The Museum of Hoaxes
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Pierre Brassau, Monkey Artist, 1964
Prankster causes volcano to erupt, 1974
The Great Space Monkey Hoax, 1953
Mule elected G.O.P. committeeman, 1938
Baby Yoga, aka Swinging Your Kid Around Your Head
Iceberg floats into Sydney Harbor, 1978
The Gallery of Fake Viral Images
Mencken's fake history of the bathtub, 1917
Did Paul McCartney die on Nov. 9, 1966?
Monkeys pick cotton, a 19th-century urban legend
Hitler’s Silly Dance, 1940
On June 21, 1940, Hitler accepted the surrender of the French government at a ceremony in Compiegne, France. He melodramatically insisted on receiving France's surrender in the same railroad car in which Germany had signed the 1918 armistice that had ended World War One.

After Hitler accepted France's surrender, he stepped backwards slightly, as if in shock. But this isn't what audiences in the Allied countries saw who watched the movie-reel of the ceremony. Instead they saw Hitler dance a bizarre little jig after signing the documents, as if he were childishly celebrating his victory by jumping up and down. The scene was played over and over in movie theaters.


Following the war, it was revealed that John Grierson, director of the Canadian information and propaganda departments, had manufactured the clip after noticing that Hitler raised his leg rather high up while stepping backwards. He realized that this moment could be looped repeatedly to create the appearance that Hitler was jumping with joy.

The film clip served the purpose of provoking popular outrage against Hitler.

Links and References
  • Jaubert, Alain. (1986). Making People Disappear: An Amazing Chronicle of Photographic Deception. Pergamon-Brassey's. page 176.
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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.