The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Office of Strategic Services
Hitler Source Book
The Foe We Face
by Pierre J. Huss
(Part 2 of 4)

[Page 1]

P.J.Huss:The Foe we face .1942

There were flowers, chiefly chrysanthemums, all over the room in big vases. A freshly pressed uniform was laid out for him, along with a brown shirt fitted with special moisture-absorbing material around the collar. In the summer, he changes underwear daily and shirts as often as three time, especially during days of strenuous speaking. He likes long underwear but nothing of silk. He likes to shave himself once in a while and always does so when there is a barber around he doesn't personally know.

I looked into his bathroom and in fact pulled the chain just to have the satisfaction of having done it in his bathroom. The bathtub and walls were done in pink, with shiny nickel fixtures and chairs with rubber cushions. The towels were initialed with a blue A.H. Altogether, he wasn't doing too badly by himself. Schaub, the personal adjutant,acted as his valet and general nursemaid, reportedly even washing his back .... .

... He had a bunch of us foreign correspondents flown to the Warsaw airfield while the city was still a mass of smoke and flame in late September of 1939 and a few minutes later landed there himself, appropriately arriving in time to lecture us, against this fiery background, on the evils of mankind and the stupidity of England in encouraging the Poles to oppose him.

"A great crime has been committed," he said dolefully, and he gazed with a well-posed attitude of regret at the holocaust a short distance off. "Ja,the Polish military went mad and look at the crime committed against their own people. They were drunk with power and talked even of marching to Berlin. Then they barricaded themselves in the city and look at Warsaw now. You must tell the world of their callousness."

In Berlin, if he felt like it, he'd delight small circles of friends occasionally with mimicking men such as Goering or Himmler.I did not have to guess twice on the Warsaw airfield to know he was up to those tricks of his. He came there to be melodramatic and at the time hide under false colors the awful horror he had visited upon a great European capital.

But his act was soon over, or forgotten. He came around to each one of us as is customary, and shook hands as Press Chief Dietrich called off the names and outfit each one represented. Our little group included Bertil Svahnstroem, able correspondent for the newspaper Politiken in Stockholm.

"Ach Svahnstroem," Hitler repeated slowly, and shook the correspondent's hand more heartily. "Are you related to the great Swedish actress and singer?"

"Only in a distant way, "Svahnstroem replied. "But of course in Sweden she has become a sort of legend."

Oblivious to burning Warsaw, Hitler was off on the subject of Svahnstroem and her qualities,discoursing for at least ten minutes about her and his opinion of her renditions. He cited at length some highlights and criticisms of her career, in the same breath plunging deeper and deeper into an analytical oration on the respective values and merits of the Swedish and German stage and opera. He had decided opinions on the subject, none of which were challenged or questioned by those standing around in the smoke-tainted air. He was, in fact,shoving off again, and everybody else had to listen. That is the advantage of being a dictator- especially a talkative one.

He used to tell people in all seriousness that he turned vegetarian because he couldn't bear the thought of animals and fowls being killed for human consumption. At other times he'd claim he had to turn vegetarian because in the old days he couldn't afford the price of meat and fowl. He used to drink beer but gave it up when his figure showed bulges of fat.

Hitler likes to sneer at royalty and its trappings but he is not above a bow at its throne when the occasion calls for it. He went to Rome early in May 1938 on a state visit arranged for him by Mussolini, and he [Page 2] was eager as a little boy out to see the king and queen. He was nervous, too, and those around him told he was edgy all through his stay the Quirinal Palace, worrying about committing a faux pas of etiquette in front of the king and queen. He bawled out his adjutants on the least provocation, lining them up for a personal inspection and telling each one just what he must do. He forbade them as much as touch wine or alcohol, lest their foot slip and give a black mark in royalty's eyes to the Nazi Fuehrer's entourage.

I watched him from the grandstand the Italians had built for the diplomats and foreign correspondents opposite the Colosseum, where the climax of the Roamn [sic] spectacle came as Emmanuel's coach of six white horses rumbled up the Triumphal Way and passed the ancient ruins of Rome standing like ghosts in the searchlight flood .... Through my glasses I saw Hitler squirm round for a good look, and apparently he was so excited that he began tapping plumed little Emmanuel on the knee. Hitler had never seen anything like this, not even in the bawdiest Nazi shows Goebbels staged for him. Now the small boy was coming out in him.

He forgot that he was sitting in a royal coach beside a real king, driving in state through imperial Rome. He bounced around and gaped at the show.

