How could some of the most distinguished historians of the Hitler era, and some of the most aggresssive and street-smart publishers in the business have been taken in by these documents? This lively, witty account conveys a sobering picture of the ease with which those who profess to purvey the truth can convi The con job of the century--the faking of the Hitler "diaries". This lively, witty account conveys a sobering picture of the ease with which those who profess to purvey the truth can convince themselves of almost anything.
Paperback , pages. Published May 5th by Penguin Books first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Selling Hitler , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This is one of those books you have to read to believe - no Wikipedia entry can do the topic justice. The levels of stupidity, greed, gullibility, and incompetence involved are astonishing. The story begins with the convergence of two people in the late s: Konrad Kujau, a small-time but highly industrious crook who had established a cottage industry in the fabrication of Nazi documents and Hitler paintings, and Gerd Heidemann, an unscrupulous, Nazi-obsessed not in the good way writer at Ste This is one of those books you have to read to believe - no Wikipedia entry can do the topic justice.
Konrad Kujau, a small-time but highly industrious crook who had established a cottage industry in the fabrication of Nazi documents and Hitler paintings, and Gerd Heidemann, an unscrupulous, Nazi-obsessed not in the good way writer at Stern magazine.
It is a story of supply and demand. The forged Hitler diaries, of which there would eventually be about sixty volumes, didn't come into existence until Heidemann established contact with Kujau. Heidemann believed the diaries were real, and convinced superiors at Stern to buy the rights to them. Stern , its eyes filled with Deutschmark signs, began to buy the diaries. Once committed to the purchase, as well as to extreme secrecy in order that they not be scooped on the story, there was no turning back, and the proper skepticism that should have accompanied such an endeavor never developed.
Stern was deeply, and in their opinion irrevocably, invested in the necessity of the diaries being real. Due to the extreme secrecy they practiced, over a period of years, they never had the diaries examined thoroughly by top German historians Hugh Trevor-Roper , the expert they used, had written one book on Hitler's final days but was not an expert on the Third Reich , never had a complete forensic analysis done, and never did the detective work that would have proved the documents were faked. Repeatedly pressed to reveal the source of the diaries, Heidemann kept throwing up roadblocks: Moreover, Heidemann skimmed off a large percentage of the payments from Stern that were supposed to be going to the owner of the diaries the forger.
His lifestyle became ever more lavish, yet no one at Stern demanded a proper accounting. They just kept giving him more and more money. And more and more diaries kept appearing, and Heidemann's standard of living kept rising. In the end, after the proper forensic tests had been done which was after Stern had begun to publish the diaries , the paper, ink, glue, and other materials in the volumes were found to be of postwar vintage.
Moreover, the forger had copied most of the diary entries verbatim from a chronology of Hitler's schedule compiled by Max Domarus, a German historian, in Domarus had made a small number of errors, such as stating that a certain meeting took place in rather than , and these errors were reproduced in the forgery. If only Stern had listened to Hitler's associates who were still living. They insisted that he hadn't had the time to keep a diary. He ate dinner at 3 a. He had also suffered an injury to his writing arm in the assassination attempt of and would have had to dictate any diary entries, yet they were all handwritten.
It was interesting how certain details contributed to the air of authenticity that certain of the duped experts found. The fact that there were sixty volumes, and the fact that the diary entries were overall so completely banal and non-juicy, convinced Hugh Trevor-Roper and others that they must be real. The book reproduces a WWI-era poem supposedly written by Hitler. It's not clear if the poem is or is not authentic. Milk was rare and needed in a hurry; in the meadow grazed a cow, And two soldiers from the next troop commandeered her at once, And milked her!
It ran in spurts and in rich amounts, Shrapnel fell close by but didn't stop the work. Right afterwards, he gave the bottle to the child he had delivered, And pulled two zwieback out of his pocket for the mother An idyll proving once again the German's noble creed, If the Limeys haven't destroyed it, the house is still there. Jan 03, Gerald Sinstadt rated it it was amazing Shelves: Perhaps the author, who knows how to spin a good yarn, is the only one whose reputation is enhanced by Selling Hitler.
Otherwise, on the one hand are the con men who market the faked Nazi memorabilia; on the other are those who fell for it all to the extent that they needed to make it true even after they began to suspect it wasn't. As a parable to illustrate the foibles of human nature the book is a classic. The catalysts are a German journalist obsessed with collecting Nazi souvenirs, and a sma Perhaps the author, who knows how to spin a good yarn, is the only one whose reputation is enhanced by Selling Hitler.
Want to Read saving…. Peter Koch 5 episodes, Philip Fox After much persistence, the collector finally reveals his source, Konrad Fischer, a militaria dealer in Stuttgart. Jan Hensmann 4 episodes, Gerd Heidemann 5 episodes,
The catalysts are a German journalist obsessed with collecting Nazi souvenirs, and a small-time forger of luncheon vouchers who sees a niche market develop into a career. The supporting cast of newspaper moguls and editors, journalists, professors, experts and analysts are unified by gullibility. Like Beckett's Godot, Martin Bormann promises to appear but somehow never does.
