From the moment he attained notoriety for his attempted putsch in Munich, in November 1923, Hitler was the recipient of hundreds of letters each year from all over Germany. They offered support, advice, consolation and sometimes criticism. A large proportion were declarations of love by starstruck women. Hero-worshipping men sent money and gifts on his birthday or for Christmas. Some spontaneously pledged undying loyalty; others asked for favours in return for the years they had supported his cause when it was unfashionable.
The letters were recorded by Hitler’s secretary and filed away, having been answered or ignored. They were retrieved from the ruins of the Reich Chancellery by the Red Army in May 1945 and removed to Moscow. But since they had no value for the prosecution of Nazi war criminals or