A groundbreaking study of toothbrush-tashed Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler's teeth has confirmed that the late, unlamented Fuehrer is still dead – and, more to the point, definitely died in Berlin in April 1945.
Hitler's real and false teeth, as found by Russian soldiers storming his bunker at the end of the Second World War, revealed to French researchers that it was almost certainly Hitler who died and not a body double – meaning, unsurprisingly, all the wacky stories about the Nazi leader being found in South America are false.
"We can stop all the conspiracy theories about Hitler. He did not flee to Argentina in a submarine, he is not in a hidden base in Antarctica or on the dark side of the moon," Professor Philippe Charlier told the Agence-France Press newswire.
Last year Russia's secret service, the FSB, and its state archives authorised a team of foreign researchers to examine Hitler's mortal remains for the first time since 1946. As well as Adolf's laughing gear, the team were also able to examine a skull fragment. Combining information from the two, they concluded that not only was Hitler definitely a vegetarian (no meat fibres were found in his fake or real teeth) but he most likely shot himself with a pistol held to the side of his head or his neck, rather than putting it in his mouth. This was because no gunpowder residue was found on the teeth.
The dictator is generally accepted to have swallowed cyanide and then shot himself, with his personal bodyguard left with orders to then incinerate his corpse and that of Eva Braun, his wife. Russian soldiers overrunning the area found the charred remains and correctly deduced who they were, impounding them.
AFP reported that "the [skull] fragment's morphology was 'totally comparable' to radiographies of Hitler's skull taken a year before his death, the research found."
However, the researchers were not permitted to take samples from it, potentially ruling out DNA testing or similar techniques for corroborating their findings.
Conspiracy theories about Hitler's suicide have endured over the decades, with the most superficially plausible story being that Hitler stowed away aboard a U-boat and quietly sailed to a new life in South America, leaving a devoted body double behind to top himself for the greater bad. Many South American countries did absorb a large number of German people with dodgy (and not-so-dodgy) pasts in the mid-to-late 1940s, and at least one U-boat, U-977, is known to have made the journey from Norwegian waters all the way to Mar del Plata, Argentina, arriving in August 1945 after a record-setting 66-day submerged voyage.
A few years ago Eva Braun's pink knickers sold for almost £3,000 at auction to an unidentified private collector, while a Bavarian town took 71 years to remember that it probably should revoke Hitler's honorary citizenship. At the time, mayor Johannes Hagn said his administration was making up for "lost time". ®