Michael Keogh claims to have saved Hitlers life before he became 'Führer' - Could this be true? Could a Carlow man who lived a life of disguise, conspiracy and war have had such an impact on modern history?
Michael Keogh was a Carlow man, who left home at 16, and amazingly fought both for and against the English and the Germans during World War I - and even more amazingly was awarded bravery medals by the two opposing armies. His was a life of pseudonyms, disguises, conspiracy and war.
Prior to the Great War, Michael spent some time in America and at one point found himself fighting the rebels down south in Mexico!
For about 30 years, Michael wrote daily - keeping a journal of his adventures in life and war. He treasured these journals - guarded them with his life and kept them close at all times. Michael believed that one day, his memoirs would be recognised in the patheon of history.
However, on his death bed in Blanchardstown Hospital, Dublin in the mid 1960's - his journals were taken from under his pillow as he slept. Distraught at the loss, he died 2 days later.
For 40 years these journals were missing. Then, in 2008, his grandson Kevin unexpectedly discovered them online and recovered them through the archives in University College Dublin. The family eventually published these writings in mid 2010. The contents of these journals told of a life only few of us could dream of.
Forced to flee Nazi Germany at the onset of World War Two, Michael returned to Ireland where he was shunned and ignored by the new State.
He was a founder member of Casement’s Irish Brigade; set up to fight for Germany against Britain. At one point in his military career he joined the 16th Bavarian Division, the same regiment as Adolf Hitler.
In his journals, Keogh claims to have met Hitler on a number of occasions.
On one of these occasions, in Munich in 1919, he records how he saved the future Fuhrer’s life. Historians are skeptical about some of Michael Keogh’s claims. This documentary meets with Michael Keogh's two sons, his daughter in law, his grandson and history experts. This story attempts to establish the truth; did Michael Keogh really save Hitler’s life?
Compiled and narrated by Joe Kearney.
Production Supervision by Liam O'Brien
Sound supervision is by Anton Timoney.
'With Casement's Irish Brigade', is written by Michael Keogh and compiled by Kevin Keogh. Its available from Choice Publishing Ltd, Drogheda, Co. Louth.
Patrick Dunne performs the voice of Michael Keogh.
About Patrick Dunne:
Patrick has been performing in Dublin, Wicklow and Liverpool for many years. Theatre credits include Blithe Spirit, A View From The Bridge and Oedipus, and Patrick can regularly be found performing with Milshogue, the Irish After-Dinner Theatre Show.
He can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org
First broadcast Saturday 2nd April 2011.
An Irish radio documentary from RTÉ Radio 1, Ireland - Documentary on One - the home of Irish radio documentaries.