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Henderson, Failure of a mission-
pg. 38/9
listening to speech at Lustgarten at arrival in Berlin.
"...I found, as I had done in listening to his speeches 
on the radio when I was British Minister at Belgrade, 
his voice harsh and unsympathetic. But he had the gift 
of oratorical exhortation, and ."

Henderson, Failure of a mission- pg. 4O
" I once watched Hitler review his black- and brown-shirted 
army. The march past lasted for four hours, and practically 
throughout he remained with his right arm stretched out 
at the Nazi salute. I asked him afterwards how he managed 
to do it. His reply was, "Will-pwoer" - and I wondered how 
much of it was artifically cultivated. ..."

Henderson Failure of a mission - pg 40
"During my first year in Germany, I consistently asked those in 
closest touch with Hitler in what his chief quality consisted. I was
 told almost unanimously, in his "FINGERSPITZGEFUEHL" 
(tip-of-the-finger feeling), that is to say, his sense of opportunity, 
allied with clearness of mind and decision of purpose. The typical 
example which was quoted of this was his decision to reoccupty 
the Rhineland in 1936, which was taken contrary to the warning 
of his General Staff and of all his closest advisers.

Henderson, Failureof [sic] a mission pg. 42

"It will always be a matter of regret to me that I was never able 
to study Hitler in private life, as this might have given me the 
chance to see him under normal conditions and to talk to him 
as man to man. Except for a few brief words at chance meetings, 
I never met him except upon official, and invariably, disagreeable, 
business. He never attended informal parties at which diplomatists 
might be present, and when friends of mine did try to arrange it, 
he always got out of meeting me in such a manner on the ground 
of precedent. Up to a period  in his career he was accessible to 
foreigners, to whome he readily accorded interviews, but he 
gradually became less so, and he had apparently a rooted aversion 
to private contacts with diplomatists, whom, as a category, he 

...He ws a true denmgogue, and crowds stimulated him, but social
 life of any sort bored him. He likedthe [sic] company of his intimate 
friends, whom he could harangue to his heart's delight; but he 
always looked self-conscious when he had to entertain the diplomatic 
corps, which happened normally three times a year....

"I was once asked by a German acquaintance who must, in 
view of his former official position, have had many talks 
with him, whether I ever managed during my interviews 
whith [sic] Hitler, to get a word in edge-ways. It was a curious 
observation, suggesting, as it did, that he himself never had. 
That was however, not my experience. He may not have heeded 
what I siad, and he may, like Ribbentrop, only have been thinking 
what he himself was going to say next, but he always seemed ready 
to listen, nor did he speechify to any unendurable extent. I once 
myself made him a little speech which lasted for five or ten minutes. 
Hisreply [sic] lasted three times as long, and thereafter, for obvious 
reasons, I avoided making speeches myself. If I thought his own 
were getting too long and that he was becoming carried by by his 
own oratory, I interrupted him nor did he ever seem to be offended
 by my so doing. My impression us that his emotional outbursts 
were not spontaneous, but that he deliberately worked himself up 
into a state of excitement..."
Henderson Failure of a mission, pg 43.

00010480.GIF Page 2


pg. [unreadable]

"I never heard of him ever doing a generous action. On the other 
hand, one of his most maked [sic] characteristics was sheer vindictiveness,
and his resentments were enduring and intensely disagreeable for 
anyone on whom it was in his power to exercise them. I am not 
surprised that his followers were afirad of him. They had plenty of 
examples of his capacity for revenge to intimidate them. His defect 
in this respect was his tragedy, as it is necessarily that of any dictator.... 
Unable to express views which may be contrary to those of their 
master, the best men leave him one by one. His entourage steadily 
and inexorably deteriorates, until at the end he is surrounded by 
mere yes-men whose flattery and acquiescence are alone endurable 
to him. That too, was Hitler's fate during the last year I spent in Berlin.

