The ‘tooth’, the whole ‘tooth’ and nothing ...

Adolf Hitler may not have expected to be remembered for so long, albeit for the wrong reason. He was a puzzle while he was alive, and he continues to puzzle the world posthumously. It has been officially confirmed that he committed suicide to avoid humiliation and judicial execution in captivity. But, conspiracy theories abound anent the fate that befell him, the main being that he made good his escape while the Russians were closing in on Berlin. Not many people take them seriously, but they are fascinating.

Megalomaniacs are given to overdoing things. Hitler apparently lived up to that reputation to the last, according to a group of French researchers, who claim that he took cyanide and a bullet. He could have done without either cyanide or the bullet.

The French researchers, who studied Hitler’s teeth being kept in Moscow have sought to put the conspiracy theories about the Fuhrer’s death to rest. They tell us, according to an AFP news item we published yesterday, Hitler died in 1945 and there is no possible doubt. They insist that it is the truth as evidenced by Hitler’s teeth—the tooth, the whole tooth and nothing but the tooth!

The French team also studied part of a skull believed to be of Hitler’s, according to the AFP dispatch based on an article in The European Journal of Internal Medicine. They found its morphology comparable with the radiographies of the Fuhrer’s skull taken a year before his death, we are told. The lead researcher, Prof. Philippe Charlier, says he is confident that his team can stop all conspiracy theories about Hitler. But the question is whether they are equal to that task.

Myths and conspiracy theories are not easy to get rid of. Those who concoct them are a very creative lot like the ones responsible for the dissemination of fake news these days. The research findings at issue may not deter them; they may now claim that the skull, whose radiographies were used in the research, was someone else’s and not the Fuhrer’s.

Never mind Hitler’s skull found inside an underground bunker. There are various conspiracy theories about the demise of well-known leaders who went the way of all flesh in public. The world has not yet forgotten the ‘magic bullet’ that killed John F. Kennedy. The theory that the killer bullet came from a nearby grassy knoll is still alive and kicking.

Countering conspiracy theories is a Sisyphean task, to say the least. Even if Hitler had escaped, as claimed in some quarters, the Grim Reaper would have caught up with him a long time ago. Therefore, asking questions about Hitler’s fate serves no purpose. The question we should ask ourselves, instead, is whether the world has become any better since the collapse of the Third Reich.

People continue to perish in wars and other conflicts in their thousands annually. The liberators who saved the world from the Nazis have become perpetrators of violence; they unflinchingly falsify intelligence dossiers to present themselves with casus belli to invade countries, kill and maim men, women and children with impunity and return loaded down with plundered oil. Democratic governments are overthrown and tyrants installed. The UN, founded to prevent another world war, has been rendered impotent. It has become a mere spectator in a world full of bloodshed. The might continues to be right though Hitler is long dead. The victims of the Holocaust are unleashing violence against others.

The French researchers have also found that the Fuhrer had bad teeth, white tartar deposits thereon and dentures. The self-proclaimed champions of democracy, responsible for killing more than half a million Iraqi children in a bloody war for oil, had squeaky clean teeth. Perhaps, that is the only difference between Hitler and them.


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