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State Department January 18, 1940

Confidential Memorandum concerning Hitler prepared 
by the Dutch Legation in Berlin for the Secretary General 
of the Foreign Office, the Hague.

Hitler seldom works at a desk. Office work of all kinds, 
studying files, reports, etc., he dislikes and restricts to 
a minimum. When occupied with an important problem he 
avoids every bit of office work he possibly can. His mood 
changes; he keeps very much to himself, is very restless 
and speaks little to others particularly on the topic of the 
problem with which he is involved. If he is induced to talk 
on the problem he becomes ill-natured and bad-tempered. 
This condition sometimes lasts for weeks but when he has 
finally reached a decision he has a great desire to express 
himself. He then calls in his adjutants and they must sit 
and listen to him until he has finished even though it be early 
morning. On these occasions he does not want them to 
question him or even to understand him. It seems that he 
just wants to talk and he does not become offended if some 
of them drop asleep during his dissertation provided some 
of them are still awake. If someone makes an observation 
during such a recital or at its end Hitler launches forth 
into an explanation which goes on indefinitely. There is a 
tacit understanding among his adjutants that none of them 
will make any comments on these
occasions which might get him wound up and 
prevent them from getting to bed.

After this recital to his adjutants Hitler calls in 
his advisers and informs them of his decision. When 
he has finished they are free to express their opinion. 
If Hitler thinks that one of these opinions is worthwhile, 
he will listen for a long time but usually these opinions 
have little influence on his decision when this stage 
has been reached.

Only if someone succeeds in introducing new factors 
which he had not taken into consideration is there any 
possibility of getting him to change his mind. If someone 
voices the opinion that the proposed plan is too difficult 
or onerous he becomes extremely angry and frequently 
says "he does not look for people having clever ideas of 
their own but rather people who are clever in finding 
ways and means of carrying
out his ideas." 

Once he finally decides to carry out a certain plan his 
mood becomes excellent. "He is very cheerful, jokes all 
the time and does not give anybody an opportunity to speak, 
while he himself makes fun of everybody." When the 
necessary orders are given to put the plan into execution 
Hitler seems to lose interest in it. He becomes perfectly 
calm, occupies himself with other matters and sleeps 
unusually long hours. During the nights that preceded 
the "great coups" of recent years our spokesman saw 
him in such a state.

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