazi resurgence. But these fears have proved groundless.
Now the Allies treat Hitler's personal possessions as they would those of any other German. The Bavarian Government was permitted recently to return to Hitler's former house keeper, Anni Winter, two autographed luxury edition copies of "Mein Kampf", one of Hitler's briefcases and several Hitler watercolors and sketches. The court handling the case ruled, "these items have sensation value only, but are of no historic importance".
The chief beneficiary from Hitler's death certificate will be his sister, Mrs. Paula Hitler-Wolf. Penni less and living on public relief, Hitler's sister has been battling for six years for a share in the Führer's s sizable fortune and personal effects, all impounded by the Bavarian Gov ernment. Oddly enough. Hitler's native country—Austria, has pushed the hardest to give Hitler a definite post war legal status. The Austrians have ruled that Hitler was a war criminal, and they have pressed the Berchtesgaden court for a death certificate to lay the legal basis for seizing Hitler's property in Austria.
Russian newspapers noted on 10 September the probability that Hitler was still alive. The idea was even put forward that Hitler was in hiding in Germany.
|Allies Say Hitler Dead |
The Courier-Mail [Brisbane, Qld]
10 September 1945
NEW YORK: British and American authorities in Germany who have been seeking evidence about Hitler's fate are convinced he is dead. However, the Russians continue to believe that he may be alive, but their suggestion is not backed by evidence, says the "New York Times' Washington correspondent.
Hitler Legend Growing
Advocate [Burnie, Tas]
12 September 1945
Hamburg: The British Intelligence Service has issued a warning that the "Hitler Legend" is growing in Germany because unfounded rumors that lie has been seen have recently been appearing, in certain newspapers.
It says that the rumours merely encourage creation of the Hitler legend, which those concerned with the occupation of Germany and the re-education of Germans are anxious to avoid.
British Intelligence officers denied reports that Hitler had been seen in the British zone in Germany.
On the other hand, Berlin's Lord Mayor [Dr. Karl Maron] said he definitely believed that Hitler was alive.
He added that it had been proved that none of the five bodies found near the Chancellery shelters was Hitler's.
Harry Collins, a news reporter in London, on 15 September wrote that while there were reports that the charred body of Hitler had been found by the Russians in the Berlin Chancellery, the question remained "Is Hitler alive?" "The welter of speculation grows with each new 'clue' and 'disclosure'. The answer is simple-his conquerors do not know". Collins wrote that the Russians had never accepted as proved that the body they found in the Chancellery grounds was Hitler’s. He reported that British Army authorities had declared that the latest rumor that Hitler was seen in Hamburg was "completely unfounded" and that they denied that the British were searching for Hitler.
"Yet", Collins noted, "it is known that British intelligence is far from convinced that Hitler is dead".
-- Harry Collins, 'Is Hitler Dead or Alive?' "The New York Times", 16 September 1945.
"Izvestia" ran a story that Hitler and Braun were alive and well, and living in a moated castle in Westphalia, in the British Occupation Zone of Germany. An American journalist in Germany believed that in throwing out names of such countries as Spain and Argentina, Stalin was probably just paying off old political grievances against Franco and other neutrals. But, in having a go at the British he was virtually accusing them of harboring a living Hitler. Dick White, head of counter-intelligence in the British Zone, described the situation as "intolerable". In September he would turn to Hugh Trevor-Roper to investigate the Death of Hitler.
General Eisenhower certainly did not help matters regarding Hitler still being alive, when on 6 October, it was reported by the Netherlands radio that he had told Dutch newspaper men that there was "reason to believe" that Hitler was still alive. The broadcast, recorded by the 'British Broadcasting Corporation' [BBC] in London, said that one of the correspondents accompanying Eisenhower on a visit to The Hague had asked Eisenhower if he thought Hitler was dead.
-- "Associated Press", 'Hitler Believed Alive, Eisenhower Tells Dutch', "The New York Times", 7 October 1945.
"The Associated Press" [AP] in London on 7 October reported Eisenhower’s remark that there is "reason to believe" that Hitler may still be alive, reversed his previous opinion that Hitler was dead. According to "The Times" on 8 October, Eisenhower had said to foreign journalists during a visit to the Netherlands: “Even though I initially believed that Hitler was dead, there are now reasons to assume that he is still alive.”
-- "Associated Press", London, 7 October 1945, 'Ike Believes Hitler Lives', "The Stars and Stripes", 8 October 1945, File: Hitler, Adolf, XE003655 [NAID 7359097].
In an editorial published on 8 October in the London newspaper, "News Chronicle", commenting on Eisenhower’s remark that Hitler may still be alive, Gallman observed:
"General Eisenhower’s remark that Hitler may still be alive is disturbing. It is certain there are still elements in Germany which would be only too glad to gather clandestinely round their old leader or-if that is not possible-at least to keep alive a Hitler myth. Nothing could do more to retard Germany’s return to normality than the belief that the Führer is still in the land of the living. It would have been better if the general had said less, or said more. If there is just a faint doubt, then the less it is publicized the sooner it will be forgotten. If on the other there are solid grounds for believing that Hitler is not dead, we should be told more about them. It is a matter in which everyone is interested and the public would like to hear at least such of the evidence as will not hamper the hunt".
-- Incoming Telegram, No. 10492, Gallman, London to the Secretary of State, 8 October 1945, File: 862.002/10-845, Hitler, Adolf, Central Decimal Files [NAID 302021].
On 8 October the American Military Attaché in London sent a cable to United States Forces, European Theater [USFET] indicating that the British War Office had requested information as to whether press reports quoting Eisenhower’s statement was based on any recent information gathered by American agencies. The military attaché cabled again on 11 October, reporting that the bulk of British press on 7 October published prominently the statement reportedly made by Eisenhower to Dutch journalists at The Hague on 6 October to the effect that he has reason to believe Hitler was still alive. He also reported the story was broadcast by Hilversum radio [Dutch radio station in Hilversum] and also by the BBC.
The Attaché requested directions, asking whether he should deny to the War Office that Eisenhower even discussed the mater or shall he say Dutch must have misunderstood. USFET responded three days later, stating that Eisenhower spoke with representatives of Dutch Press aboard his train during his visit to The Hague. In this purely informal conversation the newsmen brought up question as to whether or not the General thought Hitler was dead or still alive. There was no speech or official statement made. Col. Edward R. Lee, the General’s aid, was present on this occasion and states, "General Eisenhower never said Hitler was alive; he merely said he could not prove he was dead".
The Central Queensland Herald [Rockhampton, Qld]
11 October 1945
LONDON 8 October - There are rumours all over Sweden that Hitler and Martin Bormann, Deputy Führer of Nazi Germany, are hiding there.
Competent Swedish officials deny they could possibly be there.
The rumours have arisen as the result of an official announcement that Bormann will be tried in hia absence with 23 major war leaders and General Eisenhower's statement that he believed that Hitler was alive.
-- Headquarters, U.S. Forces European Theater, Staff Message Control, Incoming Classified Message, Ref No. 65954, Office of Military Attaché London signed Tindall to US Forces European Theater Main, October 8, 1945, File: 091.1/1, 1945, Classified General Correspondence, 1945-46 [NAID 5665349], RG 498; Headquarters, U.S. Forces European Theater, Staff Message Control, Incoming Classified Message, Ref No. 65972, Office of Military Attaché London signed Tindall to US Forces European Theater Main, 11 October 1945, ibid.; Headquarters, U.S. Forces European Theater, Staff Message Control, Outgoing Classified Message, Ref No. SC-5486, US Forces European Theater Main signed Eisenhower to Military Attaché United States Embassy London for Tindall, 11 October 1945, ibid.
Hitler Would Like It
News [Adelaide, SA]
9 October 1945
Is Hitler, War Criminal No. 1, alive or dead? This is a question which ought to arouse much livelier general interest than it seems to be doing. A conclusive answer was not given after the occupation of Berlin. Russia has for some time been doubtful about Hitler's death. Now General Eisenhower, who is nobody's fool, is credited with having said that there is good reason to believe Hitler is alive.
If at large, the one-time Führer should be well pleased with the state of affairs in the world. The kind of craziness that has broken out is just what he would wish for his victorious enemies. Hitler would, for example, be pleased to see America, Britain, and Russia so much at odds. He would be pleased to know of the restless condition of Europe. He would be pleased over the trouble brewing in Palestine, and diverted to find Jews in Germany issuing "demands" and Jews in America blackguarding Britain. He would be pleased to find India and the Dutch East Indies so much on edge. He would be pleased to hear of plotting against de Gaulle and Communist leaders in France, and to find the trial of his offsider Laval disgusting French public opinion. He would be pleased to see Britain, the dogged foe who dragged him down, still on short rations and facing vast economic problems.
He would be pleased to find his name omitted from the list of Nazi war criminals for trial, although the name of Martin Bormann appears. Bormann is missing also. There is no more real proof that he is alive than there is proof that Hitler is dead.
When the accused are lined up in the dock on 19 November 1945 only Hitler and his deputy Martin Bormann will be among the top-flight Nazi leaders not accounted for-dead or alive. If Hitler ever turns up, he will be given a special trial but the charges will be substantially the same. Bormann is still untraced. The indictment will be served on him by periodic broadcasts and newspaper announcements until the date of the trial.
Had Hitler Lived
South Western Advertiser [Perth, WA]
23 August 1946
NEW YORK: Had Hitler lived to stand trial as a war criminal, the tale he told would probably have been the gem of them all.
At least, that was the opinion of Prosecutor Robert Jackson on his return to Washington after playing his part in the Nuremburg trials.
Almost all the defendants from Göring down proudly admitted that they openly defied Hitler. In the same breath they recalled how Hitler threatened to eliminate them, yet none could explain by what miracle he was saved from the Führer's wrath.
Jackson said their attempts to square off made him feel that, had Hitler lived to stand trial, he would have tried to prove he was even more anti-Nazi than others, that he reluctantly and at great sacrifice assumed power only to prevent Göring, Himmler and the others from doing the many terrible things they had planned.
It must be left to the Allied Intelligence services to find Hitler if he is actually living some sort of existence in a hide-out. And it is to be hoped that in the meantime the nations that fought him will find something else--a spirit of comradeship and trust that would go a long way toward removing the problems that cause so much anxiety today.
At Frankfurt on 12 October Eisenhower, explaining the alleged remarks he had made to a Dutch newspaper, denied that he had ever said that Hitler was alive but agreed with Lt. Gen. Walter B. Smith, his Chief of Staff, who declared that "‘no human being can say he [Hitler] is conclusively dead". Eisenhower said what he had said was that "There is every presumption that Hitler is dead but not a bit of positive proof that he is dead". He added that the Russians had been unable to unearth "one single bit" of tangible evidence of Hitler’s death.
-- Wireless to "The New York Times", 'Eisenhower Didn’t Say He Believes Hitler Alive', "The New York Times", 13 October 1945.
In the House of Commons in London, on 15 October 1945, Hector McNeil, Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs told a questioner that "The Government has no evidence proving conclusively either that Hitler is dead or is alive". He added that investigations were continuing.
Search for Hitler Discontinued
The Cessnock Eagle and South Maitland Recorder [NSW]
23 October 1945
A British Intelligence Officer in Berlin said that British and American investigators had notified London and Washington that no evidence whatever has turned up to show that Hitler was still alive, and unless new instructions were received, the hunt for Hitler would be considered ended.
Otto Abetz is credited as one of the sources behind the theory that Hitler had escaped Germany and was living in Argentina, thanks to a quote given to French tabloid "France Soir" on 27 October 1945 – six months after Hitler had died – saying Hitler was "certainly not dead". The newspaper extract, which is included in the FBI records, says Abetz went on to say that Hitler "was not a coward – I believe one day he will return".
Hitler Is "Probably Dead"
Army News [Darwin, NT]
2 November 1945
LONDON: After having studied a military intelligence report, which will be published soon, the British Cabinet has decided that Hitler is "probably dead," reports the diplomatic correspondent of the "Daily Express".
The hunt for Hitler has been going on in the British zone of Germany since V-E Day. Hundreds of Intelligence officers and field security police have followed up tens of thousands of inquiries in Germany's big cities and on lonely farms. Britons and Americans have travelled thousands of miles chasing clues, including hundreds of false trails. Some were the result of genuine misunderstanlding. Others were started by under-cover Nazis determined to maintain the legend that Hitler was alive. The joint Intelligence committee of the British chief of staff which was directing the search, decided that the likelihood that Hitler was alive was slender. They believe that one of the charred bodies in the Reich Chancellely in Berlln, which the Russians found was Hitler's, or that his followers buried him secretly.
General Eisenhower, who was misquoted by a Dutch journalist when he was reported to have stated that Hitler was alive, takes the same view. The Russians are not so sure,
British Intelligence men believe the only two possibilities left are:
 Hitler may be hiding in a big city. This is discounted by German readiness to betray former leaders.
 He may be among 12.000 SS men and Nazi lunatics lurking in the mountains of Bavaria. It is believed that Hitler's health rules out this likelihood.
While there is plenty of food in the so-called Redoubt there is little shelter, and winter cold will drive the last-ditchers out of the mountains before long. The Allies are waiting for them.
The British Army Intelligence went to a lot of trouble the other day to prove circumstantially that Hitler was dead, and a very good case was made out that he was, assuming that proof could be given of all the circumstances quoted.
Actually, one possibility stands in the way of the story being completely true, and that is the unlikelihood of Hitler having the courage to shoot himself. Men of his ilk have a tremendous faith in their own infallibility, and find it a very difficult thing to acknowledge defeat, and suicide would be a confession of defeat.
On the other hand, it could be argued that in a paroxysm of wrath, of the variety to which Hitler was no stranger, any thing could happen, but in such paroxysms the anger is directed at other people, least of all against the victim himself.
LONDON, 6 November 1945: Following the British announcement that Hitler and Eva Braun, whom he married on 29 April, comnitted suicide in the Chancellery Bunker on 30 Apil, their bodies burned burned outside the Bunker hundreds of Allied officers and men began an unprecedented "body hunt" said "Reuters" Berlin correspondent..
Yesterday, investigators swarmed around the entrance to the Bunker and through the gardens, searching for ashes, graves and bones.
A.A.P. 7 November 1945: The search for the bodies of Hitler and Eva Braun, who are now officially presumed dead by the British, has been intensified in the tunnels under the Chancellery in Berlin.
In the Chancellery garden are two unnamed graves beside three burned petrol tins, which lend colour to the report that the bodies of Hitler and his wife were burned.
Nearby, scores of German work men are shifting debris in a secret tunnel whose rat-infested floor is littered with books, documents, uniforms, and furniture. It is widely believed in Berlin that in this underground chamber lies the final solution of the Hitler mystery.
The Australian Worker [Sydney, NSW]
7 November 1945
The American Joint Chiefs-of-Staff are not convinced of Hitler's death and have ordered General Marcus Clark, commander of the American zone in Austria, Hitler's native state, to attempt to locate and arrest the former Führer.
The order, which is part of a plan to reconstruct Austria along democratic lines, says that the Joint Chiefs-of-Staff are not certain that accounts of Hitler's death during the last days before the fall of Berlin are true, and General Clark has been ordered to arrest and hold Hitler and all other persons who participated in the planning or carrying out of Nazi enterprises resulting in atrocities and war crimes.
The New York "Herald-Tribune" points out that these directions given to Generál Mark Clark indicate that the United States Government believes that Hitler is still alive.
Reds Reopen Hitler Case
The Daily News [Perth, WA]
1 December 1945
BERLIN: The Russians have reopened the Hitler case, says the "Daily Mail" man in Berlin.
They are reinvestigating the burnt Chancellery in Berlin and examining the Bunker in which Hitler and Eva Braun arc supposed to have suicided.
The Russians have established a day and night guard over the entrance to the Chancellery. OGPU [secret police] officers are repeatedly visiting the Bunker and staying for long periods.
On one occasion they were accompanied by an officer believed to be a Frenchman.
Explosions have been heard from one end of the enormous Chancellery, from the area where, according to rumors, there may be a secret tunnel from Hitler's private suite to the Bunker.
LONDON: The search for the bodies of Eva Braun and Hitler, who are now officially presumed dead by the British, has been intensified in the tunnels under the Chancellery in Berlin.
In the Chancellery garden are two unnamed graves beside three burned Petrol tins, which lend colour to the report that the bodies Hitler and his wife were burned.
Nearby, scores of German workmen are sifting debris in a secret tunnel whose rat infested floor is littered with books, documents, uniforms, and furniture.
-- Army News [Darwin, NT] 12 November 1945
The activities of the OGPU are being kept a strict secret, but they are believed to be acting on instructions and information from Moscow, according to the correspondent of the "Daily Mail," who was not allowed to enter the Bunker. He says the city is buzzing with rumors that the Russians are about to clean up the whole circumstances surrounding the deaths.
Says the correspondent:
"It all adds up to a very mysterious story".
More Hitler Enigmas
The Advertiser [Adelaide, SA]
3 January 1946
The riddle of Hitler's death continues to provide material for reports about the Nazi leader.
More enigmas concerning Hitler are increasingly cropping up. A report at present sweeping Paris is that his charred body has been found. Although the newspaper "France Soir" circulated the rumor, it says that it cannot be fully confirmed.
"France Soir" cites a well-informed Berlin citizen as having stated that a German woman guided American secret service men to a garden near the Chancellery where they round a steel plaque covering an underground concrete shelter, but there was no entrance to tbe shelter.
The garden was in the Russian zone, and accordingly the information was passed on to Allied Control. British, American and Russian representatives later went to the mystery garden and found that Red Army troops including high ranking officers, had forced an entrance and exhumed Hitler's body and a suitcase containing documents.
"France Soir" adds that the Russian High Command later secretly told the Allies that the body was unquestionably that of Hitler, and that it had been identified by a dentist. The Russians asked that the discovery be kept secret because the body had evidently been hidden after the entrance of the Red Army into Berlin.
Hitler's Body Not Found
The Sydney Morning Herald [NSW]
3 January 1946
LONDON: A report of the discovery of Hitler's body, which was published in "France Soir" yesterday,is denied by British Intelligence officers in Berlin, who say that they have no evidence of the supposed discovery.
New Doubts on Hitler's Death
Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate [NSW]
6 June 1946
NEW YORK: New doubts whether Hitler actually died in the vaults of the Reichs Chancellery as the Russian Army swept into Berlin in May, 1945, have arisen among both the British and Russian Intelligence services according to the Berlin correspondent of the "North American Newspaper Alliance".
"In the past few days", he says, "the Russians have roped off the air raid shelter where Hitler was supposed to have died and are carrying out digging operations in the greatest secrecy".
The British heard of their activities, and immediately assigned three high-ranking Intelligence officers to attend as observers.
The correspondent says he visited the tiny roomn where Hitler and his wife, Eva Braun, were stated to have shot themselves, and found the Russians, in the presence of the British officers, testing bloodstains on the floor. The Russians had also removed the arm from the couch where Hitler's head was supposed to have slumped after his death.
LIFE photographer William Vandivert was the first Western photographer to gain access to Hitler's Führerbunker after the fall of Berlin, and a handful of his pictures of the Bunker and the ruined city were published in LIFE magazine in July 1945. In his typed notes to his editors in New York, Vandivert described in detail what he saw.
For example, of the fourth slide in this gallery, he wrote:
"Pix of [correspondents] looking at sofa where Hitler and Eva shot themselves. Note bloodstains on arm of soaf [sic] where Eva bled. She was seated at far end . . . Hitler sat in middle and fell forward, did not bleed on sofa. This is in Hitler's sitting room".
Remarkable stuff — but, as it turns out, it's probably only about half right. Most historians are now quite certain that Braun committed suicide by biting into a cyanide capsule, rather than by gunshot — meaning the bloodstains on the couch might well be Hitler's, after all.
There is only a small amount of blood on the actual sofa, and no blood splattered on the wall,
which seems odd if Hitler shot himself through in the head.
There are also conflicting reports on how the bodies were situated and whether or not a gun shot was heard.
Note, also, the unidentified gun on the sofa.
"Many Germans still believe that Hitler is alive," the correspondent savs.
"Almost anywhere in Berlin you can hear Germans saying: 'They can't prove Hitler is dead, so he must be alive. He must lhave escaped some how'.
"There can certainly be nothing final about the mystery of Hitler's fate while there are secret British and Russian digging parties and blood-testing experiments".
Another Hitler Story
Barrier Miner [Broken Hill, NSW]
2 September 1946
PARIS: A former agent for Germany has offered to reveal the whereabouts of Hitler.
The ex-agent, Max de Riancourt, a Frenchman, claimed that Hitler was alive in the Tyrol. When arrested de Riancourt was attached to Allied intelligence in Italy.
"I have a proposition - in return for an undertaking by the court that my service in the Allied cause will be taken into consideration, I will give detailed information on four points".
The points are:
- The hiding place of Hitler and a number of other Nazi officials.
"I can lead you to Hitler. He is in the Tyrol".
- The hiding place of Marcel Deat, French traitor.
"I had lunch with him recently".
- The hiding place of two different groups of French paintings, gold, jewelry and other articles worth many millions.
- The organisation of the German Werewolf network in France.
It has not yet been decided what steps will be taken.
Adolf - Ghost Of
The Beverley Times [WA]
8 April 1954
Rumors that Hitler is still living bob up now and then. . . . At last, however, that elusive figure has been provided with a ghost!
The phantom of the late Adolf is said to "walk" the corridors of Landsberg Prison, where he wrote "Mein Kampf," but nobody has yet succeeded in holding the apparition in conversation.
Hitler Now "Dead"
The Canberra Times [ACT]
6 May 1963
MOSCOW: The Russians have admitted that they recovered Hitler's charred body in his Bunker when they reached Berlin at the end o£ the war.
After a silence of 18 years, the admission was made by Marshal Sokolovsky to Cornelius Ryan, American author of the best seller, "The Longest Day". Ryan has just completed a two-weeks study of secret archives of the Red Army's final assault on Berlin.
Marshal Sokolovsky was Marshal Zhukov's Chief of Operations during the battle of Berlin and until recently was Chief of Staff of the Soviet Armed Forces. Ryan was allowed to interview all surviving Russian commanders of the Battle of Berlin except Marshal Zhukov, who is in disgrace. The account of Hitler's death given to Ryan stated that a charred body, presumably Hitler's, was found in the Bunker wrapped in blanket. A bullet had entered the right temple and knocked out some teeth. The Russian's then found Hitler's dentists and on the basis of their records they identified the teeth as Hitler's.
It was also indicated that the body was not charred beyond recognition.
Mystery Over Remains of Eva Braun
The Canberra Times [ACT]
By Stewart Tendler
The Times, London, through AAP
11 July 1981
Thirty-six years after World War II, fresh mystery has risen over the fate of Eva Braun, Hitler's mistress and wife for one night.
According to an eminent American scientist, the body the Russians identified as that of Fräulein Braun was probably someone else. Professor Raidar Sognnaes, recently retired from the school of medicine and dentistry at the University of California in Los Angeles, helped to confirm Hitler's corpse beyond question but he raises crucial doubts about the woman's body found near the Berlin Bunker where Hitler committed suicide. He questions the identity on the grounds that "very severe exposure to fire caused cranio-facial bone destruction and charring beyond recognition . . .", but despite this a dental-bridge with white plastic teeth was supposed to have survived intact. This crucial piece of dental evidence the Russians used to identify the body was not found with the corpse but added later, he says.
A piece of bridging attributed to the corpse had been made for Eva Braun but never fitted. It was still in a dental workshop when she died. The man who made the bridge and the dental assistant who should have fitted it were tracked down by Professor Sognnaes. He has produced evidence from Mrs Heusermann, now in her 50s, who said the bridge, had been made for Eva Braun in the dental laboratory where she worked in 1945, but was never fitted. She says the Soviets, found it in the basement dental office in the Reich Chancellery, not in Eva Braun's body.The Russians have told Professor Sognnaes the bridge has been destroyed.
Professor Sognnaes, acknowledged expert on the remains of Hitler and Martin Bormann, presented his findings to an international forensic science conference in Norway. Professor Keith Simpson, one of Britain's leading forensic experts, described him as a first-class dental research worker. Professor Sognnaes would not go as far as suggesting Eva Braun is still alive but suggests there is an enigma about what happened following the last hours in Hitler's Bunker. It is possible she still lies unidentified somewhere under East Berlin. In 1947 the Poles said she had been captured by the Americans in Austria and was last seen disappearing towards Czechoslovakia.
Last week Professor Sognnaes said:
"I don't want to make up a fanciful scenario of her being smuggled out. I am not suggesting she is alive and well. It is possible another body was found and attributed to her. Based on the forensic evidence there is no basis to claim they recovered her body".
According, to witnesses in the Bunker of the Reich Chancellery, Hitler and Eva Braun killed themselves on 30 April 1945. Hitler shot and poisoned himself while Eva Braun took a potassium cyanide capsule - though no survivor ac tually witnessed her suicide. Bodies were brought up to the surface and burnt in the shallow depression created near a small crater. A few days later they were discovered by a detachment of the Red Army.
The British captured the eye-witnesses from the Bunker. The reconstruction of the last days of the Third Reich which flowed from them became the basis of a report to the military commanders of the city and eventually led to Professor Hugh Trevor-Roper's famous book on the events, "The Last Days of Hitler". The conclusive evidence about the corpses was held by the Americans and the Russians. In the case of Hitler and Eva Braun the Americans captured their dentist, while the Russians had two bodies and two dental workers. For years the Russians were coy about what they had found. Stalin refused to reveal what they knew but in 1968 Lev Bezymensky, a Russian journalist and former intelligence officer, spelt out the findings in a book published in the West.
The bodies of Hitler and Braun, discovered by members of SMERSH, Soviet counter-intelligence, were examined in an autopsy. Both bodies were badly burnt and dental evidence was crucial to identification in both cases. Professor Sognnaes interviewed the two dental workers who now live in West Germany after being held prisoner by the Russians for 10 years.
"The bridging work was found in the factory. The bridge was done but they did not put it in Eva Braun's mouth".
In his opinion the intact plastic facings to the teeth in the bridge would have exploded in the heat of the fire if the body had been that of Braun.
Professor Sognnaes points out that there are contradictions in the evidence of the eye-witnesses about the movement of the bodies from the Bunker. Eva Braun's dead body was burnt yet the corpse found by the Russians had 16 shell splinters and had freshly bled. The Russian confusion is borne out by one senior British intelligence source who said last week that the Western Allies had met at the site both the ordinary Russians who had taken over the Bunker and the special team assembled by Stalin to track down Hitler. Material had been simply scooped up and sent East.
Professor Sognnaes said:
"It is possible that Eva Braun escaped. After all, there were a number of men in the Bunker unaccounted for who could have helped her. No one actually witnessed her death".
There was no suggestion that Hitler might have escaped with her.
The Soviet Union fell for a Nazi trick and never recovered the remains of Adolf Hitler after the fall of Berlin in 1945, a specialist in forensic dentistry has concluded after 15 years of research.
Dr. Lester Luntz said Hitler's dentist and other top Nazi officials conspired to dupe Soviet officials Into believing the charred remains of two bodies were those of the dictator and his wife, Eva Braun.
Hitler and his wife committed suicide 30 April 1945, and their bodies were later burned. Hitler had ordered the bodies destroyed because he didn't want his remains to fall Into Soviet hands. It wasn't until 1968 that the Soviet Union revealed evidence that It possessed Hitler's remains, basing its claim on skeletal evidence and interviews with the dictator's dentist and dental assistant.
