|Hitler - Alive or Dead?|
The first authoritative announcement of the Führer's death came from a radio station in Hamburg, which said that he met what his successor, Großadmiral Karl Dönitz, called "a hero's death". Doubt persisted.
"Time Magazine", 7 May 1945:
"Grocer named August Wilhelm Bartholdy, whose face was his misfortune, looked like the Führer. Grocer Bartholdy had been carefully coaced and combed, then sent to Berlin to die in the barricades.
"He will act as Hitler's trump card, creating a hero legend around the Führer's death, while Hitler himself goes underground.
"To fasten the hoax on posterity, a photographic reporter for the Reich, Heinrich Hoffman, would be on hand to film Hitler's last moment on the battlefield".
30 April 1945 was the date of the alleged suicides.
The Germans had time to prepare the Hitler swap, whether by switching dental records or drilling Bartholdi’s mouth to match Hitler’s. But they didn’t have time to properly prepare a duplicate for Eva Braun.
There are two sets of supposedly eyewitness accounts of the burning of Hitler and Eva Braun.
Harry Mengerhausen's account gives the time of the lighting of petrol-soaked bodies as 12:00 Midday, while the second account gives the time as between 3 and 4 p.m. Rattenhuber and Günsche's account give the 3-4 p.m. time...and Rattenhuber reports seeing Mengerhausen present...but that is not confirmation that it was the same bodies in the same crater. There is no cross-corroboration from Mengerhausen of either of the other two being present at the cremation he says was Hitler and Eva Braun, at 12 Midday.
Mengerhausen's account was the first made about the actual cremation, made to the Soviets on 13 May, a fortnight after events - and importantly contains elements missing from the other "first set" of accounts of events, including Hitler being burned face-up and his face uncovered, and he also described his full dress uniform and Eva Braun's dress and corsage of pink cloth flowers pinned to it.
Otto Günsche's statement was made on the 17th, and Hans Rattenhuber's on the 20th in Moscow...and both Rattenhuber's and Günsche's accounts have those two men identifying Hitler by nothing more than his trousers and shoes, the rest of his body being covered. Mengerhausen's statement says that only he, Heinz Linge, Günsche and two bodyguards were present - interestingly no Rattenhuber, the man who says Mengershausen was present later in the day...whereas the accounts of the 3-4 p.m. cremation have a large party in attendance, including Göbbels and Bormann, whom Mengerhausen would hardly fail to notice or note having been there.
An American war correspondent, Joe Grigg, reported on the 10 May 1945 that four blackened and charred bodies had been found in/around the Bunker, but that none had been positively identified. In fact - the Soviets had apparently found a total of six blackened and charred bodies that couldn't be positively identified.
On 9 June 1945, during a press conference attended by British, American, French and Russian reporters, Marshal Georgi Zhukov, the Soviet supreme commander, alleged that they had "found no corpses which could be Hitler's". The Soviet commandant of Berlin, Colonel-General Nikolai E. Bezarin, explained that the Russians had "...found several bodies in Hitler's Reich Chancellery with the Führer's name on their clothes... In Hitler's Chancellery we found, in fact, too many bodies with his name on the clothes. It got to be a joke. Every time I would find a pair of pants I would say, 'These are Hitler's'.
The six most important accounts are those of SS Obersturmbannführer Harry Mengershausen, SS Sturmbannführer Otto Günsche, SS Obergruppenführer Johannes ["Hans"] Rattenhuber, SS Obersturmbannführer Erich Kempka, SS Unterführer Hermann Karnau and SS Hauptscharführer Erich Mansfeld.
These earliest six eyewitness accounts—effectively, the only reliable accounts we have—establish that at least four cremations of corpses, which were assumed by observers to be those of Adolf Hitler and Eva Hitler, took place in the Reich Chancellery garden between 26 or 27 April and 1 May. In each case, the male body wore a pair of Hitler's trousers. In each case, also, the male body was accompanied by a female who bore a convincing resemblance to Eva Hitler.
It is obvious, therefore, that many Bunker veterans who thought they had witnessed the cremation of Adolf and Eva Hitler had only witnessed the burning of other corpses—that is to say, corpses they were meant to mistake for those of Adolf and Eva Hitler. No one was therefore in a position to say whether they had witnessed the cremation of the real Adolf Hitler or of a substitute.
The U.S. Chief of Intelligence in Berlin, Col. W.J. Heimlich [who invented the Heimlich maneuver] reported: "There was no evidence beyond that of hearsay to support the theory Hitler's suicide". He added that no insurance company in America would pay a claim on Hitler.
Lt. Gen Bedell Smith, Gen. Eisenhower's Chief of Staff, said publicly: "No human being can say conclusively that Hitler is dead".
CIA Director Walter B. Smith agreed that Hitler's death was unproven.
After a long and thorough investigation, Field Marshall Gregori Zhukov told Josef Stalin: “We have found no corpse that could be Hitler’s".
12 October 1945, General Bedell Smith, Eisenhower’s Chief of Staff, said: "No human being can say conclusively that Hitler is dead".
President Harry Truman asked Soviet leader Josef Stalin at the Potsdam Conference in 1945 if Hitler was dead. Stalin simply said: "No!"
The Commanding General of the US Sector of Berlin, Major General Floyd Parks, stated for publication that he was present when Marshal Zhukov stated that Hitler might have escaped.
Thomas J. Dodd, the U.S. Chief Trial Counsel at Nürnberg, said: "No one can say Hitler is dead".
In 1945, the Naval Attaché in Buenos Aires informed Washington there was a high probability that Hitler and Eva Braun had just arrived in Argentina. This coincides with the sightings of the submarine U-530. Added proof comes in the form of newspaper articles detailing the construction of a Bavarian styled mansion in the foothills of the Andes Mountains.
In July, 1945, the U.S. Office of Censorship intercepted a letter from Washington which was addressed to a Chicago newspaper, which claimed that Hitler was living beneath a Hacienda 450 miles from Buenos Aires. A classified telegram was dispatched to the U.S. embassy in Argentina requesting assistance in following-up the lead.
Shortly before Christmas, 1946, the U.S. embassy in Stockholm received an anonymous letter addressed to the "Chief of the American Zone". It said that Hitler was living in a cave more than one-and-a-half thousand feet long in the Bauerska mountains. Plenty of guns and ammunition were said to be on hand.
Another report said Hitler was in Amsterdam.
Another placed him in Zürich, where he was said to prefer dark suits and hats and behave in the manner of a pensioned official. The Deputy Director of Intelligence of the European Command ordered his subordinates to check out this report. Help was requested from the Chief of the Swiss Federal Police in Berne.
A G.I. claimed to have seen Hitler at the house in Bernheim [not the one in Kentucky] where he had his laundry done. This man grew angry whenever the V-1 rocket was mentioned and showed great sentiment over a photograph of his dog, which closely resembled Blondi.
In January, 1947, French intelligence forwarded American forces a report saying that Hitler was hiding in Heidelberg. A raid by 30 allied officers failed to find him.
A British intelligence officer, Lieut. Col. W. Byford-Jones asked twenty educated Berliners about Hitler on 20 April 1946, which would have been Hitler's 57th birthday. Only one believed Hitler to be dead.
In June, Stalin told President Truman, envoy Harry Hopkins, and Secretary of State James Byrnes, of his firm conviction that Hitler still lived. The episode is related in Byrnes book, "Frankly Speaking".
At first, the Soviets claimed Hitler was being protected by the Americans and British, although this was no more than Cold War posturing.
It is said that Stalin had all of the evidence and scientific analysis of remains at the Bunker brought directly to him, and that he went to his grave convinced that Hitler had escaped.
In 1952, at a press conference at the Hotel Raphael in Paris, President Eisenhower said, "We have been unable to unearth one bit of tangible evidence of Hitler's death".
A much-touted article in the "Chicago Times" said that Hitler and Braun were living on an estate in chilly Patagonia, in Argentina. The information, while only hearsay, was repeated by almost every major American and European newspaper.The lurid headlines of Pulp magazines proclaimed that Hitler's suicide was faked and told of his escape.
The September 1948 edition of "The Plain Truth" carried the headline "Is Hitler Alive, or Dead?" The relevant article was said to be the result of "an exhaustive three-year investigation -- together with reasons for believing Hitler may be alive and secretly planning the biggest hoax of all history".
Another article in November, 1949, says "The Nazis went underground, 16 May 1943!" and details a meeting at the residence of Krupp von Bohlen-Halbach, the head of I.G. Farben, etc., at which they planned "For World War III".
"Bonjour" magazine, the "Police Gazette", and the esteemed French newspaper, "Le Monde" all carried articles about Hitler's refuge in the South Pole.
The Soviet newspaper, "Isvestia", reported Hitler and Braun to be alive and well in a castle in Westphalia, in the British area of occupation.
"Isvestia" also reported that an American lawyer had written to Hoover saying that Hitler was residing under the name of Gerhardt Weithaupt in a house owned by Frau Frieda Haaf, in Innsbruck. With Hitler, said this lawyer, was his personal physician, Dr Alfred Jodl.
The Hitler-in-Antarctica tale first surfaced in a book back in 1947. Ladislao Zsabó, a Hungarian advertiser, witnessed the arrival of the U-530 and saw its crew disembarking. He had heard that the destination was the German Antarctica and, mistakenly, made a supposition that Hitler had escaped to Antarctica, and published the book "Hitler está Vivo" [Hitler is Alive], where he speaks about the possible location of Hitler, in Queen's Maud properties, opposite the Weddel Sea, that was then renamed Neuschwabenland, when the area was explored in 1938/39 by the German expedition [led] by Captain Ritschter. Zsabó made the wrong assumption. Had he read the book by Professor Hugo Fernandez Artucio published in 1940, "Nazis en el Uruguay", [Nazis in Uruguay] he would had discovered that there actually was a plan referring to German Antarctica, but this was nothing but the term they used for the Patagonia and that this information had been made public in New York in 1939.
A magazine circulated to U.S. high school pupils in 1955 called on the U.S. government to “Clear Up Hitler's Death".
As late as 1969, German authorities were still arresting men who resembled Hitler. One, retired miner, Albert Pahkla, refused to change his hairstyle or remove his mustache, and said he was arrested 300 times.
Donald McKale's 1981 tome, "Hitler: the Survival Myth", was skeptical of Hitler's survival. The back flyleaf of the book say, “Absolute certainty about what happened still eludes us today".
Even skeptics are unsure that Hitler died in his Bunker in 1945.
