6 May 1983

The Hitler Diaries are revealed as a hoax after being examined by experts.

The front cover of Stern magazine. The image is of three black notebooks; on the top book are the gold letters FH in gothic script. The Stern logo—an irregular six-pointed white star on a red background is in the top left of the cover, next to the word "stern". At the bottom are the words in German "Hitlers Tagebücher endeckt" ("Hitler's diaries discovered").
"Hitler's diaries discovered". Stern's front page on 28 April 1983

The Hitler Diaries (German: Hitler-Tagebücher) were a series of 60 volumes of journals purportedly written by Adolf Hitler, but forged by Konrad Kujau between 1981 and 1983. The diaries were purchased in 1983 for 9.3 million Deutsche Marks (£2.33 million or $3.7 million) by the West German news magazine Stern, which sold serialisation rights to several news organisations. One of the publications involved was The Sunday Times, which asked their independent director, the historian Hugh Trevor-Roper, to authenticate the diaries; he did so, pronouncing them genuine. At the press conference to announce the publication, Trevor-Roper announced that on reflection he had changed his mind, and other historians also raised questions concerning their validity. Rigorous forensic analysis, which had not been performed previously, quickly confirmed that the diaries were fakes.

Kujau, born and raised in East Germany, had a history of petty crime and deception. In the mid-1970s he began selling Nazi memorabilia which he was smuggling from the East, but found he could raise the prices by forging additional authentication details to link ordinary souvenirs to the Nazi leaders. He began forging paintings by Hitler and an increasing number of notes, poems and letters, until he produced his first diary in the mid- to late 1970s. The West German journalist with Stern who "discovered" the diaries and was involved in their purchase was Gerd Heidemann, who had an obsession with the Nazis. When Stern started buying the diaries, Heidemann stole a significant proportion of the money.

Kujau and Heidemann spent time in prison for their parts in the fraud, and several newspaper editors lost their jobs. The story of the scandal was the basis for the films Selling Hitler (1991) for the British channel ITV and the German cinema release Schtonk! (1992).


Operation Seraglio

A black-and-white photograph of the head and shoulders of a man in his mid-forties, looking to the right of the viewer. He is wearing a Second World War German military uniform.
General Hans Baur, Hitler's personal pilot

On 20 April 1945—Adolf Hitler's 56th birthday—Soviet troops were on the verge of taking Berlin and the Western Allies had already taken several German cities. Hitler's private secretary, Martin Bormann, put into action Operation Seraglio, a plan to evacuate the key and favoured members of Hitler's entourage from the Berlin bunker where they were based, the Führerbunker, to an Alpine command centre near Berchtesgaden—Hitler's retreat in southern Germany. Ten aeroplanes flew out from Gatow airfield under the overall command of General Hans Baur, Hitler's personal pilot.[1][2] The final flight out was a Junkers Ju 352 transport plane, piloted by Major Friedrich Gundlfinger—on board were ten heavy chests under the supervision of Hitler's personal valet Sergeant Wilhelm Arndt. The plane crashed into the Heidenholz Forest, near the Czechoslovak border.[3]

Some of the more useful parts of Gundlfinger's plane were appropriated by locals before the police and SS cordoned off the crash.[4] When Baur told Hitler what had happened, the German leader expressed grief at the loss of Arndt, one of his most favoured servants, and added: "I entrusted him with extremely valuable documents which would show posterity the truth of my actions!"[5] Apart from this quoted sentence, there is no indication of what was in the boxes. The last of the crash's two survivors died in April 1980,[6] and Bormann had died after leaving the Berlin bunker following Hitler's suicide on 30 April 1945.[7] In the decades following the war, the possibility of a hidden cache of private papers belonging to Hitler became, according to the journalist Robert Harris, a "tantalizing state of affairs [that] was to provide the perfect scenario for forgery".[8]

Konrad Kujau

Konrad Kujau was born in 1938 in Löbau, near Dresden, in what would become East Germany. His parents, a shoemaker and his wife, had both joined the Nazi Party in 1933. The boy grew up believing in the Nazi ideals and idolising Hitler; Germany's defeat and Hitler's suicide in 1945 did not temper his enthusiasm for the Nazi cause. He held a series of menial jobs until 1957, when a warrant was issued for his arrest in connection with the theft of a microphone from the Löbau Youth Club. He fled to Stuttgart, West Germany, and soon drifted into temporary work and petty crime.[9][10][a] After running a dance bar during the early 1960s with his girlfriend, Edith Lieblang—whom he later married—Kujau began to create a fictional background for himself. He told people that his real name was Peter Fischer, changed his date of birth by two years, and altered the story of his time in East Germany.[12] By 1963 the bar had begun to suffer financial difficulties, and Kujau started his career as a counterfeiter, forging 27 Deutsche Marks' (DM) worth of luncheon vouchers;[b] he was caught and sentenced to five days in prison. On his release he and his wife formed the Lieblang Cleaning Company, although it provided little income for them. In March 1968, at a routine check at Kujau's lodgings, the police established he was living under a false identity and he was sent to Stuttgart's Stammheim Prison.[14][15]

A man in his fifties, balding and portly, is shown smiling to the left of the camera.
Konrad Kujau in 1992

In 1970 Kujau visited his family in East Germany and discovered that many of the locals held Nazi memorabilia, contrary to the laws of the communist government. He saw an opportunity to buy the material cheaply on the black market, and make a profit in the West, where the increasing demand among Stuttgart collectors was raising memorabilia prices up to ten times the amount he would pay. The trade was illegal in East Germany, and the export of what were deemed items of cultural heritage was banned.[16] Among the items smuggled out of East Germany were weapons.[17][c]

In 1974 Kujau rented a shop into which he placed his Nazi memorabilia; the outlet also became the venue for late-night drinking sessions with friends and fellow collectors, including Wolfgang Schulze, who lived in the US and became Kujau's agent there.[20] Kujau inflated the value of items in his shop by forging additional authentication details—for example a genuine First World War helmet, worth a few marks, became considerably more valuable after Kujau forged a note indicating that Hitler had worn it at Ypres in late October 1914. In addition to notes by Hitler, he produced documents supposedly handwritten by Bormann, Rudolf Hess, Heinrich Himmler, Hermann Göring and Joseph Goebbels. He forged passable imitations of his subjects' genuine handwriting, but the rest of the work was crude: Kujau used modern stationery such as Letraset to create letterheads, and he tried to make his products look suitably old by pouring tea over them.[21][22] Mistakes in spelling or grammar were relatively common, particularly when he forged in English; a supposed copy of the 1938 Munich Agreement between Hitler and Neville Chamberlain read, in part:

We regard the areement signet last night and the Anglo-German Naval Agreement as symbolic of the desire of our two peoples never to go to war with one another againe.[22]

In the mid- to late 1970s Kujau, an able amateur artist, turned to producing paintings which he claimed were by Hitler, who had been an amateur artist as a young man.[d] Having found a market for his forged works, Kujau created Hitler paintings depicting subjects his buyers expressed interest in, such as cartoons, nudes and men in action—all subjects that Hitler never painted, nor would have wanted to paint, according to Charles Hamilton, a handwriting expert and author of books on forgery. These paintings were often accompanied by small notes, purportedly from Hitler. The paintings were profitable for Kujau. To explain his access to the memorabilia he invented several sources in East Germany, including a former Nazi general, the bribable director of a museum and his own brother, whom he re-invented as a general in the East German army.[24]

Having found success in passing off his forged notes as those of Hitler, Kujau grew more ambitious and copied, by hand, the text from both volumes of Mein Kampf, even though the originals had been completed by typewriter. Kujau also produced an introduction to a third volume of the work. He sold these manuscripts to one of his regular customers, Fritz Stiefel, a collector of Nazi memorabilia who accepted them and many other Kujau products as genuine.[25][e] Kujau also began forging a series of war poems by Hitler, which were so amateurish that Kujau later conceded that "a fourteen-year-old collector would have recognised it as a forgery".[26]

Gerd Heidemann

Gerd Heidemann was born in Hamburg in 1931. During the rise of Hitler his parents remained apolitical, but Heidemann, like many other young boys, joined the Hitler Youth. After the war he trained as an electrician, and pursued an interest in photography. He began working in a photographic laboratory and became a freelance photographer for the Deutsche Presse-Agentur and Keystone news agencies, as well as some local Hamburg papers. He had his first work published in Stern in 1951 and four years later joined the paper as a full-time member of staff.[27][28] From 1961 he covered wars and hostilities across Africa and the Middle East;[f] he became obsessed with these conflicts and other stories on which he worked, such as the search for the identity of the German writer B. Traven. Although he was an excellent researcher—his colleagues called him der Spürhund, the Bloodhound—he would not know when to stop investigating, which led to other writers having to finish off the stories from large quantities of notes.[30]

On behalf of Stern, in January 1973 Heidemann photographed the Carin II, a yacht that formerly belonged to Göring.[g] The boat was in a poor state of repair and expensive to maintain, but Heidemann took a mortgage on his Hamburg flat and purchased it.[31] While researching the history of the yacht, Heidemann interviewed Göring's daughter, Edda, after which the couple began an affair. Through this relationship and his ownership of the boat he was introduced to a circle of former Nazis. He began to hold parties on the Carin II, with the former SS generals Karl Wolff and Wilhelm Mohnke as the guests of honour. Wolff and Mohnke were witnesses at Heidemann's wedding to his third wife in 1979; the couple went on honeymoon to South America accompanied by Wolff, where they met more ex-Nazis, including Walter Rauff and Klaus Barbie, who were both wanted in the West for war crimes.[32]

The purchase of the yacht caused Heidemann financial problems, and in 1976 he agreed terms with Gruner + Jahr, Stern's parent company, to produce a book based on the conversations he was having with the former soldiers and SS men.[33] When the book went unwritten—the material provided by the former SS officers was not sufficiently interesting or verifiable for publication—Heidemann borrowed increasingly large sums from his employers to pay for the boat's upkeep. In June 1978 he advertised the boat for sale, asking 1.1 million DMs; he received no offers.[34] Mohnke recommended that Heidemann speak to Jakob Tiefenthaeler, a Nazi memorabilia collector and a former member of the SS. Tiefenthaeler was not in a position to buy the yacht, but was happy to act as an agent; his endeavours did not produce a sale. Realising Heidemann's financial circumstances, Tiefenthaeler provided him with names of other collectors in the Stuttgart area. The journalist made a trip to the south of Germany and met Stiefel, who purchased some of Göring's effects.[35]

Stern, The Sunday Times and Newsweek

A spectacled man in his seventies faces to the left of the viewer. His hands are in front of him, the fingers interlinked.
Rupert Murdoch, the owner of The Sunday Times, in 2007

Stern (German for "Star"), a German weekly news magazine published in Hamburg, was formed by the journalist and businessman Henri Nannen in 1948 to offer scandal, gossip and human interest stories.[36] It was, according to the German media experts Frank Esser and Uwe Hartung, known for its investigative journalism and was politically left-of-centre.[37] In 1981 Nannen resigned from his position of editor of the magazine, and moved to take the role of "publisher". In his place Stern had three editors: Peter Koch, Rolf Gillhausen and Felix Schmidt, who were aided by others including the journal's head of contemporary history, Thomas Walde. Manfred Fischer was CEO of Gruner + Jahr until 1981 when he was promoted to the board of Bertelsmann, their parent company; he was replaced by Gerd Schulte-Hillen. Wilfried Sorge was one of the Gruner + Jahr managers responsible for international sales.[38][39]

The Sunday Times is a British national broadsheet newspaper, the Sunday sister paper of The Times. In 1968, under the ownership of Lord Thomson, The Sunday Times had been involved in a deal to purchase the Mussolini diaries for an agreed final purchase price of £250,000, although they had only paid out an initial amount of £60,000.[h] These turned out to be forgeries undertaken by an Italian mother and daughter, Amalia and Rosa Panvini.[41] In 1981 Rupert Murdoch, who owned several other papers in Australia, New Zealand and the UK, purchased Times Newspapers Ltd, which owned both The Times and its Sunday sister.[42] Murdoch appointed Frank Giles to be the editor of The Sunday Times.[43] The historian Hugh Trevor-Roper became an independent national director of The Times in 1974. Trevor-Roper—who was created Baron Dacre of Glanton in 1979—was a specialist on Nazi Germany, who had worked for the British Intelligence Services during and after the Second World War. At the war's end he had undertaken an official investigation of Hitler's death, interviewing eyewitnesses to the Führer's last movements.[44] In addition to the official report he filed, Trevor-Roper also published The Last Days of Hitler (1947) on the subject. He subsequently wrote about the Nazis in Hitler's War Directives (1964) and Hitler's Place in History (1965).[44]

Newsweek, an American weekly news magazine, was founded in 1933. In 1982 the journalist William Broyles was appointed editor-in-chief, while the editor was Maynard Parker; that year the company had circulation figures of three million readers.[45][46]

Production and sale of the diaries


Top line: the letters F and H in gothic script. Bottom line: the letters A and H in gothic script
The initials FH (top row) which Kujau mistakenly used on the diary covers, instead of AH (bottom row). Both sets of initials are in Engravers Old English font.

It is unclear when Kujau produced his first Hitler diary. Stiefel says Kujau gave him a diary on loan in 1975. Schulze puts the date as 1976, while Kujau says he began in 1978, after a month's practice writing in the old German gothic script Hitler had used. Kujau used one of a pile of notebooks he had bought cheaply in East Berlin, and attempted to put the letters "AH" in gold on the front—purchasing plastic, Hong Kong-made letters from a department store, he inadvertently used "FH" rather than "AH". He took the black ribbon from a genuine SS document and attached it to the cover using a German army wax seal. For the ink, he bought two bottles of Pelikan ink—one black, one blue—and mixed them with water so it would flow more easily from the cheap modern pen he used. Finally he sprinkled tea over the pages and bashed the diaries against his desk to give them an aged look. Kujau showed the first volume to Stiefel, who was impressed and thought it a genuine Hitler diary; Stiefel wanted to buy it, but when the forger refused, the pair agreed that the collector could have it on loan.[47][48]

In June 1979 Stiefel asked a former Nazi Party archivist, August Priesack, to verify the authenticity of the diary, which he subsequently did.[i] Priesack showed the diary to Eberhard Jäckel of the University of Stuttgart, who also thought the diary to be genuine, and wanted to edit it for publication. News of the diary's existence soon began to filter through to collectors of Hitler memorabilia.[50] At the end of 1979 Tiefenthaeler contacted Heidemann to say that Stiefel had shown him around his collection, which included a Hitler diary—the only one Kujau had forged to that point.[35] According to Hamilton "the discovery inflamed Heidemann almost to madness", and he aggressively pressed for what would be a journalistic scoop.[51]

Stiefel showed Heidemann the diary in Stuttgart in January 1980, telling him it was from a plane crash in East Germany, although he refused to tell the journalist the name of his source. The collector spoke to Kujau to see if he would meet Heidemann, but the forger repeatedly refused Heidemann's requests for nearly a year.[52] Heidemann returned to the Stern offices and spoke to his editor, but both Koch and Nannen refused to discuss the potential story with him, telling him to work on other features. The only person who was interested was Walde, who worked with Heidemann to find the source of the diaries. Their searches for Kujau proved fruitless, so they looked into the crash. Heidemann, who had read Baur's autobiography, knew of Gundlfinger's flight, and made a connection between Operation Seraglio and the diary; in November 1980 the two journalists travelled to Dresden and located the graves of the flight's crew.[53]

In January 1981 Tiefenthaeler gave Kujau's telephone number to Heidemann, telling the journalist to ask for "Mr Fischer", one of Kujau's aliases. During the subsequent phone call Kujau told Heidemann that there were 27 volumes of Hitler's diaries, the original manuscript of the unpublished third volume of Mein Kampf, an opera by the young Hitler called Wieland der Schmied (Wieland the Blacksmith),[j] numerous letters and unpublished papers, and several of Hitler's paintings—most of which were still in East Germany. Heidemann offered two million DMs for the entire collection and guaranteed secrecy until everything had been brought over the border. Although the pair did not agree to a deal, they agreed to "the foundations of a deal", according to Harris; Kujau's condition was that he would only deal directly with Heidemann, something that suited the journalist as a way of keeping other members of Stern away from the story.[55][56]

Heidemann and Walde produced a prospectus for internal discussion, outlining what was available for purchase and the costs. The document, signed by Heidemann, finished with a veiled threat: "If our company thinks that the risk is too great, I suggest that I should seek out a publishing company in the United States which could put up the money and ensure that we get the German publication rights." The pair did not show the prospectus to anyone at Stern, but instead presented it to Gruner + Jahr's deputy managing director, Dr Jan Hensmann, and Manfred Fischer; they also requested a 200,000 mark deposit from the publisher to secure the rights with Kujau. After a meeting that lasted a little over two hours, and with no recourse to an expert or historian, the deposit was authorised.[57][58] As soon as the meeting ended, at about 7 pm, Heidemann travelled to Stuttgart, with the deposit money, to meet Kujau.[59]


At that first meeting on 28 January 1981, which lasted over seven hours, Heidemann offered Kujau a deposit of only 100,000 DMs to agree the deal, which Kujau did not accept. At a second meeting the following day, the reporter revealed an additional lure he had brought with him: a uniform which he said was Göring's. Kujau tentatively agreed to provide the diaries and told Heidemann that he would call him as soon as he could arrange to receive them from East Germany. As a sign of good faith Heidemann lent the uniform to the forger, to show alongside his collection of other uniforms from the top Nazis; for his part, Kujau gave the journalist a painting purportedly by Hitler. Both the painting and uniform were fakes.[60][61]

A man in his eighties with thin grey hair, facing to the right of the viewer; he wears a dark suit and tie.
Eberhard Jäckel, the historian who initially thought that Hitler's poems and the diaries were genuine, but changed his mind

A week later Kujau met Jäckel and Alex Kuhn in connection with the poems he had forged and sold to Stiefel. These had been published by Jäckel and Kuhn in 1980, but one historian pointed out that one of the poems could not have been produced by Hitler as it had been written by the poet Herybert Menzel.[62] Jäckel was concerned that the poem in question had been accompanied by a letter on Nazi party stationery guaranteeing it as a genuine work by Hitler. Many of the other pieces in Stiefel's collection were similarly verified, so doubts began to surface over these, too. Kujau claimed ignorance, saying he was only the middleman, but told them that Heidemann, a reputed journalist, had seen the crash site from which the papers originated; Jäckel advised Stiefel to have his collection forensically examined,[63] and passed 26 suspect poems to the Hamburg district attorney for investigation.[k] Gruner + Jahr also knew about the problems with the poems, and that the source had been Kujau, but he assured them that this source had been elsewhere in East Germany, unconnected to the diaries, and they continued with their deal.[65]

Ten days after the meeting with Jäckel and Kuhn, Kujau had prepared three further diaries. The contents were copied from a range of books, newspapers and magazines covering Hitler's life. Primary among them was the two-volume work by the historian Max Domarus, Hitler: Reden und Proklamationen, 1932–45 (Hitler: Speeches and Proclamations, 1932–45), which presents Hitler's day-to-day activities. Many of the diary's entries were lists of Nazi party promotions and official engagements. Although Kujau created some personal information about Hitler in the diaries, this was, in the opinion of both Harris and Hamilton, trivia.[66][67] He began working to a schedule of producing three diaries a month. He later stated that he managed to produce one of the volumes in three hours; on a separate occasion he wrote three diaries in three days.[68]

On 17 February 1981 Kujau flew to Stuttgart and gave Heidemann the three recently prepared diaries,[l] for which Heidemann gave him 35,000 DMs. This was a great deal less than the 120,000 DMs to 40,000 DMs per diary—promised to Kujau in the first meeting, from which Heidemann would also claim a 10% commission; the reduction in funds was explained by a need to get an "expert opinion" on the authenticity of the diaries, and the balance was later paid.[69] The following day the reporter delivered the diaries to Gruner + Jahr. In the subsequent meeting with Walde, Hensmann, Sorge and Fischer, Heidemann and Walde again insisted on secrecy about the project, to ensure their acquisition of all the diaries—it was agreed that not even the editors of Stern should be told of the discovery. More importantly, according to Harris, it was decided that they should not have the material examined by a forensic scientist or historian until every diary had been obtained. Fischer committed the company to the future purchases by immediately allocating one million DM to the project.[70] The company also set up a dedicated unit to deal with the diaries in an annex to the main Gruner + Jahr offices. It was headed by Walde, and consisted of an assistant, two secretaries and Heidemann. On receipt of the diaries they were photocopied and transcribed from the gothic script into modern German.[71] Heidemann also entered into a private contract with Gruner + Jahr, which was kept secret from the company's legal and personnel departments. It contained a deal for him to publish books through the company at a generous royalty rate, and agreed that ten years after publication the original diaries would be given to Heidemann for research purposes, to be handed on to the West German government on his death. He was also to be given a bonus of 300,000 DMs for recovering the first eight diaries.[72]

The explosion catastrophe in Reinsdorf is all I need. One ray of hope today was the dedication ceremony of the House of German Art in Munich.

