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Anon. The Strange Death Of Adolf Hitler (1939)

Anon. The Strange Death Of Adolf Hitler (1939)

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Published by bookbender
From Publisher's statement of early/mid 1939:

"The real Hitler died September 29, 1938, on the eve of the Munich Pact, and is being impersonated by his double.

An article in The New Yorker, December 10, 1938, described the four official doubles, one of whom even had a voice like Hitler's, with the suggestion that there might be more; and with data about the doubles of Mussolini and Stalin as well.

History has at times known such mysteries in the past; and in the long run the usual result has been the reluctant discovery that the strange revelation is the truth, or an understatement of it. Whether Hitler is physically dead and an opportunist double is rubber-stamping in his name, or whether the death is symbolic but no less real, it still remains that this amazing document is the most important book out of Nazi Germany."
From Publisher's statement of early/mid 1939:

"The real Hitler died September 29, 1938, on the eve of the Munich Pact, and is being impersonated by his double.

An article in The New Yorker, December 10, 1938, described the four official doubles, one of whom even had a voice like Hitler's, with the suggestion that there might be more; and with data about the doubles of Mussolini and Stalin as well.

History has at times known such mysteries in the past; and in the long run the usual result has been the reluctant discovery that the strange revelation is the truth, or an understatement of it. Whether Hitler is physically dead and an opportunist double is rubber-stamping in his name, or whether the death is symbolic but no less real, it still remains that this amazing document is the most important book out of Nazi Germany."

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ONE especial shadow hovered lower and lower over
Germany, over the President's Palais. The senile old
warrior, von Hindenburg, grew sicker and sicker, and
death could not be too far ahead. Who would be the new
President, and who then would be his Chancellor? In
both camps plans and plots grew more and more feverish.
For in that moment it would be too late to plan, it would
be time to act only. Only the Leader seemed to keep his
head in the snarl of plot and counterplot.
On April 18th, at the suggestion of the vulture, Goeb-
bels, Captain Roehm was invited to speak before a dis-
tinguished gathering at the Propaganda Ministry—the as-
sembled diplomatic corps and the foreign press. I was there
when the invitation was extended, and I will never forget
the black laughter deep in the little hunchback's eyes, as
he discussed it with the Chief of Staff.
"What shall I tell them?" asked Roehm straightfor-

wardly.

"Talk out," said Goebbels, craning his head closer. "Tell
them what's really in your heart. The world is saying we
have slowed down. They say—"
"We have," said Roehm unhappily. "That's the damned-

est part of it."

164

THE STRANGE DEATH

"Ach, but we will end that, soon! It is time the mach-
inations of the Reaktion are firmly put down. Listen,
Captain, the revolution was not a quietist movement, no?
Your Storm Troopers are not content to sit back forever
and see Germany slump back again into the slough it was
in under the old Junkers, and later under the corrupt
Marxists, are they?"
Roehm snorted. "Let them talk to you as they talk to
me, and you'll soon see how content they are! It's all I
can do to hold them back, as it is."
"Good, good!" Goebbels' eyes gleamed eerily. "Tell
them so—the representatives of the foreign governments,
the unofficial spokesmen of the foreign press, who will
spread to the world what our aims really are! After all,
we are of the revolution, you and I! No one has ever
called me Rightist!"
"By God, I will, and thanks to you for the wise advice!"
He strutted cockily away, to prepare his speech. In his
head it buzzed that Goebbels was slowly moving over to
set himself behind the Chief of Staff.
I myself wondered a little at Goebbels' attitude. He was
one of the aggressive revolutionists, certainly; but it was
quite as certain that he was no friend of Roehm's. Why
should he be giving so much of the propaganda spotlight
to the Chief of Staff? More and more I realized that I was
living in a web of intrigue, petty and great, spun on all
sides of me; and that my one course was to avoid all of it
and see nothing, hear nothing, know nothing, except the
task I was named for to substitute for the Leader when
need arose.

Roehm's direct talk startled the world. It was almost a
personal promise of action, of something strangely akin to

OF ADOLF HITLER

the Second Revolution that the Storm Troopers were for-
ever talking about. It sent the Reaktion scurrying into
their corners, desperately planning some method of stav-
ing off the inevitable fate that seemed just around the
corner for them.
Two days later, Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS,
was named Chief of the Gestapo—the Geheime Staats-
polizei, or secret state police. This was the day that my sly
suggestion had had Erik von Arnheim sent to Bremen by
Hitler, to quiet a threatened disaffection among Nazi
sailors there; and I knew he would say his own word to
the shipowners too. It had been almost two weeks since
he had been away, and Ulrica's little note telling the good
news sent me strutting around in mid-afternoon to make
up a little for lost time. As instructed, I tapped on the
side hall door of the apartment, and the little maid, wide-
eyed, let me in. She adored her lovely mistress, and was
wholly sympathetic to my visits and the wisdom of keep-
ing themfrom the unsuspicious husband.
"She is in the bedroom, waiting for you," she whis-
pered, with brightened eyes.
I gave her a kiss and a reasonable tip and hurried quietly
in to Ulrica. She was utterly ravishing in a black mousse-
line de soie negligée; and, at my suggestion, she wore it
without the slip of crushed velvet that hid her more in-
timate beauties from her husband and others. She flung
herself into my arms for such a passionate welcome that
for a few moments I forgot the good news I was bearing.
And then I told her.
"Bravo! Then we are winning!" She coiled up at the
head of the bed, bewitching in her disheveled loveliness.
"I did not think that the damned Reaktion could gain

