The most recent account of how Hitler died and what happened to the bodies is the book 'What Really Happened: The Death of Hitler'
by Robert J. Hutchinson which came out in September 2020.
I will base most of my post here on the epub version of his book, so forgive the lack of page numbers.
Around 6:00 p.m., Günsche ordered SS guard Ewald Lindloff to bury what was left of the bodies. Lindloff rolled the charred corpses onto a large sheet of canvas and moved them from the place where they had been burned to a deeper bomb crater about ten to fifeen feet in front of the bunker emergency exit, directly abutting the alley Hermann Göring Strasse.
Robert J. Hutchinson, What Really Happened: The Death of Hitler (Regnery Publishing Inc, 2020).
According to eyewitnesses, the bodies of Hitler and Eva Braun were placed in a shallow ditch about six feet from the emergency exit of the Führerbunker (center left, shown in 1947), doused with gasoline, and set on fire. Erich Mansfeld, a guard in the conical tower, watched the events unfold. Deutsches Bundesarvhiv
It was in this crater that a skull fragment and teeth were found. Not far from this crater the bodies of Hitler's dogs were found as well.
To make certain that the remains were those of Hitler, the Russians located Käthe Heusermann, a dental nurse who had helped Hitler’s dentist, Dr. Hugo Blaschke, install much of the Führer’s bridgework. According to an account first published in English in 2017, a Russian translator named Elena Rzhevskaya carried Hitler’s teeth around Berlin in early May 1945, looking for Heusermann. Heusermann claimed that she had held Hitler’s bridgework in her hands, and she drew for the Russians, from memory, an illustration of what Hitler’s teeth looked like.
The Russians also located the technician who made the gold bridge, Fritz Echtmann, who also drew detailed drawings of Hitler’s teeth. Both Heusermann and Echtmann were arrested by the Russians and held prisoner in Russia for nearly a decade, released only in 1956. For her help in identifying Hitler’s teeth, Heusermann would spend nearly a decade in Soviet prisons, most of the time in solitary confinement.
The dental nurse’s drawing of Hitler’s teeth matched the physical teeth held by Rzhevskaya exactly. Hitler had had extensive dental work. His teeth were in such bad shape, according to Rzhevskaya’s granddaughter, that the Führer had to have his dentist stay with him in the bunker.
It is true that the skull fragment didn't belong to Hitler, but the teeth probably did:
In the end, Dr. Charlier and his colleagues published the scientific results in the peer-reviewed journal, the European Journal of Internal Medicine, in May 2018.
Entitled “The Remains of Adolf Hitler: A Biomedical Analysis and Definitive Identification,” the study closes once and for all one of the greatest mysteries of the past century: whether Adolf Hitler committed suicide in Berlin on April 30, 1945, as he asserted he would do in his last will and testament and as all the surviving members of the Führerbunker claimed he did for decades afterwards—or, alternatively, the suicide story was an elaborate hoax perpetrated by the Nazis to cover up Hitler’s escape.
Along with the clearest full-color photographs of Hitler’s teeth ever published, the study asserts categorically that Hitler died in 1945. The dental remains, autopsy reports found in Russian archives, and X-rays found in U.S. archives provide, it says, “sufficient pieces of evidence in the definitive identification of the remains of the former Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.”
This is a photo of the teeth fragments from the study:
Here's the study, feel free to read it:
Hutchinson agrees that those who are sceptical have some ground to be:
the skeptics will continue to point out that no one has Hitler’s actual dental records (they were lost in a mysterious plane crash) but only the drawings of his teeth made from memory by loyal, confirmed Nazis, such as his dentist.
They will also claim, rightly, that there were ways Hitler might have been able to evade capture by using secret tunnels and that Hitler’s supporters were planning for his escape by plane up until the very last days of the war. Hitler’s personal pilot, Hans Baur, had a plane standing by that could have theoretically whisked Hitler and Eva Braun away as late as the last week of April—as the successful aerial escape of Ritter von Greim and Hanna Reitsch on April 29 proves.
But ultimately there is just no proof that this happened, and no witnesses attest to this whatsoever. All the evidence, and all the witness testimony goes in one direction, and that is Hitler died in Berlin as he said he would:
Yet these inconclusive facts must be balanced by the overwhelming evidence that Hitler chose not to escape but to die, as he insisted he must, in Berlin. His personal will and his so-called political testament both contain assertions that he intended to commit suicide rather than fall into enemy hands. Three copies of these documents were all signed, witnessed, and dated and still exist.