 "On the day before the Coronation I was received by Hitler and 
presented my letters of credence. As it happened, the disaster to 
the airship Hindenburg had occurred just before my audience; 
there were rumours of foul play, and Hitler was in an excited 
mental state on the subject. It was always my fate to see him when 
he was under the stress of some emotion or other. We read to each  
other friendly set speeches, but he showed little interest until I 
expressed my condolence at the loss of his airship and of a number 
of German lives. He then invited my [sic] into another room to sit 
down, and told me that there had been several warning letters
 before the departure of the HINDERBURG, and that the whole 
airship had been searched from stem to stern before she left on 
her last journey. His attiturde towards me was quite friendly, but 
I was left again wondering wherein lay the secret of his hold over

pg. 48/48 Henderson FAILURE OF A MISSION.

....He was a spell-binder for his own people. that is self-evident; nor 
was there any doubt about his capacity to charm, if he set himself out 
to do so. It was part of his stock-in-trade, and I was more than once 
the spectator of its efficiency. But he never exerted it in my case, and 
I consequently never experienced it. In his reasonable moods I was 
often disconcerted by the sanity and logic of his arguments, but when 
he became excited, which was the mood which most influenced his
countrymen, I had but one inclination, which was to beg him to calm 
down. He had considerable natural dignity and was invariably courteous, 
but to the last I continued to ask myself how he had risen and to what 
he was and how he maintained his ascendancy over the German people. ...

pg. 49 HENDERSON, Failure of a Mission.

"Many Germans have, in conversation with he, attributed Hitler's 
dynamic impatience to his alleged conviction, to which he himself 
frequently alluded, that his life was not destined to be a long one. He 
was so full of tricksthat [sic] I often wondered whether that assertion 
was not one of them....
Pg. 59, HENDERSON, Failure of a mission.

"In the midst of one of his tirades against the Poles in August 1939, 
I interrupoted Hitler to observe that he seemed to forget how useful 
the agreement with Pilsudski had been to him in 1934. Hitler's answer 
was that it had never been ofany use whatsoever, and that it had merely 
made him unpopular with his own people. He had a phenomenal 
capacity for self-deception, and was able to forget everything which 
he had ever said or done in the past, if it no longer suited his present 
or future purpose to remember it. ..."

pg. 62, HENDERSON, failure of a mission.

00010481.GIF  page 3

HENDERSON, Failure of a Mission

"Hitler had just come back from Wilhelmshaven, whither the 
Deutschland had returned to bury the thirty-odd sailors who had
 been killed in the bomb attack at Iviza. He was as in the case of my 
first meeting with him after the Hinderburg disaster, in the emotional 
state into which he worked himself at the sight or report of any dead 
Germans. He refused to listen to any of my very logical arguments, 
and persisted in the standpoint that he could not at such moment 
permit his Foreign Minister to leave Germany. His attitude was so 
utterly unreasonable that I was at a loss to explain it even to myself.....
pg. 68, HENDERSON, Failure of a Mission

about Nuremberg 1937-
"Her [sic] Hitler was more friendly to me personally on that occasion 
than on any of the other on which I saw him. He was undoubtedly 
please at the attendance for the first time of the British, French, and 
American representatives, and he indicated that he attributed this 
innovation to my initiative. I took the opportunity to tell him that 
the invitation to Baron von Neurath to visit London remained open 
if he cared to avail himself of it. In this respect, however, he was at 
once and typically less forthcoming....
pg. 75, HENDERSON, Failure of a mission.

"It has been necessary to lay great stress on the incident of the 
Blomberg marriage. Both morally and materially its consequences 
were of the utmost importance. Not only did it- as mentioned 
above- cause Hitlers first brainstorm of the year, but there is good 
reason to believe that it radically altered his entire outlook on life. 
Thenceforward he became less human, and his fits of rage, real 
or simulated, more frequent. His faith in the fidelity of his followers 
was gravely shaken, and his inaccessibility became greatly accentuated....
pg. 110, HENDERSON, Failure of a Mission.

"I was received in the old Reichschancery, and was asked to sit 
down on a big sofa against the wall facing the window. On my left, 
on a small stool, was Dr. Schmidt taking notes. On his left again, 
in a semi-circle, Hitler himself in an armchair, and next to him 
and facing me, Herr von Ribbentrop. I began with a statement of 
my object in asking to see the Chancellor....

