is a five-part miniseries based on
the novel of the same name by Robert Harris. It was first broadcast on ITV1
between 11 June and 9 August 1991, and is a dramatisation of the "Hitler
Diaries" scandal of the early 1980s. It stars Jonathan Pryce as Gerd Heidemann,
a reporter for a German magazine called 'Stern', who is obsessed with
Nazi memorabilia and believes that he has come across the publishing coup
of the century when he discovers what appears to be a genuine diary written
by Adolf Hitler, in which the Fuhrer talks
about such mundane things as flatulence, stomach aches and his inability to sleep!
Heidemann makes contact with Konrad 'Conny' Fischer (Alexei
Sayle), the man who had allegedly found the diary. Fischer reveals that his brother
in East Germany can obtain 27 diaries that were written by Hitler, and which were found
in the wreckage of a plane that crashed during the war.
Heidemann convinces the senior executives of 'Stern' to buy all of the
diaries that Fischer can get his hands on, as well as an opera written by Hitler
and some of Hitler's paintings. The 'Stern' executives include
Manfred Fischer (played by Tom Baker), and none of them question the authenticity
of the diaries - indeed, they agree not to have them authenticated by an expert
until they are in possesion of all the diaries - or the huge sums
of money being asked by Konrad Fischer, who increases the price of each
diary several times and reveals to Heidemann that many more Hitler diaries
have been discovered! The scenes which show
Konrad Fischer making the fake diaries are the highlight of this entertaining series,
but when watching it one cannot help asking how the people at 'Stern' magazine
were fooled by what were very crude forgeries. Selling Hitler is an entertaining drama
that does a good job of chronicling what has been described by some as the 'fraud of the
century'. The acting is excellent, particularly by Alexei Sayle (known
to Doctor Who fans as the DJ in 'Revelation of the Daleks'). Tom Baker, unfortunately, has a
relatively small role as Manfred Fischer, who is about to stand down as the head of 'Stern'
when the Hitler diaries are "discovered". The series also features Richard Wilson from 'The Empty Child'
and 'The Doctor Dances'.
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