Adolf Hitler in 1942. (Courtesy of the German Federal Archive via Wikimedia Commons)

Forget the clandestine submarine trips to South America, the supposed disappearing act from the firestorms around Berlin in 1945 and the ostensible lurking of one of history’s greatest criminals somewhere beyond the reach of the international community.

Adolf Hitler did indeed die in his bunker in April 1945—and the few charred fragments left of his bones and dental work prove that the conspiracy theories about his escape from under the march of the Allies at the end of World War II are bogus, according to a new study in the European Journal of Internal Medicine.

The French team, led by Philippe Charlier of the UFR des Sciences de la Santé, were among the few to actually get a good hard look at the part of a jaw and upper skull, which were the only mortal remains of the infamous German dictator.

“Previous identification(s) of Nazi leaders and relatives have been published in the biomedical literature, but it has to be said that all the published studies dealing with the authenticity of the remains of Adolf Hitler were carried out without any direct access to the remains, i.e. skull and jaws,” they write.

The two fragments together give enough evidence to prove that they were collected form Hitler’s cremated corpse by the Soviets outside the Fuhrerbunker in the ruins of Berlin at the waning days of the conflict.

The French team took two “campaigns” of analyzing the remains last year, with permission of the Russian Secret Services, both the FSB and the GARF. (In fact, it was the Kremlin secrecy for much of the 20th century over the remains they had in their possession that created part of the Hitler “legend” of an escape to South America.)

The scientists used direct observation, traditional microscopy and scanning electron microscopy in successively probing looks into the forensic evidence.

The upper part of the occipital bone shows a parietal foramen, a small bone opening for a blood vessel; it and the other connections between the parts of the skull indicate a person who was between 45 and 75 years old at the age of death.

But a more precise age estimate was not possible, and a sex could not be determined, either. The skull also has blackish traces of charred bone material at the edges.

A hole, 6 mm in diameter, is on the internal side of the skull, and is flared outward—consistent with a bullet exit wound.

The fragment of the upper jaw shows a nine-tooth bridge, possibly made of gold. They found a mess of other dental work, including custom-made crowns and other structures within the available forensic evidence, according to the paper. All off that work lined up with known records and X-rays taken from the infamous war criminal while he was alive, during the war.

The teeth also show two interesting aspects.

Tiny blue deposits fleck the metal prostheses and enamel surfaces. But there is an absence of heavy metals. The blue deposits show a possible chemical reaction between cyanide poisoning and the metal alloys in the mouth, potentially altered during the cremation process, according to the scientists.

Other chemical molecular traces on the teeth were consistent with alginate and biliary salts that Hitler took to relieve gastric pain—and there were traces of vegetal consumption, but no meat. All were consistent with Hitler, notably a vegetarian.

But additionally, the lack of some heavy metals show Hitler probably didn’t shoot himself in the mouth.

“The absence of antimony, lead and barium at the surface of dental calculus deposits could be understood as an argument against the hypothesis of an intra-buccal firearm wound at the moment of the suicide of Adolf Hitler,” write the investigators. “Could this element may indirectly confirm the hypothesis of a non-oral entry orifice for this final firearm wound (right temporal, right frontal or posterior sub-mandibular region)?”

Taken together, these new in-depth looks into the fragments from Hitler’s cremated corpse indicate that he did indeed kill himself before the Allies could close in on him from both east and west.

“A peri-mortem exit bullet hole (is) at the level of the left parietal bone, compatible with a direct cause of death,” they conclude. “Regarding the jaws elements (bone, teeth and prosthesis), confrontation with the official autopsy data from the Russian archives, and the official radiographs of Adolf Hitler from the U.S. archives, together with additional historical data from both sides, provides sufficient pieces of evidence in the definitive identification of the remains of the former Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.”

But—they add—further DNA analyses would be key in determined the link between the skull and jaw remains.