Here is an amazing discovery indeed: a cache of letters, unearthed from the Moscow archives, of the letters written to Hitler by ordinary Germans of both sexes and all ages between the years 1925 and 1945.
Lost for decades, a large cache of these letters was discovered in the KGB Special Archive in Moscow, having been carted off to Russia by the Soviet Secret Police at the end of the war.
Here are some interesting examples below:
Letter from Dr Erich Oberdörfer from Vienna.
Austria to the Leader.
Austria is free! Tyranny is over.
No sacrifice, no tears in vain,
all our sufferings are seen in the deepest sense:
only in that way is a new world born.
Shaken, we feel ourselves in the grip of destiny,
since the greatest son of our beautiful homeland,
in whom longing, hope, and will are united,
offers fulfilment, defying every enemy.
For you, my Leader, like a star
that rose radiantly from storm clouds,
you bring what was an unattainable dream,
the great age, you bring freedom, unity, victory!
An elderly woman from Bregenz in Vorarlberg, the most western Austrian state, sent her thanks on 22 March 1938:
I write to you with tears of happiness in my eyes. Although it is most unlikely that you will personally read what I write, such a great miracle has taken place that anything is possible. I must write because my admiration for what you, my Leader, have enabled people to do through your example is too great! I thought of the coming upheaval only with fear, too many people were filled with thoughts of revenge, because what we have suffered up to now is unspeakable and the thought of revenge is just humanly justified. And now everything has gone so smoothly and this order, this discipline.
Nothing has yet happened of which the Party would have to be ashamed. Our opponents will be won over to our cause more by the behaviour of Party members than they could be by force - that can already be seen. We all contemplate the election with calm and we now have only one wish, to see our Leader in Bregenz as soon as possible.
One for all:
On 11 April 1938, the wife of Paul Irrgang, a Berlin wholesaler of glass, porcelain, and stone, wrote euphorically to the Führer. She wrote on her husband’s letterhead stationery and did not use her own name, but instead signed as ‘Mrs P. Irrgang’.
Our Leader Adolf Hitler!
There are no words to tell our Leader what we feel. Accept, our Leader, our thanks and eternal loyalty. It is to be regretted that some people still remain blind, but they are beyond help, unfortunately.
Until we draw our last breath
our heart belongs to you.
Mrs P. Irrgang
The Führer’s visit to his parents’ graves, also aroused sympathy. On Mother’s Day 1938, this act was mentioned in many letters. For example, on Mother’s Day, 15 May 1938, Lotte J. Kaiser sent Hitler from Berlin a home-made card with the dedication: ‘Thanks, inexpressibly great thanks to the holy parents, to the mother who bore our Leader!’ In the accompanying letter we read:
My Leader, allow me to express my thanks for all the great and beautiful things that I have been allowed to experience with a token that is small and homely but comes from the soul.
Lotte J. Kaiser
On 13 May 1938, Paula Ohland sent the Führer’s office a poem she had written in January 1936, that is, after Hitler paid a visit to his parents’ graves in Austria, with the photographs obviously appearing in all the newspapers shortly. In the accompanying card she said that the poem was ‘dedicated with respect to the mother of the greatest of all architects, but to the son himself with gratitude’.
To Hitler’s Mother
O mother, because you gave birth to this son,
You were destined to be queen.
What a gift you gave the world with this child,
So that your trace is not carried away by the wind!
It is granted him not only
To lead a people, no - oh - no!
A people is only part of the great realm
That God created for us, like a leaf on a tree.
A leaf that was limp but not dried up,
It yearns for the great throng of leaves;
With them it longs to gleam in the bright spring night:
‘Through your son - O mother, this work will be
Three middle-aged women from Ludwigsfelde, south of Berlin, expressed their enthusiasm upon catching a glimpse of Hitler on 21 April 1938.
On election day we happened to be at the Ludwigsfelde railway station. When an express train came in (13:20) we saw a Party member in uniform on the locomotive. This immediately caused us to assume that our Leader must be in this train. Our assumption proved to be right.
