The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/h/hitler.adolf//oss-papers/text/oss-sb-hanfstaengl-06


00011269.gif  page 20

Hitler, according to Hanfstaengl is not exactly superstitious 
but he is willing to accept a forewarning of Fate. He points 
out that in his speech of November 8, 1942, he chose the 
Loewenbraukeller for the meeting instead of the 
Buergerbraukeller which was bombed on November 8, 
1939.  The name Buergerbraukeller has now an unpleasant 
and painful memory for him and it is a name of ill-luck, 
and in his speech he would not refer to it by name. 
Nevertheless, he has tendencies in this direction. For 
example, in 1923, Hanfstaengl remembers that Hitler 
was speaking to a group of friends family names in 
general and his  own name in particular. He was joking 
at the time bye expressed the view that the name of a 
real national Socialist revolutionary should by rights 
begin with "H". Hanfstaengl cannot remember the reason 
he gave for this but remembers that Hitler went on to 
say that it was even more important that the name end 
with "er". He then went on to enumerate the long list of 
names such as Schoenerer, Lueger, Drexler, Streicher, 
Brueckner, Esser, Weber, Feder and Poehner (all associates 
of his). "Names ending in 'er'", he said, "seem to have a 
certain masculine and aggressive snap which made one 
understand, respect and remember them better." Then 
growing somewhat more serious, Hitler ended by saying, 
"Yes - if one comes to think of it, these family names 
ending in 'er' have not at all done badly: Luther, Duerer, 
Schiller, Bluecher, Wagner.... quite some names in German 
history, you will agree."

Hanfstaengl has never heard Hitler mention anything 
about his dreams beyond the remark occasionally that 
he had dreamt. He believes that Hitler's dreams circulate 
around the various attempts on his life but has no real 
knowledge of them. He has never heard Hitler mention 
anything about visions hallucinations beyond the one 
mentioned earlier when he was in the Army and received 
a command to save Germany.

Hanfstaengl says that Hitler has a peculiar sense of humor. 
It usually manifests itself in teasing his colleagues and 
immediate associates about love affairs. These, however, 
are never vulgar and only hint at sexual factors.
 
When asked of his opinion of Hitler's artistic talents, 
Hanfstaengl said, "The execution is fair but all his 
sketches and paintings are photographic. His architecture 
is repetitious and always centers around huge columns 
and size." He doubts any real artistic sense and quotes 
as an example his ruination of the Munich Museum by 
having a tremendous tile terrace built in front of it 
which robbed it completely its artistic setting.

When asked about his appreciation of music, Hanfstaengl 
rated this rather highly, on a level below the classics. If 
it is music he likes, he becomes completely enthralled 
and sits with his chin in his cupped hands while he listens. 
He has often seen him sit in this posture at an opera or a 
concert which he particularly enjoys. Contrary to reports, 
he does not like music played loud when he is listening in 
private and neither drums his fingers or makes any vocal 
sounds while he is listening. Hanfstaengl says he is an 
ideal listener from the point of view of the artist. When 
attending concerts he likes to sit close to the front where 
he can hear and see everything that is going on. The kinds of 
music he enjoys most have been treated earlier in this report.

00011270.gif  page 21

        According to Hanfstaengl Hitler takes his defeats fairly 
well. Usually, if it is something that means a great deal to him, 
there is an immediate reaction of despair which passes rather 
quickly and is replaced by a spirit of determination. His reaction 
to the failure of the Berrhall [sic] Putsch has already been 
described. The first reaction is that all is lost. There is no 
further use and he might as well end it all. This lasted a few 
hours and he began laying plans for the future in which this 
failure could be used as a stepping stone to a higher goal. At 
his trial we could see clearly how he was turning the failure 
to his own advantage.

When asked concerning his failure to obtain the 
Chancellorship in 1932, when he had counted on it 
so heavily and needed it so badly, Hanfstaengl reported 
that he was present at the hotel when Hitler returned 
from his interview with Hindenburg. Hitler looked as 
white as a sheet. He said practically nothing and was 
very moody for a time. Then he seemed to brighten up 
and was strongly tempted to take the vice-chancellorship 
under von Papen. At one point he said, "I can imagine 
that to work with Papen would, in a way be quite good 
fun (nicht so uebel). Somehow you feel that he was a 
soldier during the War and quite a reckless fellow. 
I am sure that he would treat matters "ganz Kameradschaftlich". 
He soon discarded the idea, however, and drove back to 
Munich the same night. As he turned his back on Berlin 
he muttered to himself in a sleepy and fatalistic baritone 
from which the metal was almost gone, "wir werden ja 
schen. Es ist [unreadable] besser so."

