May 7, 1945

Although he had committed suicide on April 30th and German radio reported Hitler had died in battle on May 1, his death was widely presumed but not yet confirmed (and although the artist depicted Hitler's eyes as brown, they were blue)

Adolf Hitler has died more deaths in one week than any man in history

Said the Hamburg radio:

Hitler died "at his command post in the Reich Chancellery, fighting the Russians to the last".

Said Swedish Count Folke Bernadotte, who had it from Heinrich Himmler on April 24:

Hitler had a cerebral hemorrhage, might already be dead.

Said Dr. Hans Fritzsche, captured Göbbels deputy:

Hitler had committed suicide.

Said the Tokyo radio:

Hitler was killed by an exploding shell as he walked down the steps of his Berlin Chancellery.

Said the Paris-Presse:

After a quarrel with Hitler over the continuation of the war, other Nazi leaders blew him to bits by a bomb placed in his underground fortress in the Tiergarten on April 21.

Said the London Daily Express:

Hitler is on his way to Japan in a U-boat.

Said United Press war correspondent Edward W. Beattie Jr., liberated last week after eight months in Nazi captivity:

Germans believe that Hitler was killed in last year's bomb plot.

Soviet soldiers dug deep into the rubble of the Reich Chancellery for Hitler's corpse. They did not find it. Dr. Fritzsche explained to them:

The body has been hidden in a place impossible to find.

But Russia was determined to find Hitler, dead or alive.

Said Pravda:

Whether he escaped to hell, to the devil's paws, or to the arms of fascist protectors, still he is no more. We shall find out what really happened to him. And if he escaped, we shall find him, no matter where he is.

May 14, 1945:
"The many deaths of Adolf Hitler", TIME

The only witness to identify "Hitler's" body was a Russian diplomat who had previously met the Führer once. No German witnesses ever saw and identified the body supposed to be Adolf Hitler but it certainly wasn't because of a shortage of potential witnesses. Zukhov had twenty Germans identify Minister for Propaganda Josef Göbbels!

When the bodies of Josef and Magda Göbbels were found, they were put on display and photographed from every angle, even on the autopsy table. Only ONE photograph was taken of "Hitler's corpse" - it is a picture of a crate with something unidentifiable in it, and the shot was taken from a distance. Did no one take a decent photograph of the corpse when it was discovered or during the autopsy?

In April of 2000, a skull fragment went on display in the National Archives in Moscow. The four-inch fragment -- with a hole where a bullet reportedly exited through the left temple -- was displayed under thick glass at Russia's Federal Archives Service. The exhibition, called "The Agony of the Third Reich: The Retribution," was timed to mark the 55th anniversary next month of the defeat of Nazi Germany.

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

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

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

So far, there seems to be no conclusive evidence.

"I have not seen any documents providing evidence that this is the skull of Hitler," said Alexander Kalganov, an official at the FSB's [Federal Security Service, the main successor of the KGB] archives department.

There is an unsubstantiated rumour that the skull fragment was presented to Stalin as a gift, and Stalin then used the fragment as an ashtray in an ultimate show of triumph over his previous enemy. This rumour, while possibly being true, may have originated with the fact that the fragments were originally stored in a wooden cigar box by a member of 79th SMERSH tasked with their safe-keeping. The skull fragment disappeared from official records but was later located in the Moscow Archives basement after the fall of the Soviet Union

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

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

Although the Russians claimed to have found Hitler's body, they have yet to produce any evidence. The skull they produced as evidence was proven to be a woman's between the ages of 20 and 40; Hitler when he died was 56. The skull was also not that of Hitler's wife Eva Braun, who poisoned herself instead of shooting, and therefore would not have the bullet hole in her head that the skull did. The Soviets also have claimed to have matched Hitler's dental records, but the German government had all Nazi high command dental records destroyed for the very reason of anonymity.

Now the story of Hitler’s death will have to rewritten as a mystery.

