Editorial: Hitler’s toothache

Column By Mike Bibb

April 30, 2021, in addition to being the last day of the month and Arbor Day, is also the date one of the most infamous characters in history died.

Adolph Hitler entered the world in Braunau am Inn, Austria on April 20, 1889.  He exited 56 years later – presumably by a self-inflicted gunshot to the head – on April 30, 1945, in Berlin, Germany.

The Fuhrer was dead and Nazi Germany’s involvement in World War II ended shortly after. 

However, unconfirmed accounts he may have escaped and fled to South America via submarine have persisted.  Several high-ranking Nazi officials did desert Germany in the last days of the Reich.  Many were later captured and executed.

Hitler’s demise was not completely accepted by various governments due to the fact his body was reportedly discovered in a burned-out bunker, charred beyond recognition.  He, his new wife, and his pet dog had swallowed several ampules of cyanide.  Hitler wanted to make sure he wouldn’t be taken alive, so he also placed a 9-mm pistol to his head and squeezed the trigger.

End of story?  Far from it.

There’s no disputing a couple of bodies were found in the rubble but were they actually Hitler and Eva Braun’s?

Applying modern forensics, French researchers and scientists sought to solve the mystery.  According to a story in History, Dec. 26, 2018, Hitler’s remains were allegedly in the custody of the Russian secret police.  Reportedly, the Soviet Army had removed the bodies from the bunker after Berlin had been overwhelmed by advancing Russian and Allied troops.  However, this may have been Soviet misinformation.  Supposedly, a set of Hitler’s false teeth and skull fragments have remained in Russian possession since.

Researchers determined a bullet hole in the left side of a skull sample thought to be the dictator’s, along with fragments of a few teeth, were consistent with previous “radiographic images of Hitler’s skull taken a year before his death.” 

Also revealed during the examination was that Hitler’s jaw was mostly fabricated from metal and contained few teeth.  “At the moment of his death, Hitler had only four remaining teeth”, and those were misshapen and corroded with tarter deposits. 

The scientists admitted they were only allowed to examine samples of a skull and teeth from a Russian-provided skull.  As a result, they could not say with absolute certainty if Hitler’s death was caused by poison or a bullet.  “It’s in all probability both,” the report determined.

The History article concludes “Either way, the study may help finally put tales of Hitler’s flight to rest, once and for all.”

Not sure about that.  Seems to me the story has several questionable presumptions, including the authenticity of the skull and teeth samples furnished by the Russian’s.

All of this makes for continued speculations, but the simple fact of the matter is that if Hitler was alive, he would be 132 years old.  World War II ended 76 years ago and excepting numerous accounts of Hitler sightings, there has been no absolute proof he escaped from his Berlin bunker.

Unlike Elvis, who was seen in a Facebook selfie working at a Memphis Burger King.

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