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_William Shirer :Berlin Diary,1941_

Sept.4,1934,.I got my first first glimpse of Hitler 
as he drove by our hotel, the Wurtemberger Hof, 
to his headquarters down the street at the Deutscher 
Hof, a favourite old hotel of his, which has been 
remodeled for him. He fumbled his cap with his left 
hand as he stood in his car acknowledging the delirious 
welcome with somewhat feeble Nazi salutes from 
right arm. He was clad in a rather worn gabardine 
trench-coat, his face had no particular expression 
at all-I expected it to be stronger-and for the life 
of me I could not quite comprehend what hidden 
springs he undoubtedly unloosed in the hysterical 
mob which was greeting him so wildly. He does not 
stand before the crowd with that theatrical 
imperiousness which I have seen Mussolini use. I 
was glad to see that he did not poke out his chin and 
throw his head back as does Duce nor make his eyes 
glassy-though there is something glassy in his eyes, 
the strongest thing in his face. He almost seemed to 
be affecting a modesty in his bearing. I doubt if 
it's genuine.

W. Shirer: Berlin Diary pp.16-17.

Sept. 22, 1938. This morning, I noticed something 
very interesting. I was having breakfast in the 
garden of the Dresen Hotel, where Hitler is 
stopping, when the great man suddenly appeared, 
strode past me, and went down to the edge of the 
Rhine to inspect his river yacht. One of Germany's 
leading editors, who secretly despises the regime 
nudged me: "Look at his walk!" On inspection it was 
a very curious walk indeed. In the first place it 
was very ladylike. Dainty little steps. In the second 
place, every few steps he cocked his right shoulder 
nervously, his left leg snapping up as he did so. I 
watched him closely as he came back past us. The 
same nervous tick. He had ugly black patches under 
his eyes. I think the man is on the edge of a nervous 
breakdown. And now I understand the meaning of an 
expression the party hacks were using when we sat 
around drinking in the Dressen last night. They kept 
talking about the "Teppichfresser"', the "carpet-eater". 
At first I didn't get it, and then someone explained 
it in a whisper. They said, Hitler has been having some 
of his nervous crises lately and that in recent days 
they've taken a strange form. Whenever he goes on a 
rampage about Benes or the Czechs he flings himself 
to the floor and chews the edges of the carpet hence 
the Teppichfresser. After seeing him this morning, 
I can believe it.

W.Shirer: Berlin Diary p.137

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William Shirer: Berlin Diary. 1941

Sept. 26, 1938. I broadcast the scene from a 
seat in the balcony just above Hitler. He's still 
got that nervous tic. All during his speech he 
kept cocking his shoulder, and the opposite leg 
from the knee down would bounce up. Audience 
couldn't see it, but I could. As a matter of fact, 
for the first time In all the years I've observed 
him he seemed tonight to have completely lost 
control of himself. When he sat down after his 
talk, Goebbels sprang up and shouted: "One thing 
is sure: 1918 will never be repeated!" Hitler 
looked up to him, a wild, eager expression in his 
eyes, as if those were the words which he had 
been searching for all evening and hadn't quite 
found. He leaped to his feet and with a fanatical 
fire in his eyes that I shall never forget brought 
his right hand, after a grand sweep, pounding down 
on the table and yelled with all the power in his 
mighty lungs: "Ja!" Then he slumped into his chair 

W.Shirer: Berlin Diary p.142

Sept. 30,1938. How different Hitler at two this 
morning: After being blocked from the 
Fuehrerhaus all evening, I finally broke in 
just as he was leaving. Followed by Goering, 
Ribbentrop, Goebbels, Hess and Keitel, he 
brushed past me like the conqueror he is. 
This morning. I noticed. his swagger. The tic 
was gone! As for Mussolini, he pulled out early, 
cocky as a rooster.

W.Shirer: Berlin Diary p. 145

November 5,1939 CBS wants me to broadcast a picture of Hitler
 at work during war-t me. I've been inquiring around among my
 spies. They say: He rises early, eats his first breakfast at
 seven a.m. This consists usually of either a glass of milk
 or fruit-juice and two or three rolls, over which he spreads
 marmalade liberally. Like most Germans, he eats a second
 breakfast, this one at nine a.m. It's like the first except
 that he also eats a little fruit. He begins his working day
 by wading into state papers (a job he detests, since he hates
 detail work) and discussing the day's program with his 
adjutants, chiefly S.A.Leader Wilhelm Brueckner, and 
especially with.his deputy, Rudolf Hess, who was once 
his private secretary, and is one of the few men he 
trusts with his innermost thoughts.

