Journal Published Online: 01 September 2005
Volume 50, Issue 5

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.

Author Information

Marchetti, D
Catholic University “Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy
Boschi, I
Catholic University “Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy
Polacco, M
Catholic University “Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy
Rainio, J
Catholic University “Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy
Pages: 7
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Stock #: JFS2004314
ISSN: 0022-1198
DOI: 10.1520/JFS2004314