It was perhaps the longest continuous statement which I ever made 
to Hitler, and must have lasted for the best part of ten minutes. 
During all that time he remained crouching in his armchair with 
the most ferocious scowl on his face, which my firm, but at the same 
time conciliatory, remarks scarcely warranted. He listened, 
nevertheless, till I had finished and then let himself go. Nothing, 
he said, could be done until the Press campaign against him in 
England ceased (He never failed to harp on this subject in every 
conversation which I had with him.) Nor was he going to tolerate 
the interference of third parties in Central Europe..... The problem 
was, he continued, rendered particularly difficult "by the fact that 
one could place as much confidence in the faith in treaties of a 
barbarous creature like the Soviet Union as in the comprehension 
of mathematical formulae by a savage. Any agreement with the 
U.S.S.R. was quite worthless, and Russia should never have been 
allowed into Europe." It was impossible, he added, to have, for 
instance, any faith in any Soviet undertaking not to use poison 
gas. The sentences in  inverted commas are Hitler's actual words 
as recorded in the written and carefully edited notes made and 
given to me at the time by Dr. Schmidt.
pg. 116, HENDERSON, Failure of a mission.

00010482.GIF Page 4

When our long conversation, which must have lasted nearly 
two hours, was over, I produced from my pocket on leaving an 
extremely good drawing of the Chancellor which a lady from 
New Zealand had sent me, with the request that I might get it 
autographed. I asked Hitler to sign it, which he very readily
 did ( insuch respects he was always complaisant.) Whereunon 
I observed that whereas I, and presumably he, had got no other 
satisfacticn out of our interview, he would at least have given 
pleasure to one young woman. That also produced quite a genial 
smile. I cannot remember having ever got another from him."
p. 11(?), HENDERSON, Failure of a mission.

.." It was this, above all, this jubilation (of democ. powers) which 
gave Hitler the excuse for his third and worst brainstorm of the 
year,... His fit of sulks and fury lasted from May 23rd to May 28th,...
pg. 140, HENDERSON, Failure of a mission.

Berchtesgaden - Chamberlain.

There Hitler, surrounded by General Keitel and a few other 
members of his immediate entourage, received the Prime 
Minister on the top of the small flight of stairs which lead up 
to the entrance of his unpretentious mountain fastness.

The first item on the programme was tea, which was served 
in a semi-circle before the fireplace situated opposite the great 
window of the reception-room looking across the mountains 
to Salzburg. After twenty minutes of desultory conversation, 
the Chancellor suggested to the Prime Minister that they might
 begin their talk, and they disappeared, together with the 
reliable interpreter, Dr. Schmidt, into Hitler's study.
p. [unreadable] HENDERSON, Failure of a mission.

"When the Prime Minister had finished, Hitler asked whether 
he was to understand that the British, French and Czechoslovak 
Governments had in effect agreed to the transfer of the Sudenten 
territory from CZechoslovakia to Germany. The Prime Minister 
replied: "Yes" There was a slight pause, a silence in which Hitler
 appeared for a moment to be making up his mind. He then said 
decisively: "Es tut mir fuerchbar leid, eber das geht nicht mehr"
 ("I am exceedingly sorry, but that is no longer of any use"). The 
Prime Minister expressed his surprise and indignation;

p. 154/155, HENDERSON, Failure of a mission.

"..At 10.30 that night the conversations were resumed.

Although Hitler was 'in a much' less truculent mood, and 
even made an affort to appear conciliatory, his memorandum 
showed that he had not moderated his demands, which were 
presented in a most peremptory form and described by Hitler 
as his last word....
 ... It is characteristic of Hitler's methods of argument that 
when the Prime Minister pointed out that this was a sheer 
Dictate imposed on a country voluntarily surrendering a 
part of its territory without having been defeated in war, 
the Chancellor replied: "It is not a Dictate; look, the
 Document is headed by the word 'Memorandum' ."
In the course of the long discussion which followed, Hitler 
agreed to modify his time-table slightly, and he also made in 
his owm handwriting a number of minor alterations 
designed to attenuate the asperity of the

p. 157, Henderson

00010483.GIF  page 4


of the memorandum, "You are the only man," he said somewhat 
bitterly to Mr. Chamberlain, "to whom I have ever made a 
concession." ....