During the forenoon he usually receives the chiefs 
of the three armed services, listens to their reports 
and dictates decisions. With Goering he talks about 
not only air-force matters but general economic 
problems, or rather results, since he's not interested 
in details or even theories on this subject.

Hitler eats a simple lunch, usually a vegetable stew 
or a vegetable omelet. He is of course a vegetarian, 
teetotaler, and non-smoker. He usually invites a 
small circle to lunch, three or four adjutants, Hess, 
Dr. Dietrich, his press chief

00010639.GIF  page 3

William Shirer: Berlin Diary.1941

and sometimes Goering. A one-percent beer, brewed 
especially for him, is served at this meal, or 
sometimes a drink made out of kraut called "Herve," 
flavoured with a little Mosel wine. After lunch he 
returns to his study and work. More state papers, 
more conferences, often with his Foreign Minister, 
occasionally with a returned. German ambassador, 
invariably with some party chieftain such as Dr. 
Ley or Max Amann, his old top sergeant of the World 
War and now head of the lucrative Nazi publishing 
house Cher Verlag, which gets out the Voelkische 
Beobachter and in which Hitler is a stockholder. 
Later in the afternoon Hitler takes a stroll in the 
gardens back of the Chancellery, continuing his 
talk during the walk with whoever had an appointment 
at the time. Hitler is a fiend for films, and on evenings 
when no important conferences are on or he is not 
overrunning a country, he spends a couple of hours 
seeing the latest movies in his private cinema room 
at the Chancellery. News-reels are a great favourite 
with him, and in the last, weeks he has seen all those 
taken in the Polish war, including hundreds of thousands 
of feet which were filmed for the army archives and 
will never be seen by the public. He likes American 
films and many never publicly exhibited in Germany 
are shown him. A few years ago he insisted on having 
_IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT_ run several times. Though 
he is supposed to have a passion for Wagnerian opera, 
he almost never attends the Opera here in Berlin. He 
likes the Metropol, which puts on tolerable musical 
comedies with emphasis on pretty dancing girls. 
Recently he had one of the girls who struck his fancy 
to tea. But only to tea. In the evening, too, he likes to 
have in Dr. Todt, an imaginative engineer who built 
the great Autobahn network of two-lane motor roads 
and later the fortifications of the Westwall. Hitler, 
rushing to compensate what he thinks is an artistic 
side that was frustrated by non-recognition in his 
youthful days in Vienna, has a passion for architect's 
models and will spend hours fingering them with Dr. 

Lately, they say, he has even taken to designing 
new uniforms. Hitler stays up late, and sleeps 
badly, which I fear is the world's misfortune.

W.Shirer:Berlin Diary pp. 242,243,244.

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William L. Shirer: Berlin Diary

March 3,1940. My spies report Hitler is in a 
confident mood these days and thinks he can 
win the war outright and quickly.

William L. Shirer: Berlin Diary, p. 293

March 10,1940. Hitler spoke today in a courtyard 
in the Zeughaus, the War Museum. There admidst 
[sic] the museum pieces - the arms and weapons 
Europeans have used to kill one another in all the 
wars of the past, he orated. His voice was full of 
hatred, which he might have been expected to 
avoid on Memorial Day. Has the man no other emotion?

William L.Shirer:Berlin Diary, p.296

June 21, 1940. The armistice negotiations began 
at three fifteen p.m. A warm June sun beat down 
on the great elm and pine trees, and cast pleasant 
shadows on the wooded avenues as Hitler, with the 
German plenipotentiaries at his side, appeared. He 
alighted from his car in front of the French monument 
to Alsace-Lorraine which stands at the end of an 
avenue about two hundred yards from the clearing 
where the armistice car waits on exactly the same 
spot it occupied twenty-two years ago.

William L. Shirer: Berlin Diary, p.420

June 21, 1940. Through my glasses I saw the Fuehrer 
stop, glance at the monument, observe the Reich 
flags with their big Swastikas in the centre. Then 
he strode slowly towards us, towards the little 
clearing in the wood. I observed his face. It was 
grave solemn, yet brimming with revenge. There 
was also in it, as in his springy step, a note of the 
triumphant conqueror, the defier of the world. 
There was something else, difficult to describe, 
in his expression, a sort of scornful, inner joy at 
being present at this great reversal of fate - a 
reversal he himself had wrought.

