You’re probably only just realising this… but you’ve (probably) never heard Hitler’s voice before.
That is to say, we only now hear his voice through the videos and recording of his rallying speeches. These speech recordings consist of the Fuhrer shouting and screaming, ranting and raving.
Hitler’s voice: The “Mannerheim recording”
Amazingly, there is only one known recording of his Hitler’s voice and it’s a strange to listen to.
In the recording, Hitler talks to the Finnish military commander Mannerheim in 1942. It is an interesting and frank discussion involving their failing Operation Barbarossa. Topics discussed include Russia’s huge supply of tanks and Germany’s struggle of having to stretch their resources in order to fight on two fronts. Listen below:
About Hitler’s voice recording with Mannerheim
The recording was taken on the 4 June 1943 during a clandestine meeting between the two men to mark of Mannerheim’s 75th birthday. The wider context of the conversation is that it took place during the Continuation war, which was a joint effort between the two countries agains the Red Army.
The recording was taken by Thor Damen who worked for the Finnish broadcasting company Yle. Damen was originally tasked with taking recordings for official birthday speeches and Mannerheim’s responses. However, unknown to Hitler, Dame let the recording run and the result is an 11 minute recording totally unique for being the only recording of Hitler’s voice in informal conversation.
SS guards accompanying Hitler realised what Damen had done after the 11 minutes and, chillingly, made a cut-throat gesture to Damen to get him to stop recording. They then demanded he delete the conversation but Damen protested and convinced them to allow him to keep it, vowing to seal the tape and never open it. The tape was then given to the Head of State’s censor office where it remained until 1957. It was then made publicly available.
Authenticating the recording
When released the recording was thought by many to be a fake. Critics suggested that it was too soft to be Hitler’s voice. Of the recording, Rochus Misch, the Fuhrer’s ex-bodyguard and radio operator, said:
“He is speaking normally, but I’m having problems with the tone; the intonation isn’t quite right. Sometimes it seems okay, but at other points not. I have the feeling it’s someone mimicking Hitler… It really sounds as if someone is mimicking him.”Rochus Misch
However, the picture shown above shows the meeting between the two leaders in the train at the time the recording was taken. Alcohol is being drunk and experts say this would have had an impact on Hitler’s voice, especially because he rarely drank alcohol.
When the tape was released it was investigated by the BKA (German Federal Criminal Police Office) who concluded it was genuine with Head of Frequencies Stefan Gfroerer saying ” it is very obvious to us that this is Hitler’s voice.”