London: A top Russian KGB official has claimed that Adolf Hitler, the Nazi leader, did not commit suicide by shooting himself with a gun, but poisoned himself with cyanide.
Lieutenant-General Vasily Khristoforov, the top archivist for Russia`s FSB security service, said Soviet military medics at the time had determined that Hitler and his mistress Eva Braun had died after ingesting cyanide on April 30, 1945.
"The presence of the remains of crushed glass capsules in the mouth and the sharp odour of bitter almonds from the corpses, and the results of an internal post-mortem led the (Soviet) commission to conclude that it was death by cyanide poisoning.”
"Thus the myth put about by those Nazis left in Berlin that `the Fuhrer died like a soldier having shot himself in his bunker` was shattered," The Telegraph quoted him as saying.
According to Soviet medics there weren’t any serious wounds on Hitler`s heavily burned body either, he added.
If accurate, the officer’s claim not only busts the widely held myth of Hitler’s ‘honourable death’, but also casts a shadow on the authenticity of a skull fragment kept in Russia`s state archive that purportedly belonged to Hitler.
The fragment has a bullet hole in it yet but American researchers claim that it belonged to a woman aged from 20 to 40 and could not be Hitler`s.
The Russians have defended the skull`s authenticity but haven’t been able to refute this claim.