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Hitler's record collection?

World's press fails elementary source criticism test

Hitler's record collection?
Every British newspaper claimed this was
Adolf Hitler's record collection
But was it? The clue is at the right of this photo!

In August 2007 The Times newspaper and the German magazine Der Spiegel claimed that Adolf Hitler's personal record collection had been found in a Moscow attic.

Their source was the daughter of the Jewish KGB officer Lev Besymenski, who died earlier this year, and who supposedly helped himself to about one hundred 78 rpm records while searching the remains of Hitler's Berlin bunker in May 1945.

Much press comment focused on the contents of the collection, accusing the Führer of hypocrisy for owning recordings by Jewish musicians such as the violinist Bronislaw Huberman.

Leaving aside the dubious logic of this argument, it seems that journalists should have been more sceptical about the entire story.

The photograph above, purporting to show the Hitler collection, appeared in The Times and other newspapers. To the right of the photo is an album of the Deutsches Requiem by Brahms.

This particular recording (made by EMI but also distributed, as in this example, by the American company RCA Victor) happens not to feature Jewish musicians. The two soloists (Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Hans Hotter) were luminaries of the Third Reich's musical scene, as was the conductor Herbert von Karajan.

The only problem is that the recording wasn't made until October 1947 (in Vienna's Musikvereinssaal) more than two years after Hitler's death!

Moreover if the Times journalist had merely checked his own paper's obituary of Hans Hotter, he would have discovered that Hotter was questioned in his denazification interrogation about the fact that Hitler had some of his records (obviously not his postwar records!) Hotter's amusing riposte was that he understood the Pope also had some of his recordings!

If Hitler's record collection had been stolen by a Soviet KGB man, how could it have been analysed by British and American interrogators?

Elisabeth SchwarzkopfHans HotterHerbert von Karajan
(left to right) Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Hans Hotter and Herbert von Karajan - each had to be "denazified"

Ironically the one man to have pointed out the error, in letters to the Jewish Chronicle and the Jerusalem Post, is the Jewish academic and former Labour MP Stanley Henig.

Perhaps Professor Henig and his ex-wife, the recently ennobled historian Baroness Henig, might reflect on the implications of this story and the unwisdom of relying on Soviet sources without subjecting them to rational critical analysis.

For as pointed out in the DVD Jailing Opinions, the regulations governing the Nuremberg trials required that any report submitted by any of the four victorious powers - including Stalin's Soviet Union - had to be accepted without question as truthful.

By extension, sixty years on, ten European countries insist that there can be no questioning of the alleged gassing of six million European Jews.

So while we are allowed to point out the manifest absurdity of Adolf Hitler supposedly possessing a recording of the Brahms Requiem that wasn't made until 1947, courageous revisionists such as Ernst Zundel and Germar Rudolf are imprisoned for publicising similar absurdities with regard to gas chamber mythology.

And of course perhaps the clearest parallel to this latest case was uncovered by Professor Robert Faurisson, when he showed that the legendary Diary of Anne Frank could not have been written by its supposed author. Some pages were written in ballpoint pen - a technology which was not invented until six years after Anne Frank died of typhus in Bergen-Belsen.

Is the Diary of Anne Frank Genuine?

Even the anti-revisionist Jewish scholar Pierre Vidal-Naquet admitted that Prof. Faurisson was correct in this case:

It sometimes happens that Faurisson is right. I have said publicly, and repeat here, that when he shows that the Anne Frank diary is a doctored text, he may not be right in all details, [but] he is certainly right overall and an expert examination made for the Hamburg court has just shown that, in effect, this text was at the very least revised after the war, since [it was written] using ballpoint pens which appeared only in 1951. That is plain, clear and precise.

But just as such admissions did not help Prof. Faurisson win his legal case against being labelled a "falsifier of history", such plain facts are not likely to be acknowledged by the Jewish Chronicle or the Jerusalem Post.

Dispelling myths about Adolf Hitler's record collection is one thing; challenging the "holy of holies" quite another.



Lev Besymenski
Lev Besymenski

This is not the first time that the late Lev Besymenski has been associated with dubious claims about the events of May 1945, when the Jewish KGB man and numerous colleagues searched the ruins of the Reich Chancellery.

David Irving has recently published his memories of dealing with Besymenski. Irving points out that acting on KGB orders Besymenski published a fake autopsy report as an appendix to his book The Death of Adolf Hitler.

One ought to be especially surprised that Times Newspapers have once again fallen for a Hitler story of dubious reliability.

For it was of course this once respected media giant which published the infamous fake Hitler Diaries in 1983.

Hitler Diaries

Twenty years on it seems that little has changed. Stories about Adolf Hitler are still guaranteed to sell newspapers - and are still guaranteed immunity from rational, sceptical analysis.

email the web editor peter@jailingopinions.com