Hitler Secretary Remains Confirmed
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) _ Genetic tests show that remains found in Berlin are of Hitler’s private secretary, Martin Bormann, who helped organize the Holocaust and was rumored to have escaped Germany after World War II, according to reports Sunday.
DNA specialist Wolfgang Eisenmenger concluded the remains were indeed Bormann’s by matching samples with those of one of Bormann’s living relatives, the Welt am Sonntag newspaper and Der Spiegel magazine reported.
The bones were found in 1972 at a construction site and experts concluded at the time they were of Bormann and that he died May 2, 1945 _ possibly in a poison suicide _ as the Soviet army invaded.
But rumors persisted over the years that Bormann, the second most powerful man in the Third Reich, had escaped to South America or elsewhere.
An 83-year-old relative of Bormann supplied the samples for the DNA comparison, according to Der Spiegel.
Lawyer Florian Besold said last month that the Bormann family wanted the testing partly because of a 1996 book by a British author who claimed Bormann was smuggled out of Berlin to England in 1945.
``It has to do with finally ending these crazy international rumors,″ Besold said at the time.
A newspaper in Paraguay had reported in 1993 that Bormann had lived in that country for three years, had died in Asuncion on Feb. 15, 1959, and was buried in a nearby town.
As one of the top Nazi suspects, Bormann was charged with war crimes and found guilty and sentenced to death in absentia in 1946 by an international military tribunal in Nuremberg.