But at any rate I can relax a bit with the architects. E [Eva Braun] now has two little puppies so time does not lie too heavily on her hands.

Must have a word with E. about Göring, too. His attitude towards her just isn't correct.

Diary entry of 30 June 1935, created by Kujau.[73]

The delivery of the diaries continued, although there were tensions between Heidemann and Kujau, partly owing to the journalist's "domineering personality and duplicity".[74] Because of the nature of the transactions there were no receipts provided by Heidemann to Gruner + Jahr, and the business was conducted by the company on the basis of trust. By the end of February 1981, 680,000 DMs had been paid for the diaries, only around half of which was received by Kujau. Heidemann had pocketed the rest, defrauding both his employer and the forger in the process.[75]

Despite the self-imposed restrictions of secrecy placed on the small circle inside Gruner + Jahr, Heidemann could not resist showing one of the volumes to Mohnke, as the entry referred to the SS Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler, Mohnke's former regiment. Heidemann read out three entries from the diaries—from 15, 17 and 18 March—which concerned visits made by Hitler to the regiment while in the Lichterfelde and Friesenstraße barracks. Mohnke informed him that the entries were inaccurate, saying that the Lichterfelde barracks were not occupied by the troops on that date, that the regimental name used in the diary was introduced much later, and that so far as he knew Hitler never visited the Friesenstraße barracks. Heidemann was unmoved by his friend's revelations, and posited that Hitler had probably written what he was planning to do, not what he had done. Harris suggests that this showed that the journalist "had long ceased operating on a rational wavelength about the diaries".[76]

The circle of those at Gruner + Jahr who knew about the diaries grew in May 1981 when Fischer decided to look into the complicated copyright circumstances surrounding Hitler's property.[m] He discussed the matter with the company's legal advisor, Andreas Ruppert, who advised speaking to Werner Maser, a historian who acted as a trustee on such matters to the Hitler family.[78] Heidemann visited Maser in June 1981 and came to a deal that enabled the journalist and Stern, for a payment of 20,000 DMs, to retain "the rights to all the discovered or purchased documents or notes in the hand of Adolf Hitler ... which have so far not yet been published".[79]

Quotes from the diaries

  • "The English are driving me crazy—should I let them escape [from Dunkirk], or not? How is this Churchill reacting?"
  • "This man Bormann has become indispensable to me. If I had had five Bormanns, I would not be sitting here now [in the Berlin bunker]."
  • "[Himmler is] living in another world—an ancient Germanic fantasy world. I'm beginning to think he's out of his mind."
  • "How on earth does Stalin manage it? Always imagined that he had no officers left, but he did the right thing [in purging the officer corps]. A new command structure in the Wehrmacht is what we need, too."

Diary entries created by Kujau and prominently used by Newsweek[80]

After twelve diaries had been delivered to Gruner + Jahr, Heidemann informed his employers that the price had risen from 85,000 DMs to 100,000 DMs per diary; the reason given by Heidemann was that the East German general smuggling the diaries was now having to bribe more people. The additional money was retained by Heidemann and not passed on to Kujau. The journalist was starting to lead a profligate lifestyle on his illicit profits, including two new cars (a BMW convertible and a Porsche, for a combined total of 58,000 DMs), renting two new flats on Hamburg's exclusive Elbchaussee and jewellery. He also spent considerable sums acquiring new Nazi memorabilia. Some were genuine, such as Wolff's SS honour dagger; others were purchased from Kujau, including 300 forged oil paintings, drawings and sketches Kujau claimed were by Hitler. Other items, carrying notes by Kujau attesting to their authenticity, included a gun described as that used by Hitler to commit suicide, and a flag identified as the Blutfahne ("Blood Flag"), carried in Hitler's failed Munich Beer Hall Putsch of 1923, and stained by the blood of Nazis shot by police.[81]

The purchases of the diaries continued throughout mid to late 1981: Gruner + Jahr gave Heidemann 345,000 DMs on 29 July, and a further 220,000 DMs a week later, which brought the total up to 1.81 million DMs since the start of the year. This sum had purchased 18 diaries for the company. Schulte-Hillen, the new managing director, signed an authorisation for a further million DMs for future purchases.[82] Just over two weeks later he signed a further authorisation for 600,000 DMs after Heidemann told him that the cost of the diaries had now risen to 200,000 DMs each; Heidemann also passed on the news that there were more than 27 diaries.[61]

In mid-December 1982 the author and future Holocaust denier David Irving was also involved in tracking the existence of diaries written by Hitler.[n] Priesack had previously told Irving of the existence of one of the diaries with a collector in Stuttgart. In a visit to Priesack to assess his collection of Nazi documents, Irving found out Stiefel's phone number, from which he worked out the address; he also obtained photocopies of some of the diary pages from Priesack. Irving visited Stiefel unannounced and tried to find out the name of the source, but the collector misled him as to the origin. Irving examined Priesack's photocopies and saw a number of problems, including spelling mistakes and the change in writing style between certain words.[86][o]

Initial testing and verification; steps towards publication

In April 1982 Walde and Heidemann contacted Josef Henke and Klaus Oldenhage of the Bundesarchiv (German Federal Archives) and Max Frei-Sulzer, the former head of the forensic department of the Zürich police, for assistance in authenticating the diaries. They did not specifically mention the diaries, but referred generally to new material. They also did not give the forensic specialists an entire diary, but removed one page only. For comparison purposes they also provided the experts with other samples of Hitler's writing, a handwritten draft for a telegram: this was from Heidemann's own collection and had also been forged by Kujau. Within days Walde provided further documents for comparison—all Kujau forgeries.[88] Walde then flew to the US and commissioned Ordway Hilton, another forensic expert.[p] None of those involved were experts in examining Nazi documents, and Hilton could not read German. Stern's management were too bound up in a secretive approach to be open about their source, or to provide the experts with a complete diary, which would have led to a more thorough examination of wider material.[90] From the samples provided, the experts concluded that the handwriting was genuine. Hilton subsequently reported that "there was just no question" that both documents he had were written by the same person, whom he assumed to be Hitler.[91]

The purchase of the diaries continued, and by June 1982 Gruner + Jahr possessed 35 volumes.[92] In early 1983 the company took the decision to work towards a publication date for the diaries. To ensure wide readership and to maximise their returns, Stern issued a prospectus to potentially interested parties, Newsweek, Time, Paris Match and a syndicate of papers owned by Murdoch.[93] Stern rented a large vault in a Swiss bank. They filled the space with Nazi memorabilia and displayed various letters and manuscripts.[94]

The first historian to examine the diaries was Hugh Trevor-Roper, who was cautious, but impressed with the volume of documentation in front of him.[95] As the background to the acquisition was explained to him he became less doubtful; he was falsely informed that the paper had been chemically tested and been shown to be pre-war, and he was told that Stern knew the identity of the Wehrmacht officer who had rescued the documents from the plane and had stored them ever since.[96] By the end of the meeting he was convinced that the diaries were genuine, and later said "who, I asked myself, would forge sixty volumes when six would have served his purpose?"[97] In an article in The Times on 23 April 1983 he wrote:

A colour photograph of a balding and grey haired man facing the camera
Gerhard Weinberg, who considered the diaries genuine when verifying them for Newsweek, and then changed his mind

I am now satisfied that the documents are authentic; that the history of their wanderings since 1945 is true; and that the standard accounts of Hitler's writing habits, of his personality, and even, perhaps, of some public events may, in consequence, have to be revised.[98]

The day after Trevor-Roper gave his opinion of authenticity, Rupert Murdoch and his negotiation team arrived in Zürich. A deal was provisionally agreed for $2.5 million for the US serialisation rights, with an additional $750,000 for British and Commonwealth rights. While the discussions between Murdoch and Sorge were taking place, the diaries were examined by Broyle and his Newsweek team. After lengthy negotiation Broyle was informed that the minimum price Stern would consider was $3 million; the Americans returned home, informing Hensmann that they would contact him by phone in two days.[99] When Broyle contacted the Germans he offered the amount, subject to authentication by their chosen expert, Gerhard Weinberg. In 1952 Weinberg, a cautious and careful historian, had written the Guide to Captured German Documents, for use by the US military; the work is described by Hamilton as definitive in its scope of the subject.[100] Weinberg travelled to Zürich and, like Trevor-Roper, was impressed and reassured by the range of items on show; he was also partly persuaded by Trevor-Roper's endorsement of the diaries' authenticity.[101] Weinberg commented that "the notion of anyone forging hundreds, even thousands of pages of handwriting was hard to credit".[100]

Newsweek verbally accepted Hensmann's offer and he in turn informed Murdoch, giving him the option to raise his bid. Murdoch was furious, having considered the handshake agreement in Zürich final.[102] On 15 April 1983 Murdoch, with Mark Edmiston, the president of Newsweek, met Schulte-Hillen, who, unexpectedly and without explanation, went back on all the previous verbal—and therefore, to his mind, non-binding—agreements and told them the price was now $4.25 million. Murdoch and Edmiston refused to accede to the new price and both left. The managers of Stern, with no publishing partners, backtracked on their statements and came to a second deal with Murdoch, who drove the price down, paying $800,000 for the US rights, and $400,000 for the British and Australian rights. Further deals were done in France with Paris Match for $400,000; in Spain with Grupo Zeta for $150,000; in the Netherlands for $125,000; in Norway for $50,000; and in Italy with Panorama for $50,000. Newsweek did not enter into a deal and instead based their subsequent stories on the copies of the diaries they had seen during the negotiation period.[103]

Released to the news media; the Stern press conference

A black-and-white photograph of a grey-haired and spectacled man in his sixties is looking at the viewer. He wear a dark suit and tie, and is holding a copy of one of the books he has written.
The British historian Hugh Trevor-Roper initially endorsed the diaries as genuine; his subsequent "180-degree turn" was not heeded by Murdoch.

On 22 April 1983 a press release from Stern announced the existence of the diaries and their forthcoming publication; a press conference was announced for 25 April.[104] On hearing the news from Stern, Jäckel stated that he was "extremely sceptical" about the diaries, while his fellow historian, Karl Dietrich Bracher of the University of Bonn also thought their legitimacy unlikely. Irving was receiving calls from international news companies—the BBC, The Observer, Newsweek, Bild Zeitung—and he was informing them all that the diaries were fakes.[105] The German Chancellor, Helmut Kohl, also said that he could not believe the diaries were genuine.[106] The following day The Times published the news that their Sunday sister paper had the serialisation rights for the UK; the edition also carried an extensive piece by Trevor-Roper with his opinion on the authenticity and importance of the discovery. By this stage the historian had growing doubts over the diaries, which he passed on to the editor of The Times, Charles Douglas-Home. The Times editor presumed that Trevor-Roper would also contact Giles at The Sunday Times, while Trevor-Roper thought that Douglas-Home would do so; neither did. The Sunday paper thus remained oblivious to the growing concerns that the diaries might not be genuine.[107]

On the evening of 23 April the presses began rolling for the following day's edition of The Sunday Times. After an evening meeting of the editorial staff, Giles phoned Trevor-Roper to ask him to write a piece rebutting the criticism of the diaries. He found that the historian had made "a 180-degree turn" regarding the diaries' authenticity, and was now far from sure that they were real. The paper's deputy editor, Brian MacArthur, rang Murdoch to see if they should stop the print run and re-write the affected pages. Murdoch's reply was "Fuck Dacre. Publish".[108][109]

On the afternoon of the 24 April, in Hamburg for the press conference the following day, Trevor-Roper asked Heidemann for the name of his source: the journalist refused, and gave a different story of how the diaries had been acquired. Trevor-Roper was suspicious and questioned the reporter closely for over an hour.[110] Heidemann accused the historian of acting "exactly like an officer of the British army" in 1945.[109] At a subsequent dinner the historian was evasive when asked by Stern executives what he was going to say at the announcement the following day.[111]

At the press conference both Trevor-Roper and Weinberg expressed their doubts at the authenticity, and stated that German experts needed to examine the diaries to confirm whether the works were genuine. Trevor-Roper went on to say that his doubts sprung from the lack of proof that these books were the same ones as had been on the crashed plane in 1945. He finished his statement by saying that "I regret that the normal method of historical verification has been sacrificed to the perhaps necessary requirements of a journalistic scoop."[112] The leading article in The Guardian described his public reversal as showing "moral courage".[113] Irving, who had been described in the introductory statement by Koch as a historian "with no reputation to lose", stood at the microphone for questions, and asked how Hitler could have written his diary in the days following the 20 July plot, when his arm had been damaged. He denounced the diaries as forgeries, and held aloft the photocopied pages he had been given from Priesack. He asked if the ink in the diaries had been tested, but there was no response from the managers of Stern. Photographers and film crews jostled to get a better picture of Irving, and some punches were thrown by journalists while security guards moved in and forcibly removed Irving from the room, while he shouted "Ink! Ink!".[114][115][116]

Forensic analysis and the uncovering of the frauds

A colour photograph of a grey-haired, thick-set man in his sixties looks directly at the viewer. He wears an open-necked short and red pullover, and holds his spectacles in front of him.
David Irving (2003 photograph), who had repeatedly condemned the diaries as forgeries, endorsed them as genuine after their public release.

With grave doubts now expressed about the authenticity of the diaries, Stern faced the possibility of legal action for disseminating Nazi propaganda. To ensure a definitive judgment on the diaries, Hagen, one of the company's lawyers, passed three complete diaries to Henke at the Bundesarchiv for a more complete forensic examination.[117] While the debate on the diaries' authenticity continued, Stern published its special edition on 28 April, which provided Hitler's purported views on the flight of Hess to England, Kristallnacht and the Holocaust.[104] The following day Heidemann again met with Kujau, and bought the last four diaries from him.[118]

On the following Sunday—1 May 1983—The Sunday Times published further stories providing the background to the diaries, linking them more closely to the plane crash in 1945, and providing a profile of Heidemann. That day, when The Daily Express rang Irving for a further comment on the diaries, he informed them that he now believed the diaries to be genuine; The Times ran the story of Irving's U-turn the following day. Irving explained that Stern had shown him a diary from April 1945 in which the writing sloped downwards from left to right, and the script of which got smaller along the line.[119] At a subsequent press conference Irving explained that he had been examining the diaries of Dr. Theodor Morell, Hitler's personal doctor, in which Morell diagnosed the Führer as having Parkinson's disease, a symptom of which was to write in the way the text appeared in the diaries.[120] Harris posits that further motives may also have played a part—the lack of reference to the Holocaust in the diaries may have been perceived by Irving as supporting evidence for his thesis, put forward in his book Hitler's War, that the Holocaust took place without Hitler's knowledge.[121] The same day Hagen visited the Bundesarchiv and was told of their findings: ultraviolet light had shown a fluorescent element to the paper, which should not have been present in an old document, and that the bindings of one of the diaries included polyester which had not been made before 1953. Research in the archives also showed a number of errors.[122] The findings were partial only, and not conclusive; more volumes were provided to aid the analysis.[123]

Genuine signature of Adolf Hitler
Genuine Hitler signature (undated)
Forged version of Hitler's signature, showing slight differences from the original
Kujau's version of Hitler's signature, which Kenneth W. Rendell described as a "terrible rendition".[124]

When Hagen reported back to the Stern management, an emergency meeting was called and Schulte-Hillen demanded the identity of Heidemann's source. The journalist relented, and provided the provenance of the diaries as Kujau had given it to him. Harris describes how a bunker mentality descended on the Stern management as, instead of accepting the truth of the Bundesarchiv's findings, they searched for alternative explanations as to how post-war whitening agents could have been used in the wartime paper. The paper then released a statement defending their position which Harris judges was "resonant with hollow bravado".[125]

While Koch was touring the US, giving interviews to most of the major news channels, he met Kenneth W. Rendell, a handwriting expert in the studios of CBS, and showed him one of the volumes. Rendell's first impression was that the diaries were forged. He later reported that "everything looked wrong", including new-looking ink, poor quality paper and signatures that were "terrible renditions" of Hitler's.[126] Rendell concludes the diaries were not particularly good fakes, calling them "bad forgeries but a great hoax". He states that "with the exception of imitating Hitler's habit of slanting his writing diagonally as he wrote across the page, the forger failed to observe or to imitate the most fundamental characteristics of his handwriting."[127]

On 4 May, 15 volumes of the diaries were removed from the Swiss bank vault and distributed to various forensic scientists: four went to the Bundesarchiv and eleven went to the Swiss specialists in St Gallen. The initial results were ready on 6 May, which confirmed what the forensic experts had been telling the management of Stern for the last week: the diaries were poor forgeries, with modern components and ink that was not in common use in wartime Germany. Measurements had been taken of the evaporation of chloride in the ink which showed the diaries had been written within the previous two years. There were also factual errors, including some from Domarus's Hitler: Reden und Proklamationen, 1932–45 that Kujau had copied. Before passing the news to Stern, the Bundesarchiv had already informed the government, saying it was "a ministerial matter". The managers at Stern tried to release the first press statement that acknowledged the forensic findings and stated that the diaries were forged, but the official government announcement was released five minutes before Stern's.[128]

