A Letter from Dad...on Hitler's Stationery

Many of us have saved old letters and cards that were sent to us by family members and close friends when we were children. Some of us even have scrapbooks filled with old “Welcome Baby” notes and birthday cards that our parents compiled as keepsakes.

But only Dennis Helms has such a greeting written on Adolf Hitler’s personal stationery. The CIA recently acquired and put on display a note that Helms’ father, Richard (then an OSS officer) wrote from Germany to his three-year-old son back home on May 8, 1945 (Victory in Europe Day).

Having taken a sheet of the stationery from Hitler’s Bavarian hilltop retreat, he proceeded to write:

Definitely not the kind of note most dads write to their toddler sons. But then again, Helms was not your usual dad and the occasion on which he wrote this letter was not your average one, either.

The elder Helms, “an urbane and dashing spymaster” went to work in the CIA (the successor to the OSS) rising in the ranks to Director of Central Intelligence during the Johnson and Nixon administrations. He was eventually convicted of covering up covert actions in Chile and Cuba.

The letter is on display at the CIA Museum’s newly renovated OSS Gallery, together with a plate inscribed in German with “The Chacellery of the Fuehrer,” which Helms, after slipping into the Russian Zone, took as a souvenir from Hitler’s office compound in the fall of 1945.

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

A Letter from Dad...on Hitler's Stationery

Thank you!

This article has been sent!