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H.R. Knickerbocker

Arriving in Italy [unreadable]

..Then, out of the shadow of the door, emerged Hitler. 
There, before the splendid Italians, he stood, a faint 
little man in arrayed in his old worn raincoat, his blue 
serge suit, and a brand-new Fedora hat. His right hand 
faltered up in the Nazi salute.

He gives the salute two ways. For reviewing his own troops 
or crowds he gives it stiff-arm. This is his Prussian style. 
For greeting individuals he gives the salute, Viennese style, 
with a limp hand, the arm not outstretched but bent at the 
elbow and the hand flopping back until it almost touches 
his shoulder, then flopping forward feebly. He used the 
Viennese version on Mussolini. Hitler was embarrassed. 
Later we learned he had threatened to dismiss Baron von 
Neurath, then chief of protocol, for having advised him to 
come in civilian clothes.

Is Tomorrow Hitler's? H.R. Knickerbocker- pg 5

...The Fuehrer stood for a moment, blinking in the 
sunlight, then awkwardly came down the steps and 
the two dictators shook hands. They were not over 
three yards from me, and I was fascinated to watch 
the expressions on their faces. Beneath the obligatory 
cordiality I fancied I could see an expression of 
amusement in Mussolini's eyes and of resentment 
in Hitler's. At any rate, Hitler's embarrassment did 
not diminish, for when Mussolini led him down the 
line of troops he did not know how to carry it off. This 
was the first time he had ever had to inspect foreign 
troops, but that was not the chief trouble. The chief 
trouble was his hat.

He had taken it off as a salute to the Italian flag, and 
he started to put it back on his head, thought better 
of it, and held it in his right hand. Then, as he walked 
beside Il Duce,  who was chattering all the time in his 
fluent German, Hitler shifted the hat to his left hand, 
then back to his right, and so back and forth until one 
could feel he would have given anything to be able to 
throw it away. Finally, when they reached the end of 
the line, he clapped the hat back on his head, but he 
had not yet recovered his poise because when they 
came to the launch which was to carry them to Venice, 
Hitler, flustered, tried to insist that Mussolini, the host, 
precede him on board. The Duce finally got behind the 
Fuehrer and shooed him down the gangplank first.
p. 6 - H.R. Knickerbocker- Is Tomorrow Hitler's

...It (H.'s face) is almost like a mask. He frequently 
looks as though he were gazing into space when he is 
liiking [sic] straight at you. He has terrific power of 
concentration and sometimes when he talks he appears 
to forget his surroundings, and to be conversing with 
himself, although he may be shouting loud enough to be 
heard by a great multitude.

p. 11, H.R. Knickerbocker- Is Tomorrow Hitler's

00010500.GIF  page 2

H. R. Knickerbocker

...His manner is various, and he can be quietly affable 
just as another time he may rave and bellow until his 
voice breaks. Once, during trial for treason, I heard him 
bellow and then surrender to a louder voice. This was an 
incident worth recording, because as far as I know it is 
the only time Hitler has been literally shouted down....

p11 H.R. Knickerbocker- Is Tomorrow Hitler's?

...When von Lossow took the stand, Hitler stood up and 
yelled a question. Thereupon the General, a tall bony man, 
with a corrugated shaven head and a jaw of steel, pulled 
himself up to his full height and began yelling at Hitler 
and throwing his long forefinger as if it were a weapon 
at Hitler's face. Hitler started to shout back, but the 
General shouted so much louder, and looked so menacing, 
that presently Hitler fell back in his seat as if he had 
collapsed under a brutal blow...

P. 12- H.R. Knickerbocker- Is Tomorrow Hitler's?

... Perhaps we shall not count the story he told me about 
his winning the Iron Cross in the last war, since many 
Germans say it is not a true story. Yet it is a fascinating 
one. HE TOLD IT TO ME the night of March 11, 1932 on the 
eve of the Presidential election when he ran against 

...I asked him how he had won his Iron Cross. He always 
wore it....
"You know" he said, "I was a dispatch bearer in the war. 
One day, toward the first of June 1918, I was ordered to 
take a message to another part of the front, and had to 
traverse a section of no man's land. Presently I passed 
a dugout which I thought abandoned, but suddenly I heard 
French voices below.

