Dr Edmund Forster

The Man Who Invented Hitler: The Making of the Führer

Hitler Secret Recording

  

Hitler Secretly Recorded – Click here for short audio example.

On June 4 1942, Adolf Hitler flew secretly to Finland to celebrate the 75th birthday of Finnish C-in-C Marshal of Finland Baron C. G. E. Mannerheim. A modest birthday ceremony, meal and negotiations took place in a special train parked on these rails.

Finland, which had defeated a crushing attack from Russia in the Winter War of 1939-1940 welcomed Germany’s assistance against Stalin when hostilities resumed in 1941.

Their conversation, secretly recorded onto a disc by Finnish radio engineer Thor Damen, provides a rare example of Hitler taking part in a normal conversation, unaware that he is being recorded.

On the recording the German dictator discusses the war against the Soviet Union, tanks, weaponry and even “moral threats” in a calm and relaxed manner.

A carriage on the train had been prepared for Mannerheim’s anniversary celebrations, but the men – accompanied by then Finnish President Risto Ryti and senior Finnish and Nazi officers – decided to hold their meeting in the saloon car.

The engineer, who had wired the prepared carriage with a hidden microphone had to rapidly transfer it to the saloon car after Hitler’s arrival. As it was a warm
summer’s day so he poked it through the open window where it was hidden by a decoration of birch branches.

After about ten minutes, however, a SS security detail discovered the cable connecting the microphone to the recorder and threatened to have Thor Damen’s throat cut unless he gave them the recording so that it could be destroyed.

According to one account the Finns managed to distract the Nazis long enough to make 2 or 3 copies of the record discs. Long after Thor Damen’s death his son discovered this recording among a pile of junk in his garage.

Of the two other copies one was handed to the Germans while the other is believed to have been kept in the Finnish Central records office but has since been either lost of destroyed.

Cover of the Finnish Civil Guard magazine Hakkapeliitta no. 23

Cover of the Finnish Civil Guard magazine Hakkapeliitta no. 23

This photograph, by combat photographer Johansson, appeared on the cover of the original Finnish Civil Guard magazine Hakkapeliitta no. 23 / 1942 published on 9 June 1942. (Photo: Harri Anttonen). The text just visible on the right lower corner says: “German Reich Chanchellor with Marshal of Finland on His 75th birthday”.
Source: http://www.geocities.com/finnmilpge/fmp_4_6_1942.html

Another useful account of the recording with comments from readers can be found at http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/archive/index.php/t-24880.html

Translation of secret recording of Adolf Hitler. He speaks in what my German friends confirm is excellent German with little or no trace of an Austrian accent.

“Well, you see… (I think) we could only have known it now. A very great danger, maybe the gravest. We ourselves didn’t know precisely how incredibly powerful their weaponry was. We just wouldn’t have guessed that…in the winter battle… in the winter battle we just wouldn’t have guessed that.
Of course we had an impression that they were well armed, but so (well) in reality – and there is absolutely no doubt what they had in their minds these ‘sly dogs’…They have the most astonishing weaponry that human beings could think of. If somebody had said to me that a…(State or military team)…”