Which of Hitler's peers had no more education than him?

Which of Hitler's peers had no more education than him?

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By "peers," I mean contemporary heads of state. By "no more education than him," I mean "no more than secondary education." (He dropped out of secondary school at a young age, but later finished). Two people that he interacted with a lot, Mussolini and Stalin, appear to have "some college," but it appears to me that one or both did not "graduate."

Hitler's level of education was "average" for this time. Most heads of state, however, went further in their studies, and had more formal education than Hitler. So the question is, which ones (if any) did not?

All of the Axis leaders of World War II are gathered together in a single Wikipedia article, organized by country.

Selecting the leaders of interest, links are provided to their individual biographies. For example, Karl Dönitz became President of Germany on 30 April 1945. His education is not given, but as an officer he would have been a member of the educated class.

I would not qualify Stalin's education as "some college". According to his biography he never attended an analog of modern primary or secondary school. I translate from Russian Wikipedia:

In 1886 his mother tried to enroll him to Orthodox religious school. He was not accepted because he did not know Russian at all (education was in Russian) In 1886-7 on request of his mother the children of a local priest taught him some Russian. As a result he was able to enroll in 1888 to the first preparatory class. He studied in this school from 1889 to 1894 and then was enrolled to an Orthodox seminary. There he studied 4 years and was expelled. We have 9 years total of religious education (preparation to become a priest).

None of Hitler's “peers” (e.g. Stalin, Mussolini, Chamberlain, Churchill) had a particularly brilliant academic background. Roosevelt did go to Harvard, but does not seem to have done especially well there.

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How good was Hitler as a military commander? Was he, as his former subordinates claimed after World War Two ended, a meddlesome amateur who kept them from conducting the war properly? What were his strengths and weaknesses, his goals and methods? The answers to these questions reveal a man who was indeed responsible for Germany's downfall, though not entirely in the way that his generals claimed.

Hitler was . determined to command personally.

Hitler was, first and foremost, determined to command personally. According to his so-called Leader Principle (Führerprinzip), ultimate authority rested with him and extended downward. At each level, the superior was to give the orders, the subordinates to follow them to the letter. In practice the command relationships were more subtle and complex, especially at the lower levels, but Hitler did have the final say on any subject in which he took a direct interest, including the details of military operations, that is, the actual direction of armies in the field.

Moreover, as time went on he took over positions that gave him ever more direct control. From leader (Führer) of the German state in 1934, he went on to become commander-in-chief of the armed forces in 1938, then commander-in-chief of the army in 1941. Hitler wanted to be the Feldherr, the generalissimo, exercising direct control of the armies himself, in much the same sense that Wellington commanded at Waterloo, albeit at a distance.

Hitler’s Teeth Confirm He Died in 1945

On April 30, 1945, as Allied forces converged on the capital of Nazi Germany, Hitler killed himself inside his Führerbunker. Days later, his remains were captured by the Red Army and were subsequently locked behind the Iron Curtain for decades.

This proved fodder enough for conspiracy theorists, who wanted to argue that Hitler did not die in the bunker, but rather managed, somehow, to escape like other high-ranking Nazi officials, including Adolf Eichmann and Josef Mengele, who were able to slink off to South America to live out their lives after the collapse of the Third Reich.

It didn’t help things that when Connecticut archaeologist and bone specialist Nick Bellantoni examined fragments of the skull believed to be Hitler's in 2009, he claimed on the History Channel documentary, "Hilter's Escape," that the skull with the bullet wound actually belonged to a woman under the age of 40. (The Russian State Archive, for its part, denies that Bellantoni's team was ever given access to examine the skull.)

But now, reports Deutsche Welle, a study of the Fuhrer’s purported teeth in the Russian State Archive found them to be an exact match, confirming that Hitler did indeed die in his bunker, likely by taking cyanide and shooting himself in the head.

"Adolf Hitler definitely died in 1945," reports Agence-France Presse , which explains that in March and July of 2017, Russia’s F SB, the successor to the Soviet Union's KGB, gave a team of French pathologists access to Hitler’s jawbone and teeth.

It's well-documented that the Nazi leader had notoriously bad teeth and gum disease (which led to some extremely bad breath in the last years of his life ) by the end, he had only a few of his original chompers left, which left him with a complicated set of bridges and dentures. That, according to the forensic team, made ID’ing his jawbone relatively simple. The teeth appear to match X-rays taken of Hitler in 1944 and descriptions provided to the Soviets by Hitler’s dentist and his dental assistant.

