Germans no longer view the Second World War as a defeat and instead see themselves as victims of the Nazis, according to new research.

In a poll conducted by the Forza Institute for Social Research and Statistical Analysis nearly 70 years on from the end of the war, it was revealed that just 9% of Germans now consider the six-year long conflict to be a defeat.

This represents a drop of 25% since 2005 and shows the changing attitudes of German people to the war on the day of the anniversary of Adolf Hitler's suicide.

The opinion that ordinary Germans were as much victims of the Nazis as other Europeans remains a controversial one in the country.

Florian Huber is one of a number of young historians examining the high number of German suicides at the end of the war.

His book, Child, Promise Me You Will Shoot Yourself, has sold tens of thousands of copies but Huber admits that regarding Germans as victims remains a controversial topic.

“I am surprised, because it is such a hard story to read," Huber told The Times.

"There were literally tens of thousands of cases of suicide. Many people have told me they felt relief that someone had opened up Pandora’s box.

"It has been forgotten for 70 years. All this time, we have been talking about history focused on Nazi killers and concentration camp victims.

“I am writing about ordinary German people who threw themselves in rivers or hanged themselves ...  it has been taboo for a long time.”

He added: “German journalists are interested in my book, but they keep asking me whether I am doing something to make Germans out as victims, which is not allowed, it seems.

“We have to think of ourselves as the bad guys, and it is still a controversial thing to suggest otherwise.”

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