Peter Hurkos acquired psychic abilities after falling 30 feet from a ladder and fracturing his skull. A website devoted to him proclaims him the "foremost psychic of the 20th century!" The "Los Angeles Times" reported that he was involved in a number of infamous criminal cases, including the Boston Strangler and the Manson family murders. In Hurkos' autobiography, "Psychic", which was published in 1961, he said he had had a vision in 1952 where he saw Hitler journeying through Spain, disguised as a monk. He said Hitler had remained there for some years, and was still alive. He was prepared to stake his life and reputation on Hitler's being alive.
The most extensive investigation of Hitler's demise resulted from "Isvestia's report that Hitler was in Innsbruck. It was conducted by historian and MI6 officer, Hugh Trevor-Roper, who interviewed many people who had been present in Hitler's supposed last hours. He published his findings in a meticulously-sourced and very popular book, "The Last Days of Hitler".
The Russian State Archive possesses a fragment of skull claimed to be that of Hitler. It is said that the bullet hole is too small to have been fired from a Walther PPK at short range. The fire damage insufficiently extensive, considering that Hitler's corpse was almost completely burned.
Research at the genetics lab of the University of Connecticut showed that the skull was that of a woman under 40. One of the Connecticut team, bone specialist and archaeologist, Nick Bellantoni, traveled to Moscow to inspect the skull fragment and bloodstains on the sofa where Hitler and Braun are supposed to have committed suicide. He said he was granted an hour, which he used to apply cotton swabs and take DNA samples. He had photographs taken by the Soviets in 1945, and was sure he was looking at the right thing because the stains were the same. At the university, Linda Strausbaugh closed her laboratory for three days to work solely on the Hitler materials. She said that the same routines were used as would be in a crime lab. A small quantity of viable DNA was extracted, and then replicated by molecular copying. She said she was lucky to get areading due to the paucity of genetic information. The result was startling: the bone was too thin to be female, and the sutures where the skull plates came together were those of someone under 40. There are no reports that Eva Braun shot herself, so the skull did not belong to her.
A spokesperson for the Moscow State Archive released a statement saying it had had no contact with a person by the name of Bellantoni, and no samples were taken from any bone fragments. The statement said the Archive had never claimed the bones belonged to Hitler.
Official: KGB chief ordered Hitler's remains destroyed
By Maxim Tkachenko, CNN
11 December 2009
Moscow, Russia [CNN] -- The remains of Adolf Hitler were burned in 1970 by Soviet KGB agents and thrown into a river in Germany on direct orders from the spy agency's chief, a top Russian security official said this week.
The head archivist of Russia's Federal Security Service [FSB] -- the successor to the former Soviet Union's KGB -- confirmed for the first time the chain of events that led to the disposal of Hitler's body, and who ordered the operation, in an exclusive interview with Russia's Interfax news agency.
Gen. Vasily Khristoforov told "Interfax" in an interview published Monday that previously secret documents show that KGB chief Yuri Andropov, with prior consent from the Soviet Communist Party leadership, ordered a top secret operation to destroy the remains of Hitler, his wife Eva Braun, Nazi Germany's propaganda chief, Josef Göbbels; and Göbbels' entire family.
Khristoforov said according to the documents, Andropov's decision to destroy the remains of the Nazi leaders and their family members was motivated by the fears of the KGB and Soviet Communist Party leadership that Hitler's burial site could become a place of worship for supporters of fascist ideas.
Neither the FSB nor Khristoforov were immediately available to comment on the secret documents, when asked by CNN.
The operation, code-named "The Archives," was carried out by a group of special KGB agents in Magdeburg, East Germany, where the bodies had been secretly buried 27 February 1946, on the territory of a Soviet military facility, Khristoforov said.
Two protocols were compiled after the operation was carried out on 4 April 1970, the general said. The first documented the opening of a grave that contained the remains of the Nazi leaders and their family members, and the other one detailed their physical destruction.
"The remains were burnt on a bonfire outside the town of Shönebeck, 11 kilometers away from Magdeburg, then ground into ashes, collected and thrown into the Biederitz River," the second document reads, according to Khristoforov.
The bodies of Hitler, Braun and the Göbbels family had been discovered by the Soviet Army in May 1945. The bodies of Göbbels and his wife were found 2 May in the garden of Nazi Germany's Reich Chancellery. The bodies of the couple's children were recovered the next day, and the corpses of Hitler and Braun were discovered 5 May in a crater from an artillery shell outside his Bunker in Berlin.
According to historical accounts, Hitler's death was a combination of a suicide by gunshot and cyanide poisoning on 30 April 1945, when the Soviet Army entered the Nazi Germany capital.
In early June of that year, the Soviets buried the bodies in a forest near the town of Rathenau, Germany. Eight months later, they secretly re-buried the remains in the Soviet Army's garrison in Magdeburg.
But in March 1970, the Soviets decided to abandon the garrison and pass it over to the East German civilian authorities.
As long as the burial place of the Nazi leaders was in the territory of a Soviet garrison, it could be kept secret and barred from strangers. But following relocation of the Soviet Army unit, the decision was made not to rebury Hitler's remains but to burn them, Khristoforov explained, calling it "perhaps a reasonable decision" given the circumstances.
Khristoforov said that all that remains of Hitler's corpse are fragments of his jawbone and skull, items that are kept in Russia.
The general said the Russian FSB has no doubts that the bone fragments are genuine. No other fragments of the German dictator exist in other countries, he said.
"Hitler's jaw is kept at the FSB archives, and the fragments of Hitler's skull are at the State Archive. There are no other parts of Hitler's body apart from these samples seized on 5 May 1945.
"Everything [else] that remained of Hitler was burnt in 1970," he added. "Those fragments are ... the only documented evidence of Hitler's death, which is why they are kept at the Russian FSB Central Archive as being particularly valuable".
Commenting on recent media reports that archeologist and bone specialist Nick Bellantoni and genetics professor Linda Strausbaugh of the University of Connecticut expressed doubts about the authenticity of the parts of Hitler's skull, Khristoforov said, "The U.S. researchers did not file such requests [for taking DNA samples] with the Russian FSB Central Archive.
"But even if you take the fragments kept in our custody, it is unclear what these data can be compared with".
In April 2000, a fragment of what was presented as Hitler's skull, complete with a bullet hole in it, was first displayed in Moscow at a World War II exhibition.
At the time, Sergei Mironenko, head of the Russian State Archives, told CNN that he is absolutely confident that the skull was 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," he said, and that there are many documents the Russian archives also put on display along with the skull to support that.
"Those documents provide convincing proof that all those speculations that Hitler could have survived and escaped, that he could have had plastic surgery, are absolutely groundless. He was a totally depressed man who was incapable of making political or any other kinds of decisions. He understood that his Bunker, the crater [where he was found dead], would become his last refuge. And that's exactly what happened," Mironenko said.
|Hitler Died Peacefully in His Bed in Argentina?|
10 February 2009
The death of Adolf Hitler still remains one of the biggest mysteries in history. There are numerous theories that mostly come down to speculation that the Nazi leader didn’t die in his Bunker, but managed to escape and hide. He allegedly was hiding for years and peacefully died in his own bed.
A few days ago scientists received the evidence that these theories might not be that far from truth. The skull fragment that was thought to be Hitler’s turned out to be the remains of a woman.
For a long time historians believed that the fragment proved that on 30 April 1945, the Führer took a cyanide pill and shot his head off when he realized that the Third Reich was over. His mistress Eva Braun committed suicide in the same Bunker.
According to numerous witnesses, their bodies were wrapped in blankets and taken out of the Bunker to a nearby garden. The bodies were soaked with petroleum, set on fire, and later buried. In 1945, Soviet special agents excavated the place of a likely burial and found the bones that were believed to be Hitler’s.
A part of the skull was missing, which showed that the death was caused by a bullet. The preserved jaw fragment coincided with the dental records found at the office of Hitler’s dentist. A year later, the missing fragment was found by the order of Stalin who had suspicions that Hitler managed to escape and hide.
In the mid 1950s, after Stalin’s death, the skeleton that was presumably Hitler’s was buried in Magdeburg, East Germany. In 1970, the skeleton was dug out by the KGB agents.
Only the jawbone, the skull fragment and the bloodstained sofa segments were preserved. The findings were sent to the KGB archives.
American specialists examined the bone fragments. According to Connecticut archaeologist Nick Bellantoni, the bone seemed very thin, male bone tends to be more robust. Besides, the sutures where the skull plates come together seemed to correspond to someone under 40. In 1945 Hitler turned 56.
Bellantoni believes that the studied bone fragment could not belong to Eva Braun either, although she died at 33. "There is no report of Eva Braun having shot herself or having been shot afterwards. It could be anyone. Many people were killed around the Bunker area,” the scientist said.
Nick Bellantoni received the bone tissue that was believed to belong to Hitler in Moscow, where the fragments were kept in the Russian State Archives and even displayed at an exhibition in 2000.
The researcher was shown the bloodstained upholstery from the Bunker sofa which was believed to be Hitler’s and Braun’s deathbed.
"I had the reference photos the Soviets took of the sofa in 1945 and I was seeing the exact same stains on the fragments of wood and fabric in front of me, so I knew I was working with the real thing," said the archeologist. The results of the research will be used as the basis for the US documentary "Hitler's Escape".
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.
Bellantoni was allowed only one hour in the archives, during which time he applied cotton swabs and took DNA samples that were sent to Connecticut right away. Linda Strausbaugh closed her lab for three days to work exclusively on the Hitler project.
"We used the same routines and controls that would have been used in a crime lab," she said. To her surprise, a small amount of viable DNA was extracted.
"We were very lucky to get a reading, despite the limited amount of genetic information," the scientist said. “That’s how we found out that the fragment belongs to a female.”
The story of the Nazi leader’s death is still a mystery. Some scientists initially had doubts about his suicide and believed it was Nazi’s propaganda created to present his suicide in a suitably heroic light.
Abel Basti, an Argentinean writer, was one of the first people to believe that the jaw fragment must be DNA-tested.
He explained that the scientists only had a chance to compare the charred jaw fragment with poor quality X-rays and the testimony of Hitler’s dentist who could have lied. He believed that the scientists should compare his DNA samples with the samples of Hitler’s sister Paula who passed away in 1960 and was buried at the Bergfriedhof cemetery.
Abel Basti is the author of the book "Hitler in Argentina" that describes his theory of Hitler’s escape based on the real documents and photographs from archives. The writer believes that Hitler managed to escape to South America and live a long life.
In his book Basti states that on 29 April 1945 the Nazi leader was flown from Berlin to Spain on a Messerschmitt Me 262 [now claimed to be Ju 290]. From Spain, accompanied by Eva Braun, he went to Argentina by a submarine.
