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Is there any consensus among modern day historians of how Hitler was killed or if he was killed, and is there any significant proof that he did die so as to disprove the conspiracy theorists?

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I would appreciate some feedback as to why I got the Minus 2 –  Napoleonothecake Oct 26 '11 at 0:02
    
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Hitler was born in 1889. I consider this sufficient proof that he did die :) –  Drux Feb 17 '13 at 11:38
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up vote 17 down vote accepted

Because the death of Hitler was reported by the Soviets, this is generally the root cause of conspiracy theories.

The general consensus among historians is that Hitler committed suicide in his Führerbunker in Berlin, by gunshot on 30 April 1945, however, controversy will remain.

His body was found by a soviet counter-intelligence operations group called SMERSH, this in itself is a cause of distrust for the first hand account.

This trust problem is furthered by disinformation from the Soviets, for example when President Truman asked Stalin at the Potsdam conference in August of 1945 if Hitler was dead, Stalin simply replied 'No'.

Over time, the story surrounding Hitler's fate was variously presented by the Soviets in line with their political motivations, in the years immediately following 1945, it maintained Hitler was not dead but had fled and was being shielded by former western allies.

At the time this worked, and it was stated at the Nuremberg trials that "No one can say he is dead." (Thomas J. Dodd, chief of the U.S. trial counsel.)

The final account from the Soviets was that Hitler and Eva Braun, were buried at a SMERSH facility in Magdeburg, the exact location was kept a secret to avoid the site becoming a shrine for Neo-Nazis. It was also reported that the site, and the remains were destroyed.

This layering of misinformation, and the justifiable need for secrecy has left the ultimate fate of Hitler a mystery, which will never be truly solved.

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Slomojo thanks for the answer now it seems I have more questions then answers but thanks for the feedback –  Napoleonothecake Oct 26 '11 at 0:14
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@Slomojo: Do you have any sources to point us to? The Wikipedia article on this topic doesn't seem to leave much room for speculation and lists quite a few sources, both German and Soviet, that leave no doubt about the fact that Hitler indeed committed suicide. –  Wladimir Palant Oct 26 '11 at 6:00
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If we are to trust KGB records, then we can accept the details of these sources. My point is that the extreme levels of deception at play during the Cold War make it quite difficult to be completely certain. Personally, I'm quite happy to accept that Hitler did indeed commit suicide, and the KGB records are probably truthful. However, I think it is a matter of personal choice, as opposed to rock hard evidence, which unless you trust the KGB 100%, doesn't exist. I think rather than use the loaded term mystery, a better choice of words would be the complete truth is unclear. –  Slomojo Oct 26 '11 at 22:43
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@Slomojo: What does KGB have to do with that? Hitler wasn't alone when he committed suicide, several Germans saw his body and confirmed it afterwards. Soviets only found and identified that body several days later. SMERSH didn't appear in the story until much later - they didn't find him, they merely dug out the body after it was buried again. –  Wladimir Palant Oct 28 '11 at 6:22
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@LennartRegebro That's certainly a good argument, however since both groups also have independent motivations for obfuscating the events, it's still not what I would call water tight. However, much of history is about making "best assumptions" and on that level I support the accepted story, if you want 100% certainty of course, you need to avoid history. –  Slomojo Dec 7 '11 at 1:08
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There is some controversy of what happened to Hitler's remains, owing to the general disarray of war, but there is no real controversy with regards to his death.

Hitler did in his personal will and testament say that he had chosen death.

I myself and my wife — in order to escape the disgrace of deposition or capitulation — choose death. It is our wish to be burnt immediately on the spot where I have carried out the greatest part of my daily work in the course of a twelve years' service to my people.

Sources 1 2

This is consistent with the eyewitness accounts of those who survived, like Hitler's secretary, Traudl Junge, and Rochus Misch. As such there is little doubt about the general events, although the exact details may be unclear.

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