22 Apr:
The ‘Hitler Diaries’ Hoax

Extracts from Adolf Hitler’s long-lost diaries were brought to the world’s attention on 22nd April, 1983, provoking an international sensation – until they were quickly exposed for being a hoax. 

Respected World War Two historian Hugh Trevor Roper had authenticated the diaries, leading Rupert Murdoch to personally negotiate a $1.2 million serialisation in The Sunday Times, which went to press as Roper changed his mind.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly reveal the true author of the ‘diaries’; explain why Murdoch was unrepentant, despite having splashed on perhaps the biggest fake news of the century; and appraise the chaotic atmosphere at the Stern magazine press conference, where punches were thrown, and David Irving started shouting about ink…

Further Reading:

• ‘Hitler Diaries hoax exposed in full for first time’ (The Times, 2023): https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/hitler-diaries-released-full-text-public-hoax-forged-journals-w9jfcmrld

• ‘Murdoch’s bravado forced through the publication of the Hitler diaries’ (The Guardian, 2012): https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/apr/25/rupert-murdoch-bravado-publication-hitler-diaries

• ‘Robert Harris on Selling Hitler’ (The Guardian, 2012):