00010516.GIF The masses are always uppermost in Hitler's mind. I have often been asked, "How is Hitler when you interview him? For the first few minutes Germany's autocratic ruler gazes at his visitor with those unusual dark-blue eyes of his to which many German women ascribe hypnotic powers- pupils that seem almost brown in contrast to the bluish hue of the whites of his eyes- as though to impress his personality indelibly. Then he looks up to the ceiling. He has a vision of the masses. He is no longer speaking to an interviewer, he is addressing multitudes. The individual opposite him, or the small group present in the room, no longer semm [sic] to exist except in so far as they typify the crowds whom he is addressing as his eye roves along the border of the ceiling/ His voice, always rather rough, swells and grows, and he fairly shouts his denunciations, accusations, theories, bitter irony and biting sarcasm. Onece [sic] when I discussed the Jewish question with him in his Berchtesgaden mountain retreat, I actually saw white, foamy saliva exude from the corner of his mouth. p. 99-100 L.P. Lochner-What about Germany? I recall the first time I met Adolf Hitler. It was in January or February, 1930. P. 100- L.P. Lochner-What about Germany? At the door to Hitler's office, we (with Roehm) were met by Rudolph Hess. It was Hess who stood behind Hitler throughout our brief talk. It was Hess who took down full notes of what was said on both sides. It was Hess to whom Hitler turned occasionally as though to find support, and Hess invariable [sic] nodded assent. Roehm clicked his heels and left. We remained standing as we spoke; obviously it was to be merely a formal introduction. Hitler in those days always wore a dark blue or black business suit, white shirt, black tie and party button. He reserved the brown uniform for party events. His voice was hoarse from speaking at mass meetings. His gestures were nervous, his eyes piercing; his hair, as always, was parted on the right side. Over his desk there was a protrait [sic] of Frederick the Great whom, of all Germany's historic characters, Hitler had chosen as his hero. It has often been remarked that Hitler's success is due in part to his ability to ingratiate himself with visitors whom he hopes to win over, by saying what he thinks they want to hear. (His imperious ultimatums to those whom he feels strong enough to crush are another matter.) P. 101-102 - L.P. Lochner-What about Germany? 00010517.GIF In the present instance, without waiting for me to ask a question, he launched voluntarily into German-American relations. "It should be easy to come to an understanding with the United States," he observed. "the only thing that divides us is the problem of reparations, which I insist are political debts. When we come to power, we intend, of course, to pay all private debts. Investments, loans and so forth are good with us. But we shall see to it that political debts are canceled." Most of what Hitler discussed with me then is obsolete today- his tactics toward his chief political adversaries the Social Democrats; his experience in the Thuringian campaign, where the Nazis for the first time obtained a majority; his belief in the necessity of a large armed force for Germany. There was a curt gesture of dismissal, a brief handshake, and my first meeting with Adolf Hitler was ended. P. 102 L.P. Lochner-What about Germany? I had heard Hitler speak in public for the first time a month or so before, in January, 1930. After his release from jail following the ill-fated beer cellar putsch of 1923, he was banned from Prussia. This meeting was his first public appearance in the German capital and he decided to address the students of the university. As the brown uniform was then forbidden in Prussia, the students who had been selected as his bodyguard wore the same type of white shirt and black trousers. They filled the aisles and lined the walls. Hitler too wore a black suit, white shirt and black tie. My first impression of him was that of a consummate showman. As movie cameras were turned upon him, he pretended not to notice them, spoke earnestly to his shadow, Rudolf Hess, and, as the cameras continue to click, began to write as though he were drawing us an outline of his remarks. It was good acting. His impassioned speech that evening centered about his usual tirade against the Treaty of Versailles. Its details are uninteresting now. I looked about me and saw that his young followers were transported and that he himself seemed to be in a trance. Yet he exerted no magnetic power over me. His eyes seems to hypnotize those at whom he looked sharply, yet his glance left me personally untouched. I came away from that meeting wondering how a man whose diction was by no means faultless, who ranted and fumed and stamped, could so impress young intellectuals. Of all people, I thought, they should have detected the palpable flaws in his logic.... P 102-103 L.P. Lochner- What about Germany? 