London, September 28 (ANI): German dictator Adolf Hitler's suicide in his Berlin bunker is being disputed by some American researchers who claim that a bullet-punctured skull, which has long been thought to belong to the Nazi leader, was actually that of an unknown woman.
Kept in Russia's federal archives, the four-inch skull fragment has a hole where a bullet reportedly passed through Hitler's left temple when he shot himself.
Accompanying it are what are said to be Hitler's jawbones.
For years, the Russians have held up the artefacts as proof that Soviet troops found Hitler's body in the ruins of Berlin, and that he died on April 30 when he shot himself just after taking cyanide.
However, a recently broadcast History Channel documentary titled "Hitler's Escape" claimed that the skull fragment belonged to a woman under 40, and not Hitler who was 56 when he died.
The documentary even contained sound bytes of Nick Bellantoni, an archaeologist and bone specialist who took DNA samples from the skull in Moscow and had them tested at the University of Connecticut.
His team of experts do not think that the skull fragment could belong to Hitler's long-time companion Eva Braun, as she is thought to have committed suicide by cyanide rather than with a gun.
According to the Telegraph, the findings are likely to revive conspiracy theories suggesting that Hitler did not die in 1945, but survived and fled to South America or elsewhere.
As per this theory, Soviet troops found only Hitler's body double.
The Russians, however, insist that the jawbones, which are said to be in perfect condition, are confirmation.
They even tracked down an assistant to Hitler's dentist in 1945 who confirmed their authenticity.
The contested skull fragment was found later, in 1946, when the Russians began an investigation after rumours that Hitler was still alive.
It was found in the same hole outside Hitler's bunker, where his body was first found. (ANI)