Berlin: When the German newsweekly Stern announced in April 1983 that it had acquired Hitler's previously undiscovered diaries, the magazine's exclusive prompted a worldwide sensation. The editors promised to later hand over 60 handwritten volumes to West Germany's Federal Archives for posterity.
Instead the magazine's scoop turned into a publishing debacle, when it was quickly discovered that the purported diaries were forgeries.
Now, in an unlikely coda 30 years later, fake history was formally enshrined as real history on Tuesday when Germany's Federal Archives said it would accept a collection of the forgeries from Stern as news media rather than Nazi history.
The fake Hitler diaries are documents of the past," Michael Hollmann, president of the Federal Archives, said in a joint statement with Stern on Tuesday. "They are in good hands at the Federal Archives."