I think any adult with half a brain* should know by now that the Daily Mail is hardly to be counted amongst the more objective or thorough news outlets in the English-speaking world. Indeed, this is one of the few periodicals whose Uncyclopedia entry gives a far more accurate idea of what the newspaper is really about than the corresponding Wikipedia article: fear-mongering, sensationalism and fanning the flames of nearly every prejudice under the sun. Still, you'd think the Daily Wail's "journalists" would adhere to a certain minimal level of conscientiousness when spinning their tripe, and that there'd at least be a kernel of truth to whatever outrageous claim they may choose to present to their audience. Unfortunately, any such assumption would be wrong, as this German-language article illustrates [excerpts translated below.] Apparently putting fictitious words in a researcher's mouth is not a problem where the Daily Heil is concerned, especially when it presents an opportunity to indulge one of the primary fascinations of its bigoted readership - Adolf Hitler.
The German historian Joachim Riecker has written a book about Hitler's Jew-hatred. British newspapers have published garbled articles on the monograph. Now the serious researcher fights for his reputation. In an interview with SPIEGEL ONLINE Riecker indicates his horror - and expects a correction.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Mr Riecker, you have written a book about Hitler and the Holocaust. The central thesis in "Hitler's 9 November" is that the defeat of Germany in the First World War was one of the chief grounds for Hitler's antisemitic madness. Now the "Daily Mail" tabloid and "Daily Telegraph" newspaper have claimed that in your book you have written that the cause of this Jew-hatred lies in the "poor treatment" of Hitler's mother by a Jewish doctor. You were even quoted as saying so. Has the "Daily Mail" spoken with you?
Riecker: No. The auther apparently obtained his information from an obscure Austrian website with English-language articles, in which my book was faultily criticized. That was where the quotations ascribed to me could first be read.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Anyone who reads your book attentively will find no indication therein that you support the thesis of the US historian Binion, according to which Hitler's Jew-hatred leads back to, amongst other things, the methods of treatment of a house-doctor. In a chapter you even explicitly reject it. Despite this the "Daily Mail" has quoted you as saying that Hitler had "never forgiven this Jewish doctor" and because of that became an antisemite.
Riecker: This claim is simply nonsense. The GP Eduard Bloch, who had treated Hitler's mother in 1907, kept on living in Linz after Austria's occupation by the Wehrmacht. He was placed under the protection of the Gestapo, could sell his property as normal, and in 1940 he emigrated with his wife to the USA. The historian Brigitte Hamann has recently published a book about Eduard Bloch, and even quotes Hitler with the remark, that the one-time house-doctor of his mother was "a noble Jew".
None of the claims made by Riecker are even slightly surprising to anyone who's cared to do as little as pick up Ian Kershaw's 2-part biography, let alone a scholar specializing in that period in history; indeed, the conclusion that Hitler only became an antisemite in 1919 - and that only in response to the loss of the war and the radical left-wing politics spurred on by defeat - is one I've made on here myself, so substantial is the evidence that even a layman is brought to the same conclusions. As such, it is out of the question to expect the likes of Joachim Riecker to be making blatantly counterfactual claims about Eduard Bloch this late in the day, but this is precisely what the "Daily Mail" has done, and this detestable rag has not only so in the face of what is explicitly written in Riecker's book (giving away that the Dail Mail's "journalists" haven't taken the time to read the work), but perpetuated an outright falsehood based on nothing more than an English-language article seen somewhere on the web, without even bothering to contact the scholar being "quoted"! From the looks of it, anyone could cook up any old claims and publish them on any website, and the Daily Mail's writers would be more than happy to use said claims verbatim if it suited their sensationalistic purposes.
PS: An attempt to dig up the Daily Mail article to which Der Spiegel makes reference indicates that the Daily Mail has substantially rewritten it to accurately reflect Riecker's claims. Still, I do remember the original contents of the article, and if you go to, say, this page, you'll see just how radically different the original Daily Mail piece was. I suppose one must give the Daily Mail some credit for the subsequent clean-up**, but one would think the Mail would have learnt by now that an ounce of fact-checking beforehand is worth several hours of 1984-style journalistic revisionism after the fact.
*That the Daily Heil is Britain's largest-selling "respectable" newspaper tells one a great deal about the vast numbers of idiots there are out and about in the world ...
**Though one can't help but wonder if the fear of being sued for libel didn't play the primary motivator for this effort rather than a concern for accuracy.