Adolf Hitler is dead. He took his own life on April 30, 1945 in the Führerbunker (the air raid shelter serving as his headquarter) underneath the Reichskanzlei (Reich Chancellery in Berlin). This is how he chose to escape taking responsibility for the seventy million dead of World War Two and six million people that were killed in the Holocaust.
In the afternoon hours of April 30, 1945, two and a half million Soviet soldiers had occupied almost all of Berlin - at the Anhalter Bunker (air raid shelter Anhalt) and past the Führerbunker towards the Reichstag. In his bunker, Hitler met with his doctors Ludwig Stumpfedder and Professor Werner Haase to discuss sure-fire methods of suicide. Under no circumstances did he want to fall into "the Russians" hands to become an exhibit at the Moscow Zoo - which was his fear.
His role model, Benito Mussolini, the leader of the italian Fascists, had been taken prisoner. That was the latest news that had reached the bunker and which further motivated Hitler to commit suicide and to have himself cremated afterwards. However, Hitler was unsure if he should use his Walter PPK to shoot himself, or if he should resort to a Cyanide capsule. The Cyanide capsule was tested on his shepherd. Blondi passed away immediately. The puppies of Blondi's litter were shot. As it seems, Hitler did not want to take any chances. As the Cyanide capsule would paralyze and kill him within seconds, he needed to act fast. The Cyanide is stored in a small glass vial, as it becomes gaseous above 26 degrees Celsisus. Hitler sat on the couche in the Führerbunker's livingroom. He aimed the Walther PPK at his right temple, bit into the Cyanide capsule and immediately pulled the trigger.
By 15:15, Hitler. after having them gather in the central hallway, had said goodbye to his inner circle of trustees, with whom he had spent many years living together, his Kammerdiener (valet/body servant) Heinz Linge, his Adjutant (aide-de-camp) Otto Günsche, who had been given detailed instructions on how to go about cremating his body, from his secretaries Traudl Junge and Gerda Christian, and from his personal diet cook Constanze Manziarly. Linge and Günsche were unable to hear any shots fired, as the artillery shelling outside and the bunker's pumps were causing way louder noise.
By 15:50, they open the antechamber to Hitler's room in the bunker, they can smell the smell of a fired pistol still lingering in the air, then they carry the "Boss", as they called him, to the Führerbunker's emergency exit in the yard of the Reichskanzlei, after wrapping him in a blanket.
They placed his dead body and the one of his equally dead wife, Frau Eva Hitler in front of the emergency exit, doused them with gasoline and set them on fire. The bodies don't burn up completely, they are still identifiable. By 18:30, their remains are pushed on a plank and laid down in a 90 centimeter deep hole, which was dug out by SS-Rottenführer (SS section leader) Harry Mengershausen. Afterwards, the remains were crudely covered with soil.
On May 4th, 1945, soldiers of the 3rd Soviet Shock Army discovered a bomb crater with bodies in it - a man and a woman. As at the time of this discovery, it was assumed that Hitler had already been found, the bodies were again wrapped in blankets and buried in situ. On May 5th, 1945, Officers, some belonging to the counter-intelligence service Smersh, dug them out again and took them to the Berlin Buch hospital - now a Soviet field hospital - via the Prenzlauer Berg. In its basement, the bodies are put on ice. The post-mortem section took place on Tuesday, May 8th, 1945, and was led by the Soviet coroner Dr. Faust Shkaravski and Dr. Nikolai Krayevski, chief pathologist of the Red Army. A parts of the jaw was removed. Hitler's dental technician, Fritz Echtmann, assistant to dentist Hugo Blaschke, and his helper Käthe Heusermann, provided positive identification of Hitler's dentures and of a plastic dental bridge. The findings are also compared to X-ray images and records on file about Hitler. The dead body's teeth are, beyond doubt, identified as Hitler's. Dentist Hugo Blaschke, who fled on the day of the Führer's birthday, i.e. on April 20, 1945, had been captured and taken prisoner by the American forces, so the Soviets sent plaster and tools so he could create a replica of Hitler's set of teeth from memory. His model perfectly matched the fragment secured from the dead body.
The mortal remains were then again buried on hospital grounds, before being transported further to Finow in May 1945, then disinterred again on May 22nd, 1945, so SS-Rottenführer Harry Mengershausen could identify them as well. This was because one department of the counter-intelligence service didn't trust the other. On Sunday, June 3rd, 1945, General Mesik arrived from Moscow. Hitler was dug out once more and transported to Rathenow, 125 kilometers away, and reinterred near Soviet barracks at the outskirts of said town. In December 1945, the bodies were dug out yet again and transported to Magdeburg, another 65 kilometers away, buried, dug out once more, and tossed into a 2 meter deep vehicle maintenance pit at Westendstraße 32 (today: Klausener Straße 32) in Magdeburg. On February 21, 1946, they are removed for another autopsy, after which they were buried and covered with tarmac.
In March 1970, Magdeburg, having been a Soviet garrison town up until then, was to be turned over to the GDR. This caused quite a fuss in the Kreml and lead to an exchange of letters between Chief of the KGB Juri Andropow and Party and State Leader Leonid Breschnew.
Breschnew ordered the boxes with the rotten corpses to be burned again and to have the Ashes poured into a tributary of the river Elbe. There are detailed logs about this incident. The last entry, dated Sunday, April 5th, 1970, states: "The remains were burned up completely, then ground into ash powder along with pieces of coal, and finally tossed into the river." The river in question is the Ehle, the bridge is called Schweinebrücke (pig bridge).
Translation by: Stefan Baur