Adolf Hitler

London - There are many ways of wasting time, but few more satisfying than taking out a felt-tip pen and defacing photographs in magazines.

I imagine there must be a university department somewhere that is, even now, wasting yet more time finding out which type of doodle on a face is the most popular. My own guess, culled from many years’ experience, is that the top three, in order of popularity, are:

1. Adding a pair of glasses

2. Adding a Hitler moustache

3. Adding a pipe with little puffs of smoke

This age-old pastime, the source of many a happy hour, came back to me the other day when I read about a new book called Hitler In Brazil — His Life And His Death.

In it, first-time author Simoni Renee Guerreiro Dias claims that, contrary to popular belief, Adolf Hitler managed to escape from his Berlin bunker on April 30, 1945. He then made his way, via Argentina and Paraguay, to Brazil, where he settled in the little town of Nossa Senhora do Livramento, bang in the middle of nowhere.

Ms Dias believes that an elderly gentleman called Adolf Leipzig was in actual fact Adolf Hitler. Apparently, Leipzig lived quietly in Nossa Senhora do Livramento until his death in 1984 aged 95.

Leipzig was known locally as “the old German”, and kept himself to himself, as retired Fuhrers so often do.

One might have thought that a middle-aged German called Adolf arriving out of the blue in a Brazilian town towards the end of 1945 might have raised the odd eyebrow, but apparently not.

The townsfolk of Nosso Senhora do Livramento were obviously put clean off the scent by the skilful way in which this master of disguise had a) shaved off his tell-tale moustache, and b) changed his name from the giveaway Adolf Hitler to the completely different Adolf Leipzig.

But Simoni Renee Guerreiro Dias was not so easily fooled. She now says she only became absolutely sure that he was Adolf Hitler after coming across a hazy photograph and Photoshopping a tell-tale little square moustache onto Leipzig’s upper lip.

All of which begs the question: with or without the moustache, was Adolf Leipzig really Adolf Hitler?

According to his secretary, Christa Schroeder, who seems to have been a pretty reliable witness, Hitler once said that he could never shave off his moustache. “Many people say I should shave off the moustache, but that is impossible. My nose is much too big. I need the moustache to relieve the effect.”

- Daily Mail