What was done with Hitler's corpse

“You can't do it like that. We have to blow it up " | What really happened to Hitler's corpse?

Even decades after the end of the war, this story is still explosive.

75 years ago, Nazi tyrant Adolf Hitler committed suicide in the bunker of what was then the Reich Chancellery. So much is historically certain. What exactly happened to the corpse on May 1, 1945, historians are still not fully in agreement on all points.

Were the remains only partially burned, then buried several times in Russian ammunition boxes and only burned to ashes by KGB officers near Magdeburg in 1970 and poured into a river?

One version has received less attention historically. Because it only comes from a single contemporary witness?

The version has been preserved in great detail and matches the detail that, according to international researchers, there are only pieces of bone from Hitler's skull. There is a sound document in the renowned United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (Washington). It is recorded on four cassettes (90 minutes each) and was recorded in 2004.

The detailed descriptions come from Georg Diers († 94, died 2016). The former SS-Unterscharführer was one of the last tank commanders in the final battle for Berlin in April 1945. His Tiger tank was the very last operational heavy combat vehicle between the Reichstag and the Reich Chancellery, where Hitler died on April 30, 1945.

In his own words, he was also one of the last to see the body and then blow it up! How is that supposed to have happened? In the museum photo, Diers describes in clear terms how he rolled from the Reichstag to the Reich Chancellery on May 1st.

Diers describes the scene in the loud battle noise around the bunker and the garden: “There were also a few soldiers standing there. I went to them and they burned something in the garden. Gasoline was poured over it and then the cloud of smoke rose up and then the Russian shot in more intensely. "

The then 23-year-old soldier asks: "What are you doing there?"

Answer: "Yes, we will burn the Führer."

Diers: “I didn't know until then that Adolf Hitler was no longer alive. And then I said: 'You can't do it like that. We have to blow it up! ‘"

The tank commander claims to be getting two anti-tank mines out of his Tiger tank. “And with these anti-tank mines I ran with two or three soldiers to the wall of the garden of the Reich Chancellery, where a person was lying curled up in the carpet. It was already singed. The skin of the face had burst. The hole in the temple could still be seen. We put the two T-mines underneath and detonated them with a fuse. "

What should have happened afterwards, Diers also tells in calm words. He wrote down details at the time and had them with him in the interview.

Diers: “Then we are in the basement of the Reich Chancellery. It was full of wounded. The ventilation system was no longer working properly. It stank of pus. Many sisters were busy. The kitchen was still working. The wounded also received food. "

And further: "I then went to the room where Dr. Goebbels was and was received by him. There were still five or six high ranks in the room. I knew General Mohnke. I knew General Krebs from newspaper clippings. And Goebbels reported to us that the Führer fell yesterday. With his wife. It was brand new to me that they had married. "

According to Diers, in this situation consideration is being given to how the Nazi leadership force can save itself. “We then discussed the outbreak of the combat group in the government district and that the government district should break out over the Weidendammer Bridge during the night if possible. North, not west. Because in the west the Russian had set up a couple of locking bars. "

Diers was to take the lead with his heavy tank. According to Goebbels, it should go as far as Schleswig-Holstein, then a counter-attack should be made. Complete madness of the Propaganda Minister.

Goebbels and his family are not coming, according to Diers. “Then most of the gentlemen said goodbye and Goebbels said goodbye too. He wanted to say goodbye to me with a handshake. Then Frau Goebbels came in with a doctor. He was wearing a white coat. They spoke and said: “I don't know what are we going to say to the children?” Goebbels was silent, says Diers. “He looked composed. Then she said: "We tell the children that we will be flown out tomorrow morning."

Georg Diers leaves the office, learns beforehand that "there was still a body nearby, namely Eva Braun's."

The descriptions in the interview, which lasted several hours, are detailed and, according to Diers, are based on his own notes. They are still part of contemporary witness stories in the archives of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

The renowned military historian Dr. Peter Lieb (46, Center for Military History, Potsdam) has just published the book “The Battle of Berlin and the End of the Third Reich 1945” (Reclam). How does he rate the speculation about the demolition of Hitler's corpse?

Lieb: “The historian Hugh Trevor-Roper tried to reconstruct these days with contemporary witnesses and his work“ The Last Days of Hitler ”, first published in 1947, is still largely reliable. According to this, there are quite a number of witnesses that Hitler's and Eva Braun's corpses were cremated. These are primarily Hitler's driver Erich Kempka and two security guards, Erich Mansfeld and Hermann Karnau. Otto Günsch, Hitler's adjutant, and Heinz Linge, Hitler's orderly, were also witnesses. They could not report to Trevor-Roper because they were in Soviet captivity in 1947. But they told a similar version there, which they affirmed several times after their release. According to witnesses, it is 5: 1 against Diers. "

How did Diers go on? Diers was injured in the attempt to break out and was picked up near the Elbe. He was taken prisoner in Russia for several years. The former SS-Unterscharfuhrer and later master butcher lived in Wiefelstede (Lower Saxony) until his death in 2016 at the age of 94 and, according to his personal notes, described his story of the defense of Berlin and the fall of the Nazi dictatorship in a book as early as 2013.

Before his death, Diers came under severe criticism as the longstanding honorary chairman of the highly controversial "Kameradenwerk Korps Steiner", an association of former SS volunteers that a few years ago caused a political scandal due to its proximity to the Bundeswehr. The former SS soldiers had asked for material help (trucks, radios) so that they could look for war graves in Estonia. Before his death, Diers did not want to comment on the allegations of belonging to a right-wing association with old Nazis in a conversation with the ARD. He stayed with his version of the Hitler explosion until the end.