Thursday, 11 December 2008

Debunking the Bunker Legend. (part two)

From part one posted 12 7 08 continues----

The paucity of evidence

Without bodily remains, it is impossible to affirm that a person is dead, let alone
determine the manner in which he or she died. At least officially, there is no Hitler corpse
because in 1970, so the Soviets/Russians maintain, the presumptive Hitler remains were
macerated and intermixed with the remains of 10 other persons—
Updated information inserted: Creative Dentistry section will be continued later:

__allegedly Hitler's wife Eva, Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels, his wife Magda, the
Goebbels's six children and General Hans Krebs—and buried in the grounds of a KGB
installation in Magdeburg, East Germany. This was done ostensibly to preclude the
possibility of a burial site developing into a Nazi pilgrimage centre.
This story is an obvious deception, however.
The Soviets hardly lacked the space to store the remains in the USSR, where there was
no danger of a Hitler cult emerging. Its function can only have been to relieve them of the
obligation to ever make the alleged Hitler corpse available for scientific testing.

Today, all the Russians admit to possessing fragments of what they claim to be
Hitler's jawbone and two small pieces of skull.
The skull fragments, one of which is distinguished by a large bullet hole, are sometimes
stated to have been found in the bomb crater together with the other remains initially
assumed to be those of Adolf Hitler; however, it is more usually maintained that they had
been found in Hitler's study inside the Reich Chancellery building (R e i c h s k a n z e l e i) .

Unfortunately, there is no proof that the fragments were found in the Chancellery, let
alone that they came from Hitler. No photographs were taken of the fragments in situ,
while none of the documents included in Hitler's Death sheds any light on their
discovery.

In matters concerning the authentication of the alleged Hitler remains, the Russians have
behaved as inscrutably as their Soviet predecessors. In 1999, a foreign researcher,
Michel Perrier of the Institute of Forensic Science at Lausanne University, was denied
permission to inspect the remains. It is hard to see a plausible reason why the Russians
would do this unless there were a chance of a negative identification. This opens up the
possibility that the skull fragments are fake. We may be looking at a hoax similar to that of
the Piltdown man—a notorious case in which a jawbone discovered in 1912 was subjected
to rigorous testing 40 years later by a research team at the British Museum.

The researchers found that the jawbone was that of a modern ape and had been artificially
stained with potassium dichromate to make it appear ancient.
More than 60 years after Hitler disappeared from history, therefore, the Russians are
obstructing research that would provide a definitive answer to the question of whether the
fragments belonged to the F u e h r e r. As D. Marchetti et al. wrote in 2005:

"The available literature concerning Hitler's cause of death is incomplete…because the
skull bone fragment with a gunshot wound possibly from Hitler's corpse has not been
properly e x a m i n e d .
Since the Russians clearly do not regard Hitler's skull fragments with religious reverence
—we are not talking about the Shroud of Turin here—no other conclusion can be drawn
than that the Russians are afraid of what will be found once the fragments are
subjected to scientific testing.

The best explanation for such fears is that the Russians already know that the fragments
did not come from Hitler. So far they have made no effort to have mitochondrial DNA
(mtDNA) extracted from the skull fragments for comparison with mtDNA extracted
from the corpse of either Hitler's half-sister Paula or his mother Klara or from any of
their living relatives—the process suggested by Marchetti et al. as the only way out of
the present impasse.

The Russians' unwillingness to subject the fragments to mtDNA testing implies that
they already know that the result will only be negative.
The next most reliable kind of evidence—documentary evidence—also sheds no light
on Hitler's fate. Strikingly, no films or photographs exist that would corroborate any
aspect of the official narrative of the Third Reich's last days, least of all the claim
that Hitler committed suicide. Given his towering importance in the Third Reich, it is
difficult to believe that, if Hitler had remained in Berlin until the regime fell,
a comprehensive photographic record would not have been made of his final stand.
Yet there are no known photos or films of Hitler that can securely be dated to April
1 9 4 5.

