What really happened to Hitler after WWII has been discussed many times before. Over the years there have been many conspiracy theories in relation to Hitler, but could there be some truth in these wild stories?
It is widely considered that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler took his life in a bunker in April 1945 when he realized he had lost the war and Allied forces closed in.
There are also rumors that state Hitler did survive the war and fled to South America. The U.S. foreign intelligence agency recently declassified CIA documents on the JFK assassination and among the papers was one interesting note about Hitler’s location.
A photo sent from a CIA office in Maracaibo, Venezuela, dated Oct. 17, 1955, shows a man rumored to be Nazi leader Adolf Hitler in Colombia, after the end of World War II.
In 1955, a CIA informant codenamed ‘Cimelody-3’ reported to Washington that a trusted contact had informed him Hitler was alive and well, living among other Nazi expatriates in Colombia who still referred to him as “der Führer.”
The operative wrote several memoranda to CIA headquarters. According to an an internal memo, classified as “Secret”, sent on Oct. 3, 1955 from the CIA’s Caracas station in Venezuela, CIMELODY-3 had been shown a photograph by his contact in Colombia that purportedly showed another escaped Nazi officer standing next to Hitler.
“On 29 September 1955, the photo was shown to CIMELODY-3 for purposes of getting his reaction to the possible veracity of this fantastic story. Obviously, CIMELODY-3 was not in any position to make any comments. Nonetheless, he borrowed the photograph long enough so that this Station could take any action deemed advisable,” the memo reads.
As we can see on the black and white photograph the man does indeed resemble the NAZI leader Adolf Hitler, but is it really him? The CIA remains skeptical about this so-called evidence. The source of this information was a former Nazi SS trooper identified by the CIA as Phillip Citroen, a person CIMELODY-3 never met.
Citroen allegedly told the CIA agent’s source he met “Hitler” in Tunja, Colombia, in 1954, a place he described as “overly populated with former German Nazis.”
“According to CITROEN, the Germans residing in Tunja follow this alleged Adolf HITLER with an idolatry of the Nazi past, addressing him as ‘der Fuhrer’ and affording him the Nazi salute and storm-trooper adulation,” according to a second memo sent from the CIA’s field office in Maracaibo back to Washington later in Oct. 1955.
he grainy image of Citroen and Adolf Schuttlemayer (right) the man who claimed to be Hitler (Image: José Cárdenas)
The released JFK documents reveal that CIA senior officials responded with a letter sent the following month, stating the agency had no interest in this matter.
“It is felt that enormous efforts (spent trying to confirm the rumors) could be expanded on this matter with remote possibilities of establishing anything concrete,” the Miami Herald quoted the letter as saying. “Therefore, we suggest that this matter be dropped.”
Are these just baseless rumors or did Hitler really escape to South America? It would require enormous amount of time and money to investigate the subject further and it’s unlikely the government will be interesting in pursuing the matter further.
Maybe one day we will learn more, or maybe we already know the truth. The most likely scenario is that Hitler did commit suicide and died in the bunker in Berlin at the end of the war.