Three women beaming with happiness were able to cheer their so joyful Leader and received a friendly wave as their reward.
Three exceedingly fortunate women thank their Leader with all their hearts and request, as a memento of this splendid and unforgettable moment an autograph for each of them.
Victory and Hai
our beloved Leader!
A letter written by Elisabeth J., a girl from Schwarzburg in Thuringia, on 20 June 1938.
My dear Leader!
Please do not be angry that I have dared to address you so familiarly! I cannot write differently to the way my heart feels. On 23 May of this year I wrote to Field Marshal Goring with the request that he come to Schwarzburg! The whole time I waited for an answer, until finally it came on 18 June. The Field Marshal sent me a picture postcard with his own autograph!
Oh, how I rejoiced and wept. He answered me and little Schwarzburg! Can you, my beloved Leader, understand this joy? And how happy I would be if I could also receive a reply from you. Please, please, dear good-hearted Leader, answer me!!! I have one more request to make of you! In the autumn of this year I would like to make a great journey with the Schwarzburg League of German Girls group 9/218, a journey to Berlin! You will probably ask, why to Berlin, precisely?
You have not yet seen, my Leader, all my girls, and you cannot imagine how much each of them wants to see you just once. I would like to ask you with all my heart if it wouldn’t be possible to write me a note certifying that we have permission to see you in the Chancellor’s Office or at least expect to have no problems with the guards? Please, please dear Leader, have a heart for us girls, it needn’t be more than five minutes. Please don’t turn us down, ask what you will of us, if only we can see you! Oh, how glad we would be to see you in our own homeland! Is it completely impossible that you might come to Schwarzburg? I invite you, my Leader, to be for once a guest in the home of a worker, because my mother is an exceptional cook!
And now in conclusion, my beloved Leader:
Don’t forget my request,
Let us see you once!
loyalty and gratitude,
Gertrud Juliane of Koblenz, western Germany, wrote several letters to the Führer in the summer of 1938, for example on 29 August. The letters were badly written, and the translation reflects this:
My dear Leader I send you a very pleasant Sunday. The days you devoted to your dear official visit must have been quite stressful. I witnessed everything.
Now my beloved Leader, yesterday I read your beloved work, and what I got out of it did not penetrate my little head, whether it is a joke or serious. I am beside myself with sheer joy.
Since you are after all the only man for whom I’ve always had great respect, it would be wonderful to have your great happiness.
And on 17 September:
My dear Leader, I send you the most heartfelt good wishes and good luck for your dear work. What was done at the Nuremberg Party rally was very ceremonial and uplifting. It gets better from year to year.
How are you otherwise, my dear Leader, I hope very well. Please take care not to catch cold. In Nuremberg it is cold and [there is] much rain this year.
Since the Reich Party rally is coming to an end, I wish my highly esteemed Reich Chancellor a very happy Sunday.
With a German salute
a triple Hail Victory!
Even more directly than Gertrud Juliane, an unemployed worker - Karl Jorde in Vienna, Austria paid homage to the Führer in a letter of 7 September 1938. But for just that reason his admiration soared to a still greater level of euphoria:
I am a hotel porter who has been out of work for seven years, because in the old regime it was impossible for me to get a job, despite five years’ experience abroad and my knowledge of English and French, which meant that I already expected my future to be hopeless. But after the annexation [of Austria] to the old Reich I noticed how everything suddenly took a turn for the better and work and earnings became available everywhere, I regained belief and hope, and, although I am still unemployed today, I am convinced that within the foreseeable future I will be back at work and earning, and all because of our Leader.
Therefore, I cannot resist expressing to you, our Leader, not only my own gratitude and admiration but also that of all Germans, in the form of a ‘National Socialist’ credo, and [ask you] to distribute and kindly approve it, since my conviction and, I assume, that of every true German, is that what Jesus Christ was for humanity in the religious sense, Adolf Hitler is for the German people in the worldly sense.
With the greatest esteem and respect
and Hail Victory
My ‘National Socialist’ credo!