As for written sources, all we have is an obscure entry dated 30 April 1945 in a
document that is purported to be a diary kept by R e i c h s l e i t e r M a r t i n Bormann
from 1 January to 1 May 1945:

3 0 . 4 . 4 5
Adolf Hitler D.
Eva H. (Hitler)
Not only is it difficult to believe that even in the most cursory entry Bormann would
not at least have recorded the precise time of the F u e h r e r's demise, but we possess
unique testimony that proves the diary to be a fake.
Shortly after the war, pilot Hanna Reitsch, who was in the F u e h r e r b u n k e r for three
days (26–29 April), told American interrogator Robert E. Work that during this period
Martin Bormann had been writing an extremely detailed document which he intended to
preserve for posterity. Work recorded:

"Bormann rarely moved from his writing desk.
He was 'putting down events for future generations'. Every word, every action was
recorded on paper. Often, he would approach someone and gloomily ask about the
exact contents of the Fuehrer's conversation with a person to whom he had just given
an audience. He also meticulously wrote down everything that took place with the
others in the bunker. This document was supposed to be removed from the bunker at
the last moment so that, according to the modest Bormann, it could 'take its place
among the greatest chapters of German history'.

However, the Bormann diary which the Russians subsequently presented to the world
is a paltry affair containing entries that are typically only between one and three short
lines of text. The most substantial entry, that for 27 April, runs to a mere eight lines of text.
Clearly, the diary does not provide a complete narrative of the death throes of the Third Reich.
Although most historians (including David Irving, the self-described apostle of "real history")
accept its authenticity without demur, it can only be a fake.

In summing up , there is no physical evidence nor evidence of a visual or written kind that
would shed any light whatsoever on Hitler's fate.


Eyewitness testimony

The case for the conventional view that Hitler committed suicide and was cremated on
the afternoon of 30 April 1945 therefore depends entirely upon the verbal and written
statements furnished immediately after the war by a small group of captured Nazis, most
of whom were members of the S c h u t z s t a f f e l (SS), who claimed to have observed
these important historical events with their own eyes.

The six most important accounts are those of:
SSO b e r s t u r m b a n n f u e h r e r Harry Mengershausen
SSS t u r m b a n n f u e h r e r Otto Guensche
SS- O b e r g r u p p e n f u e h r e r Johannes ("Hans") Rattenhuber
SS-O b e r s t u r m b a n n f u e h r e r E r i c h Kempka
SS-U n t e r f u e h r e r Hermann Karnau and
SSH a u p t s c h a r f u e h r e r Erich Mansfeld

The first three eyewitnesses, Mengershausen, Guensche and Rattenhuber, all fell into
Soviet hands after Berlin was captured on 2 May 1945. They recounted their respective
versions of Hitler's fate to Soviet authorities between 13 and 20 May 1945. The three
men's accounts were not available to the public until the 2005 publication of the
anthology Hitler's Death.
Although Hitler's valet, SS-S t u r m b a n n f u e h r e r Heinz Linge, was captured at
the same time -- his interrogation statements are not included in Hitler's Death and,
so far as I know, have never been made public.
Given that Linge subsequently emerged as one of the central protagonists in the official
story of Hitler's demise, this fact obviously raises questions about the pretensions of
Hitler's Death to constitute virtually the last word on the subject.
The three accounts can be supplemented by various other accounts given by German
prisoners to the Soviets in May 1945, in particular that given on 7 May by
SS-Sturmbannfuehrer Dr. Helmut Kunz.
Although Dr. Kunz did not profess to know anything pertaining directly to the deaths
of Adolf and Eva Hitler, his statement contains a highly significant account of Eva's last
known c o n v e r s a t i o n.

The other three eyewitnesses, Kempka, Karnau and Mansfeld, were interrogated by the
Americans and the British. Until Hugh Trevor-Roper's The Last Days of Hitler was
published in 1947. The accounts of Kempka and Karnau were the only ones available
to the general public. The other four accounts have subsequently become available,
three as recently as 2005.