“The teeth are authentic, there is no possible doubt. Our study proves that Hitler died in 1945," Philippe Charlier, lead author of the study in the European Journal of Internal Medicine, tells AFP. “We can stop all the conspiracy theories about Hitler. He did not flee to Argentina in a submarine, he is not in a hidden base in Antarctica or on the dark side of the moon.”

The team did not find any remains of meat in the teeth, which is also consistent with Hitler’s vegetarianism. Bluish stains on some of the false teeth indicate that he may have taken cyanide to end his life. Researchers did not find any gunpowder residue on the jaw, which suggests that if Hitler did shoot himself, it was done through the forehead or the neck, not the mouth.

The story of why it’s taken more than 70 years to ID Hitler’s teeth is as screwy as the Fuhrer’s teeth, themselves. DW reports that Hitler, fearing that his body might be strung up or mutilated like Benito Mussolini’s, gave orders that his body and that of his wife Eva Braun be burned after their deaths.

On May 5, the Soviets discovered the two charred bodies in a bomb crater outside the bunker. Head of the KGB, the later Soviet Premier Yuri Andropov ordered the remains to be thrown in the Biederitz River to prevent a burial site from becoming a place of pilgrimage for fascists.

However, the Red Army did keep a portion of the jaw and a piece of skull with a bullet wound, transferring them to the archives in Moscow. DW reports that Stalin decided to sow doubt about Hitler’s death in a ploy called “Operation Myth.” The idea was to make the world believe the Americans or British were hiding Hitler for some nefarious reason and associate the West with Nazism.

It may not have worked, but it was enough to spawn conspiracy theories, books and films like The Boys From Brazil, which kept alive the notion that Hitler somehow escaped the bunker and lived out his life elsewhere.

About Jason Daley

Jason Daley is a Madison, Wisconsin-based writer specializing in natural history, science, travel, and the environment. His work has appeared in Discover, Popular Science, Outside, Men’s Journal, and other magazines.

Rise to power

With the outbreak of world depression in the 1930s, the fortunes of Hitler's movement rose rapidly. In the elections of September 1930, the Nazis polled almost 6.5 million votes, and the party had gained undeniable popularity in Germany. In November 1932, President Hindenburg (1847�) reluctantly called Hitler to the chancellorship to head a coalition government of Nazis, conservative German nationalists, and several prominent independents.

The first two years in office were almost wholly dedicated to balancing power. With several important Nazis in key positions and Hitler's military ally Werner von Blomberg in the Defense Ministry, he quickly gained practical control. Hitler rapidly eliminated his political rivals and brought all levels of government and major political institutions under his control. The death of President Hindenburg in August 1934 cleared the way for Hitler to remove the title of president. By doing this, Hitler officially became Führer (all-powerful ruler) of Germany and thereby head of state, as well as commander in chief of the armed forces. Joseph Goebbels's (1897�) extensive propaganda machine and Heinrich Himmler's (1900�) police system perfected the complete control of Germany. Likewise, Hitler's rule was demonstrated most impressively in the great Nazi mass rally of 1934 in Nuremberg, Germany, where millions marched in unison and saluted Hitler's theatrical appeals.

Hitler is perhaps one of the most notorious characters of the 20th century. We know what atrocities were committed during the 12 years that Hitler led Nazi Germany and therefore we have very firm opinions about him. Using hindsight (looking back with the knowledge of what has happened) we often ask why he was not stopped earlier. However, at the time, people could not predict what he would go on to do. Or could they?

By looking at sources from the time, we can see how people viewed him. Was he regarded as a ‘passionate lunatic’ who would wreak havoc all over Europe? Or a slightly odd eccentric who was rebuilding Germany?

The sources below are from 1937. By this time Hitler had begun to reverse the Treaty of Versailles by rebuilding his army and moving troops into the Rhineland. He had also tried to unite Germany and Austria. Throughout this time he made passionate speeches about expanding German territory. These words and deeds worried some foreign observers.


1. Look at source 1. Report by Mr. Law, a British businessman, who worked in Germany.

  • What impression of Hitler do you get from this source?
  • Why, in Mr. Law’s opinion, is Hitler dangerous?
  • Read paragraph 3 carefully. Is Mr. Law in favour of granting further concessions to Hitler?