Arrests and trial

Once the government announcement appeared on television, Kujau took his wife and mistress to Austria; he introduced the latter to Edith as his cleaner. After he saw a news report a few days later, naming him as the forger, and hearing that Stern had paid nine million DMs, he first phoned his lawyer and then the Hamburg State prosecutor; the forger agreed to hand himself in at the border between Austria and West Germany the following day. When police raided his house, they found several notebooks identical to those used in the fraud. Kujau continued to use a variation of the story he had told Heidemann—that of obtaining the diaries from the East—but he was bitter that the journalist was still at liberty, and had withheld so much of Stern's money from him. After thirteen days, on 26 May, he wrote a full confession, stating that Heidemann had known all along that the diaries were forgeries.[129] Heidemann was arrested that evening.[130]

Following a police investigation that lasted over a year, on 21 August 1984 the trial against Heidemann and Kujau opened in Hamburg. Both men were charged with defrauding Stern of 9.3 million DMs.[131][132][q] Despite the seriousness of the charges facing the two men, Hamilton considers that "it also appeared clear that the trial was going to be a farce, a real slapstick affair that would enrage the judge and amuse the entire world."[135] The proceedings lasted until July 1985, when both men were sent to prison: four years and eight months for Heidemann, four years and six months for Kujau. In September one of the supporting magistrates overseeing the case was replaced after he fell asleep;[136] three days later the court were "amused" to see pictures of Idi Amin's underpants, which Heidemann had framed on his wall.[137] At times the case "denigrated into a slanging match" between Kujau and Heidemann.[138] In his summing up Judge Hans-Ulrich Schroeder said that "the negligence of Stern has persuaded me to soften the sentences against the two main co-conspirators."[133][139] Heidemann was found guilty of stealing 1.7 million DMs from Stern; Kujau guilty of receiving 1.5 million DMs for his role in the forgeries. Despite the lengthy investigation and trial, at least five million DMs remained unaccounted for.[140]


A photograph of a man in his fifties looking at the camera. He is wearing an open-collared blue shirt and a blue jacket.
The writer Robert Harris, who published an account of the hoax in 1986

When Kujau was released from prison in 1987 he was suffering from throat cancer. He opened a gallery in Stuttgart and sold "forgeries" of Salvador Dalí and Joan Miró, all signed with his own name.[141] Although he prospered, Kujau was later arrested for forging driving licences; he was fined the equivalent of £2,000. He died of cancer in Stuttgart in September 2000.[142]

Heidemann was also released from prison in 1987.[143] Five years later it was reported in the German newspaper Der Spiegel that in the 1950s he had been recruited by the Stasi, the East German secret police, to monitor the arrival of American nuclear weapons into West Germany.[144] In 2008 he had debts exceeding €700,000, and was living on social security;[145] his situation had not changed by 2013 - 30 years after the incident - and he remained bitter about his treatment.[146]

Two of Stern's editors, Koch and Schmidt, lost their jobs because of the scandal. Both complained strongly when told that their resignations were expected, pointing out that they had both wanted to sack Heidemann in 1981. A settlement of 3.5 million DMs (c. $1 million) was provided to each of them as part of the severance package.[147] The staff at the magazine were angry at the approach taken by their managers, and held sit-ins to protest at the "management's bypassing traditional editorial channels and safeguards".[148] The scandal caused a major crisis for Stern and, according to Esser and Hartung, the magazine "once known for its investigative reporting, became a prime example of sensation-seeking checkbook journalism".[37] Stern's credibility was severely damaged and it took the magazine ten years to regain its pre-scandal status and reputation.[37] According to the German Historical Institute, the scandal was also "instrumental in discrediting the tendency toward an 'unprejudiced' and euphemistic assessment of the Third Reich in West German popular culture".[149]

At the Sunday Times, Murdoch moved Giles to the new position of "editor emeritus". When Giles asked what the title meant, Murdoch informed him that "It's Latin, Frank; the e means you're out and the meritus means you deserved it."[150] Murdoch later said that "circulation went up and it stayed up. We didn't lose money or anything like that", referring to the 20,000 new readers the paper retained after the scandal broke, and the fact that Stern returned all the money paid to it by the Sunday Times. In April 2012, during the Leveson Inquiry, he acknowledged his role in publishing the diaries, and took the blame for making the decision, saying "It was a massive mistake I made and I will have to live with it for the rest of my life."[151] Trevor-Roper died in 2003. Despite a long and respected career as a historian, according to Richard Davenport-Hines, his biographer, Trevor-Roper's role in the scandal left his reputation "permanently besmirched".[44][r] In January 1984 Broyles resigned as editor of Newsweek, to "pursue new entrepreneurial ventures".[153]

In 1986 the journalist Robert Harris published an account of the hoax, Selling Hitler: The Story of the Hitler Diaries.[154] Five years later Selling Hitler, a five-episode drama-documentary series based on Harris's book, was broadcast on the British ITV channel. It starred Jonathan Pryce as Heidemann, Alexei Sayle as Kujau, Tom Baker as Fischer, Alan Bennett as Trevor-Roper, Roger Lloyd-Pack as Irving, Richard Wilson as Nannen and Barry Humphries as Murdoch.[155] Later that year Charles Hamilton published the second book to investigate the forgeries: The Hitler Diaries.[156] In 1992 the story of the diaries was adapted to the big screen by Helmut Dietl, in his satirical German-language film Schtonk![157] The film, which starred Götz George and Uwe Ochsenknecht as characters based respectively on Heidemann and Kujau, won three Deutscher Filmpreis awards, and nominations for a Golden Globe and an Academy Award.[158][159]

In 2004 one of the diaries was sold at auction for €6,400 to an unknown buyer;[160] the remainder were handed over by Stern to the Bundesarchiv in 2013, not as a memento of the Nazi past, but as an example of news media history.[148] One of the Sunday Times journalists involved in the story, Brian MacArthur, later explained why so many experienced journalists and businessmen "were so gullible" about the authenticity of the diaries:

...  the discovery of the Hitler diaries offered so tempting a scoop that we all wanted to believe they were genuine. Once hoist with a deal, moreover, we had to go on believing in their authenticity until they were convincingly demonstrated as forgeries. ... The few of us who were in on the secret fed in the adrenalin: we were going to write the most stunning scoop of our careers.[161]

Notes and references


  1. ^ In 1959 he was fined 80 Deutsche Marks for stealing tobacco; in 1960 he was sent to prison for nine months after being caught breaking into a storeroom to steal cognac; in 1961 he spent more time in prison after stealing five crates of fruit; six months later he was arrested after getting into a fight with his employer while employed as a cook in a bar.[11]
  2. ^ In April 1983—the time when Stern launched the diaries—UK£1 was worth 3.76 DMs and US$1 was worth 2.44 DMs.[13]
  3. ^ Both the Kujaus were stopped crossing the border between East and West Germany, although only once each, and with no penalty but the confiscation of the contraband.[18][19] Kujau would occasionally wear a pistol and had an obsession with guns. One night in February 1973, while drunk, he took a loaded machine gun to confront a man he thought had been slashing the tyres of the cleaning company van. The man ran off and Kujau chased him into the wrong doorway, where he terrified a prostitute; her screams brought the police, who arrested Kujau. When they searched his flat they found five pistols, a machine gun, a shotgun and three rifles. Kujau apologised and was given a fine.[17]
  4. ^ Hitler had painted during his time in the trenches of the First World War until his paints and brushes were stolen in a convalescence camp at the end of the war.[23]
  5. ^ According to a later investigation by the Hamburg state prosecutor, Stiefel spent 250,000 DMs buying memorabilia from Kujau. His obsession with obtaining paintings, notes, speeches, poems and letters purportedly from Hitler led to him defrauding his own company by 180,000 DMs.[25]
  6. ^ Heidemann photographed and reported on action in the Congo, Biafra, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Iraq, Jordan, Israel, Uganda, Beirut and Oman.[29]
  7. ^ Göring had been given the yacht in 1937 and had named it after his late wife. At the end of the war it was impounded by Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, who presented it to the British royal family. They renamed it the Royal Albert, and then changed its name to the Prince Charles, after his birth. In 1960 it was returned to Göring's widow.[31]
  8. ^ £60,000 in 1968 equates to approximately £930,000 in 2015, while £250,000 equates to £3,870,000, according to calculations based on Consumer Price Index measure of inflation.[40]
  9. ^ The previous year Priesack had "authenticated" Stiefel's primary archive, failing to uncover numerous Kujau forgeries.[49]
  10. ^ Wieland der Schmied was a libretto drafted by Richard Wagner in 1849–50, based on the legend of Wayland the Smith from the Poetic Edda. Originally written for the Paris Opera, the project was abandoned by Wagner and not set to music. [54]
  11. ^ The Hamburg authorities looked into the problem and reported back in 1983, too late to stop the debacle at Stern.[64]
  12. ^ Hamilton puts the delivery of the first diaries in mid-January.[67]
  13. ^ Harris describes how "determining ownership of Hitler's estate was complex, indeed almost impossible". In 1948 the State of Bavaria had seized all Hitler's property, including 5 million DMs due as royalties on Mein Kampf, and declared his will invalid. In 1951 they seized personal objects bequeathed by the German leader to stop their sale, but had been unable to stop the publication of Tischgespräche im Führerhauptquartier (Hitler's Table Talk) because their rights only covered previously published material. Further complications arose from private deals made by individual members of the Hitler family.[77]
  14. ^ In 2000 Irving, a hunter of missing documents relating to Nazi history,[83] sued the American historian Deborah Lipstadt and Penguin Books for libel, after Lipstadt published Denying the Holocaust, in which she called Irving a Holocaust denier. Finding for the defendants, the court found that Irving was an active Holocaust denier, anti-Semite and racist.[84] In 2006 Irving was imprisoned in Austria for denying the Holocaust took place.[85]
  15. ^ Stiefel retained his diary, and refused to sell it back to Kujau. In order to ensure he sold a full set of diaries to Heidemann, Kujau forged a second diary to cover the volume. Heidemann knew this was a second version, and still wanted the original. He offered 15,000 DMs for the diary, and Stiefel finally agreed to the sale, which ensured that Heidemann had two diaries for the period. Heidemann requested a new title for the front page—"Notes for the working team of the party". When he delivered the second volume to Stern's offices, he explained its existence by saying that Hitler occasionally wrote two volumes: one for himself and one for the party.[87]
  16. ^ Hilton, a former forensic worker at the New York City Police Department, was a member of the American Board of Forensic Document Examiners, the American Society of Questioned Document Examiners and the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.[89]
  17. ^ At the time the case went to court, 9.3 million DMs equated to £2.33 million[133] or $3.7 million.[134]
  18. ^ At the time a limerick was circulating around Cambridge:

    There once was a fellow named Dacre,
    Who was God in his own little acre,
    But in the matter of diaries,
    He was quite ultra vires,
    And unable to spot an old faker.[152]


  1. ^ Hamilton 1991, p. 29.
  2. ^ Harris 1991, pp. 29–30.
  3. ^ Harris 1991, pp. 30–31.
  4. ^ Harris 1991, p. 157.
  5. ^ Baur 1958, pp. 180–81.
  6. ^ Harris 1991, p. 94.
  7. ^ Hamilton 1991, p. 149.
  8. ^ Harris 1991, p. 40.
  9. ^ Hamilton 1991, pp. 6–7.
  10. ^ Harris 1991, pp. 105–06.
  11. ^ Harris 1991, p. 106.
  12. ^ Harris 1991, p. 107.
  13. ^ Harris 1991, p. 9.
  14. ^ Hamilton 1991, p. 8.
  15. ^ Harris 1991, pp. 107–08.
  16. ^ Hamilton 1991, p. 9.
  17. ^ a b Harris 1991, p. 110.
  18. ^ Harris 1991, p. 109.
  19. ^ "How They Spun the Web". The Sunday Times. London. 11 December 1983. pp. 33–34.
  20. ^ Harris 1991, pp. 110–11.
  21. ^ Hamilton 1991, p. 11.
  22. ^ a b Harris 1991, p. 112.
  23. ^ Hamilton 1991, p. 13.
  24. ^ Hamilton 1991, pp. 11, 13–15.
  25. ^ a b Harris 1991, pp. 115–16.
  26. ^ Hamilton 1991, p. 17.
  27. ^ Hamilton 1991, p. 25.
  28. ^ Harris 1991, p. 59.
  29. ^ Harris 1991, p. 60.
  30. ^ Harris 1991, pp. 60–62.
  31. ^ a b Harris 1991, p. 57.
  32. ^ Harris 1991, pp. 77–78.
  33. ^ Harris 1991, pp. 64–66.
  34. ^ Harris 1991, pp. 83–84.
  35. ^ a b Harris 1991, pp. 84–85.
  36. ^ Harris 1991, pp. 59–60.
  37. ^ a b c Esser & Hartung 2004, p. 1063.
  38. ^ Harris 1991, p. 13.
  39. ^ Schmidt, Felix (25 April 2013). "Getarnt als Schweizer Sammler". Die Zeit (in German). Hamburg. Archived from the original on 11 July 2015.
  40. ^ UK Retail Price Index inflation figures are based on data from Clark, Gregory (2017). "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved 2 February 2020.
  41. ^ Foley, Charles (25 February 1968). "Forgery? Mussolini inspired me". The Observer. London. p. 4.
  42. ^ Tuccille 1989, pp. 42, 81.
  43. ^ Harris 1991, p. 11.
  44. ^ a b c Davenport-Hines 2004.
  45. ^ Blanchard 2013, p. 431.
  46. ^ Harless 1985, p. 152.
  47. ^ Hamilton 1991, pp. 19–20.
  48. ^ Harris 1991, pp. 117, 137.
  49. ^ Harris 1991, p. 118.
  50. ^ Hamilton 1991, pp. 21–22.
  51. ^ Hamilton 1991, p. 28.
  52. ^ Hamilton 1991, pp. 28–29.
  53. ^ Harris 1991, pp. 90–91.
  54. ^ Gutman 1971, pp. 193–98.
  55. ^ Hamilton 1991, p. 33.
  56. ^ Harris 1991, pp. 97–99.
  57. ^ Evans 1998, pp. 48–49.
  58. ^ Harris 1991, pp. 99–100.
  59. ^ Hamilton 1991, pp. 33–34.
  60. ^ Hamilton 1991, pp. 34–35.
  61. ^ a b Harris 1991, pp. 133–34.
  62. ^ Hamilton 1991, pp. 17–18.
  63. ^ Harris 1991, pp. 135–36.
  64. ^ Hamilton 1991, p. 42.
  65. ^ Hamilton 1991, pp. 41–42.
  66. ^ Harris 1991, pp. 167–69.
  67. ^ a b Hamilton 1991, p. 36.
  68. ^ Hamilton 1991, p. 38.
  69. ^ Hamilton 1991, pp. 36, 44.
  70. ^ Harris 1991, pp. 137–39.
  71. ^ Hamilton 1991, pp. 42–43.
  72. ^ Harris 1991, pp. 142–43.
  73. ^ Harris 1991, p. 119.
  74. ^ Hamilton 1991, p. 39.
  75. ^ Harris 1991, pp. 147–49.
  76. ^ Harris 1991, pp. 151–52.
  77. ^ Harris 1991, p. 158.
  78. ^ Harris 1991, pp. 157–58.
  79. ^ Harris 1991, p. 159.
  80. ^ Watson, Russell; Kubic, Milan J.; Strasser, Steven; Namuth, Tessa (2 May 1983). "Hitler's Secret Diaries". Newsweek. New York, NY. p. 50.
  81. ^ Harris 1991, pp. 159–61.
  82. ^ Harris 1991, pp. 165–66.
  83. ^ Harris 1991, p. 33.
  84. ^ "The ruling against David Irving". The Guardian. London. 11 April 2000. Archived from the original on 2 July 2015.
  85. ^ "Holocaust denier Irving is jailed". BBC. 20 February 2006. Archived from the original on 10 July 2015.
  86. ^ Harris 1991, pp. 220–22.
  87. ^ Hamilton 1991, p. 47.
  88. ^ Harris 1991, pp. 173–74, 178–79.
  89. ^ Harris 1991, pp. 180–81.
  90. ^ Harris 1991, p. 181.
  91. ^ Beck, Melinda; Westerman, Maks; Smith, Vern E.; Malamud, Phyllis (2 May 1983). "Hitler's Secret Diaries; Are They Genuine?". Newsweek. p. 54.
  92. ^ Harris 1991, p. 205.
  93. ^ Hamilton 1991, p. 48.
  94. ^ Hamilton 1991, pp. 52–53.
  95. ^ Harris 1991, p. 258.
  96. ^ Harris 1991, pp. 259–60.
  97. ^ Williams 2015, p. 24.
  98. ^ Trevor-Roper, Hugh (23 April 1983). "Secrets That Survived the Bunker". The Times. London. p. 8.
  99. ^ Harris 1991, pp. 265–66.
  100. ^ a b Hamilton 1991, p. 57.
  101. ^ Harris 1991, pp. 304–05.
  102. ^ Harris 1991, p. 269.
  103. ^ Hamilton 1991, p. 58.
  104. ^ a b Rentschler 2003, p. 178.
  105. ^ Harris 1991, pp. 305–06.
  106. ^ Vinocur, John (26 April 1983). "The Hitler diaries: Rewriting history?". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 1. Archived from the original on 13 May 2016.
  107. ^ Harris 1991, pp. 310–12.
  108. ^ Harris 1991, pp. 314–15.
  109. ^ a b Williams 2015, p. 23.
  110. ^ Harris 1991, pp. 317–18.
  111. ^ Schmidt, Felix (25 April 2013). "Ich übernehme jetzt die Gesamtverantwortung". Die Zeit (in German). Hamburg. Archived from the original on 28 February 2015.
  112. ^ Binyon, Michael (26 April 1983). "Historians call for deeper scrutiny of Hitler diaries". The Times. London. p. 1.
  113. ^ "Lord Dacre Thinks Again". The Guardian. London. 26 April 1983. p. 10.
  114. ^ Blake, Ian; Tomforde, Anna (26 April 1983). "Lord Dacre Unsure on 'Hitler Diaries'". The Guardian. London. p. 30.
  115. ^ Binyon, Michael (26 April 1983). "Hubbub at Conference on Hitler Diaries". The Times. London. p. 34.
  116. ^ Harris 1991, pp. 321–23.
  117. ^ Harris 1991, p. 325.
  118. ^ Harris 1991, p. 337.
  119. ^ Harris 1991, pp. 344–45.
  120. ^ "Why I Believe in the Diaries". The Times. London. 2 May 1983. p. 1.
  121. ^ Harris 1991, p. 339.
  122. ^ Harris 1991, p. 345.
  123. ^ Schmidt, Felix (25 April 2013). "Eine 'plumpe Fälschung'". Die Zeit (in German). Hamburg. Archived from the original on 28 February 2015.
  124. ^ Harris 1991, p. 351.
  125. ^ Harris 1991, pp. 347–48.
  126. ^ Harris 1991, pp. 350–51.
  127. ^ Rendell 1994, p. 112.
  128. ^ Harris 1991, pp. 355–56.
  129. ^ Harris 1991, pp. 359–60, 372–74.
  130. ^ Harris 1991, p. 377.
  131. ^ Catterall, Tony (19 August 1984). "Trial begins on Hitler diaries hoax". The Observer. London. p. 10.
  132. ^ "'Hitler diaries' fraud trial opens". The Guardian. London. 22 August 1984. p. 5.
  133. ^ a b van der Vat, Dan (9 July 1985). "Bunker bunk". The Guardian. London. p. 21.
  134. ^ Markham, James M. (11 May 1983). "Reporter Denies Hitler Hoax Role". The New York Times. New York, NY. p. 3.
  135. ^ Hamilton 1991, p. 153.
  136. ^ "Sleepy trial judge in Hitler case removed". The Times. London. 21 September 1984. p. 5.
  137. ^ Tomforde, Anna (27 September 1984). "Amin's underpants bemuse diaries trial". The Guardian. London. p. 8.
  138. ^ Tomforde, Anna (4 June 1985). "End in sight for Hitler Diaries trial". The Guardian. London. p. 8.
  139. ^ Hamilton 1991, p. 172.
  140. ^ Harris 1991, pp. 381, 384.
  141. ^ Allen-Mills, Tony (9 February 1992). "The Hitler Hoaxer Digs in for More Gold". The Sunday Times. London. p. 17.
  142. ^ Knightley, Phillip (16 September 2000). "Obituaries: Konrad Kujau". The Guardian. London. p. 24.
  143. ^ Marshall, Andrew (5 January 1992). "The forger is back—send for Lord Dacre". The Independent. London. p. 1.
  144. ^ "Hitler diaries agent was 'communist spy'". BBC News. 29 July 2002. Archived from the original on 6 July 2015.
  145. ^ Hall, Allan (24 April 2008). "Living in poverty, the man who 'found' Hitler's diaries". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 5 July 2015.
  146. ^ Schmidt, Felix (25 April 2013). "Der Führer wird immer mitteilsamer". Die Zeit (in German). Hamburg. Archived from the original on 11 July 2015.
  147. ^ Harris 1991, p. 366.
  148. ^ a b Cottrell, Chris; Kulish, Nicholas (25 April 2013). "Forged Hitler diaries enter archives, 30 years after scandal". The International Herald Tribune. New York, NY. p. 4 – via nytimes.com.
  149. ^ "Stern Presents Hitler's Diaries (April 22, 1983)". German History in Documents and Images. German Historical Institute. Archived from the original on 29 June 2015. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  150. ^ Hamilton 1991, pp. 175–76.
  151. ^ Marsden, Sam; Branagh, Ellen; Pickover, Ella (25 April 2012). "Gordon Brown 'not of balanced mind' says Rupert Murdoch". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 17 June 2015.
  152. ^ Harris 1991, p. 326.
  153. ^ "Richard M. Smith Becomes Newsweek's Editor-in-Chief". Newsweek. New York, NY. 16 January 1984. p. 5.
  154. ^ Ascherson, Neal (16 February 1986). "Conmen and Dupes". The Observer. London. p. 27.
  155. ^ Stoddart, Patrick (16 June 1991). "History in the Faking". The Sunday Times. London. p. 16.
  156. ^ "Snatches". The Guardian. London. 18 July 1991. p. 27.
  157. ^ Johnstone, Iain (24 January 1993). "Not a Genuine Fake". The Sunday Times. London. p. 14.
  158. ^ "Helmut Dietl; German director who won an Oscar nomination for a Nazi-themed satire". The Daily Telegraph. London. 2 April 2015. p. 35.
  159. ^ Rentschler 2003, p. 181.
  160. ^ "Fake Hitler diary sold for 6,500 euros at auction". Deutsche Presse-Agentur. 23 April 2004.
  161. ^ MacArthur, Brian (9 June 1991). "Up in smoke". The Sunday Times. London. p. 1, section 3.


