In 1995, Hugh Thomas threw fresh fuel on the fire with his book Doppelgangers, which claimed there were inconsistencies with the forensic testing on Bormann’s remains in 1972. Apparently, the skull was caked in red clay mainly found in Paraguay. There was allegedly dental work performed on the head more recently than 1945 and the condition and position of the teeth supposedly belonged to someone a lot older than Bormann, who was 45 years old at the time of his death.
German authorities ordered genetic testing on fragments of the skull in 1998. DNA from one of Bormann’s relatives was compared to the skull and conclusively identified the skull as that of the Nazi Secretary. The remains were cremated and the ashes thrown in the Baltic Sea in 1999.
Bormann in South America
Surely this was the end of the matter? Not quite. While it seemed indisputable that Bormann was dead, researchers were convinced that he had escaped Berlin and lived in South America. A military historian named Ladislas Farago published his work on Bormann which stemmed from a painstaking investigation into the Nazi officer in South America. His unanimous conclusion was that Bormann escaped to South America and lived in Argentina for a number of years. In 1998, Stewart Steven of the Daily Express published an article claiming the DNA testing was a cover-up instigated by a West German prosecutor. Steven was later fired for his actions.
A British Army Captain named Ian Bell claims he saw Bormann on a ship bound for Bari, and was ordered to follow but not apprehend him. In 1972, the forensic team supposedly failed to reveal that the dentistry performed in the skull could only have been completed in the 1950s due to the technology used. Since the DNA test in 1998, various people have come forward with testimony suggesting that Bormann did escape from Berlin.
An Argentine military commander gave an interview to Goldeneye Films in 2010 where he says he met Bormann regularly in Buenos Aires in 1952 and 1953. He even arranged security for the escapee and mentioned that the Nazi Secretary stayed in a luxury hotel in Argentina’s capital in 1953.
Another Wild Theory?
Those who suggest Bormann made it to South America use the remains of the dead Nazi to further their case. Remember, the skull was apparently covered with red clay found in Paraguay and not Germany. After he had died, his remains were buried somewhere in South America. Eventually, as part of a cover-up, the body was dug up, glass shards were planted in the skull, and it was shipped to Berlin where it was buried, waiting for discovery.
If the above sounds far-fetched, that’s because it is. Although the disappearance of Bormann proved an enduring mystery for decades, different examinations, including a detailed DNA test, show the skeleton found in Berlin was definitely Martin Bormann. While there are a few unanswered questions, the body of evidence that suggests he fled abroad and escaped justice is flimsy and dependent on testimony from witnesses decades after the event. The suggestion that his body was somehow transported to Germany from South America and buried is particularly ludicrous. All available evidence tells us that Bormann died in Berlin on May 2, 1945, and it is unlikely that anyone will ever be able to prove otherwise.
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