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  Janet Flanner


Hitler has no valet. Adjutant Schaub..... acts as a 
majordomo. Though he lays out Hitler's clothes, 
neither he nor anyone around the palace has ever 
seen the Fuehrer in slippers and dressing gown; 
Hitler's modesty verges on the morbid. In the 
morning it takes him fifteen minutes, from the 
time he gets up, to get dressed and be ready for 
breakfast. He usually appears in his favorite 
costume - black trousers and khaki coat cut in 
the pattern of what German officers call a Litevka - 
the traditional military lounging jacket without 
insignia. He never wears jewelry.  He has always been
frantically neat, clean, and tidy of habits; his clothes 
wear for ever. Most of his wardrobe consists of uniforms, 
but there are a few civilian garments. He scrupulously 
chooses a second-rate tailor. Schaub orders most of 
his things. The. are sent to the palace where Hitler 
treis [sic] on and selects; he can't go into a shop 
without its being mobbed by his Nazi admirers and 
hasn't bought anything in the normal way for three years.

p. 378, Flanner, Fuehrer

He's crazy about films, especially when historical, 
sees all the news weeklies of himself, and occasionally 
earnest foreign films, and is apt to sit on the floor in 
the dark when they are being shown. When he takes a 
fancy to a picture, he has it repeated and invites 
those he thinks it should interest; he is sincere about 
trying to get the right films and guests together. When 
he discovered the Schubert "Unfinished Symphony" 
movie, he gave a party to bring it and Wilhelm 
Furtwaengler together.

pp. 380/81, Flanner, Fuehrer

When in Munich, he still goes to the quiet little Osteria 
Bavaria Restaurant, which he has used for years, and 
occasionally he drops in for Jause at the Carlton tearoom, 
which is the nicest in town. When he eats a mean [sic] 
at the elegant Vier Jahreszeiten Hotel, it's in the modest 
back room, not in its Walterspiel restaurant. The 
Walterspiel brothers, two of the greatest gourmets 
of Europe, are old friends of his, and concocted Hitler's 
onion soup recipe especially for him. When in Nuremberg, 
Hitler still stops at the second rate Deutscher Hof, which 
was grandeur for him in the old days

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 Flanner, Fuehrer                                                        

and which he thinks today is grand enough. He likes 
places he's familiar with, where people know his habits 
and let him alone. With his shadows, the elegant 
Brueckner and the lowly Schaub, he often goes in 
Berlin to the Kaiserhof in the afternoon for a glass 
of milk and his favorite Linzertorte, a walnut cake. 
He has a sweet tooth.

pp. 379, 80, Flanner Fuehrer

Conversation excites him. In anything approaching 
serious talk, his changeable blue eyes, which are his 
only good feature, brighten, glow heavily as if words 
fanned them. His principal gesture is a shrug of the 
shoulders. If he's really interested, he is likely to 
walk up and down the room, and in arguments he becomes violent.

pp. 381/82, Flanner, Fuehrer

For the past fifteen years Hitler's greatest woman 
friend has been Frau Victoria von Dirksen, formerly 
a fashionable hostess in her Margaretenstrasse mansion 
in Berlin, and now stepmother of the German Ambassador 
at Moscow and widow of the magnate who helped to build 
the Berlin Untergrund. It was in her salon that the 
secret Frau Hermine Hohenzollern - Hitler meeting 
took place when the question arose of which should 
be presented to which - the second wife of the ex-Kaiser 
of the former German Empire to the Nazi Fuehrer of 
Germany's Third Reich, or vice versa. (Hitler tactfully 
kissed the lady's hand before anyone could introduce 
either, and then tactlessly refused her plea that her 
exiled hushed be allowed easier terms from the land 
he'd once ruled). Frau von Dirksen gave most of her 
late husband's fortune to promoting Hitler's career. 
Their friendship has not been interrupted by her recent 
quarrels with his Party. When in Berlin, he still loyally 
takes tea with her every fortnight.

pp. 382/82, Flanner, Fuehrer

Other exceptional figures commented on in Hitler's 
entourage are two English women, Lord Redesdale's 
daughters, the Honorable Mrs. Bryan Giunness, who in 
London had already been converted to Sir     

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Oswald Mosley's Black Shirt Fascism, and her younger 
sister, the Honorable Unity Mitford. Both sisters are 
blonde, handsome, speak excellent German, and use 
the Nazi salute. The younger is Hitler's favorite, 
because more devoted to the German cause. She and 
he frequently lunch together at the Osteria restaurant 
whenever he's in Munich, as English, rather than 
German papers, point cub. Another admiration of 
Hitler's is Frau Viorica Ursuleac, dramatic soprano 
of the Unter den Linden Opera, who moved from Dresden 
to Berlin when the Viennese director Clemens Krauss 
became the more complacent successor to Furtwaengler .....

p. 384, Flanner, Fuehrer

Hitler prefers the Valkyere type of lady who gets 
around on the public heights. He also likes women who 
are well dressed. Though it would be officially denied, 
Hitler opposed Frau Goebbels' recent patriotic boycott 
of French dress models, a blacklisting which, since 
Germany has no dress designers, nearly ruined the 
foundation of Germany's ready-made garment trade 
..... Owing to Hitler's pressure the ban was lifted ..... 
Having been recently argued into white tie and tails 
for his rare Opera appearances, Hitler nearly ordered 
the women auditors to dress also, but renounced the 
idea as Napoleonic. He has a holy horror of Bonapartism.

pp. 384/85, Flanner, Fuehrer

Adolf's mother's great-grandmother was his father's 

p. 389, Flanner, Fuehrer

Apparently, he was mostly detailed to the lonely, 
dangerous service of carrying front-line dispatches; 
there's a story that he used to embellish them with 
flourishing, patriotic phrases when he considered 
their style defeatist or dry. He was disliked in the 
trenches; the soldiers thought him courageous but queer.

p. 394, Flanner, Fuehrer

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He accepts violence as a detail of state; he says mercy 
is not his affair with men, yet he is kind to
dumb animals. He becomes sick if he sees blood, yet he 
is unafraid of being killed or killing. He has mystical 
tendencies, no common sense, and a Wagnerian taste 
for heroics and death. He was born loaded with vanities 
and has developed megalomania as his final decoration. 
He is an unstereotyped statesman, a specialist in the 
unexpected; as a politician, he nullifies opposition by 
letting friends oppose each other and by suppressing 
enemies. As a bureaucrat, he dawdles for months over 
minor decisions, and overnight forces large issues; he 
dislikes paper reports and loves oral information. He is 
garrulous; in interviews, the interviewer often fails to 
get in a word edgewise. Momentarily influenced by colder, 
harder minds, he is ultimately convinced only by himself. 
His moods changes often, his opinions never,

p. 402, Flanner, Fuehrer

Alternately polarized, by indolence ,and furious energy, 
he can outwork his colleagues in a crisis. He has the 
mediumistic time sense of the imminent which is 
special to dictators. His disordered nervous system 
gives him a spychic [sic] superiority over the healthy 
and plodding. By his intimates, his fits of weeping are 
undenied and unexplained, and give none of them an 
advantage over him. At such moments, the neurasthenia 
of the Fuehrer, with tears on his cheeks, but life and 
death in his hands, is too serious to be trifled with.

p. 403, Flanner, Fuehrer

 Today, music is the only medicine for Hitler's frayed 
nerves; it gives them their sole relaxation and gives 
him his greatest esthetic pleasure. He has a passion 
for the piano, used to be inclined to beat time with his 
head at concerts, loves Schubert in song, Beethoven in 
symphonies, Wagner in opera. He also likes manly 
marches. For safety's sake, he is now accompanied 
everywhere he goes by his officers or secret service 
men. Since he prefers to go alone to concerts. he 
therefore goes out increasingly rarely to good music. 
At the Munich Opera, the program, at his request, begs 
the audience to pay no attention to him if he is present. 
He has also had to give up his long, solitary walks 
which were his only sport.

p. 403, Flanner, Fuehrer

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 Flanner, Fuehrer                                                                    

Since he came into power his favorite plays have been 
the Lessing Theater's long-run peasant comedy Krach 
um Jolanthe (Jolanthe, the heroine, being a sow) which 
he saw twice. His other favorite was Tovarich, which 
the censor had first forbidden because it was by a 
Frenchman. When it finally was produced Hitler went 
to see it, but asked the management to warn him five 
minutes before the final curtain so that he and his row 
of secret police could depart privately in the dark. 
However, he became so enthusiastic over the plot, 
which concerned the superiority of the White over 
Red Russians, that he finally stayed on [unreadable] 
and applaud heartily.

p. 404, Flanner, Fuehrer

Hitler's knowledge of German eighteenth-century 
romantic art is considerable. He appreciates good 
canvasses. He recently gave Goebbels a canvas by 
Spitzweg a period painter now becoming the vogue. 
For a wedding present for General Goering and Frau 
Emmy Sonnemann Hitler ordered a copy painted of 
the Berlin Corregio called Leda with the Swan ....

While he is constantly giving presents to his friends, 
he himself has no acquisitive hobbies or collections. 
His only two volitional possessions are a couple of 
police dogs, whom he adores. He always remembers 
the birthdays of his early Party comrades with gifts 
of fine books or minor objects of art.

p. 405, Flanner, Fuehrer

In redecorating the Berlin chancellery palace for his 
use, Hitler's artistic ameliorations consisted mostly 
of a few fairly modernistic rooms, plus some Nordic 
mythological tapestries for the Great Hall which depict 
Wotan Creating the World. Last spring, with more 
enthusiasm, he redid his small Munich flat in his 
favorite baroque blue, white, and gold, according to 
plans he made and was proud of. This bourgeois flat 
in the unfashionable end of Prinzregentenstrasse is 
part of Hitler's odd passion for privacy is probably 
also a symbol of his loyalty to Munich .....

pp. 405/06, Flanner, Fuehrer

          Weekly news photos over the years show that 
Hitler's face has changed, and from month to month is st

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  Weekly news photos over the years show that Hitler's 
face has changed, and from month to month it still 
changing. The first official portrait (1921) shows a 
lean, serious, intent visage with nothing funny, fat or 
fatuous about it. It shows a portentous, determined 
mouth; a mustache, brief but without humor; hair 
without a forelock and neatly roached [sic] back in a 
straight brow line. In the last year alone, Hitler has 
gained fifteen pounds, less publicly visible in the waist 
(Since his uniforms now include a compassing jacket 
instead of the former revealing Nazi Brown Shirt) than 
in the face, where weight shows in ounces of pouches 
beneath eyes and mouth, caricaturing the facial construction. 
His receding hair, he has, like many mistaken middle-aging 
men, brought forward in a wig-like wad which nearly 
conceals the left eye. In photographs, his gold tooth 
fortunately does not show. Because of the nervous lines 
now drawing down his upper lip, his mustache has lately 
taken on a Kaiserlike tilt. In real life what is physically 
most noticeable about Hitler, especially at a distance, is 
his hurried dog trot and, close to, his quick, forced smile; 
both have that disjointed, rather comic quality see in a 
film which is being run too fast. In repose, Hitler locks 
his hands low over his abdomen. His best likenesses are 
the unofficial snapshots taken by his Berchtesgaden 
mountaineer neighbors of him and their offspring. When 
he alone and at ease with children, Hitler's face has the 
avuncular tenderness of the man who has not had babies 
of his own. After five minutes, little girls especially 
show a disposition, which petrifies their parents, to 
romp with the Fuehrer.

pp. 409, 410, Flanner, Fuehrer

Decades of his incessant speechmaking, last spring two 
nodules were cut from Hitler's vocal cords, an operation 
common to hard-working opera singers. There is now talk 
that another operation is imminent.

p. 414, Flanner, Fuehrer

Though he makes few gestures, his oratory used to wilt 
his collar, unglue his forelock, glaze his eyes; he was 
like a man hypnotized, repeating himself into a frenzy. 
Today, his goal gained, he is calmer on the speaker's 
tribune; his voice, restored by the operation from his 
former sinister screaming and croaking is now a pleasant 
barking baritone. His accent and vocabulary are still 
inelegant Austrian.

pp. 414/15, Flanner, Fuehrer

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