11 March 1983

Bob Hawke is appointed Prime Minister of Australia.

Bob Hawke

Hawke Bob BANNER.jpg
Hawke in c. 1983
23rd Prime Minister of Australia
In office
11 March 1983 – 20 December 1991
MonarchElizabeth II
Governor-GeneralNinian Stephen
Bill Hayden
Preceded byMalcolm Fraser
Succeeded byPaul Keating
Leader of the Labor Party
In office
3 February 1983 – 19 December 1991
Preceded byBill Hayden
Succeeded byPaul Keating
Leader of the Opposition
In office
3 February 1983 – 11 March 1983
Prime MinisterMalcolm Fraser
Preceded byBill Hayden
Succeeded byAndrew Peacock
Member of Parliament
for Wills
In office
18 October 1980 – 20 February 1992
Preceded byGordon Bryant
Succeeded byPhil Cleary
Personal details
Robert James Lee Hawke

(1929-12-09)9 December 1929
Border Town, South Australia, Australia
Died16 May 2019(2019-05-16) (aged 89)
Northbridge, New South Wales, Australia
Resting placeMacquarie Park
Political partyLabor
(m. 1956; div. 1994)

(m. 1995)
RelativesAlbert Hawke (uncle)
WebsiteBob Hawke Prime Ministerial Library

Robert James Lee Hawke, AC, GCL (9 December 1929 – 16 May 2019) was an Australian politician who served as Prime Minister of Australia and Leader of the Labor Party from 1983 to 1991. He was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Wills from 1980 to 1992.

Hawke was born in Bordertown, South Australia. He attended the University of Western Australia and went on to study at University College, Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, during which time he set a world record for downing a yard of ale in 11 seconds.[1][2] In 1956, Hawke joined the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) as a research officer. Having risen to become responsible for national wage case arbitration, he was elected as President of the ACTU in 1969, where he achieved a high public profile. He was also President of the Labor Party from 1973 to 1980.

In 1980, Hawke stood down from his roles as ACTU and Labor Party President to announce his intention to enter parliamentary politics, and was subsequently elected to the House of Representatives as the Labor MP for Wills in Victoria. Three years later, he was elected unopposed to replace Bill Hayden as Labor Leader, and within just five weeks led Labor to a landslide victory at the 1983 election and was sworn in as Prime Minister. He led Labor to victory three more times, in 1984, 1987 and 1990, making him the most electorally successful Labor Prime Minister in history. Hawke received high personal approval ratings the vast majority of opinion polls carried out throughout his time in office.

The Hawke Government created Landcare, introduced the universal health scheme Medicare, brokered the Prices and Incomes Accord, established APEC, floated the Australian dollar, deregulated the financial sector, introduced the Family Assistance Scheme, enacted the Sex Discrimination Act to prevent discrimination in the workplace, declared "Advance Australia Fair" as the country's national anthem, initiated superannuation pension schemes for all workers and oversaw passage of the Australia Act that removed all remaining jurisdiction by the United Kingdom from Australia.[3]

In June 1991, Treasurer Paul Keating unsuccessfully challenged for the leadership, believing that Hawke had reneged on the Kirribilli Agreement. Keating mounted a second challenge six months later, this time narrowly succeeding. Hawke subsequently retired from Parliament, pursuing both a business career and a number of charitable causes, until his death in 2019, aged 89. Hawke remains his party's longest-serving leader, and Australia's third-longest-serving Prime Minister behind Robert Menzies and John Howard. He is also the only Prime Minister to be born in South Australia and the only one raised and educated in Western Australia.

Early life and family

Bob Hawke was born on 9 December 1929 in Border Town, South Australia,[4] the second child of Arthur Hawke (1898–1989) (known as Clem), a Congregationalist minister, and his wife Edith Emily (Lee) (1897–1979)[5][6] (known as Ellie), a schoolteacher.[7] His uncle, Albert, was the Labor Premier of Western Australia between 1953 and 1959.[8]

Hawke's brother Neil, who was seven years his senior, died at the age of seventeen after contracting meningitis, for which there was no cure at the time.[8] Ellie Hawke subsequently developed an almost messianic belief in her son's destiny, and this contributed to Hawke's supreme self-confidence throughout his career.[9] At the age of fifteen, he presciently boasted to friends that he would one day become the Prime Minister of Australia.[10]

At the age of seventeen, the same age that his brother Neil had died, Hawke had a serious accident while riding his Panther motorcycle that left him in a critical condition for several days. This near-death experience acted as his catalyst, driving him to make the most of his talents and not let his abilities go to waste.[11][12] He joined the Labor Party in 1947 at the age of eighteen.[13][14]

Education and early career

Hawke was educated at West Leederville State School, Perth Modern School and the University of Western Australia, graduating in 1952 with a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws. He was also president of the university's guild during the same year.[15] The following year, Hawke won a Rhodes Scholarship to attend University College, Oxford, where he undertook a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy, politics and economics (PPE).[16] He soon found he was covering much the same ground as he did in his education at the University of Western Australia, and transferred to a Bachelor of Letters. He wrote his thesis on wage-fixing in Australia and successfully presented it in January 1956.[17]

His academic achievements were complemented by setting a new world record for beer drinking; he downed 2+12 imperial pints (1.4 l)—equivalent to a yard of ale—from a sconce pot in 11 seconds as part of a college penalty.[18][19] In his memoirs, Hawke suggested that this single feat may have contributed to his political success more than any other, by endearing him to an electorate with a strong beer culture.[17]

In 1956, Hawke accepted a scholarship to undertake doctoral studies in the area of arbitration law in the law department at the Australian National University in Canberra.[17][20] Soon after his arrival at ANU, Hawke became the students' representative on the University Council.[20] A year later, Hawke was recommended to the President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) to become a research officer, replacing Harold Souter who had become ACTU Secretary. The recommendation was made by Hawke's mentor at ANU, H.P. Brown, who for a number of years had assisted the ACTU in national wage cases. Hawke decided to abandon his doctoral studies and accept the offer, moving to Melbourne with his wife Hazel.[21]

Australian Council of Trade Unions

Hawke as ACTU President in 1970

Not long after Hawke began work at the ACTU, he became responsible for the presentation of its annual case for higher wages to the national wages tribunal, the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission. He was first appointed as an ACTU advocate in 1959. The 1958 case, under previous advocate R.L. Eggleston, had yielded only a five-shilling increase.[22] The 1959 case found for a fifteen-shilling increase, and was regarded as a personal triumph for Hawke.[23] He went on to attain such success and prominence in his role as an ACTU advocate that, in 1969, he was encouraged to run for the position of ACTU President, despite the fact that he had never held elected office in a trade union.[24]

He was elected ACTU President in 1969 on a modernising platform by the narrow margin of 399 to 350, with the support of the left of the union movement, including some associated with the Communist Party of Australia.[25] He later credited Ray Gietzelt, General Secretary of the FMWU, as the single most significant union figure in helping him achieve this outcome.[26] Questioned after his election on his political stance, Hawke stated that "socialist is not a word I would use to describe myself", saying instead his approach to politics was pragmatic.[27] His commitment to the cause of Jewish Refuseniks purportedly led to a planned assassination attempt on Hawke by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and its Australian operative Munif Mohammed Abou Rish.[28]

In 1971, Hawke along with other members of the ACTU requested that South Africa send a non-racially biased team for the Rugby Union tour, with the intention of unions agreeing not to serve the team in Australia. Prior to arrival, the Western Australian branch of the Transport Workers Union, and the Barmaids' and Barmens' Union, announced that they would serve the team, which allowed the Springboks to land in Perth. The tour commenced on 26 June and riots occurred as anti-apartheid protesters disrupted games. Hawke and his family started to receive malicious mail and phone calls from people who thought that sport and politics should not mix. Hawke remained committed to the ban on apartheid teams and later that year, the South African cricket team was successfully denied and no apartheid team was to ever come to Australia again. It was this ongoing dedication to racial equality in South Africa that would later earn Hawke the respect and friendship of Nelson Mandela.[29][30][31]

In industrial matters, Hawke continued to demonstrate a preference for, and considerable skill at, negotiation, and was generally liked and respected by employers as well as the unions he advocated for. As early as 1972, speculation began that he would seek to enter Parliament and eventually run to become the Leader of the Labor Party. But while his professional career continued successfully, his heavy drinking and womanising placed considerable strains on his family life.[32]

In June 1973, Hawke was elected as the Federal President of the Labor Party. Two years later, when the Whitlam Government was controversially dismissed by the Governor-General, Hawke showed an initial keenness to enter Parliament at the ensuing election. Harry Jenkins, the MP for Scullin, came under pressure to step down to allow Hawke to stand in his place, but he strongly resisted this push.[33] Hawke eventually decided not to attempt to enter Parliament at that time, a decision he soon regretted. After Labor was defeated at the election, Whitlam initially offered the leadership to Hawke, although it was not within Whitlam's power to decide who would succeed him.[34] Despite not taking on the offer, Hawke remained influential, playing a key role in averting national strike action.[35] During the 1977 federal election, he emerged as a strident opponent of accepting Vietnamese boat people as refugees into Australia, stating that they should be subject to normal immigration requirements and should otherwise be deported. He further stated only refugees selected off-shore should be accepted.[36]

Hawke resigned as President of the Labor Party in August 1978. Neil Batt was elected in his place.[37] The strain of this period took its toll on Hawke and in 1979 he suffered a physical collapse. This shock led Hawke to publicly announce his alcoholism in a television interview, and that he would make a concerted—and ultimately successful—effort to overcome it. He was helped through this period by the relationship that he had established with writer Blanche d'Alpuget, who, in 1982, published a biography of Hawke. His popularity with the public was, if anything, enhanced by this period of rehabilitation, and opinion polling suggested that he was a more popular public figure than either Labor Leader Bill Hayden or Liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser.

Member of Parliament

Hawke's first attempt to enter Parliament came during the 1963 federal election. He stood in the seat of Corio in Geelong and managed to achieve a 3.1% swing against the national trend, although he fell short of ousting longtime Liberal incumbent Hubert Opperman.[38] Hawke rejected several opportunities to enter Parliament throughout the 1970s, something he later wrote that he "regretted". He eventually stood for election to the House of Representatives at the 1980 election for the safe Melbourne seat of Wills, winning it comfortably. Immediately upon his election to Parliament, Hawke was appointed to the Shadow Cabinet by Labor Leader Bill Hayden as Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations.[39]

Hayden, after having narrowly lost the 1980 election, was increasingly subject to criticism from Labor MPs over his leadership style. In order to quell speculation over his position, Hayden called a leadership spill on 16 July 1982, believing that if he won he would be guaranteed to lead Labor through to the next election.[40] Hawke decided to challenge Hayden in the spill, but Hayden defeated him by five votes; the margin of victory, however, was too slim to dispel doubts that he could lead the Labor Party to victory at an election.[41] Despite his defeat, Hawke began to agitate more seriously behind the scenes for a change in leadership, with opinion polls continuing to show that Hawke was a far more popular public figure than both Hayden and Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser. Hayden was further weakened after Labor's unexpectedly poor performance at a by-election in December 1982 for the Victorian seat of Flinders, following the resignation of the former Liberal MP Phillip Lynch. Labor needed a swing of 5.5% to win the seat and had been predicted by the media to win, but could only achieve 3%.[42]

Labor Party power-brokers, such as Graham Richardson and Barrie Unsworth, now openly switched their allegiance from Hayden to Hawke.[42] More significantly, Hayden's staunch friend and political ally, Labor's Senate Leader John Button, had become convinced that Hawke's chances of victory at an election were greater than Hayden's. Initially, Hayden believed that he could remain in his job, but Button's defection proved to be the final straw in convincing Hayden that he would have to resign as Labor Leader.[43] Less than two months after the Flinders by-election result, Hayden announced his resignation as Leader of the Labor Party on 3 February 1983. Hawke was subsequently elected as Leader unopposed, and became Leader of the Opposition in the process.[43] Having learned that morning about the possible leadership change, on the same that Hawke assumed the leadership of the Labor Party, Malcolm Fraser called a snap election for 5 March 1983, unsuccessfully attempting to prevent Labor from making the leadership change.[44] However, he was unable to have the Governor-General confirm the election before Labor announced the change.[citation needed]

At the 1983 election, Hawke led Labor to a landslide victory, achieving a 24-seat swing and ending seven years of Liberal Party rule.