"It Is my personal belief that the Russians didn't get Hitler's remains, nor did they get Eva Braun's remains," Luntz said, arguing that the dictator committed suicide and his body was never found.
His conclusion is based on transcripts of interviews with Hitler's dentist, an Interview with the dental assistant and discussions with Hitler experts. He also Interviewed Albert Speer, Germany's armament minister during World War II, who shared the same dentist with Hitler.
"The reason I got involved In the story was because Adolf Hitler had for a dentist a man named Hugo Johannes Blaschke," Luntz said. "He was a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Dental School. I'm also a graduate [of that school]".
Luntz, an author, professor and forensic dental expert, said Blaschke, who died In 1957, was a colonel In the Gestapo. As a member of the elite secret police corps, Blaschke was a friend of Hitler's and was dedicated to keeping the dictator's body out of Soviet hands, Luntz said. Luntz said Blaschke "conveniently lost" Hitler's dental records, but was able to provide his captors with details of the German leader's dental work. His dental assistant, Käthe Heusermann, also provided the Soviets with a detailed account of Hitler's dental work and was able to draw a picture of the teeth from memory.
Luntz believes that Nazi leaders planted the body of a Hitler look-alike near the Bunker and claimed that man's dental records were Hitler's in order to confuse the Americans and Soviets.
-- The Cincinnati Enquirer
27 February 1983
New Theory: Body in Bunker "Not Hitler's"
The Canberra Times [ACT]
23 September 1984
LONDON: The body discovered by Soviet troops at Hitler's Bunker may not have been that of the Nazi Germany leader. According to a leading US dental expert, the Soviet troops found a double and Hitler was buried elsewhere, perhaps in the Tiergarten. This theory was put to the International Association of Forensic Sciences in Oxford yesterday, "The Times of London", reports. A professor of oral diagnosis at the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine, Dr Lester Luntz, said Hitler's closest aides had been instructed to ensure his body did not fall in the hands of the Soviet Union.
"There is no Soviet statement of positive identification", Dr Luntz said.
"The Soviet autopsy report said the teeth were the most important anatomical finding for identification but Hitler's dental records were never found. Duplicate X-rays, allegedly of Hitler's head, lacked positive substantial proof of their authenticity. There was no mention of X-rays in the Soviet autopsy report although a Soviet author has said an assistant to Hitler's dentist gave Soviet security officers Hitler's dental X-rays. But the assistant and Hugo Johannes Blaschke, Hitler's dentist, were ardent Nazis, loyal to the Führer, who would have done all that was possible to keep Hitler out of the hands of Soviet troops".
Dr Luntz said Blaschke's description of Hitler's teeth was incomplete when he gave it from memory, yet he was able to recite perfectly details of Martin Bormann's teeth.
"SS Major Otto Günsche, Hitler's adjutant, had been responsible for burning Hitler's body, Dr Luntz said.
"The major had told Colonel Eugene Bird, former Spandau Prison commandant, that the Soviet troops did not find Hitler's body".
As the Third Reich collapsed in the spring of 1945, the Russians were the first to enter Berlin and capture Adolf Hitler's Bunker.
"Soviet soldiers dug deep into the rubble of the Reich Chancellery for Hitler’s corpse. They did not find it," stated the 14 May 1945 issue of TIME magazine.
Then, the Soviet Union made a series of contradictory statements or lies concerning Hitler's death.
On 23 May 1945 SMERSH reportedly sent a report by courier from Marshal Zhukov to Stalin which contained a summary of the autopsy and investigation into Hitler's death. The details of the autopsy and subsequent odonatological ID were passed on to General Dwight D. Eisenhower by Russian officers who confirmed to Ike that a cremated corpse, which had been dug up outside the Führerbunker and examined by Russian pathologists, had been identified as almost certainly Hitler.
Again on 6 June Zhukov's staff officers assured Ike's staff that Hitler's body had been discovered, exhumed, and scientifically ID'd. On this same date the Russians held an informal press conference in Berlin at which war correspondents from the U.S., Great Britain, and France were present. An officer from Zhukov's staff disclosed details of the search for Hitler and the finding of the body and subsequent identification.
However, on 9 June 1945 the Russians reversed their position and categorically denied finding Hitler, and stated that it was their belief that Hitler had not been located and was probably still alive.
Stalin announced to Truman during lunch in Potsdam on 17 July 1945, that Hitler did not commit suicide but had probably escaped.
After that, the Russians released photographs of what they claimed to be Hitler's corpse in front of the Reich Chancellery.
Finally, they asserted that Hitler's burnt remains, together with the body of his mistress Eva Braun, were discovered on 4 May, by Soviet soldiers outside the Bunker, in the garden.
After 50 years, Russian officials said the photos of Hitler's corpse were part of authentic military film footage from the Moscow Central Archive. But the photos created more problems than they solved. The main question is: whose body is really in the pictures - was it Adolf Hitler or his double? If it actually was Hitler, then the photos [or film footage] must have been taken by someone inside the Bunker before Hitler's corpse was burned with gasoline in the Chancellery garden.
It is assumed that Red Army soldiers took the photos just after they captured Berlin.
On 17 September 1982, Lev A. Bezymensky, a Russian historian, stated that later that same day, Soviet troops found the actual charred bodies of Hitler and his wife, Eva Braun, who committed suicide with him.
No other photos of Hitler's body were ever released by the Russians, who insist they discovered his corpse and performed several autopsies by Chief Forensic Pathologist Dr. Faust Sherovsky and Anatomical Pathologist Major Anna Marantz at the Russian pathological lab in Berlin-Buch, to positively identify him. How and why such an extremely important forensic investigation could have been conducted in the 20th century, without extensive photographic evidence, remains one of the great mysteries of modern history.
A part of the skull was absent, presumably blown away by Hitler's suicide shot, but what remained of his jaw coincided with his dental records, a fact reportedly confirmed when the Russians showed his surviving dental work to the captured assistants of Hitler's dentist.
One of the disadvantages Hugh Trevor-Roper had when he did his investigation of the death of Hitler was that he was unable to interview virtually all of the Führerbunker Germans that were credible eyewitnesses to many key events. Those that had not been killed attempting to break out of Berlin were captured by the Russians, immediately held captive, and were not allowed to speak with any of the Allied powers. Thus, Trevor-Roper's belief that Hitler shot himself in the mouth came from one key source, Artur Axmann.
It is the belief of many that, when Axmann observed blood on both temples of Hitler, it was the entrance and exit wounds produced when Hitler shot himself in the right temple and the bullet exited the left temple, not from extreme pressure that blew out the temples when Hitler shot himself in the mouth as Axmann believed. To further complicate the matter, Axmann even admitted not seeing any trauma to the back of the head which would suggest that a gunshot to the mouth would be a through-and-through wound out the back of the head.
But Stalin remained suspicious. In 1946 a second secret mission was dispatched to Berlin. In the same crater from which Hitler's body had been recovered, the new team found what it believed was the missing skull fragment with a bullet exit wound through it.
In 1993, the Russian state archive revealed that it had found what officials believed to be a piece of the Nazi dictator’s skull, complete with damage from a gunshot wound, and other bone fragments, in a cardboard box marked “Blue Ink for Pens.”
Investigators from other countries, however, were skeptical of the skull’s authenticity. "New Scientist" reported at the time that French forensic dental experts concluded that the grisly trophy actually came from another corpse, one they believed that SMERSH officials may have shipped to Moscow in 1945 and passed off as Hitler’s remains, in an attempt to placate Stalin’s blood lust.
Teething Troubles Over Hitler’s Body
By Tara Patel
27 March 1993
Pieces of skull recently displayed by Russia’s national archives probably did not come from Adolf Hitler’s body, claims a team of French forensic scientists.
Although the fragments had been in storage in Moscow since 1945, the researchers say the German dictator’s real remains stayed in Berlin and that scientists who performed the "official" autopsy shipped an "official" corpse to Moscow under tremendous political pressure from Stalin.
The French team of forensic odontologists, or tooth specialists, at the Institute for Forensic and Social Medicine in Lille base their theory on a report by the forensic medical commission of the Soviet army, which performed autopsies on what it concluded to be the corpses of Hitler and his wife, Eva Braun. Both committed suicide in the Berlin Chancellery’s Bunker on 30 April 1945 and were partially cremated and buried the same day. The report of the autopsies, performed in May 1945, and accompanying photographs were kept secret until 1968, when they were published by a Soviet journalist.
Five years later Reidar Sognnaes, an American odontologist who had studied a report by Hitler’s dentist –arrested and interrogated by American troops in 1945– concluded that the photographs indeed showed the German leader’s maxilla, complete with removable upper bridge and false teeth. But other experts disputed this and questions remained about whether the Soviet team had had any of Hitler’s dental records on which to base their conclusions.
In the French journal "Semaine des Hopitaux", the Lille team, led by Eric Laurier, says that the Soviet forensic scientists probably knew the badly burnt and unrecognisable male corpse they were given by soldiers for the autopsy was not Hitler’s. They say the scientists deliberately put two clues into their report so the truth would eventually come out.
Although the Soviet report describes 14 teeth in the corpse’s lower jaw –matching the dentist’s records– the authors twice wrote that there were 15 teeth. Didier Gosset, one of the authors of the study, says the discrepancy in the number of teeth could not be a mistake because the report took three days to complete and was signed by five experts. He says the Russians may well have had Hitler’s false upper teeth but they were not sure whose body they had. He says that a mix-up was likely because the bodies were uncovered by soldiers with a number of others in a similar, partially cremated state.
They say historic evidence indicates that Hitler’s recognisable remains were actually uncovered at the end of May 1945 in a forest near Berlin.
Finally, in 2009, a DNA analysis by University of Connecticut researchers revealed the skull actually was that of a woman between the ages of 20 and 40 [It was not Eva Braun’s, since she reportedly died from cyanide poisoning, not a bullet].
According to Ian Kershaw the corpses of Braun and Hitler were thoroughly burned when the Red Army found them, and only a lower jaw with dental work could be identified as Hitler's remains.
DNA Test Sparks Controversy Over Hitler's Remains
By ABC News
9 December 2009
The controversy surrounding Adolf Hitler's skull fragments is a little embarrassing for the Russian secret services. In 2000 they presented a skull fragment and a piece of jawbone that they claimed were the remains of the Nazi leader. It was an attempt to quash outlandish rumors that he had escaped alive at the end of World War II.
But in October US researchers presented the results of DNA tests on the skull and said it definitely didn't belong to the dictator because it was from a female. Scientists had already harbored doubts about the authenticity of the piece of bone because it was thinner than a male's usually is.
"The bone seemed very thin -- male bone tends to be more robust. It corresponds to a woman between the ages of 20 and 40," said Nick Bellantoni of the University of Connecticut. The position of the exit wound at the back of the skull also made scientists suspicious because eyewitnesses said Hitler had committed suicide by firing into his right temple.
Russia's FSB intelligence service, the successor to the KGB, has now rejected the doubts.
"The bones are definitely Hitler's", Vasily Khristoforov, the director of the FSB archives, told the newspaper Izvestiya.
"These researchers never got in contact with us," Khristoforov said, adding, "with what could they have compared the DNA? Moscow is the only place with the mortal remains of Hitler."
However, Bellantoni said he was allowed to work on the skull for an hour. When he flew home from Moscow he had two samples in his luggage: a sample from the skull fragment and one sample of blood from the sofa on which Hitler is said to have shot himself.
Bellantoni was able to compare the bloodstains on the blood-stained fabric with photos the Soviets took after they seized Hitler's Bunker in Berlin. The stains had matched those in the photos. The research showed that the sofa blood DNA did not match the skull DNA. The sofa blood was male and the skull belonged to a woman, claimed Bellantoni.
Khristoforov insists that Soviet leader Josef Stalin himself had ordered a precise investigation if the bone pieces because he was not convinced Hitler was dead. The comparison of the jaw bones with X-ray photos of Hitler made in 1944 had satisfied Stalin that Hitler was dead.
The archive director said the corpses of Hitler and Eva Braun, Josef Göbbels and his wife and their six poisoned children had been destroyed on 4 April 1970.
"The order came from KGB chief Yuri Andropov, the later state and party leader," said Khristoforov.
The remains had been stored in the eastern German city of Magdeburg but had then been incinerated and the ash was scattered in the river.
"That was probably the right solution. Otherwise the burial site would have become a pilgrimage site for fascists who exist everywhere -- regrettably in Russia too".
However, Russian officials don't all agree on whether the bones are really Hitler's.
After the US research was revealed in October, the vice president of the Russian state archive, Vladimir Kozlov, said:
"No one claimed that was Hitler's skull".
Last Pictures of Hitler
All of the photos shown above were taken on 20 March 1945.
A photo of where the 20 March event took place. The boys were lined up from left to right
along the wall at the base of the back of the Reichs Chancellery
A rare and unusual still picture from a completely different angle.
The photographer had to climbed up on the wall and steps to take this shot.
Another photo of the 20 March ceremony.
This was taken just before Hitler congratulates the boys. Artur Axmann had already given the boys their Iron Crosses before Hitler arrived. All Hitler did was go down the row and shake hands and pat their faces. The windows of the dining room are right behind Axmann's saluting left arm. Right after the ceremony Hitler, Schaub and Bormann went to inspect the damage to the room and it was there that the very last photos were taken - one month and 10 days before Hitler committed suicide.
This is the cover of the 12 April issue of the "Völkischer Beobachter".
Obviously the photos were taken BEFORE 20 April if they appeared 8 days earlier in the paper. Hitler did decorate some Hitler Jugend boys on his birthday, the last issue of the "Völkischer Beobachter" dated 20 April 1945, mentions an awards presentation, but that ceremony took place in the Ehrenhof of the Chancellery and WAS NOT photographed.
This group photo, alleged to show Hitler leaving the Hitler Jugend ceremony heading to the Dining Hall where the final three photos will be taken....
.....was actually taken after a British air raid in November 1943, according to Julius Schaub, as related by David Irving in a review of the movie "Untergang".
These still photos of Hitler were the last ever taken of him [they are usually identified as taken in last two days before his suicide]. The movie cameraman did not follow Hitler and Julius Schaub into the dining room.
There is another photo taken at the same time that seems to have been forgotten. While Hitler and Schaub are looking at the damage, Bormann walks up and joins them and another photo is snapped.
This photo is very rarely published [the last time in German publications in the 60s and 70s] It is a semi close-up with Hitler in the middle with Bormann on the left and Schaub on the right, and may in fact be the last of the three photos taken inside the dining room.
Where's the Nazi gold? The mystery of still missing treasures plundered by the Nazis
By Warren Manger
5 November 2013
They are some of the greatest treasures the world has ever known, from priceless artworks to fabulous hoards of diamonds and vast reserves of gold.
And they have all been missing since the chaotic dying days of the Second World War.
The Nazis plundered loot from across Europe, and, as they faced defeat in 1945, frantically hid it from the advancing Allied forces.
Some were stashed away while other pieces were smuggled out of Berlin by high-ranking Hitler henchmen to fund their own escapes and new lives.
But as leading Nazis were killed or captured, the secret locations of much of the loot were lost forever.
This week it was revealed that a collection of 1,500 paintings worth £850 million had been found festering in a squalid apartment in Munich.
The collection, which included masterpieces by Picasso, Matisse and Chagall, had been hidden by Cornelius Gurlitt, the 80-year-old son of an art dealer trusted by the Nazis to dispose of seized artworks.
The US Holocaust Memorial Museum believes the Nazis seized as many 16,000 works of art as they pillaged their way across Europe during the 1930s and 1940s.
Along with Hitler’s own diamond collection and the entire gold reserves of the Reichsbank, these are just some of the most valuable Nazi treasures still missing:
The Amber Room
Before being stolen by the SS the Amber Room was one of Russia’s most famous heirlooms, a stunning chamber at the Tsarskoye Selo palace near St Petersburg that was covered in amber panels backed with gold and mirrors.
When the Germans invaded, the curators tried to hide the panels behind mundane wallpaper.
The disguise failed and in October 1941 German soldiers dismantled the Amber Room and shipped the panels to Königsberg Castle in East Prussia, where they went on display.
What happened to them next remains shrouded in mystery. The German official in charge of the panels claimed they were placed in crates and stored in a castle that burned down during an air raid.
But some experts believe the regime tried to ship the Amber Room out of the country, only for the ship carrying it to sink at the bottom of the Baltic Sea.
Others claim it was found by the advancing Red Army and hacked up and sold as souvenirs.
Most treasure hunters believe the panels, which are worth more than £150 million, were buried 6,000 feet underground in old woodland mines near Zwickau in East Germany.
Eyewitnesses claimed SS commandos sealed off the wood and dumped a secret cargo there early in 1945.
Despite countless fortune hunters flocking there, the mine entrances have never been found. There was outrage last month when they started digging in a cemetery where 42 Holocaust victims are buried.
Hidden by poison gas
Historians are using RAF surveillance photos taken by Mosquito fighter bombers as they flew over Germany during the Second World War to hunt for a Bunker containing £500 million of Nazi gold.
Lorry loads of gold were shipped out of Berlin in 1945 as the Red Army advanced and treasure hunters believe it was buried by Nazi labour battalions in the Leinawald forest near Leipzig in eastern Germany.
The German government began digging for the lost gold in 1961, but had to stop when poison gases from old mines began seeping to the surface.
Treasure hunters are now targeting the area again and believe that one RAF reconnaissance photo shows sand workings that resemble the outline of a human skull and could point the way to the Bunker.
Lake Töplitz treasure
Few stories of missing Nazi loot have tantalized treasure hunters like the tales of tons of gold dumped in Austrian lakes.
High in the mountains in the region known as Alt Aussee billions of dollars worth of World War II German treasure is known to have been hidden, a great deal of it said to be sunken in the icy waters of mountain lakes. In 1946, American intelligence agents found a page torn from a Nazi financial ledger listing a single cache hidden somewhere in Austria: $166,000,000 in Swiss francs, $299,000,000 in American dollars, $31,000,000,000 in gold, $3,000,000 in diamonds, $93,000,000 in stamp collections and objects of art and $5,500,000,000 in narcotics...a total value of a fantastic $37,000,000,000. So far as is known, this tremendous treasure hoard has never been found.
During the final months of the war the SS dragged a stash of metal crates to the shores of Lake Töplitz, in the Salzkammergut region of Austria and dumped them into the icy waters.
In 1959 the German magazine "Stern" sent a team of divers to the lake to investigate the stories.
They found no gold, but they did find crates of counterfeit British pounds, secret documents and a printing press.
The Führer's Forgers
By Anthony Horowitz
22 September 2007
Of all Hitler's operations this was surely the most audacious: seconding Jewish prisoners from Auschwitz to forge £135 million in Sterling and parachuting the notes into Britain
An August sun was shining through the forest of pines but Wolfgang Löhde was still very glad it wasn't him wading into the black waters of Lake Töplitz.
He leant against one of the pines and observed the rituals of the frogmen: climbing into their rubber suits, checking oxygen tanks, tapping gauges, swapping technical jargon. Then he saw them slide beneath the surface of the water.
Despite the presence of his camera team, he felt suddenly alone. He looked back for the security of the fleet of squat VW minibuses that had brought them all here.
Each was garishly emblazoned with the white star on a red background of his employers at "Stern" magazine. He reflected on the emblems of the previous convoy that had come here 14 years earlier at the close of World War II in May 1945: Swastikas and SS double-lightning stripes.
Löhde was a highly accomplished reporter for Germany's biggest-selling magazine. He sensed he was on the precipice of a major story. Over the previous months he and his editors had pieced together a mosaic of anecdotes from peasants, documents from Nazi bureaucrats and speculation from historians that had convinced them that an El Dorado of stolen Nazi gold lay beneath the 328ft depth of Lake Töplitz's oxygen-starved water.
In 1945, the Third Reich's end-station was on the fringes of this little Austrian lake, nestling appropriately in a range of peaks called the Dead Mountains. Was there gold here? What else could explain the arrival from a burning Berlin of the SS men in a village beside Lake Töplitz on 5 May 1945?
Locals spoke of Nazi troops, Schmeisser machine-pistols draped around their necks, sitting idly on boxes on flatbed Maybach trucks, eyes red-rimmed from fatigue, smoking as their officers barked commands. Peasants were ordered to hitch horses to wagons to transport these same boxes from the place where the VW vans of Stern now stood at the water's edge.
They were rowed into the centre and sunk in the water where on 3 August 1959 Löhde's hired frogmen hoped to find them.
Of course everyone knew Töplitz was a keeper of Nazi confidences. Its very remoteness made it a testing ground for wonder-weapons of the type Hitler hoped would still win him the war. V2 gyroscopes, torpedoes, rockets – the forbidding waters of Töplitz covered them all, the products of the Naval Research Station once situated on its banks.
And now there was talk of a curse, too. In 1946 and 1950, two former workers from the research station returned to Töplitz and were killed in a mysterious mountaineering accident.
Locals say they had been seen digging in the area shortly before their deaths. In 1955, a German was found dead at the lakeside.
The locals referred to them all as "treasure hunters". But only the fear among the superstitious was manufactured; the treasure was real. It went missing from Berlin in the madness of those final days.
The Reichsbank records spoke of 8,645 gold bars bearing the Nazi Eagle or Swastika as well as platinum, silver and hundreds of gold coins plundered from conquered territories in France and Holland being spirited out of the capital as the Russian heavy artillery pounded it into brickdust.
There was talk, too, of crates bearing Swiss bank account codes where the princes of the regime hid the plundered wealth of Europe, and of all the gold teeth of all the millions despatched in the death camp Gulag. They, too, were somewhere.
Was it Töplitz?
The time ticked by. Löhde looked up when he saw some of the divers wading towards the shoreline.
His cameramen caught the scene for the series – it had already been earmarked for publication under the title "Tons Of Gold".
Another diver waved frantically from a boat. He began pulling on a rope, drawing up something from the depths – something heavy that strained his limbs.
They all dragged the crate to the water's edge, jemmied it open and revealed the contents: wads of tightly packed rectangles of paper.
One of the team gingerly probed into the heart of the crate and saw what the papers were. Despite all the theories that had been floated, none of the team was ready for the sight of high-denomination notes apparently issued by the Bank of England as legal currency.
At the bottom of the lake the divers would find more crates, some of which broke apart before they could reach the surface. Soon the jetty at Lake Töplitz was covered in money.
Later, at a laboratory engaged by "Stern", Löhde was appraised of the full worth of the find. There were, he was told, forged Sterling notes to the tune of £73 million, a fortune in 1959.
It would take considerably longer to work out how, had they ever been released on to the world's financial markets, the notes would have been sufficient to bankrupt Britain; and longer still to find the man who could explain how the Nazis had come by them in the first place.
Soft white sheets and soothing classical music drifting out of wooden huts: that's how Adolf Burger remembers his days at Sachsenhausen concentration camp. But then, after surviving Auschwitz and Birkenau, being greeted by Josef Mengele and learning of the execution of his wife, any hovel would have been luxury by comparison.
Here he and his fellow inmates were even allowed to play table-tennis in the sunshine or simply relax, smoking and laughing in front of the high wooden fence that sheltered them from the rest of the camp on the outskirts of Berlin. There was, naturally enough, the occasional reminder of the reality of his situation.
One afternoon he heard barked orders and the sound of snarling dogs cut through the tranquillity. Shots were fired and stray bullets and splinters came flying through the fence. Silence, then urgent talk – an unseen guard was being castigated for executing a prisoner so close to the "special area".
By early 1945, Sachsenhausen had seen the deaths of 30,000 people – shot, hanged, beaten, tortured, gassed or simply starved to death. Mainly Russians, those executed included Stalin's oldest son. But the privileged few housed inside the safe haven of blocks 18 and 19 had a very different war.
Death surrounded them but they were cut off from its sounds and smell. Inside their bubble, or "golden cage" as they called it, they worked on the biggest counterfeiting fraud in history: manufacturing £135 million sterling for the Nazis.
Dressed in white coats and white gloves, they worked at shiny presses surrounded by crates packed with newly printed notes. Their work is the subject of a remarkable new film "The Counterfeiters", based on the memoirs of survivor Adolf Burger.
"The two blocks were even better than in the film," he tells me. "They contained a perfect printing workshop with the most modern machines. But only Jews were allowed in. And do you know why? It was because we all knew that once the war was over we would be killed. When the Nazis didn't need us any more that would be the end of it".
"I wasn't going to survive," he says. "When I went through the gates I knew I'd die sooner or later. In my soft bed I had only one thought: I was a dead man on holiday. I was certain I would never get out alive".
I spent several hours in the company of this angry, passionate, occasionally irascible old man who, with his neat blue suit, open-neck shirt and thick grey hair, looked at least two decades younger than his 90 years.
Adolf is the first concentration camp victim I have ever met – but victim is the last word I would use to describe him. He is a man on a crusade and he won't let the film get in his way.
"Das ist ein Spielfilm!" [It's just a movie!] he laughs when I question him about some of the liberties that the makers have taken with the truth. But even so, he clearly sees it as the main focus –the culmination– of his life.
His story and the truth behind the top-secret Operation Bernhard, mounted by the Nazis to destroy the British economy, begins in 1938.
That was when Jozef Tito, the fascist Slovak politician and Roman Catholic priest, struck a deal with Adolf Hitler that gave Slovakia its independence in return for the surrender of its army and total submission to Nazi law.
As in Germany, Jews were forced out of certain occupations and ordered to wear the Star of David in public. But Tito made certain exceptions – for example, anyone who had converted to Catholicism before 1938 was exempt.
Burger, trained as a printer, found himself forging baptism certificates for the underground communist party in Bratislava, an activity that eventually led to his arrest on 11 August 1942 – one day before his 25th birthday.
He and his young wife, Gisela, were packed into a train and carried across Europe to what they thought would be forced labour inside the Third Reich. In fact they ended up in Auschwitz.
Burger was unloaded on to a platform in the middle of a field. There was no station and no way of knowing where he was. Everyone was separated; the men on one side, the women and children on the other. This was the last time he would see his wife.
He still remembers one SS officer in particular. "He was such a handsome man. He had a beautiful voice. And he would ask us, so politely, 'Please tell me how old you are. What is your profession? How is your health?'
That SS officer was Josef Mengele, whose hideous experiments on Jewish children would make him one of the most notorious figures of the Third Reich.
Curiously, though, the information that Burger gave that day would later save his life.
During the next few months, Burger was himself subjected to a medical experiment, although Mengele was not involved. He was injected with typhus on behalf of the huge industrial company IG Farben.
At one point he weighed only 80lb and would have died except that one of his friends managed to hide him in an upstairs room and feed him with chocolate.
[After the war he successfully sued IG Farben and received 5,000 Deutschmarks in compensation – although he stresses that the money wasn't the point].
When he recovered, Burger was moved to nearby Birkenau, which he recalls was even worse.
"Auschwitz was clean. Everyone had their own beds. There was concrete on the floor. But Birkenau was hell. We never had water. There were five people to a bunk. We were covered in lice and there was typhus everywhere".
Burger survived by a stroke of luck. He was moved to a cleaning division whose job was to open the suitcases of those Jews who had been gassed.
Everything would be taken out, arranged and sent on, with one man in charge of perfume, another jewellery, a third collecting shoes and so on. The suitcases often contained food and so Burger and the other workers in his unit were able to sustain themselves.
