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Russians Come Clean on Hitler's Remains

Most of what we "knew" about the disposition of Hitler's remains was wrong.

For which we have the KGB to thank.

Hitler's Remains Were Destroyed on KGB Orders, Interfax Reports
By Lucian Kim
Bloomberg

Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Adolf Hitler's remains were burned and dumped into an East German river by Soviet agents 25 years after the end of World War II, Interfax reported, citing Vasily Khristoforov, the Federal Security Service's chief archivist.

The remains of Hitler, his companion Eva Braun and the family of Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels were destroyed in April 1970 on the secret orders of then-KGB chief Yuri Andropov, the Russian news agency said today. Andropov went on to become Soviet leader from 1982 until his death in 1984.

The Soviets were concerned that graves of Third Reich leaders might one day attract Nazi sympathizers, Interfax said. The remains were burned and dumped into the Biederitz River, outside the eastern city of Magdeburg, according to the news service.

The Soviet army moved the bodies from near Rathenow, west of Berlin, and reburied them at a garrison in Magdeburg in 1946, Interfax said. When the facility was returned to the East German government in 1970, Andropov decided to destroy the remains. Fragments of Hitler's skull and jawbone are still in Russia, according to Interfax.

The skull and jawbones went to Russia at the insistence of Joseph Stalin, who wanted proof that Hitler was indeed dead.

Note:

I too had seen documentaries on the subject over the last few years which revealed the skull, jawbone, and likely interim grave. What makes this newsworthy (if time late), is that the Russians have officially confirmed that they did indeed have, and later destroyed, the bodies and that it was indeed Yuri Andropov who ordered it done.

After the initial discoveries in the KGB Archives (which have since become much less accessible) the Russians were loath to comment on, let alone confirm, this piece of history.

Exit Question: Why did KGB man Putin decide to have this officially confirmed now?


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Comments (8)

Well, at least it's good to... (Below threshold)
Paul Hooson:

Well, at least it's good to know that bad people come to bad ends. Sometimes Andropov was a pretty good guy.

Bloomberg must be having a ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Bloomberg must be having a slow news day. This article is several months old.

I always knew that the Sovi... (Below threshold)
Stan25:

I always knew that the Soviets were concealing the evidence that they had Hitler's body in their possession, now we know for sure. Wonder how much evidence they concealed from other crimes, such as the murders of the last Czar and his family.

yes Paul,he was a pretty go... (Below threshold)
1903A3:

yes Paul,he was a pretty good guy, for a commie!

"Sometimes Andropov was a p... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"Sometimes Andropov was a pretty good guy."

Yeah, makes up for all those he had murdered.

Why is this news worthy?</p... (Below threshold)
Matt:

Why is this news worthy?

Months old?I've se... (Below threshold)
Captain Ned:

Months old?

I've seen documentaries several years old covering the exact same timeline.

"I always knew that the Sov... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

"I always knew that the Soviets were concealing the evidence that they had Hitler's body in their possession, now we know for sure."-Stan25

The Soviet Union announced its custodianship of Hitler's remains in the 1950s as the west's Third Reich scholarly histories were coming to market, especially Trevor-Roper's, so as to eliminate any latent mythologizing tendencies among Anglo-Saxon readership.

A USSR-authorized small faux-leather book in English translation with photographs was released in the 1970s.

"Wonder how much evidence they concealed from other crimes, such as the murders of the last Czar and his family."
3. Posted by Stan25

The execution of the Romanoffs was announced during the Russian Civil War to take the wind out of the sails of the White Russian cause.

These "Whites" promptly employed the tack that the Czarevich, or at least his sister, Anastasia, indeed escaped death somehow, thus propagandizing the old King Richard-will-kick-King John-off-the-throne-when-he-gets-back-from-the-crusades variation reminiscent to readers and viewers of The Adventures of Robin Hood.





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