Prime Minister of Australia

Leadership style

Hawke presenting a relief cheque to South Australian Premier John Bannon following the 1983 bushfires
William Cheung and Bob Hawke in traditional Chinese attire

After Labor's landslide victory, Hawke was sworn in as the 23rd Prime Minister of Australia by the Governor-General on 11 March 1983. The style of the Hawke Government were deliberately distinct from the Whitlam Government, the most recent Labor Government that preceded it.[clarification needed] Rather than immediately initiating multiple extensive reform programs as Whitlam had, Hawke announced that Malcolm Fraser's pre-election concealment of the budget deficit meant that many of Labor's election commitments would have to be deferred.[45] As part of his internal reforms package, Hawke divided the government into two tiers, with only the most senior ministers sitting in the Cabinet. The Labor caucus was still given the authority to determine who would make up the Ministry, but this move gave Hawke unprecedented powers to empower individual ministers.[46]

Hawke pursued a consensual leadership style, committing a significant amount of time to chairing lengthy Cabinet meetings, and granting a significant degree of autonomy to ministers. Members of the Cabinet were encouraged to challenge one another's policy proposals in Cabinet, which whilst causing often time-absorbing debate, also led to conclusions being adopted only when they had the support of a clear majority of ministers; in this way, Hawke was able to avoid what was often cited as the unwieldy nature of the Whitlam Government. Numerous ministers stated that they believed Hawke's consensus style and details-oriented chairing style was his greatest asset as Prime Minister.[citation needed]

In particular, the political partnership that developed between Hawke and his Treasurer, Paul Keating, proved to be essential to Labor's success in government, with multiple Labor figures in years since citing the partnership as the party's greatest ever.[47] The two men proved a study in contrasts: Hawke was a Rhodes Scholar; Keating left high school early.[48] Hawke's enthusiasms were cigars, betting and most forms of sport; Keating preferred classical architecture, Mahler symphonies and collecting British Regency and French Empire antiques.[49] Despite not knowing one another before Hawke assumed the leadership in 1983, the two formed a personal as well as political relationship which enabled the Government to pursue a significant number of reforms, although there were occasional points of tension between the two.[50]

The Labor Caucus under Hawke also developed a more formalised system of parliamentary factions, which significantly altered the dynamics of caucus operations.[46] Unlike many of his predecessor leaders, Hawke's authority within the Labor Party was absolute. This enabled him to persuade MPs to support a substantial set of policy changes which had not been considered achievable by Labor Governments in the past. Individual accounts from ministers indicate that while Hawke was not often the driving force behind individual reforms, outside of broader economic changes, he took on the role of providing political guidance on what was electorally feasible and how best to sell it to the public, tasks at which he proved highly successful. Hawke took on a very public role as Prime Minister, campaigning frequently even outside of election periods, and for much of his time in office proved to be incredibly popular with the Australian electorate; to this date he still holds the highest ever AC Nielsen approval rating of 75%.[51]

Economic policy

Hawke and US President Ronald Reagan at the White House in November 1984

The Hawke Government oversaw significant economic reforms, and is often cited by economic historians as being a "turning point" from a protectionist, agricultural model to a more globalised and services-oriented economy. According to the journalist Paul Kelly, "the most influential economic decisions of the 1980s were the floating of the Australian dollar and the deregulation of the financial system".[52] Although the Fraser Government had played a part in the process of financial deregulation by commissioning the 1981 Campbell Report, opposition from Fraser himself had stalled this process.[53] Shortly after its election in 1983, the Hawke Government took the opportunity to implement a comprehensive program of economic reform, in the process "transform(ing) economics and politics in Australia".[52]

Hawke and Keating together led the process for overseeing the economic changes by launching a "National Economic Summit" one month after their election in 1983, which brought together business and industrial leaders together with politicians and trade union leaders; the three-day summit led to a unanimous adoption of a national economic strategy, generating sufficient political capital for widespread reform to follow.[54] Among other reforms, the Hawke Government floated the Australian dollar, repealed rules that prohibited foreign-owned banks to operate in Australia, dismantled the protectionist tariff system, privatised several state sector industries, ended the subsidisation of loss-making industries, and sold off part of the state-owned Commonwealth Bank.[55]

The taxation system was also significantly reformed, with income tax rates reduced and the introduction of a fringe benefits tax and a capital gains tax; the latter two reforms were strongly opposed by the Liberal Party at the time, but were never reversed by them when they eventually returned to office in 1996.[56] Partially offsetting these imposts upon the business community—the "main loser" from the 1985 Tax Summit according to Paul Kelly—was the introduction of full dividend imputation, a reform insisted upon by Keating.[57] Funding for schools was also considerably increased as part of this package, while financial assistance was provided for students to enable them to stay at school longer; the number of Australian children completing school rose from 3 in 10 at the beginning of the Hawke Government to 7 in 10 by its conclusion in 1991. Considerable progress was also made in directing assistance "to the most disadvantaged recipients over the whole range of welfare benefits."[58]

Social and environmental policy

Although criticisms were levelled against the Hawke Government that it did not achieve all it said it would do on social policy, it nevertheless enacting a series of reforms which remain in place to the present day.[59][60] From 1983 to 1989, the Government oversaw the permanent establishment of universal health care in Australia with the creation of Medicare, doubled the number of subsidised childcare places, began the introduction of occupational superannuation, oversaw a significant increase in school retention rates, created subsidised homecare services, oversaw the elimination of poverty traps in the welfare system, increased the real value of the old-age pension, reintroduced the six-monthly indexation of single-person unemployment benefits, and established a wide-ranging programme for paid family support, known as the Family Income Supplement.[61][62] During the 1980s, the proportion of total government outlays allocated to families, the sick, single parents, widows, the handicapped, and veterans was significantly higher than under the previous Fraser and Whitlam Governments.[61]

In 1984, the Hawke Government enacted the landmark Sex Discrimination Act, which eliminated discrimination on the grounds of sex within the workplace.[63] In 1989, Hawke oversaw the gradual re-introduction of some tuition fees for university study, creating set up the Higher Education Contributions Scheme (HECS).[64] Under the original HECS, a $1,800 fee was charged to all university students, and the Commonwealth paid the balance. A student could defer payment of this HECS amount and repay the debt through the tax system, when the student's income exceeds a threshold level. As part of the reforms, Colleges of Advanced Education entered the University sector by various means. by doing so, university places were able to be expanded. Further notable policy decisions taken during the Government's time in office included the public health campaign regarding HIV/AIDS, and Indigenous land rights reform, with an investigation of the idea of a treaty between Aborigines and the Government being launched, although the latter would be overtaken by events, notably the Mabo court decision.[65][66]

The Hawke Government also drew attention for a series of notable environmental decisions, particularly in its second and third terms. In 1983, Hawke personally vetoed the construction of the Franklin Dam in Tasmania, responding to a groundswell of protest around the issue.[67] Hawke also secured the nomination of the Wet Tropics of Queensland as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, preventing the forests there from being logged. Hawke would later appoint Graham Richardson as Environment Minister, tasking him with winning the second-preference support from environmental parties, something which Richardson later claimed was the major factor in the government's narrow re-election at the 1990 election.[68] In the Government's fourth term, Hawke personally led the Australian delegation to secure changes to the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, ultimately winning a guarantee that drilling for minerals within Antarctica would be totally prohibited until 2048 at the earliest.[69] Hawke later claimed that the Antarctic drilling ban was his "proudest achievement".[70]

Industrial relations policy

Hawke addresses the Labour Day crowd, 1980

As a former ACTU President, Hawke was well-placed to engage in reform of the industrial relations system in Australia, taking a lead on this policy area as in few others. Working closely with ministerial colleagues and the ACTU Secretary, Bill Kelty, Hawke negotiated with trade unions to establish the Prices and Incomes Accord in 1983, an agreement whereby unions agreed to restrict their demands for wage increases, and in turn the Government guaranteed to both minimise inflation and promote an increased social wage, including by establishing new social programmes such as Medicare.[71]

Inflation had been a significant issue for the previous decade prior to the election of the Hawke Government, regularly running into double-digits. The process of the Accord, by which the Government and trade unions would arbitrate and agree upon wage increases in many sectors, led to a decrease in both inflation and unemployment through to 1990. Criticisms of the Accord would come from both the right and the left of politics. Left-wing critics claimed that it kept real wages stagnant, and that the Accord was a policy of class collaboration and corporatism. By contrast, right-wing critics claimed that the Accord reduced the flexibility of the wages system. Supporters of the Accord, however, pointed to the improvements in the social security system that occurred, including the introduction of rental assistance for social security recipients, the creation of labour market schemes such as NewStart, and the introduction of the Family Income Supplement.[72] In 1986, the Hawke government passed a bill to de-register the Builders Labourers Federation federally due to the union not following the Accord agreements.[73][74]

Despite a percentage fall in real money wages from 1983 to 1991, the social wage of Australian workers was argued by the Government to have improved drastically as a result of these reforms, and the ensuing decline in inflation.[75] The Accord was revisited six further times during the Hawke Government, each time in response to new economic developments. The seventh and final revisiting would ultimately lead to the establishment of the enterprise bargaining system, although this would be finalised shortly after Hawke left office in 1991.

Foreign policy

Hawke with wife Hazel in Moscow, 1987

Arguably the most significant foreign policy achievement of the Government took place in 1989, after Hawke proposed a south-east Asian region-wide forum for leaders and economic ministers to discuss issues of common concern. After winning the support of key countries in the region, this led to the creation of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).[76][77] The first APEC meeting duly took place in Canberra in November 1989; the economic ministers of Australia, Brunei, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and the United States all attended. APEC would subsequently grow to become one of the most pre-eminent high-level international forums in the world, particularly after the later inclusions of China and Russia, and the Keating Government's later establishment of the APEC Leaders' Forum.[76][77]

Elsewhere in Asia, the Hawke Government played a significant role in the build-up to the United Nations peace process for Cambodia, culminating in the Transitional Authority; Hawke's Foreign Minister Gareth Evans was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in negotiations.[78] Hawke also took a major public stand in the aftermath of the Tiananmen square massacre in 1989; despite having spent years trying to get closer relations with China, Hawke gave a tearful address on national television describing the massacre in graphic detail, and unilaterally offered asylum to over 42,000 Chinese students who were living in Australia at the time, many of whom had publicly supported the Tiananmen protesters. Hawke did so without even consulting his Cabinet, stating later that he felt he simply had to act.[79]

The Hawke Government pursued a close relationship with the United States, assisted by Hawke's close friendship with US Secretary of State George Shultz; this led to a degree of controversy when the Government supported the US's plans to test ballistic missiles off the coast of Tasmania in 1985, as well as seeking to overturn Australia's long-standing ban on uranium exports. Although the US ultimately withdrew the plans to test the missiles, the furore led to a fall in Hawke's approval ratings.[80] Shortly after the 1990 election, Hawke would lead Australia into its first overseas military campaign since the Vietnam War, forming a close alliance with US President George H. W. Bush to join the coalition in the Gulf War. The Australian Navy contributed several destroyers and frigates to the war effort, which successfully concluded in February 1991, with the expulsion of Iraqi forces from Kuwait. The success of the campaign, and the lack of any Australian casualties, led to a brief increase in the popularity of the Government.[citation needed]

Through his role on the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, Hawke played a leading role in ensuring the Commonwealth initiated an international boycott on foreign investment into South Africa, building on work undertaken by his predecessor Malcolm Fraser, and in the process clashing publicly with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who initially favoured a more cautious approach. The resulting boycott, led by the Commonwealth, was widely credited with helping bring about the collapse of apartheid, and resulted in a high-profile visit by Nelson Mandela in October 1990, months after the latter's release from a 27-year stint in prison. During the visit, Mandela publicly thanked the Hawke Government for the role it played in the boycott.[81]

Election wins and leadership challenges

Prime Minister's Office preserved from Hawke's time in office in 1988, Old Parliament House

Hawke benefited greatly from the disarray into which the Liberal Party fell after the resignation of Fraser following the 1983 election. The Liberals were torn between supporters of the more conservative John Howard and the more liberal Andrew Peacock, with the pair frequently contesting the leadership. Hawke and Keating were also able to use the concealment of the size of the budget deficit by Fraser prior to the 1983 election to great effect,[citation needed] damaging the Liberal Party's economic credibility as a result.

However, Hawke's time as Prime Minister also saw friction develop between himself and the grassroots of the Labor Party, many of whom were unhappy at what they viewed as Hawke's iconoclasm and willingness to cooperate with business interests. Hawke regularly and publicly expressed his willingness to cull Labor's "sacred cows". The Socialist Left faction, as well as prominent Labor backbencher Barry Jones, offered repeated criticisms of a number of government decisions. Hawke also was subject to challenges from some former colleagues in the trade union movement over his "confrontationalist style" in siding with the airline companies in the 1989 Australian pilots' strike.[82]

Nevertheless, Hawke was able to comfortably maintain a lead as preferred Prime Minister in the vast majority of opinion polls carried out throughout his time in office. He recorded the highest popularity rating ever measured by an Australian opinion poll, reaching 75% approval in 1984.[83] After leading Labor to a comfortable victory in the snap 1984 election, called in order to bring the mandate of the House of Representatives back in line with the Senate, Hawke was able to secure an unprecedented third consecutive term for Labor with a landslide victory in the double dissolution election of 1987. Hawke was subsequently able to lead the nation in the Bicentennial celebrations of 1988, culminating with him welcoming Queen Elizabeth II to open the newly constructed Parliament House.

The economic downturn of the late 1980s, and accompanying high interest rates, saw the Government fall in opinion polls, with many doubting that Hawke could win a fourth election. Paul Keating, who had long understood that he would eventually succeed Hawke as Prime Minister, began to plan a leadership change; at the end of 1988, Keating put pressure on Hawke to retire in the new year. Hawke rejected this suggestion but reached a secret agreement with Keating, the so-called "Kirribilli Agreement", stating that he would step down in Keating's favour at some point after the 1990 election.[84] Hawke subsequently won that election, in the process leading Labor to a record fourth consecutive electoral victory, albeit by a slim margin. Hawke appointed Keating Deputy Prime Minister to replace the retiring Lionel Bowen.

By the end of 1990, frustrated by the lack of any indication from Hawke as to when he might retire, Keating made a provocative speech to the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery. Hawke considered the speech disloyal, and told Keating he would renege on the Kirribilli Agreement as a result.[85] After attempting to force a resolution privately, Keating finally resigned from the Government in June 1991 in order to challenge Hawke for the leadership.[86] Hawke won the leadership spill, and in a press conference after the result, Keating declared that he had fired his "one shot" on the leadership. Hawke appointed John Kerin to replace Keating as Treasurer.[87]

Despite his victory in the June spill, Hawke quickly began to be regarded by many of his colleagues as a "wounded" leader; he had now lost his long-term political partner, his rating in opinion polls were beginning to fall significantly, and after nearly nine years as Prime Minister, there was speculation that it would soon be time for a new leader.[88] Hawke's leadership was ultimately irrevocably damaged at the end of 1991; after Liberal Leader John Hewson released 'Fightback!', a detailed proposal for sweeping economic change, including the introduction of a goods and services tax, Hawke was forced to sack Kerin as Treasurer after the latter made a public gaffe attempting to attack the policy.[87][89] Keating duly challenged for the leadership a second time on 19 December, arguing that he would better placed to defeat Hewson; this time, Keating succeeded, narrowly defeating Hawke by 56 votes to 51.[90]

In a speech to the House of Representatives following the vote, Hawke declared that his nine years as Prime Minister had left Australia a better and wealthier country, and he was given a standing ovation by those present. He subsequently tendered his resignation to the Governor-General and pledged support to his successor. Hawke briefly returned to the backbench, before resigning from Parliament on 20 February 1992, sparking a by-election which was won by the independent candidate Phil Cleary from among a record field of 22 candidates.[91] Keating would go on to lead Labor to a fifth victory at the 1993 election, although he was defeated by the Liberal Party at the 1996 election.

Hawke wrote that he had very few regrets over his time in office, although stated he wished he had been able to advance the cause of Indigenous land rights further. His bitterness towards Keating over the leadership challenges surfaced in his earlier memoirs, although by the 2000s Hawke stated he and Keating had buried their differences, and that they regularly dined together and considered each other friends.[92] The publication of the book Hawke: The Prime Minister, by Hawke's second wife, Blanche d'Alpuget, in 2010, reignited conflict between the two, with Keating accusing Hawke and d'Alpuget of spreading falsehoods about his role in the Hawke Government.[93] Despite this, the two campaigned together for Labor several times, including at the 2019 election, where they released their first joint article for nearly three decades; Craig Emerson, who worked for both men, said they had reconciled in later years after Hawke grew ill.[94]

Retirement and later life

Hawke at Parliament House for the Apology to the Stolen Generations in 2008

After leaving Parliament, Hawke entered the business world, taking on a number of directorships and consultancy positions which enabled him to achieve considerable financial success. He avoided public involvement with the Labor Party during Keating's tenure as Prime Minister, not wanting to be seen as attempting to overshadow his successor.[95] After Keating's defeat and the election of the Howard Government at the 1996 election, he returned to public campaigning with Labor, regularly appearing at election launches, and joining the campaign for a Yes vote in the 1999 republic referendum.[citation needed]

In 2002, Hawke was named to South Australia's Economic Development Board during the Rann Government.[96][97] In the lead up to the 2007 election, Hawke made a considerable personal effort to support Kevin Rudd, making speeches at a large number of campaign office openings across Australia, and appearing in multiple campaign advertisements. As well as campaigning against WorkChoices, Hawke also attacked John Howard's record as Treasurer, stating "it was the judgement of every economist and international financial institution that it was the restructuring reforms undertaken by my government, with the full cooperation of the trade union movement, which created the strength of the Australian economy today".[98] In February 2008, after Rudd's victory, Hawke joined former Prime Ministers Gough Whitlam, Malcolm Fraser and Paul Keating in Parliament House to witness the long anticipated apology to the Stolen Generations.[99]

Hawke in 2012

In 2009, Hawke helped establish the Centre for Muslim and Non-Muslim Understanding at the University of South Australia. Interfaith dialogue was an important issue for Hawke, who told the Adelaide Review that he was "convinced that one of the great potential dangers confronting the world is the lack of understanding in regard to the Muslim world. Fanatics have misrepresented what Islam is. They give a false impression of the essential nature of Islam."[100]

In 2016, after taking part in Andrew Denton's Better Off Dead podcast, Hawke added his voice to calls for voluntary euthanasia to be legalised.[101] Hawke labelled as 'absurd' the lack of political will to fix the problem. He revealed that he had such an arrangement with his wife Blanche should such a devastating medical situation occur.[102] He also publicly advocated for nuclear power and the importation of international spent nuclear fuel to Australia for storage and disposal, stating that this could lead to considerable economic benefits for Australia.[103][104]

In late December 2018, Hawke revealed that he was in "terrible health". While predicting a Labor win in the upcoming 2019 federal election, Hawke said he "may not witness the party's success".[105] In May 2019, the month of the election, he issued a joint statement with Paul Keating endorsing Labor's economic plan and condemning the Liberal Party for "completely [giving] up the economic reform agenda". They stated that "Shorten's Labor is the only party of government focused on the need to modernise the economy to deal with the major challenge of our time: human induced climate change". It was the first joint press statement released by the two since 1991.[106]

On 16 May 2019, two days before the election, Hawke died at his home in Northbridge at the age of 89, following a short illness.[107][108] His family held a private cremation on 27 May at Macquarie Park Cemetery and Crematorium where he was subsequently interred.[109] A state memorial was held at the Sydney Opera House on 14 June; speakers included Craig Emerson as master of ceremonies and Kim Beazley reading the eulogy, as well as Paul Keating, Julia Gillard, Bill Kelty, Ross Garnaut, and incumbent Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese.[110]

Personal life

Hawke and his wife, Blanche d'Alpuget, in 2007

Hawke married Hazel Masterson in 1956 at Perth Trinity Church.[20] They had three children: Susan (born 1957), Stephen (born 1959) and Roslyn (born 1960). Their fourth child, Robert Jr, died in early infancy in 1963. Hawke was named Victorian Father of the Year in 1971, an honour which his wife disputed due to his heavy drinking and womanising.[111][112] The couple divorced in 1995, after he left her for the writer Blanche d'Alpuget, and the two lived together in Northbridge, a suburb of the North Shore of Sydney.[113][112] The divorce estranged Hawke from some of his family for a period, although they had reconciled by the 2010s.[114]

Throughout his early life, Hawke was a heavy drinker, having set a world record for drinking during his years as a student.[17] Hawke eventually suffered from alcohol poisoning following the death of his and Hazel's infant son in 1963. He publicly announced in 1980 that he would abstain from alcohol in order to seek election to Parliament, in a move which garnered significant public attention and support.[17] Hawke began to drink again following his retirement from politics, although to a more manageable extent; on several occasions, in his later years, videos of Hawke downing beer at cricket matches would frequently go viral.[115]

On the subject of religion, Hawke wrote, while attending the 1952 World Christian Youth Conference in India, that "there were all these poverty stricken kids at the gate of this palatial place where we were feeding our face and I just (was) struck by this enormous sense of irrelevance of religion to the needs of people". He subsequently abandoned his Christian beliefs.[116] By the time he entered politics he was a self-described agnostic.[117] Hawke told Andrew Denton in 2008 that his father's Christian faith had continued to influence his outlook, saying "My father said if you believe in the fatherhood of God you must necessarily believe in the brotherhood of man, it follows necessarily, and even though I left the church and was not religious, that truth remained with me."[118]


