On April 22, 1983, the news magazine Stern told the public that it had discovered Adolf Hitler’s diaries. Three days later, it presented them at a press conference. The magazine had paid 9.3 million marks (more than 4 million U.S. dollars at the time) for 62 volumes of the so-called Hitler diaries, which were quickly revealed as forgeries. In July 1985, forger Konrad Kujau and former Stern reporter Gerd Heidemann were each sentenced to more than four and a half years in prison. This press scandal was instrumental in discrediting the tendency toward an “unprejudiced” and euphemistic assessment of the Third Reich in West German popular culture.

Stern Presents Hitler’s Diaries (April 1983)


Source: Two copies of Stern magazine in the Hamburg Police Museum. The museum displays materials relating to famous police cases, such as the alleged discovery of Hitler’s diaries. Date: May 31, 2022. Location: Hamburg. Photo: Miriam Schmidt (dpa/lno). Picture Alliance, media no. 24982105.

© picture alliance / dpa | Miriam Schmidt