Thursday, October 01, 2009

Hitler, and the bunker, re-visited

While in Berlin in October 2008, LBE was given a tour which included a trip to the site of the Hitler bunker, which on the surface is now a parking lot. The tour guide emphatically pointed out that all the mysteries about Hitler's body were nonsense; the Russians (Soviets) took it.

In a story in the Guardian titled Tests on skull fragment cast doubt on Adolf Hitler suicide story, we see there may be some issues with what the Russians have:

But the skull fragment the Russians dug up outside the F├╝hrerbunker in 1946 could never have belonged to Hitler. The skull DNA was incontestably female. The only positive physical proof that Hitler had shot himself had suddenly been rendered worthless. The result is a mystery reopened and, for conspiracy theorists the tantalising possibility that Hitler did not die in the bunker.

The story also discusses the organization SMERSH, sometimes mentioned in James Bond novels:

As the Soviet Army secured control of Berlin in May 1945, Russian forensic specialists under the command of the counterintelligence unit Smersh (an acronym for "Death to Spies") dug up what was presumed to be the dictator's body outside the bunker and performed a post-mortem examination behind closed doors. A part of the skull was absent, presumably blown away by Hitler's suicide shot, but what remained of his jaw coincided with his dental records, a fact reportedly confirmed when the Russians showed his surviving dental work to the captured assistants of Hitler's dentist. The autopsy also reported that Hitler, as had been rumoured, had only one testicle.

But Stalin remained suspicious. In 1946 a second secret mission was dispatched to Berlin. In the same crater from which Hitler's body had been recovered, the new team found what it believed was the missing skull fragment with a bullet exit wound through it. The Russians also took fragments of Hitler's bloodstained sofa.

As a separate matter, the Nazi bunker in Hamilton, NJ was destroyed.

**As to the relationship to patents, one frequently hears "X already did that", which might cause the listener not to look into the matter further. Sometimes X really didn't do that. Patent attorneys, and scientists, should follow the implicit advice given in the phrase of journalists: If Your Mother Says She Loves You, Check It Out.

[In the article, Barry Kritzberg writes: A third lesson involves a related point about accepting something as true simply because it appears in print. Recall Lemley's invocation of a non-existent article in the New York Times to support his idea that the inventors of the transistor thought it was only good for hearing aids. See

***UPDATE. Note a spoof by Frank Cotolo about Hitler's dentist ( "Emil Brustermeister " ) living in Somerville, New Jersey:

Hitler's dentist describes Adolf's final days


Giant dominoes form tribute to Berlin Wall's fall:

Former Polish leader Lech Walesa, whose pro-democracy movement Solidarity played a key role in ending communism in Eastern Europe, is to tip the first domino Monday [Nov. 9, 09] as the artistic display comes toppling down.


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