What Really Happened To Hitler's Body?

It goes without saying that history's worst dictator — or at the very least, the worst dictator of the past couple of hundred years — is Adolf Hitler. The atrocities carried out by the German chancellor need not be rehashed here, as they've been covered extensively elsewhere. For all of the conquest and mass murder carried out in his name, however, Hitler came to a rather inglorious end. 

As Yahoo Life reported, with Allied troops closing in on Berlin and, by extension, the fall of the Nazis imminent, Hitler most likely committed suicide with his wife, Eva Braun, in his Berlin bunker. Then, in accordance with his wishes, his men burned his body with gasoline. However, real cremation of a body requires considerably more effort than just pouring an accelerant on it and setting it on fire, and sure enough, some of Hitler remained. What happened next was a matter of dispute for the next several decades, but in 2017 the question of what happened to Hitler's body was settled once and for all by a French forensics team.

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What's left of Hitler is in a Russian storage facility

For a while, a conspiracy theory held that Hitler hadn't actually died in his bunker. Instead, he escaped to Argentina with several of his top men and lived out his life without facing justice, as the Smithsonian reports. This conspiracy theory flew in the face of the claims of the Soviets, who said that Russian troops had found and collected skull fragments, jaw fragments, and teeth that belonged to Hitler and had taken them back to Russia. Nevertheless, the theory got a bit of a boost when, in 2009, American archaeologist Nick Bellantoni claimed to have examined the skull fragment and determined that it belonged to a woman no older than 40. The Russians, for their part, denied ever allowing Bellantoni to examine the skull.

It doesn't matter, however, as in 2018, a French forensics team was allowed to examine the fragments purported to have belonged to Hitler, which are now kept in the Russian State Archive. The team confirmed that they are, in fact, Hitler's remains, and indeed, likely all that remain of him.