Bust of Hawke in the Prime Ministers Avenue in the Ballarat Botanical Gardens

A biographical television film, Hawke, premiered on the Ten Network in Australia on 18 July 2010, with Richard Roxburgh playing the title character. Rachael Blake and Felix Williamson portrayed Hazel Hawke and Paul Keating, respectively.[119][120] Roxburgh reprised his role as Hawke in the 2020 episode "Terra Nullius" of the Netflix series The Crown.[121]

In July 2019, the Australian Government announced it would spend $750,000 to purchase and renovate the house in Bordertown where Hawke was born and spent his early childhood.[122] In January 2021, the Tatiara District Council decided to turn the house into tourist accommodation.[123]

In December 2020, the Western Australian Government announced that it had purchased Hawke's childhood home in West Leederville and would maintain it as a state asset. The property will also be assessed for entry onto the State Register of Heritage Places.[124]

The Australian Government pledged $5 million in July 2019 to establish a new annual scholarship—the Bob Hawke John Monash Scholarship—through the General Sir John Monash Foundation.[122] Bob Hawke College, a high school in Subiaco, Western Australia named after Hawke, was opened in February 2020.[125]

In March 2020, the Australian Electoral Commission announced that it would create a new Australian electoral division in the House of Representatives named in honour of Hawke. The will be fought for the first time at the next federal election, and is located in the state of Victoria, near to the seat of Wills, which Hawke represented from 1980 to 1992.[126]



Foreign honours



Honorary degrees


See also


  1. ^ Bob Hawke (1994). The Hawke Memoirs. Heinemann. p. 28. ISBN 9780434313914. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
  2. ^ "Media Man Australia: The Online Home of Greg Tingle, Journalist & TV Presenter". Mediaman.com.au. 3 December 2003. Archived from the original on 7 May 2010. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
  3. ^ "Australia Act (Commencement) Order 1986" (PDF). Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  4. ^ Carroll, Brian (17 May 2019). Australia's Prime Ministers: From Barton to Howard. Rosenberg Publishing Pty, Limited. ISBN 9781877058226 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ "Bob Hawke mourns his father's death". The Canberra Times. 64 (19, 980). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 24 December 1989. p. 3. Retrieved 17 May 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  6. ^ "Hawke's mother". The Canberra Times. 54 (16, 057). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 10 September 1979. p. 3. Retrieved 17 May 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  7. ^ D'Alpuget, Blanche (1982), Robert J. Hawke: A biography, Melbourne: Schwartz, p. 2, ISBN 0867530014
  8. ^ a b Clench, Sam; Paine, Hannah (16 May 2019). "Legendary former prime minister Bob Hawke dead at 89". News.com.au. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  9. ^ Davidson, G., et al. (1998), p. 302
  10. ^ Iyer, Pico (14 March 1983). "Australia: Hawke Swoops into Power, Time/CNN, 14 March 1983". Time. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
  11. ^ D'Alpuget, Blanche (1982). Robert .J. Hawke: A biography, p. 31. Schwartz, Melbourne. ISBN 0867530014.
  12. ^ "Australia's Prime Ministers: Robert Hawke". National Archives of Australia. 2014. Archived from the original on 12 September 2009. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  13. ^ Hurst, J., (1983), p.18
  14. ^ Hawke, Bob (1994), p.19
  15. ^ "Bob Hawke qualifies for cheap coffee on campus | University News : The University of Western Australia". News.uwa.edu.au. 27 March 2014. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  16. ^ Hawke, Bob (1994), p.24
  17. ^ a b c d e Hawke, Bob (1994), p. 28
  18. ^ Bob Hawke (1994). The Hawke Memoirs. Heinemann. p. 28. ISBN 9780434313914. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
  19. ^ "Media Man Australia: The Online Home of Greg Tingle, Journalist & TV Presenter". Mediaman.com.au. 3 December 2003. Archived from the original on 7 May 2010. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
  20. ^ a b c Hurst, J., (1983), p.25
  21. ^ Hurst, J., (1983), p. 26
  22. ^ Hurst (1983), p. 27
  23. ^ Hurst (1983), p. 31
  24. ^ Bramble, Tom (2008). Trade Unionism in Australia: A History from Flood to Ebb Tide. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1107321199.
  25. ^ Hurst, J., (1983), p. 78
  26. ^ "Vale Ray Gietzelt". United Voice. Archived from the original on 7 April 2015. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
  27. ^ Zinn, Christopher (16 May 2019). "Bob Hawke obituary". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  28. ^ Nicholson, Brendan (31 December 2006). "Terrorists plotted Hawke assassination: ASIO". The Age. Melbourne. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
  29. ^ D'Alpuget, Blanche (1982). Robert .J. Hawke: A biography, p. 192. Schwartz, Melbourne; ISBN 0867530014.
  30. ^ "Australia and the issue of apartheid in sport". National Archives of Australia. 2014. Archived from the original on 2 March 2014. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  31. ^ "1971 Springbok tour: When campaigners scored a victory against racism". Solidarity Magazine. 2011. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  32. ^ Davidson, G., et al. (1998), p. 303
  33. ^ Obituary "Labor stalwart who would not stand aside for Bob Hawke", The Age, 6 August 2004, p.9
  34. ^ Hawke (1994), p.70
  35. ^ Hurst, J., (1983), p. 198
  36. ^ Neumann, Klaus (5 June 2015). "'Queue jumpers' and 'boat people': the way we talk about refugees began in 1977". Guardian Australia.
  37. ^ Papua New Guinea Post-Courier (Port Moresby : 1969 - 1981), 3 August 1978 (p.6)
  38. ^ [1] Archived 10 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  39. ^ Hurst, J., (1983), p. 262
  40. ^ Kelly, P., (1992), p. 24
  41. ^ Hurst, J., (1983), p. 269
  42. ^ a b Hurst, J., (1983), p. 270
  43. ^ a b Hurst, J., (1983), p. 273
  44. ^ Hurst, J., (1983), p. 275
  45. ^ Kelly, P., (1992), p.57
  46. ^ a b Kelly, P., (1992), p. 30
  47. ^ "CONDOLENCES - Hawke, Hon. Robert James Lee (Bob), AC". Hansard. Parliament of Australia. 3 July 2019. Retrieved 19 June 2021.
  48. ^ Edwards, J.,(1996), p.44
  49. ^ Edwards, J.,(1996), p.6, p.48
  50. ^ "Hawke memorial: Keating on a friendship that lasted to the end". Australian Financial Review. 15 June 2019. Retrieved 19 June 2021.
  51. ^ "The biggest hammering in history". The Sydney Morning Herald. 20 May 2008. Retrieved 20 May 2008.
  52. ^ a b Kelly, P., (1992), p.76
  53. ^ Kelly, P., (1992), p.78
  54. ^ "Hawke: 1983 National Economic Summit established success". www.abc.net.au. 2 January 2021. Retrieved 19 June 2021.
  55. ^ "ParlInfo – Australian Labor party: record of achievements 1983–1990". Retrieved 28 July 2015.
  56. ^ Kelly, P., (1992), p. 175
  57. ^ Kelly, P., (1992), p. 174
  58. ^ Ross McMullin, The Light on the Hill: The Australian Labor Party 1891–1991
  59. ^ "Achievements of the Federal Labor Government – 1983–1986". Pandora.nla.gov.au. 23 August 2006. Archived from the original on 18 July 2001. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
  60. ^ [2] Archived 12 March 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  61. ^ a b Whitlam, Wran and the Labor tradition: Labor history essays, volume two By Gough Whitlam, Australian Labor Party, New South Wales Branch
  62. ^ "Wran/1986 The Great Tradition-Labor Reform from Curtin to Hawke". John.curtin.edu.au. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
  63. ^ "Sex Discrimination Act 1984". Commonwealth Consolidated Acts. Retrieved 19 June 2021.
  64. ^ "Higher Education Funding Act 1988". Austlii.edu.au. 1 January 2005. Retrieved 27 August 2010.
  65. ^ For discussion see William Bowtell, Australia's Response to HIV/AIDS 1982–2005, Lowy Institute for International Policy, May 2005
  66. ^ Gardiner-Garden, John. "From Dispossession to Reconciliation". Australian Parliamentary Library. Australian Parliamentary Library. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  67. ^ Kelly, P., (1992), p. 528
  68. ^ Richardson, G., (1994), pp. 276–77
  69. ^ "20th Anniversary of the Hawke Government's action to protect Antarctica". www.antarctica.gov.au (Press release). Australian Antarctic Program. Retrieved 19 June 2021.
  70. ^ Walsh, Nonee (14 December 2009). "Hawke honoured for Antarctic mining fight". www.abc.net.au. Retrieved 19 June 2021.
  71. ^ "1984–85 – Hawke government – Industrial relations". National Archives of Australia. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  72. ^ Australia's welfare wars: the players, the politics and the ideologies by Philip Mendes
  73. ^ "Australian Council of Trade Unions boss Sally McManus admits she doesn't know about Bob Hawke's deregistration of the BLF". Herald Sun. 2017.
  74. ^ "Are we in Accord? | Frank Bongiorno". Inside Story. 27 May 2020. Retrieved 9 December 2020.
  75. ^ Developments in Australian politics by Judith Brett, James A. Gillespie, and Murray Goot
  76. ^ a b "History". apec.org. The idea of APEC was firstly publicly broached by former Prime Minister of Australia Bob Hawke during a speech in Seoul, Korea, on 30 January 1969. Ten months later, 12 Asia-Pacific economies met in Canberra, Australia, to establish APEC.
  77. ^ a b "Back to Canberra: Founding APEC".
  78. ^ See Ken Berry, Cambodia From Red to Blue: Australia's Initiative for Peace (Allen & Unwin, 1997)
  79. ^ Fang, Jason; Weedon, Alan (8 June 2020). "More than 40,000 Chinese were offered asylum in Australia exactly 31 years ago. Here are their stories". www.abc.net.au.
  80. ^ "US rocket plan became Hawke's first setback". The Sydney Morning Herald. 1 January 2013. Retrieved 19 June 2021.
  81. ^ Lennon, Troy (18 July 2019). "Australia campaigned for Mandela's freedom". The Daily Telegraph.
  82. ^ Kelly, P., (1992), p.544
  83. ^ Coorey, Phillip (20 May 2008). "The biggest hammering in history". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 19 June 2021.
  84. ^ Kelly, P., (1992), p.454
  85. ^ Hawke (1994), p.501. This was the speech in which Keating described himself as the 'Plácido Domingo' of Australian politics.
  86. ^ Gordon, Michael (16 July 2010). "True rivals". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  87. ^ a b Kelly, P., (1992), pp. 649–51
  88. ^ Edwards, J., (1996), p. 435
  89. ^ Kelly, P., (1992), pp. 609–14
  90. ^ Edwards, J., (1996), p. 441
  91. ^ "Hawke: After office". Prime Ministers of Australia: National Archives of Australia. Government of Australia. 20 February 1992. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
  92. ^ "Hawke and Keating bury the hatchet". ABC News. Australia. 13 July 2008. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
  93. ^ "Paul Keating hits back: 'Hawke only survived as PM with my help'". The Australian. 15 July 2010. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  94. ^ "Bob Hawke and Paul Keating reunite for the first time in 28 years to endorse Labor's economic plan". The Sydney Morning Herald. 7 May 2019. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  95. ^ 1994 Year in Review – Australia Encyclopædia Britannica online. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  96. ^ "Mayor welcomes economic development board". ABC News. 9 September 2004. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  97. ^ "A report by the Economic Development Board March 2009" (PDF). South Australia Economic Development Board. 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  98. ^ Ker, Peter; Grattan, Michelle (24 October 2007). "Hawke queries record of man who 'buggered' the economy". The Age. Melbourne. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
  99. ^ Welch, Dylan (13 February 2008). "Kevin Rudd says sorry". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 February 2008.
  100. ^ Ward, Amanda (December 2009). "World peace and a republic". Adelaide Review (358). pp. 6–7. Archived from the original on 22 February 2011. Retrieved 14 March 2010.
  101. ^ Kelly, Fran. "Bob Hawke on voluntary euthanasia and 'losing his marbles'". Radio National Breakfast (Thursday 14 April 2016). Retrieved 17 August 2016.
  102. ^ Koziol, Michael (14 April 2016). "Absurd: Bob Hawke blasts lack of political will to legalise euthanasia". The Sydney Morning Herald (14 April 2016). Retrieved 17 August 2016.
  103. ^ "Bob Hawke pushes nuclear power at Woodford Folk Festival". ABC News. 28 December 2016. Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  104. ^ Butler, Josh (1 January 2016). "Bob Hawke Says Nuclear Waste Dump 'A Win-Win' For Australia". HuffPost. Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  105. ^ "Bob Hawke reveals 'terrible health' as he tips Labor to win federal election". ABC. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  106. ^ "Bob Hawke and Paul Keating reunite for the first time in 28 years to endorse Labor's economic plan". The Canberra Times. 8 May 2019. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  107. ^ "Labor legend Bob Hawke dies aged 89". The Sydney Morning Herald. 16 May 2019. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  108. ^ "Bob Hawke, Australia's 23rd prime minister, dies aged 89". ABC News. 16 May 2019. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  109. ^ https://www.smh.com.au/national/carte-blanche-20130819-2s5rr.html | 'Carte Blanche', Sydney Morning Herald 24 August 2013 | Retrieved 20190623
  110. ^ "Bob Hawke's state funeral to be held at Sydney Opera House". The Sydney Morning Herald. 24 May 2019.
  111. ^ D'Alpuget, Blanche (1982). Robert .J. Hawke: A biography, p. 197. Schwartz, Melbourne. ISBN 0867530014.
  112. ^ a b "The transformation of Hazel Hawke". NewsComAu. Retrieved 25 August 2018.
  113. ^ "Carte Blanche". Syney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
  114. ^ "Bob Hawke speaks about his final visit to first wife Hazel". ABC News. 17 November 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2018.
  115. ^ https://www.nine.com.au/entertainment/viral/bob-hawke-best-beer-moments-remembered-after-his-death/dc5a3532-2ab5-456f-a8e6-247104b8a4e2
  116. ^ "Elders Part 5: Bob Hawke". Elders with Andrew Denton. 11 January 2010. Archived from the original on 25 August 2017. Retrieved 23 February 2010.
  117. ^ Blanche d'Alpuget, Robert J. Hawke, 87
  118. ^ "ENOUGH ROPE with Andrew Denton – episode 176: Elders Part 5 – Bob Hawke (14/07/2008)". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 14 July 2008. Archived from the original on 25 August 2017. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  119. ^ Mangan, John (19 July 2009). "Capturing the life, times and hair of Hawke". The Age. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  120. ^ Enker, Debi (15 July 2010). "Nailing the Silver Bodgie". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  121. ^ Idato, Michael (15 November 2020). "Bringing the drama down under, The Crown breaks the spell of a royal moment in time". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 16 November 2020.
  122. ^ a b "Bob Hawke's childhood home in SA to be renovated after Government sets aside $750k". ABC News. 7 July 2019. Archived from the original on 8 February 2021. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  123. ^ Whiteside, Grace (20 January 2021). "Bob Hawke's childhood home to be converted into visitor accommodation". ABC News. Archived from the original on 25 January 2021. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  124. ^ Piovesan, Anthony (27 December 2020). "WA govt pays whopping amount for Bob Hawke's Perth home". News.com.au. Archived from the original on 29 December 2020. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  125. ^ Bell, Frances (27 January 2020). "New $70 million Perth high school named after Bob Hawke prepares to welcome its first students". www.abc.net.au. Archived from the original on 29 December 2020. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  126. ^ https://thewest.com.au/politics/liberal-backbenchers-seat-to-be-abolished-ng-s-2054107
  127. ^ "It's an Honour". Government of Australia. Retrieved 3 September 2007.
  128. ^ Wright, Tony (25 March 2014). "Tony Abbott's Bunyip Aristocracy: arise, Lord Clive and Lady Gina". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  129. ^ "Prime facts 23" (PDF). Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  130. ^ "Former Australian Prime Minister Named PNG Chief", Solomon Times, 8 January 2009
  131. ^ a b "The Honourable Bob Hawke AC CGL" (PDF). University of Sydney. 9 December 2016. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  132. ^ Report on Anniversary Dinner 2 August 1978
  133. ^ "ALP life membership for Bob Hawke". News.com.au. 1 August 2009. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  134. ^ "Bob Hawke qualifies for cheap coffee on campus". news.uwa.edu.au/. 27 March 2014. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  135. ^ a b c d e f g h "1990 and 1991 – Hawke government". National Archives of Australia. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  136. ^ "The Hawke Government's China Policy". Australia-China Relations Institute. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  137. ^ "Oxford honours Hawke". The Age. AAP. 4 July 2003. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  138. ^ a b c d e "Bob Hawke biography". UniSA. Archived from the original on 31 August 2007. Retrieved 15 December 2007.
  139. ^ "Honorary Doctorate Awarded to Bob Hawke" (Press release). 18 September 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  140. ^ "The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Library". UniSA. Archived from the original on 19 August 2006. Retrieved 3 September 2007.
  141. ^ "Newsroom Honorary doctorate awarded to Bob Hawke – Macquarie University". Retrieved 28 July 2015.


  • Anson, Stan (1991). Hawke: An Emotional Life. Macphee Gribble.
  • Blewett, Neal (2000), 'Robert James Lee Hawke,' in Michelle Grattan (ed.), Australian Prime Ministers, New Holland, Sydney, New South Wales, pages 380–407. ISBN 1-86436-756-3
  • Bramston, Troy; Ryan, Susan (2003). The Hawke Government : A Critical Retrospective. Pluto. ISBN 1-86403-264-2.
  • d'Alpuget, Blanche (1982). Robert J Hawke. Schwartz. ISBN 0-86753-001-4.
  • Davidson, Graham; Hirst, John; MacIntyre, Stuart (1998). The Oxford Companion to Australian History. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-553597-9.
  • Edwards, John (1996). Keating, The Inside Story. Penguin. ISBN 0-14-026601-1.
  • Hawke, Bob (1994). The Hawke Memoirs. Heinemann. ISBN 0-85561-502-8.
  • Hurst, John (1983). Hawke PM. Angus & Robertson. ISBN 0-207-14806-6.
  • Jaensch, Dean (1989). The Hawke-Keating Hijack. Allen and Unwin. ISBN 0-04-370192-2.
  • Kelly, Paul (1992). The End of Certainty: The story of the 1980s. Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86373-227-6.
  • Mills, Stephen (1993). The Hawke Years. Viking. ISBN 0-670-84563-9.
  • Richardson, Graham (1994). Whatever It Takes. Bantam. ISBN 1-86359-332-2.

External links

Trade union offices
Preceded by
Percy Clarey
President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions
Succeeded by
Cliff Dolan
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Gordon Bryant
Member of Parliament for Wills
Succeeded by
Phil Cleary
Political offices
Preceded by
Bill Hayden
Leader of the Opposition
Succeeded by
Andrew Peacock
Preceded by
Malcolm Fraser
Prime Minister of Australia
Succeeded by
Paul Keating
Party political offices
Preceded by
Tom Burns
President of the Labor Party
Succeeded by
Neville Wran
Preceded by
Bill Hayden
Leader of the Labor Party
Succeeded by
Paul Keating

19 January 1983

Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie is arrested in Bolivia.

