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DNA tests on skull fragment cast doubt on Adolf Hitler suicide story

Bone with bullet hole found by Russians in 1946 came from an unknown woman, not the German monster

Research on a skull fragment thought to be Hitler's has cast doubt on the circumstances of his death/ Reuters

Research on a skull fragment thought to be Hitler's has cast doubt on the circumstances of his death/ Reuters

Guardian.co.uk/Uki Goñi—In countless biographies of Adolf Hitler the story of his final hours is recounted in the traditional version: committing suicide with Eva Braun, he took a cyanide pill and then shot himself on 30 April 1945, as the Russians bombarded Berlin.

Some historians expressed doubt that the Führer had shot himself, speculating that accounts of Hitler’s death had been embellished to present his suicide in a suitably heroic light. But a fragment of skull, complete with bullet hole, which was taken from the bunker by the Russians and displayed in Moscow in 2000, appeared to settle the argument.

Until now. In the wake of new revelations, the histories of Hitler’s death may need to be rewritten – and left open-ended. American researchers claim to have demonstrated that the skull fragment, secretly preserved for decades by Soviet intelligence, belonged to a woman under 40, whose identity is unknown. DNA analyses performed on the bone, now held by the Russian State Archive in Moscow, have been processed at the genetics lab of the University of Connecticut. The results, broadcast in the US by a History Channel documentary, MysteryQuest: Hitler’s Escape, astonished scientists.

According to Connecticut archaeologist and bone specialist Nick Bellantoni, it was clear from the outset that something was amiss. “The bone seemed very thin; male bone tends to be more robust,” he said. “And the sutures where the skull plates come together seemed to correspond to someone under 40.” In April 1945 Hitler turned 56.

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History Channel’s Mysteryquest: Hitler’s Escape

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Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five

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