An account published in the 18 January 1948 issue of the right-wing, Chilean "Diario Illustrado" newspaper said on 30 April 1945, Berlin was in dissolution but little of that dissolution was evident at Tempelhof Airfield. At 4:15 p.m. a Ju52 landed and S.S. troops directly from Rechlin for the defense of Berlin disembarked, all of them young, not older than 18 years. The gunner in the particular plane sought to tank up and leave Berlin as quickly as possible. During this re-fueling interval he was suddenly elbowed in the ribs by his radio operator with a nod to look in a certain direction. At about 100-120 meters he saw an Arado 234, the world's first jet bomber, and without any doubt whatsoever, standing in front of the jet, their Commander in Chief, Adolf Hitler, dressed in field-grey uniform and gesticulating animatedly with some Party functionaries, who were obviously seeing him off. For about ten minutes whilst their plane was being refueled the two men observed this scene and around 4:30 p.m. they took to the air again. They were extremely astonished to hear during the midnight military news bulletin, some seven and a half hours later, that Hitler had committed suicide.
An editorial in the 16 January 1948 edition of the Chilean publication, "Zig Zag", stated that on 30 April 1945, Hitler, Braun, and some friends were taken by Flight Captain Peter Baumgart from Tempelhof to Tondern in Denmark, which was still under German control. Another airplane took them to Kristiansund in Norway, also under German control, where they joined a submarine convoy.
On 17 September 1974, a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation program named "As it Happens" showed Professor Dr. Ryder Saguenay of the University of California at Los Angeles, saying that Hitler had decreed that an airplane should take all medical records of top Nazis from Tempelhof to an unknown destination. He said the dental records used to identify Hitler's body were drawn from memory.
So, if he escaped his Bunker, where might Hitler have ended up?
Perhaps Hitler went to the Moon. This theory emerged, as might be expected, in the 1970s. The Nazis made great progress with technology in such forms as the V-2 rocket and the Messerschmidt 262 jetfighter. There are people who believe the Nazis made contact with aliens and reached the Moon in 1942.
The June, 1952, edition of "The Plain Truth" ran an article with the title of 'Hitler May be Alive'. It said that from 1940, the Nazis transported sledges, airplanes, tractors and all manner of other equipment to Antarctica, where an installation was constructed, scooped out of a mountain.
A quote from popular Israeli writer Michael Bar-Zohar's book, "The Avengers", has Admiral Dönitz saying:
"The German submarine fleet has even now established an earthly paradise, an impregnable fortress, for the Führer, in whatever part of the world". To a class of graduating naval cadets, he is also supposed to have said: "The German Navy has still a great role to play in the future. The German Navy knows all hiding places for the Navy to take the Führer to, should the need arise. There he can prepare his last measures in complete quiet".
"Bonjour" magazine also said the Nazis had created buildings in Antarctica, which can be less cold than Canada or North Dakota, particularly if buildings are underground.
Argentinian journalist Abel Basti produced "Hitler En Argentina" and "Bariloche Nazi: Sitios Historicos Relacionados Al Nacionalsocialismo" [Nazi Bariloche: Historic Sites Related to National Socialism].
These carefully-documented if sensationalistic tomes said that Hitler and his merry band were transported by three submarines which docked near the village of Caleta de los Loros in Rio Negro province, in Argentina. Hitler and Braun, Basti said, had children. The two story mansion in Bariloche where Basti said Hitler stayed from 1945-50 is a permanent tourist attraction. Paraguayan historian, Mariano Llano, supported Basti's view. Argentina is one of the more likely destinations of Hitler, as Argentine dictator, Juan Person, is likely to have happily accommodated him. Several prominent Nazis certainly fled to Argentina, including the Angel of Death, Dr. Josef Mengele, and architect of the Holocaust, Adolf Eichmann.Two U-Boats are known to have arrived in Argentina in the weeks following the end of the war. U-530 and U-977 surrendered at Mar del Plata in July and August, 1945, respectively.
The Third Reich did not quite work out, and there has been no sign of a Fourth. In nearly every slasher or action movie of the last two decades, the bad guy is believed dead but then rises one last time to give the audience a final jolt. Hitler could have rallied support with radio broadcasts, but with Germany occupied by four armies, this would not have been fruitful. He was born in 1889, and barring revolutionary and secret scientific discoveries, is now no longer around. However, as can be seen, data collected only from reputable sources shows that an escape from his Bunker was quite possible.
What would have happened to Hitler if he had not killed himself?
If Hitler had chosen to embrace the idea of a massive partisan uprising to continue the struggle even after Germany had been overrun and conventional military defense ended, there are multiple scenarios, including:
He could have been killed - What is rarely touched upon in histories of WWII is how frightened the people in the Führerbunker were of what was going to happen to them. Discipline had broken down and most had realized that they were going to either be arrested and tortured or summarily executed by the Red Army when it finally took control city. Few of them still saw Hitler was as being the demigod that he was before and the thought had to be going through more than a few minds that a single bullet could have ended what had to be an agonizing wait for the end. If Hitler had not killed himself, it is possible that someone would have killed him in order to bring the entire mess to a conclusion.
He could have been captured #1 - If given a choice, Hitler probably would have wanted to be captured by the Americans, more so than by the English, Free French or the Soviets. The Americans would have simply put him on trial without the spectacle. The British had made it clear that they considered the Nazi regime to be outlaws and that they had no issues with either summary executions for leadership caught on the battlefield or using a bill of attainder [a simple list of crimes justifying imprisonment or execution] to resolve the matter. The French hadn't made their choices clear, but summary execution does not seem to be too far from being unbelievable.
He could have been captured #2 - Had Hitler been captured alive by the Soviets, he would have been taken to Moscow in chains. The Soviets would have used him as the centerpiece of the greatest show trial in history and they would have made the spectacle last for many months. At the end, Hitler would have been found guilty and executed, but not before all of his crimes against the Soviet peoples had been clearly delineated and the entire world had been made aware that this was occurring. This would not have been a Nuremberg proceeding as there would have been absolutely no chance for an acquittal. This would have been a circus and Josef Stalin would have been the ringmaster.
He could have escaped #1- Albeit, temporarily as Göring and Himmler had both fled Berlin, along with a number of other minor Nazi functionaries. There were numerous hideouts across Germany and even the Berghof [his Bavarian Alps retreat] although damaged by bombing was still largely intact. He could have been moved about for weeks or months. Europe was in turmoil and it was months before all of the disparate elements of the Nazi regime were brought to heel.
He could have escaped #2 - There was the very real possibility that Hitler and his wife Eva Braun could have been spirited out of the country and into Spain or even South America. They could have disguised their features, taken a U-Boat from Spain to South America and disappeared.
Why would Hitler choose to stay at the Berlin Bunker, where he knew the Russians were attacking first and foremost? Why not choose the safety of his mountain retreat?
*Was poorly ventilated
*Was being constantly bombarded
*Was the target for the Soviets
*Was dangerous to be in
*Too dangerous to leave most of the time
*Wasn't even bombed until 25 April 1945, and then by accident
*Had a cinema
*Was protected from air attack by a sheet of mist which could be created 3 kilometres around the building within a couple of minutes by the simple flick of a switch, basically
*Was captured after the Berlin bunker
*Was still safe to stay outside there
*Had lifts, not stairs like the Bunker
It is interesting that most of the Army and Luftwaffe High Command had relocated to the Berchtesgaden area by April 1945.
If the idea was not to die in the ruins of the German capital, the only thing which appears to speak for Berlin is the fact that a large collection of aircraft and helicopters was always at the disposal of Hitler on stand-by there. The safest way out of the Berlin Bunker on 30 April 1945 was a helicopter, and at least one other senior Nazi official, Karl Hanke, Gauleiter of Silesia, was helicoptered out of a besieged city, in this case Breslau.
Until shortly before the fall of Berlin, up to 40 aircraft were on constant standby at Berlin Gatow for the evacuation of Hitler and his entourage. These aircraft were: "more than 13 Fw 200s, three Ju 290s, some He 111s, a large number of Ju 52s and "a few small machines". The "few small machines" may have included one or two helicopters. Although Germany had at least 30 helicopters operational at that time, nothing is known of their activities and none of the usual sources ever mention them.
Sources: Goerlitz: Keitel, 1961: Baur 1971, Hoffmann P: Sicherheit, 1975
On the whole, the evidence is not satisfactory that Hitler died in the Bunker on 30 April 1945. He was determined to commit suicide there but wavered, and may have been talked out of it eventually.
Since Gauleiter Karl Hanke was helicoptered out of besieged Breslau, then if Hitler left the Bunker, that was obviously the safest manner to ensure his escape.
The following may not be how it happened, or that it happened this way, but it is a possibility [Certain things may not be advocated as truth, or even probability, but be advanced as a certain point of view for debate]:
(1) A transport helicopter made a round flight Berlin-Danzig on Hitler's orders in March 1945. The purpose of this flight is unknown but might have been a trial to test the aircraft's endurance.
(2) Berlin-Danzig is the same distance as Berlin-German held northern Denmark.
(3) It was only one refuelling stop from there to Bodo in Norway.
(4) The Third Reich controlled Norway until the end.
(5) According to SS papers at the Berlin Document Centre, the second Ju 390 prototype was at readiness at Bodo, painted in Swedish livery and under heavy SS guard. Suddenly in early May it was no longer there, and nobody knows what happened to it.
(6) Declassified Argentine intelligence documents state that in May 1945, a six-engined German transport aircraft from Europe landed on a large German ranch in Paysandu province, Uruguay with passengers and equipment. To transport passengers from Paysandu into and across Argentina was not an enormous undertaking.
A new book [Manfred Griehl: "Luftwaffe Over America" Greenhill Books London, 2005] deals exclusively with the subject of German WWII long range designs.
Griehl appears certain that the Ju 390 V-1 prototype did not have the characteristics to make a long transatlantic flight. However, the Luftwaffe had mastered mid-air refueling by early 1944 and so a flight to within sighting distance of New York was not out of the question by Ju 290s. Two Ju 290 A2s [Works Nos 0157 and 0158] experimented over the Atlantic from Mont de Marsan in May 1945 but the extent westwards reached is not known.
The only known official plan to attack the American East Coast was Oberst von Lossberg's scheme approved by Erhard Milch and Karl Dönitz in 1943. A BV 222 flying boat would rendezvous with a U-Boat 1000 miles off New York to refuel and bomb-up for the attack. Priorities were to be the Jewish quarter and the docks. By 1944 such an operation was no longer feasible.
