00010698.GIF HITLER'S SALAD DAYS - by W.W.C In The Living Age- Sept. 1933 from the New Statesman and Nation, London Independent Weekly of the Left. The first time I heard the name of Adolf Hitler mentioned was shortly after the end of the War, when a man named _Franz Xavier Huber,_ a war veteran who had had a leg shot away before Verdun in 1917, told me stories of curious fellow who had been in his regiment at the front. He was a garrulous chap, and sitting in that same Buergerbrau Keller in Munich where in 1923 Hitler took his first plunge into revolutionary activities by firing off his army revolver at the ceiling and declaring the morrow would see him victor or dead, although it saw him neither the one nor the other, but unscathed, a helter-skelter fugitive in the Bavarian hills, he used to tell tales tragic and humorous of his campaign experiences. The thing that had struck him about 'Private Hitler' was his grandiloquence. He was neither popular nor the reverse with his fellows; they just smiled at him and his vague, rambling speeches on everything in the world and out of it. He acquired very swiftly the reputation of being what in the British Army is called 'an old soldier'. That is, he showed distinct talent in avoiding disagreeable tasks, but he knew on which side his bread was buttered. He interested himself particularly in the important question of seeing that the officers' washing was done or doing it himself. This secured for him the good graces of the colonel, who removed him from the more constant danger of the trenches and appointed him runner between regimental headquarters and the front line. These duties brought him frequently in contact with the men and he would sit for hours in a dug-out and hold forth on socialism, of which it was evident he had only very hazy notions Old Social Democrats used to laugh at him. but no one debated seriously with him. He could not brook contradiction and used to fly into terrible rages if anyone ventured a word of dissent. Though he got the Iron Cross of the second class, no one in the regiment ever looked upon Hitler as any sort of a hero; indeed, they rather admired him for the skill with which he avoided hot corners. The regimental records contain not a line concerning an award of the Iron Cross of the first class to Hitler, though in latter years he had taken to wearing it prominently on his self-constructed uniform. p 44, Living Age- September 1933- Hitlers Salad Days; by W.W.C From the NEW STATESMAN AND NATION, London independent Weekly of the Left. In those days in Munich I lived in the Thiersh Strasse...and I frequently noticed in the street a man who vaguely reminded me of a militant edition of Charlie Chaplin, owing to his characteristic moustache and his bouncing way of walking. He never wore a hat, but always carried a riding whip in his hand, with which he used incessantly to chop off imaginary heads as he walked. He was so funny that I inquired from neighbors who he might be; most of them, woing [sic] to his Slav type, took him to be one of those Russian emigres who abounded in Germany at that time, and they freely talked of his being probably a trifle mentally deranged. But my grocer told me it was a Her [sic] Adolf Hitler from Braunau in Austria, and that he was leader of a tiny political group which called itself the 'German National Socialist Workers' Party.'. He lived quietly enough as a boarder in the apartment of a small artisan, wrote articles for an obscure paper calledthe [sic] Voelkischer Beobachter, and orated in hole-and-corner meetings before audiences of a dozen or two. His closest friend was a Russian 00010699.GIF Page 2 HITLER'S SALAD DAYS- by W.W.C. in the Living Age Sept. 1933 emigre from the Baltic provinces, a certain Herr Rosenberg, who was joint owner of the paper. Out of curiosity I bought the paper once or twice...My obliging grocer closed his information on Hitler by remarking that he frequently purchased things in his shop and was, despite his eccentric appearance, quite a pleasant fellow, though inclined to talk sixteen to the dozen about anything and everything. Some time later I became a frequent customer of a little wine saloon in the Schelling Strasse, called the 'Osteria Bavaria'. ...Hitler was an almost daily visitor; he had, I learned, been a house painter in his early days in Vienna, but he was rather sore on the subject, and posed as an artist. He was very fond of airing his views on art and architecture which, however, were not taken seriously by any of the artists who frequented the place. Hitler was often accompanied by one or two friends who, I was told, were members of his little political. The most sensible of the band was a chemist named Gregor Strasser, a very sound fellow with whom I often spoke. Hitler's closest friend at that time, however, seemed to be an ex-army captain named Roehm, who later ... while his friend Baldur von Schirach.... One thing that struck me about Hitler was his extreme abstemiousness. He ate every night a dish of vegetables, and mineral water was his only drink. He never smoked.... Sometimes instead of regaling us with chaotic speeches, Hitler would sit for hours on end in front of his mineral water, staring into space, not uttering a word, and apparently quite oblivious to his surroundings. If on these occasions someone suddenly addressed him, he would start as if out of sleep, and stroke his forehead with his hand several times before coming back to reality. p (?)- Living Age- Hitlers Salad Days- by W.C.C. Sept. 1933 ..Apart from politics and art, Hitler's chief topics of conversation were Italy and clairvoyance. He had never visited Italy, but had apparently read a great deal about it, and he would sometimes talk for half an hour on end about the glories of ancient Rome and the greatness of the Caesars. There was something about his talk that made one think of the prophets of the Old Testament; he spoke as if he believed himself to be inspired. The only thing that dispelled the illusion was his frequent use of words that are not found in the dictionary of a cultivated German. One day I remember that a man came in who, for the price of a plate of soup, read hands and told fortunes. Hitler retired with the soothsayer into a corner and spent a whole hour with him in earnest conference. When he got back among us, he turned with anger upon a student who had made a slighting remark about clairvoyance, and launched out upon an eloquent defense of occultism of every kind, and especially of Stein-schneider who had taken to himself the name of Hanussen, and consulted him frequently. However.. the incident (of Hanussen's mysterious death after Hitler's rise) does not appear to have shaken Hitler's faith in astrology, and one of Hanussen's chief revals [sic], a man named [unreadable], had been appointed by Hitler 'Federal Commissary for Occultism'. This, I believe, is the first time in modern ages that a state has officially recognized soothsaying and turned it into a government department. 00010700.GIF Page 3 HITLERS SALAD DAYS- Living Age - Sept. 1933- by W.W.C.-London, Hitler was not without devoted adherents in the Osteria Bavaria'. Some students after a while became seized with a sort of hero worship regarding him, and hing [sic] on to every word he said with wrapt [sic] attention. But there is no doubt that his chief admirers were the two waitresses, buxom Bavarian wenches who listened open-mouthed to him and danced attendance on him in a way that formed the subject of many jokes among the habitues of the place. Hitler's relations with women indeed are a strange and obscure chapter. I saw a great deal of him at that time, and I can certify that he was in these matters as abstemious as in regard to food and drink, The only women he seemed tocare [sic] for at all was the lady to whose villa in the hills he fled after his inglorious collapse in November 1923. He used to correspond with her a great deal and spent frequent week-ends at her place. Lately he is said to have fallen in love with Winifred Wagner, but I can hardly imagine the Hitlerof [sic] 1921 in love. Another thing that struck me was the man's utter incapacity to deal with important details. When he spoke of Italy, or the German race, or occultism, or the Jews, his talk was a succession of vague generalities, couched in attractive if flowery language, but showing in every case either complete ignorance or at least complete contempt for detail. ..... HITLERS' SALAD DAYS- LIVING AGE- Sept. 1933 ...But I will say this, as a result of these long evenings spent with him; he was, and probably still is, passionately, almost ferociously, sincere in all he says and does, even when it appears hypocritical and insincere. HITLER'S SALAD DAYS- LIVING AGE Sept. 1933 by W.C.C.- from the NEW STATESMAN AND NATION, London Independent Weekly of the Left.
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