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Regional journalist who interviewed Hitler dies

A former journalist who interviewed Adolf Hitler while working for the Gloucester Citizen in the 1930s has died at the age of 97.

Michael Burn began his career on the West Country daily in 1934, earning £3 a week.

During his 18-month stint on the paper, he was sent on a six-week assignment to report on Hitler’s Germany.

Thanks to a friendship with the English aristocrat and Nazi sympathiser Unity MItford, he even managed to meet and interview the Fuhrer.

He wrote later: “I was fascinated by Hitler and National Socialism. Unemployment in Gloucester, and all over England, was very high at the time and I had been told that Hitler had all but eradicated it in Germany. I am ashamed to say I was taken in by National Socialism and Hitler for a short while.

“I have spent the rest of my life attempting to correct this terrible blot on my history.”

In 1937, Mr Burn enlisted in the Queen’s Westminster regiment, and when war was declared in 1939 he was called up immediately.

He was caught after a raid at St Nazaire in France and sent to the infamous prisoner of war camp at Colditz. A book he wrote a book about his experiences was later turned into a film.

Awarded the Military Cross in 1945, Mr Burn resumed his journalistic career after the war, working as a foreign correspondent for The Times

He died at his home in Wales last week. His wife Mary had died in 1974.

  • A fuller appreciation of Mr Burn’s life can be read on the Bristol Evening Post website.


    nevillechamberlain (09/09/2010 09:57:40)
    During the early 90s, while working for a city daily in the Midlands I met a WW2 veteran in our library who told me a tale of how he and a colleague were the first British servicemen to be allowed into the ruins of Hitlers office (ushered in by the Red Army). The two young RAF men pondered how to mark the occasion and then both solemnly unbuttoned and paid tribute to the The Fuhrer in the best possible way.
    I shook hands with a man who p—-d on Hitler’s desk. Mint!!!!

    Cat (09/09/2010 11:16:25)
    Ooh – what a cracking story!But which Midlands’ daily was it? Go on, `fess up.

    hilary (09/09/2010 12:32:47)
    I hate people who comment before they’ve read the story, Cat. Gloucester Citizen. It says there. In the first line. And Gloucester is more Midlands than West Country, I’d have said.

    hilary (09/09/2010 12:34:07)
    Ah, you meant the other fellow. Egg all over face. *slinks away, tail between legs, blushing*

    Old Regional Press Hand (09/09/2010 12:35:56)
    I hate people who comment before they’ve read the comment.

    ajinexile (09/09/2010 12:38:57)
    You write “a six-week assignment to report on Hitler’s German.” Was young Michael perchance a grammarian, or did he report on Herr H’s Germany? My nit-pick of the day.

    dave (10/09/2010 10:17:21)
    Gloucester is in the west country, not the Midlands. I come from there, so should know.