Infamous Hitler 'Diaries' Resurface

Famed forgeries going to Germany's Federal Archives

By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 27, 2013 5:02 AM CDT | Updated Apr 27, 2013 6:42 AM CDT

(Newser) Botched exclusives are clearly not a 21st-century invention: Germany's Stern magazine stepped in it big time in 1983, when it published passages from Hitler's never-before-seen diaries. Except the 62 notebooks, which the magazine paid about $6 million for in today's dollars, were fakes. Konrad Kujau, the forger behind them, got a jail sentence; on Tuesday, some of the notebooks got a final home, reports the New York Times. Stern turned its volumes over to the country's Federal Archives, honoring the 30-year time frame in which state documents are to be made accessible to the public—even though these documents turned out to be more a part of media history than Nazi history.

The Local notes that not all the diaries had been in Stern's possession; Paris' Cartier Foundation has some, for instance, and will retain them. Quirky side note No. 1: Experts from the Federal Archives were among those to ultimately determine that the notebooks were fakes. Among the giveaways: The ink, paper, and glue they were made with were dated to the postwar period. And No. 2: Earlier this month, the reporter who "found" the diaries requested he get them back, per a clause in his contract with the magazine. Der Speigel notes that Gerd Heidemann, who was convicted of embezzlement over the price he charged the magazine for the diaries, has always asserted Kujau fooled him.

This May 7, 1933, photo shows German chancellor Adolf Hitler speaking to 30,000 uniformed Nazi storm troopers at Kiel, Germany.
This May 7, 1933, photo shows German chancellor Adolf Hitler speaking to 30,000 uniformed Nazi storm troopers at Kiel, Germany.   (AP Photo)
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