SUMMERVILLE, N.J. -- Adolf Hitler was a shivering, boney, weakened man who sang to himself in the days before his suicide in 1945, according to a newly published account of Adolf's dentist, Emil Brustermeister, who cared for Adolf's mouth as Allied forces closed in on Berlin.
Brustermeister, now 101 and living in an apartment in the back of a grocery store in New Jersey, told a local newspaper that Hitler "had a lot of decay in his molars and needed a number of extractions desperately," toward the end of his life.
"In the last few days, Hitler was singing songs he made up to himself," Brustermeister said. "He chewed on his tongue a great deal. Eating was difficult for him, his bite was very much weakened as a result of the attempt on his life in July 1944."
Sensing defeat, Hitler, then 56, shot himself in his underground bunker in Berlin, Brustermeister said, but first brushed his teeth and grimaced at the sight of them.
Brustermeister described Magda Goebbels, wife of Hitler's propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels, as "a woman with better teeth than any of Hitler's staff."
"You have to understand that we were all self conscious at the end," Brustermeister said. "But I never intended to stay and commit suicide. I had spent too much money on my own teeth during the war to throw it all away. And I had a future. Dentistry was coming of age back then."
Brustermeister also said that it was just like Hitler "to aim his suicide weapon into his mouth. He wanted to die while shattering the teeth that he hated. Not many people know this, but his fervor for white supremacy' had to do with the whiteness of teeth, not skin."
Brustermeister had not given a public account before of his job as Hitler's dentist and the time in the Berlin bunker because, he said, "I was afraid some Jew would kick me in the teeth. I am very proud of having great teeth at my age."
In another interview with a tabloid, Brustermeister said he wanted his story to be known because "I don't want to take with me into death the notion that Hitler was happy with his teeth."
Asked by the press what he thought of Joseph Goebbels, Brustermeister said, "I always thought he should smile more. But nobody liked him. There were always people who hung around him, some of them literally hung, you know, they were hanged. There were also lots of women there who were young and pretty and had terrific teeth. Not a crooked tooth among them."
Brustermeister described how Hitler said goodbye to his medical staff on April 29, 1945, the evening before his suicide. "He came out of the side room, not smiling, shook hands, and said I wish I could live to smile at all of you with rich, full teeth. But it ain't gonna happen,'" he recalled.
"I knew that the Fuhrer was dead when I heard the shot shatter his teeth. Knowing the Fuhrer was dead, I high-tailed it out of there and began to sing the Russian anthem," Brustermeister said.
He evaded the questions of whether he regretted his role in the Third Reich. He said, only, that he, too "dreamed of a world where all people had straight teeth that were white and dominating."