The city of Berlin was criss-crossed by an underground railway system. On April 29, Hitler ordered that the entire system be flooded by opening cocks withholding the water of the city's rivers.

Only one tunnel was exempted from this treatment. The one running from the vicinity of the Old Reichs Chancellery in the direction of the Havel River.

On the night of April 29 Hitler instructed Willi Johannmeir, Heinz Lorenz and Wilhelm Zander, couriers with his last testament.
to traverse the dry railway tunnel and meet a plane due to land on the Havel River at 11:15 pm. Hitler was conducting a dry run, a rehearsal for his own walk to the Havel the following night.

This top secret escape route with its eight machine guns and impenetrable steel doors had been manned 24 hours a day since Hitler arrived in Berlin on January 16th, but on April 30, the very day on which it may be needed as a secret exit route, Hitler ensures that it is left unattended.

Hitler insised that Eva Braun wear her distinctive watch "to the end" his platinum wrist watch with diamonds instead of numerals on its face was so distinctive that it alone would provide evidence of the identity of the wearer, and was circumstantial evidence of the identity of the male corpse beside her.

Why did Hitler order a ten-minute delay between the shot heard by everyone in the bunker and the time when Linge was permitted to open the door to his study?

Was this the estimated amount of time required to arrange his double's body beside Eva and escape via the unguarded subterranean tunnel?

The 'death room' had concrete walls two feet thick, a reinforced concrete ceiling sixteen feet thick, and there were two four inch thick hermetically gas-proofed doors between the bodies and the witnesses. If the shot was fired in Hitler's sitting room it was an absolute impossibility for those in the map room to have heard it. After all, a 7.65 mm Walther makes a sound about equal to bursting a child's party balloon.

However if a blank round was fired on the spiral staircase between floors, the sound would have reverberated through both levels of the tomb-like bunker and would have been heard by all.

Hanna Reitsch, famous for flying into the heart of Berlin whilst it was surrounded, in a letter to her brother after the war which was intercepted by US captors, wrote that Himmler's Ju-52 which brought SS Gruppenführer Hermann Fegelein back to Berlin was still on the ground intact when she left with Ritter von Greim on the night of 27/28 April 1945. Author James P O'Connell stated the Ju-52 was still waiting for for Fegelein who had been arrested by the Gestapo. Colonel Nicholaus von Below flew out on this aircraft on 29 April 1945.

There are still in existence Russian Army radar reports of a JU52 transport plane plane apparently crashing into the Havel River at 10:30 pm on April 29 and again at the same time the following night.

Adolf Hitler was as mythical in death as he was brutal and large in life. Because of the curious circumstances of his suicide, and the inability of the wartime Allied powers to cooperate on an extensive and thorough proof that he did die, a whole mythos of his survival grew up after the war, and continued for ever since.

Betrayed even by Heinrich Himmler himself, who had secretly begun peace negotiations with the western Allies through the Swedish government, and with one time designated "Deputy Führer" and former party chief Rudolf Hess in a British prison cell, and his designated replacement Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring claiming leadership in the chaos of the collapsing Reich to the quick denunciation by Hitler for treason.

The Führer relinquished power before his suicide to an unlikely candidate, Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz, who for a brief period of little more than a week, was Nazi Germany's second dictator before he ordered its armed forces to surrender. The selection of Dönitz by Hitler is significant, for Dönitz was in an usual position to coordinate the escape of fleeing Nazis to South America and other places via the new type XXI U-boats just entering service.

It is worth looking at the Hitler and various other Nazi survival myths in a broad overview, in order to have a basis on which to distinguish possible fact from deliberate myth and misinformation. For these various Nazi survival myths and legends, Hitler's survival is not so much a fact, as a grotesque parody of an icon, a disturbing possibility that hovers over every version. For example, the standard view of Hitler committing suicide on April 30, 1945, is itself not without its own occult significance, for this is the date of the eve of a "Witches' Sabbath," the Walpurgisnacht. Moreover, in mediaeval Cathar doctrine - a doctrine well-studied by the SS Ahnenerbe - suicide was a permissible act, if done in concert with another, with a soul mate. Hitler and his newly married mistress of many years, Eva (Braun) Hitler, both committed suicide together.

