The stories of Nazi Germany's final days are filled with mythology and conspiracy theories. One of the most prevalent theories is that Adolf Hitler didn’t actually die in 1945, he escaped Berlin and started a new life in South America, Antarctica, or perhaps the dark side of the Moon.
Now, scientists have put some of these outlandish myths to bed by carrying out a biomedical analysis of his teeth. As reported in the European Journal of Internal Medicine, the findings strongly suggest that Hitler did die in his bunker in 1945. It's also clear that he should have brushed his teeth more.
“The teeth are authentic, there is no possible doubt. Our study proves that Hitler died in 1945,” professor Philippe Charlier told AFP news agency. “We can stop all the conspiracy theories about Hitler. He did not flee to Argentina in a submarine, he is not in a hidden base in Antarctica or on the dark side of the moon,” he added.
As you can imagine, getting their hands on Hitler’s remains was a huge feat in itself. No definitive version of the story exists, but most historians argue that Hitler killed himself alongside his partner Eva Braun on April 30, 1945, and their bodies were cremated, as per his final wishes.
Days later, the Soviets took Berlin and the Red Army intelligence agency found the charred remains of Hitler nearby his bunker. It’s often noted that they poured petrol over the remains and burned them even further. Most of the remains were obliterated by the fire, however, a small portion of the upper jaw and a few teeth were obtained and remained in the possession of the Russian intelligence service.
For the first time, international scientists have been allowed to study them. By comparing the remains to Soviet autopsy reports, official radiographs from the US archives, dental records, and historical data, the team are convinced the teeth are the real deal.
It’s also very apparent that Hitler had some really, really terrible teeth. Despite being just 56 years of age, he only had four of his original teeth and a number of false metallic teeth. The remaining few teeth showed serious signs of wear-and-tear and gum disease.
A few of these metallic dentures also appeared to be covered in tiny blue deposits, which the researchers say could suggest a “chemical reaction between cyanide poisoning and metal alloy.” They also found no evidence of any gunshot wound or gunpowder. Even though this suggests that cyanide poisoning was more likely than a revolver shot, the researchers are hesitant to jump to any conclusions.
“We didn’t know if he had used an ampule of cyanide to kill himself or whether it was a bullet in the head. It’s in all probability both,” added Charlier.
Last but not least, the teeth helped to confirm another common legend about Hitler: these teeth did not look like those of a meat-eater, but most likely a vegetarian.