Did Hitler really kill himself

  1. I am a physics teacher. I noticed that in my class there are several students who claimed that Hitler did not commit suicide.
    So did Hitler really kill himself? Are the history books wrong?
  2. jcsd
  3. HallsofIvy

    HallsofIvy 40,302
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Do those students give any reason to believe that?

    If you said "Hitler committed suicide at the end of WWII", then you would carry the burden of proof- you would have to show evidence of that. But if your students are asserting that he did not, then they have the burden of proof. The "neutral" position would be "we do not know for sure".
  4. micromass

    micromass 18,532
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    I think you missed a nice opportunity to discuss the critical thinking with your students. What you could have done is discuss with them why they say things like this. What sources do they have for their claims. Do they get it from ancient astronauts? In that case, you might discuss the validity of sources.

    Next, you might want to talk about what way we do get access to correct information. You can start with the history books which claim that Hitler did commit suicide. This is a reputable source, so it is believable. But you may want to continue and research with your students what evidence they have for this. This might have been a nice research project and a lesson in critical thinking for your students.

    In the end, they may still believe that Hitler did not commit suicide, but at least they researched the information and they know what could convince others: evidence.
  5. phinds

    phinds 8,318
    Gold Member

    I suppose you think there is some grand conspiracy to misrepresent history, yes?
  6. Alright, I did ask them.

    (1) There is no body. No body, no proof . This seems quite scientific.
    (2) Hitler has broken all the treaties he signed with both the Russians and the Allies. Having no integrity, he would have escaped rather than committing suicide.
    (3) The allied forces also covered up their own in-competencies (for letting Hitler escape) by saying that he committed suicide. History is written by the victors.
  7. micromass

    micromass 18,532
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    So eye-witness testimonies by all people in the bunker are wrong? Everybody said he committed suicide, what's up with that? Are they all part of the conspiracy?

    Do you actually believe that Hitler did not commit suicide?
  8. Personally, I felt that Hitler did commit suicide because psychologically he loved Germany, he is brave and he has pride.
    However, scientifically, the physical evidence is weak. There is no eye-witness. There was only ear witness, they heard a loud bang, that's all.
    I have a feeling that students think that leaders are opportunistic because in my country, leaders really are like that.
  9. micromass

    micromass 18,532
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    No eye-witness? So who took Hitler his body from the bunker and buried it?? Actually seeing Hitler being dead seems to be witness enough, no?? Or do you think he magically replaced his dead body and escaped?
  10. There is no body to take to begin with. He has already escaped.
  11. micromass

    micromass 18,532
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Yes, this confirms my suspicions that you are a crackpot. Bye bye!
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