00010518.GIF Pressconference December 1932 ..It was quite clear that Hitler had been carefully coached by Hanfstaengl on burning problems of foreign policy. Before we had an opportunity to put a question, Putzi was there with a suggestive query. A few hours later the world press was full of snappy, pithy direct quotations from the man who had hitherto been regarded as a crack-brain and political amok-runner. Thanks to Hanfstaengl's clever handling of the meeting, Hitler could from now on command the attention of foreign powers and foreign readers. P. 103-4 L.P. Lochner What about Germany? Putzi had lived in the United States for many years and knew American press methods, so he immediately saw the point and arranged for me to see Der Fuehrer early in February 1934. I quote at random from the published accounts of that interview. "As I entered the study Hitler emerged from behind a desk in the right-hand corner of the spacious room. He was dressed in the brown uniform of a Nazi storm trooper. He came halfway across the room to greet me affably, and then motioned me to sit on a settee while he and the sole witness to our conversation seated themselves in straight-back chairs. Our whole conversation was in German. "I asked: 'Herr Reichskanzler, in the days before you came into power you mingled with the people to kiip [sic] in close contact with them. Now when you appear anywhere, the streets are decorated and set speeches of welcome, delivered by the heads of local governments, greet you. How do you keep contact with the common man?' "A smile illuminated Hitler's face and then he laughed. 'For one thing, you ought to sit at my daily lunch table upstairs,' he said, and laughed again. 'You would see how every day new faces turn up. My house is like a beehive. The latchstring is always out for my co-fighters, no matter how humble their rank, Our organization reaches down into the smallest hamlet and village; from everywhere my followers come to Berlin and drop in on me. Over that luch [sic] table they then tell me about their worries and troubles. "'There are, of course, numerous other methods of keeping in touch with affairs, but I just mention this characteristic one by way of illustration'" P. 104-105 L.P. Lochner- What about Germany 00010519.GIF cont. Interview Febr. 1934 "..Remember that was back in 1934. Since then times have changed. Hitler has become one of the most unapproachable men in the world. The easily accessible round table in the chancellery has long become a legend. Hitler, according to the testimony of men who know, now sees and hears only whom or what the coterie surrounding him deem fir for him. My account of that fifty-minute interview is too long to reproduce here. At one point I described how Der Fuehrer's "face darkened and his voice grew hard. At other times I found him using "crisp, precise words,: or "pausing for a moment to reflect, then speaking quickly," or "speaking in a voice that vibrated with emotion, his jaw became firmly set, his index finger pointed straight at me." Hanfstaengl liked this form of personalized interview, and he felt his chief would approve of the transcript; but he was certain that, if my copy were first sent to the Propaganda Ministry, all human references would be eliminated. "I am going to keep the manuscript in my pocket," he said, when I submitted a German translation to him, "until I can place it directly in the Fuehrer's hands. I want to make sure he is in a good humor when I hand it to him," A month elapsed before the interview was approved; only certain references to the German navy were struck out. "We never even spoke about the navy," declared Hitler. Whether he really did not remember a subject on which he had discoursed at some length or whether he had suffered a change of heart, I did not know. The real facts in the case are that Hitler, by way of illustrating his desire to get jobs for everybody, said he thought the navy was altogether too costly an instrument of defense. "You build a battleship or a cruiser," I remember him saying- and the original transcript of the interview, now in a safe place in Berlin, will bear me out- "and almost before it has been put into commission, it is outmoded. The cost is terrific and the utility doubtful. I would much rather take this money and apply it to road construction and building projects. The same amount of money would yield much bigger returns and provide far more jobs." P 104 -06- L.P. Lochner- What about Germany? Genius at propaganda and publicity as he is, Hitler seems to dislike the press as much as Mussolini likes it. We who accompanied Der Fuehrer to Italy in May, 1938, observed that as soon as Benito Mussolini reached a platform, podium, or observation point with his Teuton guest, he looked around for the press stand. If he did not find it immediately, he would adk [sic] his press chief to point out where we were. Then he would beam upon us, wave his hand, and nod affably. At first he tried to point us out to Adolf Hitler. But Der Fuehrer wasn't interested. He never turned around. P 106 L.P. Lochner- What about Germany? 