Hitler's personal devotion to occult principles was proven ultimately by his self-inflicted death. His choice of April 30 for his suicide may well have been meant as a sacrifice; it was the eve of Beltane (known in Germany as Walpurgisnacht), identified on popular Wiccan websites as a Druid feast in honor of the deity Bel. In witchcraft, this "power-point" day is regarded as a "great sabbat" equal in potency to Halloween. According to Wiccans, Bel is derived from the Canaanite Baal; but Helena Blavatsky goes farther in The Secret Doctrine (vol.2), reconstructing an astrological trinity of Bel/Baal (sun-god, father), Christos (Mercury, son) and Lucifer (Venus, holy spirit). As for Hitler's suicide itself, this was not a cowardly act from an occultist viewpoint, but rather an honorable practice known among the Druids, as well as among the Cathari "Perfects", those medieval guardians of the Grail, who called it the rite of "Endura". A curious requirement of the "Endura" was that it was always to be done by pairs of intimate friends, a detail known by the Nazis which makes sense of Hitler's joint suicide with his new wife Eva Braun. Incidentally, Hitler's associates Karl Haushofer and Göbbels also killed themselves in ceremonial fashion along with their wives.

According to SS-Brigadeführer Wilhelm Möhnke, commandant of the Reichs Chancellery defence, Hitler had wanted to survive until May 5 before committing suicide, so that he could symbolically die on the same day as Napoleon Bonaparte, who he admired. However, Möhnke told Hitler that it was unlikely that Berlin could hold out that long. Moreover, Möhnke warned Hitler that May 1, being May Day, was a day of symbolic importance for the Soviets, and that he expected the final Russian push to come then. This remark apparently caused Hitler to choose April 30 as his suicide date, before May Day.

The non-standard Hitler and Nazi survival myths run the whole spectrum, from fanciful and implausible stories of underground bases in the Canadian Arctic, or on Antarctica itself armed with exotic weaponry, to more "mundane" and plausible stories of Nazi colonies in South America or secret weather stations and commando teams operating in Greenland during the war, to the well-known and best documented case, that of Operation Paperclip, America's wholesale importation of Nazi scientists and doctors after World War Two to assist the United States in continued covert development and research on a whole host of black projects.

In one rather interesting version of the Hitler survival myth, he and other Nazi bigwigs underwent plastic surgery before the end of the war, and were spirited off to Antarctica or South America.

According to a 1997 report by Sean David Morton, a female Nazi Intelligence Officer named Magda Zeitfeld offered her services to the United States Government. She worked in Berchtesgaden, and was apparently one of Germany's top intelligence agents. She had been sending the Allies information since the spring of 1944, acting as a double agent, because the SS she worked for had murdered her father and brother, under very mysterious circumstances.

Her father had the biggest plastic surgery clinic in Berlin. He was a pioneer in the field, and well financed by the Nazis, due to their obsession with physical perfection, and was doing a landmark business. He pioneered and specialized in implanted facial prosthetics, using highly advanced silicates to build up weak jaws and noses to fit the German fashion of chiseled strength.

Three men, exceptionally high level Nazi officials, were brought to her father's clinic under a veil of extreme security and secrecy in the fall of 1943. Her father and brother were required to drastically alter the appearance of each of the men.

Two weeks after the men left her family's clinic, and sufficient time had passed to be sure there was no need to go back for follow up treatment, the hospital was raided and the entire staff, including both Magda's father and brother, were brutally murdered, and the clinic was burned to the ground, files and all.

Magda knew that it was the Nazis who had done this, in fact it was a division within the SS for whom she worked. According to the report, two of the men were Martin Borman and Adolf Hitler.

