The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Office of Strategic Services
Hitler Source Book
The Foe We Face
by Pierre J. Huss
(Part 3 of 4)

[Page 6]

We walked along to an inconspicuous little cabaret doing pretty good business in nudes and wisecracks next door to the big Metropole Theater... This place specialized in an interior of private booths looking out on the floor show ....

.... Two men sat alone there, nearly hidden by the semi-darkness. They had on light raincoats, with the collars drawn up to their eyes. They both wore large horn-rimmed glasses. The booths on either side were also taken up by men in dark clothes, men with nondescript faces. They were carefully watching the crowd and especially anyone who walked near to the corner booth .....

.... It was not the first time Hitler and Goebbels had come here before the war -- the place closed a year later -- but I never would have looked for them in the cabaret, on that night of all nights .....

.... The fact is he handed his memorandum over to Henderson at seven-fifteen that evening and his armies had orders to roll into Poland before dawn on September 1, regardless of the outcome of negotiations, for Hitler was convinced that at the worst the British and possibly the French would carry on a shadow war for a few weeks and then make a deal. So he played his cards with cool self-assurance. That night he celebrated war, not peace.

He probably liked the floor show, for he sat there in the dark booth with Goebbels for another half-hour before vanishing as discreetly as he had come.

P.J .Hues The Foe we face pp. 81, 82, 83

Hitler takes himself seriously and will flare up in a temperamental rage at the least impingement by act or attitude on the dignity holiness of State and Fuehrer. I incurred his momentary displeasure some years ago when I offered him a pencil instead of a fountain pen to sign his name to a photo held out to him. He threw the pencil down without comment and reached for somebody's else [sic] proffered fountain pen. That's Hitler.

P.J. Hues: The Foe we face.p.104.

Slowly the Mercedes car with its six uniformed men moved toward the German officer standing at rigid attention in the main yard back of the dome. There was no other living soul in sight. The first car was followed by three others...similar in appearance. They, too, were filled with square-jawed men from the Rhine. ..who jumped out before the first car stopped and rushed up to form a sort of half circle around the one up ahead.

[Page 7]

A six-foot adjutant in the first car had sprung to the ground .... and yanked open the door opposite the driver. Adolf Hitler, wearing a white coat of dustproof gabardine, pushed his right leg slowly to the ground, a little stiff from the long drive into Paris and perhaps again bothered a bit by a twinge rheumatism, and stood up to stare at the suntopped edifice above. He preferred to look up at things, like the stars, rather than down into the depths where men work and struggle below the surface... Hitler, the mighty Fuehrer of the Third Reich and master of armies swooping over Europe had come to visit Napoleon.

To Hitler it was a pilgrimage, a dream come true, and a miraculous milestone in a passion which guided at least part of his life. He came here to look at the Napoleon he had followed over the battlefields of Europe step by step... he came here to look at the hallowed spot where rests the man whose political ideas for Europe gave Hitler a basic pattern to follow. And here... lay the man by whose military mistakes Hitler swore to profit.

The German officer who greeted Hitler received a perfunctory salute .... he led the way up the ... steps to a nail-studded wooden door and pushed it open. Hitler stepped inside, walked quickly through the ante-chamber into the great rotunda under the dome, as if he knew his way in the dark... His men ... were scarcely able to follow him ... Hitler stood [unreadable] the marble balustrade and looked down into the pit at the sarcophagus inside of which Napoleon I sleeps.

He didn't salute; his cap with the golden swastika eagle stayed on his head; he just stood there with hands on the balustrade and mouth slightly open... His men keenly aware of his mood and temper tiptoed... to the balustrade and also looked down, saying nothing and most of them far from impressed by what they saw below... To them...sworn to the daily task of guarding the Nazi Fuehrer with their very lives, this was just another tomb... Their job at the moment was to keep from sneezing, coughing, or breathing too hard... They made sure the guns were easy to reach... They neveropened [sic] their mouths or talked to the Fuehrer, unless perchance he threw a word... at the nearest one... a command to bring him a glass of water or perhaps to call this or that adjutant.

I guess it was a full minute before the Fuehrer broke that strange silence which laid a cold hand on your heart there under the Dome des Invalides that dying day in July... We had been taken there a little bit earlier on our pledged word of silence on what we would see... So forestalling a leak to the outside world about an incident... they were not anxious to have published at that time... Hitler was to make his formal visit to Paris some days later, when the Nazi propaganda machine intended to go to work and make the most of it. On this day the Fuehrer had come in his own right and on a pilgrimage dear to his heart.

We stood opposite the tomb and waited, keenly watching... him. He was lost in thought, with that faraway expression again creeping over his face. He folded his arms and murmured something we could not hear; his lips moved, as if he were talking to himself, and once or twice he shook his head. Then he came out of the trance as suddenly as it had begun, and he leaned forward on the balustrade to stare more fixedly into the pit.

