Discovery and Reading of Hitler’s Will

It was not long after his suicide that Hitler’s will was discovered. He wrote it out on the morning of his death, writing several pages of a rant against the Jews before addressing what was to be done with his belongings. Once it was discovered, it was read by a Jewish soldier named Herman Rothman. He read Hitler’s will after it was discovered in the possession of a Nazi who was trying to take it out of Berlin.

The attempt to smuggle the document was an effort to preserve it so that a new Nazi leader could inherit the Fuhrer’s last writings. Herman Rothman was one of five men charged with translating the document after its discovery. Interestingly enough, Hitler’s will was not pored over by only one Jewish man. In fact, all of the translators assisting Rothman were Jewish as well. After poring through pages upon pages of hatred toward their race, the team of Jewish man discovered an interesting detail. Adolf claimed to be nearly penniless, though they suspected a greater story.

This suspicion turned out to be accurate. From what they could discern upon reading the document, it was essentially a propagandist writing. In order to maintain his image with the citizens of Germany, Hitler’s will lied about the amount of money he truly had and claimed to bequeath nearly the whole of his wealth to the Nazi party. This lie has been the subject of numerous writings as well as a documentary, sparking a great deal of interest in the true story, the Mirror reports.

Herman Rothman lost a great number of friends to the Second World War, and sometimes had difficulty with his position as a British interrogator of captured Nazi troops. This was, after all, his primary objective until he was given Hitler’s will. He had to focus on the task at hand, and not the emotional struggle he faced while lacking knowledge on his family’s whereabouts and whether or not they were even alive.

The reading of Hitler’s will was more than a simple matter of translation. Rothman and his associates had to analyze the contents as well, which is what led them to suggest that the Fuhrer might have had funds which were not designated in the document he left behind. Thanks to Rothman and his analysis of Hitler’s will, it is now known that the depth of his propaganda included lies to the German people. Apparently, his lies continued even after his death.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE