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London, October 26, 1999

HitlerDental detective work gets to the root of Hitler mystery

By Roger Highfield, Science Editor

A NEW portrait of Adolf Hitler's last days before he committed suicide in the Berlin bunker emerged yesterday, revealing how the Nazi leader was tormented by tooth decay, abscesses and gum disease that caused "terrible bad breath".

The whole tooth: Prof Michel Perrier with some of the photographic evidence used to confirm that remains found in 1945 were Hitler's The study of film footage of Hitler, enhanced by a computer, has confirmed that remains found by the Russians in 1945 were his, helping to end half a century of speculation about his fate and validating an identification technique of increasing value to forensic scientists.

A paper was presented yesterday at an international conference in London by Prof Michel Perrier, 52, of the University of Lausanne, and will be published in the Journal of Forensic Science. It links newsreel footage with X-rays of Hitler's skull, jaw remains found in the bunker beneath the Reich Chancellery garden and his dental records.

Even if Hitler had a double, so many characteristics in his teeth match in each source of evidence that Prof Perrier said yesterday he had no doubt that Hitler died in the bunker.

Hitler married his mistress, Eva Braun, during the night of April 28/29, as Soviet troops advanced towards his bunker complex. On April 30 he committed suicide with his wife. In accordance with his instructions, their bodies were burned.

Russian forces found the remains and conducted the autopsy of the bodies the following month, said Prof Perrier. "What they found were charred pieces of bone, such as pieces of skull, the lower jaw and part of the upper jaw consisting of a bridge with nine units."

Nothing was revealed to the public until 1968, fuelling speculation about Hitler's fate. That year a book by Lev Bezymenski contained a description of Hitler's autopsy and his remains.

The jaw remains were compared with dental evidence given to the Americans by Hitler's American-trained dentist, Hugo Blaschke, who had been arrested in 1945. Blaschke, an SS general, had treated Hitler from 1934 until shortly before his death.

When his testimony was added to that of his assistant, Kate Hausermann, there was a great deal of material to check the jaw remains against, and they seemed to match. "Hitler had very bad teeth. He had periodontal disease. He had many reconstructions, some done before the time of Blaschke," said Prof Perrier.

There were no X-rays of Hitler's jaw available at the time, which could have helped to provide even better confirmation. Then, in 1972, archives in Washington released five X-rays of Hitler's head, taken on July 20, 1944. They revealed bridge work, periodontal (gum) disease and "very unusual dental work", said Prof Perrier. These matched Blaschke's evidence and the Russian autopsy.

Prof Perrier has now provided further evidence to link the remains in the bunker to footage of the Führer. He combed Swiss archives for newsreels of Hitler and produced computer-enhanced images of his teeth to compare with the autopsy, X-rays and Blaschke's report. Prof Perrier found clear-cut matches between the computer-enhanced footage of Hitler's teeth and the bunker remains.

Hitler once referred to his dental problems openly, albeit indirectly, after negotiations with General Franco. Hitler's interpreter, Paul Schmidt, wrote that "they talked to or rather at one another" until 2am and failed to agree on anything. Hitler later told Mussolini he would "rather have two or three teeth out than go through that again".

[Previous story]

Daily Telegraph story: Dental detective work gets to the root of Hitler mystery: Using forensic dentistry and computer imaging, scientists have proved that the charred remains of Hitler found by Red Army soldiers in Berlin were those of the Führer | Sunday Times version of same story
Apr 2000: Adolf Hitler's skull went on display in Moscow, along with documents revealing what happened to the dictator's remains after they were seized by Soviet troops in 1945
Elena Rzhevskaya reminisces about carrying a piece of Hitler's skull around in Berlin
Jewish historian Daniel Goldhagen says remains of Hitler's bunker must be preserved


click to enlargeNotes:

DAVID IRVING first published the X-rays of Hitler's head and sketches by dentist Blaschke in a readers letter in Die Zeit thirty years ago. They are also depicted in his book Hitler's War (New York, 1977; London 1991 etc). It is good to see the "scholars" catching up.
©Focal Point 1999  e-mail:  write to David Irving