Photos of Hitler and his wife Eva Braun's final moments in bunker published by Life magazine

Hitler

Photos revealing the life of German dictator Adolf Hitler and his wife Eva Braun in their final moments, in the dingy bunker where they committed suicide, have been released by Life magazine for the first time.

The pictures, which were taken by William Vandivert, a former Life employee, in 1945, are in black and white and have been specially restored after a search through Life's archives. According to the Daily Mail, Vandivert, who was the first western photographer to be permitted into the bunker that lay beneath the destroyed Reich Chancellery, said that the pictures were made in candlelight and his team beat the other photographers by 40 minutes to enter the bunker. In one of the never-seen pictures, the sofa where Hitler and his wife sat before they shot themselves can be seen along with the spreading dark stain of their blood.

Another picture shows Life correspondent Percy Knauth looking through the debris in a trench, in the Reich Chancellery, where the bodies of Hitler and his wife were set on fire. Other photos include a shot of a 16th century Italian painting that used to grace the walls of the bunker, Hitler's desk with papers lying around, a bust of the dictator, an American soldier giving the Hitler salute in the wrecked Sportspalast stadium in Berlin and Russian soldiers moving a huge bronze swastika, which previously stood over the entrance to the Reich Chancellory. According to Life, the photos reveal the disturbing universe encountered by Vandervilt at the bunker, called Führerbunker, and the streets of the fallen city of Berlin.

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