As in a Faydeau farce, the the first lie provides the foundation from which one improbability becomes the source of another: Robert Harris has done his homework well and presents it in all its most hilarious detail Much of this book was fascinating. Unfortunately there was too much of it.
The author, a renowned novelist, whose books tackle genres from Ancient Rome to the frightening future where information technology begins to take control Hal like, have always been thoroughly researched and this frequently gives them credibility. In Selling Hitler Harris has followed a similar path and no one could doubt that theses events of thirty four years ago unfolded exactly as he tells us in Selling Hitler. What I Much of this book was fascinating. What I found a little dull was the lead up to the great scandal when The Sunday Times, Stern and others proclaimed that they were publishing extracts from diaries kept by Hitler.
These turned out to be fakes and reputations suffered and some media outlets became laughing stocks. All of this is told very well but how this all came about was complex and sometimes repetitive. The book was written in which means that there is no follow up in terms of what happened to the main players. I shall do my own research! The whole book and the affair left me pretty much open mouthed and the latter parts of the book have the pace of a thriller. However, as a standard text on one of history's biggest frauds, Selling Hitler is a valuable document.
You enjoy a Good Read??? Recommended to Wayne by: The Observer and Times Lit. These exact and tantalising front and backcover reviews read in the book section of our local "Second-Hand Rose" type shop had me decide to purchase it,THE book,immediately. To read about Mr. Hitler at one remove would also be a pleasure rather than a trauma. And so it all has proved: VERY amusing; UNputdownable; photos of the leading players; and brilliant portraits of Human Nature at some of it's weakest and most self-deluding moments But the recipients were never able to READ them because they were written in a dated Germanic script.
Error, chance, deception,greed,self-delusion and more just piling one more onto another in the growing pile that will burst the dam to release Exposure and Truth. Galloping and detailed, a roller coaster ride of a read, just the thing to distract you from Di piacevole lettura, Harris ci regala anche momenti di quasi suspence.
Feb 13, Jeremy Cox rated it it was ok. More detail about more people's folly than you ever wanted to know. Discovery of diaries written by Adolf Hitler. The story of their publication. The story of their forgery. It became so dull and banal after starting out with a flourish of interest. This book details the hype surrounding the 'discovery' of Hitler's diaries during the mids--and the backpeddling when they were revealed to be fraudulent.
Most interesting, however, are the glimpses one gets of the then still-living associates of Adolf Hitler and their credulous admirers. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This was the first non-fiction Robert Harris book I had read, but I found it as instantly gripping and readable as any of his fiction. Actually, of course, it is truth of the 'stranger than fiction' kind -- a jaw-dropping tale of bold forgery, hero-worship and self-delusion -- which perfectly suits his style.
The cast of fantasists, fanatics, the greedy, the lazy and the egotistical could come straight from a thriller and the twists, turns and near misses of the 'plot' keep the reader enthralled This was the first non-fiction Robert Harris book I had read, but I found it as instantly gripping and readable as any of his fiction. The cast of fantasists, fanatics, the greedy, the lazy and the egotistical could come straight from a thriller and the twists, turns and near misses of the 'plot' keep the reader enthralled all the way to the sorry denouement.
What a weird, weird forger. Very entertaining to read about, though. Probably about three and a half stars. View all 8 comments. Mar 16, Laura rated it liked it Shelves: From BBC radio 4 Extra: True story of the most sensational publishing fraud in history - the forging of Adolf Hitler's diaries. View all 11 comments. Jul 16, Matthew Pritchard rated it really liked it. This is the story of the infamous Hitler Diaries fiasco in the early '80s, one of the largest publishing frauds in on record.
The series of events is explained by Harris in clear, crisp prose, and portrays a mixture of greed, hubris, political chicanery, and blatant stupidity, as the protagonists - employees of the German magazine, Stern, and The Sunday Times mainly; with cameos from Rupert Murdoch; Holocaust denier, David Irving; and various ex-Nazis from Hitler's inner circle - wheel, deal, and This is the story of the infamous Hitler Diaries fiasco in the early '80s, one of the largest publishing frauds in on record.
Selling Hitler is a ITV television drama-documentary mini-series about the Hitler Diaries hoax and was based on Robert Harris's book Selling Hitler: The Story of the Hitler Diaries. Selling Hitler has ratings and 55 reviews. This is the story of the infamous Hitler Diaries fiasco in the early '80s, one of the largest publishing frauds in on.