That Hitler did undergo some sort of cosmetic surgery was independently confirmed in a well-known 1942 Time magazine article about the Nazi leader. His plastic surgery was also referred to by United Press Central European manager Frederick C. Oechsner, and in the Office of Strategic Services' Hitler Source Book.

The story broke when some journalists began to notice a strange alteration in Adolf Hitler's physical appearance, especially his nose. The SS immediately released an official press dispatch stating that Hitler had his fat nose streamlined by a plastic surgeon. That did not, however, explain why the originally thin, straight nose of Corporal Hitler gave way to the large, exaggerated nostrils of the Führer.


Sir Alan Lascelles was King George VI's private secretary from 1943-52.

Lascelles, in his diaries, entitled King's Counsellor, wrote that, in June 1944, General Georges Catroux, of the Free French forces, had asked the British government's Alfred Duff Cooper "to see a certain French officer, urgently."

The diary entry for 21 June 1944 continues:

This man, who is a very big noise in the French intelligence service, told Duff that he had very reliable information that Hitler had fled from Berlin to a villa near Perpignan, where he is now hiding and waiting a favourable opportunity to slip across the Spanish frontier.
By 1944, Hitler no longer appeared in public. Why might Hitler have wanted to leave Germany in 1944?

According to Lascelles, Germany talked of peace terms as early as 1943. In his diary entry for 27 December 1943, Lascelles wrote:

Hughe Knatchbull-Hugessen telegraphed yesterday from Ankara that Numan (Turkish Foreign Minister) had told him ... that the German Minister in Bucharest had called (in uniform) on the Romanian Foreign Minister, and told him Germany would accept peace on the following terms: they would surrender fleet, submarines, merchant fleet, air force, disarm completely, evacuate all occupied territory, undertake never to ask for colonies, and leave Europe to be organised according to the wishes of the Allies.

The only condition they asked for is economic freedom for Germany, but this is to be arranged as found suitable by the Allies.

Roosevelt and Churchill insisted on unconditional surrender.

And this worked to the advantage of Russia, which ended up controlling Eastern Europe.

In 1943, sections of the German military showed signs of wanting rid of Hitler.

Between 1943 and March 1944 there were seven plots against Hitler.

The 20th July 1944 plot failed to kill Hitler, or his 'double'.

Journalist Abel Basti says Hitler escaped from Spain by submarine into exile in South America.

He claims to have a document showing the FBI searched for the Hitler in Spain in 1947.

If Hitler fled from Berlin in June 1944, then who was acting as his 'double' back in Germany, up until April 1945, when Hitler supposedly died.

According to Time Magazine, in 1935:

Adolf Hitler last week became the first Dictator frankly to employ a double

Impersonating the Realmleader, a pudgy-fingered, smudge-mustached person officially opened the new motor highway from Holzkirchen to Munich.

Suddenly the crowd recognized Dictator Hitler standing unobtrusively a few yards from his double and good-natured German cheers were given first for one, then for the other.

In November 1944, the Daily Express published photos of Hitler 'past' and 'present', suggesting that the 'present' Hitler was not the real Hitler.

The Express pointed out that the ears on the 'present' Hitler were different from the ears on the 'past' Hitler.

The Daily Express
, according to Sir Alan Lascelles in his diary entry of 23 November 1944, "proves fairly conclusively" that the man in the recent photos "cannot be the real Hitler."

Did Adolf Hitler really commit suicide in bunker in Berlin on the day of fall of Third Reich? We are told Soviet troops found Hitler's body buried somewhere in Berlin. Anyone saw it? Anyone checked its DNA? Wasn't it a corpse of Hitler's double? (Hitler had a double of a close resemblance as witnessed by Angel Velasco.)

