'Dear Uncle Adolf': documentary details fan letters sent to Hitler
Fan letters written to Adolf Hitler during the Second World War were the subject of a new documentary in Germany last night.
'Dear Uncle Adolf' was the first documentary detailing the tens of thousands of surviving fan letters Hitler received while in power which were seized by the Soviets when they conquered Berlin in 1945.
For years these love notes, advice letters, gifts and health-tips lay undiscovered in Russian archives. Discovered in 2007, they formed the basis of a German book called 'Letters to Hitler'. Last night the Svengali-like grip that the Austrian-born Hitler exerted over Germany was unveiled as actors read out the letters that would fill a truck.
They were letters that often accompanied gifts, in the case of Margarethe Wagner, a pair of socks sent in 1938 after Hitler occupied the Czech Sudetenland border region.
"I knitted these for you as you freed us," she wrote.
Frau Troeltzsch of Berlin sent Hitler three silk handkerchiefs with pictures of Hitler sewn into them which Hitler deputy Rudolf Hess sent back saying "you do not have permission to send handkerchiefs with pictures of Herr Hitler!"
Such women were later put under Gestapo monitoring as Hitler feared that his cult of personality could lead to a destabilisation of home life in the Reich. As he climbed further up the ladder of power, so the tempo of the letters increased.
A special department was created in the postal services in both Munich and Berlin to deal with the tsunami of paper wending its way to him every day. On April 25 1932, one day after elections made the party an unstoppable force in national politics, a Peter Beck from Silesia - now part of Poland - wrote: "We don't want to know about the government any more - we only want Adolf Hitler as leader, as dictator.
"We National Socialists want to see a ban on all newspapers that inject poison into our Fuehrer, to see Jews classified as what they are, a reckoning with all local government chiefs who have cheated their citizens. We will give our blood to Adolf Hitler! Take an iron hand and fulfill your programme with a dictatorial will. Do not negotiate but act!
"We trust our Fuehrer and donate to him our hearts with every pulse!"
comments powered by Disqus
- Five Things You Need to Know to be a Better Digital Preservationist
- Book on Losing British Generals Wins American History Prize
- Stanford scholar explores civil rights revolution's positive impact on the South's economy
- Harvard Historian Nancy Koehn on Amazon's Tentacular Reach
- Q&A with historian and author Nick Turse