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Jacob, Hans: Hitler's Ear and Tongue. Who. Vol 1 2.May 1941.

Schmidt-"Paule" or Paulchen" to his friends-was 
born in Berlin in 1897. His father was a railway 
employee. Schmidt wanted to become a teacher, 
but the First World War intervened. He joined the 
army  in 1917, was promoted to non-commissioned 
officer, and received a bullet in his left leg, for 
which he was awarded the Iron Cross. A few years 
after the Armistice, Schmidt got a Ph.D. from Berlin 
University. Learning that Dr. Michaelis, official 
interpreter at the Foreign Office, needed assistance, 
Schmidt managed to be put on the preferred list of 

When one day in 1924 came the London Conference-
and Paul's chance to shine.

Paul Schmidt soon became virtually indispensable to 
the German Foreign Office. It is characteristic that 
the Republic did nothing to reward men like Schmidt. 
Knowing all the state secrets, he was supposed, for 
about seventy-five dollars a month, to keep them 
secret-and he did. Yet up to 1933 his hope of 
becoming [unreadable], a post involving holidays 
with pay and eventually a pension, was unfulfilled.

Schmidt knows English so perfectly that back at the 
Hague Conference in August 1929, General Secretary 
Sir Maurice (now Lord) Hankey asked Schmidt, who 
was there, as official interpreter for the German 
government, to keep records for the British Foreign 
Office. Paul was glad to get the fifty pounds Hankey 
paid him.                    

The only other language of which Schmidt has a 
masterly command is French. I am stating this 
to dispel a legend which was grown around him. 
When Schmidt showed up between Chamberlain 
and Hitler at the Fuehrer's table, a reporter told 
his readers that was "the man who speaks twenty 

Paul was the first, perhaps, to laugh at this story.
 "Cut out the zero," he said, "and the statement is okay."

At last the day came when Hitler received the French 
ex-Service Men's Association, with Schmidt as interpreter. 
His technique of translating is to listen, making notes 
or cues, and then to repeat the entire speech in the 
required language. Hitler, who loves to hear himself 
talk, was delighted that he was not interrupted even 
once. Calmly and impersonally, as always, Schmidt 
interpreted the harangue-errors and all.

Hitler was so pleased with the smooth delivery that 
he took Paul unto himself, giving him his present 
impressive titles, a Mercedes car and a salary of 
12.000 marks yearly. Hitler knows no language 
except German which he speaks with a strong 
Austro-Bavarian accent; so Paul's field of activity 
became nearly unlimited.

When Chamberlain flew to the "eagle's nest" at 
Berchtesgaden in September 1938, Hitler flooded 
him with a ninety-minute speech which Schmidt 
translated. Chamberlain closed his eyes while he 
listened. (Later, in Commons, he complained, "It is 
not always easy to understand another man's ideas, 
especially through an interpreter-no matter how good 
he may be.")

When Chamberlain came to Godesberg for assurance of 
Europe's peace, only to realize that Hitler has deceived 
him, he write him a bitter note. Schmidt dutifully 
translated it. Hitler flew into one of his rages, but 
Paul calmed him, drafted a persuasive answer, and 
delivered it in person.

Jacob, Hans: Hitler's ear and tongue.Who.Vol,1 2 May 1941.pp.37.38.

00010993.gif  page 2

_Jacob,Hans:Hitler's Ear and Tongue.Who.Vol,1 2 May 1941._

Finally France capitulated, and a third great day arrived 
in the life of the same Paul Schmidt, who twenty-two 
years before lay wounded in a Berlin hospital. On June 
22,19(?),two former noncommissioned officers, Adolf 
Hitler and Paul Schmidt, entered that historic railway 
dining car in the Forest of Compiegne. The mad dream 
Hitler outlined in Mein Kampf had come true,the Versailles 
Treaty was scrapped. Hitler was at the peak of his 
astonishing career.

      Yet he said not a single word. Caesar could conquer, 
but he could not speak. It was Paul Schmidt who became 
the spokesman of History.

      In the course of his trips outside Germany, he's had 
difficulty explaining himself to friends who were 
disgusted at seeing him arm-in-arm with the brown-shirted 
horde.In London, in 193(?),I asked him why he served the 
masters he hated. He replied,"In order to prevent worse 
things from happening."

Jacob,Hans :Hitler's Ear and Tongue.Who .Vol .I 2. May 1941. p.54

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