The intelligence officers of both the Western Allies and the Russians repeatedly interrogated all of the surviving inhabitants of the Führerbunker—those held by the Russians, under torture—and these testimonies agree about what happened to a remarkable degree, while differing about minor details. What’s more, the eyewitnesses repeated their testimonies over the years in innumerable interviews and then in memoirs published thirty, forty, fifty, even sixty years or more after the war.
The fact that the Soviets pretended Hitler was still alive, and arrested his dentists is truly revealing and a huge indicator that Hitler was dead.
On the idea that Hitler escaped, Hutchinson says this:
While the evidence that Hitler died in Berlin is overwhelming, the evidence that he escaped is literally nonexistent—nothing more than scraps of hearsay contained in FBI and British intelligence files. These are claims made by often anonymous sources repeated to others and then sent in a letter, often years or decades later, to a government office.
As noted earlier, the History Channel’s three-year reality series Hunting Hitler begins with a report in recently declassified FBI files that a source had heard from someone that this someone had met Adolf Hitler on a beach in Argentina in July 1945. When you look up this report, however, you discover that it was actually from a Los Angeles Examiner reporter who met someone in a bar one night and, while drinking, was told this story.
The reporter did not have the source’s name and never saw him again, despite returning to the bar every day for more than a week. The claim in the preeminent “Hitler escaped” book Grey Wolf that Hitler was cared for by a German physician in Argentina comes from a man who said he read the physician’s memoirs but then lost them when he moved houses. All of the “Hitler escaped” books, documentaries, and TV series rely upon unconfirmed reports like these. They end up being investigations into facts no one disputes—the existence of a large German expat community in Argentina, the layout of subway tunnels in Berlin—but they provide no credible, corroborated evidence of their central claim: that Hitler escaped. Finally, and most significantly, the opening up of once Top Secret Soviet era files about the Nazi era proves conclusively that the Soviet leadership, from Stalin on down, deliberately spread the lie that Hitler escaped to further their own agendas.
Stalin lied to Truman’s face when he claimed that the Russians had no idea what had happened to Adolf Hitler. Stalin had already read the autopsy report that stated conclusively what had happened to Hitler: that what was left of his charred remains had been pulled from a shallow grave just a few feet in front of the Führerbunker’s emergency exit, taken to a military hospital in the nearby suburb of Buch, and positively identified by means of his elaborate and quite distinctive dental work.
You can reserve your judgement for a conclusion that will never come. I'm personally satisfied with the testimony and the evidence here - there's no reason to believe Hitler escaped, but every reason to believe he died the way he said he would.
You have to understand as well, that the fight to get the remining evidence examined, that of the teeth, was a task that took two years before the Russian government relented. They were not willing to admit they found the bodies of Hitler et al:
However, the bombshell 2009 claim that the Russians didn’t have Hitler’s skull after all—with the suggestion that there was perhaps less proof of Hitler’s suicide than previously believed—finally forced the secretive Russians to show more of their cards. In 2016, more than seventy years after the Soviet Army dug up the bodies of Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun in the bomb crater outside the Führerbunker, the Russian government finally permitted another investigative team to examine its files and examine the physical evidence in its possession.
Beginning in April 2016, two journalists—the French reporter and author Jean-Christophe Brisard and the Russian documentary filmmaker Lana Parshina—set out on a quest to determine once and for all whether or not the Russian government had the physical remains of Adolf Hitler in its possession. If it did, this would finally prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the German dictator died in April 1945 as eyewitnesses claimed and did not escape to live a life of ease in South America
As part of their two-year investigation, Brisard and Parshina had to do battle with seventy years of Soviet and then Russian deception and cover-ups—exacerbated by the hyper-secrecy that permeates all levels of the Russian government and by inter-departmental rivalries that persist to this day. As they recount in their definitive 2018 book, The Death of Hitler: The Final Word, the two investigators were constantly stymied by bureaucratic runarounds and one-upmanship. Letters and emails would go unanswered for months on end. Meetings and appointments would be canceled at the last minute. Yet a handful of helpful, sympathetic Russians in the top levels of the government came to their aid, getting them permission to examine physical evidence and to see top secret files to which no Westerner had ever been given access.
So, on the basis that the teeth were Hitler's, the bodies of a man and a woman found in a crater, as well as the dogs nearby were assumed to be that of Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun. Knowing what we know now the Soviets were probably correct. In any case, these remains as well as the remains of the Goebbels family was placed in ammunition boxes and buried:
The dental examination satisfied the Russian investigators that they had in fact found the remains of Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun.