His wife –still in Auschwitz– was less fortunate. She had been assigned to a team pulling dead bodies out of the gas chambers. It was brutal, hideous work that soon took its toll.
When Gisela became too weak to continue she was taken away and gassed. Burger heard the news from a woman who had lived close to the couple in Slovakia. By this time he knew that he had almost no chance of surviving the war.
And then one day, standing in a line to be counted by his SS guards, Burger heard his name called out over the loudspeaker system. He was to report the following day to the office of none other than Obersturmbannführer Rudolf Höss, the commandant of Auschwitz-Birkenau.
"I was not a hero," he insists. "I was terrified all night. The next day I was taken to his office. His name was on a plate outside… it was the only building in Birkenau made of stone.
"I knocked and went in. 'Are you Mr Burger?' he began. I was amazed. I was Prisoner 64401. We never used names. 'Are you a printer?' he asked me. I nodded. 'Mr Burger,' he said, 'experts like you are needed in Berlin. That is where you are going. You are going to be free again'.
"It was a miracle," Burger says. "No one was ever released. No one was even allowed to write a letter to the outside world. And yet the next day six SS men came and took me away".
But Höss had lied. There was to be no freedom for him nor for the six other printers who went with him. They were instead transferred to another concentration camp, Sachsenhausen, on the edge of Berlin.
And yet, as Burger soon discovered, he had landed in one of the most bizarre and ambitious operations of World War II.
Within Sachsenhausen, two blocks –numbers 18 and 19– had been isolated. The windows were painted white so that nobody could look in. They were surrounded by a 9ft-high fence. And nobody in the camp –not even the guards– had any idea what the 144 prisoners from 13 nations were doing or why they were held there.
This was Operation Bernhard.
The prisoners in the unit were all specialists: printers, graphic artists, typographers and counterfeiters.
The head of the team, a Russian called Salomon Smolianoff, had been jailed in Amsterdam before the war for forging pound notes. But this was legitimised forgery on a massive scale.
Inside "the golden cage", as the inmates called their new home, the Nazis were going to force them to manufacture 8,965,080 banknotes to a value of £134,610,810.
Their plan was to bombard the British economy to such an extent that it would ultimately collapse. The replica notes –in £5, £10, £20 and £50 denominations– were absolutely perfect.
It was a plan that could easily have succeeded. "The Counterfeiters" is shot in an edgy documentary style and gives a good idea of what life must have been like inside the golden cage.
The men wear white coats and use the latest equipment. Unlike other prisoners, they are allowed to grow their hair. There is running water. They eat well, play ping-pong, smoke cigarettes and sleep in comfortable beds. All of this is true.
But death was never far away from the 144 men living in comparative luxury. In one scene, a Sachsenhausen inmate who stumbles across them in the shower room is summarily shot and in another they hear an execution.
The counterfeiters want to survive. They live for each day in the full knowledge that they are the only ones in Sachsenhausen who can be confident they will see it out alive.
But how many days do they have left? Guilt, desperation, hopelessness and fear make for a heady mix.
And then there is the question of sabotage. Burger and the others know that they are helping the enemy, who desperately need the forged notes as the tide of the war turns against them.
Should they try to destroy the money they are forging – or can they at least attempt to delay its manufacture?
The film casts Adolf Burger [played by the superb German actor August Diehl] as the main voice of resistance.
A not entirely sympathetic hero, he is willing to risk the life of every one of his co-workers to prevent the Nazis perfecting the American Dollar – the second phase of Operation Bernhard after Sterling.
Week after week he delays production, even when threatened with execution. At one stage six bullets are lined up on a table: one for each of the counterfeiters who must pay with their lives.
Did this really happen? "Das ist ein Spielfilm!" Burger explodes again. "There was some sabotage with the Dollars… but as soon as they said, 'We are going to shoot you', we stopped it completely. Of course I stopped being a hero. I wanted to live".
"The Counterfeiters' writer and director, Stefan Ruzowitzky, defends his decision to adapt Burger's book "The Devil's Workshop" for dramatic purposes.
"I would never have dared depict the everyday horror of a 'normal' concentration camp," he says.
"We have to talk about the Holocaust and have a moral obligation to do so in a way that reaches as many viewers as possible. So yes, a film about the Holocaust should be exciting and entertaining in the best sense of the words"."
The story has been adapted for in other ways, too. Another character central to the story is SS Major Bernhard Krüger, who ran the operation [indeed it was named after him].
In the film he is renamed and played by Devid Striesow, who gives an astounding performance, by turns humane, chilling, psychopathic and desperate. It is Krüger who delivers both the ping-pong table and the ultimatum: produce the counterfeit dollars in six weeks or die.
I ask Burger if the real Major Krüger was in some ways his saviour, a little like Oskar Schindler.
"He was a murderer just like everyone else," he replies. "He had six people shot just because they were sick. He couldn't send them to hospital in case they said something about the operation, so he killed them".
This happened just six weeks before the war ended and as he remembers the executions I see a fleeting sadness in Burger's eyes.
"There is no such thing as a good SS man," he says. "They were all murderers".
Even so, Burger and the others worked on the counterfeit papers that Krüger would use to escape from the Russians when they finally arrived in 1945 and although he was captured briefly by both the Americans and the British he was never charged.
The plan was to drop the forged notes over Britain to bring about a collapse of the British economy. The first phase was run by the Sicherheitsdienst [SD] under the title Unternehmen Andreas [Operation Andreas]. The unit successfully duplicated the rag paper used by the British, produced near-identical engraving blocks and broke the algorithm used to create the alpha-numeric serial code on each note; the unit closed in 1942 after its head, Alfred Naujocks, fell out of favour with his superior officer, Reinhard Heydrich.
The operation was revived in July 1942; the aim was changed to forge the money in order to finance German Intelligence operations. Instead of a specialist unit within the SD, prisoners from Nazi concentration camps were selected and sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp to work under SS Major Bernhard Krüger.
Operation Bernhard produced British notes until mid 1945; estimates vary of the number and value of notes printed from £132.6 million up to £300 million. By the time the unit ceased production, they had perfected the artwork for US dollars, although the paper and serial numbers were still being analysed.
In early 1945 the unit was moved to Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp in Austria, then to the Redl-Zipf series of tunnels before being finally sent to Ebensee concentration camp. A poorly worded German order meant the prisoners were not executed on their arrival in Ebensen, and they were shortly liberated by the American Army. Much of the output of the unit was dumped into the Töplitz and Grundlsee lakes at the end of the war, but enough went into general circulation that the Bank of England stopped releasing new notes, and issued a new design after the war.
After the war, Major Krüger was detained by the British for two years, then turned over to the French for a year. He said they asked him to forge documents but that he refused. He was released in 1948 without any charges being pressed, and returned to Germany. In the 1950s, he went before a denazification court, where inmates under his charge at Sachsenhausen provided statements that resulted in his acquittal. He eventually worked for the company that had produced the special paper for the Operation Bernhard forgeries.
It was actually the end of the war rather than any specific act of heroism that ultimately defeated the counterfeiting operation.
Burger's crusade began in the Seventies when he read the work of Erwin Schönborn, a neo-Nazi who claimed that nobody was ever gassed at Auschwitz and who spent six months in jail for Holocaust denial. Since then Burger has spoken to more than 86,000 students in high schools and universities.
"My single aim is to tell them, 'Don't turn to the neo-Nazi movement. If you become a neo-Nazi you will become a murderer'.
For this work he has been decorated by the German government. He wears a narrow red and black strip on his lapel. It is the Verdienstkreuz am Bande or Cross Of Merit – the third-highest decoration that his country can give
After the war he was alone for two years but then in 1947 he married "the most beautiful woman in the world".
They were still together five years ago when they celebrated their golden wedding anniversary. Since then she has died – "and now I am alone again," he says. But he has the film. He has his crusade.
The film ends with the liberation of Sachsenhausen and an unforgettable encounter between the counterfeiters –well-fed and healthy– and the vengeful, emaciated prisoners outside the golden cage.
In fact, Burger and the others were moved to a concentration camp at Ebensee where the Germans planned to blow them up in a series of underground tunnels. They were saved by the arrival of the Russians.
Back at the dark, forbidding waters of Lake Töplitz, locals still have to put up with latter-day treasure-hunters – though these days they are as likely to be in search of a story as a fortune.
In recent years, film crews from networks such as CBS have descended upon the area, disturbing the eerie stillness of the lake. To this day the lake is known as the "Dump of the Third Reich".
And in a cruel irony it is said that some of the money produced by Burger and his compatriots was used to help finance high-level Nazis as they went on the run to safety in South America. That, surely, is the ultimate insult – both to the prisoners who forged it and to those who who were killed outside the golden cage.
-- Anthony Horowitz is an award-winning author and scriptwriter whose credits include World War II drama "Foyle's War".
Undeterred, treasure hunters continue to seek their fortune beneath the surface of the lake.
However it is no easy task. The lake is a mile long, 300 feet deep and full of submerged logs that make it a potential death trap.
Hunt begins for legendary £1billion in Nazi gold
By Matthew Day
19 February 2013
Some 18 crates of gold and platinum may lie buried under the bed of the Stolpsee, a 988-acre stretch of water to the north of the German capital.
Yaron Svoray, who has the backing of German authorities, will use the latest sonar and radar equipment to try and locate the gold, which, the story goes, was dropped into the lake under the orders of Hermann Göring as the Red Army made its final push for Berlin in March, 1945.
One eyewitness, Eckhard Litz, told a post-war commission that he saw around 30 concentration camp prisoners unloading heavy crates from lorries parked by the Stolpsee. The boxes were then ferried into the middle of the lake, and thrown into its waters.
"When the last case had been thrown overboard, the men returned to shore, were lined up and the last thing I saw were the flashes of the machine guns of the guards as they were killed," recalled Mr Litz.
Mr Svoray, who has spent much of his life tracking anti-Semites and hunting for Nazi treasure, believes that the German in command of the operation later fled to South America.
His attempt to find the mysterious Stolpsee treasure is not the first. In the 1980s when the lake lay behind the Iron Curtain, the Stasi, East Germany's secret police, used combat divers to hunt for the gold, and two years ago a group of businessmen also tried to locate it.
In 1986 Stasi chief Erich Mielke ordered a trawl of the water but nothing was found. According to authorities, the documents Mielke worked from still lie undiscovered in the millions of papers that make up the Berlin archive of the Stasi secret police.
A local priest, Erich Köhler, who has researched the legend of the treasure, said:
"They didn’t have the technology in the former East Germany to properly examine the lake.
"But there are enough local people still around to know that the gold is there – and the bodies of the poor souls forced to dump it into the water".
Göring garnered astonishing wealth from lands conquered by the Nazis in the Second World War, including dozens of rare masterpieces from galleries across Europe.
SS documents, found in the German Federal Archive in Koblenz, give credence to the theory that precious material was indeed dumped into the 400-feet deep lake, just a few miles from Göring's estate "Carinhall".
"To me it is not just about the treasure, but also about the people who had it taken from them," Mr Svoray explained. "My goal is to finally earn them a bit of justice".
The Last Year in the Life of Josef Göbbels
Sunday Times [Perth, WA]
19 August 1945
In: Supplement to "The Sunday Times"
"This is of piece of history lifted from the rubble of Germany", says Ronald Mckie from Berlin. "I have no proof of its accuracy but every reason to believe it. The woman who gave me these facts said, 'As a journalist I would like to write this story myself, but I may never be allowed. The next best thing ts to give it to a journalist'.
BERLIN: This story of the last year of the life of Dr. Josef Göbbels was given to me by Frau Inger Haberzettel, an English-speaking German journalist. She was a member of Göbbels' personal staff. lt is probably the first report of its kind. I have set it out as she told it to me.
"On 1 May 1945, in the Reich Chancellery air-raid shelter," she said, "Göbbels said to me, 'Hitler is dead, and I will follow him tonight. You have no duty to me now. Everybody can do what he likes'.
"Later he added: 'Frau Göbbels and I have decided to take poison, but the children don't know. My doctor has prepared an injection'.
"Göbbels didn't speak much that day, and Frau Göbbels was passive and quiet. Then Göbbels said, 'Now you can go. Your work is done. Good- bye'. Then we shook hands.
"That night, in the early hours of 2 May, Göbbels' doctor went to the apartments in the shelter. I never knew his name, and don't know what became of him He first injected the 6 children with poison. I don't know what kind. Then Frau Göbbels and Dr. Göbbels lay down side by side, and he injected them, the wife first. Then he left.
"That was how Göbbels and bis family died".
Dark, thin-faced Frau Haberzettel stopped talking. This picture she gave was the end of Hitler's propaganda chief. But the story really began in September, 1944, when Göbbels asked for an expert on foreign news from DNB, the German official news agency, and Frau Haberzettel, who had just returned from Finland, was selected for the job. She started work at Göbbels' house in Hermann Göring Strasse in the centre of Berlin, on 3 October 1944. She lived and worked there from then on. Her job was to make a summary of the most important foreign news, and take it personally to Göbbels, so that often she saw and talked with him many times a day.
"I lived and worked in that house until Frau Göbbels' family moved to shelters in the Reich Chancellery, on 24 April 1945, and I stayed at the Chancellery until 2 May, when, with other members of the staff, I escaped the Russians through secret passages under the Chancellery and streets".
"The house in Hermann Göring Strasse was a huge old palace with a fine garden, and the family lived in one section. Göbbels lived in a separate part of the building, where he worked and had his meals. The only times the family were together in the last months were in the air-raid shelter. In this shelter, which was 60 ft. deep and comfortably furnished with bed and sitting rooms, Göbbels and his wife sometimes sang Chopin together when the bombing was very bad.
"Frau Göbbels called him 'Pappa'. He called her 'Süssing' [Sweet Woman]. They were fond of each other and, great friends even though they lived such different lives.
"There were many women, particuarly artists, in Göbbels' life, but none in the last few months. Frau Göbbels was a clever, cultured woman, who talked much of music, and sang, but I never heard her mention politics.
"The doctor's mother lived with the family, and I last saw her on 23 April. [One rumor was that old Frau Göbbels escaped to the country before the end].
"Göbbels was heavily guarded by security men, and even his Staff, who were always watched, couldn't enter the house without special passes and being searched by 3 or 4 men.
"Dr. Göbbels often worked from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m., writing his propaganda, with the assistance of 2 journalists. He never left his house in daylight, but once or twice a week drove to the front lines at night".
"Did Hitler try to escape from Berlin?" I asked.
"No, but I'm sure Hitler and Göbbels had plans to escape, but left it too late," Frau Haberzettel said. "I know that Hitler, in middle April, ordered a special train to take Göbbels and 50 members of his staff to Bavaria.
"Hitler intended to leave as well to continue the fight in the south, but at the last minute he decided to stay in Berlin, and when Göbbels heard this, he said to me, 'I'll stay with my Führer'.
"Göbbels once told me my boat was ready to go to Japan, and when I said, 'You can't live in the hands of your enemies,' he replied, 'There are islands in the world which nobody can find'.
"Tm sure that even at the last a plane was ready to take Hitler and Göbbels away, because soon after Göbbels had told me that Hitler was dead, a liaison officer between Hitler and Göbbels, a man trusted implicity by both, came to Göbbels and, in my presence, said, 'My aeroplane is ready'.' Unfortunately I didn't hear Göbbels' reply".
"Did Hitler or Göbbels ever consider negotiating peace?"
"Hitler, no; but Göbbels, yes. During the attack on Berlin, Göbbels tried to contact the Russians. On 23 April he sent an emissary with a white flag to the Soviet commander of troops fighting in the Wilhelmstrasse offering to hand over to them the body of Hitler dead or alive. Naturally Hitler knew nothing of this".
"You said that Göbbels was a great friend of Hitler. Could you explain this betrayal?"
"I don't know the result of this negotiation and could never understand it or Göbbels' motive, because he was devoted to Hitler. It may have been some kind of trick perhaps to gain time to get Hitler away.
"Göbbels once told me he was prepared to fly to Moscow to offer all Europe to Stalin if Germany were spared. At this time he said, 'It would be better for Germany now if Russia took all Europe. It's not too late for Germany. We must go another way'.
"You said Hitler was ill. Did you ever see him?"
"No; but after the attempt to kill Hitler in July 1944, Hitler was never the same. He was ill, and getting worse. His memory was upset, and Göbbels told me one night that the Führer had suddenly said, 'I'll have my breakfast now'.
"Göbbels and Bormann, the chief of the party at the Chancellery, had many talks, and planned that if Hitler died the world should never know it. They decided that Hitler should 'always be living for the German people, because nobody can take the place of Hitler'.
"How powerful was Göbbels?"
"Göbbels may have stayed in the political background a lot, but he was one of the most powerful men in Germany, and in the last few months he and Himmler were struggling for power. Göbbels disliked Himmler intensely, and often said, 'Himmler is not intelligent'. He said he distrusted Himmler, who was fighting for his own personal power, and not for Hitler or Germany".
"When did you first hear of Hitler's marriage?"
"One of my most interesting days with Göbbels was 20 April, when Hitler telephoned that he had married Eva Braun. It was a great surprise to everybody, particularly Göbbels. There was no official marriage. Hitler merely told Göbbels that he had 'declared himself married'. We knew that Hitler lived with women, that he had several girls at Berchtesgaden, but few seemed to know about this young girl. Only close friends of Hitler, and their personal staffs, knew of Hitler's associations with her, because the German people generally believed he had nothing to do with her sex, and this was a myth deliberately fostered by Hitler's friends".
"Do you believe Hitler is dead ?"
"Yes, but many others believe the contrary. One of these is a German opera singer named Kalkun, who was a close friend of Hitler and Göbbels. He believes that at the end Hitler, who was a former Roman Catholic, returned to the Church and was helped to escape by priests to a monastery somewhere in Europe.
"Kalkun told me he is convinced that Hitler is in a monastery, but I don't believe his theory".
"Give me a picture of Göbbels".
"He was vain, because he wouldn't employ anyone taller than himself, and, with great dexterity, he walked slightly side-ways whenever he could so that his club foot wouldn't be noticed".
"I've heard that he believed in astrology. Is that true?"
"Yes, very much so. I remember the day Roosevelt died. I had news ready for Göbbels when he returned from the front very late at night. He read the announcement, smiled, and said, 'Bring a bottle of the best champagne, and bring me the telephone, for I will speak with my Führer.'
"When Hitler's deep voice came on the line, Göbbels said, 'Now the turning point has come, lt is written in the stars that the turning point will come in the second part of April. Now it is 13 April, and it's a Friday. The second part begins today'.
"WhAT was he like with his family? Was he fond of his children?"
"Yes, very. He wouldn't allow his children to be educated in the Nazi way, because he was bitterly opposed to the Nazi system of education and the idea of Hitler Youth. He hated the idealised Nazi Youth type, and often said, 'I am against educating a type. I'm for individualism'.
"He educated his children himself, and wouldn't let them wear uniforms or go to school. Once he sent them to school for a while, merely to find out first- hand what they were taught. "The children's library was full of English books, literature, and history, for Göbbels believed in the English type of education. His 16-year-old son Harold spoke English, and was like an English boy.
"Göbbels, as I saw him in those 6 months and almost to the end, was a gay, friendly man, who, above anything, liked the society of intelligent, cultured people. "He had only one great, almost pathological, hate -the Jews- only one great love -music, art, and literature- and only one great overriding, fanatical belief - Hitler".
|Martin Bormann – A New Body of Evidence|
Laurence De Melo
24 August 2016
Martin Bormann, Hitler’s right hand man and chancellor, the man that controlled all of Nazi Germany’s appropriated loot, was tried in absentia in October 1946 at the Nuremberg trials. Found guilty of war crimes and sentenced to death by hanging, Bormann evaded the noose due to his mysterious disappearance.
When anyone mentions the name Martin Bormann most baby-boomers will know who he was, they will also be quick to tell you that; while there was a wild goose-chase across the globe to find him, he certainly died in 1945, proved they say, by the finding of his bones in Berlin in 1972.
Two Nazi witnesses at the Nuremberg trials testified to the fact that they had seen Bormann and fellow Nazi, Dr Ludwig Stumpfegger dead, in the vicinity of the Weidendamm Bridge and the Lehrter train station in Berlin, only hours after fleeing the Bunker – where Hitler had supposedly put a bullet through his brain. One witness going as far as to say that he had even seen Bormann’s dead "moonlit face".
From 1945 the hunt for Martin Bormann was on. During the confusion of those early post war years, the West German government kept the heat up, but the "hunt" was only, If anything, lukewarm. A concentrated search effort had been made in 1945 around the site of the supposed "moonlit" scenario of Bormann and Stumpfegger, with whom he was last seen alive. With the advantage of hordes of allied troops on the ground to co-ordinate a thorough search near and around the Lehrter station in Berlin, no stone was left unturned. The same was done independently by a Russian recon group, after Lieutenant General Konstantin Telegin, of the Soviet 5th Shock Army was delivered a diary said to be of Bormann’s, found near the same site.
In those early post war years, it was not yet a "cold case", with memories still fresh and the ground still soft. Any such corpses although decomposed, would have certainly been on, or near the surface and easily identifiable with the minimum of forensics; but not as much as a scrap of flesh was found of either man. At least they had some disputable charred remains of Hitler, but the bodies of Bormann and Stumpfegger had literally "vanished" into thin air, along with the Nazi loot.
But after construction workers came across human remains near the Lehrter station in Berlin in 1972, the world’s press gathered to hear if this was indeed Bormann.
WEST BERLIN: Forensic experts in West Berlin are waiting for the dental records of Martin Bormann, Hitler's former deputy, to compare them with the teeth of two skulls which could solve the mystery surrounding the fate of world's most wanted Nazi.
-- The Canberra Times 11 December 1972
Skeletons not of Bormann
The Canberra Times [ACT]
13 December 1972
WEST BERLIN: Hopes that two skeletons dug up in West Berlin last week might solve the 27 year-old mystery surrounding the disappearance of Hitler's deputy, Martin Bormann. dimmed yesterday when police said preliminary comparison of dental records had proved negative. The skulls of the two skeletons were unearthed during cable-laying work near the spot where Mr. Bormann, who if alive today would be 72, was last seen at the end of World War II.
Forensic experts compared them yesterday with Mr. Bormann's dental records but there was nothing to indicate that either skull belonged to the world's most wanted Nazi war criminal.
Bormann’s Nazi dentist Dr Hugo Blaschke was called and he recalled from memory his former patient’s dental physiology and gave testimony that they were one and the same, the case was then closed.
The Canberra Times [ACT]
12 April 1973
FRANKFURT, Germany: The case book on the Martin Bormann mystery was formally closed today when the Frankfurt Attorney General, Mr Gauf, ruled that a recently un-earthed skeleton was "with certainty" that of Hitler's deputy, the "Associated Press" reported.
"Martin Bormann died on 2 May 1945, between 1am and 3am on the Invalidenstrasse Railway bridge, in Berlin, a short time after his accomplice Adolf Hitler", Mr Gauf said in directing that the 28-year search for Bormann be terminated and the existing arrest warrant be lifted.
It was not until 1998 that due to modern science technology, the remains were subjected to a DNA forensic study by the West German prosecutor. The reason for this new 1998 investigation was that in 1996 Christopher Creighton, aka John Ainsworth-Davis a former British Naval Intelligence agent and member of the covert British group C.O.P.P [Combined Operations Pilotage Parties] had published a book, "OPJB" [Operation James Bond]. In the book, Creighton using a pseudonym, claims that along with Ian Fleming, he was instructed by Winston Churchill and Desmond Morton the head of Secret British intelligence section V, to rescue Martin Bormann from a burning Berlin in May 1945. The book passed off as a novel, to protect Creighton from potential serious consequences due to breach of the Official Secrets Act – unsettled the German government to the extent that a thorough forensics and DNA investigation was carried out on the remains. The forensic results came back after the legal medical team matched blood from a maternal Bormann relative, the match was positive.
A confirmation of the remains being those of Bormann was released to the world’s press, along with the statement that Martin Bormann had certainly died in 1945 at the site his remains were found.
Martin Bormann’s body was "unearthed" in 1972 – at a site that had been thoroughly and extensively searched by various groups of soldiers and investigators over the years
Due to the 1998 DNA confirmation of the Martin Bormann skeleton, modern historians teach their students that stories of Bormann escaping to South America are false, nothing more than the rantings of conspiracy theorists and madmen. A handful of bona-fide investigative journalists and even former intelligence agents have been continually slandered after they have released information to the contrary, that there has been a cover-up by the western allies; that not only did Bormann escape, but his escape was orchestrated by the British intelligence services with the full knowledge of the United States government.
Anyone that dares to raise any questions as to the true dynamics of Bormann’s disappearance and death, is discredited based only on the DNA match which confirm the remains as being Bormann. But why are there such conflicting stories between the official version and the version by those that have seriously investigated this strange case for decades? Bormann’s remains were found in 1972, but did he really die in 1945? And what exactly is at stake if it were proved that he died much later than we are led to believe? Even though his remains were found in 1972 in Berlin, it does not mean that his body had lain there since 1945 and there is absolutely no evidence to suggest such. In fact, there is more evidence to suggest foul play by the British and American intelligence services, that Bormann did escape and after his death in the mid/late 1960’s his remains were carefully reburied in the place historians like to believe he fell.
On the publication of the 1998 Bormann DNA report, "London’s Daily Express" newspaper called it a "whitewash". The author of the article, Stewart Steven a very experienced foreign editor of the "Daily Express", who was participant and directly involved with a thorough Bormann investigation in Buenos Aires, along with a team of highly qualified academics and lawyers, was sacked 6 days later. Stevens was accused of publishing a "hoax" and discredited as having being hoodwinked into believing that classified Argentine government and Federal police files were fakes, even though there is absolutely no evidence to date to prove, let alone suggest, that such files were in fact anything but genuine.
But why do modern historians find it so shocking to consider the possibility that Martin Bormann, Hitler’s "Banker" may have escaped from Berlin with the help of British intelligence? Not only would it make absolute sense to Churchill, to lift the man with access to all the money, it would be negligent to fail to.
After all, numerous Nazi officers who were participant in the brutal slavery of concentration camp prisoners, were snapped up by the USA for their various talents. Many of whom were made post WWII heroes in the American scientific community, after being "invited" to the USA as part of Operation Paperclip.
Notorious Nazi Klaus Barbie, a former head of the Gestapo and known as the "Butcher of Lyon", was tried at Nuremberg and sentenced to death in absentia, yet it is documented that Barbie was protected and formerly employed in 1947 by the U.S Army Counterintelligence Corps [CIC] and later by the CIA to set up the Western Intelligence Network to keep tabs on communist threat. This was a major and shocking betrayal by the USA as to the allied Nuremberg trial sentencing of Barbie. When the French government discovered that the USA were protecting Barbie, they requested he be immediately handed over for execution under international law. The USA flatly refused and consequently gave Barbie a new identity and shipped him off to Bolivia.
If the USA could blatantly fly in the face of the International Nuremberg trials death sentence which they were actively participant in by protecting a psychopathic killer such as Barbie, why is it so unacceptable to believe that the allies would rescue Martin Bormann, the man with access to the hidden Nazi funds? If anything, there should have been a rabid race between the USA and Britain to see who could get to him first.
Pried loose by Congress, which passed the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act three years ago, a long-hidden trove of once-classified CIA documents confirms one of the worst-kept secrets of the Cold War – the CIA's use of an extensive Nazi spy network to wage a clandestine campaign against the Soviet Union.
