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By Robert Harris

APRIL 1945: From the ruins of Berlin, a Luftwaffe shipping aircraft takes to the air sporting mystery papers belonging to Adolf Hitler. part an hour later, it crashes in flames ...
APRIL 1983: it appeared that some of the most startling discoveries of the century were made, and that one of many world's such a lot wanted files had ultimately come to gentle - the personal diaries of Adolf Hitler. What was once a fiasco of fakery, greed, the duping of specialists, and the trade of notable sums of cash for world-wide publishing rights. yet that used to be just the start of the story...

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Heidemann may then hasten all the way down to the Aspergstrasse store. Kujau may provide him an A4-sized package deal, 3 or 4 inches thick, containing the most recent instalments. Heidemann may provide him a sealed envelope jam-packed with funds to be handed directly to ‘General Fischer’. occasionally Heidemann could open the package deal of diaries in Stuttgart and Kujau, pretending to not comprehend the outdated Germanic script, may ask him to learn aloud from them. Heidemann could accomplish that, a functionality usually interrupted by means of ‘ahs’ and ‘oohs’ from Kujau, because the forger feigned amazement at such a unprecedented historic record. After Heidemann had long past fortunately again to Hamburg, Kujau, both chuffed, could open the packet of cash, which – even though he was once now not conscious of it – held significantly below it had while Heidemann took it from the secure in Hamburg. Of the 680,000 marks which through the top of February have been paid to him for the purchase of the diaries, the chance is that Heidemann stole nearly 1/2 it. it really is very unlikely to make sure approximately this: it really is Kujau’s be aware opposed to Heidemann’s, the note of a compulsive liar opposed to that of an inveterate fantast. however, the stability of likelihood, for as soon as, is on Kujau’s facet. in keeping with either him and Edith Lieblang, the suitcase Heidemann spread out of their condominium at the evening of 28 January contained 150,000 marks – no longer the 200,000 it had held while Heidemann had left Hamburg twenty-four hours previous. In 1983, in a raid on Heidemann’s domestic, the police stumbled on a word confirming the reporter’s contract with Kujau, yet at a miles lower price than Manfred Fischer used to be conscious of: deepest assortment, Militaria, Stuttgart FA, E. Lieblang, 7000 Stuttgart 1, Aspergstrasse 20. files and images 500,000 marks 27 diaries at 50,000 marks 1,350,000 marks Mein Kampf 150,000 marks overall 2,000,000 marks Of the 85,000 marks being given to him for every quantity in Hamburg, Heidemann was once passing on at so much 50,000 and retaining 35,000 for himself. during this manner he pocketed 280,000 marks via the top of February on my own. The Hitler diaries venture used to be below one month previous yet already it had a minimum of 3 layers of lying. Kujau used to be deceiving Heidemann; Heidemann used to be deceiving Kujau and the administration of Gruner and Jahr; and the administration of Gruner and Jahr used to be deceiving the editors of Stern. On Monday nine March, Manfred Fischer travelled to Guetersloh, 100 and fifty miles from Hamburg, for a gathering of the senior administration of the Bertelsmann crew. In his suitcase he had 3 of the Hitler diaries which he had faraway from the ninth-floor secure the former night. an entire board assembly of the corporate on eleven February had proven Fischer because the subsequent handling director of Bertelsmann. He was once to take in his new activity at first of July, easing the workload shortly being carried via Reinhard Mohn, head of the kinfolk which owned nearly nine-tenths of the corporate. Mohn could presently be achieving the firm’s retirement age of sixty. day-by-day working keep an eye on of Bertelsmann will be relinquished to Fischer.

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