Seventy-year old letter written on Nazi stationery is kept for posterity

For the first time in the history of the Jewish community an American Jewish soldier got a hold of Adolf Hitler’s stationery. It was during the Second World War, six days after Adolf Hitler’s death, when a 26 year-old  Army sergeant from the 179th Infantry, Danny Jacobson, together with half a dozen administrative clerks from the same infantry, was sent to capture Hitler’s flat in Munich. Inside the flat were many papers with the swastika symbol on their letterhead.

Using a piece of this stationery, Danny Jacobson wrote a letter to his new wife Julia and sent it to his home in Muskogee, Oklahoma. Danny Jacobson wrote this letter on May 6, 1945, six days after Hitler committed suicide. the soldier started it with the words:  “Dearest Julia:”.  Included were the words:  “And so, Hitler’s treasured stationery has come to this. Imagine how he would turn in his grave if he knew a Jew was writing on his precious personal stationery.”

Jacobson’s letter written on Nazi stationery is attracting a bit of controversy —  for a Jew to have written a letter on the personalised stationery of Adolf Hitler!  Hitler, the most notorious Fuhrer, was responsible for exterminating almost 11 million people, among whom were nearly 6 million were Jews, including approximately 1 million Jewish children.

At present Jacobson’s letter is being kept for posterity in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. It will go on  public display in a forthcoming exhibition of America in the Holocaust, the Mail Online reports.

When asked about the importance of the letter Teresa Pollin, a curator at the museum, said: “It’s quite unusual and ironic that he, being a Jewish soldier, is using Hitler’s stationery.”

But Mr. Jacobson does not understand the controversy over his letter.  He said,  “It’s just a letter. I must’ve sent twenty others on that stationery.”  He added: “I had held onto the letter for the past twenty years, pretty much out of sight all that time. But I realised the letter was an artefact and I was afraid it would get lost somehow. I was nervous about holding on to it.”

Ian Harvey

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