The leader of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler may have escaped Germany and lived until at least 1955 when he went to Argentina from Colombia, an unexpected revelation from the recently-declassified CIA files shows.
According to a document that remained secret until September this year, a source told the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency that he was contacted by a trusted friend who served under his command in Europe.
The friend told the CIA source in 1955 that Phillip Citroen, a former German SS trooper, told him that Hitler was still alive.
Citroen claimed to have regular contact with Hitler during his trip to Columbia as an employee of the Royal Dutch Shipping Company. He even took a picture with Hitler, which he did not at first disclose.
According to Citroen, Hitler left Columbia for Argentina around Jan. 1955. Citroen was under the impression that the Allies could no longer prosecute Hitler at the time, since more than 10 years have passed since World War II.
The CIA source’s friend “surreptitiously obtained” the photograph of Citroen with Hitler in Sept. 1955. The CIA source borrowed the photograph, made copies of it and forwarded them to the local CIA station. The friend then returned the photograph.
The person on the left in the photograph is Citroen, while “the person on the right is undoubtedly the person which Citroen claims to be Hitler,” the CIA document states.
The back of the photograph is dated 1954 in Tunga, Colombia.
Up until the release of the JFK Assassination Files, most historians agreed that Hitler died in Germany in 1945. According to the official account, it is believed that Hitler committed suicide on April 30 when Germany’s capital was surrounded by the Red Army. His body and that of his wife, Eva Braun, were carried outside, thrown into a bomb crater, doused with gasoline and burned.
When Berlin was captured in May, the bodies of Hitler, Braun, and several other top Nazi officials were repeatedly buried and exhumed. Decades later, a Soviet KGB team exhumed the corpses again, burned them, crushed them and scattered the remains into a local river.
As a result, the only confirmation that the remains belonged to Hitler was obtained through a dental analysis of the lower jaw obtained from the remains.
The CIA source is codenamed “CIMELODY-3” in the document. A hand-written note on the report states that CIMELODY-3 is “fairly reliable.”