I have been working with an author recently. Dr. William Stanford has just published a wonderful book Lizzi & Fredl. This is a biography about his parents, more specifically their experiences during the Second World War. They were Austrians and not Jewish, but that did not prevent them from persecution. It is a miracle that they both survived to tell their story.

Along his journey of discovery a mysterious photograph was discovered, one that has never been published before (hence the watermark).

hitler-bnn.jpg

It’s just a picture I hear you say. But as the saying goes, every picture tells a story. What is the story behind this photograph?

In 1944 the British plotted to have Adolf Hitler assassinated, the project was top secret and called Operation Foxley. What is interesting is this small snippet of documentation that was released, discussing the possibility of poisoning Hitler.

Hitler, according to reliable information, is a tea addict. He always drinks it with milk. Since the milk is poured first into the cup, it is unlikely that the tea’s opalescence (see 4. above) would be noticed as it came from the teapot.
Hitler is said to be extremely fond of apple juice.

The reports that he drinks enormous quantities of black coffee, which have appeared in the popular press from time to time, are denied by P/W who was body-servant to Hitler from 1936 to 1940, although a dining car attendant from von Ribbentrop’s train declares this is not so and that he personally served the Fuhrer with coffee (and milk) at the Berghof. Hitler may well have formed the habit in the course of the war.

Apart from such table waters as PACHINGER and APOLINARIS the only other beverage Hitler takes is his “near beer”. This beer is said to be a special product of the HOLZKIRCHEN brewery, Munich, whose lorry makes a delivery once a month to the Berghof. (It is difficult to see how this beer could be treated outside the brewery, i.e. before bottling).

It has been widely recorded that Hitler did not drink, so what does this photograph show us? A group of men sat around a large table, with beer steins and bottles. Is it near beer, or not? Is that a beer stein on the left side of Hitler (it is partially obscured by the beer bottle)? The man in the background with the Nazi insignia on his arm, is he holding a microphone stand? Was this photograph taken in a night club?

The questions in my mind about this photograph are who are the men, where were they, and when was it taken?

So, here is a challenge to all of you amateur sleuths, help us answer the questions, I have a special gift for the person that helps us crack the story. It may have happened more than 65 years ago, but we still need to solve it.

Update: 10:48pm

I have just spent a good deal of time on the phone with William Stanford, and we have discovered some more questions about this photograph.

hitler2.jpg

I have highlighted the four areas of interest. At the top left of the photograph is an interesting object, it could be a hand bell with an eagles handle. Similar to the German symbol?

hand-bell.JPG

At the top of the picture in the middle we also have something inexplicable.What is the man holding? My thought was a microphone stand, William speculated a flag pole, but what ate the strange shapes at the top of the picture?

mic.JPG

Equally frustrating is the Nazi banner, what is on it? What do the words say?

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Last but by no means least are the lapel pins that everyone is wearing. What are those pins? No One is in uniform, other than the pins.

Update: July 3 4:15pm

Bill has heard from a German friend and he has this to add:

Bill, the “bell” was used to call a meeting to order in a room were meetings were held.

The words under the “swastika” read “ERWACHE”, which means “wake up”. Typically used as “Germany wake up” to the new era, a typical phrase by the Nazis.

And I believe that one of the Guards(?) is holding a flag or banner, not a microphone.

Lets hear your theories

Simon Barrett

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