"Being alone, and armed only with a pistol, I stopped a 
moment, then drew my pistol and shouted below in my 
very bad French, 'Come up, surrender!' Then I shouted in 
German as though to a squad of soldiers, orders to 'Fix 
bayonets! Draw your hand grenades!' First one French 
soldier, and then another, and then another came up with 
their hands in the air until there were seven. I marched 
them to the rear and turned them over as prisoners of war. 
Now," he paused, and smiled at Tom Delmer of the London 
Daily Express, who was with me, "if they had been English 
soldiers or," turning to me and continuing to smile "if they 
had been American soldiers, I am not sure I should have 
been able to make them surrender as easily, and perhaps 
I would not have my Iron Cross or be here today."

This is the only time I have observed a sense of humor in 

p. 31- H.R. Knickerbocker- Is Tomorrow Hitler's?

00010501.GIF  page 3

H. R. Knickerbocker
.. Hitler's self-confidence was amazing. Never having held 
public office,and faced with the possibility of becoming 
head of a great State, he answered the question as to 
whether he had anxieties about assuming such a responsibility 
with the similar remark, "Every man who has ever taken a 
hand in history must be prepared for responsibility, and 
since I am certain of my ability to fulfill my role I have 
no fear of assuming it."

p. 30 H.R. Knickerbocker in Dictators and Democrats 
ed. Lawrence Fernsworth
...and questioning the circumstances under which he won 
the Iron Cross. Urged to give the correct version Hitler for 
the first time told this story, which did not even appear in 
his autobiography and apparently had never been published.

"It was June 1 or June 2, 1918, during the Chemin des 
Dames offensive. We just stormed a village and I was 
sent out with dispatches over a shell-hole and in it the 
flat steel helmets of Frenchmen in a machine gun nest. 
I had no grenades and only one pistol. I was too close to 
have been unobserved. There was nothing to do but bluff.

I leaped to the edge of the shell-hole and shouted in 
French: 'You are my prisoners', at the same time 
shouting orders in German as though I had a company 
of soldiers with me. First one Frenchman came out 
with his hands up, then another and another until 
thirteen poilus, one noncom and one lieutenant came 
out. Three of them had pistols and I didn't know enough 
French to order them to surrender their arms. They 
marched agend [sic] of me and all the time I was 
thinking that my pistol had only ten rounds of 
ammunition and that there were fifteen men and 
three of them still had their guns. We marched and 
marched and the French grew restive and I grew 
nervous and preyed [sic] that we would meet some 
of our men. Then I saw soldiers. If they are French 
I will have to shoot it out, I thought. They were 
Germans and that was all of that."

p. 30-31 H.R. Knickerbocker in "Dictators & Democrats" 
ed. L. Fernsworth.

about interview in 1932
...Hitler in this interview displayed the hysteria which 
led many observers to think he could never gain or keep 
power. At this moment he was the raving mob orator. 
The account given here is only a fractional spoonful 
from the torrent of words which poured from him 
ninety minutes long. He was extremely polite, met 
me at the door, insisted on placing my chair for me, 
and bade me be seated first, then planted himself 
behind his desk, fixed his flat, nonmagnetic China-blue 
eyes on me and with a smile asked me what he could 
do for me.

I had about six simple questions, chiefly concerned with 
American interests in Germany. Hitler could have answered 
them in ten minutes if he had not wished to make an oration. 
At the first question he began to speak in an ordinary 
conversational tone and for thirty seconds dealt with 
the topic. He then began to move forward in his seat; 
his eyes left  mane [sic] and gazed into space and his 
voice rose steadily until by the end of a munute [sic] 
he was talking to thirty thousand people.
p. 21 H.R. Knickerbocker in "Dictators & Democrats" 
ed. L. Fernsworth

00010502.GIF  page 3

..Hitler had begun to talk slowly, conversationally, looking 
at his visitor. After a moment the speed of his delivery 
increased, his voice rose to platform pitch, he leaned 
forward in his chair, gestured freely directed his eyes 
in space and addressed an audience. A question broke the 
spell, his eloquent hands rested, his engaging smile 
p. 25-26 H. R. Knickerbocker: Germany- Fascist or Soviet? 

