Volume 50, Issue 5 (September 2005)
The Death of Adolf Hitler—Forensic Aspects
The death of Adolf Hitler is one of the unsolved mysteries of the twentieth century. Numerous historians and journalists have attempted to piece together the details, but despite the interest in the forensic literature regarding the identification of the body, there has not been much scientific debate about the alleged cause of death—cyanide poisoning, gunshot injury, or both. The available literature concerning Hitler's cause of death is incomplete because the toxicological analysis has not been performed and because the skull bone fragment with a gunshot wound possibly from Hitler's corpse has not been properly examined. This has given basis for various theories, which are reviewed. We believe that mtDNA analysis of the skull fragments and of Hitler's jaw, now filed in Moscow, and samples from maternal relatives of Hitler are crucial linking the skull fragment with the gunshot wound to Hitler.