The series of events is explained by Harris in clear, crisp prose, and portrays a mixture of greed, hubris, political chicanery, and blatant stupidity, as the protagonists - employees of the German magazine, Stern, and The Sunday Times mainly; with cameos from Rupert Murdoch; Holocaust denier, David Irving; and various ex-Nazis from Hitler's inner circle - wheel, deal, and wheedle to get their hands on dozens of incompetently forged diaries, spending millions in the process. What really comes out of the book, though, is a sense of the insidious fascination the world still has with Hitler, a fascination so powerful that it caused many experienced journalists and historians to throw caution to the wind in their desire to learn the inner workings of Hitler's mind.
My only gripe is that Harris perhaps went into too much detail in certain sections - the same story could have been told just as effectively with far fewer words. That said, it is still a cracking read. Una storia assurda, incredibilmente vera e raccontata magistralmente da Harris.
May 26, Sarah Woodburn rated it it was amazing. Loved it, loved it, loved it!! In Selling Hitler Robert Harris has provided an enthralling, blow-by-blow account of one of the most infamous hoaxes in history, the alleged discovery of the Hitler diaries. A potentially convoluted plot with many actors, Harris has done a remarkable job in organising the story in a comprehensible manner, and in so doing has simultaneously written a turn-paging piece of investigative journalism, full of interesting nuggets and occasional humourous asides. History is always a work in progress.
Sew In Selling Hitler Robert Harris has provided an enthralling, blow-by-blow account of one of the most infamous hoaxes in history, the alleged discovery of the Hitler diaries. Sewing together the past from the scanty pieces left to posterity is a difficult task, and one which can never hope to fill all of the gaps and answer all of the questions. Hence when a new source comes to light, the potential to fill in a few holes in the jigsaw, to provide answers to some of the glaring questions — even to essentially rewriting history — can be staggering.
The diaries are smuggled out of East Germany to West Germany aboard a truck hauling pianos between the countries. Essentially, Fischer sells them to Heidemann who in turn sells them to Stern for a profit. Once the first sale is made, the hoax has been engaged, and Heidemann returns frequently with more money for more diaries. By the end, there will be 58 diaries in all. Heidemann makes money as the go-between and becomes a major player in the publication.
Stern is convinced they will make a fortune in their own publication plus they will sell the rights to international press markets, such as those owned by Rupert Murdoch and Newsweek in the US. Except there is only one problem. The diaries are complete fakes, forged by Fischer in a back room with a calligraphic pen and a host of literature regarding the Nazis which could be found at any library.
There is no "brother" in East Germany and no evidence that the crashed plane contained the material supposedly found there by peasants.
However, handwriting experts and other scholars are convinced of their authenticity. Will this be the greatest literary find of the century, or the worst literary con played on the press who wanted to feed the public's continued appetite for all things regarding Hitler and the Nazis in Germany? A compelling chronicle of events of the Hitler Diaries, with strange Monty Python-esque interludes with Pryce looking like a character out of a Wagnerian opera.
Not to be missed for those who like hoaxes and Hitler. Start your free trial. Find showtimes, watch trailers, browse photos, track your Watchlist and rate your favorite movies and TV shows on your phone or tablet! How '' Changed Michael Mando's Life. Related News Doctor Who: Emmy Stars on the Red Carpet.
Share this Rating Title: Selling Hitler — 7. Use the HTML below. You must be a registered user to use the IMDb rating plugin. Learn more More Like This. Fatherland TV Movie King Solomon's Mines Archangel TV Movie The Dreyfus Affair Edit Cast Series cast summary: Gerd Heidemann 5 episodes, Alexei Sayle Konrad 'Conny' Fischer 5 episodes, Alison Doody Gina Heidemann 5 episodes, Julie T.
Edith Lieblang 5 episodes, Richard Wilson Henri Nannen 5 episodes, Olivier Pierre Peter Koch 5 episodes, Philip Fox Leo Pesch 5 episodes, Peter Capaldi Thomas Walde 5 episodes, Tom Baker Manfred Fischer 4 episodes, Philip Bowen Wilfried Sorge 4 episodes, Elaine Collins Maria Modritsch 4 episodes, John Shrapnel Gerd Schulte-Hillen 4 episodes, Elizabeth Spender Jan Hensmann 4 episodes, Rosemary Allen Valkyrie 3 episodes, John Boswall August Priesack 3 episodes, Conor Chamberlain Valkyrie 3 episodes, Zannah Lea Valkyrie 3 episodes, Annette Lynton Valkyrie 3 episodes, Caroline Strong Edit Storyline In , Gerd Heidemann, a bloodhound reporter for the German magazine Stern, believes he has stumbled onto the greatest literary find of the century: Edit Did You Know?
Add the first question. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Report this. Audible Download Audio Books. Gerd Heidemann 5 episodes, Konrad 'Conny' Fischer 5 episodes, Gina Heidemann 5 episodes, Edith Lieblang 5 episodes,