The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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

People don't know it yet, or at least the secret remains that of a dream for [unreadable] around him. It is this blueprint in the Fuehrer House in Munich, carefully drawn to meet every condition, that this man Hitler believes will fasten that mystic hold of his on the people within Germany after he dies. This blueprint, if ever it materializes, visualizes a great square in Munich on the spot where the city's present railway station is located.

All these tracks, all those rambling low buildings of the station, and scores of big hotels and buildings immediately facing it vanish from sight on that blueprint. From the huge square emerging here would unfold also an avenue of majestic proportions leading straight through the city to the historic street and square down which he and his brown-shirted Nazis walked in 1923, to [Page 10] meeta [sic] blast of machine-gunfire and therewith the end for another ten years of their beer-hall putsch. On that blueprint it is to be an avenue with an arch such as only the Caesars dreamed of. Hundreds of houses which would have to be razed on either side never offered it's draughtsman a moment's qualm of conscience.

As Hitler designed it with that over-busy pencil of his, a great squat and square mausoleum is to rise in the exact center of that Munich square, forming the basic mantle of a gigantic square column to rise some seven hundred feet into the air. On top of the column is to stand a great Nazi eagle holding the swastika in its claws. The spread of the wings, according to the specifications on that blueprint, from one tip to the other would measure two hundred and twenty-five feet. Columns and pillars, like the Roman temples of old would provide the chief architectural relief to the eye in the vast structure of the mausoleum. Inside, and this actually inside the hollow column above, the sarcophagus of Fuehrer I of the Third Reich would stand on a high pedestal. It would be a masterly work of German stone and artisanship, simple in its exterior design but impressive to the eye. Here, amid the eagles and flags and wreaths of Nazidom, guarded day and night by steel-helmeted men, who marched with him or the sons who come after them, Hitler could lie and keep his hold on the masses. As far as I know, he has not yet definitely decided whether it would serve his purpose best to follow the methods of Lenin in Red Square in Moscow and give the pilgrims to the shrine a glimpse of himself through a glass aperture. There are many around him he consults, or used to, with astrologers and psychologists alike on this point -- who are inclined to believe that mystery and the unseen are more powerful than the opposite.

One school of thought in the Reich, for example, is convinced that the actual sight of Lenin's body under its glass case in Moscow detracted from the mystic effort desired and secured largely a physical reaction. This school feels strongly, too, that with a glass aperture the crowd filing past naturally would stare only through the glass and fail to get into the spirit of its surroundings. In fact, they say, the average man or woman in his eager and excited state of mind at seeing Fuehrer Hitler through the glass would probably never notice or glance at anything else.

Be that as it may, am important role would naturally be played by the spectacular decoration surrounding the tomb. There is an idea for the moment of huge torches burning in an eternal flame of red fire, the smoke being drawn off through special air filters but nevertheless offering just a touch of incense.

The soft blue light always filtering upon the tomb of old Emperor William I in Berlin -- so famous and effective that tourists from all over the world used to make a beeline for it -- also has come into consideration. There would be a specially soundproof floor, carefully designed to deaden the footfalls of the passing crowd and and thus preserve the glorified silence.

Leading into and away from the shrine itself would be the doors into the various ante chambers comprising in part the museums and exhibition rooms of the things held most sacred to Nazidom. There could be seen, in one section of the structure, all the uniforms and personal things used by the Fuehrer in life. The boots, the hats, the caps, the shoes. In a special glass case the iron cross he won World War I [sic] and perhaps the Nazi-party button he originally put on as party member Number 7, back there in the roaring days of Munich of the Buergerbraeukeller and street fights with Communists. Another case no doubt would show the Fuehrer's pen-and-ink sketches and the water colors drawn by him in the lean and hungry daysbefore [sic] the World War I and later in the trenches, sold for a pittance until he came to power, when the price for each of them went sky high and the Nazis combed out all art shops and attics in the hope of taking up every last one of them. Those and the designs for his highways and Nazi edifices now standing around all over Germany as laid down in paper by him will all be in a glass case in [Page 11] [unreadable] that exhibition room. The idea would be to let the visitor see for himself the Fuehrer as he was in private life and as the leader, always stressing the simplicity and the miracle of this man. It would be effective preparation on the mental side and indelibly stamp into the mind that hero in the shrine next door lay more than just an ordinary mortal. It would be a privilege to the wandering pilgrim to come near him, even as it was in life. All this and much much more was contained in that locked-up blueprint in Munich, where Hitler always had felt more at home than in Berlin.

