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Reporter, antiques dealer go on trial in Hitler diary hoax

A West German reporter and an antiques dealer go on trial today accused of perpetraing one of the biggest hoaxes in recent history - the forging of Adolf Hitler's diaries.

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In April of 1983 the reputable Stern magazine announced that its top investigative reporter, Gerd Heidemann, had tracked down 60 volumes of diaries compiled by the Nazi dictator. It paid over $3.1 million for them and Britain's Sunday Times newspaper bought British and Commonwealth rights for $400,000.

Mr. Heidemann said a plane carrying the diaries to safety in the closing days of World War II had crashed in an East German village, where an unnamed man had salvaged them from the wreckage. He implied that he had found the man and secured the diaries from him.

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