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Anton Joachimsthaler

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Anton Joachimsthaler
Hohenelbe, Czechoslovakia
Known forWorks on Hitler's youth and Hitler's last days & death

Anton Joachimsthaler (born 1930 in Hohenelbe) is a German historian. He is particularly noted for his research on the early life of the German dictator Adolf Hitler, in his book Korrektur einer Biografie ("Correction of a Biography") and his last days in the book Hitlers Ende ("Hitler's End"), published in English as The Last Days of Hitler.


Joachimsthaler was born in 1930 in Hohenelbe in the Sudetenland. He studied electrical engineering at the Oskar-von-Miller-Polytechnikum, a predecessor of the Munich University of Applied Sciences.[1] Afterwards he worked in 1956[1] for the Deutsche Bundesbahn (German Federal Railroad) as a mechanical and electrical engineer in various places, his last position being as a senior service manager in the Munich-Freimann repair station. Since 1969 he has occupied himself with contemporary and railroad history.

Since the 1970s, he has produced publications on the history of technology and general history, and has contributed to television broadcasts from ZDF Mainz, such as Hitler as a private man. His work Korrektur einer Biografie ("Correction of a Biography"), in which he made many facts about Hitler's early years known to a broader public, was particularly well received, and his book Hitlers Ende ("Hitler's End"), which was published in English as The Last Days of Hitler: Legend, Evidence and Truth, is often cited.

Scholarly contributions[edit]

Joachimsthaler is best known for his contributions to the study of the life of Adolf Hitler. He is a researcher who has made important contributions over the last decades to revision of Hitler's early years of life in Linz, Vienna and Munich. Historian Richard J. Evans singled out Joachimsthaler for his "notable... minutely detailed and critical account of the evidence relating to the Nazi leader's early life."[2] He helped to counter the view, expressed by other historians, that the young Hitler was an established anti-semite in the period before the World War I, by highlighting convincing evidence that Hitler developed into a serious anti-semite only during or immediately after the war. This he ascertained from his research in the city archives of Hitler's hometown, Linz, as well as the fact that Stefanie Rabatsch, with whom the young Hitler (according to his boyhood friend August Kubizek) had developed a fanatical love, had the maiden name of "Isak", although she in fact was not Jewish.[citation needed]

Joachimsthaler produced important research into the Breitspurbahn, Hitler's desired 3,000 mm (9 ft 10+18 in) broad-gauge railway, more than twice the width of the standard gauge of 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in). His first study, published in 1981, is still the standard work.

The Last Days of Hitler (1995)[edit]

Historian Ian Kershaw describes Joachimsthaler's book The Last Days of Hitler: The Legends, The Evidence, The Truth (originally published in German as Hitler's Ende) as a "meticulous study of the testimony and forensic evidence" as to Hitler's last days and death.[3] Dutch historian Sjoerd J. de Boer wrote that Joachimsthaler help put many myths on the topic to rest.[4] De Boer opined that the witnesses and evidence about Hitler's last days were "dealt with exhaustively" and that the book was important in relation to persistent rumors and speculation as to the dictator's death.[5]

Kershaw wrote that chapters 5–7 were "the most reliable and detailed examination" of the cremation of Hitler and Eva Braun.[6] Contrary to some historians[7][8] and scientific implications,[9][10][11] Joachimsthaler upheld the view (as U.S. jurist Michael Musmanno had argued 45 years earlier) that Hitler's body was burnt to near-ashes and thus never found by the Soviets. Joachimsthaler dismissed an alleged Soviet autopsy report of Hitler's remains, correctly concluding that only his dental remains are known to have been found; he posited that the Soviets sifted these from the soil.[12][13][14] Joachimsthaler discounted early eyewitness accounts regarding a suicide gunshot through the mouth,[15][16] preferring the later majority opinion that Hitler shot himself through the temple. Joachimsthaler attributed conflicting accounts to poor memory formation during the turbulent event.[17] On the alleged lack of discovery of a bullet in Hitler's study, Joachimsthaler theorizes that after Hitler fired his pistol at contact range, the bullet passed through one temple and became lodged inside the other, rupturing in a hematoma that looked like the temple exit wound reported by eyewitnesses.[18] He cited a 1925 study which supports such exit failures, when not fired transversely at contact range.[19]


As author:

In German[edit]