German aircraft designers were told to tender designs for a bomber capable of flying to New York and back, without refueling. The bomb load was to be 4000 Kilograms; surprisingly light for an attack that could have any real effect. The Horton firm was given the assignment, with the beautiful Ho XVIII B flying wing bomber being the only design that could achieve the required specifications. They were told to begin construction as soon as possible.
Work was restarted on a submarine towed pod, code named 'Test stand XII", to transport and launch the V-2 [A-4] missile. Up to three of these could be towed by a Type XXI submarine. The work was given high priority, and one of the pods, minus its internal equipment, was finished by the war's end.
The German rocket team at Peenemünde were told to dust off the plans for the A-9/A-10 project, a two stage ICBM capable of reaching New York. This seemed an awfully big project to start this late in the war.
Jonastal S-3 would have been the production center for all of Germany's best secret weapons with emphasis being placed on the ICBMs, German atom bomb, and an equally devastating plasma weapon that was authorized in March 1945 but not completed. This was a mix of 60/40 fine coal dust powder and LOX mixed with a secret reagent developed by the SS Technical Branch. The result was both a fire and electrical storm at ground level. Testing of small bombs near the Baltic produced spectacular results. So, advanced aircraft like the Sänger, Ho XVIIIB, and Ar E.555 would have carried these over US cities on the eastern seaboard.
However, these were never needed as a Ju-390 could have done the job. NYC would have been the first target.
Junkers Ju390 V2 “Amerika Bomber”
The Junkers Ju 390 was a German aircraft intended to be used as a heavy transport, maritime patrol aircraft, and long-range bomber, a long-range derivative of the Ju 290.
It was one of the aircraft designs submitted for the abortive Amerika Bomber project, along with the Messerschmitt Me 264, the Focke-Wulf Ta 400, and by February 1943, the Heinkel He 277.
Two prototypes were created by attaching an extra pair of inner-wing segments onto the wings of basic Ju 90 and Ju 290 airframes, and adding new sections to lengthen the fuselages.
The second prototype, the V2 [RC+DA], was longer than the V1 because it was constructed from a Ju 290 airframe.
The existence of a second prototype Ju 390 V-2 is disputed but seems a reasonable possibility.
Joachim Eisenmann's entry in his flying log for 9 February 1945 identifies the aircraft he test flew as Ju 390 V-2 [RC+DA]. It was then left at Lärz aerodrome near Rechlin.
The trail continues with the testimony of SS-Sturmbannführer Rudolf Schuster, III Dept/RSHA. In his personal file [Berlin Document Centre], under interrogation Schuster stated that in June 1944 he had responsibility for the SS-ELF Special Evacuation Commando subordinated to Lower Silesia Gauleiter Karl Hanke [appointed successor to Himmler in Hitler's Last Will and Testament].
Schuster stated that in the second half of April 1945, a special Ju 390 attached to KG 200 brought top secret scientific materials from Schweidnitz to Bodo in Norway where it was then supervised by SS-Obergruppenführer Jacob Sporrenberg. The aircraft was painted pale blue and given Swedish AF markings, kept under tarpaulins and guarded by the SS.
There is a service course sheet [available at Berlin Document Centre] for SS-Obersturmbannführer Rudolf Schuster attached to SS-WVHA Amt-V zbV. This officer stated that in the second half of April 1945 a Junkers Ju 390 attached to KG 200 was at Schweidnitz [an airfield SW of Breslau] where it loaded materials from a secret project coded "Cronos/Laternenträger". The aircraft was painted pale blue and had Swedish AF markings. It was guarded by SS and concealed beneath tarpaulin. It is known to have taken off for Bodo in Norway, but nothing further is known of its activity.
Former Oberfunkmeister Wolfgang Hirschfeld, U-234 radio operator, stated in his book "Das Letzte Boot - Atlantik Farewell" that a plan existed in April 1945 to fly a KG 200 aircraft with supplementary tanks to Japan with one fuelling stop in China. It was to have shipped the special "Uranium" cargo which eventually finished up at Portsmouth NH aboard Hirschfeld´s U-Boat. The flight was not approved because it could not be made without crossing Soviet air space at some point.
Schuster's direct superior, head of SS-ELF SS-Obersturmbannführer Otto Neumann, masqueraded under various aliases postwar and was well known to the intelligence authorities in Argentina.
There is an Argentinian intelligence report [cited in Abel Basti: "Nazi Bariloche"] which mentions a six-engined German aircraft landing at a German owned ranch in Paysandu province, Uruguay in early May 1945 with SS-ELF super-secret scientific material aboard.
That aircraft landed in Uruguay - there are other indications from contemporary Uruguayan sources that it did - but whether Hitler was aboard is unknown. The important thing is that he could have been aboard, and it is just yet another feasible idea amongst many.
If Hitler came to Argentina, it is more likely that it would have been by aircraft to Uruguay.
After a long flight from Europe over the sea, Uruguay is the first neutral country on the South American landmass. It has many German settlers, in the country they tend to live in German villages and many of these settlers own large tracts of land. The Argentine intelligence document states that the Ju 390 put down on a ranch in Paysandu province, this ranch being near Puntas de Gualeguay about 70 kms out on the road from Paysandu town to Tacuarembo. The mile-wide River Uruguay separates Uruguay from Argentina. On the other bank from Paysandu is Entre Rios province, mostly marsh and wild pasture, another hotbed of German settlers.
Uruguay was neutral in the Second World War, Argentina was "at war with Germany" from March 1945.
Correction: On 23 February 1945 Uruguay was a signatory to the United Nations Declaration of War on the Axis.
However, most Uruguayan don't think Uruguay was anything other than neutral throughout WWII.
The total contribution of Uruguay to "the defeat of Hitlerism" to which it was pledged appears to have been nothing and to all intents and purposes the Germans probably considered Uruguay to be utterly harmless.
The only shots fired in anger between Argentina and Germany were the eight depth charges dropped on U-977 in the Gulf of San Matias on 18 July 1945. Certain sections of the police and armed forces in Argentina had been "bought" with Reich gold but it was by no means safe to overfly Argentinian airspace and land a large aircraft, whereas what went on in Uruguay interested nobody, least of all the Uruguayans.
In 1944 Brazil became the only Latin American nation to send troops to Europe when it dispatched the 25,000 strong Brazilian Expeditionary Force to fight on the continent.
If he committed suicide in the Bunker, his body and that of Eva Braun would have been removed so that the enemy would not profane and abuse them. This would account for the replacement corpses. "They searched for his body in the tomb and could not find it".
There is plenty of documentary evidence that arrangements were in hand for various long distance flights from northern Germany commencing on 1 May 1945.
The marriage to Eva Braun
There was not any room for romance and sentiment in the Bunker - the marriage took place for a purpose, and that purpose was not to make an honest woman out of Frau Hitler.
One possibility never considered by any historian
The bodies of Feldmarschall Hindenburg and his spouse were exhumed from the Tannenberg War Memorial and brought to western Germany by the cruiser "Emden" in early 1945 in order that the remains should not be profaned by the Russians. If Hitler did commit suicide in the Bunker, it would not have been National Socialist policy to leave his cadaver there for the Russians to find and abuse, the remains would have been helicoptered out to receive a proper burial and State funeral beyond the reach of any of his enemies, Soviet or Western. If Eva Braun was to lie in State with Hitler, by protocol she had to be married to him. This would explain the hasty marriage.
It is a fact that some bodies were burned near the Bunker. Neither the Russians nor Eisenhower, were prepared to confirm that these were the immolated corpses of Hitler and Eva Braun. For political reasons we are supposed to believe that they were their corpses, but whether they escaped or committed suicide, either way the cadavers in the Bunker were not those of Hitler and spouse.
Did Hitler Survive The War?
29 January 2013
Sensational claims have re-surfaced that Adof Hitler escaped from his Berlin Bunker and lived out his old age in Patagonia, Argentina. The official view is that Hitler shot himself in his Berlin Bunker on 30 April 1945, and Eva Braun committed suicide by taking cyanide.
Not so long ago, the claim that Hitler had survived the war would have been dismissed out of hand, not anymore. Up until the events of 9/11, people tended to believe whatever those in authority told them, 9/11 changed all that.
The events of 9/11, the London bombings and the death of Princess Diana, are just a few examples where the official version of events is viewed with suspicion by a large section of the public.
The fact is that governments lie to their own people whenever it suits their purpose. This was proven beyond all doubt when Blair lied about Iraq's, non existent, weapons of mass destruction in order to justify the Iraq war.
Just because the official view is that Hitler and Eva Braun died in the Berlin Bunker in April 1945, does not mean it is true.
A new drama/documenary film called "Grey Wolf" is to have its world premiere next month at the Berlin film festival. Based on the book of the same name by British authors Gerrard Williams and Simon Dunstan, the book claims there is overwhelming evidence that Hitler and Eva Braun escaped at the end of the second world war for a new life in a Nazi-controlled enclave in Fascist Argentina.
Mr Williams and Mr Dunstan go on to state the pair had two daughters before Hitler died in 1962 at the age of 73.
Mr Williams, a historian and journalist who has written extensively about the Second World War, told "Sky News":
"We didn’t want to re-write history, but the evidence we’ve discovered about the escape of Adolf Hitler is just too overwhelming to ignore.
"There is no forensic evidence for his, or Eva Braun’s deaths, and the stories from the eyewitnesses to their continued survival in Argentina are compelling".
The book also claims American intelligence officials were complicit in the escape, in return for access to war technology developed by the Nazis.
It also says that skull fragments thought to be those of Hitler currently held by the Russians are actually that of a young woman under the age of 40. Hitler was 56 when he died.
Mr Williams said he and Mr Dunstan - an author, film-maker and photographer who specialises in military history - carried out their research on the ground in Argentina, interviewing eyewitnesses to Hitler’s presence there.
He added: "It’s only now that Argentina is once more a thriving democracy that the real stories are beginning to come out. Even so, two of our eyewitnesses received death threats from persons unknown while working with us on this book".
"Grey Wolf" focuses on the crucial days in 1945 as the allies closed in on Hitler’s Bunker.
Mr Williams and Mr Dunstan claim a body double took Hitler’s place and an actress stood in for Eva Braun on 27 April, three days before the alleged suicide.
It was at this point that the pair were able to flee Berlin, travelling to Tonder in Denmark before returning to Travemünde in Germany.
From Travemünde it is claimed that they flew to a Spanish military base at Reus, south of Barcelona. This is supported by FBI documents which claim the Nazi leader and his party travelled in a Junkers 290 aircraft, which had the serial number 0163.
In the summer of 1945, Allied forces discovered this plane in the Travemünde airbase, close to the German city of Hamburg. Using its flight documentation, the military traced the aeroplane’s movements to Spain.
