Dr. Julius Grant

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Julius Grant (Gottheimer)

Also Known As: "Julius Gottheimer", "Dr. Julius Grant"
Birthdate: (90)
Birthplace: Dalston, London, Middlesex, England UK
Death: 1991 (85-93)
Immediate Family:

Son of David Gottheimer and Minnie Mikah Gottheimer
Husband of Selina Gottheimer and Gladys L Gottheimer
Brother of Solomon Gottheimer

Occupation: 1911 - 9; Forensic Scientist, Chemist; From 1948 ran a firm of chemical analysts, Hehner & Cox.
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Dr. Julius Grant

A former serving officer of Her Majesty's Secret Intelligence Service - MI6 the author Michael O'Hara wrote "Julius Grant to me and indeed to many law enforcement officers worldwide was arguably the world's most respected forensic scientist in his particular area of expertise".

Dr. Julius Grant (1901 – July 1991) was a British forensic scientist and intelligence officer. Grant made a career exposing forgeries on the basis of chemical analysis of paper, ink and other characteristics of written documents. Much of his work was for British Intelligence as illustrated in the Colin Wallace Clockwork Orange investigation. Well into retirement, Grant was called in to investigate possible forgery and to give expert evidence in court. In 1984 Grant's analysis of the Hitler Diaries confirmed within a week that it was a forgery. He was also called as a witness in the war-crimes trial of John Demjanjuk.

Grant lived for many of his later years on Friday Island one of the islands in the River Thames. The lock keeper at Old Windsor Lock nearby recalled Dr Grant saying that when he went to the island, he felt it was like going a million miles away. It was like owning half of Australia, it was so secluded.

In the autobiography of a former serving officer of Her Majesty's Secret Intelligence Service - MI6 the author Michael O'Hara wrote "Julius Grant to me and indeed to many law enforcement officers worldwide was arguably the world's most respected forensic scientist in his particular area of expertise." Source

Dr. Julius Grant Biography

Dr Julius Grant, who has died aged 89, was one of the world's foremost forensic scientists, in which capacity he gave evidence in some memorable trials and exposed innumerable forgeries, notably the Hitler diaries.One of his many jobs was to analyse Tutankhamen's mummy wrapping, which he described as "quite a thrill for a young man". He maintained uncompromisingly high academic standards in all of his 28 books, the most notable of which were Hackh's Chemical Dictionary and Science for the Prosecution. He was a former president of the Royal Forensic Society and of the Medico-Legal Society.

Lord Dacre, who had carried out the historical examination of the Hitler diaries, had declared himself satisfied on his three criteria of "form, provenance and content". Stern magazine, the diaries' owners, had earlier accepted their genuineness - on the basis of tests carried out on only four of many hundreds of pages.

Undeterred by the garish publicity which surrounded the affair Grant agreed to the Sunday Times' request, in May 1983, to examine two of the volumes. He had been prepared for a lengthy process in the laboratory, but it took him a mere five hours to pronounce the diaries as a "rather inept forgery".

This he did by slightly moistening the edges of six pages with a fine needle, and then extracting minuscule amounts of paper fibre for scrutiny under a microscope. Under examination it was revealed that the recycled high-grade writing paper used in the diaries reflected a whiteness-enhancing chemical bleach that only began to be used after Hitler's death and was not available at the time of the diary entries for 1932 and 1935.

Grant's first love was paper and he knew that the classic error of successive generations of forgers was their failure to use the correct materials. In this respect, Hitler's Axis partner fared no better under Grant's relentless gaze. In Italy, in 1967, a mother and daughter produced 30 volumes of il Duce's 'journal', written in school exercise books.

These contained opinions such as "Hitler is mad. Our ideas are diametrically opposed." Again the diaries were validated by a string of experts, including Mussolini's surviving son.

This time Grant took only 10 minutes to expose the documents, when he discovered that the paper used for the 1925 volume included straw pulp which he himself had seen inaugurated in 1930. The women responsible were convicted and given prison sentences but were subsequently reprieved.

