Henry Picker

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Henry Picker (6 February 1912 in Wilhelmshaven – 2 May 1988) was a lawyer, stenographer and author who co-transcribed and first published transcripts of Adolf Hitler's informal talks, known colloquially as the Table Talk.


Henry Picker was born in Wilhelmshaven, Germany. The son of a German senator, Picker studied law and graduated from the University of Kiel in 1936. Picker became a member of the Nazi Party in 1930, and in 1942 became a senior executive and legal staff member in the Führer Headquarters.

Hitler's Table Talk[edit]

Picker's version of the Table Talk was published in 1951 under the title Tischgespräche im Führerhauptquartier,[1] and relied upon the original German notes he acquired from Heinrich Heim taken from July 1941 to March 1942, and Picker's own notes taken from March 21, 1942 through August 2, 1942.[2]

The first edition of Picker's Table Talk was arranged thematically, unlike the French[3] and English[4] editions which were arranged chronologically. A later edition of Picker's work was published in 1963, which was more extensive, carefully annotated, chronologically organized, and published with an introduction by German historian Percy Ernst Schramm.[2] Both the second (1963) and third (1976) editions contain several testimonials by fellow bunker officers relating to the books's accuracy and authenticity, including General Gerhard Engel.[5] Picker was involved in several legal battles with François Genoud and Hugh Trevor-Roper concerning the copyrights to the work.[6] 1963 Picker published a book about Pope John XXIII, in the preparation of which he was assisted by Vatican librarian Count Giuseppe Newlin (Mieczysław Dunin-Borkowski).

From 1941 he was married to sports teacher Irene Atzinger. The couple had three sons and one daughter.


  1. ^ Picker, Henry (1951). Tischgespräche im Führerhauptquartier 1941–1942. Bonn: Athenäum.
  2. ^ a b Lukacs, John (1998). The Hitler of History. New York: Random House, p. 57.
  3. ^ Genoud, François (1952). Adolf Hitler: Libres Propos sur la Guerre et la Paix. Paris: Flammarion.
  4. ^ Trevor-Roper, Hugh (1953) Hitler's Table Talk 1941-1944
  5. ^ Carrier, R.C. (2003). "'Hitler's Table Talk': Troubling Finds" German Studies Review 26 (3): 563.
  6. ^ Trevor-Roper, H.R. (2000). Hitler's Table Talk 1941-1944. New York: Enigma Books, p. vii.