One version of this myth even has an elderly Hitler ministering to the poor as a Catholic priest! There is some truth to some of these Nazi survival myths, and that all need to be viewed against the backdrop of the Nazis' own plans for postwar survival and continuance under a variety of fronts, organizations, or in concert with new "host" governments such as the United States or the various governments of Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East.

In examining the more audacious survival myths, what emerges is a disturbing picture that suggests deliberate Nazi misinformation in the immediate postwar period, and a deliberate attempt to disguise ongoing projects inside the black projects of the new "host" governments and corporations.

Sunday, April 30, 2006
Happy Führertodestag

Sixty one years ago today, at about three-thirty in the afternoon of Monday, April 30, 1945, Adolf Hitler and his wife of less than two days, Eva Braun, committed suicide in Hitler's private suite in the Führerbunker. A half hour later the other inhabitants of the bunker entered the suite to check if Hitler was really dead. While his doctor checked the two bodies, Hitler's valet tidied up a spill made when Eva knocked over a vase full of cut flowers in her death throes.

The group wrapped the two bodies in wool blankets and carried them up to the Chancellery courtyard for disposal. On the way out, the group was met by Hitler's chauffeur, Erich Kempka, who was returning from a scavenging expedition to find enough gas to cremate the bodies. He had been able to find something less than 200 liters, which was more than enough for the task. The group placed the bodies in a ditch, drenched them in gas, and, after a few false starts, set them on fire.

This private cremation was in accordance with Hitler's last wishes. He had left explicit instructions that his body be completely destroyed and that the only witnesses be his innermost, trusted circle of associates. They failed him on both accounts. The private ceremony, conducted under artillery fire from the Russian army only a few blocks away, was witnessed by at least two German soldiers on patrol in the Chancellery buildings that surrounded the courtyard. Although the fire burned for nearly eight hours, with no one to tend it, it failed to completely destroy the bodies. It's very difficult to rapidly destroy a body.

We can only speculate about Hitler's motives in ordering his body to be disposed of in such a manner. While he may have been concerned about denying his enemies -especially Stalin- a ghoulish trophy, his main objective was probably pure mischief. He wanted to leave his enemies in confusion, fearing his return, each suspecting the other of knowing more than they were telling. In this, he was a tremendous success.

Hitler had already been close to invisible for nine months when the siege of Berlin began. He had ceased to make public appearances or announce his movements after the July 1944 assassination attempt. Western newspapers had speculated all winter whether or not he was still alive. As the siege of Berlin began, Göbbels had announced that the Führer was still in the city leading the defense against the advancing Bolshevik hordes. Although this was true, the Western press had good reason to distrust anything that came from Göbbels. Although his announcement was printed in Western newspapers, so were rumors of assassinations, insanity, and terminal disease for the Führer.

Five days before his suicide, Pravda began suggesting that Hitler was not in the city, but had escaped to Bavaria to make a last stand in the mountains and may have left a double to die in his place. This was an act of insurance on the part of the Soviets. If Hitler had never been in the city, they were in the clear for not capturing him and it was the fault of the western Allies for not catching him since they told us where to find him. If he escaped, it was our responsibility to close the gap as they chased him toward us. The announcement may also have reflected an element of jealousy on the part of Stalin who did not want his generals to appear too heroic and challenging to his own popularity.

As it was, Hitler was still in the city and alive until afternoon of April 30. His political will divided his powers between three of his associates. Admiral Karl Dönitz was appointed President of the Reich and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, Josef Göbbels became Chancellor, and Martin Bormann became the head of the Nazi Party. According to the German constitution, the President should have been elected and he should have named the Chancellor. The lack of better known names like Göring and Himmler, is explained by some last minute back-stabbing by Bormann, who used his presense at the bunker to eliminate rivals for influence. Göbbels was also at the bunker and managed to protect his own position. After setting fire to the bodies the Hitlers, Göbbels telegraphed Admiral Dönitz to inform him of his new position.

The doubt existing as to the date when Hitler's life ended is legitimately raised on the basis of protocol and the primary documents.

