London, Sept 1 (ANI): British agents spent more than 10 years in the fruitless hunt for Adolf Hitler's trusted private secretary, Martin Bormann, following false reports that he survived the war, secret intelligence files have revealed.
Bormann's whereabouts was one of the biggest mysteries after the Second World War, reports Times Online.
MI5 believed that he died trying to escape the Reich Chancellery in Berlin after Hitler committed suicide in April 1945.
However, no remains were found until 1972 and rumours persisted for years that Fuhrer's private secretary was still alive.
The senior Nazi, who was also head of the Party Chancellery, was sentenced to death in absentia at the Nuremberg trials in 1946.
The files show how intelligence chiefs were bombarded with alleged sightings of Bormann for years afterwards.
Among the places where he was allegedly spotted were various towns in Switzerland, a Franciscan monastery in Italy and even a mountainside in Brazil.
One man who approached the British Embassy in Paris in 1947 even claimed that Hitler was alive and living with monks in Tibet.
Documents and memos from the security services, released by The National Archives, trace the Bormann trail until 1958, with members of MI5 pouring scorn on increasingly unlikely sightings and press reports.
Possible hideouts also included the Middle East and Russia, where he was said to have defected.
Bormann's remains were, however, cremated in 1999, a year after DNA tests finally convinced doubters that he had died more than five decades earlier. (ANI)