French researchers claim to have put an end to conspiracy theories surrounding the death of Adolf Hitler, after a study of his teeth proved he definitely died after taking cyanide and shooting himself in the head in Berlin in 1945.
The researchers reached their conclusion after they were given rare access to fragments of Hitler’s teeth which have been held in Moscow since the end of World War II.
"The teeth are authentic, there is no possible doubt. Our study proves that Hitler died in 1945," said professor Philippe Charlier.
"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 told AFP news agency.
The teeth were put on display in 2000 in Moscow as part of an exhibition to mark the 55th anniversary of the end of the war.
They were back in the news again last month when the memoirs of a Russian interpreter who worked in Berlin in 1945 were published in English for the first time.
She recounted how she had been tasked with proving Hitler’s death by tracking down his dental records in the ruined German capital and seeing if they matched a set of teeth she had been entrusted with – which they did.
In March and July 2017, Russia’s FSB secret service and the Russian state archives authorised a team of French researchers to examine Hitler’s bones for the first time since 1946, said Professor Charlier, who was one of the scientists chosen.
They were able to look at a skull fragment presented as being from the Fuhrer, which showed a hole on the left side which was in all probability caused by the passage of a bullet.
The scientists were not authorised to take samples from this fragment, they noted in their study published on Friday in the scientific magazine European Journal of Internal Medicine.
The skull fragment’s morphology was "totally comparable" to radiographies of Hitler’s skull taken a year before his death, the research found.
The analysis of the Nazi leader’s bad teeth and numerous dentures found white tartar deposits and no traces of meat fibre – the dictator was vegetarian.
The examination of the teeth did not find any traces of powder, which indicates there was not a revolver shot to the mouth, more likely the neck or the forehead.
Equally, bluish deposits seen on his false teeth could indicate a "chemical reaction between the cyanide and the metal of the dentures," the researcher said.
If this study confirms the generally accepted view that Hitler died on the 30 April, 1945, in his Berlin bunker with his companion Eva Braun as the Soviets were capturing the city, it also sheds new light on the exact causes of death, said Mr Charlier.
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"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," he said.
Charlier, a specialist in medical and legal anthropology, was also involved in the analysis of the mummified heart of Richard the Lionheart.