The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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State Department 760H-62/131

Report of Arthur Bliss Lane on impressions of 
Princess Olga on state visit to Berlin dated June 17, 1939.

Reported that she and Prince were invited to have 
lunch alone with Hitler. Goering told her that this 
was most unusual and that in his long and intimate 
acquaintanceship with Hitler he had only twice had 
luncheon with him alone. The Princess reported 
that Hitler has a remarkable charm despite all 
the reports of his ruthlessness. At times he gives 
the impression of being very soft-hearted 
particularly when children are mentioned and 
when the conversation turned to children tears 
would come to his eyes. His eyes are remarkable--
clear blue and honest looking. In the course of 
the conversation Hitler told her that he had a 
dual personality, that his real personality is 
that of an artist and architect but that fate had 
decreed that he should also be a politician, a 
military man and the builder of a new Germany. 
However, he prefers his former personality and 
that he hopes one day to have an opportunity to 
return to it. In one of the large rooms in the 
Chancellery he has replicas of new official 
buildings and takes great pleasure in examining 
these for architectural errors. She was convinced 
that Hitler has talent in this direction and Goering 
told her that when the Triumphal-Arch was built 
Hitler pointed out a defect in the construction. 
Further study revealed that he was correct and the 
Arch had to be changed.

Hitler also told the Princess that he is fundamentally 
a man of simple tastes and would prefer to live in a 
small house without any luxuries whatever but for the 
sake of prestige he was forced to live in a large palace 
with a certain amount of pomp and ceremony.

During a performance of Die Meistersinger he shut his 
eyes and gave the impression of being in a trance. The 
Princess agreed that it was probably the martial spirit 
of Wagnerian music which appealed to Hitler and 
commented that Hitler is not greatly interested in 
any other music than that of German composition.

On the whole, she said Hitler could not have been 
kinder and when she departed he made her a gift of 
some rare Dresden china.


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