2. Read source 2. This is a report on a conversation with Count Bernstorff, a German anti-Nazi campaigner.

  • Which words suggest that Bernstorff disliked the Nazi regime?
  • From what is said in this source, what type of leader is Hitler?
  • Does this account of Hitler back up the view of Hitler in Source 1?
  • Can you trust Bernstorff’s account?

3. Look at source 3. This is a drawing of Adolf Hitler by Richard Ziegler in about 1944.

  • What impression of Hitler does the picture give you?
  • How has the artist created this impression?
  • The government paid the artist to produce this picture. What instructions do you think the artist was given by the government?
  • Can the picture be considered as reliable evidence of what Hitler was like?
  • Given the date of the picture, how accurate do you think it is at displaying how Hitler would have been acting? Why do you think this?

4. Read source 4. This is a a short description of Hitler prepared by the British Embassy in Berlin.

  • Does this account of Hitler confirm that he is a passionate lunatic?
  • How would you describe Hitler based upon this report?

5. Of the three accounts you have now read, is any one more reliable than the others? Explain your answer

6. You have been asked by the British government to prepare a report on Hitler’s state of mind.

You have been provided with the sources above. Your report should:

  • Explain whether or not you think your evidence is reliable
  • Say whether Hitler is sane or not and provide evidence from the sources to support your answer


By the late 1930s, Europe was again on the brink of war. Shortly after Hitler came to power in January 1933 he began to attack the Treaty of Versailles. First Hitler disregarded the ban on rearmament. Then he moved troops into the Rhineland (1936) united with Austria (1938) and set his sights on expanding German territory.

Some people regarded Hitler as a strong leader merely getting back German territory. They thought he would stop once he had achieved a reversal of the Treaty of Versailles. Others feared that this was only the beginning of a much larger German policy of expansion and aggression. They were to be proved right by Hitler’s takeover of the whole of Czechoslovakia in 1939, which contained no German speakers – nor had it been ever been part of Germany. The next to go would be Poland, bringing about the beginning of the Second World War.

How the British government dealt with Hitler in the run up to the outbreak of the Second World War has come under close scrutiny. The most common question asked is whether or not the British government should have done more to stop him earlier. But to have stopped Hitler might have meant declaring war – a massive decision when most countries wanted to avoid war at all cost. Britain kept a close watch on developments in Germany. In particular the government was very interested in Hitler’s personality. They wanted to find out what he was like, what he wanted to achieve for Germany, what kind of leader he was and, strangely enough, if he were sane.

Teachers' notes

This exercise is good for getting pupils to look at conflicting evidence and assessing their reliability. The two accounts from German portray Hitler as a ‘lunatic’ whereas the biography makes him sound quite astute. The cartoon, on the other hand clearly exaggerates Hitler’s characterisitics. However, it does bear some resemblance to the film footage of him at Nazi Party rallies!

This exercise can be used as an introduction to looking at the issue of appeasement and the decisions that were made in the run up to the outbreak of the war. It may help pupils who find it difficult to understand why Britain did not stop Hitler earlier.


Illustration : INF 2/31 Hitler caught between British and Russian military might

Source 1 : FO371/20733 Report by Mr Law, a British businessman who worked in Germany (1937)

Source 2 – FO371/20733 Report on a conversation with Count Bernstorff (1937)

Source 3 – INF 3/1298 Hitler in distress artist’s signature: Richard Ziegler 1944/1945

Source 4 – FO 408/67 A short description of Hitler prepared by the British Embassy in Berlin (January 1937)

External links

Adolf Hitler
The rise from unknown to Nazi dictator.
Adolf Hitler
A short biography of Hitler from the BBC.


Hitler lived in Vienna between February 1908 and May 1913. He had grown up in a middle-class family, with relatively few contacts with Jewish people, in a region of the Habsburg state in which many German nationalists had been disappointed that the German Empire founded in 1871 had not included the German-speaking regions of the Habsburg Monarchy. Yet the legacy of the Vienna years is not as clear as Hitler depicted it in his political autobiography. His impoverishment and residence in homeless shelters began only a year after his arrival and after he had frittered away a generous inheritance left by his parents and rejected all arguments of surviving relatives and family friends that he embark upon a career in the civil service.

