Solved: The Mystery of Nazi Leader's Wife

Hermann Goering, a deputy of Adolf Hitler and one of Germany's highest-ranking Nazis, was obsessed with his wife, Carin. The Swedish beauty died young at age 42 and was buried in her native country in 1931 as Goering climbed the ranks of the Nazi Party.

But the ambitious military leader never forgot his first wife: Goering named his vast, private hunting lodge Carinhall in her honor, according to the Daily Mail. His obsession was so great that in 1934 Goering had Carin's remains exhumed and reinterred at Carinhall.

The precise whereabouts of Carin Goering's body, however, have been a matter of speculation for years, reports Science Codex. As the Nazi regime collapsed and Russia's Red Army advanced into Germany in 1945, Goering had his majestic hunting lodge dynamited, and he was later hanged after his conviction at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials.

The grounds of Carinhall have been a mecca for treasure hunters since the end of World War II. In 1951, according to Science Codex, human remains found there were believed to be Carin's — her family had those remains cremated and buried in Sweden.

Forty years later, in 1991, a casket was found on the grounds of Carinhall containing skeletal remains. Were these the real bones of Carin Goering?

Swedish researchers believe they have the answer. Cellular DNA often degrades as bones rest underground, making a DNA analysis difficult. "Therefore we went on to study nuclear DNA," Marie Allen, professor of forensic genetics at Uppsala University in Sweden, told Science Codex.

By examining fragments of nuclear DNA from the skeletal remains and comparing them with a DNA sample from Carin Goering's son, they determined that there was a mother-son match. The skeletal remains discovered in 1991, in other words, were indeed those of Carin Goering.

"The results of our anthropological and genetic analyses, together with historical data, provides several pieces of evidence in the identification of the remains of the former Nazi leader Hermann Goering's wife, Carin Goering," Allen told Science Codex.

Follow LiveScience on Twitter @livescience. We're also on Facebook & Google+.

Marc Lallanilla
Live Science Contributor
Marc Lallanilla has been a science writer and health editor at and a producer with His freelance writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and Marc has a Master's degree in environmental planning from the University of California, Berkeley, and an undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin.