Press: Judging the Hoax That Failed

Nagging questions remain in the Hitler diaries trial

"Everything money can buy" was the unofficial rule at Stern, the punchy West German photo weekly that would unhesitatingly pay cash for a juicy exclusive. This freewheeling policy backfired disastrously in April 1983, shortly after Stern proudly announced "the journalistic scoop of the post- World War II era": the discovery of 62 volumes of Adolf Hitler's diaries. It soon became clear that Stern itself had been caught in a $3.8 million swindle involving Documents Dealer Konrad Kujau, 46, and Stern's veteran investigative reporter Gerd ("the Detective") Heidemann, 53. The trial of the two men has been under way in Hamburg for...

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