By the end of 1909, Hitler knew real poverty as his sources of income dried up. That winter, however, helped briefly by a last gift from his aunt, he began to paint watercolor scenes of Vienna for a business partner. He made enough to live on until he left for Munich in 1913.

It is likely that Hitler experienced, and possibly also shared, the general antisemitism common among middle-class German nationalists. Nevertheless, he had personal and business relationships with Jews in Vienna. He was also, at times, dependent in part on Jews for his living. While this may have been a cause for discretion about his actual feelings about Jews, it was not until after World War I that Hitler can be demonstrated to have adopted an “antisemitic” ideology.

How Did Hitler Happen?

Adolf Hitler was appointed chancellor of Germany in 1933 following a series of electoral victories by the Nazi Party. He ruled absolutely until his death by suicide in April 1945.

Primary Image: Adolf Hitler giving the Nazi salute at a rally in Nuremburg in 1928. (Image: National Archives and Records Administration, 242-HAP-1928(46).)

Adolf Hitler was appointed chancellor of Germany in 1933 following a series of electoral victories by the Nazi Party. He ruled absolutely until his death by suicide in April 1945. Upon achieving power, Hitler smashed the nation’s democratic institutions and transformed Germany into a war state intent on conquering Europe for the benefit of the so-called Aryan race. His invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, triggered the European phase of World War II. During the course of the war, Nazi military forces rounded up and executed 11 million victims they deemed inferior or undesirable—“life unworthy of life”—among them Jews, Slavs, homosexuals, and Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Hitler had supreme authority as führer (leader or guide), but could not have risen to power or committed such atrocities on his own. He had the active support of the powerful German officer class and of millions of everyday citizens who voted for the National Socialist German Workers’ (Nazi) Party and hailed him as a national savior in gigantic stadium rallies.

How were Hitler and the Nazis possible? How did such odious characters take and hold power in a country that was a world pacesetter in literature, art, architecture, and science, a nation that had a democratic government and a free press in the 1920s?

Hitler rose to power through the Nazi Party, an organization he forged after returning as a wounded veteran from the annihilating trench warfare of World War I. He and other patriotic Germans were outraged and humiliated by the harsh terms of the Treaty of Versailles, which the Allies compelled the new German government, the Weimar Republic, to accept along with an obligation to pay $33 billion in war reparations. Germany also had to give up its prized overseas colonies and surrender valued parcels of home territory to France and Poland. The German army was radically downsized and the nation forbidden to have submarines or an air force. “We shall squeeze the German lemon until the pips squeak!” explained one British official.

Paying the crushing reparations destabilized the economy, producing ruinous, runaway inflation. By September 1923, four billion German marks had the equal value of one American dollar. Consumers needed a wheelbarrow to carry enough paper money to buy a loaf of bread.

Hitler, a mesmerizing public speaker, addressed political meetings in Munich calling for a new German order to replace what he saw as an incompetent and inefficient democratic regime. This New Order was distinguished by an authoritarian political system based on a leadership structure in which authority flowed downward from a supreme national leader. In the new Germany, all citizens would unselfishly serve the state, or Volk democracy would be abolished and individual rights sacrificed for the good of the führer state. The ultimate aim of the Nazi Party was to seize power through Germany’s parliamentary system, install Hitler as dictator, and create a community of racially pure Germans loyal to their führer, who would lead them in a campaign of racial cleansing and world conquest.

“Either victory of the Aryan, or annihilation of the Aryan and the victory of the Jew.”

Hitler blamed the Weimar Republic’s weakness on the influence of Germany’s Jewish and communist minorities, who he claimed were trying to take over the country. “There are only two possibilities,” he told a Munich audience in 1922. “Either victory of the Aryan, or annihilation of the Aryan and the victory of the Jew.” The young Hitler saw history as a process of racial struggle, with the strongest race—the Aryan race—ultimately prevailing by force of arms. “Mankind has grown great in eternal war,” Hitler wrote. “It would decay in eternal peace.”