"Napoleon, mein lieber, they have made a bad mistake," the guttural voice of the Fuehrer said suddenly out of the void. It startled me, standing there across from a live war lord and above a dead emperor... He had sounded a bit cynical and slightly amused .... turning to his Press Chief, Otto Dietrich, to tap him on the arm. But he was talking to all before him.

"Ja, it is a big mistake they have made," Hitler repeated and into the pit . "They have put him down into a hole.People must look down [Page 8] at a coffin far below them. They eyes [sic] cannot come close and really grasp what they are looking for.

"They should look up at Napoleon, feeling small by the very size of the monument or sarcophagus above their heads. You do not impress people if you walk in a street and they are on top of a building. They must look at something above them; you must be the stage and the center of attraction above the level of all eyes. Then the mind reaches out and fastens itself upon the object or the person. It is all a matter of common psychology. The effect of Napoleon and his hold on the nation would have been much greater if people could come and actually touch the stone he sleeps in by reaching their arms up and perhaps by standing on tiptoe. This way, I must assume that the thousands who have come here before me look into their guidebook and go away without remembering more about it than about the next place. Their minds failed to grasp the greatness of Napoleon, and Napoleon down there in that pit failed to touch their hearts and affect his mission after death of keeping alive the spirit and tradition of a great epoch."

Hitler began to walk slowly around the balustrade, pausing once more at the glass door leading into the church with its tattered flags of Napoleon's wars in Europe, to look almost carelessly into the pit from the opposite side of where he had stood before. I could not help but feel that a sort of disdain had replaced the man's former intentness. "I shall never make such a mistake." Hitler said suddenly." I know how to keep my hold on people after I have passed on. I shall be the Fuehrer they look up to and go home to talk of and remember. My life shall not end in the mere form of death. It will, on the contrary, begin then.

Hitler left the Dome des Invalides, as I later found out, determined to carry out among the first things after the war the great plan for his life after death. I knew that in years gone by he had gone on the assumption that death not find him a very old man; he used to wrok [sic] out blueprints for terrific construction projects in Germany by the mile, throwing millions of men into the jobs and billions of marks. He was in a hurry then, racing his monuments against the Reaper and always saying to people that the great things he would leave undone would never be finished by those coming after him. He was firmly convinced that the furious pace and the epochal age in which he lived and moved (he really is convinced he is the motivating force and the molder of that age) would terminate soon after his death, swinging the world by nature and inclination into a long span of digestive process marked by a sort of quiet inactivity. People in his "thousand-year Reich" would build monuments to him and go around to touch and look at the things he had built, he thought. He said as much on that glorified visit of his to Rome in 1938, adding that a thousand years hence the greatness and the the [sic] ruin of his own time must intrigue the people of those faraway days. For, believe it or not, that is how the mind of this man Hitler projects itself without a blush over the centuries.

P.J.Huss, The Foe we face.pp.

[Page 9]

So it comes about that Hitler, if his Third Reich should outlast the war, might reach the point where he can prepare on this earth the material means of keeping his grip after death on the hearts and the minds of men. The plans are all made, and the blueprint lies in the vault of the Fuehrer House in Munich. In fact, the plans are a change of those from some years back, when they bored and drilled up through the throat of an Alpine peak to build the solitary Eagle's Nest for Hitler high above the clouds of his mountain chalet at Berchtesgaden.

I was up there once, in this fantastic engineer's feat of stone, steel, and glass. The idea back of it was to have a mausoleum here for Hitler after death, [unreadable] in the clouds above, over beyond the reach of the ordinary man but always there to look at from the valley far below.

They say it was built without Hitler's knowledge by a favorite architect who later died. It was intended as a great surprise to the Fuehrer from those close devotees and from that grotesque circle of Nazis clinging around him like blindfolded apostles. They believed and preached his divine inspiration and mission, convinced that his hold on the German people after death would grow to enormous proportions, drawing them to him as Mohammed draws the pilgrimages to Mecca. So they built the Eagle's Nest atop the highest peak in Berchtesgaden and presented it to him in the initial form of a teahouse and secluded place to get away from the world for a few hours....

....I happen to know that he was pleased as a child when he first [unreadable] up to that lair of the gods.

P.J.Huss,The Foe we face.pp. 215, 216

Perhaps I found out by chance on that day at Napoleon's tomb why Hitler has abandoned the idea of using the Eagle's nest as his last resting place after death. The Fuehrer felt that up at the Eagle's Nest he was far removed from the personal touch essential to the success of his plan; up at the Eagle's Nest there could be no crowds coming in future pilgrimage from the far corners of the earth to stare at him in silent awe and perhaps touch the crypt before them. His plan needs constant emotion and a play on hysteric mass minds, and the more he can arrange the means and ways of achieving this after he dies, the more surely he is assured of his goal. At least that is how he looks at it, and that is the line he is working on.

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