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Last Updated Saturday April 29 2017 01:01 PM IST

More than 90 years later, historian uncovers Hitler's secret autobiography

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Hitler

An Adolf Hitler biography - originally thought to have been penned by a German aristocrat - was in fact written by the dictator himself, a University of Aberdeen historian disclosed.

A University of Aberdeen historian has unmasked Adolf Hitler as the real author of a "biography" which boosted his rise to power in Nazi Germany.

The first biography of Hitler, which presented him as 'Germany's savior', compared him to Jesus and helped propel him up the political ranks, was actually a self-penned "act of shameless publicity", Professor Thomas Weber from the Scottish university claims.

Published in 1923, the book 'Adolf Hitler: Sein Leben und seine Reden' (Adolf Hitler: His Life and his Speeches) was the first major profile of then would-be dictator and appeared under the name of north German aristocrat and war hero Victor von Koerber.

But Weber says he has unearthed compelling evidence hidden in a South African archive which he says demonstrates it was "almost certainly" written by Hitler himself.

Weber said, "The book, which also includes a collection of Hitler's speeches, makes some outlandish claims arguing that it should become 'the new bible of today' and uses terms such as 'holy' and 'deliverance', comparing Hitler to Jesus likening his moment of politicization to Jesus' resurrection.

"To find it was actually written by Hitler himself not only demonstrates that he was a conniving political operator with a masterful understanding of political processes and narratives long before he drafted what is regarded as his first autobiography, 'Mein Kampf', but also challenges the accepted view that at this stage in his life he did not see himself as the man to lead the German revolution."

Weber believes that the fact Hitler wrote the biography and collated the speeches himself and put it together under a different name speaks to the fact that at a much earlier time he saw himself in the "savior" role and that he started in a very "manipulative way" to plot his way to the top.

The biography played a crucial role in helping Hitler to build his profile among the more conservative elements of German society in anticipation of an imminent national revolution.

"Von Koerber was a blue-eyed and blond East-German aristocrat, military hero and writer. This made him the perfect candidate to present a biography of Hitler as it implied that the Nazi leader was already in receipt of widespread support among traditional conservatives," he said.

Weber made the discovery while carrying out research for his latest book about how Hitler became a Nazi.

He stumbled across a reference to Von Koerbers private papers at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.

"Going through his papers, I soon realized that von Koerber, who later broke with the Nazis, had merely been a front for the profile and not its real author.

"I found a signed testimony given under oath by the wife of the book's publisher stating that Victor von Koerber had not written the book and that Hitler had asked General Ludendorff if he could find a conservative writer without any connection to the Nazi party to put his name to it," Weber said.

Prof Weber presents his evidence in the Dutch and English language editions as well as the German paperback edition of his new book about how Hitler turned into a Nazi.

It is set to be released in the Netherlands under the title of'Hitlers Metamorfose'in early November and next year in the UK and US.

The hardback edition of the German translation of Webers book was already published in May under the title of'Wie Adolf Hitler zum Nazi wurde: Vom unpolitischen Soldaten zum Autor von Mein Kampf'.

(With agency inputs)

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