  • Entwicklungsgeschichte der elektrischen Lokomotiven ("History of development of electric locomotives") in 100 Jahre elektrische Eisenbahn ("100 years of electric railway"). Starnberg: Keller Verlag, 1980, ISBN 3-7808-0125-6, Page 22ff.
  • Bundesbahn-Ausbesserungswerk München-Freimann. Geschichte, Menschen, Fahrzeuge 1925–1985 ("Munich-Freimann Federal Railroad Repair Center. History, people, vehicles 1925-1985"). Munchen: Bundesbahn-Ausbesserungswerk München-Freimann,1985.
  • Die Breitspurbahn: Das Projekt zur Erschließung des groß-europäischen Raumes 1942–1945 ("The Broad railway: The project for the development of the Greater European region 1942-1945"). München: Verlag Herbig, 1985. ISBN 3-7766-1352-1.
  • Korrektur einer Biografie. Adolf Hitler 1908–1920 ("Correction of a biography. Adolf Hitler 1908-1920"). München: Verlag Herbig, 1989. ISBN 3776615753
  • Hitlers Ende ("Hitler's end"). Augsburg: Bechtermünz Verl. 1995.
  • Hitlers Weg begann in München. 1913–1923 ("Hitler's path began in Munich. 1913-1923"). München: Verlag Herbig, 2000, ISBN 3-7766-2155-9 (überarbeitete Fassung von „Korrektur einer Biografie“; Foreword by Ian Kershaw).
  • Hitlers Liste. Ein Dokument persönlicher Beziehungen ("Hitler's list. A document of personal relationships"). München, Verlag Harbig, 2003. ISBN 3776623284
  • München – Hauptstadt der Bewegung ("Munich - capital of the movement"). München
    • Catalog of the Munich city museum

As publisher:

  • Christa Schroeder: Er war mein Chef ("He was my boss"). Munich 1985
    • Memoirs of one of Hitler's secretaries

In English[edit]

  • Joachimsthaler, Anton (1999) [1995]. The Last Days of Hitler: The Legends, The Evidence, The Truth. Brockhampton Press. ISBN 1-86019-902-X.



  1. ^ a b Rossberg, Ralf (5 October 2013), Deutsche Eisenbahnfahrzeuge von 1838 Bis Heute, Springer-Verlag, p. 487, ISBN 978-3-642-95770-3, retrieved 12 February 2017
  2. ^ Evans 2020, p. 169.
  3. ^ Kershaw 2001, p. 1037.
  4. ^ de Boer 2022, p. xii.
  5. ^ de Boer 2022, p. 185.
  6. ^ Kershaw 2001, p. 1038.
  7. ^ Trevor-Roper, Hugh (2002) [1947]. The Last Days of Hitler (7th ed.). London: Pan Macmillan. p. 182. ISBN 978-0-330-49060-3.
  8. ^ Bullock, Alan (1962) [1952]. Hitler: A Study in Tyranny. New York: Konecky & Konecky. p. 800. ISBN 978-1-56852-036-0.
  9. ^ Benecke, Mark (12 December 2022) [2003]. "The Hunt for Hitler's Teeth". Bizarre. Retrieved 4 March 2024 – via Dr. Mark Benecke.
  10. ^ Castillo, Rafael Fernández; Ubelaker, Douglas H.; Acosta, José Antonio Lorente; Cañadas de la Fuente, Guillermo A. (10 March 2013). "Effects of temperature on bone tissue. Histological study of the changes in the bone matrix". Forensic Science International. 226 (1): 33–37. doi:10.1016/j.forsciint.2012.11.012. hdl:10481/91826. ISSN 0379-0738.
  11. ^ Thompson, Tim; Gowland, Rebecca. "What Happens to Human Bodies When They Are Burned?". Durham University. Retrieved 9 May 2024 – via FutureLearn.
  12. ^ Joachimsthaler 1999, pp. 210–225, 226–239, 252–253, 284 n.21.
  13. ^ Musmanno, Michael A. (1950). Ten Days to Die. Garden City, NY: Doubleday. pp. 233–234.
  14. ^ Daly-Groves 2019, pp. 27, 156–158.
  15. ^ Trevor-Roper, H. R. (1947). The Last Days of Hitler. New York: Macmillan Company. p. 201.
  16. ^ "Axmann, Artur, interviewed on January 7, 1948 and January 9, 1948. - Musmanno Collection -- Interrogations of Hitler Associates". Gumberg Library Digital Collections. pp. 30–31. Retrieved 8 October 2021 – via Duquesne University.
  17. ^ Joachimsthaler 1999, p. 159.
  18. ^ Joachimsthaler 1999, pp. 161–164, 166.
  19. ^ Berg, Gerichtsarzt (1 December 1925). "Die Durchschlagskraft der Pistolengeschosse im lebenden Körper". Deutsche Zeitschrift für die gesamte gerichtliche Medizin (in German). 5 (1): 553–560. doi:10.1007/BF01748960. ISSN 1437-1596.


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