Academic historians prefer to gloss over the problem by postulating a supposed emotional upheaval in the Berlin bunker on the afternoon of April 30, but this seems too easy a solution.

When Soviet forces examined the bunker and tested the bunker telephone system, they got a dialling tone. Communications to and from the bunker by spoken word remained excellent to the very end.

Here is the problem. Hitler supposedly committed suicide just after three on the afternoon of April 30, 1945. On the night of April 30, Bormann sent a signal to Dönitz which stated:

The Führer has appointed you, Herr Grossadmiral, as his successor. Confirmation in writing follows.

This statement was inaccurate. The Führer combined in his person the offices of Reich Chancellor and Reich President, and by Hitler's Last Will and Testament, Dönitz was to be Reich President only.

If Adolf Hitler was truly dead on the afternoon of 30 April 1945, Dönitz was already Reich President, a fact which Bormann kept secret from him. Göbbels was already Reich Chancellor by virtue of Hitler's Last Will and Testament, but Dönitz thought that he, Dönitz, was going to be Reich Chancellor and Reich President in personal union because he had been told by Bormann that he had been nominated Hitler's successor. This nonsensical situation regarding who was in charge of Germany on the afternoon of April 30, 1945 indicates an attempt to conceal the identity of the man who was.

The only conceivable reason that Bormann would have for refraining to inform Dönitz in his signal, late on April 30, 1945, that Hitler was dead, that Dönitz was Reich President and Göbbels was Reich Chancellor, was that Hitler's Last Will and Testament was not yet in force BECAUSE HITLER WAS NOT YET DEAD.

By inference, Hitler did not vacate the office of Führer, either by committing suicide or leaving the jurisdiction of the Reich for exile, until May 1, 1945.

Hitler's precipitate decision to marry Eva Braun is unlikely to have been made for a reason not connected with State protocol. The probability is that they married in haste because it was a condition of some agreement. There are a number of possibilities but the most likely case is that the Church of Rome insisted on the mariage as a precondition for its help in arranging sanctuary and later exile.

Around midnight, as the cremation fires were dying, General Hans Krebs left the bunker and began crawling through the rubble of the city toward the Russian army headquarters. The trip of a few blocks took hours and it was almost sunrise when he arrived and escorted into the presence of General Vasily Chuikov. Krebs described the events of the previous day and said he was authorized by Chancellor Göbbels to negotiate a cease-fire. Chuikov had an aide get on the phone with the head of the Soviet army, Marshall Grigory Zhukov, and Zhukov had an aide get on the phone with Stalin. This means Stalin definitely had news of Hitler's death on the morning of May 1.

The Russians refused Krebs' cease-fire offer and escorted him back to the bunker around noon. After reporting, Krebs and two other army officers proceeded to get roaring drunk, sing American sea shanties, and kill themselves. After dinner, Magda Göbbels, the wife of the new Chancellor, poisoned six of her children. Then she and her husband dressed as if stepping out for the evening, climbed up to the courtyard, and killed themselves.

Defence of the Reichstag, Berlin

On the 30th April, Unterscharführer Georg Diers and his crew of tank 314, were ordered to take up a defensive position at the Reichstag buildings. This was one of only two remaining King Tigers belonging to Heavy SS Tank Battalion 503 in Berlin. By that evening they had knocked out about 30 T34's, and the following day led a successful counterattack against the Kroll Opera House directly opposite the Reichstag.Their efforts though, merely postponed the inevitable and by the end of the day the order was given to abandon the position and prepare to break out of Berlin.

At 9:40 that evening, Admiral Dönitz - now President Dönitz - addressed the German people from a Hamburg radio station. In introducing the new president, the announcer said, "It is reported from the Führer's headquarters that our Führer, Adolf Hitler, fighting to the last breath against Bolshevism, fell for Germany this afternoon in his operational command post at the Reich Chancellery." There are at least three lies in that sentence. Hitler died the day before, not that afternoon. Hitler did not die in battle. There was no fighting at the Chancellery that day because the main thrust of the Soviet forces that day was the Reichstag complex a few blocks north (a battle that climaxed with a flag-raising image that is the Soviet's equivalent to our Iwo Jima photograph).