The CIA reports show that U.S. officials knew they were subsidizing numerous Third Reich veterans who had committed horrible crimes against humanity, but these atrocities were overlooked as the anti-Communist crusade acquired its own momentum. For Nazis who would otherwise have been charged with war crimes, signing on with American Intelligence enabled them to avoid a prison term.
-- Martin A. Lee "San Francisco Bay Guardian" 7 May 2001
Hans Globke was a Nazi functionary working with Adolf Eichmann in the Jewish Affairs department who helped draft the laws stripping Jews of rights. After the war he rose to become one of the most powerful figures in the government. As national security advisor to Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, he was the main liaison with the CIA and NATO.
Julian Borger in Washington:
On 23 May 1960, when Israeli prime minister David Ben-Gurion announced to the Knesset that "Adolf Eichmann, one of the greatest Nazi war criminals, is in Israeli custody", US and West German Intelligence services reacted to the stunning news not with joy but alarm.
At the request of the West Germans, the CIA even managed to persuade "Life" magazine to delete any reference to Globke from Eichmann's memoirs, which it had bought from the family.
But it was not just Globke. When Eichmann was captured the CIA combed files it had captured from the Nazis to find information that might be useful to the Israeli prosecution. The results caused near panic among the CIA's leadership because, unknown to the junior staff who had looked through the files, a few of Eichmann's accomplices being investigated had been CIA "assets".
--- "Guardian" 8 June 2006
The Nazis were also experimenting with technology extremely advanced for their time, and many Nazi scientists, evaluated as being valuable resources for post-war America, were repatriated to the US under "Project Paperclip".
Between 1945 and 1965 there were numerous sightings of Bormann. Bormann’s former personal chauffeur, Jakob Glas, said that he had seen Bormann in Munich months after May 1945, as did many others.
Paul Manning, author, intelligence expert and former war correspondent claimed along with others that Bormann escaped. When Manning tried to publish his extensively researched 1981 book "Martin Bormann – Nazi in Exile", he was menacingly threatened. After finally getting a renegade publisher to agree to publish his work, within two weeks the publisher had his legs broken in a vicious and anonymous attack and shortly after Manning’s son was mysteriously murdered. In fact Manning’s story is very much in line with the former British Intel officer and author of "OPJB". Christopher Creighton states that Bormann escaped, as does former WWII British army General and war crimes investigator, Ian Bell. Bell can be seen on YouTube telling us that he saw Bormann being taken to a ship in Genoa and when he radioed back to his HQ command, he was told to follow but "do not apprehend".
Contrary to the survival story being told by those considered "crazy conspiracy theorists", there are many highly qualified and well versed investigators and former intelligence agents that tell us the story we teach our children at school is just that, a story.
Hugh Thomas, surgeon, international forensic expert and author of the 1995 book "Doppelgängers" wrote extensively about the Bormann forensics investigation that suggest Bormann died later than 1945. According to Jonathan Glancey of "The Guardian", Thomas’s "scalpel-sharp eye for detail" and second investigative work "Hess: A Tale of Two Murders", "precipitated a six-month Scotland Yard inquiry that saw its report immediately suppressed". Thomas confirms that the original Bormann medical reports in 1972 released only some and not all the information found under the microscope. While it is true the dentistry of the skull found was identified as Bormann, the official report failed to reveal to the public that there was dentistry performed in the skull, which could only have been done in the 1950’s due to the technology used. A man that died in 1945 is certainly not going to go to the dentist in 1950. Also, the skull "found" in Berlin was encased in a "red clay" type earth, exotic to Germany but local to a place in Paraguay, the very place that many investigators have traced Bormann to in his last years. Those last year’s being as late as 1968. Reinhardt Gehlen former senior Nazi, Cold war spymaster and head of the West German Intelligence network, also claimed that Bormann escaped to South America and died in Paraguay.
But probably some of the most disturbing work comes from Ladislas Farago. In 1974, Farago a brilliant military historian, WWII war correspondent and former civilian naval intelligence officer, published "Aftermath: Martin Bormann and the Fourth Reich". Farago, after a long and painstaking investigation on the ground in South America, much of which was spent accessing classified Argentine intelligence documents, presented his evidence including copies of said documents in his book. Not only did Farago examine and get the classified documents he accessed authenticated, he called in a team to join him on the ground in Buenos Aires to witness and document the authentication of such.
The formidable 1972 Buenos Aires team with Farago included former intelligence operative and New York attorney Joel Weinberg, Stewart Steven the Foreign Editor of the "London Daily Express" and four top Argentine attorneys; Dr. Guillermo Macia Ray, Dr. Jaime Joaquin Rodriguez, Dr. Silvio Frondizi the brother of the former President Frondizi of Argentina and Horacio A. Perillo, the former legal aid to the Argentine President Frondizi. Farago and his team’s conclusion was that Martin Bormann certainly escaped Europe in 1945 with the help of the Allies and went on to South America where he survived for many years, many of them in Argentina.
Even though Farago and his team were highly qualified to make an intelligent and thorough analysis and investigation on the documents made available to them, Farago’s publication was ignored and serious attempts were made to discredit him and the other members of the team. Precedence had been set, when it came to stating or even suggesting Bormann had survived, even experts like Farago, who was also the world’s leading expert on propaganda and clandestine psychological forms of espionage at the time, was not safe from character assassination, ridicule and criticism. It is blatant there were those that were determined to keep the 1945 Bormann death myth in force and such suppression of evidence continues to this day.
But not everyone ignored Farago’s book. The content and evidence produced by Farrago was so compelling that it attracted the attention of Dr. Robert M.W. Kempner, a former Nuremberg trial attorney who decided to reopen the Bormann investigation, based on Farago’s documentary evidence of survival.
Farago, Manning, Thomas and Kempner, are sadly long gone, but the Bormann investigation is far from a cold case, as a new generation of investigative journalists have reopened the dusty Bormann files and have enthusiastically picked up from where their predecessors departed. Recent research reveals that the Federal police archives in Argentina show that the FBI were sending agents to Argentina to follow the Bormann case and his financial trails well into the 1980’s. New elderly witnesses, who till recently refused to talk have also come forward in the past 3 years and startling new evidence has come to light that cannot be ignored and may very well lead to the undisputable discovery that Bormann did escape and lived for many years in South America with the protection of the allies.
One important witness is a former military ADC to Argentine General Juan Peron. This high ranking internationally decorated military officer had been the ADC to 7 Argentine presidents, a close personal friend of Chilean President Pinochet and was the sub chief of the tough Argentine Federal secret police and prominently involved in the dismantling of the Argentine narcotics traffic in the 1990’s. His taped testimony given in 2010 on the premise that it could only be revealed after his death to protect his family, is that he met Martin Bormann frequently in Buenos Aires in late 1952 and till the end of 1953. He also testifies that on the instructions of Peron, he organised the personal security for Bormann and escorted him to various meetings in Argentina. This highly credible witness also tells us that Bormann had been installed in a famous luxury hotel in Buenos Aires throughout 1953, which was owned by Germans.
The ADC also testifies that he was sent on a weekly basis to collect the Bormann bill from the hotel concierge which he was instructed to take directly to Peron, who paid the bill from his personal bank accounts. This man asked for nothing in exchange for his testimony, all he requested was that the truth be finally known after his death. The official died in 2012 and his testimony is now ready for publication.
Another recent elderly witness with ties to the FBI and CIA, is a former Naval Captain who was in charge of the security for the port of Buenos Aires. He tells us that not only was it common knowledge, but it is documented in the classified Federal police archives that Bormann was certainly living in Argentina in the 50’s and that the CIA were in Argentina keeping close tabs on Bormann’s South American movements as late as 1967.
The most controversy surrounds the author of the 1996 book "OPJB". Christopher Creighton writes that he was instructed by Lord Louis Mountbatten and Winston Churchill to reveal the truth of all the ops in which he was participant, 25 years after the death of both. According to Creighton, "OPJB" is not only the title of the book, but the operational code name given to the plan to rescue Bormann from Berlin. Documents have been seen and recently photographed which were written to Creighton from Lord Louis Mountbatten in 1976 which prove Creighton was not only certainly working for British Naval intelligence at the very highest level, but that Creighton was Desmond Morton’s Godson.
This new evidence puts in grave doubt spy writer Nigel West’s claims that Christopher Creighton is a "charlatan". There are also letters from James Bond author Ian Fleming to Creighton which testify to OPJB, the highly covert operation as being fact and that he based his James Bond Character on Creighton’s covert naval operations. How did Fleming know? Because according to verified letters from Fleming to Creighton, Fleming was not only part of the operation while he was a Royal Naval commander under the command of Desmond Morton for the British secret service, but he was the commander in charge of the rescue.
A British factual film company, "Christopher Robin Media Ltd", have in their possession an as yet unpublished 2013 interview of Creighton recorded only weeks before his death. The startling interview gives never before revealed details of various highly covert British Naval intelligence operations, including the assassination of French Admiral Francois Darlan and the operation to remove Martin Bormann from Berlin.
In 2007 a lady came forward to investigators with a story that she had been born in a German clinic in Brazil in 1952. This five foot two, blonde, green eyed lady, was found to be a well balanced, well educated and discreet and trustworthy member of her community, a far cry from a publicity seeking delusional self-promoter. Her adoptive father had been a senior naval officer for the Dominican Republic dictator Radael Trujillo. She claims her adoptive father was entrusted with her in 1952, the year of her birth, after he was in Brazil negotiating arms deals between the Dominican Republic government and the German arms factories hidden in the Brazilian jungle.
In 1984 she contacted the Simon Wiesenthal centre after her adoptive father revealed on his death-bed that she was the daughter of "one of Germany’s three greatest men". Extremely distressed at this shocking revelation and wondering who it could possibly be, she with her attorney approached the Simon Wiesenthal Centre for help. Within weeks her attorney was anonymously threatened with his life and shortly after, dropped her representation after the SWC aggressively told him that they were not able to help and would not investigate due to "lack of funds". An unusual response from a wealthy organisation whose main objective has been to track down Nazi war criminals. Even Simon Wiesenthal himself believed till his death in 2005, a full 7 years after the 1998 DNA analysis that Bormann escaped and was frequently outspoken against the official version. It is shocking and detrimental to Wiesenthal’s memory, that those that now head the very organisation founded in his name have obstructed investigations and ridicule others that believe what Wiesenthal believed, Bormann escaped.
I contacted the SWC in 2010 to request copies of the investigation files held by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre on Martin Bormann. After three months of cold shouldering on their part, I finally managed to speak to the head of the organisation itself. I revealed the fact we were in touch with a lady that had been formally refused help by the SWC in 1985 and we had the documentation that the SWC refused to investigate due to "lack of funding". We were now soliciting their support to reopen her case and investigate, especially as the SWC had been avidly promoting and raising significant funding for their much publicised "Operation Last Chance" - "a campaign to bring remaining Nazi war criminals to justice by offering financial rewards for information leading to their arrest and conviction". But rather like the famous Anna Anderson and Russian Grand Duchess Anastasia case, all efforts to access information on official files to see if this adopted woman has any Nazi blood connections have failed.
If Bormann did escape, then the adopted woman may very well be the daughter of Martin Bormann, not only because of the mysterious dynamics surrounding her birth, but photos of her, the officials involved, the timing of her birth and the fact investigators believe Bormann was in Brazil with Dr Josef Mengele in late 1951. Recent photos of the woman’s son show an uncanny similarity with Martin Bormann’s eldest son Adolf.
Access to genuine DNA of Martin Bormann or one of his children or grandchildren is now vital to the investigation, not only to make comparisons with potential offspring conceived post 1945, but also to compare with supposed Bormann DNA profiles in the Files held by various Intelligence agencies. If Bormann did indeed escape, those that covered it up are going to go to enormous lengths to hide any incriminating evidence. Bonafide DNA profiles of Bormann would be the last thing they would leave hanging around.
I was extremely surprised to discover that during the forensic analysis of the Bormann remains in 1998, only mitochondrial DNA was put on the record. And the Bormann relation that was used to confirm the identity of the skeleton was a Borman Maternal relative, not Martin Bormann’s son who was easily available for such. The mitochondrial DNA specifics were confirmed in a conversation I had with one of the doctors involved in the original 1998 investigation, which had been instigated by the West German Prosecutor. For those that are not genetically savvy, mitochondrial DNA could only be used to match a person or corpse to maternal blood relations. This means that the Martin Bormann DNA profile held on official documents is worthless for use for matching with any possible offspring or grandchildren.
One would have thought that after going to such extraordinary lengths of opening a through investigation and having such remains available for research, the scientists and doctors would have taken every possible bit of data possible, particularly DNA – they did not. And just to keep things really tidy, after the closing of the investigation, Martin Bormann, guardian to Nazi Germany’s post WWII wealth and classified technology, was promptly cremated and thrown "into the sea".
Those that work to uncover highly covert conspiracies have a hard time, whether it be on the Kennedy assassination, death of princess Diana or Martin Bormann, much of their compelling evidence can be at best circumstantial and it would not be a conspiracy if the organisers of such were sloppy enough to leave a paper trail or hot leads to expose their plot. The appeal is now for genuine Martin Bormann blood relatives to come forward, not only to cross match with the woman, but to cross match with the DNA profiles supposedly used to identify Bormann in 1998 and those held in official and public files. Of course if this woman does have Bormann DNA and being born in a German clinic in Brazil in 1952, it will once and for all put to bed the mystery and will vindicate all those that have sacrificed much to reveal what they believed to be the truth. Could that truth be that Martin Bormann escaped and went on to manage the vast funds accumulated by Nazi Germany with the help of Britain and the USA? And according to recent research, those vast funds were probably laundered through and invested into over 750 international companies with or without Bormann.
Since 1972, "official" historians and academics have spun their tales and told the world that Bormann certainly died near the Lehrter station in the early hours of 2 May 1945. This oral history is based on no more than unreliable witnesses, two of which were Nazis and a DNA match to a skeleton found in 1972.
DNA may prove that the remains are those of Bormann, but there is more evidence to prove that he was alive for at least 25 years after 1945;. 25 years, in which he could have managed the vast Nazi wealth, including cash, gold, stocks, bonds, shares and priceless works of art. After all, with all the modern banking forensics available to date, not one single Intelligence agency or government claims that the vast, fat, booty has been found! Or has it?
Yet it has been officially written, printed, signed sealed and delivered, even into our children’s history lessons. Martin Bormann died in 1945 de-facto, the loot disappeared and anyone that tells you different is a deluded "conspiracy theorist".
At 9.30 p.m. on 1 May 1945, Hamburg radio station warned the German people that a grave and important announcement was about to be made. Suitably funereal music from Wagner and Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony was played to prepare listeners for Grand Admiral Dönitz’s address to the nation. He stated that Hitler had fallen, fighting "at the head of his troops", and announced his succession. Very few people in Berlin heard the news because of the lack of electric current.
Martin Bormann, meanwhile, was evidently impatient at having to wait for the Göbbels family drama to finish. Berlin Commandant General Weidling’s surrender was to take place at midnight and the breakout northwards over the Spree was due to start an hour before. The personnel from the Führer Bunker, including Traudl Junge, Gerda Christian and Constanze Manzialy, had been told to assemble ready for departure. Generals’ Krebs and Burgdorf, who both intended to shoot themselves later, were not to be seen.
Gustav Krukenberg, Brigadeführer of the Charlemagne Division of the Waffen-SS and further commander of its remains and the SS Division Nordland during the Battle of Berlin, who had been summoned earlier by Mohnke, encountered Artur Axmann and Joachim Ziegler, the previous commander of the Nordland. Mohnke asked Krukenberg whether, as the senior officer, he wished to continue the defence of the city centre. He added that General Weidling had given an order to break out of Berlin north-westwards through the Soviet encirclement, but that a cease-fire would come into effect around midnight. Krukenberg agreed to join the breakout. He and Ziegler left to rally the Nordland and other units in the area. Krukenberg sent one of his aides on ahead, with messages to outlying detachments to fall back. The group led by Captain Henri Joseph Fenet, defending Gestapo headquarters on Prinz-Albrechtstrasse, heard nothing. Krukenberg’s aide, who was never seen again, probably met his death before he reached them.
The scenes in the Bunker were chaotic as Bormann and Mohnke tried to organize everybody into groups. In the end, they did not leave until nearly 11 p.m., two hours later than planned. The first group, led by Mohnke, set out through the cellars of the Reich Chancellery, and then followed a complicated route to the Friedrichstrasse Bahnhof. The others followed at set intervals. The most difficult part was just north of the station, where they had to cross the Spree. This could not be done under cover of darkness because the flames from bombarded buildings lit up the whole area. The first group from the Reich Chancellery, which included Mohnke and the secretaries, wisely avoided the main Weidendammer Bridge. They used a metal footbridge 300 metres downstream and headed for the Charité Hospital.
A Nordland Tiger tank and a self-propelled assault gun were to spearhead the main charge across the Weidendammer Bridge. Word had spread of the breakout and many hundreds of SS, Wehrmacht soldiers and civilians had assembled. It was a gathering which Soviet troops could not fail to miss. The first mass rush, led by the Tiger tank, took place just after midnight, but although the armoured monster managed to smash through the barrier on the north side of the bridge, they soon ran into very heavy fire in the Ziegelstrasse beyond. An anti-tank round struck the Tiger and many of the civilians and soldiers in its wake were mown down. Axmann was wounded, but managed to stagger on his way. Bormann and Dr Ludwig Stumpfegger were knocked over by the blast when the tank was hit, but they recovered and went on. Bormann carried the last copy of Hitler’s testament, and he evidently hoped to use it to justify his claim to a position in Dönitz’s government when he reached Schleswig-Holstein.
Another attack over the bridge was made soon afterwards, using a self-propelled 20mm quadruple flak gun and a half-track. This too was largely a failure. A third attempt was made at around i a.m., and a fourth an hour later. Bormann, Stumpfegger, Günther Schwägermann and Axmann kept together for a time. They followed the railway line to the Lehrterstrasse Bahnhof. There they split up. Bormann and Stumpfegger turned north-eastwards towards the Stettiner Bahnhof. Axmann went the other way, but ran into a Soviet patrol. He turned back and followed Bormann’s route. Not long afterwards he came across two bodies. He identified them as Bormann and Stumpfegger, but he did not have time to discover how they had died. Martin Bormann, although not of his own volition, was the only major Nazi Party leader to have faced the bullets of the Bolshevik enemy. All the others –Hitler, Göbbels, Himmler and Göring– took their own lives.
Krukenberg had meanwhile assembled most of his French SS escort. They joined up with Ziegler and a much larger group from the Nordland. Krukenberg estimated that there were four or five holders of the Knight’s Cross among them. They managed to cross the Spree shortly before dawn. But they came under heavy fire just a few hundred metres short of the Gesundbrunnen U-Bahn station. Ziegler was hit by a ricochet and mortally wounded. Several others in their group also fell, among them Eugène Vaulot , the young French recipient of the Knight’s Cross. He died in a nearby cellar three days later.
The Soviet forces in the area had been reinforced so strongly that Krukenberg and his remaining companions had no choice but to retreat the way they had come. At the top end of the Ziegelstrasse they saw the Tiger tank which Mohnke had taken from them. There was no sign of any of its crew. One of Krukenberg’s officers had spotted a joinery workshop nearby and there they discovered some overalls to disguise themselves. Krukenberg managed to make his way to Dahlem, where he hid for over a week in the apartment of friends. Eventually he had no choice but to surrender.
Marshal Zhukov, on hearing of the breakout attempts from General Vasily Kuznetsov of the 3rd Shock Army, ordered a maximum alert. He was understandably perturbed by the "unpleasant suggestion" that senior Nazis, especially Hitler, Göbbels and Bormann, might be trying to escape. It was not hard to imagine Stalin’s anger if this should happen. Soviet officers hastily rounded up men who were celebrating May Day with alcohol and women-hunts. Brigades from the 2nd Guards Tank Army were sent in pursuit and cordons hurriedly put into place. This thwarted a second attempt to break through northwards up the Schonhauserallee by Major General Erich Bärenfänger’s troops from the eastern side of the Zitadelle defence area. Bärenfänger, a devoted Nazi, committed suicide with his young wife in a side street.
Shortly before midnight, the time when Colonel Haller had promised to surrender the Tiergarten flak tower, the remaining tanks and half-tracks of the Müncheberg Panzer Division and the 18th Panzergrenadier Division set out from the Tiergarten westwards.
Mikhail Katukov's 1st Guards Tank Army and Vasily Chuikov's 8th Guards Army had attacked into the Tiergarten from the south across the Landwehr Canal. But the task of tackling the Zoo flak tower was left to two regiments from the 79th Guards Rifle Division.
Storming it was out of the question, so on 30 April they sent German prisoners as envoys bearing an ultimatum written in pencil to the commander:
"We propose that you surrender the fortress without further fighting. We guarantee that no troops, including SS and SA men, will be executed".
On 1 May one of the prisoners eventually returned with a reply:
"Your note was received at 11 p.m. We will capitulate [tonight] at midnight. Haller, garrison commander".
Haller was not in fact the garrison commander and the reason for the long delay was to allow them to prepare a breakout that evening".
--Antony Beevor, "Fall of Berlin 1945"
Generalmajor Otto Sydow [Luftwaffe] commanding 1. Flak-Div. Berlin from the Tiergarten Flak-tower, with General Weidling's permission, organized the breakout of the armed forces through the Soviet lines and away from Berlin, shortly before midnight. The civilians refugees then left the facility.
Sydow was captured by the Soviets on 6 May 1945.
They then pushed north-westwards towards the Olympic stadium and Spandau. Word had also spread rapidly in this case. The rumour was that Wenck’s army was at Nauen, to the north-west of the city, and hospital trains were waiting there to take soldiers to Hamburg. Thousands of stragglers and civilians made their way on foot and in a variety of vehicles in the same direction. One group of around fifty came in three trucks from the Grossdeutscher Rundfunk. They included Himmler’s very different younger brother, Ernst, a leading studio technician.
The Charlottenbrücke, the bridge over the Havel to the old town of Spandau, was still standing and held by Hitler Youth detachments. In heavy rain and under artillery fire from the 47th Army, the armoured vehicles charged across, followed by a ragged crowd of soldiers and civilians. The slaughter was appalling.
A tactic was instinctively worked out. Self-propelled army Flak vehicles with quadruple 20mm guns gave covering fire from the eastern bank to keep Soviet heads down, and during this frantic firing for up to a minute, another wave of civilians and soldiers surged across to hide in the ruined houses opposite. The slow and the lame were caught in the open by Soviet guns. As well as wave after wave of people on foot, trucks, cars and motorcycles also crossed, running over bodies already crushed by the tracks of armoured vehicles. Ernst Himmler was one of the many who died on the Charlottenbrücke, either shot or trampled in the desperate rush.
Although the massacre at the bridge was horrific, the sheer weight of German numbers forced the Soviet troops back from the river bank. But Soviet machine guns in the tower of the Spandau town hall continued to cause heavy losses. Two of the Tiger tanks then shelled the Rathaus itself, and a small group from the 9th Parachute Division stormed the tower. The main force of armoured vehicles pushed on westwards towards Staaken, but most of the troops were encircled or rounded up over the next two days. Only a handful reached the Elbe and safety. Soviet officers searched the burnt-out remains of tanks carefully on orders from Front headquarters.
"Among the crews killed," wrote Zhukov, "none of Hitler’s entourage were found, but it was impossible to recognize what was left in the burnt-out tanks".
Proving once and for all with new testimony, documentation and forensic science that Hitler’s handler, Martin Bormann survived, will redeem many damaged reputations and will certainly bury the myth and cause many a red face in the high end academic and "history" community. But more importantly, it will open a very nasty can of worms and raise many more complicated and embarrassing questions to those agencies and governments that will have knowingly perpetrated the Bormann death myth for the past 70 years.
Only a handful of countries hiding under the umbrella of neutrality continued to trade with the Nazis during the war. The table below reflects the change in gold reserves of Nazi Germany’s primary trading partners. The figures are in millions of dollars.
|Country||1939 reserves||1943 Reserves||Increase|
Obviously, not all the increase can be attributed to the Nazis. However, the figures do set an upper limit. Further, since the only currencies not accepted globally were the German Mark, Italian Lira, and Japan Yen, the neutral countries continued to accept the US Dollar and British Pound. Additional evidence comes from the declared deposits of Swiss banks which had soared from Swiss Franc [SF] 332 million in 1941 to SF 846 million in 1945. Again not all the increase in deposits can be attributed to the Nazis but it does set an upper limit of half a billion dollars.
The Foreign Office conducted a vigorous campaign warning neutral countries about accepting gold from the Nazis. The United States Department refused to support the measure until July 1943, when the alarming increase of gold reserves of the neutral countries became apparent. Even then the support from the State Department was at best cool.
The countries listed above are not mere accidents. Without the raw materials supplied by Sweden, Spain, Portugal, and Turkey, the Nazis would not have been able to conduct war. Sweden supplied vitally needed high-grade iron ore. Turkey supplied Hitler with chromate. Portugal and Spain supplied wolfram. All three metals were needed to produce war munitions and heavy armor. Chromates were used to harden steal for armor while wolfram or tungsten was used primary in machine tools. Nazi sources for both metals were extremely limited and they were forced to rely almost one hundred percent on these countries.
Considering South America was a prime refuge for the Nazis after the war it is instructive to look at changes of the gold reserves of South American countries, particularly Argentina. Argentina’s gold reserves increased from 313.83 metric tons in 1940 to 1064 tons in 1945. The increase in the gold reserves of Argentina in terms of dollars, was a whooping $635,000,000 dollars. To put that figure in perspective the U.S. budget for 1940 was approximately $9.4 billion dollars. Brazil also saw an increase in gold reserves from 45 metric tons in 1940 to 314 tons in 1945, or an increase of about $228,000,000 dollars.
The above reserve figures shed some light on the destination of some of the Nazis’ loot. How much of the increase in South American gold reserves came from Germany near the end of the war to finance the Nazis’ planned comeback is still unknown.
What's the true story on South American Nazis? After World War II why would countries like Argentina and Paraguay want them?
After the war Argentina and Paraguay were run for years by nationalist strongmen, Juan Peron and Alfredo Stroessner respectively.
Argentina had remained officially neutral until early 1945, when economic pressure forced it to throw in with the Allies, but until that point was in intimate contact with Hitler's regime and the fascist Franco government in Spain. Postwar Brazil was still fascist-friendly, a legacy of deposed dictator Getulio Vargas.
The leaders of these countries nurtured fraternal feelings for fleeing Nazis, but not all fugitives from the Third Reich ended up in South America — quite a few headed for Spain or the Middle East, and the U.S. imported a crowd of Nazi rocket scientists during Operation Paperclip.
The true story of how war criminals wound up in the land of the gauchos has never been fully told, and even now it's difficult to separate fact from fiction. Leading candidates for chief enabler of the great escape include:
• Odessa. Part of the popular consciousness ever since Frederick Forsyth's best-selling 1972 novel "The Odessa File", this secret group [acronym for "Organization der ehemaligen SS-Angehörigen" - Organization of Former SS Members] supposedly used stashed war booty and connections in high places to spirit Nazis out of reach of the Allies. Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal says he first heard about Odessa during the Nuremberg trials, and in his 1989 book "Justice, Not Vengeance" he seems convinced it exists, or rather existed. He offers little evidence, though, and others have their doubts. Even some believers say the organization was amateurish and short-lived.