Before long he was back at work planning his next moves 
with vigor and determination. Hanfstaengl says that this 
attitude is very much like the one he voiced in a recent 
speech in which he said, "The Kaiser of that time (1918) 
was a man who lacked all force for resistance against 
these enemies. But in me, now, they have to face an opponent 
who does not even think of the word 'capitulate'. That's 
always been the way, ever since I was a boy - at that 
time it was improper behavior but as it is, perhaps it is 
a virtue after all - my habit of reserving the last word 
for myself.

It is typical of Hitler that during these periods he 
does not discuss the matter with others. He draws 
into his shell and does his thinking by himself. It is 
the same when great decisions have to be made. There 
is a period of procrastination during which he does 
very little, if any, work. Then he becomes moody and 
withdraws from his associates and is very difficult 
to see on any kind of business. During this time he is 
irritable and silent. He flies off the handle easily and 
only rarely consults with anybody concerning the problem 
confronting him. He keeps mulling it over and over until 
he has reached a decision. When he has found a 
satisfactory solution, he immediately brightens up 
again and is impatient to get things going.

Hitler has a great capacity for keeping things to himself. He 
almost never tells one associate what he has discussed with 
another or what he plans to do. Hanfstaengl tells of one 
incident in which an important business man was in Berlin . 
After some difficulty he made contact with this person 
rushed to Hitler to tell him the good news. Hitler calmly 
said that he knew all about it - in fact had already 
interviewed the American. Hanfstaengl says that it would 
not occur to Hitler to mention that he had been talking to 
an American during the day and suggest that he might want 
to meet him and talk to

00011271.gif  page 22

him, or to discuss what the man had said with the impressions 
of other Americans. Incidents of this sort happened over and 
over again. Hanfstaengl says his mind is like a huge file in 
which certain things are pigeonholed together but what goes 
into one pigeonhole has no contact with what goes into the 
other. He has a great capacity for remembering things but 
he never brings them out into the open until a moment 
arrives when these fragments may be useful to him. The 
result is that his closest associates are always in complete 
darkness concerning things that he is arranging with others. 
Furthermore, he seems to enjoy fostering competition and 
frictions between them. Sometimes these burst into open 
flame but even then Hitler lets them rage without ever 
committing himself to one faction other. Only gradually 
does one discover which side he favors. Meanwhile, he 
seems to get a sadistic pleasure out of these quarrels 
and competitions between his subordinates.

Hanfstaengl points out that it is odd that the three people 
most intimate with Hitler are cripples. Schaub, his secretary, 
has a bad limp. Hoffmann is a hunchback and Goebbels has a 
club foot. Earlier in the history of the Party it seemed 
that Hitler surrounded himself with some of the worst 
characters and almost encouraged them to participate in 
crimes of one sort or another in order to have something 
to hold over their heads in case they should be tempted to 
become disloyal to him. In the meantime, he carefully 
avoided getting involved in these crimes himself and always 
made it a point not to allow his associates to obtain or learn 
of any of his actions which might be incriminating. This is 
probably why he guards his past history so carefully.

Although many of his associates have been homosexuals 
and he has obviously protected homosexuals in his own 
circle, Hanfstaengl is of the opinion that Hitler has not 
indulged in an overt relationship of this kind. Nevertheless, 
some of his relationships have bordered on this type and 
he seems to get a particular pleasure out of keeping company 
with them and bragging about them. While in Vienna in 
1938, a Herr von Seidler, who was formerly with the 
Dollfuss regime told Hanfstaengl that the "Maennerheim 
[unreadable]" where Hitler stayed while in Vienna had 
the reputation of being a place to which older men went 
in search of young men for homosexual pleasures. It may 
be, in Hanfstaengl's opinion, that Hitler became 
accustomed to the company of this type of young men 
during this time and that he still feels more or less 
at home with them.

According to Hanfstaengl, Hitler's half-brother, Alois, was 
also in Vienna at the time that Adolph was there. He is under 
the impression that Alois, who had already been convicted of 
minor crimes in Vienna and [unreadable], may have bummed 
around with Adolph a good deal and may have named him in 
some of his shady undertakings. Without having evidence, 
he has been under the impression that Hitler might have 
contracted a venereal disease from a Jewish prostitute 
which resulted in impotence. He feels certain that Hitler 
is impotent as far as any normal sexual relationship is 
concerned but believes that this is the result of [unreadable]
 rather than physical. He is convinced in his own mind that 
Hitler is a confirmed masturbator. He could not or would not 
give any evidence for this belief.