Jews represented everything the Nazis found repugnant: finance capitalism (controlled, the Nazis believed, by powerful Jewish financiers), international communism (Karl Marx was a German Jew, and the leadership of the German Communist Party was heavily Jewish), and modernist cultural movements like psychoanalysis and swing music. Nazi Party foreign policy aimed to rid Europe of Jews and other “inferior” peoples, absorb pure-blooded Aryans into a greatly expanded Germany—a “Third Reich”—and wage unrelenting war on the Slavic “hordes” of Russia, considered by Hitler to be Untermenschen (subhuman). Once conquered, the Soviet Union would be ruled by the German master race, which would exterminate or subdue millions of Slavs to create lebensraum (living space) for their own farms and communities. In a conquered and racially cleansed Russia, they would work on model farms and factories connected to the homeland by new highways, called autobahns. Hitler was the ideologue as well as the chief organizer of the Nazi Party. By 1921, the party had a newspaper, an official flag, and a private army—the Sturmabteilung SA (storm troopers)—made up largely of unemployed and disenchanted WWI veterans. By 1923, the SA had grown to 15,000 men and had access to hidden stores of weapons. That year, Hitler and WWI hero General Erich Ludendorff attempted to overthrow the elected regional government of Bavaria in a coup known as the Beer Hall Putsch. The regular army crushed the rebellion and Hitler spent a year in prison—in loose confinement. In Landsberg Prison, Hitler dictated most of the first volume of his political autobiography, Mein Kampf (My Struggle). The book brought together, in inflamed language, the racialist and expansionist ideas he had been propagating in his popular beer-hall harangues.

Adolf Hitler and German President Paul von Hindenburg, shortly after Hindenburg asked Hitler to become chancellor in 1933. (Image: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-S38324.)

Adolf Hitler giving the Nazi salute at a rally in Nuremburg in 1928. (Image: National Archives and Records Administration, 242-HAP-1928(46).)

By 1932, the Nazis were the largest political party in the Reichstag. In January of the following year, with no other leader able to command sufficient support to govern, President Paul von Hindenburg appointed Hitler chancellor of Germany. Shortly thereafter, a fire broke out in the Reichstag building in Berlin, and authorities arrested a young Dutch communist who confessed to starting it. Hitler used this episode to convince President Hindenburg to declare an emergency decree suspending many civil liberties throughout Germany, including freedom of the press, freedom of expression, and the right to hold public assemblies. The police were authorized to detain citizens without cause, and the authority usually exercised by regional governments became subject to control by Hitler’s national regime.

Almost immediately, Hitler began dismantling Germany’s democratic institutions and imprisoning or murdering his chief opponents. When Hindenburg died the following year, Hitler took the titles of führer, chancellor, and commander in chief of the army. He expanded the army tremendously, reintroduced conscription, and began developing a new air force—all violations of the Treaty of Versailles.

Hitler’s military spending and ambitious public-works programs, including building a German autobahn, helped restore prosperity. His regime also suppressed the Communist Party and purged his own paramilitary storm troopers, whose violent street demonstrations alienated the German middle class. This bloodletting—called the “Night of the Long Knives”—was hugely popular and welcomed by the middle class as a blow struck for law and order. In fact, many Germans went along with the full range of Hitler’s policies, convinced that they would ultimately be advantageous for the country.

In 1938, Hitler began his long-promised expansion of national boundaries to incorporate ethnic Germans. He colluded with Austrian Nazis to orchestrate the Anschluss, the annexation of Austria to Germany. And in Hitler’s most brazenly aggressive act yet, Czechoslovakia was forced to surrender the Sudetenland, a mountainous border region populated predominantly by ethnic Germans. The Czechs looked to Great Britain and France for help, but hoping to avoid war—they had been bled white in World War I—these nations chose a policy of appeasement. At a conclave held at Munich in September 1938, representatives of Great Britain and France compelled Czech leaders to cede the Sudetenland in return for Hitler’s pledge not to seek additional territory. The following year, the German army swallowed up the remainder of Czechoslovakia.

British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, one of the signers of the Munich pact, had taken Hitler at his word. Returning to Britain with this agreement in hand, he proudly announced that he had achieved “peace with honor. I believe it is peace for our time.”

CNN cuts ties with writer who said world needs another Hitler

Adeel Raja is a freelance reporter based in Islamabad, Pakistan.

  • On Sunday Adeel Raja tweeted, then deleted, “The world today needs a Hitler.”
  • Raja previously tweeted other support for Hitler.
  • CNN said the media organization will no longer work with Raja.

Adeel Raja is a freelance reporter based in Islamabad, Pakistan, and he has had a history of tweeting anti-Semitic content.