• The Catholic church. The claim that members of the Catholic hierarchy were instrumental in obtaining documents, cash, and safe passage for many escaping Nazis is only barely scandalous these days. The benign view is that individual clerics acted out of humanitarian concern, believing they were aiding refugees from postwar communist persecution, and were unaware of their charges' sordid pasts. Others say the Vatican knew quite well what was going on but wanted former Nazis as allies in its struggle against the Reds.
After the war, the Vatican, the OSS, the SS [Schutzstaffel] and the various branches of SMOM [Sovereign Military Order of Malta] joined to do battle against the common Soviet enemy-and to help Nazi war criminals escape.
Catholic monasteries and convents were used as safe houses for war criminals on their way to Latin America. Sometimes the U.S. Army's Counter Intelligence Corps [CIC] supplied false documents, while church organizations provided the means of escape
That the Vatican, OSS and the CIC were a party to such arrangements is shown by files that Justice Department investigators discovered in the 1980s.
• All of the above plus Peron. Argentine journalist Uki Goñi, in "The Real Odessa: Smuggling the Nazis to Peron's Argentina" , offers what amounts to a synthesis of earlier theories. The "real Odessa," he says, consisted of about a dozen energetic ex-Nazis and Nazi collaborators from several nations, including a few wanted war criminals, working in concert with the Peron regime and sympathetic Catholic officials in both Europe and Argentina.
Goñi makes a plausible case that the cabal, which was organized in Buenos Aires following Peron's election as Argentina's president in 1946, orchestrated the emigration of hundreds, perhaps thousands of Nazis and other unsavory types to the country in the late 1940s and early 1950s. [He also claims that the cabal was based at the presidential palace, and that many of its members were given important jobs in Peron's government]. The old Nazis made frequent trips to Europe to troll for more fugitives; some war criminals had to be smuggled out, but in other cases countries were glad to unload their troublesome Nazi refugees. Visas and landing permits were handed out freely, the chief concern being that no communists or Jews be allowed in by mistake. How many ex-Nazis made it to Argentina is not known. Goñi says he identified 300 during six years of research, and it's easy to believe there were many more.
Notwithstanding his 591 footnotes Goñi concedes that many key Argentine records that would have corroborated his story have been destroyed. Still, he avoids the overheated claims of other writers, and the plain fact is that all those Nazis did not wind up in South America by coincidence — they were going where they were welcome. As for the details? Given the current worldwide consensus that Nazis represent the ultimate human evil [and the resulting disinclination of officials in Argentina and elsewhere to come clean], Goñi's book may be as close as we'll get to the truth.
|Juan Domingo Peron and Argentina's Nazis|
By Christopher Minster
After World War Two, Europe was full of former Nazis and wartime collaborators in once-occupied nations. Many of these Nazis, such as Adolf Eichmann and Josef Mengele, were war criminals actively searched for by their victims and Allied forces. As for collaborators from France, Belgium and other nations, to say that they were no longer welcome in their native countries is an epic understatement: many collaborators were sentenced to death. These men needed a place to go, and most of them headed to South America, particularly Argentina, where populist president Juan Domingo Perón welcomed them. Why did Argentina and Perón accept these desperate, wanted men with the blood of millions on their hands? The answer is somewhat complicated.
Perón and Argentina Before the War
Argentina had long enjoyed close ties with three European nations above all others: Spain, Italy and Germany. Coincidentally, these three formed the heart of the Axis alliance in Europe [Spain was technically neutral but was a de facto member of the alliance].
Argentina’s ties to Axis Europe are quite logical: Argentina was colonized by Spain and Spanish is the official language, and much of the population is of Italian or German descent due to decades of immigration from those countries. Perhaps the greatest fan of Italy and Germany was Perón himself: he had served as an adjunct military officer in Italy in 1939-1941 and had a great deal of personal respect for Italian fascist Benito Mussolini. Much of Perón’s populist posturing was borrowed from his Italian and German role models.
Argentina in World War Two
When the war broke out, there was much support in Argentina for the Axis cause. Argentina technically remained neutral, but aided the Axis powers as actively as they could. Argentina was teeming with Nazi agents, and Argentine military officers and spies were common in Germany, Italy and parts of occupied Europe. Argentina bought arms from Germany because they feared a war with pro-Allied Brazil. Germany actively cultivated this informal alliance, promising major trade concessions to Argentina after the war. Meanwhile, Argentina used its position as a major neutral nation to try and broker peace agreements between the warring factions. Eventually, pressure from the USA forced Argentina to break relations with Germany in 1944, and even formally join the Allies in 1945 a month before the war ended and once it was clear that Germany would lose. Privately, Perón assured his German friends that the declaration of war was just for show.
Important Argentines were Sympathetic
During World War Two, Argentina clearly favored the Axis because of close cultural ties with Germany, Spain and Italy. This is not surprising, as most Argentines were of Spanish, Italian or German descent. Nazi Germany nurtured this sympathy, promising important trade concessions after the war. Argentina was full of Nazi spies and Argentine officers and diplomats held important positions in Axis Europe. Perón's government was a big fan of the fascist trappings of Nazi Germany: spiffy uniforms, parades, rallies…and rampant anti-Semitism. Many influential Argentines, including wealthy businessmen and members of the government, were openly supportive of the Axis cause, none more so than Perón himself, who had served as an adjunct officer in Benito Mussolini's Italian army in the late 1930's.
Although Argentina would eventually declare war on the Axis powers [a month before the war ended] it was partly a ploy to get Argentine agents in place to help defeated Nazis escape after the war.
They still had many friends in Europe
It's not like World War Two ended one day in 1945 and suddenly everyone realized how horrible the Nazis had been. Even after Germany was defeated, there were many powerful men in Europe who had favored the Nazi cause and continued to do so. Spain was still ruled by the fascist Francisco Franco and had been a de facto member of the Axis alliance; many Nazis would find safe, if temporary, haven there. Switzerland had remained neutral during the war, but many important leaders had been outspoken in their support of Germany: these man retained their positions after the war and were in a position to help out. Swiss bankers, out of greed or sympathy, helped the former Nazis move and launder funds. The Catholic Church was extremely helpful: several high-ranking church officials [including Pope Pius XII] actively helped the Nazis escape.
There was Money Involved
There was a financial incentive for Argentina to accept these men. Wealthy Germans and Argentine businessmen of German descent were willing to pay the way for escaping Nazis. Nazi leaders plundered untold millions from the Jews they murdered and some of that money accompanied them to Argentina. Some of the smarter Nazi officers and collaborators saw the writing on the wall as early as 1943 and began squirreling away gold, money, valuables, paintings and more, often in Switzerland. Ante Pavelic and his cabal of close advisors were in possession of several chests full of gold, jewelry and art they had stolen from their Jewish and Serbian victims: this eased their passage to Argentina considerably. They even paid off British officers to let them through Allied lines.
The Americans and British didn't want to give them to communist countries
After the war, communist regimes were created in Poland, Yugoslavia and other parts of Eastern Europe. These new nations requested the extradition of many war criminals in allied prisons. A handful of them, such as the Ustashi General Vladimir Kren, were eventually sent back, tried and executed. Many more were allowed to go to Argentina instead, because the Allies were reluctant to hand them over to their new communist rivals, where the outcome of their war trials would inevitably result in their executions. The Catholic Church also lobbied heavily in favor of these individuals not being repatriated. The Allies did not want to try these men themselves [only 23 men were tried at the famous Nuremberg Trials], nor did they want to send them to the communist nations that were requesting them, so they turned a blind eye to the Ratlines carrying them by the boatload to Argentina.
Active Aid for Nazi Refugees
Although it’s never been a secret that many Nazis fled to Argentina after the war, for a while no one suspected just how actively the Perón administration aided them. Perón dispatched agents to Europe – primarily Spain, Italy, Switzerland and Scandinavia – with orders to facilitate the flight of Nazis and collaborators to Argentina. These men, including Argentine/German former SS agent Carlos Fuldner, helped war criminals and wanted Nazis flee with money, papers and travel arrangements. No one was refused: even heartless butchers like Josef Schwammberger and wanted criminals like Adolf Eichmann were sent to South America. Once they arrived in Argentina, they were given money and jobs. The German community in Argentina largely bankrolled the operation through Perón’s government. Many of these refugees met personally with Perón himself.
Why did Perón help these desperate men? Perón’s Argentina had actively participated in World War Two. They stopped short of declaring war or sending soldiers or weapons to Europe, but aided the Axis powers as much as possible without exposing themselves to the wrath of the Allies should they prove victorious [as they eventually did]. When Germany surrendered in 1945, the atmosphere in Argentina was more mournful than joyous. Perón therefore felt that he was rescuing brothers-in-arms rather than helping wanted war criminals. He was enraged about the Nuremberg Trials, thinking them a farce unworthy of the victors. After the war, Perón and the Catholic Church lobbied hard for amnesties for the Nazis.
They Were an Essential Part of Perón's "Third Way"
By 1945, as the Allies were mopping up the last remnants of the Axis, it was clear that the next great conflict would come between the capitalist USA and the communist USSR. The geo-political situation in 1945 was more complicated than we sometimes like to think. Many people – including most of the hierarchy of the Catholic Church – believed that the communist Soviet Union was a far greater threat in the long run than fascist Germany. Perón and some of his advisors, predicted that World War Three would break out as soon as 1948. In this upcoming "inevitable" conflict, third parties such as Argentina could tip the balance one way or the other. Perón envisioned nothing less than Argentina taking its place as a crucially important diplomatic third party in the war, emerging as a superpower and leader of a new world order. The Nazi war criminals and collaborators may have been butchers, but there is no doubt that they were rabidly anti-communist. Perón thought these men would come in useful in the "upcoming" conflict between the USA and the USSR, they were veteran soldiers and officers whose hatred of communism was beyond question. Some had even gone went so far as to declare early in the war that the USA should ally itself with Germany against the USSR. Perón was one such man.
For a brief moment in the early 1950s, Argentina stood at the forefront of aviation development, a result of a bold undertaking envisioned to push the Argentinean industry into a completely new era. Alas, it was not to materialize.
In the post-war world, many qualified German personnel found their way to Argentina.
Documents reveal that the head of the Swiss Federal Police, Heinrich Rothmund, and the former Swiss intelligence officer Paul Schaufelberger participated in the activities of the illegal Argentine emigration service in Bern.
For instance, one urgent telegram from Bern to the Swiss Legation in Rome stated:
"The [Swiss] Police Department wants to send 16 refugees to Argentina with the emigration ship that leaves Genoa 26 March . Stop. All of them carry Swiss ID cards and have return visa. Stop".
Besides political sympathies, the Peron government saw an economic pay-off in smuggling German scientists to work in Argentine factories and armaments plants.
The Argentinean government was quick to approach the arguably most talented of all German aircraft constructors, Dipl. Ing. Kurt Tank. Famous for the immortal Focke-Wulf Fw 190/Ta 152 series of fighters, Tank was not slow to pick the chance of starting his professional life again. He managed to collect a large team originating from the Focke Wulf design bureau and established himself in Córdoba in 1947.
The Focke-Wulf Ta 152H 'Höhenjäger', arguably the finest aircraft of WW2,
was a German high-altitude fighter-interceptor designed by Kurt Tank and produced by Focke-Wulf.
It was based on the Fw 190D with longer wings and the
new high-altitude "E" model of the Junkers Jumo 213 engine
From the late 1944, his team had been working on a 2nd generation jet fighter for the Luftwaffe under the designation Ta 183 Huckebein. It was an advanced jet, extraordinarily compact in size and aerodynamically clean, sporting a 32º swept wing, and accommodating a Heinkel He S011A jet engine which would bring it to calculated maximum speed of 967 km/h at an altitude of 7000 meters.
Equipped with the invaluable aerodynamic research data from this project, all Tank had to do was to finalize his ideas and produce a prototype aircraft. What Tank didn't know was that the very same data were simultaneously worked upon in the Soviet Union for development of an aircraft that would eventually become the MiG-15.
Like the MiG-15, the chosen powerplant for the Pulqui II was the Rolls Royce Nene II. The Nene was more powerful than the He S011A but required a redesigned new fuselage with a larger cross-section due to it having a centrifugal rather than axial compressor. The resulting product was the IAe.33 Pulqui II.
The new fighter was a real beauty. The high-mounted negative-incidence wings were swept back 40º, even more than the Ta 183. The long fuselage was perfectly circular in section with the engine buried inside right at the center of gravity. The airframe was finished off with a graceful swept-back T-shaped tail. The pilot sat in a pressurized cockpit under a teardrop canopy. Armament would include four fuselage-mounted 20mm cannon. Many elements incorporated into the Pulqui II were totally new in the fields of aeronautical construction, placing the Argentinean aero industry amongst the most advanced during those years.
The economic crisis that hit Argentina beginning in 1953 forced the slowing down of armament development programs. The high-cost high-profile Pulqui II project was halted; first temporarily, but the fall of Peron administration in 1955 meant it was never to recover. Kurt Tank moved on to another projects, first trying to return to Germany but then moving on to India. Most of his team ended up leaving Argentina to find work in the United States and other countries. Kurt Tank himself was not to return to his life and work in Germany until the 1970s, where he died in 1983.
Legacy of Argentina's Nazis
In the end, these Nazis had little lasting impact on Argentina. Argentina was not the only place in South America that accepted Nazis and collaborators: many eventually found their way to Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and other parts of the continent. Many Nazis scattered after Peron's government fell abruptly in 1955; fearing that this sudden, fundamental shift in Argentine politics and another government – especially a civilian one – would not protect them as Perón had.
Most of the Nazis who went to Argentina lived out their lives quietly, fearing repercussions if they were too vocal or visible. This was particularly true after 1960, when Adolf Eichmann, architect of the program of Jewish genocide, was snatched off a street in Buenos Aires by a team of Mossad agents and whisked off to Israel. There he was tried and executed.
Hitler’s Deputy Bormann Was with Eichmann in Argentina: Ex-envoy Reports
Jewish Telegraphic Agency
10 May 1961
TEL AVIV - Martin Bormann, Hitler’s deputy, who was at first believed to have been killed in Berlin in 1945, but was later reported to have escaped to South America, was in Argentina when Adolf Eichmann was captured there last year, a former Argentine diplomat told a press conference here today.
The diplomat, Dr. Gregario Topolevsky former Argentine Ambassador to Israel, said that Bormann, who was living in Argentina under another name, fled to Brazil when he heard about Eichmann’s capture in May last year. [Dr. Fritz Eauer, chief prosecutor at Frankfurt, Germany, reported only last Sunday that he has “virtually certain proof” that Bormann is alive and hiding "outside Germany"].
In 1966, Argentina extradited Gerhard Bohne to Germany, the first Nazi war criminal formally sent back to Europe to face justice.
Other wanted war criminals were too cautious to be found: Josef Mengele drowned in Brazil in 1979 after having been the object of a massive manhunt for decades.
However, by the 1990's most of these ageing men were living openly, under their own names. A handful of them were eventually tracked down and sent back to Europe for trial, such as Josef Schwammberger and Franz Stangl. Others, such as Dinko Sakic and Erich Priebke, gave ill-advised interviews which brought them to the attention of the public: both were extradited [to Croatia and Italy respectively] tried and convicted.
As for the rest of the Argentine Nazis, most assimilated into Argentina's sizeable German community and were smart enough to never talk about their past. Many went on to become productive members of Argentine society, albeit not in the way Perón had envisioned, as advisors facilitating Argentina’s rise to a new status as major world power, and some of these men were even quite successful financially, such as Herbert Kuhlmann, a former commander of the Hitler youth who became a prominent businessman
In the long run, Argentina was probably hurt more than helped by these fugitive Nazis.
Is Hitler's Death a Myth?
Shepparton Advertiser [Vic]
19 June 1945
LONDON: What about Hitler? If alive he must be unearthed, and if dead proved quite defunct. And no amount of trouble can be too great or expensive for satisfaction on this point.
We have not to go many centuries back for parallel. There was the miserable son of Louis XVI of France; the poor boy Dauphin imprisoned in the temple of Paris after his parents had been guillotined, and there supposed to have died or to have been put to death by gaolers. But had he died?
The Monarchist Party was not wholly squashed, and the evidence of death was weak and a gaoler was supposed to have befriended the boy and if there was one claimant over the next 60 years or so there were a dozen or more. Several had quite plausible credentials, and one known as Naundorff was almost more than plausible. To this day the legend of a Daughin who lived when he was assumed to be dead is extant in France. And it might well have been alarming and embarrassing to many of the Royalist claimants and pretenders, if their hopes of a throne had ever had any substance at all.
All this, mark you, for lack of definite proof of death. A resuscitation of Hitler in five, 10 or 15 years time, based on a similar lack of facial resemblance, might be much more dangerous.
New Story: Hitler Was Wed in 1913
The Telegraph [Brisbane, Qld]
5 January 1946
NEW YORK: Hitler married Eva Braun in 1913, Antonl Gronowlcz, Polish author and journalist, told the "New York Post".
"Documents indicating that they were married last April and died amidst the rains of Berlin", sald Gronowlcz, "were false, and part of a pattern being woven to portray the Führer as a martyr.
"Actually the wedding took place just before the First World War in the tiny Austrian mountain village of Wolocz".
Gronowlcz clalms he had copies of the Hitler—Braun marriage certificate, but they were I stolen as he travelled from Gcrmany to Prague.
Residents of Wolocz told him that in 1913 Hitler was taken from Munich to the village of a cousln, Pastor Johann Hoffmann [also related to the man who later became Hitler's offlclnl photographer].
Hitler, unscrupulously obtained an appointment as local chief of police and courted and married the pastor's foster-daughter, Eva Braun, who was then 16 years a old. "
The story accepted by the Allies is too pat", according to Gronowlcz.
"I don't believe that Eva Braun came to Berlin to die with Hitler," he said. "I am sure he is alive now — in 8outh America, possibly Argentina.
"Hitler would not kill himself. He is not so heroic.
"He would do everything possible to save his own life".
Doubts About Hitler's Death
The Northern Miner [Charters Towers, Qld]
20 March 1947
Nearly, two years have passed since the "1000-year Reich" caved in on Adolf Hitler, but there is still no evidence that the Führer is dead.
This is the opinion cf Mr. W. K. Heimlich, former Chief of Intelligence of the U.S. Army in Berlin. Most Germans, asked about Hitler, just shrug and say that, since he hasn't turned up any place, he must be dead. The Berliner accustomed to his frequent and pompous utterances, say the best proof that he is dead is the fact that nothing has been heard from him. Mr. Heimlich, who regards Hitler as "a little Austrian corporal who shot his wad, but still wanted to live", takes a more realistic approach.
To him, the story that Hitler and his sweetheart, Eva Braun, took their lives In the Chancellery Bunker on Wllhelmstrasse and that their bcdles were burned is false. Mr. Heimlich, who spent months investigating the bizarre story, is now Deputy Director of Political and Civil Affairs for the Berlin Military Government.
"Hitler did not die In the Chancellery, and as far as I know he is not dead," Heimlich said. "That goes for Eva Braun and Martin Bormanh, too".
Bormann, Hitler's deputy, was supposed to have been fatally injured or killed when the armoured car in which he was rlding was hit by a Panzerfaust on the Schlffbauer bridge rear the Relchstaff at 4 pm. on 30 April 19415.
"As a matter of fact"' Mr. Heimlich said, "Bormann had a conference with the commander of Berlin troops at midnight and was perfectly well".
Mr. Heimlich said his opposite numbers In the British and Russian Intelllgence Units in Berlin agreed with him that no evidence had been found to indicate that Hitler and Eva Brauh died in Hitler's Bunker. There is one possibility, that the first Russian troops to reach the Chancellery found the bodles and reported it only to the highest Russian levels. Heimlich doesn't believe it. To support his belief is the fact that pictures were taken of the body of Propaganda Minister, Josef Göbbels, but no pictures ever have been produced of the Führer's corpse
Of the story, told by some witnesses, that 40 gallons of gasoline were poured over the bodies of Hitler and Eva Bourn and the bodies burned. Mr. Heimlich says it is untrue. He pointed out that It takes 3200 degrees of heat to cremate a body in a closed crematory and that even then some bones remain.
"An effort had bcen made", he said, " to burn the body of a dead pig with 40 gallons of gasoline in the open, but that pig was still recognizable when the fire went out".
A New Challenge to Hitler's Death Story
FACTS London Bureau
The Sun [Sydney, NSW]
5 December 1948
Hitler and Eva Braun are still alive, if the only evidence of death is the story of their cremation, a French crematorium director says.
The director, M. Arthur Hubert, has cremated more than 40,000 bodies at Pere Lachaise Crematorium, Paris. Hubert insists that those who said they burned the bodies of the Nazi dictator and his mistress-wife in the Reich Chancellery on 30 April 1945, were lying, because it was technically impossible for them to have done so in the way they described.
A British Intelligence report issued from Allied headquarters in Berlin on . 1 November 1945, officially accepted that Hitler shot himself dead and was cremated with Eva Braun. Hitler's chauffeur Erich Kempka, valet Heinz Linge, and an SS Petty-Officer had said they dug a hole one foot deep, 30 inches wide and six feet long into which they poured 40 gallons of Petrol. They said they put the bodies in, covered them with a blanket and set fire to the Petrol. The fire lasted two hours and left no trace of the bodies.
Hubert says their story cannot be true because: "You can't burn a body on the ground — bones and some flesh would remain.
"To bum two bodies weighing 12 and 10 stone, a grid some inches above the ground would be necessary.
"Even then enough would probably remain to identify them unless other precautions were taken".
Hubert says it would have been necessary to water proof the walls and bottom of the trench to prevent the Petrol from seeping away. A wall or some such enclosure about 15 inches high would have been needed, with gaps at ground-level to provide a draught under the bodies resting on the grille inside.
Hubert, 55, a tall, white-haired Alsatian with Swiss ancestry, was an industrial central-heating engineer before he took up cremation. He installed crematoriums in Brussels and Strasbourg. Hubert told "Fact" correspondent Marie de Segur:
"Average time in a proper crematorium is 60 minutes. Women's bodies burn quicker because they are fatter. Corpses of people who have been treated with penicillin are hard to burn".
Fate of Eva Braun
Morning Bulletin [Rockhampton, Qld]
29 March 1948
Eva Braun is neither legally dead nor legally married to Adolf Hitler, the official Registry office of Greater Berlin reports.
Eva's mother, requested confirmation of Eva's death and marriage in order to settle property matters of the Braun family.
She received the following answer from Standesbeamter Grod, the Berlin official:
"The death of the alleged Eva Hitler cannot be documented. No death report has yet been received in this office. Neither is it known that the corpse has been found in the area of the Reich Chancellory, nor has any corpse been identified as that of Eva Hitler or Eva Braun.
"The validity of the alleged marriage has not been established through the certificate office. There was no documentation of the marriage at the time and no entry of this marriage was made in the personal records. There are no documents or papers in existence which give evidence as to the legality of the marriage.
"If the corpse of Eva Braun was found in the area of the Reich Chancellory and identified ...... the declaration of death would be admissible only under the name Eva Braun, as there is no proof of the legality of the marriage".
-- New York "Herald Tribune"
"The area around Hitler's Bunker was thoroughly excavated and one of Hitler's silk hats and a slip of Eva Braun's were found there, but there were no signs, that the bodies had been there", Mr. Heimlich said.
Copies of X-ray photographs of Hitler's skull are available and identification could have been made if the skull ever had been found.
Mr. Heimlich admits that Hitler's fate became an obsession to him. He spent days checking down rumours. The Russians insisted they had not found the bodies. He admits that both the British and American headquarters released stories indicating the more or less official belief that Hitler was dead, but that they were not based on Intelligence reports.
"I wish we could have found him in some ignominious grave with 4 feet of dirt on him, but we didn't," he added.
Mr. Heimlich believes that Hitler, Bormann, and Eva probablv would hide out together. Where? The former Intelligence officer wouldn't guess. But he pointed out that Hitler, an Austrian, never was able to shed his Austrian accent. With his mcustache shaved off and his hair cut short, that probably would be, the easiest place for him to lead a secluded life. It also would have been easy for Hitler to prepare a hideout in Berlin, months in advance of the Russian arrival. prepare false Identify cards and papers, including ration cards, and remain hidden in an obscure part of Berlin fcr years.
"There's no reason whv he shouldn't be right here," he said.
Hitler Did Not Die in Berlin Chancellery
Modern Pharaoh's Tomb
The Sydney Morning Herald [NSW]
18 December 1948
"In the Shelter With Hitler" by Gerhard Boldt. The Citadel Press, London
Deep in the dungeons beneath the Reich Chancellery, in the last stages of the war, Nazi overlords skulked like moles while Russian steel rained above.
This little book of fewer than a hundred pages is an astonishing and convincing eye-witness account of reaction and behaviour as advancing Allied arms squeezed the last of their freedom from them. It is written by a young officer who escaped from this modern Pharaoh's tomb only twenty-four hours before Hitler and Eva Braun supposedly suicided.
Gerhard Boldt was detailed to the subterranean headquarters as orderly to General Guderian and General Krebs, successive Chiefs of the German General Staff, three months before the fall of Germany. His observations of the underground entourage over the period appear acute and accurate. The reputedly divine strategy of Hitler, now sick and trembling, his lustre dulled, is revealed as only a naive, yet murderous, idiocy. When all was lost, when Berlin could not even adequately defend itself, he left his officers dumb with the pronouncement that he wished to attack. With the Reds more numerous than the ants on the earth, he issued a death sentence on any soldier who retreated. Hundreds who refused to continue his senseless murder were hanged from lamp-posts and trees.
The Führer, in fact, knew nothing of the war. For him it consisted of figures and lines on maps. Contact with combat, he believed, would hamper the decisive power of his gonius. He refused to see even see films of his country's damage, preferring to leave his imaginary world undisturbed by reality. Only once, when, in late 1944, his train passed through the suburbs, had he cursorily witnessed the ruin of Berlin, He had not, he told his suite, had the slightest suspicion that the effects of bombing were so devastating. Hitler thought so little of his generals that, after the surrender of Vienna, he ordered one of them degraded to the rank of private.
While the Hitler Youth fought bravely in the streets and six hundred S.S. men cowered beneath concrete to protect Hitler's person, the hope gradually grew in the Nazi's minds that American intervention would save them from the Russians. Even when hope of German succour had vanished they believed that war between Bolsheviks and Anglo-Saxons was inevitable over the spoil of Berlin.
As the allied armies approached the heart of Germany from both directions, Berliners claimed that optimists were "learning English and pessimists learning Russian". The Nazi foreign minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop, who had no sense of humour, announced at a diplomatic dinner that "Germany had lost the war but still had it in her power to decide to whom she lost".
Once again their beliefs were wildly astray. It is now history that the Russians were in possession of Berlin for nearly two months before the British and Americans entered the city.
Gerhard Boldt is one of those Germans who were interrogated by H. R. Trevor-Roper before he wrote his vivid "The Last Days Of Hitler". While the story he tells has not the same scope as Trevor Roper's, it is the first complete eye-witness account ever published of those feverish days. One could wish, however, that he had stayed another few hours in the shelter and his life been spared at the end of it all.
He might then have had the solution to the greatest mystery of contemporary history:
Did or did not Hitler really die in the cellars beneath the Reich-Chancellery?
