More than any other documents, it is the personal private letters written by the German people to Adolf Hitler that provide the most intimate details of the Third Reich. A treasure of more than 100,000 such letters was recently found, hidden in a secret Russian archive.
The uncensored letters, which include declarations of loyalty, love letters and the occasional words of protest, reveal the true feelings of the German people - their hopes, longings and fears.
As one man wrote in April 1932, a day after elections made the Hitler an unstoppable force: "We only want Adolf Hitler as leader, as dictator. We National Socialists want to see a ban on all newspapers that inject poison into our Fuehrer, to see Jews classified as what they are...We will give our blood to Adolf Hitler! Take an iron hand and fulfill your programme with a dictatorial will. Do not negotiate but act!"
Women who wrote particularly ardent letters were monitored by the Gestapo as Hitler feared that his cult of personality could lead to a destabilisation of home life in the Reich. As his power became absolute, so the tempo of the letters increased. Like a seismograph, they reflect the changing mood in Nazi Germany, and the highs and lows of the German spirit, from 1932 to 1945.