Pierre J.Huss: The Foe we face pp. 219, 220, 221, 222

Hitler is afraid.
But he does not say so.

I saw him scarcely a month before he declared war on the United States, and talked to him at length. It was not until the interview had long proceeded past the stage of bombast and boasting that I was able to sense the fear that is nibbling upon his strange mystic soul, keeping him awake at night.

But as ashield [sic] to these innermost feelings he shouted:

"I will outlast your President Roosevelt; I will also outlast this crazy man Churchill; I can afford to wait and take my time to win this war my way."

Beneath that close-clipped little mustache the pursed lips of this man Hitler parted for just the fraction of a second, reflecting a pin point of Russian sun in that upper gold tooth of his. His eyes of watery blue looked at me with a vacant expression, lost in thoughts far away from that spot known to the world as Fuehrer headquarters. He stood there amid the park like scene, hands folded behind his back and the great coat of rubberized field gray nearly touching his boots.

I stood on the beaten path of hard sand already slightly edged with snow and waited. The Fuehrer was doing the talking; I knew from previous experience that this was no time to interrupt him.

"I am Fuehrer of a Reich that will last for a thousand years to come," he said suddenly, as if coming out of a distant mental space. His hands sprang into gesticulate action and his gray suede glove slapped the empty palm of his ungloved hand.

"No power on earth can shake the German Reich now, Divine Providence has willed it that I carry through the fulfillment of a Germanic task.

Hitler stamped nervously with the polished right boot, a familiar habit of his and hard on the carpets.

We walked with a loose stride toward the little lake amid the birch and pine woods, scarcely aware of the birds still chirping in the wintry sun. It isn't always easy to walk with Hitler; it is an unwritten rule that you keep step no matter what the pace. Hitler is an erratic walker falling at one moment into a slow lope caused probably by a twinge of rheumatism periodically bothering his right leg; the next moment, on the urge of a sudden torrent of speech, he changes to a light and [Page 12] almost dainty quickstep, turning sidewise to talk while slapping the palm of the left hand with his glove. Curiously enough he never looks back over his shoulder.

I stopped along with him, keeping just a fraction of a pace behind. Some years before, when I had first met and interviewed the Nazi Fuehrer high up in his Bavarian alpine chalet in Berchtesgaden, I had learned from brief instructions preceding the interview to keep my hands in plain sight. Even here in the open woods it would be a faux pas to put your hands in your pocket in company of the Fuehrer. He might get nervous, and if not his lynx-eyed bodyguard and uniformed shadows would definitely dislike your attitude. Even his field marshals and generals scarcely do otherwise, and by common consent they leave their service sidearms behind when around the Fuehrer.

We can to a turn in the path leading back to Fuehrer headquarters. On the sun bench alongside the lake's edge a squirrel was busy gathering supplies for the winter. Hitler slowed up and motioned to me to look. He reached into the pocket of his coat and brought forth a paper bag of hazelnuts. Quietly, and with a half-smile on his pinkish face, he walked forward toward the squirrel, holding some nuts in the open palm of his right hand. The bushy-tailed little fellow looked with bright eyes at the man and his nuts, and waited to be coaxed. Then, with a quick jump, it ran up his coat and climbed into his hand, calmly gathering the nuts in its paws and sit there [sic] chattering. The Fuehrer and master of nearly all of Europe was pleased as Puncj [sic]. He chuckled and talked to the little animla [sic]. forgetful of the world around him and the thousands fighting and dying at his command far out there on the Russian steppes.

"Ja, if the world would only mind its own business like this little squirrel," he said suddenly and brushed bushy-tail aside. We resumed a slowerwalk [sic], and the half-dozen S.S. guards and yes men always around him moved forward at appropriate distance behind us.

