Wikipedia tells the story of some alleged fragments of Hitler's skull that were tested in 2009:

In May 1946, SMERSH agents recovered from the crater where Hitler was buried two burned skull fragments with gunshot damage. These remains were apparently forgotten in the Russian State Archives until 1993, when they were re-found.[55] In 2009 DNA and forensic tests were performed on the skull fragment, which Soviet officials had long believed to be Hitler's. According to the American researchers, the tests revealed that the skull was actually that of a woman and the examination of the sutures where the skull plates come together placed her age at less than 40 years old.

These claims are repeated in many places, such as The Guardian.

The Daily Telegraph reports that Soviet officials continue to maintain that it is the skull of Hitler.

Lieutenant-General Vasily Khristoforov, the chief archivist at the federal security service [...] insisted that the security service had no reason to question the authenticity of the skull fragments in its possession.

These claims are being used to fuel speculation that Hitler did not die in a bunker in 1945 - e.g. as reported in the Daily Express:

Fantasists were given added ammunition he didn't die in his Berlin bunker when 2009 DNA tests on skull fragments found near the bunker and believed to be his, turned out to belong to a woman.

So is there independent research to confirm or disregard that the skull fragment in question is of a young woman?

  • @Tim-modified the question and blogs have been added for notablity! Commented Oct 17, 2015 at 13:25
  • @Tim-Added information for notability! Commented Oct 17, 2015 at 13:34
  • I think there is a good question in here; just need to tease it out.
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Oct 17, 2015 at 16:14
  • I found a notable source for the claim that Hitler's alleged skull was actually a woman under 40. That might make a good question, but is that the claim you doubt?
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Oct 17, 2015 at 16:17
  • Is the claim you doubt that Hitler died in a bunker in 1945? (Note: closely related question) If so, it is improper to exclude dental records and evidence from the bunker.
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Oct 17, 2015 at 16:19

1 Answer 1


A few years ago I have seen a presentation by Mark Benecke, a forensic biologist, here in Cologne (Germany). He was among the scientists who took the DNA samples from the skull. According to him, the fragments had been touched by everyone in the Russian institute, so the DNA could have been from one of the scientists in the lab.

The presentation is not available, however there is a German article: http://www.faz.net/aktuell/gesellschaft/kriminalbiologe-mark-benecke-untersucht-adolf-hitlers-schaedel-13562319.html The article's first paragraph says: "70 years Adolf Hitler shot himself. Or did he use Zyankali? On a weird trip the criminal biologist wanted to solve this question. He found bones which had gone through numerous hands and found proof for Hitler's medical issues"

  • 1
    Are these conclusions confirmed by any publications? We don't allow hearsay on this site :-)
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Oct 18, 2015 at 12:13
  • 2
    @Uwe Ziegenhagen-Please provide links to Mark Benecke's presentation so that users can upvote your answer! Commented Oct 19, 2015 at 4:06

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