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Information obtained from Ernst Hanfstaengl

Hanfstaengl first met Hitler in November 1922. He attended 
one of Hitler's speeches with some friends and this speech 
made a tremendous impression on him. He claims to remember 
it quite distinctly, and was impressed by Hitler's cool 
[unreadable] mixed with jibes at the secret police, the 
Berlin administration and the signers of the Versailles 
Treaty. The speech was full of acid distributed against 
the lethargy, cowardice and corruption of the Army and 
parliamentary parties of the time, always, however, 
subtly producing an indefinable feeling of guilt among 
his listeners. There were moments when he seemed to 
accuse his own audience for Germany's debacle during 
1918 and in the following years. No questions were 
asked at the meeting except those which Hitler asked 
himself and then answered. He was extremely clever 
at this technique and the questions always came as a 
surprise and were wholly unexpected. The result was 
that they continually created [unreadable] in the 
audience which he then [unreadable]. At the end of 
the speech, Hitler was completely exhausted. He 
reminded Hanfstaengl of great artists at the end 
of a grueling concert. Hitler was dressed in heavy 
boots, dark suit, and leather [unreadable] coat. With 
his stiff white collar and his little mustache, he 
really did not look very impressive - he resembled 
[unreadable] canteen manager. After the meeting, 
Hanfstaengl was introduced to Hitler by Anton Drexler. 
Hitler immediately straightened up and his eyes and 
mouth took on a challenged expression. Afterwards, 
[unreadable], his walk was swift and controlled, every 
step was carefully designed and there was none of the 
[unreadable] of an intellectual or a civilian.

During the speech, he assumed a pose which turned out to 
be quite characteristic. At the beginning, he kept his hands 
folded behind his back and his legs firmly stretched and 
unmoving. He remained in that sentry-like position during 
the early part of the speech while he was reviewing the 
past. Block by block he built up the evidence against the 
administration with infinite care. During this introductory 
phase, he never stooped to vulgarism of phrase or pronunciation. 
On the contrary, he tried to employ only the ultra-correct 
literary High German, taking conscious trouble to secure 
the orthodox pronunciation of his "st" and "sp".

The theme of his speech as it developed was "How can a 
state survive if nobody looks up to it, honors it and loves 
it?" He drew the parallel of a family in which the children 
have no respect for their parents. Nothing comes of nothing; 
life comes from life and by the same law, greatness springs 
only from greatness. During this part of the speech, 
Hanfstaengl was impressed with Hitler's eyes. He says 
they were clear blue and nothing of guile or fear in them. 
There was honesty, there was sincerity, there was suffering 
and the dignity of mute entreaty. He was speaking rapidly 
by this time and his hands were tellingly

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suggesting the high rises of thesis and antithesis 
symbolizing the rising and falling of his cadences, 
emphasizing the volume of solemnity and fleeting 
pizzicato of his ideas. Sometimes there were interjections 
and then Hitler would slightly raise his right hand as if 
catching a ball or he would fold his arms, then with one 
or two words, he would bring the audience to his side. 
Sometimes his technique reminded Hanfstaengl of the 
thrusts and parries of a fencer, sometimes of a well-poised 
rope walker, sometimes of a skilled violinist who, never 
coming to the end of his bow, always left just the faintest 
anticipation of a tone, sparing the indelicacy of utterances.

As an orator, he surpassed them all. He possessed all the 
qualities necessary to draw, hold, and sway a crowd. He 
possessed the power of cool description, the poise and 
passion of intellectual interrogation, the intuitive 
knowledge of what the masses felt and what they 
wanted him to say. He had the ready wit, verve and 
homespun humor - the appeal of the uneducated, of 
the masses, of the women.

As Hanfstaengl spoke to him after the speech, he seemed 
naive and forcefull [sic], obliging yet uncompromising. His 
face and his hair were soaked in perspiration. His starched 
collar fastened together with a square gold safety pin had 
wilted away to nothing. While he talked, he dabbed his face 
with what had once been a handkerchief. Automatically, he 
cleared his throat, cautiously and hesitantly, and yet an 
irritating cough reverberated ominously in his chest and 
lungs. Then he departed, he shook hands with Hanfstaengl. 
It felt like a hardbones, rough hand with the grip of a 
front-line soldier.

In connection with speeches in general, Hanfstaengl reports 
that Hitler always writes his own. Before 1923, he did not 
dictate them before he delivered them but [unreadable] 
jotted down a few notes on a large sheet of paper, usually 
the handwriting was very large with only fifteen or twenty 
words on a sheet and about ten or twelve sheets for an entire 
speech. While preparing a speech, he never referred to any 
books. When he had finished making the notes, he would spend 
the time before the speech walking back and forth in the room, 
waiting for regular telephone reports on the meeting and how 
it was progressing. The usual length of his speeches was two 
to two and one-half hours but it was not unusual for him to 
speak steadily for three hours or more, before he developed 
trouble with his throat. During this early period he would 
occasionally sip beer from a mug while making his speech. 
At the beginning of the speech, he always stood with a 
military posture, with his heels firmly together. There 
was not a second of relaxation - his whole body was tense 
and firm and his hands were clasped behind his back. After 
about twenty minutes of this, one foot would come out and 
then things would begin to liven up. He would interrupt his 
exposition by introducing an imaginary opponent who asked 
questions of him and he took great delight in demolishing 
him. As the speech proceeded, the tempo increased until, 
during the last eight or ten minutes, his oratory was usually 
like an orgasm of words.

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Hanfstaengl says he was almost like the throbbing fulfillment 
of a love drama - Liebestod. He was comparing Hitler's 
speeches with Wagner's music - infinite variations of 
known liked motifs repeated over and over, always producing 
a new ear-appeal.

