Reported in the News Letter on December 5, 1952: German court rules Hitler’s will is valid

Nostalgia
Nostalgia

The will that Hitler wrote in a Berlin bomb shelter on the day of his presumed suicide is valid, a German court ruled in Dusseldorf yesterday.

The court said that Hitler’s relatives have no legal claim on his property because his will bequeathed the estate to the Nazi Party and the German state.

The losers by this ruling were Hitler’s sister, Paula Wolf, and a Swiss publisher, Francois Genoud, of Geneva.

Mr Genoud claimed that Paula Wolf had given him exclusive publishing rights to the record of Hitler’s dinner table conversations. The court rejected his claim and refused to ban publication of the talks by the Athenaeum Publishing Company in Bonn.

Mr Genoud attacked Hitler’s will on the ground that he was mentally irresponsible. But the court said signs of pathological deterioration are not enough in themselves to invalidate a man’s will.

Little of Hitler’s personal wealth survived the collapse of his Nazi Reich.

“There is nothing of real value – perhaps a fountain pen or a scarf or two,” said Paula Wolf’s lawyer.

Paula Wolf lives on a relief pittance of 36 marks (£3) per month.

The dinner table talks were preserved by shorthand notes on the orders of Martin Bormann, Hitler’s missing deputy.