Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Konrad Kujau's Hitler Diaries

Forging a New Career

According to Harris, Konrads first known act of forgery was when he falsified lunch vouchers for an insignificant profit. Not long into his counterfeiting career, police caught him in possession of vouchers and sentenced him to a brief stint in jail. It was an unsuccessful beginning to a criminal career that would eventually change his life forever.

That same year, he began a relationship with a young, female bartender named Edith Lieblang. Together they began a cleaning company and worked hard to make their business venture a success, yet it proved to be a disappointment. Their company turned a marginal profit and Konrad and his wife werent satisfied with their meager earnings.

Konrad decided to use his creativity and vivid imagination to change their fortunes. During the early 1970s he began to collect World War II Nazi regime relics. Konrad realized that there was a large market for memorabilia pertaining to that era and he decided to profit from the growing demand. Before long, Konrad was believed to be one of the largest collectors of Third Reich artifacts in West Germany. In fact, his collection became so large and the demand so high that he established a store in which he could sell his vast array of items.

3 forged sketches
3 forged sketches
 

After a while, Konrad realized that he could double and even triple his profit by forging some of the artifacts with the signatures of once-prominent Nazis and creating bogus authentification to accompany them. Of course, there was no doubt that Adolf Hitlers signature would likely fetch a substantial revenue and Konrad decided to give it a try. His instincts proved to be accurate. His forgeries became an instant success.

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