General Franco supplied another aircraft to take them to Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands.
A day later the two fugitives are said to have boarded a U-Boat and the two body doubles were executed and their bodies subsequently burned.
The book points to declassified FBI documents which contain references to Hitler having escaped Berlin to begin a new life in South America.
Here they say he lived in a wooden chalet in the vicinity of Bariloche, a city in the foothills of the Andes [in those days it was a remote village].
The book quotes a number of sources, such as cooks and doctors, who claim to have known the Nazi leader before he died aged 73 on 13 February 1962. They claim that Hitler's bloodline survived through two daughters he had with Braun.
Bariloche was a popular destination for fleeing Nazis. Mengele, Eichman and Klaus Barbie all lived there at some time. Erich Priebke, a captain in the Waffen SS and currently under house arrest in Italy, lived in Bariloche for 50 years after the war.
Other prominent Nazis who lived in Bariloche were Josef Schwammberger, commander of three Nazi labour camps and in charge of the liquidation of the Jewish ghetto in Przemysl, Poland.
There was Nazi diplomat Horst Wagner, a man who allegedly had the blood of at least 350,000 Jews on his hands, Hans Ulrich Rudel, former hero of the Luftwaffe and a close confidant of Hitler, and Frederich Lantschner, the former governor of the Tyrol.
It is not the first time that Hitler has been rumoured to have fled to Argentina. Author Abel Basti claimed the same in his 2003 book "Hitler In Argentina".
He said Hitler and Braun fled to Argentine shores aboard a submarine and lived for many years in the vicinity of San Carlos de Bariloche, a tourist site and ski haven some 1,000 miles southwest of Buenos Aires.
In his book "Bariloche Nazi-Guía Turística" he reproduced documents, affidavits, photographs and blueprints aimed at steering the reader to the sites that sheltered Hitler and his top henchmen.
About 50 miles north of Bariloche lies Villa la Angostura, a village on the shores of Lake Nahuel Huapi. Author Abel Basti claimed the Incalco Ranch, which is situated in this village, was the refuge chosen by Argentine Nazis to hide the couple.
Set amid a pine forest, it could only be reached by boat or hydroplane, and belonged to Argentine businessman Jorge Antonio, one of the most trusted friends of three-times president Juan Domingo Perón.
There is no forensic evidence for Hitler's, or Eva Braun’s deaths. Even "proper" historians accept that the skull held by the Russians is not that of Hitler.
The double suicide theory is mostly based on the testimony of Rochus Misch, now 95, Hitler’s former radio operator and the last survivor of the Berlin Bunker. He says he saw the bodies of "the boss" and Eva Braun with his own eyes.
The book by Williams and Dunstan claim a body double took Hitler’s place and an actress stood in for Eva Braun on 27 April, three days before the alleged suicide. Rochus Misch didn't hear the shot and he only saw the bodies from outside the room, not close up.
"I was in the room next door when he shot himself. I did not hear the shot but I saw his uncovered corpse when the door was opened. I saw Hitler slumped with his head on the table. I saw Eva Braun sitting dead in the corner of the sofa, her head turned to Hitler, her knees pulled up to her chest. She had a dark blue dress on and a white frill on her collar".
Historians hold him up as a reliable source and he is the author of a book, published several years ago, called "The Last Witness".
According to what is told and known in History is that Hitler had died before the end of WWII. However, evidence has surfaced refuting the claims.
In 1955, Germany Justice pronounced Hitler's disappearance.
Hitler's alleged inside the Bunker in Berlin described by Trevor- Roper's book "The Last Days of Hitler", has been refuted by many historians. We now know that the official history is not true. The history Trevor-Roper told was invented by British Intellegence Services to free themselves from the accusations by Stalin which stated that they helped Hitler escape.
That's assuming of course that the official accounts based on eyewitness testimonies gathered by the incredible historian/journalist extraordinaire Hugh Trevor-Roper, the one and only expert on the last days of Hitler's life, is accurate.
For whatever reason, we have no reason at all to believe that these eyewitnesses who were deeply loyal to Hitler could have lied, just as we have no reason at all to believe that Trevor-Roper could be incredible [incredible = the opposite of credible].
Except that we do have reason to doubt Trevor-Roper: the "Hitler Diaries" fiasco. [Basically, a crude forgery fooled our expert].
What's fascinating is that there is no dispute here that Trevor-Roper was indeed fooled, which means the same people who know that Trevor-Roper blundered also vouch for his expertise in gathering evidence on Hitler's death.
We are now left with jaws that are alleged to belong to Hitler. In 2003, "a German forensic scientist named Dr Mark Benecke confirmed that they belonged to Hitler". How does this confirmation process work?
He trusted experts/authorities who had provided him with the jaws and the X-rays. That's like reading a book, and then using a magnifying glass to verify that you are reading every letter correctly, and then declare whatever the book said to be true because you have read each letter correctly.
Historically, it appears not only did Stalin and the Russians doubt Hitler was dead, but so did US General Dwight D. Eisenhower. And in 2009, DNA testing proved the skull the Russians had been claiming was Hitler's since the end of the war was actually that of a forty year-old woman. [May be that of one of those 85,000 unfortunate German women who were gang raped by the Red Army goons in Berlin alone].
Adolf Hitler Suicide Story questioned after tests reveal Skull is a Woman's
Adolf Hitler's suicide in his Berlin Bunker has been called into question after American researchers claimed that a bullet-punctured skull fragment long believed to belong to the Nazi dictator is, in fact, that of an unknown woman.
By Andrew Osborn in Moscow
28 September 2009
The four-inch skull fragment has a hole where a bullet reportedly passed through Hitler’s left temple when he shot himself and is kept in Russia’s federal archives along with what are said to be his jawbones. Together, they are all that is left of Hitler’s body, the charred remains of which Soviet forces first recovered in 1945. For years, the Russians have held up the artefacts as proof that Soviet troops found Hitler’s body in the ruins of Berlin and that he died on April 30 when he shot himself just after taking cyanide.
But a "History Channel" documentary programme broadcast in the US called "Hitler’s Escape" claims the skull fragment belongs to a woman under 40 and not Hitler, who was 56 when he died. It quotes Nick Bellantoni, an archaeologist and bone specialist who took DNA samples from the skull in Moscow and had them tested at the University of Connecticut. He and his colleagues are sceptical that the skull fragment could belong to Eva Braun, Hitler’s long-time companion, since she is thought to have committed suicide by cyanide rather than with a gun.
The findings are likely to revive conspiracy theories suggesting that Hitler did not die in 1945 but survived and fled to South America or elsewhere. Proponents of that theory believe Soviet troops found only his body double.
However, the Russians have never held up the skull as exhibit one, always insisting that the jawbones — said to be in perfect condition - are confirmation. Soviet forces tracked down an assistant to Hitler’s dentist in 1945 who confirmed their authenticity. The contested skull fragment was found later, in 1946, when the Russians began an investigation after rumours that Hitler was still alive. It was found in the same hole outside Hitler’s Bunker where his body was first found.
Russians insist skull fragment is Hitler's
10 December 2009
[CNN] -- Nearly 65 years after his demise by his own hand in a Bunker beneath the streets of Berlin, Adolf Hitler is still managing to cause controversy.
The latest dispute has pitched U.S. researchers against the Russian Federal Security Service [FSB] in a debate over the authenticity of fragments of skull and jawbone said to belong to the Nazi dictator.
The origins of the dispute date back to 2000 when Russian officials put the fragments on public display in Moscow. The skull fragment has a hole near the temple. Proof, said officials, that Hitler had committed suicide by putting a gun to his head.
But earlier this year, researchers from the University of Connecticut released the results of a DNA test on the skull which they say proves not only that it didn't belong to the Nazi leader, but the remains were that of a female aged between 20 and 40 years old.
The findings might have encouraged one of the wilder conspiracy theories about Hitler to flourish, but researchers were not claiming that Hitler was a woman.
Nor do they think that the remains are likely to be those of Hitler's long term partner Eva Braun, who, so the story goes, killed herself at the same time and place as the Führer in 1945.
Yet despite the new evidence, Russian officials remain adamant that the remains are Hitler's and, in their defense, have released archive documents in an attempt to prove the bones are authentic.
A report published by Russia's "Interfax" news agency this week quotes the head of the FSB archives saying Hitler's remains, except parts of his skull and jaw, were burnt in 1970 and thrown into the Biederitz River in what was then East Germany.
FSB archives' chief Lieutenant-General Vasily Khristoforov told "Interfax" that the decision to destroy Hitler's remains and those of Eva Braun and the Göbbels family was ordered by the head of Russia's KGB -- forerunner to the FSB -- Yury Andropov [who briefly became Soviet leader in 1982].
"Andropov clearly listed the plan: To remove and destroy the remains of the war criminals, buried in Magdeburg [Germany] on 21 February 1946..." Khristoforov told Interfax.
Khristoforov said Andropov's decision to dispose of Hitler's ashes in the river nearly 40 years ago was "motivated by the KGB and Communist Party leaders' fears that the place where Hitler was buried could become a place of attraction for supporters of his ideas".
Interesting though they are, the Khristoforov's revelations don't shed any more light on the authenticity of the skull.
For now, U.S. researchers stand by their evidence saying the skull fragment is definitely from a female, while Russia insists that the jawbone -- which the U.S. researchers didn't test -- is most definitely male.
Whatever the eventual outcome is, in this, the latest in a long line of investigations into the most reviled figure of the 20th century, it seems certain that experts and conspiracy theorists alike will be picking over the bones of Hitler's life and legacy for decades to come.
The truth is that when the Russians entered Hitler's underground Bunker in Berlin, Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun were gone. Their bodies were never found. Exactly what happened to them on 30 April 1945, has long remained a mystery.
The British historian Hugh Trevor-Roper:
"A single shot fell ... Hitler was lying on the sofa soaked with blood, he had shot himself in the mouth....the bones have never been found ..."
The British historian Alan Bullock:
"A single shot was heard ... Hitler had shot himself in the mouth....what had happened with the ashes of the two bodies burned in the Reich Chancellery's garden has never been ascertained".
The "Spiegel" reporter Erich Kuby:
"The probably most photographed, mostly documented man of our time disappeared in an unknown way in the unknown".
In 2009, three US professors with access to Adolf Hitler's alleged remains startled the world with scientific DNA proof that the skull and bones that Russia had claimed since the end of World War II were Hitler's actually belonged to a middle-aged woman whose identity remains unknown. This announcement has rekindled interest in the claim made by Josef Stalin, maintained to the end of his life, that Hitler got away.
