Early Hitler Biography Likely Had Surprise Author: Hitler
Historian says he wrote 1923 book praising himself as a savior
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2016 9:43 AM CDT
Editions of Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" are seen in Munich.   (Matthias Balk/dpa via AP, File)

(Newser) – Adolf Hitler's manipulation of the German people may have begun long before he came to power. Back in 1923, when he was the leader of a fledgling Nazi party, a biography surfaced calling him Germany's savior and comparing him to Jesus. Adolf Hitler: His Life and His Speeches came out as authored by German war hero Adolf Victor von Koerber. In fact, the author was Hitler himself, according to historian Thomas Weber of Scotland's University of Aberdeen, per the New York Times. The book came out two years before Mein Kampf launched Hitler into national prominence, and it suggests he had designs on leading the country longer than historians have thought.

“I found a signed testimony given under oath by the wife of the book’s publisher stating that Victor von Koerber had not written the book," Weber tells the Aberdeen Evening Express. Instead, he says Hitler sought out a conservative writer with no connection to the Nazi party willing to put his name on it. Weber, who will be publishing his own book on the subject, says it shows Hitler "was a conniving political operator with a masterful understanding of political processes and narratives long before he drafted … Mein Kampf." Von Koerber, for his part, eventually broke with the Nazis and spent time in a concentration camp. (Heinrich Himmler's diaries recently surfaced.)