The biography of Adolf Hitler which helped propel him to power was written by the dictator himself, newly uncovered evidence suggests.
Written in 1923, the book Adolf Hitler: Sein Leben und seine Reden (Adolf Hitler: His Life and his Speeches) compared Hitler to Jesus and heralded him as Germany’s ‘saviour’.
It was the first major profile of Hitler, apparently written by German aristocrat Victor von Koerber.
But historian Thomas Weber, a professor at Aberdeen University, has uncovered new evidence which he believes ‘almost certainly’ points to Hitler as the true author.
He said: ‘The book, which also includes a collection of Hitler’s speeches, makes some outlandish claims arguing that it should become “the new bible of today” and uses terms such as “holy” and “deliverance”, comparing Hitler to Jesus likening his moment of politicalisation to Jesus’ resurrection.’
Professor Weber made the discovery while studying von Koerber’s private papers during research for his latest book on how Hitler became a Nazi.
He said: ‘Going through his papers, I soon realised that von Koerber, who later broke with the Nazis, had merely been a front for the profile and not its real author.’
Among the documents he discovered was a signed testimony from the wife of the book’s publisher which stated von Koerber had not written the book.
Hitler had simply asked for a conservative writer without any connection to the Nazi party to put his name to the work, she claimed.
Professor Weber also found a statement by von Koerber and a letter he wrote that gave details about Hitler’s authorship of the biography.
The discovery of is significant as it challenges the accepted view that Hilter only saw himself as the man to lead the German revolution later in life, Professor Weber said.
It was published two years before Hitler’s autobiography, Mein Kampf.
Professor Weber said: ‘The image of Hitler that has been conveyed in recent years is of someone who even once he had entered the Nazi party was really doing the bidding for someone else – a gift to propaganda to attract populist support – and that it was only in the writing of Mein Kampf several years later that he came to believe he could be the saviour or German messiah.
‘The fact Hitler wrote the biography and collated the speeches himself and put it together under a different name speaks to the fact that at a much earlier time he saw himself in this “saviour” role and that he started in a very manipulative way to plot his way to the top.’