The truth is that no one saw Hitler and Eva Braun die in the bunker in Berlin on 30 April 1945. No photographs were taken to document claims Hitler and Evan Braun committed suicide. Hitler's body was never recovered. No definitive physical evidence exists proving Hitler died in the bunker in Berlin.
FBI and CIA records maintained at the National Archives indicate that the US government took seriously reports at the end of World War II that Hitler had escaped to Argentina.
If the US govt. really believed that official story of Hitler's suicide in Berlin, then why did they keep this extensive file on Hitler in Argentina?
There is a startling documentary titled: "El Escape de Hitler " by Carlos de Napoli.
According to De Napoli:
"'Hitler's Escape" is the first documentary used to attempt to know what really happened to Hitler, since the absence of any trace of his body, everything has sunk in a sea of doubts and uncertainty. All these unpublished documents, allowed us to develop a special with unique information, never presented before in another job".
Former Secretary of State Jimmy Byrnes in his book "Frankly Speaking" [as quoted in the April 1948 "The Cross and The Flag"]:
"While in Potsdam at the Conference of the Big Four, Stalin left his chair, came over and clinked his liquor glass with mine in a very friendly manner. I said to him: 'Marshal Stalin, what is your theory about the death of Hitler?' Stalin replied: 'He is not dead. He escaped either to Spain or Argentina'.
The same thing was reported about Josef Mengele until he was found. Mengele eluded capture. He drowned while swimming off the Brazilian coast in 1979 and was buried under a false name. His remains were disinterred and positively identified by forensic examination in 1985.
And Adolf Eichmann who was a German Nazi SS-Obersturmbannführer and one of the major organisers of the Holocaust.
After Germany's defeat in 1945, Eichmann fled to Austria.
He lived there until 1950, when he moved to Argentina using false papers. Information collected by the Mossad, Israel's intelligence agency, confirmed Eichmann's location in 1960.
A team of Mossad and Shin Bet agents captured Eichmann and brought him to Israel to stand trial on 15 criminal charges, including war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes against the Jewish people.
Found guilty on many of these charges, he was sentenced to death by hanging and executed on 31 May 1962.
The evidence demands a verdict different from the official story.
The story remains unsolved if at the end all we have are the charred corpse and the technical treatise on dental identification.
The Escape of Hitler
31 May 2015
A documentary released in 2011, "El Escape de Hitler" [The Escape of Hitler], has been available on Netflix. The film is in Spanish, but Netflix has settings which can add English subtitles. The movie is also available on YouTube, but without English subtitles.
In my book, "Tales Of The Holy Lance," I reported upon statements indicating that in the final days of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler and wife Eva Braun had been flown out of Berlin by Luftwaffe General Robert Ritter von Greim and test pilot Hanna Reitsch.
However the film, "El Escape de Hitler" offers a more likely scenario of how Hitler escaped: He was not even in Berlin in the final days.
A smokescreen had been deployed by the Nazis in which the public was told the Führer was in Berlin. In fact, the Nazi leader had been smuggled into Berchtesgaden, a municipality in the German Bavarian Alps. Hitler owned a home there on the flank of the Hoher Goll, a mountain in the Berchtesgaden Alps. Not far away was the "Eagle’s Nest", atop the Kehlstein subpeak of the Hoher Goll.
Late in World War II the Allies launched a devastating air raid on the Berchtesgaden area. However the 25 April 1945 bombing did little damage to the town. And at any rate, an underground Bunker system had been built there and was used by Hitler and the SS. In the vicinity of Berchtesgaden is Königssee, a natural lake. It was either upon this lake or another nearby lake that a seaplane landed, according to the movie, "El Escape de Hitler", and took onboard Hitler and Braun. From there they were flown to a naval base in Norway, possibly the Kriegsmarine base.
A "Plan Z" had originally called for the building of a fleet to rival that of Britain, but that plan was changed in favor of a shift to submarines. The Kriegsmarine’s most famous ships were the U-Boats, most of which were constructed after "Plan Z" was abandoned at the beginning of World War II. From Norway, according to the film, a U-Boat transported the infamous couple to Argentina. They then made their way to Patagonia, a sparsely populated region located at the southern end of South America, shared by Argentina and Chile. There they resided unmolested.
In Patagonia, Hitler was not strutting around in uniform and wearing his toothbrush moustache. The film suggests the Nazi Führer appeared in civilian clothes, bald, and without the moustache.
In my book, "Tales of the Holy Lance" I include copies of declassified, redacted FBI files supporting claims of an alive Hitler residing in Argentina. For example:
At the close of World War II, Uranium was badly needed. Martin Bormann, chief of the Nazi Party, had been allowed to escape in exchange for 1120 pounds of enriched Uranium and infra-red bomb fuses.
Adolf Hitler and the Allies may have reached a similar agreement, suggests the film, "El Escape de Hitler".
The People Who Swear Hitler Is Alive
The Daily Beast
Adolf and Eva died in a suicide pact in Berlin… right? Not if you believe 70 years of rabid conspiracy theories.
Adolf Hitler and his wife, Eva Braun, committed suicide 70 years ago—or so they’d like us to believe.
Of all the Nazi conspiracy theories [buried gold sunken in Austrian lakes; jungle hideaways; U-Boats filled with treasure off the coast of New Zealand], the most pervasive and indefatigable legend is that the fascist lovebirds survived the war and lived the rest of their lives in peaceful South American retirement.
The origins of these rumors lie in the fact that, though scholars agree Hitler and Braun carried out a suicide pact in an underground Bunker, their remains were never publicly and formally identified. If they had made a daring escape as Berlin fell, say, the next stop would have been to Latin America, which was rolling out the red carpet for fleeing Nazis.
These fictions needed almost no time to marinate. They were spurred on by top officials in both the Nazi and Allied forces, and spread virulently in the West’s postwar confusion. 'Nazi Envoy Says Hitler Still Alive,' the "Associated Press" blasted in 1945, with two quotes from a German diplomat promising the leader’s imminent return. Such assertions and sightings were so pervasive that the Federal Bureau of Investigation began actively looking into them.
Last year, the FBI declassified more than 700 pages of tips and investigations into the possibility that Hitler survived the war. Included in the trove were hundreds of typed and handwritten notes to the FBI, government memos attempting to verify the claims, and J. Edgar Hoover’s replies.
“According to [retracted], he was one of the 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,” one report said, conveying descriptions of the heavily guarded ranch where Hitler, who had shaved off his mustache, was supposedly hiding out.
Another person swore Hitler had taken to hiding in plain sight and was residing in Manhattan, the ideal city for anonymity. A Maryland resident was convinced the two had shared a table at lunch in 1946 [“looked like he had been in confinement for sometime"]. Another informant claimed Hitler was being treated in Spain for a "nervous condition".
And then there’s the bold report that included a letter, translated from German and postmarked with German stamps, which was supposedly from Hitler himself. "[When] I was informed that my body and that of my wife had been covered with Naptha and burred [sic] in the Chancellory [sic] garden. I could not help smiling for at this we were many kilometers south west of Berlin on our air jouney to Argentina," the fraud Führer boasted. [The man who turned this letter in was dubbed by the FBI "a psychopathic case"].
But other tips were apparently worthy of follow-up. “His letter is coherent and it is not known whether or not he is a psychopathic,” an evaluation of another epistle reads.
Another person swore Hitler had taken to hiding in plain sight and was residing in Manhattan.
The FBI trove ends in 1947, but the theories were only just getting started. Seventy years after the war’s end, dozens of historians, journalists, documentarians, and other conspiracy-inclined hobbyists are still peddling their wares as Hitler hunters. Like a mustachioed Carmen Sandiego, Hitler candidates have been popping up across the globe for years. Then, with a simple overlay of the signature facial hair and comb-over, or with some clever aging tricks, the believers declare a match. The theories range in delusional intensity—one claims Hitler was hidden in an Antarctic base—but the idea of a South American retirement remains the most popular.
Many Nazis did flee into the welcoming arms of South America after the war. Argentina, in particular, offered a safe haven, and rumors abounded that the highest levels of Nazi leadership had made a successful escape there. Most famously, Adolf Eichmann and Josef Mengele were granted refuge by Juan Peron, Argentina’s president at the time, who dispatched rescue voyages to Europe after Germany fell to retrieve the war’s losers from capture.
“[A]rgentina is teeming with unmolested Nazi war criminals,” journalist Johannes Steel wrote in a 1945 investigation.
No matter how absurd, theories of Hitler’s survival rarely fail to make international headlines. In 2014, the British tabloid "Express" proffered a grainy, virtually face-less photo of an older Caucasian man with the headline, "The Incredible picture that 'proves' Adolf Hitler lived to 95 with his Brazilian lover". Citing a new book called "His Life and His Death" by author Simoni Renee Guerreiro Dias, the article outlines the argument that the Führer spent his last years in a small town in Brazil, going by the name Adolf Leipzig.
Last year also gave us "Hitler in Argentina", which promised to "change the history you were taught in 5th grade". It was the second book about Hitler’s certain survival by author Harry Cooper, who is classified as a neo-Nazi by watchdogs at the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Four years earlier, there was "Grey Wolf: The Escape of Adolf Hitler". Two British journalists made similar claims about Hitler’s escape, alleging that he settled in Patagonia and fathered two children with Braun. When a local journalist claimed they had stolen his theory, it pitted the three in a Hitler survivalist-off.
Since the 1960s, the Russians have claimed that bones they extracted from the Eagle’s Nest after the war were Hitler’s. They took samples and then reportedly burned the rest of the corpses. The original jawbone they recovered apparently matched the records of Hitler’s dentist, the investigators said. But in 2009, DNA tests on what was thought to be Hitler’s skull turned out to belong to a younger woman.
Even those who believe Hitler survived the war’s end concede he must be dead today—unless the fountain of youth also turned up in his jungle hideaway. But new theories of cross-ocean Nazi infiltration are robust as ever. In March, Argentinian archaeologists revealed they were investigating claims that newly-discovered buildings had been used as Nazi Bunkers. But a closer look found that the stories were blown out of proportion, blowing the lid off a Nazi hideout. “That was just speculation on my part,” the lead investigator told the "Guardian" after dozens of articles ran with the claims. "The press picked it up and magnified it".
Why the FBI investigated the possibility that Adolf Hitler survived World War II
1 May, 2015
We overlooked the 70th anniversary of Adolf Hitler's death on Thursday. But we have a good excuse: 30 April 1945 might not be the correct date of the infamous Nazi leader's demise.