00011272.gif  page 23

When asked if he had ever met or heard of Hitler's brothers, 
Robert or Edmund to which some writers have referred, 
Hanfstaengl said he had never heard them mentioned by 
Hitler or anyone close to Hitler. He doubted very much if 
such persons existed. He said he remembered, however, 
that in 1923 a boy of about 16 years had visited Hitler in 
Munich and had been in his rooms. Hanfstaengl does not 
remember very much about him except that he seemed 
like a lazy, indolent and good-for-nothing type. The boy 
was leaving Hitler's room just as Hanfstaengl arrived 
and Hitler merely said it was his nephew, Edmund. 
Hanfstaengl never could figure out who this boy's father 
and mother were and he never saw or heard of him again.

[unreadable paragraph]

[rest of page unreadable]



00011273.gif  page 24

mate historical stature. Hanfstaengl considers it a 
virtually foregone conclusion that Hitler will seek the 
"Heldentod" at the front.

Hitler likes to think of himself as a kind of martyr. He often 
refers to his great sacrifice of freedom of movement and 
compares himself to the Pope. Over and over again he will 
make such statements as: "I have no private life, not even 
private correspondence. Everything is read before I get it. 
That is the price I pay." Hanfstaengl is of the opinion that 
Hitler is always dramatizing his public life as compensation 
for his brooding isolation and complete inner satisfaction.

He also prides himself on his "will" and seldom misses 
an opportunity of starting a monologue on the subject 
when somebody asks him about ascetic way of life. He 
treats his self-denial of smoking, drinking, abstinence 
from meat, etc. as very insignificant manifestations of 
his will-power and giving the impression that these are 
hardly worth mentioning since anybody could do that much. 
On one occasion he said, "When will is gone, all is gone. 
This life is a Kampf." Shortly after he began whistling 
the "Swan Song" from Lohengrin in a soft tremolo which 
he kept up both breathing in and out. Lohengrin is one of 
his favorites and he often recites long passages from it. 
It seems that he knows the whole thing by heart. 
Hanfstaengl wonders whether these are memories of 
his Vienna days.

Hitler is extraordinarily impervious to noise. He rather 
enjoys having a certain amount of noise when he is 
working and even boisterous conversation does not 
annoy him while he is reading. The constant buzz of 
many voices seems like almost a substitute for going 
out into the world and seeing what is going on. Then, too, 
he likes to overhear what is being said when he is 
attending to something else. On the whole he has a 
remarkable capacity for concentration. When he is 
listening he doodles or draws. The drawings are 
usually those of flags, party symbols, stage settings, 
portrait heads and houses.

He never listens to foreign broadcasts on the radio except 
now and then when he listens to the German broadcasts in 
German from Paris or Moscow. He speaks no language except 
German. He also listens in on Mussolini's speeches and 
"derives profound pleasure from the Italian pronunciation, 
enunciation, and the dramatic oratory of Il Duce. Here, as 
in music," Hanfstaengl says, "what is full of fire, life, 
and drama interests him alone."

Hitler is much concerned about his health and has always 
his private doctor near him in order that he may perform 
any necessary operation without delay. He often said that 
"a good doctor on the spot was easily as important as a 
whole platoon of guards."

Hanfstaengl commented on the simplicity of Hitler's bedroom 
in Berlin. One day Hitler asked him to step in and to his 
amazement he found only an old iron single bedstead, a 
couple of straight chairs and a dresser. The head of the bed 
was decorated with colored ribbons much the

00011274.gif  page 24

same as Viennese maids used to do. In fact the whole room 
reminded him of a maid's room except for its size. On the 
wall over the bed was a large painting of his mother and 
on the wall was a picture of Geli. There were no other 
decorations, ornaments or furniture.

[paragraph about bowling unreadable]
 
When asked about the writing of Mein Kampf, Hanfstaengl 
said that Hess urged Hitler to write it while he was in 
Landsberg. Hitler dictated almost the entire book to Hess 
while he was there and Hess typed it. The first draft was 
atrocious. It was much more repetitious and had infinitely 
more adjectives. Hanfstaengl helped Hess in revising it and 
the first thing they did was to cut out adjectives and 
repetitions. Hitler created a terrific fuss about every 
word they wanted to cut out or every change they wanted 
to make in grammar or content. He always liked it better 
as it was. They had such a time with him that after the 
first drastic cut they turned it over to a number of other 
people who made still further changes. Hanfstaengl says 
that Hitler's hunger strike while he was in Landsberg 
lasted 16 days.

When asked what Hitler had to say about the Blood Purge 
after Hanfstaengl returned from America in 1934, 
Hanfstaengl said that he never referred to it directly. 
Indirectly, he intimated that he felt it was to be 
absolutely necessary, but nothing more. Hanfstaengl 
says that he was in a very nervous condition at the time 
and that he felt it unwise to broach the subject directly.


Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.