The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Office of Strategic Services
Hitler Source Book
My Leader
Colliers, 1934
by Dr. F.S. Hanfstaengl

[Page 61]

Dr. Ernst F. S. Hanfstaengl

In his article in Collier's, August 4, 1934 "My Leader" tells how he got to know and serve Hitler for whom he has greatest admiration. Hanfstaengl after describing his own life and how he accidentally became interested to attend a Hitler meeting tells of the typical beerhall gathering-"the audience was a nondescript crowd, men who were there out of sheer desperation. I regretted coming. I would have been happier working on my book. (that book incidentally, never has been finished)"
(Book on Ludwig II.)

..Then Drexler introduced Adolf Hitler. He didn't look very impressive standing there in repose. That is, until you noticed his eyes. He had clear blue eyes and in them there was neither guile nor fear. There was honesty; there was sincerity; there was a hint of scorn.

Then he began to speak. More of a musician than anything else, I could only interpret his speech musically. He spoke mezzo voice, quietly, soothingly, at first. His hands never stopped moving and they fascinated me -- as the hands of Fritz Kreisler had fascinated me. He had all of the effectiveness -- but none of the tricks -- of the trained orator. Within three minutes I felt the man's absolute sincerity and love for Germany. Within ten I had forgotten everything else but the words which that man was quietly dropping into the consciousness of everyone present -- words which burned all the more for their softness; words which lashed us as men who had failed in a great responsibility.

Kreisler, you know, never comes to the end of his bow. He always leaves just the faint anticipation of a tone yet to come. Then suddenly those overtones are forgotten in a surge of dazzling, beautiful notes which march triumphantly toward a crescendo. Hitler was like that. He completely mesmerized that audience-- without paralyzing it. ....
Colliers August 4, 1934 -- My Leader.

My wife and I hid Hitler in our Uffing home, For three nights he stayed with us--then the police found out. (after '23 putsch)

1924:...:Adolf Hitler walked into my home Christmas Eve. He was absolutely penniless; he was gaunt from the long months of imprisonment and signs of suffering etched his face. He had come directly from prison to my home... Then-- "What now, Hanfstaengl?" Hitler asked.

"You will go on. Your party still lives," I told him. "I have something for you--a good-luck talisman. It is an autograph of Frederick the Great. He once sat beside a broken drum. He was once in the depths of despair after his defeat on the field of battle. But today Germany worships his memory and glory in his achievements."

Hitler took the autograph of Frederick. Hitler looked at me and his eyes had that same clarity, that same fearlessness they had when I first saw him
My Leader -- Collier's August 4, 1934


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Dr. Ernst F.S. Hanfstaengl

Hitler at Hanfstaengl's home ....

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