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The Death of Hitler: The Full Story with New Evidence from Secret Russian Archives Paperback – March 17, 2007


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Drawing on evidence the Russians kept secret for decades, this book looks at Hitler's last days in the bunker.

Copyright 1996 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Ada Petrova is an award-winning Russian television journalist who lives in Moscow.

Peter Watson is a columnist for the London Observer and the author of four novels and five books of nonfiction, including a biography of Rudolf Nureyev. He lives in London.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (March 17, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393315436
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393315431
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 0.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,289,273 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

This is a disappointing book for serious historian and novice alike.
Candace Scott
This book was published in 1995, after the opening of the Soviet archives, but I'm not really sure how much of its information was really new.
J. Michael
The authors tend to rely heavily on O'Donnell's book, "The Bunker" which is now dated and they restate some errors and surmise from that book.
C. B. Miller

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Monty Nicol on January 25, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is disorganized and the various topics, although related, are not cemented together with anything resembling a well-thought out, well-written structure. In what direct way, for instance, are Hitler's water colors related to the circumstances of his death? This book's most important information (who found Hitler's body, how Hitler died, where Hitler was buried, something I found of particular interest) should have been summarized in a two-page weekly news magazine article somewhere. Obviously, however, the authors felt that to read their exclusive but well-padded research should cost at least $20 or so, therefore, here it is, in book form. History buffs may want this book for the inserts and for what few pages actually contain fresh, well-presented information, but the curious who just want to know more about Hitler's last days should visit their library or borrow a copy from a friend-- who, I'm sure, won't mind lending it out.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Candace Scott on June 15, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Though this book is impressively packaged and appears authoritative, it's anything but. The authors are pop historians who specialize in fiction and their weaknesses show throughout. There is almost no basic understanding of Hitler, his life, his personality or placing him in the proper historical context. There are a number of small, but nagging errors. Example: Hitler was punctilious in his personal hygiene, took two baths daily and was a fanatic about keeping clean. This is attested to by all who knew him. However, the authors claim that Hitler's architect, Albert Speer, claims Hitler had horrible B.O. (a claim he never made)and they repeat this canard three times.
Their examination of how Hitler died is similarly flawed and dated. It doesn't matter if bunker personnel like Baur, Linge and Kempka all have small discrepancies in their narratives, the fact remains that Hitler shot himself in the head and simultaneously took cyanide while Eva Braun took cyanide. End of story. The pages of padded material on Hitler's death drone on and tell the reader nothing new whatsoever.
As for the Russian archives and the supposedly flashy "new" material they unearthed... forget it. The new materials are a photo of Hitler's uniform jacket, some common photos and a sketch book of watercolors which the authors claim were all executed by Hitler. This ludicrous assertion is proven false by the inclusion of a postcard of Haus Wachenfeld which they claim Hitler painted in the 30's! The color photo of the postcard clearly shows it was never painted by Hitler.
This is a disappointing book for serious historian and novice alike. There is nothing new to justify its purchase.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Ronald T. McCoy on July 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a fascinating topic, a real detective story for one of history's mysteries. (Though the mystery angle is not so great, just some minor twists and turns.) There is much in this volume that has been covered before---and done better (Trevor-Roper and O'Donnell, for example). The authors' arguments are poorly stated, disjointed, repetitive, and not particularly convincing. (Though they are probably---more or less---correct.) There's a rushed, let's-get-this-one-together-fast feel to the book (it's typos are both numerous and inexcusable). Essentially, what we've got going here is a refresher course. Interesting enough, but the billing far exceeds what's delivered between the covers.
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Format: Paperback
The Death of Hitler is a short book dealing with the suicide of Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) on April 30 at about 3:30 PM.
Joining Hitler in suicide was his new wife Eva Braun Hitler. The couple had been married at midnight on April 29. The gruesome end of the cruel HIlter reminds one the conclusion of a fiery Wagnerian Ring Cycle opera!
The book is co-authored by Ada Petrova a Russian TV journalist from Moscow and Peter Watson a columnist and novelist who lives in London.
This 1995 book deals with some of the many controversies dealing with Hitler's suicide. The Soviets asserted that Hitler killed himself through poison; many Western historians contend Hitler died by shooting himself in the temple. The authors conclude that Hitler bit down on a glass poisoned capsule while simultaneously shooting himself. Eva Braunn died by biting down on a poisoned capsule. This sequence was first enunciated by British historian Hugh Trevor-Roper. Joseph Goebbels and Magda Goebbels also died by their own hands; the six Goebbel children were also poisoned. HItler's skull resides in Moscow.
The book is not the most thrilling one you may choose but it does have basic information about the death of one of the worst dictators in human history.
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Format: Paperback
The authors, Petrova and Watson, deserve credit for being the first to investigate and write a book based on the Soviet archives. They gained access to the "Operation Myth" files, but not the final dossier, file no. 462a put together for Stalin and now known as "The Hitler Book." They were the first to state in detail how the remains of Hitler, Eva Braun and the Goebbels family were disposed of by the KGB after years of speculation. They also have a chapter claiming to know who was "the leak" in the Berlin Bunker and identify that person; which may or may not be correct. The book was the first to show the photos of the remains of Hitler's so-called skull, however, we now know the skull fragment is that of a female (though testing on it in 2009). Therefore, the conclusions reached by the Russian forensic expert in the book are highly suspect since they are based on examination of the skull fragment.

The chapter layouts are somewhat disjointed. The authors tend to rely heavily on O'Donnell's book, "The Bunker" which is now dated and they restate some errors and surmise from that book. With that said, the authors do a good job in questioning the conclusions reached by author W. Hugh Thomas in his book, "The Murder of Adolf Hitler: The Truth About the Bodies in the Berlin Bunker".

There have now been a number of books written over the years as to Hitler's death and the end of the Third Reich. With this book, I have now read and reviewed all the major works. With the passage of time (since May 1945) more and more material has become available for review and study. This work is really a compilation of the books before 1995, except for the things mentioned in paragraph one above. If one can buy it used for a reasonable price then a history buff may want to read it.
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