...And please remember," he ended with a wave of his long, 
strong-fingered artist's hands....

...Hitler is an artist. The famous Brown House, head 
quarters of the National Socialist Party, palace of 
100 rooms, in one of which we sat, was his creation. 
He designed its interior decoration from the Swastika 
emblems in the window panes to the salmon hangings 
in his reception office. The building is in faultless 
taste. Here in his moderate sized carpeted office, 
Hitler's desk was flanked by a life-sized bronze 
head of Mussolini, on the back of Hitler's chair was 
a portrait of Frederick the Great, and on the opposite 
wall a painting on a battle in Flanders. On the round 
centre table stood a statuette of a giant in chains, 
"Germany enslaved."
p, (?) H.R. Knickerbocker: Germany- Fascist or Soviet? 

... The adjutant of Hitler, Dr. Ernst Franz Sedgwick 
Hanfstaengl, Hitler's Press chief, industriously took 
notes...(interview Febr. 3, 1932)

p, (?) H.R. Knickerbocker: Germany- Fascist or Soviet? 

Chapter XXII- A talk with Hitler- in Knickerbocker's 
Germany- Fascist or Soviet? about the interview 
Feb. 3, 1932 - deals mostly with question of American 
investments in Germany - reparations, private debts- 
shows Hitler in good form of replies.

00010503. GIF  Page 

H. R. Knickerbocker.
interview cont. Febr. 3, 1932

... I was scarcely a yard away from him. I literally swayed 
in the wind of his oratory. Now was the time for me to fall 
under his spell. Instead I looked curiously at him, wondering 
how everybody, including Germans, could find any magic 
in this person, so undistinguished, so flat, so loudmouthed, 
but remembering that already millions of Germans followed 
him as the prophet. I was embarrassed at his lack of restraint. 
It was like having to watch grown men cry. I strove to follow 
the thread of his oration. It had long ceased to have anything 
to do with my question. Now he was denouncing the Versailles 
Treaty, the encirclement of Germany, the reparations, 
the November criminals....

p. (?)  H.R. Knickerbocker in "Dictators and Democrats" 
ed. L Fernsworth

... Through it all I had persisted in the search to discover the 
secret of his power. I did not find it. All I could be sure of was 
that Hitler possessed the talent to make you believe what he 
said. This now famous characteristic of his, the Hitlerian 
"sincerity" is of course recognized today as one of the sources 
of his ability, to deceive people, and then almost conquer the world.
For a long time, professional psychologists explained that 
Hitler was "able to hypnotize himself" so that he always 
truly believed in what he said no matter if he were to 
reverse himself or break his word an hour later. I am 
now convinced that this is only partly correct; that 
Hitler proceeds from a platform of calculated cynicism, 
intending to deceive, and conscious of his deception. At 
the height of his paroxysms, while his victims are fearfully 
observing his manic "sincerity" I am sure Hitler is inwardly 
watching himself act, and is amused at the case of his 
success. This interview of February 3rd, 1932 provides 
a few scraps of clinical evidence on this most remarkable 
deceiver of all time who, whatever else his fate may be, 
will be remembered as the man who lifted the life to to 
the level of a moral principle.

p. 22-23 H.R. Knickerbocker in "Dictators and Democrats" 
ed. L Fernsworth

Hitler was the courteous host. He had personally adjusted 
his visitors chair, smiled engagingly.  Dressed in a black 
broadcloth suit white shirt, semi-flexible cllar [sic] and 
black cravat, Hitler looked like an artist or an actor. Or 
he might have been a rising young district attorney in 
one of our Southern States, a man with his eye on the 
governorship. His heavy mane of coal-black hair would 
fit that part. Mor [sic] than anything else his hair, full 
as a youth's worn slightly long and sleekly combed, 
distinguishes him from the mass of Germans who are 
either bald-headed or crop their hair to artificial baldness. 
His thick, close-cut narrow moustache covers a long 
[unreadable] upperlip, the characteristic that gives his 
features in repose an air of melancholy. His ruddy face 
and the clear white around his bright starring eyes 
betokened health. He had just been off to Berchtesgaden, 
was full of mountain air and confidence.

244-45, H. R. Knickerbocker: Germany- Fascist or Soviet? 

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