This means that it is possible only now to consider the six earliest eyewitness
statements together as an independent body of evidence. Only now is it possible, in
effect, to leave The Last Days of Hitler behind and concern ourselves with the best
available original source material.
Strikingly, the information derived from these six individuals represents the bulk of
the firsthand evidence that would ever become available. Only two of the persons
specifically named by others as having been involved in the final days—
Heinz Linge and R e i c h s j u g e n d l e i t e r Artur Axmann—survived the war and
were able to give their own accounts later.

However, in both cases, the eyewitnesses appear to have been pressured to conform
their testimony to the Trevor-Roper account, which was treated by the Anglo-American
establishment from the very beginning as definitive. None of the other individuals
identified in the six earliest accounts as having been involved—Jansen, Kruge,
Lindloff, Medle, Schaedle, Burgdorf, Krebs, Bormann, Goebbels—survived the war
(so far as we know).

We therefore find ourselves saddled with the task of trying to make sense of one of
modern history's most important events on the basis of a remarkably thin body of
evidence.

The six accounts describe s i m i l a r e v e n t s .
If we compare them, we find that there is general agreement on the following five
points:
(1) a male body was carried from a room in the bunker to a location just outside
the exit door from the bunker;
(2) the male body was wearing black trousers, shoes and socks like those Hitler usually
wore;
(3) at the same time, a female body was carried out of the bunker whose face was
uncovered and was readily identifiable as Eva Hitler;
(4) Heinz Linge carried the body of the male; and
(5) the two bodies were laid down on the ground beside each other, doused with petrol,
cremated and buried together in a bomb crater or ditch situated a very short distance
from the bunker exit door.
As soon as we look at elements of the story other than those listed above, discrepancies
prove to be the rule. If they had been referring to the same event, a u t h e n t i c accounts
ought to have agreed on most details as fully as they agreed on the aforementioned five
points.
It is impossible to distinguish between eyewitnesses who were "telling the truth" and
eyewitnesses who were lying.
In the absence of material or documentary evidence that would serve as a control, any
such distinction is untenable. Indeed, each eyewitness account is as credible as any of
the others.

The approach that has most widely been followed, therefore, is that taken by
Trevor-Roper, which simply involved assimilating all the available accounts into a
narrative of a single event and ignoring or explaining away the details that did not fit
with it. By this means, to give just one example, Trevor-Roper accepted an account
of events which the eyewitness stated had taken place "not later than the 27th of April"
but treated it as if it were a description of an event that a different eyewitness,
Erich Kempka, claimed to have observed on 30 April 1945.
The shortcomings of Trevor-Roper's homogenisation technique are rather obvious,
however. If one accepts the overall reliability of Mansfeld's account to the extent that
one is willing to make use of the information it contains, by what right does one ignore
Mansfeld's statement that he is "positive" that the events he was describing had taken
place "not later than" 27 April?
Trevor-Roper did the same with the eyewitness testimony of Hermann Karnau, who
stated that the events he had observed had taken place on 1 May.
Clearly, one cannot simply cherry-pick the evidence in this way.
Yet it is by this very method that Trevor-Roper assembled the grand narrative of the
fall of the Third Reich which is accepted by most people, including most historians, asessentially correct!

In the following sections, I review the six earliest known
accounts while resisting the obvious temptations to dismiss certain
accounts as wholesale fabrications or resort to the Trevor-Roper
"cherry-picking" strategy. As we shall soon learn, the only way to
make sense of the six accounts is to treat them as authentic accounts
of d i f f e r e n t events. That said, it is not the case that each account
represents a p u r e or u n a d u l t e r a t e d version of a particular
cremation. The accounts of persons who had apparently observed
two or more cremations—above all, Guensche—appear to represent
a c o n f l a t i o n of events remembered from different cremations.


Next part to be continued ... Testimony from Soviet-held eyewitnesses

1 comment:

Aggie said...

I guess we never will really know now.