For the Soviets, the Reichstag was the symbol of the Third Reich (ironically, never restored by the Nazis after the Reichstag fire) and one that they wanted to capture before the May Day parade in Moscow.

At 10.40 pm on April 30, 1945 a Soviet victory flag was raised over the German Reichstag building in Berlin.
It was not a real flag but a large piece of red cloth.
The soldier who performed this act was Private Mikhail Petrovich Minin of the Soviet 3rd Army.
There was no camera-man present.

The Soviet propaganda photograph we see today was actually taken later on the 2nd of May.
It shows a Georgian soldier, Meliton Kantaria, posing for the propaganda picture.
This soldier had taken no part in the storming of the Reichstag.

On the morning of 2 May the Soviets stormed the Reich Chancellery.
In the official Soviet version, the battle was similar to that of the battle for the Reichstag, but the official Soviet description is probably an exaggeration, because as most of the German combat troops had left in the breakouts the night before, the resistance must have been far less than that inside the Reichstag.
Major Anna Nikulina of Lieutenant-General Rossly's 9th Rifle Corps of the 5th Shock Army commanded the assault group which unfurled the red flag on the roof.

The remaining inhabitants of the bunker, including Martin Bormann, divided into two groups and made a break for freedom at around midnight. Most were killed or captured by the Russians in the attempt.

The last person in the bunker was Johannes Hentschel, a lowly mechanic who had dutifully kept the ventilation, electricity, and water running during the previous dramatic days. At one point, he had climbed up to the Chancellery greenhouse and gathered up enough garden hoses to run a water line from the bunker's private well to an army field hospital that had been set up in offices on the far side of the Chancellery building. By keeping the water running he may have saved the lives of over three hundred wounded soldiers. Now, he stayed on to watch his machinery. Towards dawn, he returned to the ruins of the greenhouse and cut several bouquets of tulips and lilacs, which he placed around the bunker to freshen the stale air. He fixed a large breakfast and did the dishes. With his duties complete, he waited for the Russians to arrive.

Mechanic Hentschel didn't have long to wait. While making his rounds at a few minutes after nine on the morning of May 2, he heard foreign voices in the upper bunker and prepared to surrender. The first Russians into the bunker were a group of women medical officers on a looting expedition. They had no interest in prisoners and left Hentschel in the hallway while they went into the inner bunker to dig through Eva Braun's closets. A few minutes later, two commissars with drawn pistols arrived. Hentschel prepared to surrender again, and could easily have been shot on the spot, except for the fact that the doctors chose that moment to rush up the stairs, giggling and waving Eva's frilly underwear over their heads. The commissars listened to Hentschel's story of the Führer's end. Another, larger, group of officers had arrived by now and had discovered the liquor supply. They handed Hentschel a mug of champagne and toasted the end of the war. Other arriving groups insisted on Hentschel repeating his story and giving tours of the bunker, but they let him take a short nap before sending him off as a POW.

Hentschel was already gone when the first team arrived in the afternoon to hunt for Hitler's body. This team recovered the Göbbels' bodies and left. A second team found a bloated body in a water tank that had correct moustache and immediately declared it to be Hitler. The next day, a private found the charred bodies of a man, woman and two dogs hastily buried in a shell crater in the garden. This fact was duly noted by the inspectors, but it was two more days before they combined that fact with the stories of Hentschel and Krebs and thought to examine them. The following week, the Soviet inspectors located a dental assistant who had worked on Hitler's teeth the previous winter. Showing her a cigar box full of jaw fragments, she correctly identified both Hitler and Braun.