Now he reaches the little opening in the woods. 
He pauses and looks slowly around. The clearing 
is in the form of a circle some two hundred yards 
in diameter and laid out like a park. Cypress trees 
line it all round, and behind them, the great elms 
and oaks of the forest. This has been one of France's 
national shrines for twenty-two years. From a 
discreet position on the perimeter of the circle 
we watch. Hitler pauses, and gazes slowly around. 
In a group just behind him are the other German 
plenipotentiaries: Goering, grasping his field-marshal's 
baton in one hand. He wears the sky-blue uniform 
of the air-force. All the Germans are

00010641.GIF  Page 5

William L.Shirer:Berlin Diary

in uniform, Hitler in a double-breasted grey uniform, 
with the Iron Cross hanging from his left breast pocket. 
Next to Goering are the two army chiefs - General 
Keitel, chief of the Supreme Command, and General 
von Brauchitsch, commander-in-chief of the German 
army. Both are just approaching sixty, but look 
younger, especially Keitel, who has a dapper 
appearance with his cap slightly cocked on one side.

Then there Is Erich Raeder, Grand Admiral of the 
German Fleet, in his blue naval uniform and the 
invariable upturned collar which German naval 
officers usually wear. There are two non-military 
men in Hitler's suite - his Foreign Minister, Joachim 
von  Ribbentrop, in the field-grey uniform of the 
Foreign Office, and Rudolph Hess, Hitler's deputy, 
in a grey party uniform.

The time is now three eighteen p.m. Hitler's personal 
flag is run up on a small standard in the centre of the 
opening. Also in the centre Is a great granite block 
which stands some three feet above the ground. Hitler, 
followed by the others, walks slowly over to it, steps 
up, and reads the inscription engraved in great high 
letters on that block. It says:


Hitler reads it and Goering reads it. They all read it, 
standing there in the June sun and the silence. I look 
for the expression in Hitler's face. I am but fifty yards 
from him and see him through my glasses as though he were
directly in front of me. I have seen that face many times
at the great moments of his life. But today! It is afire
With scorn, anger, hate, revenge, triumph. He steps off the
monument and contrives to make even this gesture a 
masterpiece of contempt. He glances back at it, 
contemptuous, angry- angry, you almost feel, because 
he cannot wipe out the awful, provoking lettering with 
one sweep of his high Prussian boot. He glances slowly 
around the clearing, and now, as his eyes meet ours, you 
grasp the  depth of his hatred. But there is triumph there 
too - revengeful, triumphant hate. Suddenly, as though 
his face were not giving quite complete expression to 
his feelings, he throws his whole body into harmony 
with his mood. He swiftly snaps his hands on his hips, 
arches his shoulders, plants his feet wide apart. It is 
a magnificent gesture of defiance, of burning contempt 
for this place now and all that it has stood for in the 
twenty-two years it since witnessed the humbling of 
the German empire.
Finally Hitler leads his party over to another 
granite stone, a smaller one fifty yards to one 
side. Here it was that the railroad car in which 
the German plenipotentiaries stayed during the 
1918 armistice was placed -from November 8 
to 11. Hitler merely glances at the inscription, 
which reads

00010642.GIF  Page 6

William L. Shirer: Berlin Diary

reads:"The German Plenipotentiaries,"  The stone 
itself, I notice, is set between the ones on which 
he German car stood twenty-two years ago. Off to 
one side along the edge of the clearing is a large 
statue in white stone of Marshal Foch as he looked 
when he stepped out of the armistice car on the 
morning of November 11, 1918. Hitler skips it; does 
not appear to see it.

It is now three twenty-three p.m. and the Germans stride
over to the armistice car. For a moment or two they 
stand in the sunlight outside the car, chatting. Then 
Hitler steps up into the car, followed by the others. 
We can see nicely through the car windows. Hitler 
takes the place occupied by Marshal Foch when the 
1918 terms were signed. The others spread themselves 
around him. Four chairs on the opposite side of the table 
from Hitler remain empty. The French have not yet 
appeared, but we do not wait long. Exactly at three 
thirty p.m. they alight from a car.

W.Shirer:Berlin Diary pp. 420, 421, 422, 423

_Paris, June 21, 1940._

Now we get our picture through the dusty windows 
of that old wagon-lit car. Hitler and the other German 
leaders rise as the French enter the drawing-room. 
Hitler gives the Nazi salute, the arm raised.  Ribbentrop 
and Hess so the same. I cannot see M. Noel to notice 
whether he salutes or not.

Hitler, as far as we can see through the windows, does 
not say a word to the French or to anybody else. He nods 
to General Keitel at his side. We see General Keitel 
adjusting his papers. Then he starts to read. He is reading 
the preamble to the German armistice terms. The French 
sit there with marble-like faces and listen intently. Hitler 
and Goering glance at the green table-top.

The reading of the preamble lasts but a few minutes. 
Hitler, we soon observe, has no intention of remaining 
very long, of listening to the reading of the armistice 
terms themselves. At three forty-two p.m., twelve 
minutes after the French arrive, we see Hitler stand up, 
salute stiffly, and then stride out of the drawing-room, 
followed by Goering, Brauchitsch, Raeder, Hess, and  
Ribbentrop - The French, like figures of stone, remain 
at the green-topped table. General Keitel remains with 
them. He starts to read them the detailed conditions of 
the armistice.
Hitler and his aides stride down the avenue towards 
the Alsace-Lorraine monument, where their cars are 
waiting. As they pass the guard of honour, the German 
band strikes up the two national anthems, Deutschland, 
Deutschland, Uber Alles, and the Horst Wessel song. 
The whole ceremony in which Hitler has reached a 
new pinnacle in his meteoric career and Germany 
avenged the 1918 defeat is over in a quarter of an hour.

Shirer:Berlin Diary pp.424,425

00010643.GIF  Page 7

_William L. Shirer: Berlin Diary_

Berlin, 27, June 1940:  Hitler himself has drawn up 
detailed instructions for German officers about taking 
an interest in the personal problems of their men. One 
of the most efficient units in the German army at the 
front Is its post office which brings letters and 
packages from home to the men, regardless of where 
they are, and which attends to the dispatch of letters 
and packages from the men.

W.Shirer: Berlin Diary, p. 441

Berlin, 27 June 1940: Hitler once said that as a 
private of the last war he would see to it that 
the men in the new army benefited by the lessons 
he had learned. And in this case, at least,  he seems 
to have kept his promise.

W.Shirer: Berlin Diary, p. 441

The Hitler we saw in the Reichstag tonight was the 
conqueror, and conscious of it, and yet so wonderful 
an actor, so magnificent a handler of the German 
mind that he mixed superbly the full confidence of 
the conqueror with the humbleness which always 
goes down so well with the masses when they know 
a man is on top. His voice was lower tonight; he 
rarely shouted as he usually does; and he did not 
once cry out hysterically as  I've seen him do it so 
often from his rostrum. His oratorical form was at 
its best. I've often sat in the gallery of the Kroll 
Opera House at these Reichstag sessions watching 
the man as he spoke and considering what a 
superbactor [sic] he was, as indeed are all good 
orators.  I've often admired the way he uses his 
hands, which are somewhat feminine and quite 
artistic. Tonight he used those hands beautifully, 
seemed to express himself almost as much with 
his hands-and the sway of his body-as he did with 
his words and the use of his voice. I noticed too his 
gift for using his face and eyes (cocking his eyes) 
and the turn of his head for irony, of which there 
was considerable in tonight's speech, especially 
when he referred to Mr. Churchill.
I noticed again, too, that he can tell a lie with 
as straight a face as any man. Probably some of 
the lies are not lies to him, because he believes 
fanatically the word he is saying, as for instance 
his false recapitulation of the last twenty-two 
years and his constant reiter-action  [sic] that 
Germany was never really defeated in the last 
war, only

00010644.GIF Page 8

_W. Shirer:Berlin Diary,Berlin...July 19,1940._

betrayed. But tonight he could also say with the 
ring of utter sincerity that all the night bombings 
of the British in recent weeks had caused no 
military damage whatsoever, One wonders what 
is in his mind when he tells a tall one like that. 
Joe (Harach), watching him speak for the first 
time, was impressed.He said he couldn't keep his 
hands; thought the hand work brilliant.

W. Shirer:Berlin Diary pp.454, 455.

Berlin July 19,1940.Suddenly musing in the 
middle of his speech, Hitler became the Napoleon, 
creating with the flick of his hand (in this case 
the Nazi salute) twelve Field-marshals, and 
since Goering already was one, creating a special 
honour for him-Reichsmarshal.

W.Shirer:Berlin Diary P.455.

Berlin July 22,1940. Hitler has given Mussolini 
a birthday present.It's an anti-aircraft armoured train.

W. Shirer:Berlin Diary p.458.

Berlin,September 5,1940. Though grim and dripping 
with hate most of the evening, Hitler had his humorous, 
jaunty moments. His listeners found it very funny 
when he said: In England they're filled with curiosity 
and keep asking: :Why doesn't he come?" Be calm. Be 
calm. He's coming! He's coming!" And the man squeezed 
every ounce of humour and sarcasm out of his voice.
The speech was not broadcast direct, but recorded 
and rebroadcast two hours after be had finished.

W. Shirer:Berlin Diary p.497.

Berlin, September 24, 1940 Last night's bombing 
reminds me- ... the best air-raid shelter in Berlin 
belongs to Adolf Hitler. Experts doubt that he could 
ever be killed in it. It is deep, protected by iron 
girders and an enormous

00010645.GIF  Page 9

_W.Shirer:Berlin Diary. Berlin, September 24, 1940._

amount of reinforced concrete, and is provided with 
its own ventilating and lighting plants, a private 
movie and an operating room. Were British bombs 
to blow the Chancellery to smithereens, cutting off 
all apparent escape from the cellar, the Fuehrer and 
his associates could emerge safely by simply walking 
through one of the tunnels that run from his shelter to 
points several hundred yards away. Hitler's cellar place 
is fitted out with spacious sleeping-quarters, an 
important consideration, but one utterly neglected in 
most shelters, since the loss of sleep is hurting the 
German people far more than British bombs.

W.Shirer:Berlin Diary p. 520

Berlin, September 27, 1940. At one p.m. to-day in the 
Chancellery, Japan, Germany, and Italy signed a 
military alliance directed against the United States.

W.Shirer:Berlin Diary p.532

Berlin, September 27.1940.The ceremony of signing, 
as described by Hartrich, who was present,was carried 
through with typical Axis talent for the theatrical. In 
the first place, the surprise of the event itself. Then 
the showy setting. When  Ribbentrop, Ciano, and 
Japanese Ambassador M. Kurusu, a bewildered little 
man, entered the gala hall of the Chancellery, Klieg 
lights blazed away as the scene was recorded for 
history. Brightly colored uniforms all over the place. 
The entire staffs of the Italian and  Japanese 
embassies present. (No other diplomats attended. 
The Russian Ambassador was invited, but replied he 
would be out of town this noon.) The three men sit 
themselves at a gilded table.  Ribbentrop rises and 
motions one of his slaves, Dr. Schmidt, to read the 
text of the pact. Then comes the climatic moment, 
or as the Nazis think. Three loud knocks on the giant 
door are heard. There is a tense hush in the great hall. 
The Japanese hold their breath. The door swings slowly 
open, and in strides Hitler. 
Ribbentrop bobs up and formally notifies him that the 
pact has been signed.

00010646.GIF  Page 10

W.Shirer:Berlin Diary, September 27, 1940

The Great Man nods approvingly, but does not deign to 
speak. Hitler majestically takes a seat in the middle 
of the table, while the two foreign ministers and the 
Japanese Ambassador scramble for chairs. When they 
have got adjusted, they pop up one after another, and 
deliver prepared addresses which the radio broadcasts 
round the world.                   

W.Shirer:Berlin Diary pp. 536,537

Berlin, November 6, 1940. Because Roosevelt is one of 
the few real leaders produced by the democracies since 
the war (look at France; look at Britain until Churchill 
took over) and because he can be tough, Hitler has always 
had a healthy respect for him and even a certain fear.

W.Shirer:Berlin Diary, p. 560

Berlin, November 6,1940. I'm told that since the 
abandonment for this fall of the invasion of Britain 
Hitler has more and more envisaged Roosevelt as the 
strongest enemy in his path to world power., or even 
to victory in Europe.

W.Shirer:Berlin Diary, p. 560

Berlin, December 1,1940 . The really big shots in the 
Nazi world, Goering, Goebbels, Ribbentrop, Ley, and 
the head of the armed services, see Hitler either at 
appointments during the day, or after dinner in the 
evening, when he often invites them to see a private 
showing of a film. Hitler has a passion for movies - 
including the products of Hollywood. (Two of his 
favourites were It Happened One Night and Gone 
With The Wind)

W.Shirer:Berlin Diary, pp.587,588.

Berlin, December 1,1940. There Hitler is distant, 
legendary, nebulous, an enigma as a human being. 
Goering is salty, earthy, lusty man of flesh and 
blood. The Germans like him because they understand 
W.Shirer:Berlin Diary, p. 588

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