So say the conspiracy theorists, anyway. Scholars are convinced Hitler and wife Eva Braun committed suicide in their Berlin Bunker as Soviet forces pushed into the center of the city in 1945. But the "Daily Beast"s Nina Strochlic pointed out this week that the "Hitler is alive" believers were somewhat mainstream in the years immediately after World War II. After all, Strochlic writes, Hitler and Braun's "remains were never publicly and formally identified. If they had made a daring escape as Berlin fell, say, the next stop would have been to Latin America, which was rolling out the red carpet for fleeing Nazis".
Many Nazi war criminals did successfully make it out of Germany and find refuge in South America. In 1960, Israel's Mossad famously kidnapped notorious Hitler henchman Adolf Eichmann from Argentina. (Read Neal Bascomb's excellent book "Hunting Eichmann". So, without Hitler and Braun's bodies as definitive proof, fears raged. The conspiracy theories even led to one of the worst movies of all time: "They Saved Hitler's Brain".
Strochlic points readers to the declassified FBI files on the postwar hunt for Hitler. Her article about sightings of Hitler and Braun in New York, Maryland and elsewhere is fun stuff and worth a look.
One FBI informant compared a woman she knew with a photograph of Braun from "Life" magazine. From an FBI agent's memo: "It was [redacted] belief that should Adolf Hitler still be alive, the [redacted] family would know where he is located. [Redacted] said that after studying the photographs of Eva [redacted] and Eva Braun, he was of the opinion that the two individuals were identical and that the true name of Eva Braun is actually Eva [redacted]".
The FBI shut down its Hitler investigation in 1947. And early this century, a Nazi nurse's first-hand account of Hitler and Braun's last moments came to light. Wrote "The Independent": "After intense discussion with his personal physician, Hitler shot himself through his right temple while holding a cyanide capsule in his mouth. His recently wed wife ate another capsule next to him".
Flight of Grey Wolf
Did Adolf Hitler escape to Argentina after WW2?
On 1 May 1945, Admiral Karl Dönitz took to a German radio station to announce that the Nazi Führer Adolf Hitler was dead.
Although Dönitz told the German people Hitler had died heroicly defending the Reich, he and his wife Eva Braun actually committed suicide on 30 April whilst holed up in his Berlin bunker.
Hitler had killed himself with a gunshot and Braun used cyanide. The bodies of the pair were then taken outside to the Reich Chancellery garden, doused in petrol and burnt.
The story was quickly reported around the world, Hitler was dead and Germany was on the brink. Barely a week later, the war in Europe was over.
This official account of how Hitler died — promoted by the Americans, Russians, and British, became the truth of the matter for public consumption.
However, privately the Allies doubted the story. Several senior figures in Allied intelligence believed Hitler may have escaped. Russian leader Josef Stalin was certain Hitler had actually fled, and told this to the Americans.
During a visit to the Hague shortly after the war, the commander of the allied forces Dwight D. Eisenhower told reporters that there was “reason to believe he[Hitler] was still alive.”
The Russian’s account of what happened after they had seized Hitler’s Bunker were confused and contradictory. And most tellingly, there was no body. Could Hitler have escaped?
Rumours began to circulate that Hitler and Braun had been smuggled out of Germany at the last minute and sightings of them came in from all over the world. The FBI and OSS, the forerunner to the CIA, investigated many of these rumours.
Some authors have suggested Hitler was flown out of Germany just days before the end of the war, under the code name ‘Grey Wolf’, and then smuggled out of Europe in a German U-boat to Nazi sympathizing Argentina.
There, the theory goes, he lived out his life under an assumed name with his wife Eva Braun and their children until his death in the early 60s.
Did Hitler really escape to Argentina after WW2?
1. The bodies
Nobody at the Führerbunker saw Hitler shoot himself, and there are no photographs of his corpse.
When advancing Russian troops seized the Reich Chancellory they found several bodies but, after initially mistaking a double of Hitler for the Führer, were unable identify any of them as Hitler.
The Russians later claimed to have found Hitler’s charred body in this garden.
Marshal Zhukov, the head of the Russian army told a press conference:
"We did not identify the body of Hitler, I can say nothing definite about his fate. He could have flown away from Germany at the last moment".
But in 1968, the Russians changed their story. They had in fact recovered Hitlers charred remains and reburied them on several occasions. They had a skull, some teeth and a jawbone fragment to prove it.
For many years, the Russians refused any access to these artifacts. They were the only hard, physical evidence in existence for Hitler’s death but without access they could not be subject to forensic testing.
It wasn’t until 2009 that experts were finally allowed to examine the bone fragments. A team of American investigators, led by archaeologist Nick Bellantoni, took samples from the skull and jawbone for DNA testing. The results were shocking.
The bone fragments held by the Russians were not from Hitler.
None of the samples belonged to Hitler. The skull and jawbone belonged to a young woman, not Hitler. It was also unlikely to be that of Eva Braun as there were no reports she had shot herself.
Where had the skull come from, who did it belong to and why were the Russians trying to pass it off as Hitler's? Whatever the answers, the DNA results seriously undermined the official story.
2. Allied intelligence
The allied forces secretly doubted Hitler had committed suicide. Even before the war ended American intelligence were preparing for Hitler’s escape.
The OSS, then America’s foreign intelligence agency, prepared a series of mocked-up images of Hitler in various disguises, anticipating how he may try to escape at the end of the war.
Army intelligence interrogating a young SS officer at Nuremberg discovered he had actually observed Hitler’s flight from Germany just before the end of the war.
This appeared to confirm newspaper reports at the time that SS pilot Peter Baumgart had flown Hitler out of Germany to Denmark in a Junker 52 transport aircraft on 28 April.
Beginning shortly after the war, the FBI conducted a decade-long investigation into the alleged escape of Hitler. Compiling a 700-page dossier, the FBI gathered reports of his survival from around the world.
Claims emerged that Hitler was flown out of Germany to Denmark.
Many of the reports were hoaxes and nonsense — including sightings of Hitler disguised as a croupier at a casino and walking around in New York City. But there were also a cluster of more credible reports that centered on Argentina.
Accounts of Hitler’s arrival by submarine and his life in the country were numerous. One informant gave the FBI detailed descriptions of Hitler and his precise whereabouts in Argentina, but these were never followed up.
Argentina, under the fascist rule of Juan Peron, had a large German community and one of the biggest Nazi parties in the world outside of Germany. Like many other South American countries, it was sympathetic to the crumbling Nazi regime and prepared to hide fleeing Nazi war criminals.
Recently, Simon Dunstan and Gerrard Williams in their book "Grey Wolf", followed up some of the Argentina rumours. The developed evidence that Hitler hid out at a remote pro-Nazi enclave near Nahuel Huapi Lake in Patagonia.
The authors found several eyewitnesses who remember Hitler’s presence there, and interviewed one now elderly man who claims to have served Hitler on 2 occasions in 1953 and 56 in a private hotel suite.
3. Nazi Ratlines
Some evidence from other fugitive Nazis supports the idea that Hitler may have escaped to Argentina.
Lots of other high ranking Nazis escaped after WW2 with the help of ratlines set up by secret SS groups like Odessa, the Catholic Church and even American Intelligence.
Both Josef Mengele and Adolf Eichman, two of the most notorious Nazi war criminals, escaped to South America after the war, where they were protected by pro-Nazi fascist dictatorships in countries like Chile and Argentina.
Argentina especially was a hotspot for escaping Nazis. Millions of dollars of Reich assets were smuggled out of Germany at the end of the war and funneled through the Peron regime into Argentina to help set up an underground regime to protect ex-Nazis.
If Hitler had escaped Germany, the odds are he would have ended up in Argentina where he could have been sure of a safe haven from the international authorities.
To confirm the hypothesis of an escape of Hitler to Argentina there is the long investigation by the journalist Abel Basti
After years of investigations, culminated in the publication of the book "Tras los pasos di Hitler", Abel Basti has reached the conclusion that Hitler was not dead on 30 April 1945 in Berlin.
Basti argues that Hitler escaped to Argentina and lived there for many years, until February 1971, dying like a normal person, undisturbed. Currently, according to this reconstruction, Hitler would be buried in Paraguay, in a crypt located in an ancient Nazi Bunker, today replaced by a luxurious hotel.
Basti argues that every year this hotel closes to ordinary clients, to allow a small group of Nazis, to visit the grave of Hitler on the anniversary of his death.
Basti said that in the beginning he was skeptical of a hypothesis of this kind, but all the meeting with many eyewitnesses made him change his mind. So, did Hitler really live in Argentina where he escaped to after the siege of Berlin?
What has been historically verified is that in Argentina, in July 1945, two German submersibles [the U-977 and the U-530], arrived.
The arrival of a good number of U-Boats in Argentina has been spotted, at the end of the conflict, by fishermen, soldiers and inhabitants of coastal villages. They were reported in the Gulf of St. Matías and particularly in the Caleta de los Loros.
Was Hitler on board of one of these other mysterious submarines?
1. Eyewitnesses in the Bunker
There are eyewitness accounts from inside Hitler’s Bunker that attest to his suicide there.
SS Officer Rochus Misch, a Hitler aide, claims the Führer had already made it clear he would end his life, apparently terrified that his body may be paraded by the approaching Russian army.
According to Misch, Hitler ordered them to destroy his body after his suicide. On 30 April , the deed was done. Misch and other staff in the Führerbunker entered Hitler’s private room and discovered his and Braun’s bodies.
Misch recounts how they took the bodies of the pair up to the Chancellery garden to burn them. Hitler’s valet Otto Günsche was in charge of the cremation but had struggled to round up enough Petrol.
Finally, Günsche and the other remaining Nazis set fire to the bodies and, before giving one last salute, retreated back into the Bunker.
Whilst there are several such accounts amongst the witnesses to Hitler’s death, some historians have questioned their reliability due to the many inconstancies between them.
Several of the witnesses changed their stories over the years or made questionable claims that tend to undermine their veracity. Some witnesses said they heard the gunshot that killed Hitler, but Günsche heard no shot despite having stood at the door to Hitler’s room.
2. Hitler’s teeth
Although not reported for many years, the Russians now confirm they performed an autopsy on Hitler’s remains in 1945 and confirmed them to be Hitler.
Partial remains of some of Hitler’s teeth were positively identified by his dentist as matching distinctive dental work he had performed on the Führer the year before.
This identification appeared to be confirmed in 1999 when forensic dentist Prof Michel Perrier used newsreel footage, photographs and X-rays to match the teeth to Hitler.
However, some critics have questioned the identification. Hugo Blaschke, the dentist who made the original match in 1945, did so entirely based on memory.
Hitler’s dentals records were lost and instead Blaschke had to draw a picture of Hitler’s teeth as he remembered them.
