A secret biography of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler commissioned by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin is to be published later this month, the Reuters news agency quoted a statement by the book’s British publisher.
Stalin’s “Hitler Book” was presented to the Soviet dictator in December 1949, in a limited edition of one, and was put in his personal archive before being discovered by German historian Matthias Uhl in 2004.
“A second copy of the biography was made in 1965 and placed in a separate archive, which was used as corroborating evidence that the first book was authentic,” a spokeswoman for publisher John Murray said on Friday.
A statement said the book would be published by Lubbe in Germany in March with its UK publication due in November 2005.
The biography was based on two years of interrogation in Moscow with two of Hitler’s close associates —- his butler Heinz Linge and SS adjutant Otto Guensche.
The two of them worked for Hitler for 10 years before being captured by Soviet troops in Hitler’s bunker after disposing of the bodies of the Nazi dictator and Eva Braun.
Hitler married his long-time companion Braun shortly before they both, according to generally accepted accounts, committed suicide on April 30, 1945.
Stalin commissioned the book because he wanted to understand the psychology of Hitler as well as being sure the Nazi dictator was dead, the publisher said in a statement.
“This is a compelling and powerful document, with an extraordinary narrative and astonishing detail and insight,” said John Murray’s publishing director Gordon Wise.
“Hitler remains an object of eternal fascination, but particularly remarkable about this book is the invisible but brooding presence of Stalin, for whom it was created.”
In 1983 the German magazine Stern published diaries purported to be Hitler’s. They were later revealed to be forgeries.