As a result, the charred bones of Hitler, Braun, and the Goebbels family were taken from the autopsy examination room in Buch to Finow, a small town twenty-five miles northeast of Berlin. they were then reburied in the Brandenburg forest. According to the once-secret Soviet archives, they were placed in new boxes and, on June 3, 1945, buried “along the highway to Sterchow, near the village of Neu Friedrichsdorf.” Less than a year later, however, on February 23, 1946, the Soviets once again dug up the “half-rotten corpses” and reburied them in the courtyard of a house at 36 Westerndstrasse (now Klaussner Strasse 23) in the city of Magdeburg, located about one hundred miles west of Berlin.
The Soviet intelligence unit had a barracks in the town with a garage facility and a deep pit for working on vehicles. e bodies were placed in this large open pit and then covered over with dirt and eventually paved over with asphalt. And there the bodies remained, in secret, for twenty-five years.
And in April of 1970, the bodies were dug up from their resting place, incinerated and scattered:
In 1970, however, the military installation in Magdeburg was going to be transferred from the control of the Russians to that of Communist East Germany.
Under the code name Operation Archive, the Russians began the elaborate process of digging up the bodies of Hitler, Eva Braun, and the
Goebbelses. Andropov selected a KGB officer named Vladimir Gumenyuk to pick a secret final resting place for Hitler’s remains and to lead a threeman team in taking the remains there for destruction.
Posing as fishermen, Gumenyuk and his team drove to an isolated spot in a nearby forest. There they built two fires, one to cook some soup and another to incinerate the mortal remains of Adolf Hitler. As occurred nearly twenty-five years earlier, the Russians poured gasoline on the bones they had found and then lit them on fire. They waited patiently until only ashes were left, then ground everything into a pile of dust. ey scooped up the ashes and placed them in a rucksack.
The Russians then drove to a secret location—revealed later to be the Biederitz River, a tributary of the Ehle just west of the village of Biederitz 8—
and dumped the ashes into the rushing water.
The dénouement of Hitler’s reign took only twenty seconds. “It was over in no time at all,” Gumenyuk said. “I opened up the rucksack, the wind caught the ashes up in a little brown cloud, and in a second they were gone.”
As mentioned by Hutchinson, a book was published in 2018 entitled 'The Death of Hitler: The Final Word'
. The authors produce images of the documents related to the burial and investigation of Hitler's body from the Russian archives. I would recommend just buying and reading these two books in full though. Because I've no doubt left out many details.
Again, what I quote from this book will be from an epub, so no page numbers.
My photographic session comes to an end. Tensions ease. I save Dmitri and his colleagues from Lana’s logorrhoea and thank them. They have played the game. At least partly, because we still haven’t seen any photographs from the time of the corpses of Hitler or Eva Braun. “There aren’t any,” Dmitri cuts in. Of course we don’t believe a word of it. But it doesn’t matter. We are pursuing our inquiry. The puzzle is slowly beginning to come together. It was the forensic examination carried out by Hitler’s personal dental prosthetist and his assistant that would have persuaded the Soviets in May 1945. They were the ones who laid hands on the body of the Nazi dictator.
“Before you leave, look at this…” Dmitri holds out one of the files that we hadn’t yet consulted. He opens it up on one of the bookmarks placed there earlier on. “This is what was done to Hitler’s body after it was formally authenticated.”
I avidly decipher a few words in the document. At the top of the page on the right, “Top Secret,” the general title, “File,” the date, “4 June 1945,” and the signatures as well as the stamp at the bottom of the page. Lana translates the rest for me:
As the result of later research on 5 May 1945, a few metres away from the place where the bodies of Goebbels and his wife were found, two badly burned bodies were found in the crater of a bomb: the body of the Reich Chancellor of Germany Adolf HITLER and the body of his wife Eva BRAUN. These two bodies were transported to the “SMERSH” counter-espionage of the 3rd Assault Army in the district of Buch in Berlin.
All the bodies brought to the “SMERSH” department of the 3rd Assault Army were subjected to a medico-legal examination and presented for identification to individuals who knew them well when they were alive.
After being subjected to medico-legal examination and the entire set of identification procedures, all the bodies were buried near the Berlin district of BUCH.
