Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Hitler's remains identified by dental records, and fragment of skull exists...
Deep in the Lubyanka, headquarters of Russia’s secret police, a fragment of Hitler’s jaw is preserved as a trophy of the Red Army’s victory over Nazi Germany. A fragment of skull with a bullet hole lies in the State Archive.
So when American academics claimed that DNA tests showed the skull to be that of a woman, they challenged a long-cherished tale of the hunt for Hitler’s remains. Yesterday the chief archivist of the Federal Security Service (FSB) insisted that the bones were genuine and told of how the KGB destroyed almost all traces of the dictator’s corpse.
Lieutenant-General Vasily Khristoforov said that the remains had been incinerated in 1970 and the ashes thrown into a river in East Germany.
Agents under orders from the head of the KGB, Yuri Andropov, had dug up a grave containing Hitler, his wife Eva Braun and the family of his henchman Joseph Goebbels. The officers had removed the remains from a burial ground in a Soviet base at Magdeburg, Andropov having written to Soviet party chiefs recommending that the bodies be destroyed after it was decided to pass the base to East Germany.
Times Archive, 1945: Jawbones identified as Hitler's
Confirming a statement made by Russian officers, Hitler's body has been identified with certainty by dental evidence
Topic: Hitler's Suicide
Magdeburg shuns the Hitler connection:
In April 1970, Andropov compiled a report declaring that “the remains were burnt on a vacant area outside Schönebeck, 11 kilometres from Magdeburg, ground into ashes, gathered and thrown into the Biederitz river” — either the Ehle river near Biederitz suburb or the Biederitzer See.
General Khristoforov told the Interfax news agency that Hitler’s remains had been destroyed out of concern that his grave could become a Nazi shrine. “It was not worth leaving any grounds for the rise of a cult of worship . . . there are people who profess the fascist ideology, regrettably even in Russia.”
Hitler’s remains arrived in Magdeburg in early 1946 after a peripatetic eight months. The bodies of Hitler and Braun had been crudely cremated on April 30, 1945, at the site of his bunker in Berlin. He had bitten a cyanide pellet then shot himself.
When the Red Army reached the bunker they found the two charred corpses alongside the bodies of Goebbels and his wife. At first there was some doubt as to whether it was really Hitler. It was transported for examination to a field hospital near Berlin.
Hitler’s dental records were located and glass splinters found in his jawbone, suggesting that he had bitten a poison capsule. The early report made no mention of a gunshot wound, perhaps because Soviet officers did not want to anger Stalin by suggesting that Hitler had died a “hero’s death”. But in the meantime, witnesses from the bunker were telling their interrogators that Hitler had indeed shot himself.
The mixed signals must have unsettled Stalin. As long as uncertainty remained, the counterintelligence organisation Smersh and NKVD units wanted to hang on to Hitler’s remains. Every time the Smersh unit moved, Hitler went with it — buried in a wood on the fringes of Berlin, then in Rathenow, and then again when an investigation committee was set up and he was taken to Magdeburg.
Hitler’s jawbone and a fragment of his skull had been sent to the Kremlin. The rest of the remains were kept at the Soviet compound in Magdeburg until it was decided to hand the barracks to the East German military.
General Khristoforov insisted that the FSB had no reason to question the authenticity of the skull fragments in its possession. In September professors at the University of Connecticut had claimed that DNA samples showed the skull to have come from a woman aged up to 40.
General Khristoforov said: “Hitler’s jaw is at the FSB archives, the fragment of skull at the State Archive. These materials are the only documentary evidence of Hitler’s death.” He did not offer DNA proof. The jaw has never been seen in public.