I believe in God the Father, the almighty creator of heaven and earth, and in Adolf Hitler, his chosen son, whom he has elected in order to deliver his German people from the vipers’ brood (Jews, clerics and dynasties) and centuries-long disunity, downtroddenness, and increasing impoverishment, and on whom he has also conferred its leadership for the resurrection of unity, power, new creative energy and optimism to such an extent that it will continue, despite villainesses and various animosities, from now unto all eternity. Amen.
In addition to the letters celebrating Austria’s integration into the German Reich, the Führer also received his yearly dose of birthday greetings.
The members of the State Orchestra of Münster expressed their ‘deepest gratitude, loyalty, love, and veneration’ in a letter of 16 April 1938, and sent an oil painting that one of the group had painted. They received thanks, as did Margarthe Rathmann from Potsdam, near Berlin. She gave Hitler 8,000 marks that she had inherited. Hitler signed the letter on 21 May 1938.
Dear Mrs Rathmann!
Please accept my sincerest thanks for the donation that you have made on the occasion of my birthday.
You have thereby given me special pleasure.
The donation will be used to help needy fellow Germans.
With a German salute
Great numbers of birthday poems were also received. For example, a ‘Sonnet to the Leader’ dedicated to him ‘in great veneration and gratitude’, combines joy at the annexation with Austria with birthday wishes:
You are the one that God sent us
In deepest need and highest distress,
With a bold hand you ended Germany’s disgrace,
Now the bright dawn of the future shines forth!
You are the sower of the German earth,
And your sowing created a flourishing land,
You said your homeland would grow greater,
Now it reaches the coast of the North Sea!
O name me a king who has achieved such a deed!
You need no sceptre or diamond-studded crown,
Your greatness has subjugated the whole world!
Your throne stands higher than any emperor’s:
You have won a place in the hearts of your people,
Now the gratitude of Greater Germany will be your reward!
- Jurima, Vienna, 20 April 38
Bertha Over from Bonn wished Hitler a happy birthday and asked for his autograph as a birthday present. Her wish was granted. On 15 April 1938 she had written:
I humbly take the liberty of telling my Leader that my birthday is also 20 April.
Therefore it would be my fervent wish to receive this year as a birthday gift a picture of my Leader, and it would give me great joy if my wish could be dealt with favourably.
My husband is a 50 per cent handicapped war veteran; his left arm is completely crippled and since 1932 he has been a member of the National Socialist War Victim’s Care Organization.
Mrs Bertha Over
[P.S.] In 1933 my parents celebrated their Golden Anniversary in Pforzheim and are still alive thank God.
A letter accompanying good wishes on the stationery of the Hans Oldag firm, ‘Uniforms, Clothing’, Berlin, is set out below.
To our Leader and Reich Chancellor
on his 49th birthday
the female staff
of the Hans Oldag firm, Berlin S.O. 16
1 children’s dress
1 baby jacket and bonnet
8 pairs of baby sleeve holders
10 pairs of wool stockings
that were made during their evenings at home.
Shop Steward – Bauer / Women’s Stewardess – Herubke
Hitler’s private office thanked the senders on 29 May 1938.
The Leader sends you his sincerest thanks for the thoughtfulness you have shown on the occasion of his birthday. The clothing sent will be forwarded to the Office of People’s Welfare.
With a German salute
The Führer was also pleased by a letter from Vienna.
To the Leader and Reich Chancellor!
The staff of the Austrian Wood Products Council has collected 110 shillings to buy flowers for your birthday.
However, by common agreement this amount will not be used for flowers but rather donated for the support of a fellow German in Vienna who has many children.
We ask you to accept this decision regarding the intended gift of flowers.
In irrevocable loyalty
and deeply felt gratitude
the staff of the Austrian Wood Products Council
The Leader’s private office replied on 5 May 1938.
The Leader wishes to express his sincere thanks for your good wishes on his birthday and for the notice that the funds you collected will be used for the support of a needy fellow German. The Leader took great pleasure in the willingness to sacrifice thereby expressed by all involved.
With a German salute
on behalf of [unreadable]