Adolf Hitler and his wife Eva Braun committed suicide 70 years ago in his bunker below the Reich Chancellery in Berlin - or did they?
The anniversary will see vigils by Hitler-worshipping groups around the world and a revival of conspiracy theories surrounding the suicide. They started up as soon as the news was announced in 1945. Hitler and Braun escaped to South America and lived there incognito well into old age, according to many alternative theories.
Even official accounts of what happened to the remains of the pair vary, so the alternative theories can't be debunked. They are fed by the circumstance that tens of thousands of Nazis escaped after the war, many to South America.
Anyone "following the money" sees book royalties in keeping the escape theory alive. Argentine business Max Gregorcic set out to make money from his claim in Feb 1987 that Hitler had lived incognito as a Seventh Day Adventist pastor in Mendoza, Argentina, and that he had died the previous year. The claim and his offer to sell his story for US $500,000 created a sensation. One book sets Hitler and Braun in Patagonia, at the other end of Argentina. Another sets Hitler in Mato Grosso, Brazil, living until his death in 1984 under the name of Adolf Leipzig with a black girlfriend. The Brazilian author, Simoni Renee Guerreiro Dias, is demanding that Leipzig's remains be exhumed and his DNA tested against living relatives of Hitler. And a 2012 documentary claims Hitler was living in an Argentine hotel before he died in 1965.
Date written/update: 2014-07-24