A Hitler blitz that misfired
08:15am 5th September 2005

Fake: Propaganda planned by the Nazis. Loom carefully at the two adverts at the top of the page. The one on the left reads "Take French Laxative" and the one on the right reads "Smoke Turkish Tobacco. Who Cares For The British Empire Tobacco Any Longer?"

A faked edition of the London Evening Standard created by the Nazis in an attempt to demoralise the British public is revealed for the first time today.
Dated February 17 1940, it reports on 'The massacre of the RAF' and claims the Government has hushed up huge military losses.

More bizarrely on its inside pages, it suggests that rationing may result in Britons eating frogs for breakfast and that a cull of deer in public parks would have to take place to provide meat for sausages and pies.

The newspaper has been gathering dust in MI5 files for decades and has now been released to the National Archives under the Freedom of Information Act.

It is not known how or where it was discovered or whether it actually reached any readers in Britain.

But it, and other Nazi documents released with it, were ridiculed by historians last night as more worthy of Monty Python than the propaganda machine of an all-conquering dictator.

The 'Standard's' lead story reads: "Despite the hush-hush tactics on the part of our defence chief, the true facts of the air war situation are gradually leaking out.

"Our airforce has not only lost a perturbing number of its most up-to-date bombers and fighters, but a far higher percentage of its crack flyers than has been admitted."

Another article claims Britain is planning to go to war with Canada, and that the Royal Family will have to leave the country.

Frog recipes

On its features pages, a section headed 'economy recipes' claims a French culinary expert, Monsieur Boulestin, has come up with solution to the 'British breakfast problem'... frogs.

"There are billions of frogs, of considerable size, hopping merrily round the British Isles," it says. "Their vitality should be harnessed. Frenchmen know them to be delicious."

Boulestin, it continues, would be giving recipes as part of radio lectures on "the froggie and how to eat it".

Another article, headlined 'deer in danger', says: "The deer in Richmond Park and elsewhere are threatened by the war. They are going to be turned into sausages or pies.

"In a way these deer must be regarded as a national meat reserve, as an iron ration. The proposed slaughtering of deer in the public parks looks like the writing on the wall."

Another item among the propaganda documents is a leaflet trying to highlight the Jewish origins of then Minister for War Leslie Hoare-Belisha.

It shows a picture of him accompanied by the words: "Everyone will say, 'No real Englishman looks like that!' - and everyone who says it will be right."

Life under Nazis

Another batch of leaflets were clearly designed to acclimatise people to the idea of German occupation.

They proclaimed the children of the Third Reich 'jolly and happy' while others promised that life under the Nazis would be a great improvement. Professor Christopher-Andrew, who is writing a history-of MI5, said the Germans were 'incredibly bad' at propaganda.

"A lot of it looks like it was produced by Monty Python," he said.

One item is so bizarre Professor Andrew is convinced it was in fact a spoof. A document titled 'Naziministerium', claiming to have been issued by 50,000 supporters of Hitler in Whitehall, brands the men of Britain and Ireland a "race of abject cowards unwilling to leave your Mamas' and Wifey's Apron Strings".

Written in the first person as if by Hitler himself, it sets out the fate of Britons after a German takeover: "All males 16 to 45 will be sent to Germany to help me conquer Russia. All women 16 to 45 will submit to my troops as *****s. The whole Jewish race I will slaughter to the last baby."

It warns that President Roosevelt will hang by his 'gammy leg' from the Statue of Liberty, while Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain will be hanged in Whitehall.


(Mod Note: Moved to In The News)