Kharkov Politicians Send Adolf Hitler Birthday Greetings
Extraordinary document, an ornate hand-painted and signed birthday card presented to Adolf Hitler on his 53rd birthday on behalf of supportive citizens of the Ukrainian city of Kharkov. The card bears both text and intricate, typical Ukrainian-styled, decoration.
The first page bears the date of Hitler’s 53rd birthday, “20 APRIL 1942” surrounded by flowers, wreaths, etc.
The following page shows an NSDAP banner with text reading: “To the Fuhrer of the German People Chancellor of the German Government Supreme Commander of the German Army Sir Adolf Hitler” with the Latin “LIII” beneath.
The following two pages bear additional ornate painted decoration and the text: “The Ukrainian Municipal Government of the City of Kharkov congratulates you on your Birthday and wishes you a long life in your work for the best interests of all people of the liberated New Europe. The Ukrainian people are secure in the final victory of the invincible German Army, and its allies. This victory is the guarantee of the rebirth of the Ukrainian nation among the peoples of the New Europe under Germany’s leadership”.
The document bears the signatures of twelve members of the city government at conclusion. Also present is an Apr. 30, 1942 Heersgruppe Sud letter from its headquarters forwarding the card.
The city was first captured by the Germans on 24 October 1941. About a month after this card was presented, there was a disastrous Red Army offensive that failed to capture the city, in May 1942. The city was successfully retaken by the Soviets on 16 February 1943, captured for a second time by the Germans on 15 March 1943 and then finally retaken by the Soviets on 23 August 1943. Seventy percent of the city was destroyed and tens of thousands of the inhabitants were killed.