Hitler's cushy prison life in the 1920s revealed

Adolf Hitler enjoyed special treatment while jailed in 1924 and was allowed hundreds of visitors – sometimes unsupervised – including some 30 to 40 celebrants of his 35th birthday. The details have emerged from documents written by officials at the prison near Munich where he was held.

The 500 papers from the Landsberg prison were recently found by a Nuremberg man among the possessions of his late father, who purchased them at a flea market in the 1970s according to Werner Behringer, whose auction house in the Bavarian city of Fuerth will offer them for sale next month.

Mr Behringer said they were packed among a bundle of books on the First World War the man had bought, and his 55-year-old son, who has requested anonymity, never knew of their existence. "His father probably didn't know what he had there," Mr Behringer told Associated Press. Robert Bierschneider, an archivist with the Bavarian State Archives in Munich, said he had examined images of the documents Mr Behringer sent to him and they had stamps and notations matching others from the prison.

"The documents appear genuine, but to do a real examination we need the originals in our hands," he said.

The documents are to be auctioned on 2 July, with a starting price of €25,000 (£20,000). Though only one is signed by Hitler, and much of the information is otherwise available, they do provide an intriguing window into his early days as Nazi leader.

Hitler was imprisoned in Landsberg after his abortive bid to seize power in the notorious "beer hall putsch" in Munich. A decade later, in 1933, the Nazis came to power through elections.

Sentenced to five years in prison, Hitler was granted early release and ended up serving about nine months.

His right-wing politics and German nationalism won him friends among the German establishment, including the First World War hero Erich Ludendorff. He came to visit Hitler several times in jail and the Prussian general was allowed to see the former Austrian corporal unsupervised for as long as he wanted, the documents show.

They include some 300 to 400 original cards listing Hitler's other visitors, including the 30 to 40 allowed in to celebrate his birthday on 20 April 1924 – 19 days into his sentence. "His time in prison was more like a holiday," Mr Behringer said.

Otto Leybold, the prison director, gushed about Hitler in a memo about the inmates on 18 September 1924, saying he was always "sensible, modest, humble and polite to everyone – especially to the officers of the facility."

Hitler spent much of his time in prison writing his manifesto Mein Kampf, detailing his ideology and ambitions, but the documents also show he had time for more prosaic thoughts.

In a typed copy that prison authorities made of a letter Hitler wrote to a Munich car dealer, the future dictator is having a hard time deciding whether to purchase a newer model Benz 11/40 or the older 16/50 because he had concerns that the higher RPMs of the motor in the former might mean that it would have more mechanical problems. "I can't get a new car every two or three years," he wrote.

He also noted he had court costs to pay once released and asked the dealer to arrange a discount on an 11/40. "Please reserve the grey car that you have in Munich until I have clarity about my fate (probation?)."

Suggested Topics
News
Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
peopleThreats follows actress' speech on feminism and equality at the UN
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Arts and Entertainment
Worldwide ticket sales for The Lion King musical surpassed $6.2bn ($3.8bn) this summer
tvMusical is biggest grossing show or film in history
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drink
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Analyst/ Project Manager - Financial Services

£60000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client in the Financial...

Year 3 Teacher - Winsford

Negotiable: Randstad Education Chester: Year 3 Teachers needed in Winsford We ...

Behaviour support worker

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Behavioural support worker Pupil r...

Year 5/6 Teacher - Winsford

Negotiable: Randstad Education Chester: Year 5/6 Teachers needed in WinsfordWe...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits