The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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And now he went off at one of his quick tangents. 
"Beethoven exploded when he heard Napoleon had 
crowned himself emperor - he threw the manuscript 
he was going to dedicate to him on the floor and 
trampled it under his feet -" Herr Hitler was so 
overcome with histrionic rage that he became 
Hitler and fairly crushed Napoleon into the carpet. 
Seeing the astonishment on my face, he quickly 
added: "Thank God he didn't destroy it - he later 
called it the 'Eroica.'"
With scarcely a second's pause he was back on 
the track again....
And so it went on for a long while, with Hitler 
pacing around as much as the miniature room permitted....
P. 374, Ludecke, I knew H.

Hitler was growing visibly calmer, and finally 
came round. Taking a  more conciliatory attitude, 
he spoke almost humorously... I was made aware 
of the 'general's stupid performance' during the 
putsch, of his 'poor show' at the trial when he 
denied knowledge and responsibility 'to avoid 

...He scoffed at Ludendorff's "face-saving", 
apparently unaware that he himself, to save 
his own face, was now impunging [sic] the 
motives of the once-cherished General whose 
prestige he had ruined.

"And now Ludendorff's senseless attacks on the 
Roman Church and on the Crown Prince Rupprecht 
are forcing me to separate myself from him. For 
the moment they are the stronger - what else can 
I do if I want to resume my work? I must come 
to terms with them - otherwise I should be out 
of the picture. And what then? Ridiculous to 
expect me to drop Streicher... Who is going to 
win Nuremberg for me... Nein, meine Herren, 
daraus wird nichts...."

By now he was in his old element again, talking 
himself into a fury. Gone was that awkwardness, 
that false undertone which occasionally had 
showed through his ill-temper. He had regained 
his persuasive, almost compelling countenance, 
displaying again his usual sureness and that 
mask of captivating sincerity....
"And this... idiotic indignation about Esser! The 
fellow has more political sense in his fingertips 
than the whole bunch of his accusers in their 
buttocks. ... I have to take people as I find them, 
use them as best I can according to their talents, 
and forget about their bad points...."
pp. 276/77, Ludecke, I knew H.

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... first I saw Roehm. ... "...No need to tell you what 
Hitler is like," (he said). ..."if you try to tell him 
anything, he knows everything already. Though he 
often does what we advise, he laughs in our faces 
at the moment, and later does the very thing as if 
it were all his own idea and creation. He doesn't 
even seem to be aware how dishonest he is. I've 
never seen a mad so magnificently unaware that 
he's adorning himself with borrowed plumage. 
Usually he solves suddenly, at the very last 
minute, a situation that has become intolerable 
and dangerous only because he vacillates and 
procrastinates. And that's because he can't act 
as clearly and logically as he can think and talk - 
no system in the execution of his thoughts. Hitler 
wants things his own way, and he doesn't realize 
how he can wear on one's nerves, doesn't know that 
he fools only himself and those worms around him 
with his fits and heroics...."
p. 287, Ludecke, I knew H.

When Hitler had first swept me off my feet, I had 
been ten years younger. Now I was astonished how 
cool I remained... And yet I felt again... the invisible 
lines of force which radiated from Hitler... Whether 
one was repelled or attracted, one was electrified.
p. 377, Ludecke, I knew H.

The change in his speaking routine amazed me. His 
pantomime had not changed - clenched fists before 
his expressive, working face, heaven-pointed or 
threatening forefinger, pleading hands. But his 
speech was a new one to me. ... Now he spoke like 
an inspired statesman and a professor of ethics, 
yet he still held the crowd.....
p. 378, Ludecke, I knew H. of the most appreciated services Frau 
Goebbels rendered Hitler was the preparation 
of special meals, difficult to get elsewhere. 
Hitler was by now a confirmed vegetarian, 
finicky to exasperation over carrots and spinach, 
and Goebbels, by baiting his hospitality with a 
tasty vegetable-plate ... had managed to get and 
hold the Fuehrer's ear as no one else had before.
p. 418, Ludecke, I knew Hitler.

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His (Goebbels) efforts to consolidate this 
influence by another stratagem had failed, 
however, because of a baffling quirk in Hitler's 
character - as I learned... when I changed to ask 
why Magda didn't find a pretty friend for the 
lonely Adolf.
"My husband ... was most anxious to get Hitler 
interested in some nice girl... Alas, I was no 
good as a match-maker. I'd leave him alone 
with my most charming friends but he wouldn't 
respond. Putzi tried too, but didn't do any better 
than I. In some ways Hitler simply isn't human....
p. 419, Ludecke, I knew H.

"If only he would take a mistress for the sake of 
the gallery" I said.
"Yes, but he's not likely to... Maybe it's true that he 
can't get over Geli's death. ... he needs an intimate 
woman friend, ... to tell him the things no one else 
can mention. His clothes, his manners - ... his 
associates.  You [sic] Heinrich Hoffmann, his staff 
photographer, who can be so funny with his jokes ... 
that Hitler shakes with laughter? Well, Hoffmann is 
always with him... and Hoffman's lamentable mistress 
is sure to trail along... The woman is impossible... 
Hitler... doesn't seem to mind... it's really unfortunate 
for the Party thah [sic] Hitler is so neutral in his human 
pp. 430.32, Ludecke, I knew H.

Like Caesar, Hitler likes fat men around him....
p. 435, Ludecke, I knew H.

(Hitler) As he/showed me his private elevator, the 
dramatic expression of his face changed to one of his 
boyish looks that can be so winning....
p. 437, Ludecke, I knew H.

September 12, 1932; conversation between Hitler and 
Ludecke on future foreign policy:
Hitler was pacing the room by now, still listening 
without interrupting me...
Hitler sat down abruptly, still looking nettled...
At this point, Hitler, who had been listening with 
eyes fixed on me, scratching his knees or rubbing 
his hands when excited, got up and began to pace again...
pp. 452-56; Ludecke, I knew H.

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