00010520.GIF As the dictators' open car approached our Balcony, Mussolini looked up and smiled an engaging welcome. Hitler didn't raise his eyes. Mussolini pulled him by the sleeve, pointed to our group and said something. No sale. Hitler wouldn't look up. The apparent dislike for the press does not indicate, however that the Fuehrer is unconscious or indifferent to its power as an instrument in influencing public opinion, He has an uncanny sense for publicity and the press is always given choice seats at public ceremonies. During the present war, all newsmen's trips to the front were personally approved by Der Fuehrer, not only in regard to the points to be visited but in regard to the men to be invited. During his various triumphal entries into Berlin, the heads of foreign news associations were always asked to drive in a car behind the Fuehrerwagen.... P. 107 - L.P. Lochner- What about Germany Der Fuehrer took the binoculars from his eyes, turned to me and said, "Isn't that wonderful?" (Ist das nicht wunderbar?) Adolf Hitler had been standing in an alcove of Nurnberg's famous castle, listening with visible emotion to the cries of "Heil Hitler," from the thousands milling around in the street leading up to the main approach to the castle. He had taken the spy glasses from his super-tall, bulky, brown-shirted adjutant, Wilhelm Brauckner, in order to study more closely the faces of the men and women far below. He was still in a trance as he addressed me. But the imperious, possessive voice of Julius Streicher broke the spell. Placing his hand in a patronizing manner on Hitler's shoulder, the notorious Jew-baiter boasted: "That wasn't an easy job, was it, for me to deliver this section of the city to you, Mein Fuehrer. Remember how it was honeycombed with communists, and how you thought we could never win these people over? Those were the days alright." Der Fuehrer seemed irritated. It was tactless for Streicher to assume a condescending attitude in the presence of foreigners. But Hitler controlled his temper, bit his lips, and walked over to the lunch table where several party big-shots were sitting. He had barely begun to munch a sandwich, however, before he jumped up, ran to the window, waved to the crowd below, and repeated, "Isn't that wonderful." p. 108 L.P. Lochner- What about Germany? 00010521.GIF Year after year, during the five mile drive through the medieval city out press cars were, by Hitler's personal orders, sandwiched in between his own open limousine and the one containing his closest collaborators- Goering, Goebbels, Hess, Himmler, and so forth. We could thus study his face and note with what satisfaction he heard the ecstatic cries that, in volume, reminded one of the organ notes of Niagara Falls, from the masses who lined the avenue. He laps up popular adulation. he gets terrific enjoyment from driving slowly through the narrow, winding streets of the ancient city, with "heil"ing thousands fairly oozing from the miniature windows and hugging the quaint gables. Then, on one of these triumphal processions, we came upon a street in which not a single person was to be found. Hitler's face flushed with rage. Why aren't there any people here?" he cried, turning to his chief adjutant Brueckner in the rear seat of the car. Brueckner must have attempted some flippant reply, for Der Fuehrer shouted at him angrily, "You get out and report to me later." Meekly, the huge bodyguard climbed out of the car, looking sheepish, and our procession moved on. Much later, Brueckner, out of breath from his climb to the castle, reappeared, clicked the heels of his high spurred boots, raised his right arm snappily in Nazi salute and reported, "Mein Fuehrer, the street is so narrow at that point the wheels of the cars were on the sidewalks. It would have been dangerous for any people to stand there." Meanwhile, Hitler had become so spiritually intoxicated by the "heil" of the crowds that his anger had disappeared. "In Ordnung," (Okay) he said curtly, dismissing his tall adjutant. The "incident" was closed. Adolf Hitler's close associated [sic] know this craving for popular applause, and frequently use it for their own ends. For instance, Hitler's first meeting with Mussolini in Venice shortly after his assumption of power, did not go off well. The Italian journalists in Berlin told us gloatingly that after Der Fuehrer's plane took off, Il Duce explained, "There flies a fool". Hitler returned to Munich in one of those fits of respondency that, according to "grapevine" reports, seize him with increasing frequency as the years go on. The wily Dr. Goebbels knew the unfailing remedy for getting him out of the doldrums. What Hitler needed at this point was the applause of the masses. A special meeting at the moment would necessaryly [sic] have the Mussolini conference as its theme, and Hitler could not proclaim any new triumphs scored at Venice. But the crafty little propaganda doctor was equal to the situation. P. 109-110 L.P. Lochner- What about Germany?
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