Documents on the International Campaign for Real History
Posted Sunday, September 21, 2008
© Focal Point 2008 David Irving
Hitler's secretary Traudl Junge herself told me of how she typed that famous testament straight into her machine -- there were no first drafts.
September 19, 2008 (Friday)
A VERY poor night. No real explanation. Up at 8:55 a.m., feeling lethargic already. Poles coming at midday -- Radek and an anonymous friend. That will waste a couple of hours of my day. Radek wrote me from Stettin -- now a city in Poland -- back in July, "I have some letters it seems look like originals written by AH" -- Adolf Hitler.
He sent me a sample page and it looked duff to me, straightaway: "I must say," I replied back in July, "that the letter to [General] Burgdorf does not impress me with its authenticity. What is the origin, so far as you are aware?"
I never reject anything at first sight, however, and asked to see more.
Radek and a burly Polish friend, still anonymous but I catch his first name as Pawel (he does not speak throughout the entire discussion), arrive at our gates in Windsor by taxi from London -- and that must have cost them $200 at least. Radek has brought a dozen or more pages, and he says they're from a box he's seen containing a huge mound of such papers written by Hitler and others. That again is outside the usual pattern -- forgers normally fake only a few pages as bait, and promise to show more. We sit at a table overlooking the rose garden, ravished alas by deer during my four-month absence in the USA.
The documents' origin sounds suspiciously familiar -- an unnamed officer in post-war Berlin, etc., etc. Radek tells me that a laboratory has tested the ink, and found it to be genuine. "Yes," I say mechanically, "but precisely which ink tests did they carry out: just the chemical composition -- i.e. that the ink was of a 1945 manufacture? Or that the ink was actually put on the paper in 1945?" -- the degree of iron-oxidisation which exposed the Mussolini Diaries in the 1970s and the "Hitler Diaries" bought by Der Stern in 1983 too.
I tell him of one method that an (evidently already chary) Stern magazine used to dupe their publisher Grüner+Jahr GmbH -- they sent a genuine wartime document for tests, and then when one document faked by the notorious Konrad Kujau failed, the magazine sent a second Kujau document, declaring it genuine, for the lab. to compare it with! Radek's face falls, and he translates this to his burly companion, who speaks no English; nor German either, it seems.
They tell me they have not yet paid for the collection, and I tell them not to. A glance at the first page tells me what to expect -- a letter signed by Hitler to General Burgdorf in April 1945, embellished, or rather decorated, back and front with two or three large eagle-and-swastika rubber stamps. There is one genuine rubber stamp on the face of the letter, the round stamp of the SS Rasse- und Siedlungshauptamt.
THERE is no obvious reason why a 1945 letter from Hitler to Burgdorf, an army general, would pass through an SS agency, let alone two (there is a faint stamp on the verso, SD-Hauptamt, I think). The paper is not even A4-size, but it is yellowed and stained.
I advise Radek that the forger Konrad Kujau's technique, hardly an original one, was to obtain genuine pre-1945 books of large format and rip out any blank pages to write on. The paper is plain, the heading is smudged.
In fact right to the end, Hitler's notepaper had DER FÜHRER embossed in gold -- I show them one such letter from my archives (left), the letter of apology which Hitler wrote to General Werner von Fritsch in June 1938, the original of which is in Russian hands.
Radek hands me another plastic folder. It holds "the first draft of Hitler's political testament", typed on pages cut from some kind of register, as they are machine-paginated 44 through 47. True, they correctly identify his secretary Traudl Junge (right) as the typist, but she herself told me of how she typed that famous testament straight into her machine -- there were no first drafts.
I educate Radek that Kujau, who almost certainly authored all these forgeries, used the well known Max Domarus volumes of Hitler documents as his source, and the text of this testament is included in full in the final volume.
Again wrong: the US Federal Bureau of Investigation is not permitted by law to operate outside US sovereign territory; only the OSS and later the CIA can do so.
None of the typed documents has the SS runes on the typeface, which is another giveaway. Another document is signed (in typewriter script) "A. Eichmann," no less, reporting from Warsaw in 1943: notorious people writing to other well-known people about famous events -- another hallmark of the forgery. Real documents in the archives are predominantly between nonentities about trivia. Besides, it is an anachronism, and I point out it that bears exactly the same round stamp as the 1945 one written "in Berlin." The forgeries are not only clumsy, it is almost as though Kujau had a hidden desire to be unmasked.
So there is good news and bad news, I tell my Polish guests. These documents are all fake -- with not even a few genuine items salting the mine, as there were in Don Stockall's expensively acquired "Hitler" collection in Fort Lauderdale (left). Konrad Kujau has a lot to answer for: he has polluted the wellsprings of history -- and art -- for years to come.
The good news is that there is now a profitable market in "genuine Kujau forgeries." We drive into Eton for lunch at The Waterman's, and I bid him and his mute and now crestfallen friend farewell on the bridge over the Thames into Windsor, before they set out on their flight back to Poland.