p. 157,  HENDERSON, Failure of a Mission.
"Sir. M. Wilson, accompanied by Kirkpatrick and myself, 
saw the Chancellor at 5 p.m. that afternoon. This interview 
also was stormy and unsatisfactory. Herr Hitlet could only 
with difficulty be persuaded to listen the Prime Minister's 
letter. At one point he shouted: "Es hat keinen Sinn weiter 
zu verhandoln" ("It is no use talking any more"), and he 
moved to the door as if to leave the room. Eventually he 
returned, and the conversation was resumed, but it was 
impossible to reach any satisfactory conclusion....

p. 199, HENDERSON, Failure of a Mission.

Sir H. Wilson with Hitler-
"In the course of this conversation Hitler shouted savagely on 
two or three occasions: Ich werde die Tschechen zerschlagen" 
which Herr Schmidt, the interpreter faithfully translated as: 
"I will smash-sh-sh the Czechs!"

...but Hitler declined to be convinced. "If France and England 
stricke [sic]", he shouted, "let them do so. It is a matter of 
complete indifference to me. I am prepared for every eventuality. 
I can only take note of the position. It is Tuesday to-day, and
 by next Monday we shall all be at war." On this depressing 
note the interview ended.

p. 160, HENDERSON, Failure of a Mission.   

...The Italian intervention proved the final and decisive 
factor for peace. It enabled Hitler to climb down without 
losing face. His first remark to me when I saw him at 12.15, 
immediately after Poncet, was: "At the request of my great 
friend and ally, Signor Mussolini, I have postponed mobilising 
my troops for twentyfour hours."....

I gave Hitler the Prime Minister's message, and his reply 
was that he must consult again with SignorMusso!ini before
 giving me a definite answer. We dicussed fairly amicably the 
latest proposals of the French and Governments, and 
the Chancellor, though a little distrait, was not unreasonable.
My interyiew with him, which lasted over an hour, was also 
interrupted by a second visit from the Italian Ambassador, 
this time to say that Signor Mussolini himself was prepared
 to accept ....... When Hitler rejoined us I failed to notice any 
particular change in his attitude. Yet neither before nor after 
was he other than comparatively amicab!e, though he shouted 
once or twice when he described the orders which he would 
give to Goering's air fleet if compelled to do so. I was, however, 
told afterwards that those who listened anxiously within earshot 
on the other side of the door had feared from the noise, that 
things were going badly. I had, however, become used by this 
time to Hitler' s neurotic outbursts, and had been not unfavourably 

p. 164/165, HENDERSON, Failure of a Mission.

00010484.GIF  page 6

"..When I first met him, his logic and sense of realities had 
impressed me, but as time went on he appeared to me to become 
more and more unreasonable, and more and more convinced 
of his own infallibility and greatness." ...

p. 177 HENDERSON, Failure of a mission.

Before occupation of Prague-
"..My first indication of immenent trouble was at the annual
 banquet which Hitler gave to the diplomatic corps,  somewhat 
later than usual, on March 1st. After dinner Hitler used to remain 
standing in the drawing-room, and would speak for some five 
or ten minutes in turn to each of the Heads of Missions in the 
order of their precedence. The apparent friendliness which he 
had shown at the motor exhibition was notably absent at this 
dinner. At the exhibition he had shaken me by the hand not 
once, but three times. On this occasion he carefully avoided 
looking me in the face when he was speaking to me; he kept 
his eyes fixed over my right shoulder and confined his remarks 
to general subjects, while stressing the point that it was not 
Britain's business to interfere with Germany in Central Europe. 
I had heard it all before, but, though he said nothing new or 
startling, his attitude left me with a feeling of vague uneasiness.
 In the light of wisdom after the event, I have no doubt that he was 
already weighing the various contingencies in regrad to Prague, and 
making his plans for March 15th. He was contemplating his breach
 of faith with Mr. Chamberlain, and I was reminded of my meeting
 with him on March 3rd of the year before, when he was similarly 
preoccupied about Vienna.
p. 200/201, HENDERSON, Failure of a Mission.