3. Cold war paranoia
Many historians account for the inconsistencies in the accounts of Hitler’s death and the recovery of his body to cold war secrecy and paranoia.
Almost as soon as WW2 ended, the cold war between Russia and the West began and a great many lies and propaganda can be attributed to this period.
Most of the early evidence we have about Hitler’s demise comes from Russian counter-intelligence sources, working on Stalin’s orders.
Stalin, historians say, was not only paranoid that news about Hitler’s death could be used against him, but decided to deliberately obscure the prosaic reality of his suicide to try and suggest the Western powers were hiding him.
Obsessive secrecy, disinformation and propaganda became the norm, and it wasn’t until many years after Stalin died that the Russians finally began to open up their archives and reveal the truth about what happened in 1945.
4. Hitler’s health
Those who saw Hitler in the months up until his alleged death were shocked at his physical and mental deterioration.
SS Physician Ernst-Günther Schenck tended to Hitler in the final few days. According to Schenck, the 56-year-old Führer was "a living corpse, a dead soul".
"His spine was hunched, his shoulder blades protruded from his bent back, and he collapsed his shoulders like a turtle…I was looking into the eyes of death", Schenck recounted in a 1985 interview.
Schenck, like other observers, noted how Hitler looked 20 years older that his true age — a physical and mental wreck whose left arm shook so uncontrollably he could hardly shave or feed himself.
Hitler, it seems, was suffering the mental and physical effects of degenerative disease Parkinson. Aside from his physical ailments he had begun to ramble and veer wildly from euphoria to deep depression.
Ernst-Günther Schenck, who worked at an emergency casualty station in the Reich Chancellery during April of 1945, claimed Hitler might have had Parkinson's disease. However, Schenck only saw Hitler briefly on two occasions and, by his own admission, was extremely exhausted and dazed during these meetings [at the time, he had been in surgery for numerous days without much sleep]. Also, some of Schenck's opinions were based on hearsay from Dr. Haase.
Schenk, a physician in charge of nutrition for the German Army who was present at Hitler's last medical consultation in April 1945 and later wrote a book ["Patient A"] about Hitler's relationship with his personal physician, was quoted in "American Medical News" to the effect that Hitler was neither clinically insane nor chemically dependent on drugs. Schenk says that Hitler's regular injections consisted of vitamins mixed with glucose and caffeine. Hitler was not a regular user of any stronger drug, but was given them on occasion: codeine and cocaine for colds, strong painkillers and barbiturates for cramps and colitis [an intermittent condition in most people that suffer it]. By the end of his life, Hitler showed obvious symptoms of Parkinson's disease, and also had a heart problem that was treated with nitroglycerin and digitalis. Schenk says that medically there was nothing unusual about Hitler [AP, 10 October 1985] and there is no reason to believe that drugs adversely affected Hitler's judgment.
In 2010 the book "War Hitler Krank?" by Henrik Eberle and Hans-Joachim Neumann [published in English in 2012 as Was Hitler Ill?] offered generally the same assessment as Schenk. They write that "at no time did Hitler suffer from pathological delusions," [Eine Besessenheit im Sinne eines krankheitsbedingten Wahns gab es bei Hitler zu keinem Zeitpunkt] and they find no indication that Dr. Theodor Morell was anything other than a competent and ethical physician.
The idea a man gripped by paranoia, mental illness and severe physical decline could mastermind a daring escape from the grasps of the advancing allies and go on to live for many years in South America seems absurd.
Perhaps stories of Hitler's condition were more wartime propaganda or stories spread to aid his escape. But if Hitler’s condition really was as bad as many witnessed in 1945, it would seem to rule out the idea he lived on for many years.
Hitler Survives the Battle of Berlin
The obverse of history in Hitler’s particular case, therefore, is not at all hard to imagine credibly. Reacting to precisely the same circumstances, acting upon the very same stew of perception and delusion, Hitler could have just as easily decided not to kill himself after all. Change nothing else but this and one changes everything. One might impose a measure of control over any alternative scenario by asking no more of inventiveness than one might ask of a prediction.
If one imagines a living Hitler, one who survived the battle of Berlin, a good deal of the canvas has already been painted for us:
At 12:50 in the afternoon of 2 May, General Karl Weidling’s chief of staff and several other official representatives flew a white flag at the Potsdam Bridge, that they were escorted promptly to General Chuikov’s headquarters, and that an armistice was arranged forthwith. At about the same time Russian troops took the Reichskanzlerei and, after some confusion, finally discovered the Führerbunker itself. One can easily envision a resigned, even an indifferent Hitler, still alive, having ordered General Weidling to seek a ceasefire. Perhaps Hitler might still have harbored a fantasy of a negotiated peace, but of course he had nothing left with which to strike any sort of bargain. The Russians would not have been in a mood especially conducive to negotiation, having lost nearly 100,000 casualties in the Berlin campaign alone. Hitler would have been hustled off to see one of the Russian commanders. Immediately, a signal confirming his capture would have gone out to Stalin, and then, to the rest of the world. In all likelihood, the prisoner Hitler would have been on his way to Moscow before the day was out.
These are the outer limits of a reasonably safe scenario. A less plausible alternative is, how likely is it that Hitler chose escape over suicide—precisely what many suspected at the time?
There is testimony of just what was required to make good such an escape at this point in time. Escape was possible, but only just. In the chaotic final hours of the war, several small groups took their chances outside, in a wrecked city engulfed by artillery and small arms fire. The chances of success were minuscule. In the aftermath of Hitler’s and Göbbels’s suicides, an ill-assorted bunch of soldiers, secretaries, and party officials, including Hitler’s own secretary Martin Bormann, tried to get out through the New Chancellery exits and into the city with the aim of working their way northwest of the city. Most were killed or captured.
The fortunes of battle favored some. Major Willi Johannmeier, Hitler’s army adjutant, was chosen to carry a copy of Hitler’s final testament to Field Marshal Schörner, the newly appointed commander in chief of the Wehrmacht. Two other petty functionaries, Wilhelm Zander and Heinz Lorenz, drew similar missions. This party was rounded out by the addition of a fortunate corporal named Heinz Hummerich, presumably assigned to assist Major Johannmeier. Johannmeier, an experienced and resourceful soldier, was detailed to lead the group to the safety of German lines. His skills were about to be tested.
The Russians had established three battle lines in a ring around the city center, at the Victory column, at the Zoo station, and at Pichelsdorf. The Pichelsdorf sector was where Johannmeier and his party had to go. At noon on 29 April, the four men left the Chancellery through the garage exits on Hermann Göring Strasse and struck westward, through the Tiergarten toward Pichelsdorf, at the northernmost reach of the large city lake, the Havel. By four or five in the afternoon, having spent the last several hours evading Russians, the party arrived in this sector. The sector was in German hands for the moment, defended by a battalion of Hitler Youth awaiting reinforcements.
Johannmeier and company rested until dark and then took small boats out onto the lake, making southward for another pocket of defense on the western shore, at Wannsee. There, Johannmeier managed to get a radio signal off to Admiral Dönitz, asking for evacuation by seaplane.
After resting in a Bunker for most of the day, the small group set off for a small island, the Pfaueninsel, where they would await their rescue by Dönitz’ seaplane [Blohm & Voss BV 138 Seedrache (Sea Dragon)]. In the meantime, another group of Bunker refugees arrived.
On the morning of 29 April, just as Johannmeier and his party were preparing to leave, Major Baron Freytag von Löringhoven, Rittmeister Gerhardt Boldt, and a lieutenant colonel named Rudolf Weiss had asked and received permission to attempt an escape and join General Wenck’s imaginary army of relief. The next day, 30 April, they would follow the same but even more dangerous route west as Johannmeier’s group. The Russians were as close as a few blocks now, already at the Air Ministry. And they had nearly closed the ring on the Pichelsdorf sector at the Havel. Freytag and his group had set out already when they were joined by Colonel Nicolaus von Below, Hitler’s Luftwaffe adjutant, who had received a postscript to his will from Hitler, in which he bade farewell to the German army. Below seems to have been the last one to leave the Bunker before Hitler killed himself.
All of these fugitives collected for a time on the lake, awaiting the salvation of the seaplane. A seaplane did materialize eventually, but owing to the heavy enemy fire, its pilot chose between discretion and valor and flew away before taking on his passengers. Now all were left to their own devices. By ones and twos most of the escapees managed to get away, if only to be taken prisoner later. Johannmeier and his group worked their way down past Potsdam and Brandenburg and crossed the Elbe near Magdeburg. Posing as foreign workers, they passed through enemy lines a few days later. Johannmeier simply continued his journey all the way back to his family home in Westphalia. There in the garden he buried Hitler’s last testament in a glass jar.
Zander made his escape good all the way to Bavaria, as did Artur Axmann, the chief of the Hitler Youth. Nicolaus von Below enrolled in law school at Bonn University. His studies were to be interrupted by the Allied authorities.
All of these men were considerably younger, healthier, and more physically resourceful than Hitler. The vision of Hitler negotiating all these difficulties is an alternative that is defeated by Hitler’s psychological and physical states, neither of which, singly or in combination, conduced to the demands of such a choice. By this time, Hitler simply did not have the physical or mental vigor necessary even to attempt an escape, much less actually succeed in one.
The discovery of a secret tunnel hidden under Berlin has sparked a new theory that Adolf Hitler actually survived World War II and managed to flee Germany out to South America.
The discovery of this tunnel proves that Hitler could have traveled from the Bunker, where he is believed to have killed himself in all the way to Tempelhof Airport underground. For years there was a clear passage from the Bunker to the airport, except for the final 200 yards. Now, with the discovery of this hidden tunnel, the final connection has been unearthed.
If Hitler did manage to make it out of Nazi Germany and Berlin alive, he’d have done so right under the noses of the advancing Russian army, before then traveling on a U-Boat from Spain or Norway to Argentina.
But, as the eminent British historian Hugh Trevor-Roper has reason to know, "Myths are not like truths; they are the triumph of credulity over evidence". Immediately upon the conclusion of the war, Trevor-Roper was given access to Allied intelligence and prisoner interrogation reports for the purpose of disentangling the confusions of Hitler’s last days, and, by implication, his ultimate fate. Behind Trevor-Roper’s assignment were the rumors that swept Europe in the summer of 1945: Hitler had escaped after all, the rumors said. He had gone to ground in Bavaria. Or he was in the Middle East. Or perhaps he had made for the Baltic coast, there to be rescued by submarine and deposited among sympathizers somewhere in South America. These rumors did not merely enthuse the gullible. Stalin startled the American secretary of state at the Potsdam Conference in July by arguing that Hitler was, in fact, alive and in hiding.