Official Reception of Hitler: His eyes moved nervously over the crowd touching his very elbows as he went by with slow step, leading Queen Helene on his arm. She was a little bit taller then he anddid [sic] not look any happier than Hitler. He was plainly ill at ease, end evidently felt like a fish out of water.....On Capitoline Hill that day I did not notice any very hearty conversation between the royal house and Hitler, or maybe that was only because none could hold conversation with Hitler unless he or she talked German. They had interpreters present but Hitler stood around amid all this imperial splendor and folded and unfolded his arms. I had the impression that he just didn't know what to do with his hands ....

...In Florence he changed horses again and eagerly tried to impress on us that in heart he is a born artist. He spent hours in this magnificent city of art, drinking in its soft beauty and gazing at the works of the immortal masters at the Uffizi. He talked to Mussolini and others by the hour of the genius and marvels of the Botticellis, the Titians, the Leonardos. He stood upon the heights of Fiesole, the ancient Etruscan town above Florence, and spread his arms toward heaven to eulogize the magnificence of the view at his feet. "If I had my way, I'd go incognito to Florence for ten days," he remarked to several of us sometime later. "I'd put on a false beard, dark glasses and an old suit, and comb my hair a different way. Then I'd spend that ten days in those art galleries of Florence worshiping as an artist at the feet of the old masters.'

He looked silliest on that night when he left for Germany by train from Rome. He came to the station straight from a farewell banquet, escorted by Emannuel. I almost fell over, for on his head was a silk hat. It simply didn't go with him. and alongside of little Emmanuel he looked like a clown trying to be serious. The silk hat sat on his head as if he had carefully placed it on with both hands. He walked stiffly, and a glass of water could have stood on top of his lid without spilling a drop. He had pulled it down so hard to make it stick on the ride tot he [sic] station, that he had trouble getting it off when he said good-by to Emmanuel on the platform. As the train moved he stood at the window of the railway coach wearing his silk hat and with his right arm outstretched in the Nazi salute. .....

There has been much talk since the latter part of 1941 on the inside of the Nazi party that Hitler has decided to get married right [Page 3] after the war. It is known of course, in these same circles, but never talked about with strangers, that for nearly a dozen years now Hitler has had his clandestine love affair with Fraulein Theresa von Thorn, one of the five daughters of an aristocratic Bavarian family. She is a petite brunette and likes to wear her hair in bangs. Her Family was one of the first among the aristocrats to go Nazi and soon drew Hitler's attention by their unstinted activity on his behalf. The Von Thorns soon were invited to Berchtesgaden and silent romance bloomed between the Nazi leader and one of the younger girls shortly after. Since then the Von Thorn family have been the most frequent visitors up on the mountain, and the girl is always there when Hitler is in residence. Even the war has not kept him from her, and the girl, more than the Alps, is the reason he rushes off to Berchtesgaden at every opportunity. She hardly ever goes to Berlin, but when she does, she lives at the Kaiserhof Hotel under an assumed name, carefully guarded from intruding eyes. The Fuehrer would never forgive or forget the talkative one who'd spill the secret of the girl he sleeps with and intends to marry after the war. That is, if he is still around after the war.

P.J.Huss: The Foe we face. pp. 1, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

"Did I ever show you my favorite trick ?" Lutze said suddenly, after draining enough champagne to float a ship. He took his champagne glass and filled it to the brim, saying:

"It scares a lot of women out of their wits, and Hitler gets a good laugh out of it. He has me pull this one at state banquets or things get boring him and he wants to get rid of the old wives who hang around too long. It breaks the ice when there are too many stuffed shirts and their women sitting at the table and someof [sic] them faint. Look!"

Laughing and shouting, he reached up to his left eye and neatly removed the eyeball, dropping it into his champagne with a deft twist of the hand. Then he stirred the drink and gulped down the whole works, champagne with glass eye to boot. He opened his mouth to show that he had swallowed the glass eye, but a moment later he made as thoughto [sic] belch hard and out came the glass eye.

He wiped it indifferently amid his own shouted laughter and replaced it in the left eye socket. There was, I must say, scarcely anything to betray that false eye, unless the light happened to reflect too strongly in the glass.

"There you are, perfectly simple," he said with a sweeping gesture. "You should hear them shriek !"

"And what does Hitler do ?"

"He laughs to himself and never lets on that he has seen me do it before. He is a better actor than some of our stage and film stars. It's a good way to get rid of some of those ancients."

P.J.Huss, The Foe we face pp.51,52.

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