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Selkirk Panton was a Daily Express journalist who covered Berlin, like Louis Lochner and William Shirer, for twelve years. His papers are in the National Library of Australia. Attached to the British Second Army HQ, he witnessed the events after Himmlers death in May 1945.

The Panton papers contain the original typed wire messages he sent to London from Germany reporting Himmler's death. The language used is "journalist telegraphese" - calculated to reduce the number of words charged for. We reproduce below a transcript of his handwritten notes, important for their immediacy and detail.

R Selkirk Panton Papers, National Library of Australia, MS 5808, folder 82.

Selkirk Panton's handwritten notes [May 24-27, 1945]

Original images [Pdf file 600 KB]


Page 1




R. Selkirk Panton Papers

NLA MS 5808 Folder 82

Notebooks, diaries




Page 2

Doenitz - seven pairs underpants
3 generals had poison phials
Himmler planned lie low several weeks until hue & cry died down
in first flush victory
Why did he decide kill himself
Firing squad
Nerve cracked
Remained cocky and refused submit detailed questioning
Demanded be transferred
[to] Supreme Command
Wd not talk underlings




Page 3


No hard facts
Himmler claimed if he had been in been
in Berlin when Hitler died
he "would have died with him"
Most prevalent theme +++ & talks was
comment menace in future
relations Russia with
England & America
Undecided what to do with
body burn it
guard inside none
++++ crooks failure tell
completely consistent story
at several quest[ions]
led downfall



Page 4


++++ body on hands
wondering what to do with it
Dentist (double underlined)          [DOODLE at r.h. edge: square with two X's inside it. A badge?]
Until later ++++ seeking set
But all day busy
Heinrich Himmler shrouded in grey British army blanket
was buried secretly in ---
Himmler's dentist
Signature 48 pieces
SS stamps
Doenitz & underpants Reinicke
(line indicating break)



Page 5


2 aides flown 21st Army HQ
not knowing Himmler's dead.
We don't know whether they have vial concealed
With them went fingerprints
death mask all records cast of
examined there
Shaef will get into touch with
Himmler's widow & brother
They are also looking for dentist
Allied command wants
incontrovertible evidence that
man secretly buried yest[erday] was
Himmler. So far fingerprints
an admission of identity
appearance correct replies to
trick questions comparison of
his features with photographs including minute inspection
of ear his signature - tallied
with two specimens in possess
intelligence staff



Page 6

German people (underlined) [drawing of British flag in upper right corner and an oval bisected by a vertical line, on right half of oval, three small circles]

Not sorry


Still pro-Hitler

helping us





Happy faces in different places

learning speaking English

North better than South
Fear of Russians before contempt
Dressed better taste, hair better uniformity
gen. children well dressed well fed
Himmler gave last orders --
disband underground
No civilians injured
no warm water etc
Germans playing off one occupying
power against another.
Postal services
Himmler's plates
safer in fjord(?) typhus(?), 260 [cases?] 7 a day [dying?]
King George's birthday
SS men Danish territory

Index on Heinrich Himmler

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