Because of the redeployment of the “SMERSH” counter-espionage department, the bodies were withdrawn and transported first to the area around the town of Finow [60 km north of Berlin], then on 3 June 1945 to a place near the town of Rathenow [80 km west of Berlin], where they were buried once and for all.
The bodies are in wooden boxes and have been buried at a depth of 1.7 metres and placed in the following order:
From East to West: HITLER, BRAUN Eva, GOEBBELS, Magda GOEBBELS, KREBS, the GOEBBELS children.
The western part of the grave also contains a basket with the bodies of dogs, one of which belonged to HITLER in person, and the other to BRAUN Eva.
The location of the buried bodies is as follows: Germany, province of Brandenburg, near the town of Rathenow, forest to the east of the town of Rathenow, on the motorway from Rathenow to Stechow, just before the village of Neu Friedrichsdorf, 325 metres from the railway bridge, gap in the forest, from the stone post number 111–to the north-east as far as the stone marker bearing the same number 111–635 metres. Then from that marker in the same direction to the next stone marker bearing the number 111–55 metres. From this third marker due east–26 metres.
The grave has been flattened out at ground level, and small pine seedlings have been planted on the surface forming the number 111. The map with the diagram is attached. This file exists in three copies.
I was also allowed to photograph a hand-drawn map, carefully coloured in green and red. It shows very precisely where the remains of the Nazi ruler were buried. The town of Rathenow was not chosen at random by the Soviets. This small town which had about ten thousand inhabitants in 1945 and was situated in the Red Army-controlled zone was easily and quickly accessible from Berlin.
Original of the map drawn by Soviet counterespionage on 4 June 1945 showing the burial place of Hitler and his wife, Goebbels and his wife and General Krebs (TsA FSB).
Original of the secret report by Soviet counterespionage on the secret interment of Adolf Hitler and his wife, Eva Braun, on 4 June 1945 in the forest near Rathenow.Jean-Christiphe Brisard & Lana Parshina, The Death of Hitler: The Final Word (Da Capo Press, 2018).
After being buried at Rathenow, the bodies were moved to Magdeburg and left for 25 years.
For several months, the head of Soviet counter-espionage, Viktor Abakumov, had enjoyed almost total impunity in the chain of command of the USSR. Stalin had made him his new right-hand man. Abakumov took advantage of the fact to act as he saw fit.So on his own initiative, on 21 February 1946, the SMERSH officers based in Germany moved the corpses not only of Hitler, but also of Eva Braun, of the Goebbels family (parents and children) as well as that of General Krebs. Until now these bodies had been buried in a wood near the little town of Rathenow. No justification was given at the time to the Soviet authorities.
21 February 1946 3rd Shock Army of the Soviet Occupying Troops in Germany
The Commission [of SMERSH] has drawn up the present act stipulating that on the above date, in accordance with the instructions of the head of the counter-espionage service “SMERSH” of the Group of Soviet Occupying Troops in Germany, Lieutenant General Comrade Zelenin, near the town of Rathenow, we have exhumed a grave of bodies belonging to:
– German Reich Chancellor Adolf Hitler.
– His wife Eva Braun.
– The Reich Propaganda Minister, Dr. Josef Goebbels.
– His wife Magda Goebbels and their children–son Helmut and daughters Hildegard, Heidrun, Holdine, Hedwig [only five out of six children are listed; Helga, the eldest daughter, is missing]
– The head of the general staff of the German Army, General Krebs.
All of these bodies, consumed by putrefaction, are in wooden boxes and have been transported in this state to the city of Magdeburg, to the headquarters of the counterespionage department “SMERSH” where they were reburied. They were buried at a depth of 2 metres in the courtyard of number 36 Westendstrasse, near the stone wall to the south of the courtyard, 25 metres from the garage wall of the house to the east. The grave has been filled with earth and flattened at ground level, giving the spot the appearance similar to the surrounding landscape.
Why move such important corpses? Abakumov did this to keep control of his “trophy.” The headquarters of SMERSH in Magdeburg, 150 kilometres south-west of Berlin, offered perfect protection against the “snoopers” of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. It was quite natural for the bodies to be
moved there. It was most important that they should not be taken to the Berlin hospital in Bunch for a new autopsy.Ibid.
Reproduced in the book is also the documents from 1970 ordering the bodies to be dug up and cremated, but I'll refrain from quoting that document and posting the images of the documents.
Anyway, the 'evidence' seems to be clear, and no other explanation about what happened to Hitler is tenable.