On Sunday, conservative magazine The Washington Examiner pointed out that Raja tweeted, then deleted, “The world today needs a Hitler,” Mediaite reported.

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The incident was not isolated, as there are other examples of Raja expressing anti-Semitic views.

Raja praised Adlof Hitler during the FIFA World Cup, saying how much he wanted Germany’s victory to be a win against “the Jews.”

“The only reason I am supporting Germany in the finals – Hitler was a German and he did good with those Jews!” Raja tweeted. "My support for Germany is due to what Hitler did with Jews!" Not long after, he tweeted, “Hail Hitler!”

When former Vice President Mike Pence tweeted “America stands with Israel,” Raja retweeted with the caption, “A history of creating terrorists and standing with them!”

On his Twitter bio, Raja stated that he was a “Freelance Contributor at CNN.”

Since 2013, he has contributed to about 50 articles for CNN, with Jan. 16 being his latest post.

When he was exposed, however, the bio was altered.

CNN spokesman Matt Dornic told Mediaite that “Adeel Raja has never been a CNN employee. As a freelancer, his reporting contributed to some newsgathering efforts from Islamabad. However, in light of these abhorrent statements, he will not be working with CNN again in any capacity.”

Hitler's 'suicide note' from his final days surfaces

A 1945 letter written by Adolf Hitler, the leader of the Nazi party during World War II Germany is set to go up for auction later this month. Many experts have dubbed the letter the ‘suicide note’ as it was written a week before Hitler committed suicide, swallowing a cyanide pill and shooting himself in the head.

Widely dubbed as his "suicide note," the final message that Adolf Hitler ever wrote has surfaced and is set to go up for auction later this month.

In the letter, the leader of the Nazi party during World War II Germany shows his defiance and insists that he will remain in the country while helping "set a good example to all those remaining."

"I shall remain in Berlin, so as to take part, in honorable fashion, in the decisive battle for Germany, and to set a good example to all those remaining," Hitler wrote in the April 24, 1945 letter to Field Marshal Ferdinand Schörner. " I believe that in this way I shall be rendering Germany the best service."

The German Fuhrer continued: "For the rest of you, every effort must be made to win the struggle for Berlin. You can there help decisively, by pushing northwards as early as possible. "

The letter was written a week before Hitler committed suicide, swallowing a cyanide pill and shooting himself in the head. Hitler's wife, Eva Braun, also committed suicide by swallowing a cyanide pill on April 30, 1945.

Adolf Hitler's final letter to Ferdinand Schörner, revealing that he would stay in Berlin, dated April 24, 1945. Schörner wrote a letter, dated April 23, 1945, pleading with Hitler to leave Berlin. (Credit: Alexander Historical Auctions)

Maryland-based Alexander Historical Auctions is auctioning off the item and has set a minimum bid at $30,000. The pre-sale estimate is between $60,000 and $80,000.

The company's president, Bill Panagopulos, described it as a rare find and essentially Hitler's "suicide note."

“There is no other written evidence of Hitler declaring his intention to remain (and die) in Berlin that anyone has been able to locate," Panagopulos said in an interview with The Sun. “This is essentially Hitler’s ‘suicide note.’"

Also included in the lot is Schörner's letter to Hitler that urged him to leave Berlin and assume command from the southern sector.

"You alone are the guarantee of the future continuance of the nation from you alone every German man takes his orders, as does the whole of the fine German armed forces - unconditionally," Schörner' wrote in the April 23, 1945 letter. "You alone are Germany. If you fell, Germany would also."

The auction will start on April 30 and end on May 1.

Hitler's letter to Schörner seems to put to rest any conspiracy theories that Hitler escaped Germany and fled elsewhere. In 2017, the CIA released declassified documents that the intelligence agency investigated the possibility that Hitler was alive in South America as late as 1955 — nearly a decade after the war ended.

The document, which appears on the CIA's website, highlighted a former SS soldier who told spies he had regularly met with Hilter in Colombia. "CITROEN [a CIA source] claimed to have contacted HITLER about once a month in Colombia on his trip from Maracaibo to that country as/an employee of the KNSM (Royal Dutch) Shipping Co. in Maracaibo," the document read.

It goes on to say that the CIA source indicated to CI MELODY-3’s [CIA informant] he had taken a picture with Hitler, but "did not show the photograph." At three pages in length, the document suggested that Hitler may have worked as a shipping company employee, prior to potentially fleeing to Argentina. On the second page is a picture of the informant, Phillip Citroen, with a person he claims is Hitler in the mid-1950s.

