In 2014, I returned to the National Archives in Washington, D.C., to research U.S. military records at the end of World War II concerning the alleged suicide of Adolph Hitler.
The book was prompted by the research of Dr. Nicholas Bellantoni, the state archaeologist of Connecticut, who in 2009 traveled to Moscow to examine the fragments of Hitler’s skull held in the Russian Federation State Archive. Bellantoni was allowed to extract DNS from the bone fragments. The resulting scientific examination concluded the “Hitler skull fragments” actually belonged to a woman under 40 years of age whose identity was unknown.
The records I found in the archives were startling. The records proved that British intelligence had picked Hugh Trevor-Roper, a graduate student in history at Oxford in 1945, to write the definitive book on Hitler’s death. The archives also included the outline of Trevor-Roper’s book that U.S. military intelligence provided him when he arrived in Germany from Oxford. I found records that the Russians never allowed Trevor-Roper, or any U.S. military personnel, to interview the key Hitler associates then in Russian prisons who were with Hitler when he supposedly committed suicide in his Berlin Bunker as Russian troops advanced on the Nazi capital.
The allies at the end of WWII did not discover Hitler’s body as was initially claimed, and the Russian records made it clear the various “autopsy” examinations the Russians claimed to have done on Hitler’s corpse were falsified. Even more startling, the archive records proved U.S. military authorities at the end of WWII, including Allied Supreme Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower, believed Hitler escaped from Berlin. I found extensive FBI records proving J. Edgar Hoover had evidence Hitler escaped to Argentina. I even found the records in the archives of the two Nazi submarines that surfaced in Argentina after the war concluded. Documents from U.S. Naval Intelligence presented evidence that one of the two Nazi submarines had transported Hitler to Argentina.
My book “Hunting Hitler” was the apparent inspiration for an HBO series that sent investigators to Argentina to seek out evidence that Hitler spent the rest of his life in South America. My investigation into how Hitler died was yet another foray into understanding the extent to which U.S. government officials routinely manipulate history and lie as a method of covering up politically inconvenient truths.