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Archive/File: people/h/hitler.adolf/press suicide-evidence

 KGB secret archives on Hitler to be published
    By Oleg Shchedrov
    MOSCOW, April 12 (Reuter) - Secret files on the life, death
 and remains of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler will be opened for the
 first time next month when a Russian publishing house releases a
 computer programme based on data from the KGB security police.
    Officials from the Progress Publishing Group said on
 Wednesday their multi-media programme would prove beyond doubt
 that Hitler committed suicide in 1945 and Soviet authorities
 burned the remains and dumped the ashes 25 years later.
    ``This really is the final page in Hitler's story,'' said
 Progress official Sergei Zavyalov.
    Official Soviet historians had long insisted there was no
 direct evidence that Hitler committed suicide on April 30, 1945,
 as the Red Army stormed his capital Berlin.
    Some suggested that Hitler, as well as other senior Nazis,
 might have escaped and gone into hiding.
    But earlier this month Russian and German media published
 documents proving that Hitler died in 1945 and was buried on a
 Soviet army base in the East German city of Magdeburg.
    They also displayed a 1970 order from then KGB chief Yuri
 Andropov that the remains be burned and the ashes dumped.
    The one-page report by a KGB special squad forms part of the
 English-language computer archive, called simply ``Hitler.''
    It says the remains of Hitler, his wife Eva Braun, Hitler's
 propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels, his wife and six children had
 been burnt to ashes on April 5, 1970.
    ``This certificate that the burning actually took place ends
 guesses and reports of previous decades,'' Zavyalov said.
    The documents, seized by the KGB after World War Two or
 received as evidence from Nazi officials imprisoned in Soviet
 labour camps, cover the period from the rise of Nazism to the
 final fate of Hitler's body 25 years after his death.
    The programme is a part of a planned series ``Unknown pages
 of the history of World War Two: Documents from the secret
 archives of the KGB.''
    Stored on a laser disc, it comprises 170 pages of documents,
 hundreds of photographs and more than 30 minutes of documentary
 film. Progress officials were coy about how much it would cost.
    ``Most of the documents, pictures and films, as well as
 pieces of evidence by Nazi officials have never been published
 before,'' Zavyalov said.
    The project was launched in 1994 as part of a huge research
 programme organised by the Russian Counter Intelligence Service
 -- the successor to the KGB -- and the Academy of Science.
    ``We were allowed unrestricted access to a huge mass of
 archive materials and left free to select any for publication,''
 Zavyalov said. ``The choice was a real headache for us.''
    It was initially planned to publish the archive documents in
 book form, and the computer version emerged almost by chance.
    ``I heard they were preparing publication of archive
 material and I thought it would be interesting to combine
 documents with archive films and photographs using multimedia
 technology,'' said Vladimir Morozov, the head of Moscow's
 Laboratory of Optical Telemetry, which shares the programme's
    ``It brings a taste of reality to the documents, and will
 increase their credibility -- here is the translation and there
 is the document itself, all in one place.''
    Morozov said the programme was composed in English because
 there were more chances to sell it on the English-speaking
 market. ``If the initial programme is a success, we are ready to
 translate it into any other language,'' he said.

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