The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Office of Strategic Services
Hitler Source Book Hitler At Fifty
Translated from the National Zeitung
Living Age, July 1939

[Page 1]

Hitler at Fifty
Translated from the National Zeitung,
Basel Liberal German-Language Saily [sic]

Living Age, July 1939; pp. 451-453

'What do you say when you greet the Soviet Ambassador at a diplomatic reception?" an admirer recently asked the Fuehrer.

'It's very simple,' he replied. 'I look him straight in the eyes until he looses his composure; then, well, I ask: "Does the Berlin climate agree with your Excellency?" And while he stammers an answer, I have already passed on to the next person.'

...Hitler's answer is more revealing than any long psychological explanation. The Fuehrer knows by experience that he can at will radiate a certain emanation that disarms the most hardboiled of men. He has come to despise people, retaining no respect for anything or anybody. He is no longer on time for his appointments - for what visitor is so improtant [sic] that he cannot be left waiting? Even the Duke of Windsor had to cool his heels for an hour before the Fuehrer received him.

Hitler detests all diplomatic ceremony and flim- flammery. In his intimate circle he knows no greater pleasure than to mimic the various Ministers and Ambassadors. He can give better than professional imitations of Goebbels and Goering, and every time he visits the Marshal, he is forced to put on his act. One of his favorite victims was for a long time 'Phippsie', the former British Ambassador to Berlin who now resides in Paris. He could not stand this stubborn liberal and delighted in aping the manner in which Phippsie inserted his monocle with one hand while giving a tabloid version of the Hitler salute with the other.

At the same time, Hitler is hypersensitive to all attempts at ridiculing him. He flies into a rage at every caricature depicting him as a housepainter or as a little man gone mad. On the other hand, he is not at all disturbed when foreign cartoons show him as a God of War or a monster. He recently read in an American magazine that Germany owned lO,000 airplanes and that she manufactured 1,000 per month. 'What nonsense,' he exclaimed. 'But let them believe it!'

His high opinion of himself has increased considerably since the events of last September. When Chamberlain came to Berchtesgaden , Heinrich Hoffmann ....received orders to protray [sic] the reception on the flight of steps leading to Hitler's house in such a manner that the English Premier looked up to the Fuehrer. The whole Munich Conference vastly confirmed his Napoleon complex.

[Page 2]

Nevertheless, he has no true friends. It would be too dangerous for him because he is the constant center of palace intrigues. Since Roehm's death, he is no longer on 'thee and thou' terms with a single one of his associates. He is always surrounded by his bodyguards, members of the so-called 'Suicide Corps' who have taken an oath to kill themselves if Hitler is assassinated. They are all treated with great consideration. He never forgets a birthday and takes a deep interest in their private lives.

Since Dr. Schacht's retirement Hitler has become even more nervous and irritable than before. In the Wilhelmstrasse, the password always is: 'For heaven's sake, don't irritate the Fuehrer!' He is in a state of constant nervous tension and neglects himself physically. Sports are repulsive to him and he cannot even get himself to take a long walk. For some time he has tried to fight against a tendency to put on weight by daily massages and a rigid diet of nuts and raw fruit. When he marched into Czechoslovakia, he had all his pockets full of hazel nuts, and an officer in his entourage told a British reporter who remarked about this that the Fuehrer devoured tremendous quantities.

Apart from his diet, Hitler s habits are very irregular; sometimes he goes to bed between eleven and twelve o'clock, but often it is four o'clock in the morning. As a rule, all members of his household are required to stay up as late as he does, and to entertain him as best they can. Evenings at the Berghof usually begin with the showing of a motion picture and end with music. While everyone else takes wine and beer, he drinks only peppermint tea or a mixture of milk and chocolate, or, occasionally, a brand of beer brewed especially for him in Munich containing only one per cent of alcohol.

The only women in his household are his two sisters: Ida Raball and Paula Hitler. Everything that has been written about his allaged [sic] love affairs is true. He regards the sexual impulse as a human weakness and despises men who cannot master it. Nevertheless, he is lenient with his collaborators on this score of [sic] they are necessary to him or to the movement. Thus he has let Dr. Goebbels, who threatened to develop from a moving picture dictator to a formidable philanderer, stay in his post. His attitude does not prevent him from enjoying the company of pretty women. He likes young society girls, and he is particularly fond of the two blond grandchildren of Richard Wagner, who treat gim [sic] like an old uncle. He likes their animated chatter and if he sits next to one fo them, he pats her hand. Buth [sic] that is all.

[Page 3]

In his work, Hitler is just as irregular as he is in his life. He declines to read reports of Ministers and Ambassadors. When, in March 1936, Marshal von Blomberg urged him to read a document, Hitler replied: 'I am not interested in that report. I already know what it says.' One day later, the German army entered the Rhineland. The report which he rejected so disdainfully had contained a formal warning against this action and had assured him that France would immediately mobilize if the Treaty of Locarno were infringed.

The only documents which interest the Fuehrer are blueprints of buildings and military maps. Recently, he has sought the company of younger officers in order to become more familiar with the secrets of strategy. As an architect, however, he has assumed the leading role. The Reich Chancellery, which was recently opened was largely is owm work.

Undoubtedly, he has sometimes has the gift of clairvoyance and the sensibility of a medium. But he is no spiritualist in spite of the premonitions which he has about his own fate. The main reason for the precipitate annexation of Czecho-Slovakia was that he believes he has only one or two more years to live. Each time a great decision has to be made, his intimates hear him say in a melancholy voice: 'We must hurry. My time is short.'

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