By mid-May the Soviets had eyewitness accounts of Hitler's death, the physical remains of his body, and a positive identification of those remains. They should have been able to make a positive announcement that the monster was dead, thanks to the work of the Soviet army who backed him into a corner from which he could not escape. They didn't do that. The Soviet news agencies were would remain contactory and unhelpful for weeks after the fall of Berlin. Because they controlled the actual site and had captured most of the surviving witnesses, the Western news media were in no better shape after Hitler's death than before. They had only rumor and speculation to give their readers. The Atlanta Constitution demostrated the dilemma of the Western press by reporting Dönitz's announcement of Hitler's death under the headline "If Hitler is Dead, Good Riddance." When honest facts emerged, there was no way to tell them apart from fantasy and they vanished into the white noise.

On May 2, even as the first investigators were searching through the Chancellery grounds, Tass declared the announcement from Dönitz to be a trick. That same day, Eisenhower told reporters that Himmler, while attempting to negotiate a truce through Swedish intermediaries a week earlier had claimed Hitler was terminally ill. The next day, the official Soviet announcement of the surrender of the last German troops in Berlin mentioned witnesses talking about his suicide. At the same time, German radio in the enclave under Dönitz's control continued to claim Hitler had died a hero's death in battle. In the space of a week, alert news watchers were offered three different causes of death and two dates of death, as well as well-grounded speculation that Hitler might have escaped.

The Soviets continued to be difficult. They refused to allow Westerners into Berlin even after the surrender of Dönitz's government and the last armies in the field on May 7-9. On May 10, they announced the existence of the burned bodies in the Chancellory courtyard, but only allowed that one might be Hitler. The same report went on to say that his body might never be found. On June 6, a spokesman for the Soviet army in Berlin announced unequivocally that Hitler had committed suicide and that his body had been identified. After a long and thorough investigation, Field Marshall Gregori Zhukov told Josef Stalin: "We have found no corpse that could be Hitler's."

Hitler supposedly shot himself on the 30th April 1945, in the Führerbunker, beneath the Reich Chancellery in Berlin. His and his new wife's bodies were carried out to the garden of the rear of the Reich Chancellery and burnt using five cans of petrol. Supposedly this did not totally destroy the corpses and they were placed in a shallow bomb crater and covered. 5 hours later the Reich Chancellery was captured by Soviet troops.

Hitler's body was discovered on May 5th, by Ivan Churakov of the 79th Rifle Corps, to which a unit of SMERSH had been attached with orders to find Hitler's body. SMERSH a Russian acronym for "Death to Spies." was a counterintelligence unit of the Soviet 3rd Army, part of an intelligence organization.

The Soviets buried and dug up the Hitler's remains at least three times in 1945-46 as the army moved around Germany. They were finally interred on a SMERSH-controlled grounds in Magdeburg, a town about 70 miles west of Berlin -- until the Soviet government in 1970 ordered the remains be dug up and burned, the Soviets claimed.

The piece of skull which American scientists have now proven to have belonged to a woman aged between 20 - 40, was left in the crater in the garden of the Reich Chancellery. The piece of skull and Hitler's jaw (which remains in secret archives in Moscow) were dug up from the garden in 1946, in a second investigation following rumours Hitler had survived.

On the 15th September 1992, a program on Commonwealth television, broadcasted what was claimed to of been film footage of Hitler's body, captured in the Reich Chancellery garden and had remained in Soviet secret archives for 47 years.

The footage showed the body of a gaunt-faced man in uniform lying on his back, shirt buttons undone, tangled hair tugged back from a high forehead. The only distinguishing feature, clearly visible despite the film's poor quality, is a dark moustache.

2 days prior to this the Soviets had found "Hitler & Braun's bodies":

The body of a man with a small tooth brush moustache and diagonal fringe was found. The corpse was subsequently eliminated from the investigation because its socks were darned. The Führer, it was agreed, would not have worn darned sock.

The (London) Times - July 3, 1981