Chester Wilmot in "The Struggle for Europe", the most highly regarded single-volume history of the Second World War in Europe, writes about Hitler and Eva Braun's final fate:
Early in the morning of 29 April, in the presence of Göbbels and Bormann, Hitler married Eva Braun, "the woman who [so he said] after many years of true friendship came of her own free will to this city, already almost besieged, to share my fate."
There was little reward he could offer beyond ending the ambiguity of her position and granting her the privilege of sharing, as his wife, his sacrificial death. It was not incongruous, therefore, that in the prevailing atmosphere of fatalism the wedding breakfast should have been enlivened by a dispassionate discussion of his plans for their suicide. Thirty-six hours later, on the afternoon of 30 April, when Russian tanks were less than half a mile from the Führerbunker, these plans were duly carried out.
"In accordance with the instructions in Hitler's will, their bodies were burned in the garden of the Chancellery and no trace of them was ever found.
Alan Bullock in "Hitler: A Study in Tyranny" which was the first comprehensive biography of Adolf Hitler and influenced many other major biographies of Hitler, writes:
Dead, or Alive?
Is Hitler dead? More than seven years have now passed without any trace of his survival, despite the most lurid and exciting rumours. lt may well be doubted whether a man in his exhausted state of health would in fact have lived long if he had escaped from the Bunker.
True, the evidence is only circumstantial -the accounts, most carefully investigated by H. R. Trevor-Roper, of those who took part in the final scene at the Bunker; Hitler's statement of intention in his will; and so on.
Nobody can prove that it was Hitler's body which was carried up the stairs into the garden, for the head remained covered, nor have the ashes and fragments of bone, which even the fiercest fire could be expected to leave, ever been discovered.
But these are less serious gaps in the story than may appear at first sight. lt was perfectly natural to cover Hitler's head, since he had shot himself through the mouth. The clothes on the body were certainly his. As for the ashes, it has been suggested that they may have been collected and placed in a casket to be handed to the Hitler Youth commander, who was present, as sacred relics for the next generation.
But the simplest explanation may still be the correct one. It is not known how thorough a search was made by the Russians, and it is perfectly possible that the remains of Hitler and his wife became mixed up with those of the other bodies which were found there, especially as the garden remained under continuous bombardment until the Russians captured the Chancellery on 2 May. This remains hypothesis, but when it is added to the psychological probability—which all the evidence confirms —that this was the end Hitler would choose, and the state of his health at the time, it is a fairly convincing argument.
In any case, seven years is a long time. If Hitler has not so far appeared to take advantage of the confusion and divisions which he left as his legacy to Europe, it is a reasonable assumption that he is in fact dead. Whether a Hitler legend may not yet appear to prove more troublesome than ever Hitler alive would be, is another question, to which the answer of the future is still concealed.
An article in "Truth" [Brisbane, Qld] on 11 October 1953 states:
Many cans of Petrol were poured over the bodies. Bormann tossed a match on the petrol-soaked ground, there was a flash of fire, an explosion, and the bodies of Hitler and his bride were engulfed in roaring flame.
Fed steadily with more Petrol, the blaze is said to have been maintained till 10.30 that night. What was left of Hitler and his wife was buried by General Rattenhuber and a detail of Elite guardsmen. Dawn over battered Berlin the following day revealed the Chancellery in ruins.
There was no sign of the remains of Hitler and his bride. Like the Third German Reich, they had crumbled to dust.
Defeated Hitler Sought Union With Britain
Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate [NSW]
3 January 1946
LONDON: Even in the hour of Germany's utter defeat, Hitler was contemplating a virtual union of the British Empire and Germany.
An astounding appeal to this effect was made at Hitler's request in letters addressed to Mr. Churchill [then Prime Minister] and Mr. Eden [then Foreign Secretary], which Joachim von Ribbentrop [former German Foreign Minister] handed to his British captors when he was arrested at a lodging house in Hamburg.
The letters are von Ribbentrop's version of what he claims to be Hitler's "Last Political Will". They resemble the document that was released last week-end. Von Ribbentrop told American interrogators at Nuremburg that he had fled from Berlin on higher instructions. After that, he had sent a message to Hitler pleading to be allowed to return to fight beside him, but was told to stay at Nauen and await instructions. The Red Army's advance had driven him to the British zone, where he had intended to surrender and give details of his last political talk with Hitler a week before the latter's death. He was arrested before he could carry out his intention.
Von Ribbentrop's wheedling letters to Mr. Churchill and Mr. Eden were phrased to pique their curiosity and gain him an opportunity to see them personally. The letters asserted that during a conversation, Hitler had predicted:
"My spirit will arise from the grave. It will be seen I have been right".
Von Ribbentrop declared Hitler had shown deep disappointment and embitterment at the failure of his political conception. The talk was said to have culminated in a kind of "last appeal" and message to the leaders of the British Empire, representing the political will of a great idealist who had loved his people above all else.
"I do not know who will hear the political testament of a deceased man, but I imagine that the contents might heal wounds that were inflicted during the course of a bittcr war," Hitler had said.
Von Ribblentrop disavowed responsibility for the appeal. He said Hitler had directed foreign policy. Von Ribbentrop said he had had serious disputes with the Führer, which, presumably, was the reason why he was not invited to regular Nazi Party meetings.
Nevertheless, he said:
"One point on which the Führer and I always agreed was that a strong, united Germany was a preliminary condition for a flourishing Europe and could only exist in the long run in close collaboration with Great Britain. Every step in these years was taken with an eye to bringing Britain to terms".
Von Ribbentrop wrote shortly hefore the bitter end that Hitler had prophetically pointed out that deisive importance in days of huge combined political areas must be attached to Anglo-German relations.
"May I, the last Foreign Minister of a defeated nation and a man who has always considered Britain his second home, point out that when Britain was in a difficult position in 1940, the Führer at his headquarters on the Western Front, spoke to me of the coming peace. He said we must never in any way vioate British prestige in the world. With peace between Britain and Germany, a full alliance for life and death should he found between the two great nations".
Former Pilot and Valet Tell How Hitler Died
The Canberra Times [ACT]
10 October 1955
HERLESHAUSEN [Germany]: Hitler's chief'personai pilot, Hans Baur said on return from Soviet captivity yesterday that he saw Hitler shoot himself dead.
"The Führer Iooked at me gravely, in the eyes, shook my -hand, said 'goodbye' and shot himself," he said. Baur said Hitier's wife, Eva Braun committed suieide in his [Baur's] presence in a Bunker of the Reich Chancellery. . . However before Baur could tell further details, he was whisked off by Red Cross officials.
Thirty-one other former prisoners were in transport which brought Baur from the Soviet Union.
Baur said later:
"There is no doubt about it! Hitler is dead and Eva Braun died on the same day as he. I did not see their bodies afterwards and I do not know what happened to them".
There had been many conflicting reports about the drama in the Bunker, some saying Hitler and Braun were not married, others that they married almost at the last moment before their suicide. Some report's said Hitler and Braun took poison after a last minute marriage; Baur's acccount is the first eyewitness version.
Heinz Linge, Adolf Hitler's personal valet, today also declared the Führer to be dead says an "American Associated Press" report from Berlin.
"I carried his body out of the Bunker, and then helped pour Petrol over it;" he was quoted as saying. "I watched it burn for about five minutes".
Linge gave his version of Hitler's last' minutes after returning from the prisoner of wair camp in Russia. H6 said Hitler and his bride, Eva Braun, committed suicide in the Führer's air raid Bunker in the Chancellery garden in Berlin on 30 April 1945.
"They were alone in one of the Bunker rooms," Linge said. "Hitler shot himself, Eva Braun took poison".
Both bodies were liberally doused with Petrol. About 10 men, of them in the S.S. staff of the Bunker, watched as the bright blaze consumed the bodies.
Linge said he then fled with Martin Bormann, chief of the Chancellery staff. Linge' said Bormann entered a Tiger tank and tried to break through the ring of Russians who were closing on the centre of the city. "I don't think he made it. The last time I saw the tank was at the Weidendammer Bridge," said Linge.
The bridge is in what is now East Berlin. Bormann was officially declared dead last year.
Conflict In Stories Of Hitler's Death
Hans Baur, Hitler's chief personal pilot, said he saw the Nazi dictator and Eva Braun shoot themselves dead amid the blazing ruins of Berlin in April 1945. Heinz Linge, Hitler's personal valet, said: "Hitler shot himself, and Eva Braun took poison. They were alone in one of the Bunker rooms".
The Canberra Times [CT]
11 October 1955
BERLIN: Two men who were with Hitler to the last have given conflicting accounts of how the Führer and Eva Braun met their deaths in besieged Berlin.
Heinz Linge, Hitler's valet, told reporters yesterday that he threw a blanket over the Führer's body on 30 April 1945, and helped to burn it. Linge, who arrived in Berlin last night among a group of 116 ex-prisoriers, said he had tried to carry the body out of the Chancellery by himself but found it too heavy. The bodies of Hitler and Eva Braun were then soaked with Petrol and burned.
Linge's revelations came less than 21 hours after Hans Baur, Hitler's' personal pilot, told reporters at the West German repatriation camp of Friedland that he saw Hitler and Eva Braun shoot themselves in the Chancellery air raid shelter.
"The Führer looked me gravely in the eyes, shook my hand and said 'goodbye,' and shot himself," Baur said.
"Braun shot herself at the same time," he added.
Baur also told reporters that Martin Bormann, Hitler's deputy, was killed trying to escape from beleaguered Berlin.
Baur is the first surviving witness to say he actually saw Hitler and Braun die.
I Burnt Hitler's Body: Migrant
The Canberra Times [ACT]
18 January 1973
SYDNEY: A 58-year-old Newcastle State dockyard worker said today that he had helped to burn Hitler's body early on 1 May 1945.
Mr Bruno Koch, an assistant boilermaker-foreman, said he also saw Martin Bormann, whose fate still remains one of the great wartime mysteries die in a hail of bullets as he fled from Russian soldiers only an hour after the burning.
Mr Koch, then a warrant officer and a personal aide to Hitler, said he was only yards from Hitler and his bride of one day, Eva Braun. when they committed suicide in a Bunker 30ft below the German war headquarters in Berlin, The next day he had helped wrap the couple in a carpet, soak it in petrol and set fire to it.
Mr Koch's disclosure 28 years after World War II, came as a result of the recent discovery of a human skull near a railway yard in Berlin and the the discovery that the skull was the remains of Bormann. According to Mr Koch, Bormann died only yards from him while crossing a bridge over the River Spree in Berlin. Mr Koch said he had lived with the secret since the war because he wanted to forget.
"But all this talk about what happened to Field Marshal Bormann [sic] makes me want to say once and for all that he died on 1 May 1945", he said. "I saw him die. I was only a few yards behind him, taking cover from bullets".
Mr Koch, who has lived in Newcastle for IS years, said he had been near Hitler and other leading Nazi Party figures in the last days. Mr Koch migrated to Australia 18 years ago and spent several weeks in migrant hostels in Melbourne and Sydney before moving to Newcastle, where he has been ever since.
Mr. Koch Stirs Interest
The Canberra Times [ACT]
19 January 1973
FRANKFURT: West German justice authorities said here today that a 58-year-old boilermaker in Australia might be able to help solve the mystery of Martin Bormann, Adolf Hitler's deputy who disappeared in Berlin in 1945.
They were commenting on a report that Mr Bruno Koch, a German who emigrated to Australia 18 years ago, told reporters in Newcastle, that he saw Bormann shot dead with Russian bullets in Berlin at the end of World War II.
Dr Wilhelm Metzner, State prosecutor in charge of West German investigation into the fate of Bormann, said:
"We have heard from Herr Koch before. He contacted us in 1965 about Bormann. But when we tried to contact him, he was not to be found, and has never approached us since".
Dr Metzner said Mr Koch's story closely matched that of Mr Erich Kempka, Hitler's chauffeur, who told the 1946 Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal that Bormann died while fleeing the Russians in 1945.
The West German Institute for Contemporary Affairs, in Munich, said it had a Soviet intelligence report listing all people known to have been in the Bunker at the time of Hitler's death. Mr Koch was not among them.
He said Hitler's last order to him was to break out of Berlin with Bormann and to fly the Deputy Führer to safety. Bormann was killed in the attempt, Baur said, and was probably buried without his identity being known.
The first account of how Hitler met his death' was' given by Hermann Kernau, a member of Hitler's bodyguard who surrendered to the Canadians at the end of the war. He said in 1946 that Hitler had ordered Linge never to allow his [Hitler's] body to fall into enemy hands. Kernau did not claim to have seen him die, but said he had seen the bodies of Hitler and Braun lying burning outside the shelter.
"Reuter's special correspondent with the Twenty First Army Group, writes:
The first personal story of how Hitler met his death in the Reich Chancellery in Berlin with Eva Braun was told last night by a man who was a member of Hitler's bodyguard. The story comes from Herman Kernau, a 32-year-old former policeman who recently gave himself up to the Canadians. He said that Hitler died on 1 May. He had married Eva Braun at the end of April.
"In the last days of the siege members of the bodyguard were allowed to pass through Hitler's Bunker which was 60 feet below ground because the bombardment was so heavy.
"On 1 May, as I was passing through the Bunker to draw my breakfast rations, I saw Hitler sitting in a basket chair, nervously tapping with his fingers. In the afternoon about five o'clock I returned to the Bunker and it was then empty. Schädle, one of Hitler's personal staff, was in a state of great distress and calling out: 'The Führer is dead - and burning'.
The former bodyguard went on:
"I went outside the Bunker and found the bodies of Hitler and Eva Braun lying on sandy ground about three yards from an emergency exit. There was a terrible smell. Both bodies were burning".
Karnau, who last saw Hitler alive at around 4.00 pm, believed that Hitler was subsequently poisoned by one of his personal physicians, Dr Ludwig Stumpfegger, and cremated at around 6.30 pm that same day. It should not be concluded that Karnau was wrong about a cremation having taken place on 1 May.
On 7 May, Dr Helmut Kunz, who had worked in the Reich Chancellery dental surgery from 23 April 1945 onwards, was interrogated by the Soviets. The evidence he gave on this occasion cannot be lightly dismissed because it was the first account ever given by a Bunker survivor—meaning that it is the least influenced by accounts given by others. It is also the most reliable, in the sense that the events it discusses had taken place only a week before. Dr Kunz explicitly affirmed seeing Eva Hitler alive on at least two occasions on the evening of 30 April.
Dr Kunz told his Russian interrogators that he had seen Eva playing with the Göbbels children on that evening and that a little later, between 10.00 and 11.00 pm, he, Professor Werner Haase and two of Hitler's secretaries had joined her for coffee.
On the latter occasion, Eva told Dr Kunz that Hitler was not yet dead but he "would die when he received confirmation that [his] will had reached the person it had been sent to".
-- V. K. Vinogradov et al. [eds], "Hitler's Death: Russia's Last Great Secret from the Files of the KGB", Chaucer Press, London, 2005
Dr Haase's interrogation record, as well as those of several other Bunker survivors, affirms that Dr Kunz was in the Bunker in the period in which these events took place. Unfortunately, the record of Dr Haase's interrogation published in "Hitler's Death",contains no information pertaining to either Adolf or Eva Hitler.
It is very hard to imagine that Dr Kunz could have been confused about the date, that in such circumstances he could have mistaken Eva Hitler for someone else or that Eva did not actually know whether Hitler was yet dead or not. Moreover, since Hitler's will never reached its intended recipient[s], it is entirely plausible that Hitler would not have decided to die until the last possible moment, which is consistent with a time of 6.30 pm on 1 May.
Another man with the dictator at the last, Otto Günsche, S.S. officer and the Führer's' personal adjutant, is also expected to be released by the Russians.
Hitler Is Dead! — Official!
Mirror [Perth, WA]
2 June 1956
BERLIN, Today: Hitler is dead! This is official.
The death certificate will soon be posted outside the Magistrate's Court at Berchtesgaden in Bavaria where Hitler was not only Führer but also the local Squire.
Dr. Heinz Stephanus, the court official in charge of the Adolf Hitler dossier, will pin up the death certificate personally "as a kind of contribution to history — the final closing of a file".
Dr. Stephanus has been working on the Hitler dossier for years. He has had to fight his way through a maze of legal difficulties. First Hitler's last residence had to be determined. Then he had to be sure Hitler was dead. Where was the body? Where was the grave?
Then the Russians released Hitler's adjutant Otto Günsche and when he got home to West Germany he described on oath Hitler's last day in the Bunker in Berlin.
Hitler's Adjutant Freed By Reds
The Canberra Times [ACT]
1 May 1956
BONN: Otto Günsche, who used to be Hitler's personal Adjutant, arrived in Friedland yesterday after being released from a detention camp in East Germany.
Günsche held as a war criminal, was with Hitler in the headquarters Bunker in Berlin to the end, when the dlctator committed suicide and the Russians overran the city. He was captured by the Red Armv and sentenced in 1950 to 25 years in a corrective labour camp in Russia for war crimes. He was among German war criminals not included in the amnesty which followed the visit to Moscow last October of Dr. Adenauer, West German Chancellor.
He confirmed earlier reports of the death of Hitler ancl Eva Braun. He also confirmed reports of the death of Martin Bormann, Hitler's aide, whose fate has never been finally established. Günsche said Bormann had tried to break out of the Soviet encirclement of Berlin in a tank. However, it was fired at from point blank range from both sides and set on fire. Bormannn was killed.
Former Officer Claims Hitler Took Poison
The Canberra Times [ACT]
14 January 1956
BONN: Harry Mengerhausen, former S.S. officer, yesterday claimed he was one of four men who burnt Hitler's body.
Mengerhausen claimed Hitler took poison, and did not shoot himself, thus contradicting the report of Hitler's valet, Heinz Linge, who returned from Russia last year.
A former member of Hitler's bodyguard, Mengerhausen was one of 284 prisoners released from Russia who arrived in West Germany yesterday.
"Hitler always told the German people he would stand up for his deeds, and his suicidc looked to us like a shameful running away".
Hitler Died By Poison, Say Russians
The Canberra Times [ACT]
13 July 1964
MOSCOW: Hitler committed suicide with poison and not a pistol shot as commonly supposed, "Nedelya", the weekend supplement to "Izvestia", said yesterday, "British United Press" reported. Hitler's aides then shot the corpse in the mouth to help build a myth that he died a more honourable death, said "Nedelya".
"His hands trembled and his head jerked. His morale had crumbled completely. He lacked any will-power. Hitler was. virtually unable to shoot himself," it said.
Igor Yegorov, who wrote the description of Hitler's death for "Nedelya", took part in the Russian investigation into the last days of Hitler. The paper said he interviewed the people who witnessed Hitler's death.
Yegorov said Bormann and Josef Göbbels spread the story of the pistol suicide to others in the Bunker. Then the bodies were burned, "British United Press" reported. "The Russians found the remains," he added.
"British United Press" says part of the story has been told before - frenzied Hitler living on hope and fear as the Red Army stormed into Berlin at the end of April, 1945.
"Hitler was so demoralised he was completely unable to handle any question. He was possessed by two ideas: an animal fear of Russian capture and frantic hope for a miracle. He used to say to those rare people he talked to: 'If they [the Russians] capture me, they will put me into an iron cage and will carry me round the occupied countries. And everybody will spit at me', Yegorov said.
Then, however, he tells something new. It had been reported Hitler poisoned his favourite dog, Blondi. It had been considered simply that Hitler wanted Blondi spared having a Russian master. Yegorov, however, said Hitler's dog died as a poison test for his master. The fact that Hitler had poisoned himself was proven when Hitler's remains were checked.
"In his jaw small bits of a poison pellet were discovered," the newspaper said. Yegorov said, however, "the myth that Hitler, the Commander-in-Chief of the Third Reich, had shot himself, had saved the honour of the Officer Corps of the Nazi Army".
Hitler Death Puzzle
Soviets Tell Secrets
The Canberra Times [ACT]
3 August 1968
NEW YORK: Twenty-three years after the event, Soviet sources have finally disclosed details of the autopsy and other medical reports on the death of Hitler, writes Harrison Salisbury of the "New York Times".
An exhaustive Soviet inquiry established positively, according to a book to be published today, that Hitler's death was due to cyanide poisoning. The body was identified through detailed examination of dental records. The Soviet version of Hitler's death contradicts earlier versions, including those of William L. Shirer and H. R. Trevor-Roper. Both concluded that Hitler shot himself and that Eva Braun, his mistress whom he had married the day before, had poisoned herself.
The Soviet reports, suppressed completely by Stalin and to an extent by his successors, have been compiled by Lev Aleksandrovich Bezymensky, a former Soviet intelligence officer and a translator and historical journalist. They are being published in New York under the title "The Death of Adolf Hitler", by Harcourt, Brace and World, and are being published simultaneously in Europe.
It had not been previously known that a Soviet counter-intelligence team found the bodies believed to be those of Hitler and Eva Braun on 5 May in a shell crater where they had been put in a shallow grave. The bodies, badly charred, were taken from the crater, adjacent to the Reichschancellory Bunker, wrapped in blankets and placed in wooden boxes along with the bodies of two dogs found in the same shell crater. A topflight Soviet medical team, headed by Dr Faust I. Shkaravski, chief of forensic medicine for the First Byelorussian Front, was assembled at Berlin-Buch, where the bodies of the Göbbels family and that of General Hans Krebs, Acting Chief of the German Staff, had also been transported. All of the bodies came from the Bunker. The forensic team performed autopsies on each body, examining those that proved to be Hitler's and Eva Braun's on 8 May.
The corpse believed to be Hitler's was badly burned. However, the medical examiners recovered a potassium-cyanide capsule from the mouth. They found no sign of wounds on the corpse but part of the skull was missing. A cyanide capsule was also found in the mouth of the Braun corpse. A team of investigators set out on 9 May 1945, to locate Hitler's dentist, a Professor Blaschke, The dentist was not found, but with the aid of his assistant, Frau Käthe Heusermann, the X-rays of Hitler's dental work and several gold crowns that had been made for him but had not yet been fitted were located in the Blaschke clinic. These materials were taken to a dental technician named Fritz Echtmann, who had made the bridges and plates. The dental work matched that taken from the corpse believed to be Hitler's. A similar identification was made of Eva Braun.
As Soviet counter-intelligence reconstructed the scene, Hitler and Eva Braun retired to their quarters in the early hours of 30 April after Hitler had ordered his valet, Heinz Linge, to return after 10 minutes "when everything was quiet". Linge returned to carry out what he called "the most difficult order of his life". This, the Soviet investigators deducted, was to deliver a coup de grace.
Valet Denies Shooting Hitler
The Canberra Times [ACT]
5 August 1968
LONDON: Hitler's valet, Heinz Linge, denied yesterday that he shot the Nazi dictator in a Berlin Bunker.
Interviewed in Hamburg on the British Broadcasting Corporation current affairs programme, "24 hours", Mr. Linge said the Russians were lying when they said he had administered the coup de grace. He was commenting on a Russian book, "The Death of Adolf Hitler", written by a former Soviet intelligence officer, Lev A. Bezymensky.
After a full inquiry, Mr Bezymensky wrote that Hitler's death was caused by cyanide poisoning, followed by a coup de grace by Mr Linge.
When Soviet troops entered the refuge of Hitler, the Russian leader Josef Stalin immediately ordered a report. The news he received from his generals was definite: the most wanted man had escaped. Stalin communicated this news to the United States, however, the enlargement of the impressive initial information is worrisome because the Soviets also claimed that Hitler had fled in a submarine, with Spain or Argentina as alleged to destinations.
All of the above is documented - was published even by the newspapers of the time - and anyone who wants to question Hitler's escape should start by knowing this part of the official history is also covered with official misinformation.
"Hitler is alive, he escaped to Spain or Argentina".
This statement was released, without doubt, by Stalin to answer a question from James Byrnes, US Secretary of State, during the Potsdam Conference, 17 July 1945. The Soviet dictator accused the Western allies of being complicit in the escape the Nazi leader. In the previous month, General Georgy Zhukov, one of the leading generals of the Red Army, had spoken in a similar vein at a press conference, Hitler escaped by plane possibly before the siege of Berlin closed, he said.
It was well known and publicly reported that Hitler often made use of doubles, men who closely resembled him, for use at certain public presentations. Pauline Köhler, a maid at Hitler’s Berghof in Berchtesgaden, insisted that she knew of at least three men who doubled for Hitler.
Did Hitler make use of one final double in the bunker? After all, the few persons who testified that he was dead were ardent Nazis who were eager to please their captors—whether Russian, British, or American—with accounts of the leader’s death. Was the strange execution of Eva Braun’s brother-in-law, Hermann Fegelein, due to his knowledge of Hitler’s escape plan with the use of a double?
Fegelein had left the Bunker but protested when captured by an SS search party that he planned to return. He was later shot by a firing squad in the chancellery garden for desertion. Yet, days earlier, Hitler had urged others in the Bunker to flee. "Get out! Get out!" he cried. "Go to South Germany. I’ll stay here. It is all over anyhow". Why make Fegelein the exception?
Evidence that Fegelein was privy to secret knowledge comes from Kristina Reiman, an actress who met with Fegelein in Berlin on 27 April.
She told author Glenn B. Infield:
"He was very worried. We had several drinks together and he kept repeating that there were two Hitlers in Berlin....I thought he was drunk. Just before he left me, however, he said that if the Führer ever discovered that he, Fegelein, knew his secret, Hitler would kill him".
To fake Hitler’s death would have been simple. A Hitler double could have been secreted into the Bunker any time prior to his reported suicide. After Hitler got Eva to take poison—or a dead duplicate Eva brought in—the double, dressed in the Führer’s clothing, could have been shot, a poison capsule placed in his mouth, and left to be disovered by Bormann and retrieved by the unsuspecting valet Linge.
Hitler could have then passed from the study through his living quarters to a small conference room containing a stairway to the garden above. Hitler had instructed Linge to wait, "at least ten minutes before entering the room". While Linge and others from the entourage waited in the hallway outside Hitler’s study, the Führer’s party and an armed SS escort could have made their way to a secluded spot to await darkness.
Under the cover of night, Hitler could have moved along Hermann Göring Strasse, then cut across the Tiergarten to the Zoo Station near Adolf Hitler Platz. From there, they could have followed the rail lines to the Reichssportfeld and crossed the Scharndorferstrasse to the Piechelsdorf Bridge, a short walk to the Havel River, where a Ju-52 floatplane would have been waiting to fly the Führer out.
Indeed a Ju-52 pontoon plane had landed on the Havel the previous night, at the radioed request of someone in the Führerbunker. It took off that same night. Author Infield has suspected this was a practice run for the following night.
Once away from Berlin, an airplane could have taken Hitler almost anywhere in territory not under direct control of the Allies—Switzerland, Spain, or any number of other friendly locations.
-- Jim Marrs, "The Rise of the Fourth Reich: The Secret Societies That Threaten to Take Over America"
But was it not the Russians who had found the remains of Hitler and his wife Eva Braun? Was it only charges used by the wily Stalin to sow discord in the lobby of the Cold War? With quick reflexes, the British mandated its own investigation by Hugh Trevor Roper, who served as an intelligence officer. Through interviews with members of Hitler's entourage he arrived at the "strict" conclusion of suicide. He concluded that Hitler married Eva Braun on 29 April 1945 and the next day both took their own lives in the underground Bunker of the Chancellery, surrounded by Russian troops. Then their bodies were burned in the gardens of the building by his acolytes, inside a crater caused by a bomb.
