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_Pierre J. Huss: The Foe we face, 1942_

In January of 1935 Adolf Hitler was sitting out 
the winter in his alpine chalet on the 
0bersalzberg, above Berchtesgaden, somewhat 
tensely awaiting the outcome of the plebiscite
.....He let Goebbels and others loudly beat the 
drum while he sat up there in the snow and 
went walking with the huge white Hungarian 
shepherd dog always at his side.

At such times the German Fuehrer strictly 
forbade his guards to follow; he relied entirely 
on the dog at his side, the heavy waking stick 
of knotted wood, and the rapid-fire luger 
automatic in his pocket. He wore a gray golf 
suit with heavy woolen socks stuck into snow 
boots and an old felt hat drawn over his right 
eye, and on days when the wind whistled sharply 
or snow whipped through the air, a gray 
mackintosh with a muffler around his neck. He'd 
crunch the snow with a slow step and proceed by 
a short cut over the hill back of his chalet toward 
a somewhat forsaken Bavarian-style cafe.

..... I had arranged through Karl Boemer and Alfred 
Rosenberg for an interview with Hitler on the day 
of the Saar pelbiscite [sic] returns, on the 
assumption that it would be an opportune moment 
sure to find him in the best of moods, provided 
everything went in his favor. I arrived there to 
find him in high glee, with Goering on hand in a 
huge white sweater to help celebrate the victory 
of the Saar with its overwhelming majority in 
favor of the immediate return to Germany. Hitler 
was in his golf suit, studying the latest returns, 
and his eyes were alight with joy. Without 
wasting time on ceremonies, he got his hat 
and stick and insisted that I accompany him 
on his usual walk before lunch.  The big Hungarian 
dog plowed ahead of us through the snow, cavorting 
and barking with delight. But he seldom rushed 
further than ten yards away, turning back to see 
that his lord and master was following in good 
order. Later I was told  that this dog could be 
relied upon to rip to pieces any stranger 
approaching Hitler unannounced.

We reached the crest of the hill at the edge of 
the pine woods and looked back. I was breathing 
hard, for this was not my customary daily routine. 
Hitler grinned slyly and said it was good exercise, 
this walking through thedeep [sic] snow, the only 
kind of exercise, he said, he had time or inclination 
to take. He pointed with his stick to his chalet 
below and to the sweeping hills around it.

"A good rifle shot, aiming through telescopic 
sights, could easily pick me off from here while 
I am sitting on the porch or in that back room 
there," Hitler said in a matter-of-fact way. "I am 
buying up all these hills and making it forbidden 
property so that Himmler can quit worrying. I 
have also had the road you came up on commandeered, 
closing it to public traffic so that in effect this 
whole section of the mountain will be closed off 
to any but authorized persons."

His walking stick pointed far across the valley to 
the distant city of Salzberg we could just make 
out under the clouds over in Austria. "Himmler and 
the army people got together sometime ago and 
figured out that a few well directed cannon shots 
from over there some dark night could blow us out 
of bed," the Nazi Fuehrer said with something of a 
forced laugh. He resumed the walk and added: "I 
cannot just walk over the border and take a piece 
out of Austria, and I will not move this house away 
or abandon it just to get out from under the range of 
Austria and cannons. I am a fatalist and all those 
things take care of themselves."

I thought to myself that Hitler was taking chances 
walking by himself in these lonely mountains, even 
if he did buy them by the mile in order to keep 
strangers at a distance. A legion of people would gladly
have knocked him off. With this in mind, I pointed to 
two wood choppers making their way some hundreds 
of yards ahead of us toward the lonely Bavarian cafe 
and boldly said they could easily overpower him 
before he'd have a chance to defend himself or call 
for help. I wanted to hear

