00011013.gif 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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