Czech atrocities*
"It is difficult to believe that these machinations were not 
an intrinsic part of Hitler's own schemes, yet it seems but 
fair to relate that I heard some months later a story, which 
seemed to indicate that they were not. On his arrival at 
Prague on March 15th, one of the first things which Hitl. 
expressed a wish to do was to visit the hospitals. His entourage- 
probably soldiers, and consequently less well informed than 
Himmler's black-shirts- asked him for what purpose.   "To 
visit the  German wounded victims of Czech ill-treatment" 
was hitler's answer. As there were none, his followers had 
some difficulty in persuading him that such a visit would be 
useless. Possibly they induced him to believe that they existed
 everywhere except in Prague itself, but if the story is true- 
and my source was both a Czech and a good one-it would 
seem to indicate that some of the Party were even more 
impatient that Hitler himself.....

p. 206/207, HENDERSON, Failure of a Mission.

"Whatever virtues Hitler may possess, generosity is certainly 
not one of them; personally, I was struck on several occasions, 
when generosity might have profited him, by the complete 
absence of that quality in his make up. Dr, Hacha was an old 
and weak man, and his daughter travelled with him in 
order to look after him. He was received with the honours 
due to the head of a State- or a condemned prisoner before
 execution- and his daughter was given a bouquet of 
flowers by Rfbbentrop at the station. On their arrival at the 
Adlon Hotel who was presented with a box of chocolates 
from Hitler! But that was the limit to which his generosity went.
 p. 207 , HENDERSON, Failure of a Mission.

00010485.GIF  Page 7

August 23, 1939

"I reached Salzburg about midday, and I had my  first audience 
with Hitler at Berchtesgaden at 1 p.m., in the presence of Baron 
von Weizsacker and Herr Hewel. ...At my first interview with 
him on that day, Hitler was in a mood of extreme exitability [sic]. 
His language as regards the Poles and British responsibility for 
the Polish attitude was violent, to 1OO,00 German refugees from 
Poland- a figure whichwas [sic] at least five times greater than 
the reality. Again, I cannot say whether he was persuaded, or 
persuaded himself, of the reality of these figures. At my second 
interview, when he handed me his reply, he had recovered his 
calm, but was not less obdurate. Everything was Englands fault. 
She had encouraged the Czechs last year, and she was now giving 
a blank cheque to Poland. No longer, he told me, did he trust Mr.
 Chamberlain. He preferred war, he said,  when he was fifty to 
when he was fifty-five or sixty. He had himself always sought, 
and believed in the possibility of friendship with England. He 
now realised, he said, that those who had argued the contrary 
had been right, and nothing short of a complete change in British 
policy towards Germany could ever convince him of any sincere 
British desire for good relations. My last remark to him was that 
I could only deduce from his language that my mission to Germany 
had failed, and that I bitterly regretted it.
p. 257, HENDERSON, Failure of a Mission.

August 25th.

My interview with Hitler, at which Herr von Ribbentrop and 
Dr. Schmidt were also present, lasted on this occasion over an 
hour. The Chancellor spoke with calm and apparent sincerity. 
He described his proposels as a last effort, for conscience's sake,
 to secure good relations with Great Britain, ........

August 28th, 1939
..and at 10.30 that evening I :as received by Herr Hitler at the 
Reichschancery, and handed to him the British reply, together 
with a German translation. Hitler was once again friendly and 
reasonable, and appeared to be not dissatisfied with the answer 
which I had brought to him. He observed, however, that he 
must study it carefully and would give me a written reply the 
next day. Our conversation lasted for well over hour, and it 
was nearly midnight before I got back to the Embassy. It was 
I think, the only one of my interviews with Hitler at which 
it was I who did most of the talking.
Other remarks in Blue Book- White Paper-
pg. 259, HENDERSON, Failure of a Mission
p 262     "

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