00011034.gif page 11 Frederick Oechsner: This is the Enemy.l942 really worthwhile contemporary German art in the great "Haus der deutschen Kunst" (House of German Art) in Munich. Here, every year, ... Hitler himself opens an exhibition. It is ultra conventional in tone and runs very heavily to nudes ...... When the "House of German Art" shows originated, Hitler had appointed a jury with his friend and official photographer Professor Heinrich Hoffmann, as foreman. Such a bitter quarrel broke out in the group over some of the atrociously stereotyped paintings and sculptures which Hoffmann championed that Hitler himself stepped in and, displacing the voting right of the entire committee, decided personally on what should be shown. Hitler's patronage of some favorite artists has been enough to jump them into the high-priced class in Germany today. Hitler has designed a war memorial for the unknown soldiers of the present war to be erected in the neighborhood of Dresden, the geographical center of the Reich. It is a very elaborate affair ... supermonumental in size,.. to be built of great blocks of stone. A favorite project of Hitler's has been the beautifying of such German cities as Dusseldorf, Cologne, Hamburg, Munster, and Stettin. Recent British air raids, however, have blasted an unexpected track through many of these rosy plans. F. Oechsner:This is the Enemy. p.85.86 Among the ruling passions of Hitler's life is that for music. It is well known that he has a blind devotion to the music of Wagner, of whom he has said: "For me, Wagner is something godly, and his music is my religion. I go to his concerts as others go to church". It is difficult to say whether the poseur Hitler is speaking here, but, it is interesting to see him at a concert when he does not know he is being observed. Grimaces of pain and pleasure contort his face, his brows knit, his eyes close, his mouth contracts tightly. Certainly music has a strong emotional effect on him. Sometimes he will go to a concert in the worst conceivable humour and return home smiling, or vice versa. On one occasion some old Party friends asked him to intercede to set aside a sentence which had been imposed upon a Nazi stalwart for a moral offense. Hitler flatly declined, but a few hours later, after he had returned from a concert, he suddenly called his adjutant and ordered precisely the change which had been requested of him. Frederick Oechsner:This is the Enemy. 1942. pp. 86,87 00011035.gif 12 Often, on even the tensest political days, he wanted to hear music, and if there was no other possibility he had a small string orchestra brought to the Chancellery, where alone, or with two or three of the closest members of his Staff, he would relax for half an hour. He felt this impulse on the evening of the conclusion of the German-Russian pact, word of which he received telegraphically from Moscow. It was 11 P.M. but regardless of the hour several prominent artists were hurriedly telephoned and summoned to the Chancellery for an impromptu concert. Hitler cannot tolerate phonograph or radio music. He says: "I must see the musician himself who brings music from the dead instrument". He likes light Bavarian and Austrian things, especially peasant and folk songs. In the old campaign days he very often took with him a member of his staff, Sepp Kannenberger (today majordomo of his household), on long automobile trips. Kannenberger had a small, pleasant voice and accompanied himself on a typical Bavarian accordion. Hitler is no supporter of military music, although he once said that it was "a military necessity". He finds the Schalmeiem (shawn) bands which the Storm Troops took over from the Communist organizations interesting ...... Strangely enough, Hitler personally is almost amusical, or at least unmusical, as far as his own ability is concerned. He cannot whistle or sing. For several years he tooted intermittently on a flute presented to him in 1935 by the Belgian Fascist leader DeGrelle, but he never got beyond the rudiments. He is able to pick out simple tunes on the harmonica. Hitler admires the technical proficiency involved in the execution of Wagner's music. Although his reaction is essentially emotional, he has a profound interest in the creation or production of the thing which inspires his emotion. He is in fact an admirer of technical proficiency of all sorts and is fond of all types of mechanical gadgets. Models of various sorts, particularly of weapons, fascinate him, and wooden miniatures of all new guns are brought to him for inspection ..... Hitler has never learned to drive an automobile. I am not sure that he has even sat at the wheel of a car, and as for piloting an airplane, he actually gets air-sick, although under pressure of time he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles. His frequent attempts to learn to use a typewriter never got him past a laborious two-finger technique. In 1938 he was presented with a newly designed portable, made entirely of plastic material and weighing just a few pounds. He tried again, but when he saw that he was gaining no speed he abandoned the machine. Frederick Oechsner:This is the Enemy.1942. pp.87,88,89. 00011036.gif page 13 Although he has an almost fanatic addiction to mechanical modernization, especially in the Army, there is one personal possession which he resists modernizing, and that is his watch. Although admirers from all over the world have sent him many valuable timepieces, he still carries an ancient key-winder model belonging to his family. Another timepiece which belonged in his family is a musical clock in Hitler's study. His prejudice against mechanical music extends even to this clock, and he will not allow it to be wound up for playing. On its cover in crude letters the family name has been inlaid in ivory, but the name "Hitler" is spelled with a 'd' instead of a 't'. It is not clear whether this was an error on the part of some unlearned village handicraftsman or whether the name in earlier years might indeed have been spelled "Hidler". No one has ever ventured to ask Hitler about this. His family affairs are never discussed in his presence. All of his family papers, in fact, are kept under lock to which he alone has the key. In truth Hitler has no "family life" as such. Coolness, if not actual hostility, has prevailed for years between himself and his half-brother, Alois Hitler, who runs a cafe on the Wittenbergplatz in Berlin. Up to 1935 Alois appeared occasionally at the Chancellery, although at most only once a month; then these visits ceased entirely. Hitler did not, as some accounts have it, provide the money for the establishment of the cafe for his half-brother; in fact he never looked on it with favor, and instructions were issued at one time to all his Storm Troop and S.S. leaders, as well as to political functionaries of the Party, not to patronize the cafe. Frederick Oechsner: This is the Enemy. 