In 1945, German William Emker was active for the Office of Military Government of the United States, stationed in Berlin. During a visit at the State’s Chancellery he found piles of letters addressed to Adolf Hitler. In the following months he would often return to the Chancellery, getting hold of thousands of writings. In 1995 the politician Helmut Ulshöfer published ‘Letters to Hitler’, a book which consisted of the very same letters William Enker had collected in 1945. This book was only published in Dutch, since most letters were too shocking for war victims to read, and hence rejected by literary commissions of other countries.

The letters (translated to Dutch, some still written in German) were written by a variety of people: women who loved and worshiped Hitler and wanted to marry him or wanted a child from him; citizens that agreed with Nazism and anti-Semitism and wanted to reach him military, political and economical advise – but also letters from people, Germans and foreigners, who begged Hitler to end the war or who criticized the Nazism and Jew-baiting.

Reading the book isn’t an easy task: especially the letters fierily praising Nazism are, to put it mildly, disconcerting. Drawings from children in which they encircle their image of Hitler with little hearts even more so. The following excerpts are random, the translations are my own. These few excerpts can by no means describe the oppressive feeling one gets whilst reading this book though. It should be noted that only the first names of the people are revealed, last names are limited to initials, this to preserve some privacy: most letters are extremely personal.

RK. 28 SEP. 1938
Beste Führer,

(…) Wij hebben dus een krijgsplan bedacht. Het beste zou zijn als u, mijn Führer, de joden zou verzamelen en op een grote boot zou zetten, of misschien op twee, we zullen er allemaal voor sparen om het geld daarvoor bij elkaar te krijgen, dus alle joden als varkens die boot op, en dan de oceaan in. Dan het commando alles overboord en dan kunnen ze zich naar een eiland redden en daar koning zijn, of ze worden voer voor de vissen. Dan heeft de wereld, en in de eerste plaats u, mijn Führer, eindelijk geen last meer van die gemene joden. Als het misschien een beetje vreemd klinkt, dan neemt u het mij alstublieft niet kwalijk, maar ik ben pisnijdig op deze broeders.
Nu met hartelijke groet en een krachtig Sieg Heil,

Uw Emma N.
Rheda (Westfalen)

Dear Führer,

(…) So we thought up a battle plan. It would be best if you, my Führer, would collect the jews and put ‘m on a big boat, or maybe two boats, we’ll all collect money, so all jews like pigs on that boat, and then in the ocean. Then the command to put everyone overboard and then they can save themselves to an island and be king there, or they’ll be bait. Then the world, and in the first place you, my Führer, will finally have no more trouble with those mean Jews. If this might sound a little strange, then please excuse me, but I’m really angry with these brothers.
Now with kind regards and a powerful Sieg Heil,

Your Emma N.
Rheda (Westfalen)

Berlijn, 29 okt. 1940
Aan de heer Adolf Hitler – Hoofdkwartier van de Führer Oostfront


Mijn verlangen wil niet doven, steeds moet ik aan jou denken. Gisteren hoorde ik op de radio jouw ontvangst in Firenze. Ik was gelukkig, en tranen kwam in mij op. Hoop dat je je goed voeld en groet je hartelijk,

Je Ritschilie

Berlin, October 29, 1940
To sir Adolf Hitler – Head quarters of the Führer Eastern Front.


My desire can’t be dampened, I think of you constantly. Yesterday I heard on the radio your reception in Firenze. I was happy, and tears came up in me. Hope you’re all right and greeting you heartily,

Your Ritschilie


Many women who sent love letters to Hitler were sent ‘to the country’, a term used to describe deportation to concentration camps. When they had recovered from their ‘mental health problems’, they were released, though many didn’t survive. Sometimes the parents/children of the woman in question were sent to concentration camps as well.

Keulen, 2.5.1939
Mijn Führer!

Al geruime tijd koester ik een grote wens, en die is, ooit het hele vaderland te leren kennen. Hiervoor mis ik echter de nodige financiéle middelen. Nu vraag ik jou om een getuigschrift op te stellen waarop staat dat ik gratis reizen, eten en overnachten kan. Alsjeblieft, vervul jij mijn wens, want wie zou hem anders kunnen vervullen? Mijn moeder moet werken om geld te verdienen, een vader heb ik niet meer. In mijn nood (…) en denk dat jij mij wel zult helpen (…).
Ik ben dertien jaar (…)

Cologne, 2.5.1939
My Führer!

For a while already I’ve sneaked a great desire, which is, to once get to know the entire native country. I miss the required financial means to do so though. Now I ask you (note: you is written in an informal way throughout the letter, like in Frenchtu’ or the German ‘du) to create a certificate which says I can travel, eat and spend the night for free. Please, fulfill my wish, cause who else would be able to fulfill it? My mother has to work in order to make money, I don’t have a father anymore. In my distress (…) and I think you will help me (…).
I am thirteen years old (…).

(Rest of the letter is torn.)

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