New tests show that a skull long thought to be Adolf Hitler's is not the Nazi dictator's, casting doubt on the long-held notion that he committed suicide in his bunker as Allied forces closed in on him, according to scientists.
Scientists at the University of Connecticut analyzed DNA from the bullet-pierced skull that was secretly preserved for decades by Soviet intelligence forces and determined it was from a woman around 40 years old, according to the British newspaper The Guardian. The results of the testing were also reported in a History Channel documentary, "Hitler's Escape."
"The bone seemed very thin; male bone tends to be more robust," said UConn archaeologist Nick Bellantoni. "And the sutures where the skull plates come together seemed to correspond to someone under 40."
Conventional wisdom has long held that Hitler, then 56, committed suicide with mistress Eva Braun, taking a cyanide pill and then shooting himself in the head in the bunker in 1945. Their bodies were reportedly carried out of the bunker wrapped in blankets, and then set on fire in a bomb crater. Although little was known about the fate of Hitler's corpse after that, it turns out that Russian operatives went back the next year and dug up the body and secretly examined it.
Rumors that Hitler faked his death and escaped Berlin like several other key Nazi leaders persisted for decades after World War II.
Get more: The Guardian