London: A newly discovered postcard from 1916 that had been written by Hitler during World War I shows that the Nazi dictator wasn’t great at spelling.
The postcard was written by the former Fascist leader as he recovered from a war wound in a Munich hospital in December 1916.
In it he made the mistake of spelling the German word “sofort”, meaning “immediately”, with double “f” instead of one.
The postcard surfaced at a family history roadshow almost a century after being sent by the future dictator to his comrade Karl Lanzhammer.
It shows that Hitler was surprisingly keen to return to the front line after being injured in the First World War.
From his hospital bed in Munich, nursing a leg wound received in the Battle of the Somme, the then 27-year-old soldier wrote of his intention to “report voluntarily for the field immediately”.
According to historians, this demonstrates his attachment to his new network of army friends as much as his militaristic zeal.
“What’s clear is Hitler desperately wants to return to the front and that’s rather unusual, even for soldiers who were generally willing to fight in the war and thought Germany’s cause was a just one,” the Daily Mail quoted Thomas Weber, an expert on the period from the University of Aberdeen, as saying.
“By 1916, if they were on home leave, they tried to stay as long as they could, while Hitler desperately wants to get back to the front.
“We know from other sources he disliked the sentiment on the home front, where the war was being increasingly criticised, and what he wants is to return to his surrogate family on the front line,” he said.
Weber said Hitler’s poor spelling was not particularly unusual for the time.
“We know from other letters he wrote that there were occasional spelling mistakes.
“But that was well in line with other soldiers of his background,” he said.
The addressee of the card was a member of Hitler’s regimental headquarters, supporting the idea he had cut his ties with his pre-war acquaintances.
“It’s interesting because it gives further evidence that Hitler was just communicating with fellow members of the support staff at the regiment headquarters with which he was serving in the First World War.
“Hitler doesn’t stay in touch with his family during the war, he doesn’t really stay in touch with his pre-war acquaintances,” Weber said.
The postcard is said to be among a very small number of documents from Hitler during this period.
“Dear Lanzhammer, I am now in Munich at the Ersatz Btl (battalion). Currently I am under dental treatment. By the way I will report voluntarily for the field immediately,” the postcard reads.
“Kind regards A. Hitler,” the postcard added.