Most of you will have seen this picture before. It shows the declaration of war in 1914, featuring what appears to be a young Adolf Hitler. The photograph was used by the Nazis to illustrate Hitler’s life-long loyalty to Germany. However, this letter to the Daily Telegraph from Dr Sean Lang from Anglia Ruskin University suggests that there are serious questions about its authenticity.
He argues “photographs of Hitler taken during the war show him with a large moustache, of the sort that was in fashion at the time. The practice of shaving moustaches down to a “toothbrush” shape seems to have been introduced during the war to allow men to wear gas masks more comfortably; the fashion was unknown before 1914.
If the photograph is correct, then Hitler, almost alone in Europe, wore a toothbrush moustache in 1914, grew a big moustache during the war, and then went back to a toothbrush style after the war, none of which seems very likely”.
Have a look for yourself and see what you think.