1942. pp. 89,90 00011037.gif page 14 Hitler does not go in for driving motorcars, and he has never actually taken part in the hardening regimen which has been prescribed for the S.A. and the S.S.... He is not in any sense an athletic type, although ... he projects himself emotionally into athletic competition. Walking has been his main form of exercise for years, and when in Berlin he usually takes a daily constitutional in the garden of the Chancellery, where part of the walk has been covered over against rainy days. At Berchtesgaden he walks in the countryside, usually with one of his police dogs. On occasion he has taken Goering with him and, setting off intentionally at a fast clip through the woods, has made the fat Marchal puff to keep up. A number of his associates have urged Hitler to take up horseback riding, but this he has parried with the remark: "Horses have more important work to do". In earlier days he did some gardening at Berchtesgaden, and it was a great occasion when radishes grown and picked by Der Fuehrer were served on the table. At one time he also had some iron dumbbells put in his room and with these exercised for twenty minutes each morning. For a brief period Hitler also practiced other setting-up exercises for ten to twenty minutes at a stretch. His manservant, Walther Meyer, a former bodyguard, counted the "One-two, one-two" for him as he went through his calisthenics in the nude. Hitler favors nudism, and the circulation of nudist books, complete with photographs extolling the practice of nudism in lyric phrases, has his approval. Reich health officials sometimes write the forewords to these books, urging, among other things, the removal of hair from the body, a practice which Hitler himself has followed. He believes, in fact, that the superman of the future (German, of course) will be a hairless creature except for what is on his head. Hitler's own physique would hardly make people in a nudist camp stop and gape in admiration. He has almost femininely smooth white skin, and soft, muscleless limbs and arms, with a caved-in chest requiring his tailor to pad his uniforms in order to give him the necessary front. Walther Meyer once suggested that Hitler should box with him. They sparred with bare fists. Meyer clipped Der Fuehrer one on the right ear, which remained swollen several days. His house physician, Professor Morell, was annoyed and alarmed, but it all passed off and Hitler did nothing about it. Finally he gave up the dumbbell workouts and walking remained his only exercise. Frederick Oechsner:This is the Enemy.1942. p.90,91 00011038.gif page 15 He does,however, enjoy target shooting, but his associates learned that it was not wise as a regular thing to outscore Der Fuehrer. He became definitely miffed. General Werner von Fritsch once dared to score seven bulls eyes in twelve shots on a military range, whereas Hitler scored only one, though with good secondary shots. There was a cool moment, but Hitler relieved the tension with a laugh and said: "Well, General, after all, shooting is your business". All of the S.S. men around Hitler have to be good shots, and he sometimes took part enthusiastically in pistol practice. One of his prize possessions was an old English pistol given to him by his English admirer, Unity Mitford. It was unique and valuable. The ammunition for it ran out (he had 5000 rounds) and he could get no more in Germany. But that did not bother him, for he said confidently: "Never mind, we'll fetch it ourselves in London". In the cellar of the Reichschancellery stands a miniature cannon modeled after one of Krupp's modern giants. The barrel is about thirty-two inches long, with a silencer in the chamber. When Hitler had time, he used to delight in loading, aiming and firing this little piece himself. The targets were wooden figures of Polish, English, French, Belgian, Dutch and Russian soldiers, the Russians painted with leering, brutal faces. Prominent visitors were taken to the cellar to see the cannon. Mussolini, as a great mark of distinction, was even allowed to load and shoot it, and with great glee entered himself in the record of results which was kept. Models of virtually all of Germany's modern artillery have been brought to the Chancellery and there set up in the garden to be studied by Hitler and whatever general or adjutant happened to be accompanying him on his morning walks. Long range pieces he inspected at the proving grounds at Doberitz, occasionally himself pulling the firing cord. This used to enchant him, and adjutants often had a hard time getting him away punctually to other appointments. A steel helmet and a pistol are part of Hitler's wardrobe, but they have never been worn, not even when he reached the front lines or when he watched artillery duels from a short distance behind the front in the Western and Polish campaigns. Hitler takes moderately good care of himself and eats sparingly, without meat except for an occasional small piece of sausage. He eschews alcohol in general, although he has for some years partaken of a very weak beer, especially brewed for him. Also on occasion he has taken a nip of the Bavarian schnapps Enzian, and during the cold winter at his eastern headquarters even drank a hot grog once in a while - Frederick Oechsner:This is the Enemy.l942. p.91,92.
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