On September 26 2019, a since-suspended Twitter account (@4truthbombs) shared an image purporting to show a very young Angela Merkel with a previous, infamous chancellor — Adolf Hitler:
Almost all opening speakers are #women Heads of State at #ClimateActionSummit now #AngelaMerkel says – with #DonaldTrump sitting opposite – that #climatechange is men-made, that we as industrizlized nations are responsible and need to take responsibilty for damage in South #SDG13 pic.twitter.com/z5TzZszzqn
— WECF international (@WECF_INT) September 23, 2019
Is This a Photo of Nancy Pelosi and George Soros’s Son?Is This a Photo of Nancy Pelosi and...
— WATCHMAN!! Kevin Roy🇺🇸🇺🇸 @kroy88 (@kroy88) June 17, 2018
— Covid=Flu (renamed) | LBF (@LBF777) March 10, 2018
This thread is genuine gold, people. Starts off claiming this is a picture of Hitler and Merkel together, when told this is chronologically impossible, her mate pops up to suggest Merkel is Hitler’s clone and she incorporates that without missing a beat. pic.twitter.com/3EgRQhZSbQ
— . (@twlldun) June 24, 2018
Here’s an example of how MAGA-types put fake facts into circulation as though they are true & repeat them until they’re unquestioningly accepted. Trump is doing this with the Bidens & has been doing it all along. The truth here? Angela Merkel was born 9 years after Hitler died. pic.twitter.com/Cd3aAz3XuS
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) October 6, 2019
Exacerbating the issue is the fact that Google Image Search automatically suggested “Merkel Hitler” or “Angela Merkel with Hitler” as a “possible related search”:
We were unable to find the specific photograph among archival images of Hitler with small children (and there are many.) However, a similar image showing what appears to be the same child and date stamped 1937 appeared in stock photograph archives of the Nazi leader attempting to use children to soften his image. The photograph was captioned:
Adolf Hitler talking with a girl, historical photo circa 1937 Adolf Hitler spricht mit einem Mädchen, historische Aufnahme, ca. 1937
It is not clear whether @4truthbombs was suspended over the mislabeled image purporting to show Angela Merkel with Adolf Hitler or for some other reason, but the disinformation has long been in circulation, and did not originate with that particular account. Claims like it rely on readers’ lack of inclination to fact-check basic aspects of the claim, as well as hopes that people would be swayed by a mislabeled photograph.
As noted repeatedly in response tweets, Chancellor Angela Merkel was born in July 1954. Adolf Hitler died on April 30 1945, ruling out all possibility that he had ever appeared in a photograph with her, much less — as some of the more overheated claims would have you believe — fathered her.