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Starhemberg, Between Hitler and Mussolini

In April 1932, an invitation reached me... to go to adjutant accompanied me to Hitler's 
drawing room. ...Over the writing table hung a 
large picture of Frederick the Second. Beneath 
it was Adolf Hitler, who rose at my entrance 
and advanced to meet me. As was his custom, 
he looked me straight in the face and once again 
I felt the extraodrinary [sic] magnetism of his eyes. 
I fought against it. We had grown too far apart fro 
[sic] me to feel any great sympathy with him. I tried 
to count up the repellent details of Hitler's person. 
In a badly fitting blue suit he sat facing me in a 
huddled position.  How repulsive his face really was, 
how ugly his hands, and how common the  German 
dialect he spoke. A Prussianised South German 
dialect it was, which gave the impression that he 
was trying feverishly to speak cultivated German. 
And yet I could not be blind to something that I could 
only call attractive and compelling.

(Conversation on politics in Austria. Starhemberg 
refuses to be instrumental in delivering Austria to 
the Nazis. Refuses cooperation with [sic] Austrian 
Nazis. says:)

"I told you years ago, and I tell you again today, 
leave it to the Heimwehr to create a new and 
patriotic Austria, an Austria that is national 
in the best sense. Austria will always maintain 
the closest relations with a National Government 
in Germany."

Hitler did not answer. With a fixed expression on 
his face he stared straight in front of him. For 
some seconds there was silence in the room. 
Then suddenly Hitler began to speak in an unnecessarily 
loud voice: "It is utterly wrong to say that a man can 
be a good interior decorator if he is a bad architect. 
It is also completely wrong to assert conversely that 
a good architect understands nothing of interior 
decoration. Both these branches of architecture are 
inseparable and interwoven." Hitler knew excited. It 
is one of the idiocies of our time to attempt to 
separate exterior from interior architecture." Then 
the flood burst.

Citing examples from the history of architecture 
extending from pre-Babylonion, Egyptian, Grecian 
and Roman days up to the Gothic period, Hitler 
argued furiously in support of his theory of the 
inseparability of exterior and interior architecture. 
He finally grew so excited that he jumped up from 
his chair, which fell over with a crash, and walked 
up and down the room, at moments of his lecture 
literally screaming. "No one," he shouted, "would 
have dared suggest to the great masters who built 
our Gothic cathedrals that he should devote himself 
only to the exterior and leave the interior to another."

I had the impression that he thought he was 
addressing a large audience. I said nothing, 
extremely uncomfortable at this exhibition. I 
must confess that his form of words and his 
assembly of evidence were extremely effective 
and convincing, although the metaphor made no 
appeal to me. Ikept [sic] count of the time by my 
wrist-watch. For forty minutes Hitler spoke or 
shouted on the history of architecture. Then he suddenly 
broke off and sank exhausted into an armchair. I 
rose and picked up the fallen chair. Hitler stood up 
and returned to his place at the writing table. I 
wondered how I could take my leave, having no 
wish to resume our talk. Hitler sat huddled up, 
leaning over his writing table and staring straight 
in front of him. Suddenly he sat up with a jerk, and 
hitting the table with his fist three times, but quite 
gently, he said: "And it is so and any other opinion 
is wrong." I said, "I must go now, as I have an appointment 
at my hotel", and I rose to leave.

Hitler stood up...he was breathing heavily as though 
exhausted by violent physical exertion....
pp.78-85, Starhemberg, Between Hitler & Mussolini

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