00011024.gif page 1 _Frederick Oechsner: This is the Enemy. 1942_ I have met and talked with Hitler some five or six times and have seen him at close range on perhaps a hundred occasions; ..... .... Glimpses of him that I recall particularly vividly.... ..... are at the annual Party congresses in Nuremberg, when thrilling to the ovation of hundreds of thousands, he felt himself utterly and completely to be the Fuehrer who had made good; again in the world-wide glare of attention, before the Reichstag, delivering those famous and endless "settling of accounts" tirades; at the opera, feeling uncomfortable in tails like any little burgher, but enjoying the music; at the Winter and Summer Olympics, when, no athlete himself, he nevertheless bounced with excitement on his seat; at countless "Acts of State", when he was too bored even to be theatrical; riding near him in three of his victory processions celebrating the conquest of some new country, when he was yet cautious enough to have his Gestapo in attendance with automatic pistols at the ready; at Compiegne, receiving the armistice delegation of beaten France. Frederick Oechsner: This is the Enemy, pp.56,57 1930: It seems that Herr Hitler was very much annoyed at some things which had been said about him in the foreign press following an interview which he had given to another correspondent, a Frenchman. As a matter of honest fact, Hitler had a dislike for and distrust of foreign journalists which he never overcame and which he never tried to overcome except where policy made it wise to do so. Frederick Oechsner: This is the Enemy, p.58 I finally met Hitler the next year, 1931, in Berlin. Hitler never really liked Berlin, but could not avoid occasional visits there, when he stayed at a tiny, hole-in-the-wall hotel in the Linkstrasse...... .... A small conference had been called .... for the American and British press. Hitler strode energetically into the room dressed in typical brown uniform. I must say that I had a feeling of instant dynamism about the man; these were the days when he was rushing by car and plane from one end of the Reich to the other, sometimes making several speeches a day. He seated himself abruptly before our small group and then launched into one of the tirades which I later earns to recognize as characteristic of his manner whether addressing two persons or two thousand. His "speech", for such it was, rambled across the whole field of topics which were the Nazis' stock in trade then and later: The Treaty of Versailles, the Jews, capitalism, and interest slavery. Hitler's voice filled Frederick Oechsner: This is the Enemy. pp.56,57,58,59 00011025.gif page 2 that small room with its guttural Austrian accents, at times harsh and brutal, at others offended and almost whining, But never soft or gentle. This onslaught must have continued for about half an hour or forty minutes, when Hitler, having been "interviewed" about as much as he (and we) cared for, rose abruptly,went around shaking hands with each member of the group with great earnestness, turned and disappeared through the door as stromily [sic] as he had entered. Frederick Oechsner: This is the Enemy. P.59. The next time I came into direct contact with Hitler.. was on June 26th, 1933....... ...The interview was secured for Karl Bickel, then president of the United Press........ .... As we entered the office (which was at least sixty feet lond [sic] and thirty feet wide), Hitler rose from his desk and advanced to meet us in the middle o. the room. He was dressed in brown tunic and khaki shirt, with black trousers and patent-leather shoes. He looked fit, with good color and clear eyes. I already began to have the feeling of being an actor in a play, each movement and cue of which had been worked out carefully in advance. Hitler, who had greeted us earnestly and with only nods of welcome (he speaks no English), motioned us to seats at a large round table where we were to have our talk. .... .... Mr. Bickel led off with a formal expression of appreciation for being received at a time when the Chancellor was obviously busy with many things, which Hanfstaengl duly translated into German, using, as was customary for Germans addressing Hitler, the term "Mein Fuehrer", whereas the term for foreigners was simply "Herr Reichskanzler" or Mr. Chancellor". Hitler responded with an inclination of his head, whereupon Bickel went on to take up the questions which had already been submitted. Hitler had studied the written questions, had framed the answers in his own mind for oral delivery and used no notes. The first question concerned the type of government which Hitler planned eventually to set up in Germany, which was the starting point for a lecture on considerable length on governments in general. "Parliaments are doomed" , said Hitler in a way which permitted no dispute. "The idea of personal leadership is the principle of today and for tomorrow." Frederick Oechsner:This is the Enemy,1942. pp.59,60,62,63 00011026.gif page 3 All great, successful business enterprises of the world are run as dictatorships, on the basis of courageous, single responsibility". No one challenged Hitler openly on this and, his eyes intense, he delivered his last crack on the subject. "It is when things begin to go bad -when firms or governments are threatened with bankruptcy - that people begin to hide behind the convenient anonymity of boards of directors. " .... .... "I am not suppressing the majority with the aid of a minority", Hitler barked. "I am not hiding behind barbed-wire fences". F. Oechsner:This is the Enemy, p.63. When the interview drew to a close, Bickel asked Hitler if he had any special message for the people of America. Hitler rose to his feet briskly and replied: "I have only the sincere wish that thoughtful people in America will not prejudge us." ....We shook hands formally once again, and Hitler bowed us out of the room. The interview had been typical I found, of others that were to follow: especially Hitler's poise and self-assurance and his use of the interview to deliver himself of propaganda on favorite themes. . .. ..... The three of us wrestled with this torrent of words, trying to pick out the best lead, or introductory