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  #1  
Old 21 Apr 10, 07:36
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Recording of Hitler's 1942 conversation with Mannerheim

[Not sure if this has been posted at ACG so far.]

Hitler surprised Finns by inviting himself to visit Finland in June 1942 on Mannerheim's 75th birthday. Recording Hitler's private conversations was prohibited but it was done during the visit anyway, when Mannerheim, Ryti, Hitler, and Keitel had a meeting in a railway car. A portion of the original tape survived and has been restored.

It's at the website of Yle, the Finnish state radio: http://yle.fi/elavaarkisto/?s=s&g=1&ag=3&t=22&a=376, click "Alkuperäisen salaisen äänitteen kopio (saks)" for the original in German. (The player is sort of clumsy and managed to crash Firefox once for me.)

What Hitler says to Mannerheim is somewhat surprising. According to the Finnish summary on the page, he claims among other things that Germany intended to attack West already in 1939 but weather postponed it to 1940.

He also claims that the East offensive was delayed by difficulties in North Africa and the Balkans; in 1940 Germany couldn't have defended the critically important Rumanian oil fields against Soviet Union's attack; that's why Hitler bought time by prolonging the negotiations with Stalin and encouraged Finns to do the same [this refers to German-Finnish diplomacy in 1940 or 1941?].

Especially the significance of North Africa is against what I have learned. Is Hitler misinformed or intentionally deceptive?

Actually, could one of the German speakers here make a summary or even transcription of the 11 minutes?

The recording has some historic value as it is possibly the only surviving recording of Hitler in a private conversation situation, not giving a prepared speech. It is kind of eerie to listen to.

It has an abrupt ending when one of the German officers spotted the microphone and the recording had to be stopped. I can imagine the awkward situation.
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  #2  
Old 21 Apr 10, 08:10
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A Television programme has been made on this tape, it was shown a couple of years ago on the Yesterday Channel in Britain. There was a English translation, I am sorry I can not remember the production company which made it.
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Old 21 Apr 10, 08:22
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here is the link with translation...
http://www.fpp.co.uk/Hitler/docs/Man...040642_dt.html
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Old 24 Apr 10, 18:25
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Incredible conversation, I wish there were more like this one the record.

Hitler: Absolutely, This is - they had the most immense armaments that, uh, people could imagine. Well - if somebody had told me that a country - with...(Hitler is interrupted by the sound of a door opening and closing.) If somebody had told me a nation could start with 35,000 tanks, then I'd have said: "You are crazy!"

Mannerheim: Thirty-five?

Hitler: Thirty-five thousand tanks.

Another Voice In Background: Thirty-five thousand! Yes!

Hitler: We have destroyed - right now - more than 34,000 tanks. If someone had told me this, I'd have said: "You!" If you are one of my generals had stated that any nation has 35,000 tanks I'd have said: "You, my good sir, you see everything twice or ten times. You are crazy; you see ghosts." This I would have deemed possible.


I hope they were serving real drinks for the birthday boy!
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