So Adolf Hitler Was A Tax Evader — So What? He's Still Adolf Hitler
On Friday, a new British documentary on Adolf Hitler will reveal that in addition to being a mass murderer, a racist, an anti-Semite, Hitler was a tax-evader. Great. We'll just add that to the list. Seriously, why exactly is this news? Are we supposed to be surprised that the dictator and perpetrator of millions of millions of deaths didn't pay the state his fair share of his income?
According to The Mirror, the documentary The Hunt for Hitler's Missing Millions reveals that tax evasion was just one of several money-making schemes employed by the Führer. Apparently, Hitler also copyrighted his own image so that any time stamps or merchandise with his face on it were sold, he was paid in royalties.
The documentary estimates that Hitler hid nearly 400,000 marks in taxes, which is worth about 1.75 million Euros today. That's a lot of money, but this doesn't exactly change the way we see Hitler. Nor should this come as a surprise: Germany spent an exorbitant amount of money fighting World War II, and by the end of the war, many German citizens were starving, and millions of Germans had died fighting. It's really not surprising that Hitler was selfish enough to evade a civic duty.
Apparently, nobody realized just how rich Hitler was. He was a billionaire, in fact. Hitler's will, penned shortly before he killed himself, continued to lie about his income. Klaus-Dieter Dubon, a retired German tax expert, who first discovered the hidden money, estimates that had he disclosed his true financial situation before he died, his relatives would have received an amount equivalent today to 120 million Euros.
Most of this money would have come from Hitler's enormous, mostly stolen, art collection, and proceeds from his book Mein Kampf. Hitler ordered the state to provide each newly married couple with a free copy of his book, and reaped the profits himself. According to Dubon, Hitler made 1.232 million Reichsmarks from sales of "Mein Kampf" in 1933, alone.
Still, it matters little whether Hitler paid his taxes and whether he was a known billionaire or a secret billionaire. As the most powerful person in Germany at the time, and some might argue Europe, it's not surprising that he was very wealthy. Nor is it surprising that he made his money through illegal methods. Hitler caused the murder of millions of innocent people, and those acts will forever determine his legacy.
Not whether he hid money on tax day.