paragraph, and trying to find some clear sequence in the thing without taking liberties with Der Fuehrer's thoughts. F.Oechsner: This is the Enemy. p.64 Two years went by before I was next to see Hitler in such direct contact. Hugh Baillie, who had succeeded Bickel as president of the Unites Press, was coming to Berlin from Moscow in November of 1935. ..... .... . Hitler greeted us briefly ..... ..... This time Der Fuehrer was in real form. His theme that day was Bolshevism. He declared that Germany was the bulwark of the West against Bolshevism and that she was ready to meet propaganda with propaganda, terror with terror, and violence with violence. He tied the Jews in with Communism, said that they had been prominent in Communist Party activities during recent years, and with a fine turn of rhetoric termed the Nazis' ruthless legislation "not anti-Jewish but pro-German". Baillie listened attentively as Dr. Schmidt translated Hitler's answers. I was watching Hitler all the while. He knew no English, but there were certain words like "Bolshevist" "West" "Jew" which he recognized in Dr. Schmidt's translation Frederick Oechsner:This is the Enemy.1942. pp.63,64,65,68,69 00011027.gif page 4 and, whether Der Fuehrer realized it or not, he was delivering an address: his eyes flashed, his lips twisted in the movements of speech, his head was thrown up in the familiar imperious motion, and with his right forefinger je [sic] jabbed the air with sharp thrusts as if to drive home every point. For all I know, he may have forgotten that we were there and have been speaking to one of his audiences of thousands. We reached the end and Hitler rose to bow us out with an "I'm glad you met me" air, when Baillie interposed casually: "Thank you very much, Mr. Chancellor, for receiving us. I cannot help but feel that what you have told us would be of great interest is [sic] circulated. If we prepare a version of what you have said, would you be willing to look at it and decide whether it could be published?" Hitler was plainly taken aback. He raised his hands in a gesture of uncertainty and replied: "Well, I'll ask the Ambassador". F. Oechsner: This is the enemy. pp.65, 68,69 In public, Hitler is obviously always "aware" of himself against his background, thinking of himself pictorially, symbolically, whether in the role of War Lord or comforter of somewar [sic] mother upon whose head he places his hand in picturesque pity. In such moments he seems to conceive of himself as something phenomenal, sent, at the precise hour when he appeared to lead the German Master Race to its "deserved position of leadership"; or as the Great Comforter- father, husband, brother or son to every German who lacks or has lost such a relative. He is not a spiritualist in the common sense of the word, but he accepts the importance of occult influences. On one afternoon, shortly before the settlement of the Czech crisis, Hitler was not available to anyone for a period of three hours. A guard was posted outside his private rooms in the Reichschancellery. Hitler was closeted with his astrologers, consulting with them regarding the wisdom of the measures he was about to take. And locked away in his private files is a collection of several hundred photographs of the stellar constellations on the days when he has ta ken some particular decision or done some particular thing. It may have been the decision to dispatch a certain diplomatic note or courier on a mission which turned out well; it may have been the day of the Saar Plebiscite, of the Austrian Anschluss; or the day he was called to the Chancellery. To these photographs Hitler later refers F.Oechsner: This is the Enemy.1942. pp.69.73 00011028.gif page 5 for comparison when attempting to reach some new decision. Hitler consults astrologers, but he doesn't want anybody else to. That is the reason why, several years ago, the practice of strology [sic] , or of any form of fortune telling or prophecy, was banned throughout the Reich, either on the stage or in private. It seems that toomany [sic] people were foreseeing disaster or failure for one Adolf Hitler. These things actually are part of Hitler's conception of himself, in life and death, as a sort of New Deliverer whose influence shall go down through the ages. He believes himself to be a new leader who has been sent to the German people by Providence to reshape Europe and perhaps the world under the domination of the Master Race. With cold, inexorable determination, he intends that nothing -human lives, sorrow or suffering - shall stand in the way of his plans to trace the world's frontiers and spheres of influence to the pattern he has drawn. No detail is too small for him to think of, and nothing is too large, not even the war that he launched in Poland and that engulfs us now. He feels, in fact, that no one in German history was equipped as he is to bring the Germans to the position of supremacy which all German statesman have felt they deserved but were unable to achieve. Looking back over the record of his successes, Adolf Hitler sees no reason yet to change his view in this. F. Oechsner: This is the Enemy. pp. 73, 74. There lies at all times on Hitler's desk on the Kehlstein a piece of rook shaped like a human hand. It was found on the spot during the construction of the Eagle's Nest and Hitler, who has as much superstitious interest in such things as anybody else, had it mounted in a special case and called it "Wotan's Hand". He is greatly attached to this relic, regards it as a symbol of good luck, in which his astrologers have confirmed his judgment. On the parapet of the Kehlstein the well-known optical firms, Zeiss of Jena and Leitz of Wetzlar, have mounted powerful telescopes at Hitler's orders for gazing at the stars, which he often did before the war in company with his astrologers. Smaller telescopes are available for peering into the mountains roundabout. F. Oechsner: This is the Enemy. P.77 One of the earliest foreign visitors to the Eagle's Nest after its completion (and one of the few foreigners invited there at all) was the French Ambassador, Andre Francois Poncet, Frederick Oechsner: This is the Enemy.1942. pp.73,74,77.
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