Journalist Fritz Gerlich put his life on the line to expose the truth about Adolf Hitler to the German people. Gerlich witnessed the Munich Beer Hall Putsch in 1923 in which Hitler rashly attempted a takeover of the Bavarian state. Convinced that deception, treachery and ruthless violence were at the heart of Hitler’s character, Gerlich determined that he would use his expertise and influence as a journalist to do his best to expose Hitler in any way he could.
Over the course of the next decade, Gerlich repeatedly wrote anti-Hitler articles for Munchener Neueste Nachrichten, one of the city’s most conservative newspapers, and later for Der Gerade Weg (The Straight Path), a publication he created.
On March 9, 1933, more than five weeks after Hitler assumed the position of Chancellor, Gerlich prepared to publish what would become his final anti-Hitler attack. A last-ditch effort to derail Hitler, the contents of Gerlich’s March 9th report remain unknown. On that day, storm troopers burst into his newspaper office, arrested Gerlich and sent him off to Dachau, a German concentration camp. Imprisoned for more than a year, Gerlich was eventually murdered. In lieu of a death notice, his bloodied spectacles were mailed to his wife.
* Excerpted from promotional information about the 2003 Canadian TV miniseries “Hitler, The Rise of Evil”