> The dictator amassed hundreds of millions of pounds in today's money
> He hid it from German people and presented himself as almost penniless
> Historians have managed to trace the vanished money through documents
> IS Fiji's dictator hiding money in Swiss banks, for why else open a mission in Geneva last month?
But historians have now managed to trace the money through tax documents and bank statements. They believe he was worth around 1.1billion Reichsmarks, the equivalent of £3.6billion today. During his lifetime the Nazi leader insisted his public speeches only made him a small amount of money and that he did not even have a bank account. But documentary The Hunt For Hitler’s Missing Millions, to be aired [in United Kingdom] on Channel 5, will explore how he secretly gained a huge fortune.
He refused to pay taxes, dodging £1.75million before passing a law that made him exempt.
The book he wrote in prison, Mein Kampf, generated one million Reichs-marks-per-year after Hitler decreed that a copy be given to every married couple – paid for by the government. Experts also claim the dictator wrote a secret will on the morning of his death, hoping to trick the German people into believing his humble claims. In it he dedicated five pages to a political diatribe against the Jews and just three to his personal will.He presented himself as almost penniless, writing: ‘What I own belongs, as so far as it is of any value at all, to the party.’
There was no further mention of his wealth, only that his relatives should be given enough ‘to sustain a simple middle-class life’. It was to be administered by Hitler’s private secretary and fellow Nazi, Martin Bormann, who was witness to the will and named as Hitler’s sole executive. However Bormann was shot dead not long after Hitler committed suicide. The will was intercepted by Allied forces as a suspected Nazi tried to smuggle it out of the country, hidden in the shoulder pad of his jacket.
Historian Dr Chris Whetton said: ‘He loved money. He just wasn’t prepared to do much for it.’ The Nazi leader also copyrighted his image, meaning he even earned royalties every time a post-age stamp with his face on it was sold. Herman Rothman, a retired British Intelligence Officer was among those to discover and translate the will. He said: ‘We were absolutely shocked by what we found. I think the private will was also for consumption by the German people. He wanted to show in his private will he had very little. 'I always felt he thought about it very, very clearly, he wanted to show the people he had no benefits, that his life was purely devoted entirely to the wealth of the German people.’ The Daily Mail, 26 June 2014