When entering a hall to make a speech, he takes no notice of 
anybody on his way to or from the platform except perhaps 
a mother and child who step forward occasionally to hand 
him flowers. Any other interruption arouses his ire. On one 
occasion in 1932, an hysterical woman succeeded in breaking 
through to the aisle and reaching Hitler and tried to hand 
him a scroll of revelations. Hitler became very much upset 
and shouted, "Get this crazy woman out of the way!". The 
incident upset him so much that he was in bad humor the 
rest of the evening. When he finished with his speech, he 
leaves the hall immediately amid much martial music. He 
doesn't wait to see what the reactions of the crowd will be. 
He claims that for a speaker not to leave immediately after 
he has finished his speech is a sign of inner cowardice and 
a lack of confidence.

 After the Munich Putsch, Hitler fled to Hanfstaengl's house 
where he remained in hiding for three days. When he arrived 
there he was disconsolate. Mrs. Hanfstaengl reported that he 
was all broken up and kept saying over and over again, "Everything 
is ruined. These dogs, these liars". He took out his gun and 
threatened to kill himself but Mrs. Hanfstaengl jerked the 
gun from his hands and appealed to him on the grounds of 
what his opponents would say if he committed suicide. He 
gave up the gun and sank into apathy, mumbling, "Those dogs - 
those liars". Hanfstaengl denies that there is any truth in the 
report that when the police arrived they found Hitler hiding 
in the closet. According to him, Hitler's self-composure 
returned and when the police finally arrived to arrest him, 
he met them on the stairs while putting on his trench coat 
and made no attempt to avoid the situation.

When Hitler was released from Landsberg on December 24, 
1924, he directly to Munich and came to the Hanfstaengl's. 
On the afternoon of his arrival, both Hanfstaengl and his 
wife noticed a marked change. Hitler had grown stouter 
and there was a certain something in his face and a look 
in his eyes which was gone. His nerves had quite obviously 
suffered from his imprisonment. Hanfstaengl said that he 
talked with Hitler for a half hour in the studio before his 
wife joined them. In the middle of a sentence, Hitler would 
spasmodically turn his head and look behind him as though 
overcome by a sudden fear. "See", he said to Hanfstaengl, 
"that's what jail does to you. There is always some damn 
jailer standing behind watching you. They drove me almost 
crazy at the beginning when I was in solitary confinement. 
With a light burning in my room throughout the entire night, 
I knew someone was constantly watching me through the 
observation hole in the door. A horrible feeling that! I am 
certain they were seeking for some pretext to have me 
transferred to an insane asylum. You know I went on a 
hunger strike for two weeks and they tried to make that 
a ground for an insanity charge." Suddenly he broke off 
and said, "Ah, Hanfstaengl, play me Tristan".

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Hitler was released from Landsberg before Roehm and Hess. 
He was deeply concerned about the latter remaining in prison 
and wondered how he could get them out. He kept referring to 
Hess as, "Mein Hesserl". Hess addressed Hitler as, "du" while 
in prison but dropped it after his release in 1926. Hess tried 
consciously to build up a cult by always addressing Hitler as, 
"Mein Fuehrer". Hess was known among the party homosexuals 
as "Fraulein Anna" and Hanfstaengl suspects that Hess' 
relationship to Hitler might have bordered on this type.

In March, 1937, Hanfstaengl showed Jung a specimen of 
Hitler's handwriting without telling him to whom it 
belonged. Jung examined it and said, "Hinter dieser 
Schrigt ist nichts als ein grosses Heib."

Hitler sleeps very badly since his imprisonment in Landsberg. 
He takes some kind of sleeping powder every night before 
retiring and goes to bed as late as possible. He invariably 
keeps friends with him until two or three o'clock in the 
morning. He only goes to bed when his friends are exhausted 
and leave him. It is almost as though he were afraid to be 
alone. When he does go to bed, he always takes an adrfull 
[sic] of illustrated periodicals including American magazines 
with him. He generally likes the Hearst magazines and 
magazines dealing with naval and military matters. In 
general he is unable to get to sleep until dawn and then 
usually sleeps until about ten or eleven in the morning. 
He dislikes central heating and has a Kachelofen in his 

He gave up drinking beer and wine after his imprisonment 
in Landsberg. If he has a cold he will take hot tea with rum 
but outside of that never touched alcoholic drinks except 
somewhat later when he would drink some very light beer 
which was specially brewed for him. Hitler smoked while 
he was in the Army but gave this up in 1922 in order, "to 
increase his capacity as a speaker and his general efficiency." 
Ordinarily he does not tolerate anyone smoking in his 
presence before he is going to make a speech and has 
even prohibited smoking at outdoor Nurnberg when he is 
speaking. However, when he is not going to make a speech, 
he permits his friends to smoke in his presence and even 
supplies them with smokes on occasion.

He has a consuming passion to learn the latest news. If 
someone comes into the room with a handfull [sic] of 
newspapers, he will often stop the most important 
conversations abruptly and snatch up the papers to find 
out the latest news. He has realized for many years that 
almost all information, no matter how varied and 
apparently unimportant, can serve his purposes at some 
particular moment.

He also has a passion for movies and watches one or two
 every night or two. He looks at foreign pictures which are 
forbidden in Germany as well as the domestic productions. 
He enjoys newsreels, particularly those featuring himself. 
He likes comedies and will laugh heartily at a Jewish 
comedian. He even likes a Jewish singer and will often 
say afterwards that it is too bad that he or she is not an 
Aryan. Special movies are

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