Klaus Barbie
Klaus Barbie.jpg
Klaus Barbie
Nikolaus Barbie

(1913-10-25)25 October 1913
Died25 September 1991(1991-09-25) (aged 77)
Other names"Butcher of Lyon"
Political partyNSDAP (1937–1945)
Criminal chargeCrimes against humanity
PenaltyLife imprisonment
Allegiance Nazi Germany  United States
 West Germany
Service/branchSchutzstaffel Abzeichen.svg Gestapo

Counterintelligence corps badge.jpg U.S. Army Counterintelligence Corps

BND Logo.svg Bundesnachrichtendienst
Years of service1935–1945
UnitSicherheitsdienst (SD)
Regina Margaretta Willms
(m. 1939)

Nikolaus "Klaus" Barbie (25 October 1913 – 25 September 1991) was a Nazi, known as the "Butcher of Lyon" for having personally tortured prisoners of the Gestapo—primarily Jews and members of the French Resistance—while stationed in Lyon under the collaborationist Vichy regime. After the war, United States intelligence services employed him for his anti-Marxist efforts and also aided his escape to Bolivia.[2]

The West German Intelligence Service later recruited him. Barbie is suspected of having had a role in the Bolivian coup d'état orchestrated by Luis García Meza in 1980. After the fall of the dictatorship, Barbie no longer had the protection of the government in La Paz and in 1983 was extradited to France, where he was convicted of crimes against humanity. He died of cancer in prison on 25 September 1991.

Early life and education

Nikolaus "Klaus" Barbie was born on 25 October 1913 in Godesberg, later renamed Bad Godesberg, which is today part of Bonn. The Barbie family came from Merzig, in the Saar near the French border. It is likely that his patrilineal ancestors were French Roman Catholics named Barbier who left France at the time of the French Revolution. In 1914, his father, also named Nikolaus, was conscripted to fight in the First World War. He returned an angry, bitter man. He was wounded in the neck at Verdun and captured by the French, whom he hated, and he never recovered his health. He became an alcoholic who abused his children. Until 1923, when he was 10, Klaus Barbie attended the local school where his father taught. Afterwards, he attended a boarding school in Trier, and was relieved to be away from his abusive father. In 1925, the entire Barbie family moved to Trier.[3]

In June 1933, Barbie's younger brother, Kurt, died at the age of 18 of chronic illness. Later that year, their father died. The death of his father derailed plans for the 20-year-old Barbie to study theology,[4] or otherwise become an academic, as his peers had expected.[citation needed] While unemployed, Barbie was conscripted into the Nazi labour service, the Reichsarbeitsdienst. On 26 September 1935, aged 22, he joined the SS (member 272,284), and began working in the Sicherheitsdienst (SD), the SS security service, which acted as the intelligence-gathering arm of the Nazi Party.[citation needed] On 1 May 1937, he became member 4,583,085 of the Nazi Party.[5]

Second World War

After the German conquest and occupation of the Netherlands, Barbie was assigned to Amsterdam. He had been pre-assigned to Adolf Eichmann's Amt (Department) IV/B-4. This department was responsible for identification, roundup and deportation of Dutch Jews and Freemasons. On 11 October 1940, Barbie arrested  [nl], Grand Master of the Grand Orient of the Netherlands. In March 1941, van Tongeren was transported to Sachsenhausen concentration camp where, in freezing conditions, he died two weeks later. On 1 April, Barbie summoned Van Tongeren's daughter, Charlotte, to SD headquarters and informed her that her father had died of an infection in both ears and had been cremated.[6]

In 1942, he was sent to Dijon, France in the Occupied Zone. In November of the same year, at the age of 29, he was assigned to Lyon as the head of the local Gestapo. He established his headquarters at the Hôtel Terminus in Lyon, where he personally tortured adult and child prisoners.[2][7][8] He became known as the "Butcher of Lyon".[9] The daughter of a French Resistance leader based in Lyon said her father was beaten and his skin torn, and that his head was immersed in buckets of ammonia and cold water; he could not sit or stand and died three days later from burns to his skin.[7]

Historians estimate that Barbie was directly responsible for the deaths of up to 14,000 people,[10][11] personally participating in roundups such as the Rue Sainte-Catherine Roundup which saw 84 people arrested in a single day. He arrested Jean Moulin, a high-ranking member of the French Resistance and his most prominent captive. In 1943, he was awarded the Iron Cross (First Class) by Adolf Hitler for his campaign against the French Resistance and the capture of Moulin.[12]

In April 1944, Barbie ordered the deportation to Auschwitz of a group of 44 Jewish children from an orphanage at Izieu.[13] He then rejoined the SiPo-SD of Lyon in its retreat to Bruyères, where he led an anti-partisan attack in Rehaupal in September 1944.[14]

U.S. intelligence work in post-War Europe

In 1947, Barbie was recruited as an agent for the 66th Detachment of the U.S. Army Counterintelligence Corps (CIC).[15] The U.S. used Barbie and other Nazi Party members to further anti-communist efforts in Europe. Specifically, they were interested in British interrogation techniques which Barbie had experienced firsthand, and the identities of SS officers the British were using for their own ends. Later, the CIC housed him in a hotel in Memmingen, and he reported on French intelligence activities in the French zone of occupied Germany because they suspected that the French had been infiltrated by the KGB and GRU.[16]

The US Department of Justice report to the US Senate in 1983 opens with the summary paragraph:[17]

As the investigation of Klaus Barbie has shown, officers of the United States government were directly responsible for protecting a person wanted by the government of France on criminal charges and in arranging his escape from the law. As a direct result of that action, Klaus Barbie did not stand trial in France in 1950; he spent 33 years as a free man and a fugitive from justice.

The French discovered that Barbie was in U.S. hands, and having sentenced him to death in absentia for war crimes, made a plea to John J. McCloy, U.S. High Commissioner for Germany, to hand him over for execution, but McCloy allegedly refused.[16] Instead, the CIC helped him flee to Bolivia assisted by "ratlines" organized by U.S. intelligence services,[18] and by Croatian Roman Catholic clergy, including Krunoslav Draganović. The CIC asserted that Barbie knew too much about the network of German spies the CIC had planted in various European communist organizations, and were suspicious of communist influence within the French government, but their protection of Barbie may have been as much to avoid the embarrassment of having recruited him in the first place.[15] Other authors have suggested that the anticommunist element of Italian fascism and the protection of the Vatican allowed Klaus Barbie and other Nazis to flee to Bolivia.[19]

In 1965, Barbie was recruited by the West German foreign intelligence agency Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), under the codename "Adler" (Eagle) and the registration number V-43118. His initial monthly salary of 500 Deutsche Mark was transferred in May 1966 to an account of the Chartered Bank of London in San Francisco. During his time with the BND, Barbie made at least 35 reports to the BND headquarters in Pullach.[20]


Barbie emigrated to Bolivia in 1951,[21] where he lived well for 30 years in Cochabamba, under the alias Klaus Altmann. It was easier and less embarrassing for him to find employment there than in Europe, and he enjoyed excellent relations with high-ranking Bolivian officials, including Bolivian dictators Hugo Banzer and Luis García Meza Tejada. "Altmann" was known for his German nationalist and anti-communist stances.[22] While engaged in arms-trade operations in Bolivia, he was appointed to the rank of lieutenant colonel within the Bolivian Armed Forces.[23]

Barbie collaborated with General Barriento's regime, including teaching the general's private paramilitaries named "Furmont" how torture can best be used. The regime's political repression against leftist groups was helped by Barbie's knowledge about intelligence work, torture and interrogations. In 1972 under General Banzer (with whom Barbie collaborated even more openly), he assisted in illegal arrests, interrogations and murders of opposition and progressive groups. Journalists and activists who wrote or spoke about the regime's crimes against human rights were arrested and many fell victim to so-called "disappearances", the state's secret murders and abductions of leftists. Barbie actively participated in the regime's oppression of opponents.[24][25][26][27]

Barbie was strongly linked to the neo-Nazi paramilitary , who was his personally hired bodyguard and the two participated in criminal actions and businesses together. De Castro had connections with powerful drug barons and the illegal drug trade and, together with Barbie (under the name Altmann) and an Austrian company, sold weapons to the drug cartels, and when De Castro was arrested he admitted in interviews that he had earlier worked for drug lords in the country. Other sources say Barbie most likely also had connections with these organizations.[28] Initially, he worked for Roberto Suárez Gómez who eventually introduced him to Colombian traffickers. Barbie met with Pablo Escobar and several other high ranking members of the Medellin cartel in the late 1970s, and agreed to arrange for security of Escobar's raw coca supply, from its cultivation until it reached processing plants in Colombia. In exchange, Escobar agreed to fund Barbie's anti-communist activities.[29] De Castro continued to correspond with Barbie when Barbie was later under arrest.[30][24][25][26][27][28] Their connections also provided intelligence information to US authorities at the US Embassy. A group called "The Fiancées of Death", which included German Nazis and Fascists, had links to some of Barbie's actions in Bolivia. Barbie earlier also carried out a large arms purchase of tanks from Austria to the Bolivian army. These were then used in a coup d'état.[24][25][26][28]

People who met Barbie during his time in Bolivia have said that he was a firm and fanatic believer in the Nazi ideology and an anti-Semite. Barbie and De Castro reportedly talked about the cases and searches for Josef Mengele and Eichmann, whom Barbie supported and wanted to assist in remaining on the run.[24][25][26][27][28]

Extradition, trial, and death

Barbie's Bolivian secret police ID card

Barbie was identified as being in Peru in 1971 by the Klarsfelds (Nazi hunters from France) who came across a secret document that revealed his alias. On 19 January 1972, this information was published in the French newspaper L'Aurore, along with a photograph of Altmann which the Klarsfelds obtained from a German expatriate living in Lima, Peru.[31]

Led by Beate Klarsfeld, French journalist Ladislas de Hoyos and cameraman Christian van Ryswyck flew to La Paz in January 1972 in order to find and interview Klaus Barbie posing as his alias Klaus Altman. The interview took place on February 3, 1972 in the Department of the Interior building and the following day, in prison where Klaus was placed under protection by the Bolivian authorities.[32] In the videotape, and while the interview was conducted in Spanish, Ladislas de Hoyos steers away from the previously agreed upon questions by asking whether Barbie has ever been to Lyon in French, a language he isn't supposed to understand under his fake identity, to which Klaus Barbie automatically responds by the negative in German. Ladislas de Hoyos gave him photos of members of Resistance he had tortured, asking him if he recognized their faces, and while he returned them in denial, his fingerprints unmistakenly betrayed him. It was in this interview, later broadcast on French TV Channel Antenne 2 that he was recognized by French resistant Simone Lagrange who had been tortured by Klaus Barbie in 1944.[33]

Despite global outcry, Barbie was able to return to Bolivia where the government refused to extradite him, stating that France and Bolivia did not have an extradition treaty and that the statute of limitations on his crimes had expired.[citation needed] Barbie's close fascist friends knew who he was, but to the public Barbie insisted he was none other than his innocent alter-ego "Altmann" and in the videotaped interview conducted by Ladislas de Hoyos which he allowed, he continued to lie about never having been in Lyon, never knowing Moulin or having been in the Gestapo. However, in the 1970s, the community of refugee Jews who had survived or escaped the war, openly discussed the fact that Barbie was the war criminal from Lyon now living on the Calle Landaeta in La Paz and frequenting the Cafe de La Paz daily. It was no secret.

Journalist and reporter and a female journalist for The New York Times said that while they were outside Barbie's house in Bolivia in 1981, wanting to speak to him for an article, they saw Barbie in a window while they were taking photos at the place, and shortly thereafter they were taken away by twelve armed paramilitary men who had quickly arrived in a van and asked what they were doing there.

The testimony of Italian insurgent Stefano Delle Chiaie before the Italian Parliamentary Commission on Terrorism suggests that Barbie took part in the "cocaine coup" of Luis García Meza Tejada, when the regime forced its way to power in Bolivia in 1980.[34] In 1983, the newly elected democratic government of Hernán Siles Zuazo arrested Barbie in La Paz on the pretext of owing the government 10,000 dollars for goods he was supposed to have shipped but did not, and a few days later, the government delivered him to France to stand trial.[35]

Shortly after Barbie's extradition, evidence emerged that Barbie had worked for US Intelligence in Germany and that US agents may have been instrumental in Barbie's flight to Bolivia to escape prosecution in France. Allan Ryan, Director of the Office of Special Investigations (OSI) of the US Justice Department, recommended to US Attorney General William French Smith that the matter be investigated.[36][37] Following a lengthy investigation and a full report that was released to the public, Ryan concluded that "officers of the United States government were directly responsible for protecting a person wanted by the government of France on criminal charges and in arranging his escape from the law.”[38] Ryan felt that the initial decision for the U.S. Government to use Barbie during Cold War counter-intelligence work, while reprehensible in light of his war-crimes, might be defended in light of national security interests. Doing so was no different from what other World War II victor nations were doing at the time, and appeared to have been done without any U.S. Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) knowledge of Barbie's atrocities in Lyon. After those atrocities became well publicized, however, Ryan regarded it as indefensible for CIC personnel to lie to higher U.S. authorities and help Barbie escape Europe to Bolivia rather than honor an outstanding French warrant for his arrest.[39] As a result of Ryan's report and personal recommendation, the U.S. government made a formal apology to France for enabling Barbie to escape French justice for thirty-three years.[40]

In 1984, Barbie was indicted for crimes committed as Gestapo chief in Lyon between 1942 and 1944, chief among which was the Rue Sainte-Catherine Roundup. The jury trial started on 11 May 1987 in Lyon before the Rhône Cour d'Assises. Unusually, the court allowed the trial to be filmed because of its historical value. A special courtroom was constructed with seating for an audience of about 700.[41] The head prosecutor was Pierre Truche.

At the trial, Barbie's defence was funded by Swiss financier François Genoud and undertaken by attorney Jacques Vergès. He was tried on 41 separate counts of crimes against humanity, based on the depositions of 730 Jews and French Resistance survivors who described how he tortured and murdered prisoners.[42] The father of French Minister for Justice Robert Badinter had died in Sobibor after being deported from Lyon during Barbie's tenure.[43]

Barbie gave his name as Klaus Altmann, the name that he used while in Bolivia. He claimed that his extradition was technically illegal and asked to be excused from the trial and returned to his cell at Prison Saint-Paul. This was granted. He was brought back to court on 26 May 1987 to face some of his accusers, about whose testimony he had "nothing to say".[44]

Barbie's defence lawyer, Vergès, had a reputation for attacking the French political system, particularly in the historic French colonial empire. His strategy was to use the trial to talk about war crimes committed by France since 1945. He got the prosecution to drop some of the charges against Barbie due to French legislation that had protected French citizens accused of the same crimes under the Vichy regime and in French Algeria. Vergès tried to argue that Barbie's actions were no worse than the supposedly ordinary actions of colonialists worldwide, and that his trial was tantamount to selective prosecution. During his trial, Barbie said "When I stand before the throne of God, I shall be judged innocent."[45]

The court rejected the defence's argument. On 4 July 1987, Barbie was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. He died in prison in Lyon four years later of leukemia and spine and prostate cancer at the age of 77.[46]

Personal life

In April 1939, Barbie became engaged to Regina Margaretta Willms, the 23-year-old daughter of a postal clerk; they had two children, a son named Klaus-Georg Altmann and a daughter named Ute Messner.[3] In 1983, Françoise Croizier, Klaus Barbie's French daughter-in-law, said in an interview that the CIA kidnapped Klaus-Georg in 1946 to make sure his father carried out intelligence missions for the agency. Croizier met Klaus-Georg while both were students in Paris; they married in 1968, had three children and lived in Europe and Bolivia using the surname Altmann. Croizier said when she married she did not know who her father-in-law was, but that she could guess the reasons for a German to settle in South America after the war. Klaus-Georg died in a hang-gliding accident in 1981.[47]

In media

The French documentary film My Enemy's Enemy (Mon Meilleur Ennemi in French) is the story of Klaus Barbie, following him through World War II and post-war hiding journey in Bolivia. It depicts his involvement in the assassination of Che Guevara. It also discusses his French trial for war crimes committed in Lyon, such as the torture of Jean Moulin.

In the video game Ghost Recon: Wildlands, Barbie is mentioned while traveling through the Bolivian jungles.

Barbie is portrayed in the 2020 film Resistance - which tells the story of French mime Marcel Marceau. The movie depicts his efforts, as part of the Jewish resistance, to save Jewish children from the Nazi regime. Barbie is the main antagonist as they operate within Lyon.

In the 2001 film Rat Race, the Pear family visits a museum dedicated to Klaus Barbie, located in the southwest United States, after mistakenly thinking it was a museum dedicated to the famous doll.

Barbie is played by Marc Rissmann in the 2019 movie A Call to Spy.

