Remains of Hitler Aide at Sea
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) _ Genetic tests this year put to rest rumors that Hitler’s secretary had escaped postwar Germany and was living in exile.
Now, German authorities have taken precautions to ensure that Martin Bormann’s remains don’t become the focal point of a memorial for neo-Nazis.
Prosecutors ordered the remains cremated and committed to the Baltic sea in an area outside territorial limits, Der Spiegel news magazine reported in its latest edition, on sale today.
``We wanted in all cases to prevent a memorial being erected anywhere,″ Frankfurt prosecutor Hildegard Becker-Toussaint was quoted by Spiegel as saying.
Half a century after the Nazi defeat, German authorities contend with annual attempts by neo-Nazis to rally at the grave site of Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s deputy, on the anniversary of his death and birth.
Hess hung himself on Aug. 17, 1987, in Berlin’s Spandau prison, where for 21 years he was the lone inmate. The four Allied powers, which then still technically governed the city, decided to demolish the structure to prevent it from becoming a shrine for Nazi sympathizers.
Bormann’s remains were discovered in 1972 at a construction site. Experts at the time concluded the skeletal remains were those of Bormann and that he died May 2, 1945 _ possibly in a suicide by poisoning _ as the Soviet army invaded.
Rumors persisted that Bormann, the second most powerful man in the Third Reich, had escaped and was alive. But DNA tests proved conclusively that the bones were those of Bormann.
Surviving Bormann relatives wanted nothing to do with his remains leading to the decision, the magazine said. The Munich lawyer representing the Bormann family was on vacation and not available for comment today.
Bormann’s ashes were deposited at sea two weeks ago, after Frankfurt prosecutors ordered the skeletal remains cremated.
In 1946, the military tribunal in Nuremberg sentenced him to death in absentia for war crimes.