00010760.GIF Page 2

Pierre J.Huss: The Foe we face. 1942

what he'd say.
    He nodded and whistled for the dog and held him 
by the collar,while he told me to press a hard 
snowball together and throw it high and afar. I 
did this, and the snowball went sailing off into 
the air.
     Hitler whipped an automatic out of his pocket 
and with deliberate aim fired at my snowball. A 
split second after his shot rang out the snowball 
burst apart in midair, obviously torn by the passing 
bullet. I suppose I looked a bit skeptical, for Hitler 
asked me to throw a second snowball. He shot 
leisurely, and, it seemed to me, almost without 
aiming. The snowball broke violently to pieces in 
      Hitler replaced the pistol in his pocket and 
tapped me on the arm. "Sehen Sie, I am not 
entirely defenseless" he smiled. "It is generally 
conceded in the S.S. and the army that I am a 
better pistol shot than most of their best ones. 
I also make it a point to know more about guns 
and weapons and bullets of all kinds than those 
who come to me to explain the intricacies of a 
new rifle note or a cannon's mechanism. I have 
read and studied many technical books on those 
subjects, including one or two by your American 
experts. I believe I can say with justification 
that I am one of the few all-around ballistic 
experts in the world today."
     I checked up in German army circles on that 
claim and found it generally substantiated. He has 
a standing order out for every book on that subject 
and frequently reads deep into the night to absorb a 
new experiment with shells or bullets. He can draw 
a blueprint on the involved mechanism of German 
foreign large-and-small caliber guns and do it 
from memory. That is one of those things about 
Hitler one shouldn't forget in sizing him up as the 
man we now are about to beat.
      He is a fanatic, every inch of him, going into a 
passion or fury when the occasion demands. I 
touched him off on that walk in the snow with 
a hint that some of his twenty-five-point program 
would set the world afire if carried out to the 
letter. He stopped dead in his tracks and like a 
flash he changed from the Bavarian alpine rambler 
to Adolf Hitler, dictator of flaring temperament 
and rabble-rousing fanatic. He stamped the snow 
with his boot and waved his walking stick in 
fervid agitation.

Pierre J.Huss, pp.l,2,3,4,5.

00010761.GIF  page 3

Pierre J.Huss :The Foe we face.1942                                

March 1938: I had been sent to Vienna by Connolly 
and Faris to cover the story and to get our local 
correspondent there out of jail. He was a Jew, and 
it took some days and a lot of string pulling with 
key men around Hitler to get him out and across 
the border to Italy. But it provided me with an 
opportunity also to keep a finger on Hitler's 
activity, from talks with several of those always 
around him I pieced together his first night in 
      He took over the royal suite, a high ceilinged 
affair of three main rooms done up in much red 
drapery and furniture of white and gold. The 
bathroom was modernized,but not much else. 
The Imperial Hotel definitely had been coasting 
along on its reputation and made no attempt to rival
the up-to-date Bristol and Grand across the way. 
But Hitler had his reason for coming to the Imperial, 
and that night he gathered a small circle of intimates 
around him and talked to them until the small hours 
of Vienna and his days there. He had Schaub,the 
personal adjutant, pull the glossy boots off his 
feet and occasionally bring him a glass of warm 
milk. Then he reclined in loose comfort on the 
sofa and delved into reminiscences, waxing excited 
enough to sit up straight and rumple his hair when 
telling of some of the hard times he had seen in that city.

P.J.Huss: The Foe we face p.8.9.

      He told them: "In the old days the Viennese used 
to have a sentimental way of saying: "And when I die 
I want to go to heaven and have a little hole among 
the stars to see my Vienna, my fair Vienna." I didn't 
feel very much that way. The Hapsburgs and the 
spendthrifts may have looked at Vienna as a 
playground and paradise, but to me it was a city 
going to decay in its own grandeur. Only the Jews 
made money, and only those with Jewish friends or 
those willing to do the work for the Jews made a 
decent living. I and a lot of others like me, practically 
straved [sic] and some went begging.
       "I used to walk past the Imperial Hotel of 
nights when there was nothing else to do and I 
hadn't even enough money to buy a book. I'd watch 
the automobiles and the coaches drive up to the 
entrance and be received with a deep bow by the 
white-mustached porter out in front, who never 
talked to me if I came near him. I could see the 
glittering lights and chandeliers in the lobby but 
I knew it was impossible for me to set foot inside. 
One night, after a bad blizzard which piled up several 
feet of snow, I had a chance to make some money for 
food by shoveling snow. Ironically enough, the five 
or six of us in my group were sent to clean the street 
and sidewalk in front of the Imperial Hotel.
       "That was the night the Hapsburgs were 
entertaining-old Josef was still alive but he 
didn't appear. I saw Karl and Zita step out of 
their imperial coach and grandly walk into this 
hotel over the red carpet. We poor devils shoveled 
the snow away on all sides and took our hats off 
every time the aristocrats arrived. They didn't 
even look at us although I still smell the perfume 
that came to our noses. We were about as important 
to them, or for that matter to Vienna, as the snow 
that kept coming down all night, and this hotel did 
not even have the decency to send out a cup of hot 
coffee to us. We were kept there most of the night, 
and each time the wind blew hard it covered the 
red carpet with snow. Then I'd take a broom and 
brush it off, glancing at the same time