See also


  1. ^ "Klaus Barbie The Butcher of Lyon". Holocaust Research Project. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  2. ^ a b Bönisch, Georg; Wiegrefe, Klaus (20 January 2011). "From Nazi to criminal to post-war spy: German intelligence hired Klaus Barbie as agent". Der Spiegel.
  3. ^ a b Profile, jewishvirtuallibrary.org; accessed 29 September 2015.
  4. ^ "Nikolaus "Klaus" Barbie: The Butcher of Lyon". US Holocaust Memorial Museum: Holocaust Encyclopedia. Retrieved 28 April 2021.
  5. ^ Beattie, John (1984). The Life and Career of Klaus Barbie: An Eyewitness Record. Methuen. p. 7. ISBN 978-0-413-54170-3.
  6. ^ The Red Triangle. 2011. Pp.95-97. ISBN 978-0-85318-332-7
  7. ^ a b Hôtel Terminus (Motion picture). 1988.
  8. ^ "Klaus Barbie: women testify of torture at his hands", upenn.edu; 23 March 1987.
  9. ^ "Ich bin gekommen, um zu töten". Der Spiegel. 2 July 2007. Retrieved 22 January 2011.
  10. ^ "Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie gets life". BBC. 3 July 1987. Retrieved 1 May 2009.
  11. ^ "Klaus Barbie ausgeliefert". Der Spiegel. 4 February 2008. Retrieved 22 January 2011.
  12. ^ "On behalf of his cruel crimes and specially for the Moulin case, Barbie was awarded, by Hitler, the First Class Iron Cross with Swords", jewishvirtuallibrary.org; accessed 29 September 2015.
  13. ^ On the deportation of the children of Izieu, at Yad Vashem website
  14. ^ "Klaus Barbie - The Butcher of Lyon". Dirkdeklein.net. 30 July 2016.
  15. ^ a b Wolfe, Robert (19 September 2001). "Analysis of the Investigative Records Repository file of Klaus Barbie". Interagency Working Group. Retrieved 1 May 2009.
  16. ^ a b Cockburn, Alexander; Clair, Jeffrey St. (1998). Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs and the Press. Verso. pp. 167–70. ISBN 9781859841396. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  17. ^ "US Justice Dept report to Senate" (PDF).
  18. ^ Terkel, Studs (1985). The Good War. Ballantine. ISBN 978-0-345-32568-6.
  19. ^ Theroux, Paul (1995). The Pillars of Hercules: A Grand Tour of the Mediterranean. New York: Fawcett Columbine. p. 207. ISBN 0449910857.
  20. ^ "Vom Nazi-Verbrecher zum BND-Agenten". Der Spiegel (in German). 19 January 2011. Retrieved 22 January 2011.
  21. ^ "Klaus Barbie | Nazi leader". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 24 January 2021.
  22. ^ Hammerschmidt, Peter: "Die Tatsache allein, daß V-43 118 SS-Hauptsturmführer war, schließt nicht aus, ihn als Quelle zu verwenden". Der Bundesnachrichtendienst und sein Agent Klaus Barbie, Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaft (ZfG), 59. Jahrgang, 4/2011. METROPOL Verlag. Berlin 2011, S. 333–349. (in German)
  23. ^ "In pursuit of Bolivia's secret Nazi". The Guardian. London. 10 September 2008.
  24. ^ a b c d "Ex-Gestapo-Chef von Lyon: Nazi-Verbrecher Barbie in Drogenhandel verstrickt?". Bild (in German). 27 July 2015. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  25. ^ a b c d Winkler, Willi (10 March 2015). "Doku über Klaus Barbie: Zeit für die ganze Geschichte". Süddeutsche Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  26. ^ a b c d Strothmann, Dietrich (5 November 1982). "Der Fall Klaus Barbie: Den Diktatoren stets zu Diensten". Die Zeit. ISSN 0044-2070. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  27. ^ a b c "Nazistjakt i Bolivia". Latinamerika.nu. 5 December 2008. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  28. ^ a b c d Smith, David (23 December 2007). "Barbie 'boasted of hunting down Che'". The Observer. ISSN 0029-7712. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  29. ^ "La increíble historia del "carnicero nazi" que ayudó a Pablo Escobar a forjar su imperio narco". Infobae.
  30. ^ "Letters that Nazi war criminal Barbie sent to Bolivia from prison revealed". San Diego Tribune (in Spanish). 5 January 2015. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  31. ^ Murphy, Brendan (1983). The Butcher of Lyon : the story of infamous Nazi Klaus Barbie (1st ed.). New York: Empire Books. p. 280. ISBN 0-88015-013-0. OCLC 10173773.
  32. ^ "TV: Ladislas de Hoyos est mort". Le Figaro. Le Figaro. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  33. ^ "Dans les coulisses de l'interview qui fit tomber Klaus Barbie". telerama.fr. Télérama. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  34. ^ Laetitia Grevers (4 November 2012). "The Butcher of Bolivia". Bolivian Express Magazine. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
  35. ^ "Klaus Barbie, The Butcher of Lyon". Holocaust Research Project. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
  36. ^ Ryan, Allan A., Jr. (1984). Quiet Neighbors- Prosecuting Nazi War Criminals In America. USA: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. ISBN 0-15-175823-9.
  37. ^ Martin, John (February 2021). "It Takes A Thief". World War II. 35 (5): 38–45.
  38. ^ Allan A. Ryan (August 1983). Klaus Barbie and the United States Government- A Report to the Attorney General of the United States (Report). Justice Department, U.S Government.
  39. ^ Ryan, Barbie Report p. 203
  40. ^ United Press International (UPI) (16 August 1983). "US Sends Apology To France On Barbie". The Pittsburgh Press. p. A12. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
  41. ^ L'avocat de la terreur [Terror's Advocate]. France: La Sofica Uni Etoile 3. 2007.
  42. ^ Finkielkraut, Alain (1992). Remembering in Vain: The Klaus Barbie Trial and Crimes Against Humanity. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-07464-3. Retrieved 21 May 2012.
  43. ^ Beigbeder, Yves (2006). Judging War Crimes And Torture: French Justice And International Criminal Tribunals And Commissions (1940–2005). Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. pp. 204–. ISBN 978-90-04-15329-5. Retrieved 21 May 2012.
  44. ^ "Six Witnesses Identify Barbie, Who Was Ordered Back to Court". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. 27 May 1987.
  45. ^ "Klaus Barbie profile". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
  46. ^ Saxon, Wolfgang (26 September 1991). "Klaus Barbie, 77, Lyons Gestapo Chief". The New York Times.
  47. ^ "The CIA kidnapped the young son of Klaus Barbie", UPI

Further reading

External links

12 April 1983

Harold Washington is elected as the first black mayor of Chicago.

Harold Lee Washington, April 15, 1922 – November 25, 1987 was an American lawyer and politician who was the 51st Mayor of Chicago. Washington became the first African–American to be elected as the city’s mayor in February 1983. He served as mayor from April 29, 1983 until his death on November 25, 1987. Earlier, he was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1981 to 1983, representing Illinois’ first district. Washington had previously served in the Illinois State Senate and the Illinois House of Representatives from 1965 until 1976.

Washington was born in Chicago, and raised in the Bronzeville neighborhood. After graduating from Roosevelt University and Northwestern University School of Law, he became involved in local 3rd Ward politics under future Congressman Ralph Metcalfe.

The earliest known ancestor of Harold Lee Washington, Isam/Isham Washington, was born a slave in 1832 in North Carolina. In 1864 he enlisted in the 8th United States Colored Heavy Artillery, Company L, in Paducah, Kentucky. Following his discharge in 1866, he began farming with his wife Rebecca Neal in Ballard County, Kentucky. Among their six children was Isam/Isom McDaniel Washington, who was born in 1875. In 1896, Mack Washington had married Arbella Weeks of Massac County, who had been born in Mississippi in 1878. In 1897, their first son, Roy L. Washington, father of Mayor Washington was born in Ballard County, Kentucky. In 1903, shortly after both families moved to Massac County, Illinois, the elder Washington died. After farming for a time, Mack Washington became a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, serving numerous churches in Illinois until the death of his wife in 1952. Reverend I.M.D. Washington died in 1953.

Harold Lee Washington was born on April 15, 1922 at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, to Roy and Bertha Washington. While still in high school in Lawrenceville, Illinois, Roy met Bertha from nearby Carrier Mills and the two married in 1916 in Harrisburg, Illinois. Their first son, Roy Jr., was born in Carrier Mills before the family moved to Chicago where Roy enrolled in Kent College of Law. A lawyer, he became one of the first black precinct captains in the city, and a Methodist minister. In 1918, daughter Geneva was born and second son Edward was born in 1920. Bertha left the family, possibly to seek her fortune as a singer, and the couple divorced in 1928. Bertha remarried and had seven more children including Ramon Price, who was an artist and eventually became chief curator of The DuSable Museum of African American History. Harold Washington grew up in Bronzeville, a Chicago neighborhood that was the center of black culture for the entire Midwest in the early and middle 20th century. Edward and Harold stayed with their father while Roy Jr and Geneva were cared by grandparents. After attending St Benedict the Moor Boarding School in Milwaukee from 1928 to 1932, Washington attended DuSable High School, then a newly established racially segregated public high school, and was a member of its first graduating class. In a 1939 citywide track meet, Washington placed first in the 110 meter high hurdles event, and second in the 220 meter low hurdles event. Between his junior and senior year of high school, Washington dropped out, claiming that he no longer felt challenged by the coursework. He worked at a meat-packing plant for a time before his father helped him get a job at the U.S. Treasury branch in the city. There he met Nancy Dorothy Finch, whom he married soon after; Washington was 19 years old and Dorothy was 17 years old. Seven months later, the U.S. was drawn into World War II with the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese on Sunday, December 7, 1941.

25 October 1983

The United States invades Grenada, six days after Prime Minister Maurice Bishop and several of his supporters are executed in a coup.

The United States invasion of Grenada began on 25 October 1983. The invasion, led by the United States, of the Caribbean island nation of Grenada, which has a population of about 91,000 and is located 160 kilometres north of Venezuela, resulted in a U.S. victory within a matter of days. Codenamed Operation Urgent Fury, it was triggered by the internal strife within the People’s Revolutionary Government that resulted in the house arrest and the execution of the previous leader and second Prime Minister of Grenada Maurice Bishop, and the establishment of a preliminary government, the Revolutionary Military Council with Hudson Austin as Chairman. The invasion resulted in the appointment of an interim government, followed by democratic elections in 1984. The country has remained a democratic nation since then.

Grenada gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1974. The Marxist-Leninist New Jewel Movement seized power in a coup in 1979 under Maurice Bishop, suspending the constitution and detaining a number of political prisoners. In 1983, an internal power struggle began over Bishop’s relatively moderate foreign policy approach, and on 19 October, hard-line military junta elements captured and executed Bishop and his partner Jacqueline Creft, along with three cabinet ministers and two union leaders. Subsequently, following appeals by the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States and the Governor-General of Grenada, Paul Scoon, the Reagan Administration in the U.S. quickly decided to launch a military intervention. U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s justification for the intervention was in part explained as “concerns over the 600 U.S. medical students on the island” and fears of a repeat of the Iran hostage crisis.

The U.S. invasion began six days after Bishop’s death, on the morning of 25 October 1983. The invading force consisted of the U.S. Army’s Rapid Deployment Force; U.S. Marines; U.S. Army Delta Force; U.S. Navy SEALs, and ancillary forces totaling 7,600 U.S.troops, together with Jamaican forces, and troops of the Regional Security System. They defeated Grenadian resistance after a low-altitude airborne assault by Rangers on Point Salines Airport at the south end of the island, and a Marine helicopter and amphibious landing on the north end at Pearls Airport. The military government of Hudson Austin was deposed and replaced by a government appointed by Governor-General Paul Scoon.

The invasion was criticised by several countries including Canada. British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher privately disapproved of the mission and the lack of notice she received, but publicly supported the intervention. The United Nations General Assembly, on 2 November 1983 with a vote of 108 to 9, condemned it as “a flagrant violation of international law”. Conversely, it enjoyed broad public support in the United States and, over time, a positive evaluation from the Grenadian population, who appreciated the fact that there had been relatively few civilian casualties, as well as the return to democratic elections in 1984 better source needed The U.S. awarded more than 5,000 medals for merit and valor.

The date of the invasion is now a national holiday in Grenada, called Thanksgiving Day, which commemorates the freeing, after the invasion, of several political prisoners who were subsequently elected to office. A truth and reconciliation commission was launched in 2000 to re-examine some of the controversies of the era; in particular, the commission made an unsuccessful attempt to find Bishop’s body, which had been disposed of at Hudson Austin’s order, and never found.

For the U.S., the invasion also highlighted issues with communication and coordination between the different branches of the United States military when operating together as a joint force, contributing to investigations and sweeping changes in the form of the Goldwater-Nichols Act and other reorganizations.

6 May 1983

The Hitler Diaries are reported as being a hoax after being examined by experts.

On 22 April 1983 a press release from Stern announced the existence of the diaries and their forthcoming publication; a press conference was announced for 25 April. On hearing the news from Stern, Jäckel stated that he was “extremely sceptical” about the diaries, while his fellow historian, Karl Dietrich Bracher of the University of Bonn also thought their legitimacy unlikely. Irving was receiving calls from international news companies—the BBC, The Observer, Newsweek, Bild Zeitung—and he was informing them all that the diaries were fakes. The German Chancellor, Helmut Kohl, also said that he could not believe the diaries were genuine, the following day The Times published the news that their Sunday sister paper had the serialisation rights for the UK; the edition also carried an extensive piece by Trevor-Roper with his opinion on the authenticity and importance of the discovery. By this stage the historian had growing doubts over the diaries, which he passed on to the editor of The Times, Charles Douglas-Home, the Times editor presumed that Trevor-Roper would also contact Giles at The Sunday Times, while Trevor-Roper thought that Douglas-Home would do so; neither did. The Sunday paper thus remained oblivious of the growing concerns that the diaries might not be genuine.

On the evening of 23 April the presses began rolling for the following day’s edition of The Sunday Times, after an evening meeting of the editorial staff, Giles phoned Trevor-Roper to ask him to write a piece rebutting the criticism of the diaries. He found that the historian had made “a 180 degree turn” regarding the diaries’ authenticity, and was now far from sure that they were real. The paper’s deputy editor, Brian MacArthur, rang Murdoch to see if they should stop the print run and re-write the affected pages. Murdoch’s reply was “Fuck Dacre. Publish”.

On the afternoon of the 24 April, in Hamburg for the press conference the following day, Trevor-Roper asked Heidemann for the name of his source: the journalist refused, and gave a different story of how the diaries had been acquired. Trevor-Roper was suspicious and questioned the reporter closely for over an hour. Heidemann accused the historian of acting “exactly like an officer of the British army” in 1945, at a subsequent dinner the historian was evasive when asked by Stern executives what he was going to say at the announcement the following day.

At the press conference both Trevor-Roper and Weinberg expressed their doubts at the authenticity, and stated that German experts needed to examine the diaries to confirm whether the works were genuine. Trevor-Roper went on to say that his doubts sprung from the lack of proof that these books were the same ones as had been on the crashed plane in 1945, he finished his statement by saying that “I regret that the normal method of historical verification has been sacrificed to the perhaps necessary requirements of a journalistic scoop.” The leading article in The Guardian described his public reversal as showing “moral courage”. Irving, who had been described in the introductory statement by Koch as a historian “with no reputation to lose”, stood at the microphone for questions, and asked how Hitler could have written his diary in the days following the 20 July plot, when his arm had been damaged, he denounced the diaries as forgeries, and held aloft the photocopied pages he had been given from Priesack. He asked if the ink in the diaries had been tested, but there was no response from the managers of Stern. Photographers and film crews jostled to get a better picture of Irving, and some punches were thrown by journalists while security guards moved in and forcibly removed Irving from the room, while he shouted “Ink! Ink!”.

With grave doubts now expressed about the authenticity of the diaries, Stern faced the possibility of legal action for disseminating Nazi propaganda. To ensure a definitive judgment on the diaries, Dr Hagen, one of the company’s lawyers, passed three complete diaries to Dr Henke at the Bundesarchiv for a more complete forensic examination. While the debate on the diaries’ authenticity continued, Stern published its special edition on 28 April, which provided Hitler’s purported views on the flight of Hess to England, Kristallnacht and the Holocaust. The following day Heidemann again met with Kujau, and bought the last four diaries from him.

On the following Sunday—1 May 1983—The Sunday Times published further stories providing the background to the diaries, linking them more closely to the plane crash in 1945, and providing a profile of Heidemann, that day, when The Daily Express rang Irving for a further comment on the diaries, he informed them that he now believed the diaries to be genuine; The Times ran the story of Irving’s U-turn the following day. Irving explained that Stern had shown him a diary from April 1945 in which the writing sloped downwards from left to right, and the script of which got smaller along the line, at a subsequent press conference Irving explained that he had been examining the diaries of Dr Theodor Morell, Hitler’s personal doctor, in which Morell diagnosed the Führer as having Parkinson’s disease, a symptom of which was to write in the way the text appeared in the diaries. Harris posits that further motives may also have played a part—the lack of reference to the Holocaust in the diaries may have been perceived by Irving as supporting evidence for his thesis, put forward in his book Hitler’s War, that the Holocaust took place without Hitler’s knowledge, the same day Hagen visited the Bundesarchiv and was told of their findings: ultraviolet light had shown a fluorescent element to the paper, which should not have been present in an old document, and that the bindings of one of the diaries included polyester which had not been made before 1953. Research in the archives also showed a number of errors, the findings were partial only, and not conclusive; more volumes were provided to aid the analysis.

Genuine signature of Adolf Hitler
Forged version of Hitler’s signature, showing slight differences from the original
Kujau’s version of Hitler’s signature, which Kenneth W. Rendell described as a “terrible rendition”.
When Hagen reported back to the Stern management, an emergency meeting was called and Schulte-Hillen demanded the identity of Heidemann’s source, the journalist relented, and provided the provenance of the diaries as Kujau had given it to him. Harris describes how a bunker mentality descended on the Stern management as, instead of accepting the truth of the Bundesarchiv’s findings, they searched for alternative explanations as to how post-war whitening agents could have been used in the wartime paper. The paper then released a statement defending their position which Harris judges was “resonant with hollow bravado”.

While Koch was touring the US, giving interviews to most of the major news channels, he met Kenneth W. Rendell, a handwriting expert in the studios of CBS, and showed him one of the volumes. Rendell’s first impression was that the diaries were forged, he later reported that “everything looked wrong”, including new-looking ink, poor quality paper and signatures that were “terrible renditions” of Hitler’s. Rendell concludes the diaries were not particularly good fakes, calling them “bad forgeries but a great hoax”, he states that “with the exception of imitating Hitler’s habit of slanting his writing diagonally as he wrote across the page, the forger failed to observe or to imitate the most fundamental characteristics of his handwriting.”

On 4 May fifteen volumes of the diaries were removed from the Swiss bank vault and distributed to various forensic scientists: four went to the Bundesarchiv and eleven went to the Swiss specialists in St Gallen, the initial results were ready on 6 May, which confirmed what the forensic experts had been telling the management of Stern for the last week: the diaries were poor forgeries, with modern components and ink that was not in common use in wartime Germany. Measurements had been taken of the evaporation of chloride in the ink which showed the diaries had been written within the previous two years. There were also factual errors, including some from Domarus’s Hitler: Reden und Proklamationen, 1932–45 that Kujau had copied. Before passing the news to Stern, the Bundesarchiv had already informed the government, saying it was “a ministerial matter”, the managers at Stern tried to release the first press statement that acknowledged the forensic findings and stated that the diaries were forged, but the official government announcement was released five minutes before Stern’s.

10 November 1983

Bill Gates announces Windows 1.0.


Microsoft chief Bill Gates unveils the Windows operating system for PCs. Don’t hold your breath waiting until you can buy a copy … unless you can hold your breath for two years.

Gates, Microsoft’s president and board chairman, held an elaborate event at New York City’s posh Helmsley Palace Hotel. The debutante at this ball was an operating system with a graphical user interface.

A History of Microsoft Windows Photo Gallery
BSOD Through the AgesIf you were struggling with the arcane and unfriendly MS-DOS, you were ready to get something that was easier to drive. Typing commands at the C prompt may have been a piece of C:\ake for programmers and geeks, but it was a pain in the wrist for the run-of-the-mill office chair jockey.

Microsoft started working on a product first called Interface Manager in September 1981. Early prototypes used MS Word-style menus at the bottom of the screen. That changed to pulldown menus and dialogs (a la Xerox Star) in 1982.

By 1983, Microsoft was facing competition from the just-released VisiOn and the forthcoming TopView. Apple had already released Lisa, but Digital’s GEM, Quarterdeck’s DESQ, the Amiga Workbench, IBM OS/2 and Tandy DeskMate were all still in the future.