"It gathers in food [sic] to live and keeps itself busy in the business of getting it all its life. That was all I wanted to do before the madmen made me change my plans and fight for the existence of Germany. I had plans and work for my people for fifty years to come, and didn't need a war to stay in office like the Daladiers and Chamberlains. And for that matter, Herr Roosevelt of America."

My ears pricked up a slight edge of annoyance in the voice of the Fuehrer when he mentioned Roosevelt. I looked at him out of the corner of my eye and saw his brow pucker beneath the visored cap with just a slight frown. Instinctively I felt thatwe [sic] had touched a sore spot, easy to guess and easy to irritate into a mental outburst. He was inwardly bitter and vindictive against the man he obviously considered his greatest political and personal foe, a man at the head of a state more powerful and more resourceful in a different way than his own, and therefore to him a direct menace and danger. I felt intuitively that just for that second and [sic] icy chill had creptbetween [sic] us. It struck me suddenly, with unmistakable clarity, that I had stumbled on a secret locked within the Fuehrer's breast, a secret he would never let out and which he may never admit having.

_Pierre J.Huss: The Foe we face. pp.

[Page 13]

"Ja, Herr Roosevelt and his Jews!"

The now-scowling Hitler added this as an afterthought. He seemed to be talking to himself, forgetful of the American at his side, and brooding over the man he hated.

A cold rain mixed with a bit of sleet had begun despite the patches of sunlight peering out of fast driving clouds. We reached the glass door leading into the central house of Fuehrer headquarters that looked not unlike a comfortable hunting lodge. Inside the small hall with its mounted deer heads, flunkies with booted black pants and white coats without ornament took our things and deferentially stepped aside. So did everybody else around that house, giving you the uncomfortable feeling that no one but the Fuehrer should be heard or seen, lest perhaps a blitz of unrestrained temper and authority hit the man nearest the volcano. That has happened time and again, coming and going with the destructive and startling force of a whirlwind.

Hitler walked around the plainly furnished reception room with its little round table surrounded by easy chairs and a sofa. The whole was the familiar reproduction in mixture of Hitler's personal style in reception rooms and chancellories at Munich and Berlin and Berchtesgaden., all slightly on the stiff side with a restrained reach for the dignified.

A fire of split logs blazed cheerily on the hearth. A shepherd dog with a swastika collar strolled lazily up to Hitler and nuzzled his hand. He stroked the head, motioning me to sit down opposite. Others like his unimaginative Press Chief Otto Dietrich and Chief Interpreter Schmidt, also came around to sit there and listening silent obedience.

By no stretch of the imagination could one call a partylike [sic] this a gay or inspiring occasion. A taste of the formidable, mixed with suspense and the uneasy feeling of something unreal, pervaded the room. It seemed very warm around there suddenly. and on the back of my neck I felt the slight moisture of perspiration. Yet I do not perspire easily.

The Fuehrer looked at a message held before him on a tablet by one of his military adjutants. Without glancing at the man who had brought the message, he scribbled on the pad and pushed it away. He sat forward again and held his hands between his knees.

There was a moment of hesitation as his eyes came to rest upon me, striving, no doubt for a split second to identify again this mortal before him.

"I know how to wait," the nervous mouth said suddenly with a quick draw of breath. "Ja, and I can wait. I waited three years for Austria, and at the end of that time, despite all the mischief and opposition again me paid political criminal and elements in and outside of Europe, I got back Austria without firing a shot.

He began rubbing his knees in growing agitation.

The right boot dug into the carpet again, this time almost viciously.

Hitler talked on, scarcely pausing for breath. Inside his peculiar mind he was then and there already at grips with Roosevelt, mentally grasping for the throat of his deadly foe and tearinghim [sic] to bits in an inborn rage over wrongs and grievances he believes he has suffered at the hands of the man with the smile in Washington.

I sat there listening to his tirade of bitterness rooted in fear; he gave the impression of a man who had had a vision in his grasp only [Page 14] to have it torn out of his hands again bythe [sic] elusive foe who haunted his dreams.

Pierre J.Huss: The Foe we face. 1942. pp.

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