 Pierre J,Huss:The Foe we face 1942                                                                                     

       into the brilliantly lit interior,which 
fascinated me. I heard the music and it made me 
wish to cry. It made me pretty angry, too, and feel 
the injustice of life. I resolved that night that 
someday I would come back to the Imperial Hotel 
and walk over the red carpet into that glittering 
interior where the Hapsburgs danced. I didn't know 
how or when, but I have waited for this day and tonight 
I am here.
       "I shall have this hotel listed as our party 
hotel and I shall come here each time I am in 
Vienna, I shall have it renovated and modernized, 
but the name shall remain the same. And a red 
carpet shall be on the sidewalk every time I come 
so that I can walk over it into the hotel the same 
as those aristocrats did back in those days when 
I shoveled snow. I have never forgotten the 
resolution I made. Providence fulfilled
my wish."                                                                         
       That is Hitler to the core. He can never forget 
or forgive, and everything he does has its motive. 
The conquest of Vienna and the Imperial Hotel in a 
way were to him the wiping of the slate, a settlement 
of scores.
       He likes to gloat over his triumphs,and particularly 
to go back to places where he was spurned in the old 
days. There is there is a hotel in almost every large 
city in of Germany where he will stop and strut around 
because at one time or another he was boycotted and 
refused quarters in every hotel in that city except 
perhaps the one he now favors. Or he might have been 
given shelter and food by the individual who now
owns the leading hotel in the city. All because that 
man did Hitler a favor in the days he became a 
power in the land.
       In Weimar, for example, there is the White 
Elephant Hotel, rebuilt by the party in lavish 
style with the reserved Fuehrer suite. In Nuremberg,
is the Deutscher Hof, an expensively rebuilt edifice. 
In Godesberg on the Rhine, a little distance above 
the fabled rock of Lorelei, there is the
Dreesen,where he held his famous conference 
with Neville Chamberlain a few days before 
the signing of the fatal Munich Pact .....
       The owner of the Dreesen snapped his fingers 
at the anti-Hitlers, and offered him sanctuary 
free of cost in the Dreesen Hotel in Godesberg. 
That settled it, and whenever Hitler thereafter 
toured the Rhineland,he spent days and days in 
the Dreesen with the man who had done
him a favor in the face of public disapproval.
       Hitler, after assuming power, did with the 
Dreesen what he did with
hotels he fancied all over Germany. He took it 
under his official wing
and partly remodeled it at the expense of the 
Nazi party for purposes
of his own. He installed the usual Fuehrer suite 
of three rooms. That included a reception room of 
larger proportions, a sort of combination
private office anti sitting room, and a comfortable 
bedroom. I had a chance to go through his suite in 
the Dreesen a few hours before he arrived for his 
conference with Chamberlain and thus had a good 
opportunity to size up the arrangements.
       In the Berlin chancellery and at Fuehrer 
headquarters he makes it a point during the war 
to sleep on a camp bed, but in the hotels and
castles he picks on he has a comfortable, wide 
bed. In the Dreesen it is
low and stands next to a window of bulletproof 
glass overlooking the
Rhine. A blood-red silken bedspread enlivens the 
pink-colored room. There 
is an enameled white telephone on the night table. 
I was told that the 
hook on the side, closest to the pillow is for a 
special pistol holster,
which reminded me of the proverb that uneasy 
lies the head that wears a
crown. I also remembered at that moment that 
he had demonstrated himself
some years before to me as quick on the draw 
and a crack pistol shot.

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