Once more Grant could declare with confidence that, in his own area at least, "History repeats itself in such a ridiculously exact way."

Julius Grant was born in the East End of London on Oct 19 1901. While working in a chemist's laboratory - where he helped develop such products as Marmite - he attended evening classes at Queen Mary College, London, where he eventually took a degree in chemistry. He went on to take his doctorate at King's College. In 1931 Grant joined John Dickinson at Croxley Mills as one of the first qualified scientists to be employed by the British paper industry. During that period one of his jobs was to analyse Tutankhamen's mummy wrapping, which he described as "quite a thrill for a young man".

In the Second World War his knowledge of paper and its properties was deployed to good effect. He developed edible papers for clandestine agents, special notepaper for enemy prisoners-of-war (to prevent them making hidden additions) and secret inks.

Grant also counselled that the best counter-measure against a forged ration book was to sprinkle the paper of new books with minute strands of hair from cows' tails, dipped in red paint. The surface texture of the paper proved almost impossible to replicate.

From 1948 Grant ran a firm of chemical analysts, Hehner & Cox. From their Dickensian offices in the City he continued to play his part in the causes celebres of the era, such as the Great Train Robbery and the forgeries of the work of Samuel Palmer.

In 1974 Grant's testimony was crucial in overturning the apparently cast-iron prosecution case against George Ince, who had been accused of murder. The primary evidence had been rare fibres found on Ince's clothes that matched those of the carpet in the room where the crime was committed. Grant crushed their case by revealing that the same rare substances existed in the pillows on the sofa belonging to Ince's sister.

Indeed, such was his expertise that Grant became one of the few witnesses ever called to give evidence on both sides of a trial. He used to recall one sex trial in the West Country, in which "my evidence resulted in my former client being found guilty. I must say he took it very well."

By his own account his most interesting case, though, was the attempted assassination of Archbishop Makarios. When three gunmen tried to shoot down his helicopter, the Cypriot leader summoned Grant and put his entire police force at the scientist's disposal. "The case had everything except a love interest," he remarked.

Grant, who handled 500 cases a year almost until the end of his life, was an unrelenting perfectionist. He charged a minimum of pounds 50 for a suspect letter, but for "celebrities" like the Hitler diaries, he said that "the sky is the limit".

He died at the moment when his work would have received its greatest mass exposure, in tomorrow's final episode of ITV's serial Selling Hitler, but he was no mere publicity hunter. He maintained uncompromisingly high academic standards in all of his 28 books, the most notable of which were Hackh's Chemical Dictionary and Science for the Prosecution.

He was a former president of the Royal Forensic Society and of the Medico-Legal Society.

Grant married first, in 1926, "Lena" Levy (who died in 1956). He is survived by a son and a daughter from that marriage and by his widow, "Michael", (nee Carrow). Source

Books & Research Articles by Julius Grant

Dr. Julius Grant Abstract Journal of the Charted Society of Forensic Sciences / Obituary & Photo


Marriages Sep 1926

  • Grant Julius Levy Hackney 1b 1164
  • Levy Selina Grant Hackney 1b 1164


Marriages Sep 1963

  • CARROW GLADYS L GRANT WESTMINSTER 5C 993
  • GRANT JULIUS CARROW WESTMINSTER 5C 993
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Interview with cousin Sidney Gottheimer Half way through the audio interview, Sidney Grant mentions his first cousin, Dr. Julius Grant a leading forensic scientist exposed the Hitler Diaries

A two part audio interview, and a pdf transcript exists. Located at Jewish Museum London.


Dr. Julius Grant, who invented Marmite and edible paper for secret agents and who showed that the Hiter Diaries were a forgery. Source


WIKI Friday Island - The small island, whose shape is said to resemble the footprint of Man Friday in Daniel Defoe's 1719 novel Robinson Crusoe, contains a two-bedroom cottage. For thirty years this was the home of Dr Julius Grant, the forensic scientist, from 1966 until his death in 1991.

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Dr. Julius Grant's Timeline

1901
October 19, 1901
London, Middlesex, England UK
1991
1991
Age 89