“CIMELODY-3’s friend states that during the latter part of September 1955, a Phillip Citroen, former German SS trooper, stated to him confidentially that Adolph Hitler (sic) is still alive," the documents stated.

In May 2018, a team of French researchers that examined Hitler's remains said the leader of the Nazi party definitely died in Berlin.

Hitler's body was eventually discovered by Soviet soldiers and buried in an unmarked spot. A German court declared Hitler dead, but not until 1956, more than a decade after the war ended.

Journal reveals Hitler's dysfunctional family

Two historians yesterday acclaimed the discovery in Germany of a journal written by Adolf Hitler's sister, saying it offers remarkable insights into the dysfunctional nature of the Führer's family.

Paula Hitler's journal, unearthed at an undisclosed location in Germany, reveals that her brother was a bully in his teens, and would beat her.

Recounting the earliest memories of her childhood, when she was around eight and Adolf was 15, Paula wrote: "Once again I feel my brother's loose hand across my face."

The typewritten journal is among an assortment of documents which have been disclosed by historians Timothy Ryback and Florian Beierl.

Dr Ryback is the head of Germany's Obersalzberg Institute of Contemporary History, which is dedicated to research into Hitler, while Mr Beierl has written several books about the Nazi party leader and Third Reich chancellor.

They said that scientific tests had verified the documents' authenticity.

Other insights include the revelation that Paula, always thought of as the innocent bystander of the Hitler family, was engaged to one of the Holocaust's most notorious euthanasia doctors. Dr Ryback told the Guardian: "This is the first time that we have been able to get an insight into the Hitler family from a very young age.

"Adolf was the older brother and father figure. He was very strict with Paula and slapped her around. But she justified it in a starry-eyed way, because she believed it was for the good of her education."

The two historians have also located a joint memoir by Hitler's half-brother, Alois, and half-sister, Angela.

One excerpt describes the violence exercised by Hitler's father, also called Alois, and how Adolf's mother tried to protect her son from regular beatings.

"Fearing that the father could no longer control himself in his unbridled rage, she [Adolf's mother] decides to put an end to the beating.

"She goes up to the attic, covers Adolf who is lying on the floor, but cannot deflect the father's final blow. Without a sound she absorbs it."

Mr Beierl said: "This is a picture of a completely dysfunctional family that the public has never seen before.

"The terror of the Third Reich was cultivated in Hitler's own home."

Mr Beierl's research also led him to Russian interrogation papers, which exposed the fact that Paula Hitler was engaged to Erwin Jekelius, responsible for gassing 4,000 people during the war.

Mr Beierl said: "Until this point, Paula Hitler had a clean slate. But the portrayal of her being a poor little creature has suddenly shifted.

"In my opinion, the fact that she was due to marry one of Austria's worst criminals means that she was also connected with death, horror and gas chambers."

And Dr Ryback added: "To me, discovering that Paula was going to marry Jekelius is one of the most astonishing revelations of my career.

"She bought into the whole thing - hook, line and sinker."

Paula, who later lived under the pseudonym Wolf, did not marry Jekelius, as the wedding was forbidden by her brother.

Dr Ryback said: "It was like a scene from Monty Python. Jekelius goes to Berlin to ask Hitler for his sister's hand he is met by the Gestapo, shipped off to the Eastern front, and snapped up by the Russians."

Other eye-opening documents that shed light on the Hitler household include a family account book.

One entry mentions a loan of 900 Austrian crowns given to Hitler in the spring of 1908, enough for the teenager to live on for one year, and dispels the myth that he existed as a "starving artist" when in Vienna.

The historians were asked to carry out their extensive research almost six years ago for the German television station ZDF. Their findings, due to be broadcast in a 45-minute documentary in Germany next week, also include interviews with two of Hitler's relatives.

Dr Ryback said: "This is the first time that these people have spoken publicly about living under the shadow of Hitler. They do not romanticise their past. They are very humble and have suffered their whole lives under the curse of Adolf.

"It is an incredible closing of a loop: Hitler came from a family of poor farmers. After he rose and fell as a dictator, his family today is back where they started."

Hitler's relatives requested to remain anonymous in the documentary and their faces are digitally altered.