Trevor Roper published his work in 1947 as a book ["The Last Days of Hitler"] and this was foundational to the suicide theory. Most of the researchers who succeeded him cited it over and over, without doubting his findings. Michael Musmanno, one of the American judges at the Nuremberg process, wrote his own book with interviews with Nazi officials ["The Last Witness of Hitler"]. The American judge reached similar conclusions to Trevor Roper's.
But, beyond the testimony of those who "saw Hitler die", were there other tests? Where was the body? After Stalin's death in 1953, the Russians reported that the remains of the Führer had been properly identified. Dental bridges had been the key to conclude that Hitler was died.
Then the corpses of Hitler, his wife and the Göbbels family were buried in the Magdeburg barracks. In 1970 all the bodies were exhumed and, except for a piece of Hitler's skull, were burned and the ashes thrown into the sea. In the 90s, the Russians exhibited for the first time what was supposed to be the last vestige of the skeleton of Hitler. They said it was conclusive proof that would silence the rumors. But American experts called in for an investigation revealed on "History Channel" that the piece of skull was that of a woman between 20 and 40 years.
The contradictions, cross versions, the lack of tangible evidence prepared the ground for a line of parallel investigation, which rejected the official version and sought to know what was really behind the 'Death of Hitler'. The Hungarian-Argentinean Ladislao Szabo threw the first stone in 1947, with his book "Hitler is alive", claiming that the leader of the Third Reich had escaped from Europe in submarine. Several authors picked up the glove and followed the tracks over the course of the years. Jeff Kristenssen [pseudonym of Captain Manuel Monasterio] and Italian Patrick Burnside were among them. In recent years, research deepened: two British authors, Gerrard Williams and Simon Dunstan, with "Grey Wolf" and an Argentine, Abel Basti, with "Hitler's Exile" and other publications.
They continued to lag behind, providing data and taking for granted that the Nazi dictator fled and lived quietly in Argentina, and stating the exact day of his death. They talked about the found clues that led them to say that. They revealed that two other "dead" in 1945, Martin Bormann, right hand man to Hitler and Heinrich Müller, head of the Gestapo, had organized the escape plan.
Hitler is believed to have hidden in the foothills of the Andes Mountains
After recalling the lack of forensic evidence about the death of Hitler and his wife, both Williams and Dunstan and Basti wonder why the intelligence services of the United States continued to look for Hitler and their agents receiving reports from South America, where several people claimed to have seen Hitler.
"If one media accesses times, newspapers, news agencies, radio broadcasts and more, the news is that Hitler escaped," Basti said, recalling the history of Stalin and Byrnes cited at the beginning.
But how was it possible that Hitler escaped? Whose was the body found? The answer to the first question "With the complicity of the Western Allies". The second: With a double.
With some minor differences, Dunstan-Williams and Basti agreed that Hitler left the Bunker on foot through a connection to the Berlin subway, from there he flew by plane to Denmark, then to Spain, to board a submarine to the Canary Islands. Final destination: the Patagonian coast.
One of the pilots transporting Hitler, Luftwaffe Captain Peter Baumgart, raised the issue in 1947. This is reflected in the newspapers of the time. He even said it in court in Warsaw, but no one listened and he disappeared into oblivion.
Baumgart’s testimony would be corroborated by notes from the U.S. Army interrogation of an SS officer who claimed to have witnessed the escape, though – according to Dunstan and Williams – he too mysteriously disappeared shortly after levying the charges.
Hitler would have spent his first night in Necochea Argentina. Then he would have flown to Neuquén and Bariloche airport, which at that time was on the grounds of Estancia San Ramon, "a place closed and fully controlled by Germans". Ex-sailors of the 'Graf Spee', sunk off the coast of Montevideo after the Battle of the River Plate, acted as custodians of Hitler.
San Ramon sheltered Hitler and his wife for nine months.
After that time, they moved to the shelter money from Bormann had allowed to be build about 100 kilometers away. The place was Inalco, on the Chilean border near Villa La Angostura. The new home of Hitler had a similar layout to the Berghof, the resting place the dictator had in Obersalzberg in the Bavarian Alps.
Hitler loved the mountains at Bariloche so like the Bavarian Alps
Dunstan and Wiliams claimed that Hitler made trips to Laguna Mar Chiquita in Córdoba, where he underwent surgery to remove chips from an old wound caused by the bomb attack on 20 July 1944. He also would have passed through La Falda, to visit the Eichhorns, a German couple who had contributed money to the Nazi cause from the beginning. Impunity was such that an FBI report published in "Grey Wolf", was by an by agent who saw Hitler "on vacation" in Casino, Brazil, in 1947. The movements of Hitler by Argentina were witnessed by countless witnesses interviewed by the authors. A former custodian of Peron even told them that the three-time president met with Bormann.
Where Dunstan and Williams differed with Basti is on the date and place of death of Hitler. For the former, the Hitler expired on 13 February 1962 in La Clara, a place where he had moved after the coup that overthrew Peron in 1955. Abandoned by Eva, who had gone to Neuquen, Hitler would finally die, surrounded by his guardian, Heinrich Bethe and his doctor, Otto Lehmann.
For Basti, Hitler's demise occurred in Paraguay, on 3 February 1971 in Paraquay, where the former Nazi dictator had traveled, fearing that Peron's fall could lead to the withdrawal of protection.
According Basti, Alfredo Stroessner gave asylum to Hitler in his last days.
Was Hitler's Body Ever Found?
What actually became of Hitler's body? To what extent was it burned? Did the Russians find anything resembling a corpse?
The burning of a corpse in the open is not of course comparable to a cremation in a crematorium, and not even to the burning of a body or parts of a body in a stove such as occurs from time to time in criminal cases.
During a cremation, the enveloping heat reflected from the walls of the oven leads to the intensive destruction of organic matter. If a corpse is burned in the open, as was the case with Hitler and Eva Braun-Hitler, the distribution of heat varies and consequently so does the depth of destruction, besides which much heat is lost by radiation into the atmosphere. When a human body is burned in the open by means of Petrol, the first thing that burns off is the extraneous Petrol, which causes a strong heating up of the corpse. Then, because they act like a wick, the fire spreads to the clothes, which burn away more or less quickly depending on the nature and structure of the fabric.
When the open flames then act directly on the body surface for a longer period of time, the final result is carbonization. During the process, steam forms in the subcutaneous tissue and in the course of the burning the pressure can rise dramatically, so that the body surface bursts open in many places, like an overheated frozen burrito. The skull can also burst from the same effect. The heat causes the protein in the cells of the muscles to congeal, which then contract. This leads to contortions of the arms or the lifting up and contracting of the upper body and legs, which stay in this position because of posthumous heat rigor mortis, which is called the "fencer's stance".
The heat causes the body fat to melt and the fatty acids released to run out of the gashes in the skin. Because of the major loss of water and fat, the carbonated corpse or torso shrinks to a substantial degree. If the burning continues for an extended period of time, the soft tissue is almost completely consumed. The only thing remains is fragile, calcified bones that can easily disintegrate even without external force being applied.
As a result, it is very unlikely that anything resembling a human corpse remained following Adolf Hitler's post-mortem burning.
According to Günsche:
"That Adolf Hitler was not completely burnt up with the help of the Petrol is correct. The remains were scattered and shell fire did the rest... The heavy artillery and napalm fire went on until 2 May. Nothing was left that could point to Hitler... Often I can only shake my head about the claims of so-called witnesses, some of whom were not even there and are only repeating hearsay from others as their own observations. Maybe such claims, which were made immediately after the end of the war and have been repeated in various versions, are the answer to the fact that no one was in a position to prove what was left of the Führer's corpse and where this could be seen. None of the reports about this can be proved: they are falsification... The destruction of the Führer's corpse and that of his wife was complete through various causes".
Therefore, it is most likely nonsense that the Russians, as they claimed several weeks after his death, ever found Hitler's body/corpse. To this day the Russians have not presented a single piece of evidence that they found Hitler's corpse. Where are the authentic photographs? Where is the allegedly lead-lined box with Hitler's identifiable corpse? Why was this not shown to the German witnesses the Russians had captured? Even though in 1945--and during their reconstruction of the events in 1946--the Russians kept telling Linge, Günsche, Baur, Hofbeck, Henschel and the others that they would be "confronted with Hitler's body," they never showed it to any of these people.
Flugkapitän Hans Baur said on 24 November 1995:
"After we arrived in Berlin, I was interrogated by a Commissar I already knew called Krause [Klausen], who had come with us from Moscow. This Commissar held the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. He told me that it was now high time to decide what to do with the corpses. We would be shown the bodies and should say whether we recognized any features which could indicate the identity of Hitler or Eva Braun. Up to now the bodies had been preserved. It was now time to decide if this should remain so or whether they should be destroyed. A confrontation with the corpses did not take place, however..."
The only person who claimed to have seen Hitler's corpse is Harry Mengershausen. He recalled that, in early June 1945, an inspection of "the place" where Hitler's corpse had allegedly been buried took place. The crater had been dug up. It must be remembered that the garden of the Chancellory and the area around the Bunker was a huge field of craters. That Mengershausen spoke of a specific crater is already an indication that he was lying. Mengershausen goes on to say that in early July he was taken from the prison in Friedrichshagen to an open pit in woods nearby in order to identify three corpses. Each of the corpses was by itself in a "small wooden casket". The corpses had been those of Hitler and Herr and Frau Göbbels. Mengershausen claims to have "clearly recognized" Hitler by the shape of the head, the distinctive shape of the nose and the missing feet. "From the distance" he had not been able to see if Hitler's jaw had still been there. The whole "viewing of the bodies" had lasted for less than two minutes.
Mengershausen is telling a story--in great detail--that simply does not fit the circumstances. It is impossible that he was able to detect the "distinctive shape of Hitler's nose". The nose, like all the other soft tissues of the face, the torso and the extremities, must surely have burned away during the relatively long cremation process. A skull that is exposed to strong heat can preserve its bony shape for quite some time, but not its distinctive features, which it takes from the soft tissue of the face.
There was another witness available in 1945, who had been as closely involved in the final phase of the destruction of Adolf Hitler's and Eva Braun's bodies as Harry Mengershausen, if not more closely. This witness was Hermann Karnau who was a prisoner of the British.
On 13 November1953, Karnau recounted:
"In November 1945 I was taken from Esterwegen to Berlin. Here I was told by an officer of the Secret Service that I was to lend a hand in the local search for Hitler's remains. However, this did not take place because of the refusal of the Russians".
Hitler's Skull Fragment Displayed
By Anna Dolgov
Associated Press Writer
26 April 2000
MOSCOW: 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 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 30 April 1945, his body was taken outside by his staff, doused with gasoline and set ablaze along with the remains of his longtime 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.
"Hitler's jaw, however, had been removed and brought to 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.
Is it believable that:
a) It was possible to miss something as significant as Hitler's skull, the first time around.
b) That Stalin et al wouldn't have had every inch of that locale searched the first time around.
c) That it would take them the best part of a year to realise that they should have looked closer.
d) That they could return a year later and actually find his skull when it was nowhere to be found, previously.
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.
According to records of the former Soviet Secret Service [KGB], the Kremlin threw Hitler's ashes into a river in 1970. The remains of the Nazi leader would have been buried for years in East Germany, until Moscow decided to dispose of them.
The ashes of Adolf Hitler were secretly thrown to a river of East Germany to prevent that their remains became an object of neo-Nazi pilgrimage.
Files that were previously closed and then released by the Russian secret service reveal the extraordinary story of how the bones of Hitler, for years the source of a morbid fascination, circulated throughout East Germany, were unearthed, re-buried and unearthed again late at night until they were cremated in 1970.
The story has been leaked in fragments since 1995, but Sergei Turtschenko, a journalist who writes for the Russian newspaper "Trud" elucidated, with the help of the archives of the former Soviet secret service, the KGB, the ultimate mystery:
The Führer's body odyssey began on 4 May 1945, when Soviet troops found the buried but intact corpses of Hitler, Eva Braun, his wife, and Josef Göbbels outside the Berlin Bunker.
The next day the SMERSH Army of counterespionage arrived to prepare the documentation of the bodies. But on 5 May the area around the Bunker was transferred to the Fifth Shock Army. SMERSH agents were reluctant to hand over such a prize and the remains were taken on the night before the transfer of the sector among Red Army commanders.
In Buch, outside of Berlin, a post mortem examination showed traces of glass vials in the mouths of the victims as well as a smell of bitter almonds, an indicator of cyanide poisoning.
Lavrenty Beria, leader of the KGB at that time, was informed about this and the bodies were buried in the Soviet garrison in Buch, where the Third Army was stationed, that when transferred a few weeks later to Rathenow, to the west of Berlin, took the bodies with it. They were buried there and pines were planted on the tombs. But Stalin never fully believed in Hitler's death.
The Russians had captured the most useful witnesses in the Führer's Bunker, which had included Johann Rattenhuber, Hitler's bodyguard; Otto Günsche, assistant of the SS; Hans Baur, his pilot, and Katarina Heusermann, dental assistant. They had been interrogated at intervals during 1945 and had testified that the Nazi leader had shot himself.
The disparity between the original SMERSH report, indicating cyanide poisoning, and witness testimony provoked Stalin's suspicions.
An investigation was then established. But before this the agents of the SMERSH, acting under the orders of Stalin, unearthed the bodies that were in Rathenow, near Magdeburg.
The research team was never able to inspect Hitler's body, according to Turtschenko. They were able to reconstruct the last days of the Führer but did not give a final confirmation on the death by bullet.
By order of Stalin, all members of Hitler's circle in Soviet captivity were forced to represent the last hours of the Nazi leader. The performance was filmed.
Later all the German prisoners were sent to the Soviet Union and destined to different fields of forced labor.
In 1970, the Soviet Army was about to deliver the Magdeburg barracks to East Germany. Correspondence between Yuri Andropov, the late KGB chief, and Leonid Brezhnev indicates that there was a deep nervousness about the Germans, the Ostpolitik and the close relationship between the leaders of both Germanies.
Willy Brandt, the former Chancellor of the former Federal Republic of Germany, had visited Erfurt and had a warm reception from the East Germans. German restlessness and the sudden discovery of Hitler's body could have resulted in an unpredictable mix from Andropov's point of view. Brezhnev then agreed that the body should be destroyed.
On the night of 4 April 1970, Soviet soldiers erected a tent over the unmarked grave and three KGB officers unearthed the boxes of ammunition containing the scorched skeletons. The bones were transferred to wooden Kalashnikov boxes.
The boxes were loaded into a vehicle that settled so that it looked as if the men were fishing. In a garbage dump on a Soviet military training ground near Magdeburg, officials poured oil onto the boxes and set them on fire. After an hour the ashes were thrown into a sack whose contents were emptied into the river Elbe near the village of Biederitz.
"It's All Over; I'll fall in Berlin": Hitler's Last Days
The Telegraph [Brisbane, Qld]
16 May 1945
LONDON: "It's all over. I shall remain in Berlin. I shall fall here in the Chancellery". These were Hitler's words on 22 April 1945, after a long and hectic day in conference, the story of which was told by Gerhardt Herrgesell, a member of Hitler's staff of confidential typists, to a "British United Press" correspondent at Obersalzburg.
Herrgesell began his story with events on 21 April. At 10.20 the Russian artillery became heavier and heavier, and it was obvious they were concentrating shells on the Wilhelmstrasse area where conferences were held from noon onwards. Göbbels, as commander of the defence of Berlin, rushed in and out many times and still no decision was reached about removing the rest of us to the south. Hitler's special company of SS Guards was sent to protect the Chancellery. Various people tried to organise the Chancellery staff into a Volkssturm unit and finally about 500 were armed with rifles and pistols. During the conference from 3 pm to 7.30 pm, it was obvious that things were critical. Ofllcials constantly streamed into the conference room in groups of three or four, and pcrhnps totalling 30. Hitler's sweetheart, Eva Braun, was there. Keitel, Bormannn and Jodl had cramped emergency quarters in a Bunker [the word was unexplained] but the Chancellery was used to house and feed most who come in.
The Führer seemed slightly hazy, and often failed to reply to questions. Obviously he was paying no attention to many of them. During recent days he had not looked very fit. His face was rather florid and puffy. He flushed easily and seemed to become more stooped daily. When he walked his shoulders gave an almost hunchbacked impression. His left arm shook as it had done after I worked at his headquarters. His right hand, which was wounded in the explosion on 20 July, also shook. A bigdecision was made in a 15-mlnutc conference beginning at 5.30 pm on 22 April, attended by Hitler, Bormann, Kcilcl, and Jodl. Hitler was dressed as usual in dark trousers and a field grey jacket with an Iron Cross over his heart, which was his only decoration. He had previously said, "It doesn't make sense to go on any longer and I shall remain here", but as he did not elaborate nobody was sure whether this was his final decision. But when the steel door closed on the 5.30 conference Hitler announced to Bormann, Keitel and Jodl, "It's all over. I shall remain in Berlin. I shall fall here in the Choncellcry". The conference became heated with all but Jodl trying to make themselves heard at the same time. Koitcl and Bormann vigorously opposed Hitler's decision. Only Jodl appeared indifferent.
Keitel and Bormann told Hitler what he said contradicted what he had told them in the past months, namely, that he would fight to the last scrap of German territory. Jodl, who was the only one who had dared to tell Hitler the truth, was quiet, during most of the conference. Bormann and Keitel continued to try to persuade Hitler to go to southern Germany, or Norway, hut Hitler could not be talked out of his decision. He frequently tried to sllcnce them, and then ordered Kcltcl, Bormann and Jodl to leave Berlin.
This order he must have repeated 10 times, but Keitel and Bormann each replied, "My Führer, we won't leave you," and later they added, "We would be ashamed to appear beforo our wives and children if we did so". Then Bormann said, "It is the first time 1 have refused to obey you," and Keitel said, "I will stay". Jodl said, calmly, "1 won't stay in the household. One cannot work, fight or operate here".
Keitel tried hard to persuade Hitler that Germany still had a great deal left wherewith to carry on the war, but Hitler was unimpressed. Twice Jodl asked, "My Führer, do you yield complete leadership?" Hitler never made, a really clear reply. He had said he expected he and others could hold out in Berlin for two days to a week. Later he said, "Go to southern Germany. Göring shall form a new Government. Göring is my successor, and in any case Göring will negotiate". Although Hitler repeated these statements he never made it clear whether he was ordering Göring to form a new Government or whether that should happen later when he himself was dead.
There was an interval after the conference and then the same people remet. All but Hitler were summoned by telephone several times. Events later indicated they had phoned various people urging them to phone Hitler and try to persuade him to leave Berlin. Among those who phoned was Dönltz. He gave an optimistic picture but Hitler, after listening awhile, merely said: "Thank you, Herr Grand Admiral. Hell!" then hung up. Then Ribbentrop phoned, apparently from somewhere in Berlin. He spoke excitedly and claimed to have a report of tension between the Western Allies and Russia.
He told Hitler:
"One of our best agents, who travelled in best British circles, has just arrived from Switzerland. He says the British Cabinet already is split and dissension between the Allies must come".
Hitler merely answered:
"Oh, that's what he says. That's what you say".
Then Göbbels appeared with his children. First he brought them to the conference room and then took them next door, where later I saw Eva Braun playing with them. Next Göbbels argued his old thesis about the fight agaihst Bolshevism, adding, "I propose we turn our backs on the west front and continue the fight against Bolshevism". Hitler replied, "No, that's capitulation to the west and I won't co-operate. I don't care". Arguments continued until about 7.30 pm, when Keitel continued to assert he could not leave Hitler, who continued to order him and others to leave. There was also an argument whether the conference records should be destroyed when the end came or whether I should fly with another staff member to transcribe the notes, Hitler decided for the latter course.
When I left the room Eva Braun asked me if I was flying south, and gave me a package to take, also a small box wrapped in paper, which I suppose contained some family jewellery. She wanted to write a letter, but I said I was in a hurry, and she said she would give it to someone later. Hitler and Eva were sitting alone together in the reception room when our party left. We left the Chancellery before dark in cars. There were some women with us, and Hitler's personal physician, Doctor Morrell. Our plane was ready at the airfield. It was a huge Condor transport plane and we took off for Munich at 1.45 am. Herrgeselle added that he and others drove on to Berchtesgaden. He does not know what happened later in Berlin but thinks Keitel may have tried to remove Hitler from Berlin by force.
He admits there is a slight possibility that Hitler is alive, but personally is convinced that Hitler died with Braun, Bormann, and the last of the SS Guards. He opined that to prevent the bodies falling into Russian bands they, with possibly a few others, were placed in a prepared vault in the basement of one of the Government buildings, then sealed off with possibly debris blasted down on the spot. Herrgeselle further stated that Hitler did say indirectly that all was lost, and they, he believed, could best serve the German people by remaining in Berlin. Apparently realising the end of the war would be speeded up by his death also, Hitler made clear he had now not only lost confidence in the Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe, but in Waffen SS. However, his confidence in the Navy seemed, to continue to the end.
Records Reveal J. Edgar Hoover's Obsession With Hunting Adolf Hitler
FBI's documents expose a surprising preoccupation with conspiracy theories,
namely Jewish plans to assassinate the Führer, and Hitler spottings in U.S. towns after the war
20 April 2012
Hitler's life and horrors have been analyzed extensively and deeply from every angle, but the files of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation illuminate them from two different, bizarre perspectives.
The first, when Hitler rose to power in 1933, is the official response to threats by American Jews to assassinate him. The second, after his death in the Bunker in Berlin in 1945, is the investigation of the theory that Hitler had escaped and was living somewhere in the Americas, openly or clandestinely, and was plotting to revive the Third Reich.
FBI director J. Edgar Hoover apparently intended to bring in Hitler's head. Hoover wrote to various informers, some crazy and some avaricious, who told him they had seen Hitler and his partner Eva Braun riding a train or sitting in a neighborhood café in a quiet Virginia town, right under the nose of a complacent administration. Many of these documents were released for publication only recently, at the end of the past decade, and only in part - the names of sources, witnesses and FBI employees are censored.
Hoover wanted to impress the people at the top -the president, the cabinet secretaries, the top military brass- with his intelligence information. He was competing with other agencies, such as the Central Intelligence Agency [which was founded in 1947], and in defining the FBI's mandate, he tried to preserve its traditional bastions in Latin America. Hence the sources in Argentina, Brazil and their neighbors, the primary suspects as Nazi sympathizers.
Hitler was elected German Chancellor in late January 1933. Less than two months later, on 23 March, the Reichstag voted to give Hitler dictatorial powers. That day, a letter signed by someone named Daniel Stern or Stearn was sent to the German ambassador in Washington.
"Dear Sir, I have asked President Roosevelt to publicly remonstrate with your government the outrage upon the Jews in Germany, and to demand an immediate and complete end of this persecution.
"In the event that he does not make such a statement, I notify you that I shall go to Germany and assassinate Hitler".
The ambassador, Friedrich Wilhelm von Prittwitz und Gaffron, had been appointed during the Weimar Republic, opposed the Nazis and later resigned so as not to have to serve Hitler's regime. But the letter drove him to complain to the U.S. State Department about "a communication received here, wherein the assassination of the Chancellor of the Reich, Mr. Adolf Hitler, is threatened. I would be grateful if an investigation of the matter could be made and the results thereof communicated to me at its conclusion".
The State Department forwarded the German Embassy's request to the Justice Department, which passed it on to the FBI. Hoover instructed the Bureau's Washington branch to "ascertain the identity of the writer".
Two weeks later the investigation was passed along to a field office in Philadelphia. Investigators in both cities used a sophisticated method - flipping through phone books and municipal registries. They found that a man named Daniel Stern had resided at a specific address, but the building janitor said he had left the apartment more than a year earlier, and his whereabouts were unknown. Stern "appeared to be very high type person and was highly respected by the other tenants in the apartment house," the janitor reportedly said.
The German consul in Philadelphia told an FBI agent that he believed the letter writer was "in all probability some crank, who is a sympathizer of the Jewish element". Moreover, the consul told the agent, he himself was also often inundated with such threats. He did not take them seriously, he said.
On 21 April, the German Embassy received another letter, this time in German, signed by a C. Portugall.
The translation by the German Embassy reads:
"Permit me to draw your attention to the following. In listening to a conversation between several New York Jews, I learned that a plan is under way to murder Reich Chancellor Adolph [sic] Hitler, and that a young American Jew has already been chosen to perform the act. The Jews present were jubilant over the plan. [I] am informing you of the above in order to prevent a possible misfortune".
The Portugall letter went the way of the Stern letter, from the Embassy to the State Department to the Justice Department and then the FBI, but its author was also not tracked down.
In August 1933 another investigation was opened following a complaint by one "Col. Steinman". The writer stated he was a Mexican immigrant in Phoenix, Arizona, a mining engineer and an officer in the Mexican army "who spent 25 years in Mexico in both capacities" under dictator Porfirio Diaz. Steinman wrote to the German Embassy that in May he had heard two Jews talking in "the San Carlos Hotel in Phoenix" about an agent sent by New York Jewry to assassinate Hitler, and that a hotel worker said one of the two men was a rabbi.
Upon questioning, the hotel bellboys said they knew who Steinman was, but did not remember seeing him speak to other hotel guests. Hoping to tie the case to the first threatening letter, agents searched the hotel registry for a guest named Daniel Stern, but found no record of such a guest between April and June.
When he was questioned, Steinman claimed he had visited a friend in a room at the hotel.
"And when the latter left the room for a few minutes and he was left alone, he chanced to overhear a conversation in Yiddish in an adjoining room. The two men were speaking about conditions in Germany and Chancellor Hitler and the latter's antipathy for the Jews. One of the talkers told the other that Hitler would not last long; that a number of Jews in New York City were sending a man to Germany to assassinate Hitler. They named the German boat on which the assassin was leaving, sometime in May, 1933. The assassination was to take place between May and September, 1933. Hitler was either to be poisoned or shot".
Steinman reported that he had followed the two men down to the lobby.
"He said they were both Jews of about 50 years old and quite stout .... He stated as they went out he asked one of the bellboys who they were and that he furnished him their names".
He thought he recalled "the bellboy told him one of the Jews was a rabbi but he is not certain that he was told so".
Steinman claimed that in his letter, he had given the names he had heard as well as the name of the ship, but when he was questioned, he could not recall them. Asked whether one of the names was Daniel Stern, he said he couldn't remember but that he thought not.
Steinman expressed bitterness that the German Embassy had divulged his name, contrary to his explicit request. When the FBI agent continued to question him, Steinman "launched into a tirade against the Jews in this country, stating it will have to take the same action against them within 10 years that Germany has taken". He had tried to obtain a patent for a lead-copper alloy and sell it for industrial use, but American Jews "prevented the financing of same".
In October the FBI branch in Detroit reported that on 25 September, it had questioned "a young Jewish boy, 19 years of age," who "has the appearance of a clean living and moral individual. He graduated from high school in June 1932 and is presently employed as a clerk". He denied that he had information about a conspiracy to assassinate Hitler or that he had spoken about such a thing. The only conversation in which Hitler's name had come up was at his dentist's office. As he was drilling the young man's teeth, the dentist noted that he had formerly used German drills, but that ever since Hitler had begun persecuting Jews, he and many other dentists in the building, he said, had been boycotting German products.
