Death of Adolf Hitler

Adolf Hitler, chancellor and dictator of Germany from 1933 to 1945, died by suicide via gunshot on 30 April 1945 in the Führerbunker in Berlin[lower-alpha 1] after it became clear that Germany would lose the Battle of Berlin, which led to the end of World War II in Europe. Eva Braun, his wife of one day, also died by suicide, taking cyanide.[lower-alpha 2] In accordance with Hitler's prior written and verbal instructions, that afternoon their remains were carried up the stairs and through the bunker's emergency exit to the Reich Chancellery garden, where they were doused in petrol and burned.[1][2] The news of Hitler's death was announced on German radio the next day, 1 May.[3]

Death of Adolf Hitler
Front page of the U.S. Armed Forces newspaper Stars and Stripes on 2 May 1945
Date30 April 1945; 77 years ago (1945-04-30)
LocationBerlin, Nazi Germany

Eyewitnesses who saw Hitler's body immediately after his suicide testified that he died from a self-inflicted gunshot, which has been established to have been a shot to the temple.[lower-alpha 3][lower-alpha 4][lower-alpha 5] Otto Günsche, Hitler's personal adjutant, who handled both bodies, testified that while Braun's smelled strongly of burnt almonds  an indication of cyanide poisoning  there was no such odour about Hitler's body, which smelled of gunpowder.[4] Dental remains extracted from the soil in the garden were matched with Hitler's dental records in May 1945.[5][6][lower-alpha 6] The dental remains were later confirmed as being Hitler's.

The Soviet Union restricted the release of information and released many conflicting reports about Hitler's death. Historians have largely rejected these as part of a deliberate disinformation campaign by Joseph Stalin to sow confusion regarding Hitler's death,[7][lower-alpha 7][lower-alpha 8][lower-alpha 9] or have attempted to reconcile them.[lower-alpha 10] Soviet records allege that the burnt remains of Hitler and Braun were recovered,[lower-alpha 11][lower-alpha 12] despite eyewitness accounts that they were almost completely reduced to ashes. In June 1945, the Soviets began seeding two contradictory narratives: that Hitler died by taking cyanide[lower-alpha 13] and that he had survived and fled to another country.[8][9][10] Following extensive review, West Germany issued a death certificate in 1956.[11] Conspiracy theories about Hitler's death continue to attract interest.

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