Murder of Adolf Hitler: The Truth about the Bodies in the Berline Bunker

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Since the end of World War II, it has become widely accepted that Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun died together in a suicide pact as Soviet armies entered Berlin. The man whose monstrous ambitions began the war did not sign the German surrender, nor was he brought to justice at the Nuremberg trials. Instead, the Allies were presented with a set of charred remains, mysteriously missing one foot. Next to him was the body, also burned, of a woman wrapped in one of Eva Braun's dresses. Although the woman had died from ...
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Overview

Since the end of World War II, it has become widely accepted that Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun died together in a suicide pact as Soviet armies entered Berlin. The man whose monstrous ambitions began the war did not sign the German surrender, nor was he brought to justice at the Nuremberg trials. Instead, the Allies were presented with a set of charred remains, mysteriously missing one foot. Next to him was the body, also burned, of a woman wrapped in one of Eva Braun's dresses. Although the woman had died from shrapnel wounds to the chest, a capsule containing cyanide had been placed in her mouth and forcibly broken; her jaw was then closed. It was supposed to look like suicide. It was supposed to be Eva Braun. It was neither. It is now possible to reconstruct the events that led to the horrific scenario in the bunker. Using previously unavailable material from the archives of the Soviet authorities who captured Berlin and first investigated the deaths, and drawing upon a wide range of personal, medical, and forensic testimony, Hugh Thomas reveals exactly what took place as the inevitability of German defeat became apparent and the command structure of the Third Reich collapsed.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Rejecting historians' consensus that Hitler and his mistress, Eva Braun, committed suicide in the Nazi underground bunker as Allied forces took Berlin, British surgeon and forensic expert Thomas (The Murder of Rudolf Hess) asserts that the two partially charred corpses found by Soviet troops were actually those of Hitler-and a substitute for Braun, wearing one of her dresses. In his scenario, SS guards murdered Hitler, rather than allow a degenerate, raving Fhrer to fall into Soviet clutches, and let Braun escape. Hitler, he further speculates, suffered from Parkinson's disease, which made him a partially paralyzed, grossly weakened, uncontrollably shaking insomniac. Thomas bases his detailed analysis, which raises far more questions than it answers, on Russian State Archive material comprising alleged skull fragments of Hitler and Braun, as well as on their dental records and on six folios of documents found with the skulls. Using Paraguayan police files released in 1993, Thomas concludes that Martin Bormann, Hitler's personal secretary, survived the bunker, apparently moving to Paraguay in 1956. Photos. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Thomas, a British surgeon and author (The Murder of Rudolph Hess, 1979), uses forensic evidence from newly opened archives in the former Soviet Union and from Paraguay to reach his conclusions about the final days of Hitler and Martin Bormann. Most historians believe that Hitler committed suicide and that Eva Braun died with him. Thomas counters that Hitler was strangled by a member of his inner circle and that Eva Braun escaped. Before reaching this conclusion, Thomas examines Hitler's personality and health. He believes that the dictator had Parkinson's disease and was a borderline schizophrenic. The author spends over 75 pages on the mysterious Bormann, arguing that he escaped to South America and is buried there. Those who enjoy reading about conspiracies, mixed with forensics and the flight of Nazi war criminals, will enjoy Thomas's reasoning processes. Yet Thomas makes a few mistakes. For example, he has Gen. William J. Donovan, head of the OSS, as William O'Donovan. Thomas's book will find a readership in public libraries with large collections on World War II, but interested readers should also check the standard work on Hitler, Allan Bullock's Hitler: A Study in Tyranny (1964. rev. ed.).-Dennis L. Noble, Sequim, Wash.
Booknews
Thomas, an authority on gunshot wounds and their forensic effect, uses new evidence to prove that Hitler was murdered in the Berlin bunker and Eva Braun escaped. He draws on previously unavailable material from the archives of Soviet authorities who first investigated the deaths, as well as personal, medical, and forensic testimony, and also discusses the fates of other German officers. Contains b&w photos. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Margaret Flanagan
A renowned surgeon and forensic expert analyzes old evidence and provides new data to support his claim that Adolf Hitler was murdered in his Berlin bunker. Despite the fact that it is commonly believed that Hitler committed suicide as the Russians invaded Berlin, Thomas argues quite convincingly that a physically debilitated and mentally incapacitated fuhrer was strangled by one of his trusted aides. In addition, he also speculates that Eva Braun escaped the bunker after orchestrating an elaborate ruse to guarantee her safety. Utilizing medical and dental records, forensic reports, and previously unavailable documents recently released from Soviet archives, Thomas paints a gripping portrait of the surrealistic nature of Hitler's final days and hours. This intriguing new theory is bolstered by the author's meticulous research and engrossing method of presentation. Another bizarre chapter in the infamous annals of Adolf Hitler.
Kirkus Reviews
A sensational reinterpretation of the evidence surrounding the death of Adolf Hitler.

Thomas is a forensic expert who practices and teaches surgery in Great Britain. Here he proposes a radically different scenario concerning Hitler's death. For 50 years, most of the world has accepted the account offered by Hugh Trevor-Roper in The Last Days of Hitler: Hitler and Eva Braun committed suicide in the depths of the Berlin bunker, their bodies were taken outside by aides and set ablaze. The Soviets then arrived and took possession of the remains. Thomas challenges many of these points. He first offers a diagnosis of Hitler and concludes that the Führer was suffering from the advanced stages of Parkinson's disease and showed signs of a personality disorder—probably schizophrenia. Of course, the diagnosis suffers from the fact that the physician is rendering judgment 50 years later, based on second-hand observations. But this section is the stronger part of the book. Thomas goes on to insist that the female body found in the bunker was not that of Eva Braun but a double. The "corpse" of Martin Borman, Hitler's personal secretary, was similarly misidentified, permitting Borman to escape to South America. The most startling and sensational claim is that Hitler did not commit suicide but was strangled by one of his servants. Thomas goes to great lengths to support his theory that an elaborate forensic fraud has been perpetrated, initially by Germans to preserve Hitler's heroic image and supported by British and Soviet intelligence. There are long passages on dental records and on how the body decomposes; yet for all its scientific objectivity, the account can offer no proof that Thomas's alternative scenario is the truth.

"Revisionist" history without the proof; a story as entertaining, and as solid, as the supermarket tabloids.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312140182
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/1996
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.42 (w) x 9.47 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Table of Contents

Floor Plan of the Bunker
Acknowledgements
Introduction
1 Hitler - the Myth and the Man 1
2 The Mind of Adolf Hitler 17
3 Overture to Gotterdammerung 41
4 The Bunker 72
5 The Death of Hitler 90
6 The Funeral and Burial of Hitler and Eva Braun 115
7 The Discovery of the Corpses - Forensic Fraud 123
8 Poisoning by Cyanide - Forensic Fraud No. 2 152
9 The Bunker Revisited 177
10 Break-out 190
11 Aftermath - Intrigue and Disinformation 212
12 Digging up the Past 231
13 The Paraguay Assumption 257
14 Perspectives and Conclusions 269
Further Reading 275
References 278
Appendix: The Skull - Showing Cranial Bones and Teeth 298
Index 299
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