FBI agents went to question the dentist, who said that another patient told him "he did not want any German products used on him and someone 'should bump Hitler off'. This dentist noted that this remark was not made in "a savage way" and added that this "was not the type of an individual who would be involved in such a plot". The patient "is 55 years of age, was born and raised in the state of Michigan, and it was also noted that he is quite hard of hearing and is more or less of the gossiping type".
The Chicago police called the FBI and reported that the German consul general in that city had been told of a plan by American Jews to send a person to Germany to assassinate Hitler. The source had demanded $1,000 for the information and an additional $1,000 when the information was verified. The informer had left Chicago for Washington to meet with the German ambassador. An Embassy official had contacted the Washington police and asked them to keep the informer under surveillance there and in Chicago, in order to uncover his contacts. A top FBI official wrote to Hoover that the Washington police could not operate beyond city borders, and asked if the FBI would continue the surveillance once the man boarded a train to Chicago.
At this stage the FBI agents agreed that the investigation would continue only if the secretary of state made an official request. There is no record of any such request being made.
During World War II, Hoover did not receive much information about Hitler. He gave the little he did obtain - which was eventually proven false - to his superiors.
"From a confidential source information has been received to the effect that widespread reports have been circulating in Germany that Chancellor Adolf Hitler has changed his former plans for his successors and now in case of his sudden death, three German army leaders will succeed him: Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, General Heinz Guderian and Field Marshal Karl von Rodstadt [correction: Gerd von Rundstedt]. It is said these three Army officers will continue to rule Germany for a period of five years after the peace in Europe has been established.
"It will be recalled that Hitler first designated Marshal Hermann Göring and Rudolf Hess as his successors. However, Hess is now a prisoner in England and it is said that Hitler is likely to outlive Göring".
The most ridiculous chapter concerns the FBI's hunt for people who looked like Hitler.
On 28 August 1945, to the FBI, from [deleted], Chicago, Ill.:
"Gentleman: I truly believe that you will find Adolph [sic] Hitler and his Eva [perhaps even with a child, as reported by the papers] hidden in Japan and perhaps disguised as Japs. The disguise would naturally be there and what better country has he had to hide in up to now. Some of your agents better put on their most penetrating glasses".
21 September, 1945, a missive to Hoover from Los Angeles:
A source [name deleted] told a reporter "on the City Desk of the 'Los Angeles Examiner' newspaper that upon his leaving the Melody Lane Restaurant at Hollywood and Vine on or about 28 July 1945, he met a friend of his who at the time was engaged in a conversation with an individual" whose identity he did not disclose. The interlocutor told the friend "that he wished to find some high government official who would guarantee him immunity from being sent back to Argentina if he told the following information. According to [deleted] he was one of four men who met Hitler and his party when they landed from two submarines in Argentina approximately two and one-half weeks after the fall of Berlin".
Report of Hitler in Argentina, August 1945. FBI Case File 65-53615
The FBI headquarters file on Adolf Hitler, File 65-53615, began being released by the FBI to researchers under the Freedom of Information Act on 26 April 1976, though in a redacted form.
The first document 65-53615-35, which is heavily redacted in the version on the FBI website [https://vault.fbi.gov/adolf-hitler/adolf-hitler-part-01-of-04/view] was completely opened to
researchers by the FBI in 1991 and has been opened to researchers at the
National Archives for over a dozen years.
FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover thought the story plausible enough to write a letter to the
American embassy in Buenos Aires under the subject line: "Hitler Hideout in Argentina".
Hoover asked the embassy to investigate an Argentine supporter of Hitler, one Mrs. Ida Eichhorn, reported to be a reputable member of Argentine society and the proprietor of the largest
Spa Hotel in La Falda, Argentina".
According to Hoover, Eichhorn:
"Made available to [Josef] Göbbels her entire bank account which, at the time, amounted approximately to thirty thousand marks, which money was to be used for propaganda purposes.
...she and her family having been enthusiastic supporters of
Adolf Hitler since the Nazi Party was founded.
"That during the years after he came to power, her friendship with Hitler became so close
that she and members of her family lived with Hitler in the same hotel on the occasion of
their annual visit to Germany".
"That if Hitler should at any time get into difficulty wherein it was necessary for him to find
a safe retreat, he would find such safe retreat at her Hotel [La Falda] where they
had already made the necessary preparations".
The FBI’s investigation proved inconclusive.
The rumours about Hitler and Eva Braun disembarking near to San Antonio Oeste
gave rise to all manner of assertions, and in 1997/1999 the ArgNavy even went so far as to fund a diving operation to look for a Type XXI believed to lie close inshore and which had been seen from the air by a private flier. Nothing was found, although Patrick Burnside
produced the photograph of a mooring peg which was alleged to be similar to that fitted to a
Type XXI. Unfortunately this particular Type XXI must have been constructed from
very poor steel, for the wreck to which this peg was attached had virtually disintegrated
and could not be photographed.
In 2003 the ArgNavy, a team from Trondheim University and the BBC
was involved in the search for a Type IXc40 believed to lie north of the
Valdez Peninsula but nothing was found.
3 October 1946, from Mrs. [deleted], Department of State, to columnist Walter Winchell, New York:
"One day in August 1946, I went down the street on business, stopped at the S.W. Restaurant for lunch, as usual the place was crow[d]ed, tables scarce, looking around trying to find a place I found this man at a small table just for two, so I asked if I may share his table ... I sat down, trying to figure out just who that person could be, after close observation, Hitler came to my mine [sic]. I thought Hitler in person.
"So then I looked for something to make that name fit with the person, the following: Description: I found was right jaw larger than the left, black mustache cut like he had his cut, dark eyes, black hair, it looked like it had been dyed, the most impressive thing about the man was his hands, large with a large ring on the left hand, just as white as could be, looked like he had been in confinement for sometime, would say he is about 5 feet, 7 inches, 150 lbs., more or less, suit was miss matched [sic] coat of checks, cheap looking, very nervous he played with his napkin, after he finished his lunch he sat at the table playing with his napkin and watching his watch, after a period of time he leaves saying [Par don]...
"I agree with you that Hitler is not dead, I really think he is right here in Washington, D.C."
8 May 1947, from Hoover to [censored]:
"Reference is made to your letter dated 28 April 1947, wherein you state that a reputable physician and surgeon of [censored] reported information to the effect that possibly he had been treating Adolf Hitler ... Most of the statements in the public press allege that Hitler is in South America and he went there by submarine. None of these allegations of course can be proven by fact and the American Army officials in Germany have not located Hitler's body nor is there any reliable source who will say definitely Hitler is dead; therefore the possibility exists that he is alive. The United States Army is spending most of its efforts to locate Hitler in Spain".
Hoover's letter goes on to say that the doctor prescribed the patient "tablets containing 20 milligrams Trasentine and 20 milligrams of phenol barbitol, one to be taken before each meal" and "formed the impression that the man might be Hitler," so much so that he had the man come back for a follow-up appointment in the presence of the doctor's daughter, a college student and "a very stable type young woman". The doctor stated that his daughter, after viewing this man, had become so nervous and excited she could not stay in the office, due to the fact that she too thought this man could have been Hitler from his appearance.
A handwritten note, undated:
"Dear Sir, I'll bet a dollar to a doughnut that Hitler is located right in New York City!
"There's no other city in the world where he could so easily be absorbed. No doubt you have considered this possibility, but I mention it for what it is worth anyway".
3 March 1948,
FBI Office Memorandum. Subject: Adolf Hitler and woman aboard City of New Orleans, Ill. Central Railroad.
"Dr. McSwain stated that this was washed out; that two Special Agents, [censored] and [censored], had got on the train and had closely observed the person in question and his woman companion. It was so obvious to the agents that this person was not Adolf Hitler that they did not make a positive determination of his identity, feeling that it would possibly create a situation causing absurd publicity. He stated that the person in question was not more than 42; that instead of a foreign accent he had a very pronounced southern accent; he wore a brown mustache; and his general appearance and over-all description precluded any possibility of his being identical with Adolf Hitler. The woman accompanying him, who had previously been stated to be 41 years old, in the opinion of Agents [censored] and [censored] could not have been more than 22 or 23".
28 November 1950, to Hoover from the branch in Madison, Wisconsin:
"This is to advise that [censored] in Madison, Wisconsin, has reported to this office that he is positive that an individual by the name of [censored] was in reality Adoplh [sic] Hitler in disguise, and that he was very convinced of this fact and that in the event the agents of the Milwaukee office did not immediately apprehend [censored] he was going to write to Washington in order to see that this matter is properly taken care of.
"It is to be noted that [censored] at the time of the interview would interrupt the interview to play the violin and to open the door in order to see that his neighbors weren't listening, and generally appeared to be mentally deranged".
The FBI's obsessive concern with Hitler raises the question of whether it was only the censored sources who were mentally deranged.
Hitler, desperate for the East and West to come to him, decided to reside in the Chancellery's Bunker in the winter of 1945, from which he encouraged the Germans on the radio. The Bunker had Telefunken radio receivers that could only tune two or three official stations and were the only ones allowed and legal in the German territory. By then, the Third Reich was disintegrating. Its generals were killed one by one or taken prisoners and the SS had disappeared, most of them escaping to Austria. By late April the Soviets had already entered Berlin and were struggling, house by house, to the center of the city, where the Chancellery was.
On 22 April 1945, Hitler sent almost everyone out of the situation room and stayed with Göbbels and Krebs, Keitel, and Jodl. The more fanciful historians and the few surviving Germans close to Hitler, claim that he entered into a state of hysteria, ranting against his generals, accusing them of having betrayed him and that Germany would disappear because of such traitors and cowards. Some witnesses also tell he had symptoms of having suffered a heart attack, which in official history were described as "tremors".
According to the witnesses, Hitler consulted physician Werner Haase about an absolutely reliable method of suicide. Haase suggested to him to take a dose of cyanide followed by a bullet in the head through the mouth.
There are suspicions that Haase replaced the cyanide capsules with powerful narcotics, without Hitler knowing.
Heinrich Himmler, who was not in the Bunker, was negotiating on his own account a peace treaty with Count Folke Bernadotte, president of the International Red Cross. Hitler regarded this as a betrayal of Himmler, but since Himmler was not at hand, ordered Hermann Fegelein, who was Himmler's representative in the Bunker, killed. That situation definitely broke Hitler, who, by what witnesses describe, suffered a second heart attack. So Dr. Haase decided to sedate him strongly.
The Russians claimed they had found the remains of Hitler and his wife Eva Braun.
The CIA, was instructed the same, but it happened Josef Stalin, meeting with James Byrnes, who was the American Secretary of State, during the Potsdam conference on 17 July 1945, shouted in his face, furious "Hitler is alive. Escaped to Spain or to Argentina". The accusation was followed by a silence, and then Stalin implicitly accused the Western allies of being ideologues of the Nazi leader's flight. In June 1945 General Georgy Zhukov, one of the leaders of the Red Army, was already furious because he was sure that Hitler had been flown to avoid the siege of the Red Army. CIA data, on the other hand, clearly stated that no German aircraft had taken off from Berlin since 23 April 1945, which meant that Hitler had been moved by an allied or an unidentified aircraft.
LONDON, 30 April 1945—Russian tanks have smashed into the Tiergarten, Berlin's Central Park, converted into an underground fortress, the Nazi-controlled Oslo radio said today, and Moscow reports said the fall of the capital was imminent.
Russian radar reported a light aircraft leaving the vicinity of the Tiergarten in Berlin on the morning of 30 April, the day on which Adolf Hitler committed suicide.
The English did their own research on the subject and left it to Hugh Trevor Roper, who had served as counterintelligence officer of MI6. Roper, after several interviews with people close to Hitler, came to the "strict" and therefore "official" conclusion of the suicide and no longer talked about the subject with Josef Stalin.
The official story was that Hitler had married Eva Braun on 29 April 1945, and they both committed suicide the next day in the Chancellery's Bunker, their bodies then burned in the building's gardens by their followers inside a bomb crater.
Taking into account that a human body takes up to 30 hours to burn and must be aided by copious fuel, as estimated by the forensic expert Franco Vilanovam, what other evidence was there?
When Stalin died in 1953, the Russians officially reported that they had the remains of Hitler and that they had been identified by the dental pieces. Then the alleged corpses of Hitler, Eva Braun, Josef Göbbels and his wife were buried under a barracks in Magdeburg. As the controversy resurfaced from time to time, in 1970 the remains were exhumed, incinerated and the ashes were thrown into the sea so that they would not become objects of pilgrimage and worship.
In the 1990s the Russians publicly displayed what was supposed to be the last trace of Hitler's skeleton, and that being irrefutable evidence, they would end the rumors. However, when Western experts reviewed part of the skull at the request of the "History Channel", they determined that it belonged to a woman between 20 and 40 years. They were definitely not the remains of Hitler.
The Hungarian-Argentine Ladislao Szabo had already claimed in 1947, in his book that "Hitler is Alive", that Hitler had managed to escape from Europe by submarine but that after passing through Mar del Plata went to an Antarctic base of the Germans. Then Captain Manuel Monasterio, under the pseudonym of Jeff Kristenssen, so as not to compromise the navy, gave his version that is the one that comes closest to the possible. The other theory of interest is of the Italian Patrick Burnside, that gave the numbers of the submarines involved. They were joined the two Britons, Simon Dunstan and Gerrard Williams, with "Gray Wolf" and the most fundamental researcher, the Argentine Abel Basti, with "The Exile of Hitler" and other publications.
What is believed today as possible and acceptable is that Martin Bormann and Heinrich Müller, who was the head of the Gestapo, had made arrangements with Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower and Eugenio Pacelli, alias Pius XII.
The United States was more afraid of Russia than of Germany as enemies. Hitler could tell them, if necessary, an enormous amount of war related secrets about Russia. It was feared that Russia would re-arm and continue its advance on Europe; Hitler replaced in Germany, supported by the Allies, would stop or definitively defeat the Russian bear. The third fear was that they feared they would not be able to recover a divided Germany and that another Weimar republic would ensue that would sink a weak Western Europe. Hitler, sedated, could be an amalgamator of the Pan-Germanic will with his magnetism, so he was a secret weapon to be guarded carefully.
Already in 1943 the Axis was in retreat by the intervention of the United States and the Russia, and the victory of the Allies was almost taken for granted. Martin Bormann, Hitler's right-hand man, conceived the "Aktion Feuerland" which means "Project Land of Fire", and offered to negotiate with the Allies the escape and "disappearance" of Hitler, Eva Braun and himself. He intended to carry the Nazi treasure from the invasions of the occupied countries. The destination would be Tierra del Fuego in Argentina, a place that considered secure and similar to the native Bavaria of Hitler. In return for this safe conduct, he promised sensitive information about the advanced Nazi secret weapons and secret settlements of the investigators and technicians so that the United States could recruit them before the Soviet Union. The other element, in order to escape through the Mediterranean was the immediate surrender of the million men of the Wehrmacht who still fiercely fought in Italy.
Obviously France, Italy, Holland and Denmark opposed allowing Germany to take their treasure.
Against the opposition of the previous owners, Martin Bormann, resorted to the intimidation of threatening to dynamiting the galleries of the mines where they were hiding the thousands of works of art stolen by the Nazis and representing the best of European culture since its inception. He also let slip that the Reich already had almost ready long-range V2-style missiles, capable of attacking the east coast of the United States, simultaneously arriving at Washington, New York and Boston. If the negotiation advanced, he promised to immediately deactivate those missiles.
Bormann's interlocutor was Allen Dulles who headed the headquarters of the European OSS center in Switzerland, which was the Office of Strategic Services, the United States Intelligence service during the war, which was the origin of the CIA. Dulles recruited agents from all European countries, but especially the downtrodden Nazi diplomats.
The big problem, for many years and up to the present, is a confrontation with the Soviet Union and its new satellite countries, or now Russia. Dulles was a genius in negotiating with Bormann the possibility of adding the German technology to the anti-communist cause.
Hitler, already defeated, could still become an ally of last resort. Stalin was an enemy far more fearsome than Hitler. For many generals, Hitler was the guarantee to stop the Soviet advance. Bormann agreed that Germany would receive aid for the reconstruction of Germany and the protection of the United States against the Soviet Union, a pact that remains.
In 1947 Dulles was the first civilian director of the CIA, who did not pursue a quest for Hitler in South America, unlike the FBI whose agents were detained and deported by Argentina and Brazil.
Apparently from the Bunker went tunnels of the Berlin subway to the vicinity of an airstrip that was operable, where waiting was an Arado Ar 234 'Blitz' jetliner, unidentified and painted green like the American bombers, which could not be reached in speed, much less in height by the Soviet MIG fighters. It was piloted by Hannah Reitsch and landed in the military airport of Guidonia, 50 kilometers from Rome.
Hitler, Eva Braun and Martin Bormann were driven by Italian light armor, with a pair of senior generals from the United States and Great Britain, and were housed on the fourth level of the Castel Sant'Angelo which was closed as a museum during the war. Guards occupied the terrace of the fifth level where reinforced Italian anti-aircraft batteries were placed, and on the fourth and third level were American and British elite troops.
Since 1277, the castle is connected with the Vatican City by a fortified corridor, called Il Passetto, about 800 meters long. Hitler walked several times through Il Passetto with his guards to meet with the mediator, Pius XII where they had endless discussions of the conditions.
Vatican diplomacy, Sodalitium Pianum and L'Entità, negotiated with Francisco Franco in Fuencarral-El Pardo, to convince the Argentine military to receive Hitler in Tierra del Fuego or a similar place. As well, the allies offered to Franco, as a strong incentive, a guarantee of forgetting his support of the Axis, if he accepted that Hitler would temporarily hide on Formentera Island, south of the island of Eivissa in Spanish territorial waters, where the English would take care from Gibraltar so that there were no unpleasant surprises from the Soviets. Franco accepted because he was much more concerned with his own fate than with Spain.
Hitler and his entourage were taken, as a first step, to the Tiber, where there was a fast flat-bottomed boat of the US Navy was waiting. They waited for a night without a moon and high tide, and wearing American uniforms, they were taken to the beaches of Fiumicino. There they boarded a boat with their belongings, and thus transited, into the sea, to a German submarine that took them to Formentera.
In Spain, Hitler was protected by Franco, while Martin Bormann arranged some matters with Peron, who by that time was already the strong man of Argentina. Pius XII and Peron had a tremendous mutual dislike, so everything was triangulated by the Francoist diplomacy that had an open and clear friendship with Peron.
Argentina had sent enormous amounts of wheat, meat, and food to the bled Spain of the Civil War. None of the former Overseas Provinces of Spain was as generous as Argentina.
From Formentera they went on a Spanish gunboat to the Canary Islands and boarded the U-518 submarine that left them near Mar del Plata after long days of travel. Hitler's entourage toured Mar del Plata, and spent the night in the city of Necochea, but these places, in the middle of the summer, did not seem safe to the German Intelligence agents in charge of the security of Hitler. The German submarine U-530 picked them up again and took them to Patagonia by entering the Parrot Cove, in the Golfo Nuevo, Province of Chubut, where it was to meet U-977 and U-518.
Golfo Nuevo, has very protected waters, still and with great tides that affect the superficial waters a lot, and in its interior, it resembles a huge flat boat, with 159 meters of depth in its central part, with cliff on the coast. This bottom is ideal for submarine settlement. The other peculiarity is that it has three large valleys or submarine canyons in the extreme west of the zone and another one on the mouth, which allowed, the concealment of several submarines simultaneously. It is believed that there were ten German submarines simultaneously there at that time.
The waters, at the bottom of the cove, are extremely cold, becoming 2° and even less, refracting the echoes of the sonars of that time.
Hitler's guards, some scholars claim that the 'Graf Spee' sailors guarded Hitler, but that crew had been confined to the province of Cordoba, and other acolytes made arrangements with the National Territory of Neuquén. Finally Hitler's entourage moved to the Inalco peninsula, on the Victoria Island of Lake Nahuel Huapi, not far from the Chilean border.
Argentina was one of the last countries to declare war on the Axis. Martin Bormann transferred funds to Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, Uruguay and Chile for over 6 Billion Dollars in 1943, equivalent to 84 Billion today. Buenos Aires allowed the entry of German scientists, who developed nuclear engineering, aeronautics, missile and much of the pharmaceutical and metallurgical industry.
The investigators Dunstan and Williams stated that Hitler made several trips. One of them to Laguna Mar Chiquita, in Córdoba, where a German doctor treated him for the after- effects of the 20 July 1944 bombing. On that occasion he would have been in La Falda to visit the Eichhorn marriage, a German couple who had contributed money to the Nazi cause from the start. His impunity was such that there are FBI reports, of Hitler having been seen it in Rosario, in La Cumbrecita, in Córdoba, in Villa General Belgrano. They could also have been Hitler's doubles.
There are no agreements, when and where did Hitler died; some claim in 1962 in Córdoba and others in 1971 in Paraguay, under the protection of Stroessner. Anyway, he must have been well guarded since the Mossad and Simon Wiesenthal did not find him.
If this story were confirmed, all the fury of the Jews would not go to the United States or Argentina but to the Church because everything would have come to light.
-- Excerpted from Jorge A. Ricaldoni "Los Lobos de Roma"
New evidence has been unearthed that could restore the reputation of the controversial wartime Pope accused of turning a blind eye to the Holocaust, it has been claimed.
Pius XII has long been vilified as "Hitler's Pope" because he failed to publicly to condemn the genocide of Europe's Jews.
Now British author Gordon Thomas says he has found extensive material that Vatican insiders believe will reveal the part that the pontiff played in saving lives and opposing Nazism.
Mr. Thomas, a Protestant, was given access to previously unpublished Vatican documents and tracked down victims, priests and others who had not told their stories before.
"The Pope's Jews", details how Pius gave his blessing to the establishment of safe houses in the Vatican and Europe's convents and monasteries.
He oversaw a secret operation with code names and fake documents for priests who risked their lives to shelter Jews, some of whom were even made Vatican subjects.
Mr. Thomas shows that priests were instructed to issue baptism certificates to hundreds of Jews hidden in Genoa, Rome and elsewhere in Italy.
More than 2,000 Jews in Hungary were given fabricated Vatican documents identifying them as Catholics and a network saved German Jews by bringing them to Rome.
The pope appointed a priest with extensive funds with which to provide food, clothing and medicine. More than 4,000 Jews were hidden in convents and monasteries across Italy.
During and immediately after the war, the pope was considered a Jewish saviour. Jewish leaders – such as Jerusalem's chief rabbi in 1944 – said the people of Israel would never forget what he and his delegates 'are doing for our unfortunate brothers and sisters at the most tragic hour'.
Jewish newspapers in Britain and America echoed that praise, and Hitler branded him "a Jew lover"'.
However, his image turned sour in the 1960s, thanks to Soviet antagonism towards the Vatican and a German play by Rolf Hochhuth, "The Deputy", which vilified the pope, accusing him of silence and inaction over the Jews.
It was a trend that intensified with the publication of "Hitler's Pope", a book by John Cornwell.
However, as the Vatican's secretary of state before the war, the future pope contributed to the damning 1937 encyclical of Pius XI, With "Burning Anxiety", and, as Pius XII he made condemnatory speeches that were widely interpreted at the time – including by Jewish leaders and newspapers – as clear condemnations of Hitler's racial policies.
Hitler’s Jaws of Death
By Antony Beevor
The New York Times
10 October 2009
TheE 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 2 May 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 SMESH 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 5 May, 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 8 May, 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 SMESH 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 Goebbels.
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".
The Russians found fragments of jaw and teeth amongst 14 charred corpses when they excavated the Bunker site which had been heavily bombed. They managed to track down two dental assistants, Käthe Heusermann and Fritz Echtmann, who had worked on Hitler. Heusermann was able to draw sketches from memory of Hitler’s terrible teeth. He had almost his entire mouth replaced by the end of the war.
Hitler's dentist Hugo Blaschke had left Berlin for Berchtesgaden under the Führer's command on 20/21 April 1945 and was eventually captured by the Americans, and Hitler’s dental records were supposedly destroyed in the same Börnersdorf Ju-353 plane crash that the discredited "Hitler Diaries" emerged from. Dr. Blaschke was captured by the Americans on 28 May 1945, and interrogated during November and December of that year, but never inspected the teeth and jaw fragments.
The Russians said that they had an X-Ray in May 1945, when they verified teeth and bone fragments against the previously drawn sketch from memory by the dental assistant. However Heusermann led them to a mildewed old dental office in Hitler’s Bunker to produce the X-Ray [s].
Further complicating the story is the evidence chain of the teeth. A young Jewish girl in the Russian Army, Yelena Rzhevskaya, from a wealthy Moscow family, was given the teeth in a red jewelry box for safekeeping. She didn’t know where they came from. And then she serendipitously manages to be the one who locates the dental assistant and X-Rays as well, thus proving the whole case that Hitler was dead.
There are other conflicting reports, such as this paper in the "Journal of Dental Problems and Solutions" saying that Heusermann on 9 May verified the teeth in a hospital where they were still attached to the cadaver. This added a picture of Hitler’s mandible to the mix.
"On the afternoon of 8 May, the commission handed over a red box to the SMERSH. It contained jawbones and gold bridges from bodies N° 12 and 13 who were suspected to be Hitler’s and Eva Braun’s. This box was handed over to the interpreter.
"The following day, the SMERSH took in Blatschke's dental prosthetist [Echtmann] and his assistant [Heusermannfor questioning.
"They were asked about the content of the red box which was shown to them. All that they said was immediately recorded before they had the chance to examine the human remains.
"On 10 May, the SMERSH sent a report to Moscow. It concluded that the two remaining bodies had been identified as Hitler and Eva Braun’s remains.
"The red box and its content were sent back to the Soviet capital".
In this version of the story, the dental assistant and prosthetist never examined the remains which appeared to have the mandible intact. They were shown the red box and its contents, said "yes that’s Hitler". Case closed. No mention of the X-Ray. And how big was this box to contain jawbones? Why were these teeth fragments separated from the cadaver[s] in the first place?
If it was Hitler’s double in the Bunker, it would have been easy to take him to the special dental office for X-Rays.
The dental assistant drew a picture of Hitler’s teeth, and then the technician confirmed the picture.
According to Dr Mark Benecke:
"The actual identification of Hitler’s remains [and therefore the confirmation of his death based on physical evidence] was published in 1972. It was performed by comparing the teeth of the remains to the dental schemata drawn by Hitler’s dentist".
The picture matched the bone fragments in the red jewellery box, and the X-ray that the dental assistant would later lead the Russians to. Which came first? It seems that with her skills she would be able to draw a sketch from an X-Ray. Why weren’t the X-Rays used in 1972?
Who was interpreting the match of the X-Ray, the teeth, and the fragments? Was it Soviet dental technicians? Or was it actually Heusermann and Echtmann:
"The location of his crowns and a sawn-through upper left bridge matched the teeth in the jewelry box, but Rzhevskaya’s team needed further proof. Heusermann led them to a tiny, mildewed dental office in Hitler’s Bunker, where she produced Hitler’s dental X-Rays. The images –the placement of root canal fillings, sites of bone breakdown, and unusual bridges– confirmed that the body found in the rubble outside the chancellery had belonged to Hitler. A dental technician named Fritz Echtmann, who had worked in the same laboratory as Heusermann and created crowns and bridges for both Hitler and Eva Braun, verified the findings".
A double could have had crowns attached and partial sawing and metal bridges put in the same places as Hitler, then X-Rays taken – easily justified to the dupe by saying "you have to look alike".
Note that it’s the technician who made the crowns for Hitler and Eva verifying the findings.