166

THE STRANGE DEATH

any real headway. First Roehm's splendid speech, and now
this! Göring must be a volcano of rage."
"I have not seen the Herr General since it was an-
nounced." I smiled at her. "But, dear God, since the
Gestapo was his own child, since he created it just a year
ago, and put his own creatures over it—that vile Diels,
who's been cracking skulls for the police since the worst
days of the Marxist régime—he must be raging."
"Just an example of what I mean, chéri," she said to
me earnestly. "He's not even a Nazi, that Diels—just a
lickspittle for the Junkers and the capitalists. Surely Herr
Hitler won't turn the future of the Party and the govern-
ment over to swine like that! He must be coming around
to Roehm's point of view."
"And yet, Goebbels has me puzzled. He is no friend of
Roehm's, no. Nevertheless he seems to be playing into the
Captain's hands. This very morning he told the Leader
that he was about to let loose another Niagara of propa-
ganda against petty critics and alarmists, killjoys and all
the forces of the Reaktion. There must be some reason
behind it. . . . Oh, and there's more in the air, too. Cap-
tain Roehm has persuaded the Leader to combine with
Gregor Strasser again—and there is a real revolutionary
for you, boor though he may be! He's actually sent
'Fraulein' Hess to invite him back into the Cabinet, with
the portfolio of Economics. Think what a threat that will
be to the Reaktion!"
"Sweet, sweet, it is all too good to be true! We are
winning, we are winning! And I believe it is you who are
really doing it, my Little Adolf. Come, I amwild for
you!"

Vidi, vicisti, veni. . . . Just about five I dressed again,

OF ADOLF HITLER

167

and the maid slipped me out of the side hall door. I walked
down to the floor below to take the elevator; at six I ap-
peared formally at the main door and was admitted by the
butler for dinner. But it was from the side door I left,
just before dawn, at peace with the world. And I had
things to report to the Leader too; for I never forgot my
pleasant duty of finding out for him all about Ulrica that
he wanted to know: which had become entirely irrelevant
to what I wanted to know about her, of course.
That afternoon, Reichstagpraesident Göring called in
person on the Leader, with evil fury in his eyes. What did
the Leader want, his resignation? How dared he remove
Diels from the headship of the Gestapo, without even con-
sulting Göring in advance? How could there be loyalty
to the Party, when old and tried members of it were
passed over like this?
For more than an hour Hitler argued with him. The
principle of Leadership must be supreme. It was far wiser
to have the head of each organ of the general front re-
sponsible directly to himself, and not burden his able
assistants with the task of serving as conduits between
their underlings and him. It was not fair to Göring to
overburden him, troubled as he already was with his
headship of the Reichstag, minister, Ministerpraesident of
Prussia, and general.

But Göring was not to be mollified so easily. "It is the
end." he said heavily. "Would God I were buried in
Sweden with Karin." His voice was all bitterness.
At this, the sensitive Leader broke into tears—a hysteric
outburst of feminine tears. Once or twice before I had
seen him give way to his emotions so; and I could never
understand a man's crying out of sheer baffled pique.

THE STRANGE DEATH

The Baroness, he said, had been the noblest woman he
had ever known; it was the tragedy of tragedies that the
dreadful white plague had taken her the very year before
the Party had won its first great success.
"But she should not lie on Swedish soil, General," he
said, quieting his tears at last. "She was surely German,
folkic, Nordic, to the core. The greatest mausoleum in all
Berlin is too small to hold her soaring spirit; at least, it
can hold all mortal that is left of her."
"I have thought of bringing her body back," said
Göring heavily. "Yes, she should lie in German soil. Each
day I kneel and pray before her picture, in my own
study." His huge face stained red with embarrassment.
"I thought of making a shrine for her there. Surely she
is more worthy of worship than this Jewish trull wor-
shipped by Christians as the Mother of God."
"You will let me kneel before the shrine, too," said
Hitler earnestly. "That is the sort of Nordic religion that
we need. And, my well-beloved friend, may I not go with
you to get her body? May I not ride with you in the car
that escorts her to her last resting place on German soil?"
They parted as two strong men shaken with grief.
Only after Göring left did I see Hitler straighten up, his
eyebrows lifted, his nostrils faintly curled. "We need more
funerals in Germany, Little Adolf," said the Leader
cryptically. "It would clear the atmosphere."
But he said no more than this.
There were other things happening, but all obscure.
Von Arnheim and the Leader talked before me once, with
references to a pact that the Leader had made with von
Blomberg on the Deutschland in mid-April; and that
Erik had the general's word that the Right group, even

OF ADOLF HITLER

169

with von Schleicher present at the Bad Nauheim confer-
ence a month later, had agreed to support the Leader,
provided what had been promised was carried out. It was
all cryptic, all mystifying, to me. It almost seemed to me
that Hitler was laying his eggs in both nests. Statesman-
ship was not elementary arithmetic, that much was clear.
But most of the talk in the Chancellery was of the
Leader's visit to Venice, on June 14th, to talk with Il
Duce. Hitler was sullen when he returned, and it was to
me he exploded most. Swine, he called him; greasy Italian
swine! In confidence he told it to me, he had informed
Mussolini that he was prepared to execute a coup in France
itself, with Paris, Lyons and other strategic centers laid
under a blanket of poison gas, and the country overrun
fromBerlin in twenty-four hours. Yet Il Duce had been
most inconsiderate, when asked merely to give his spiritual
support to the planned subjugation of Germany's eternal
enemy. Instead of agreeing, he had insisted on receiving
a pledge of full recognition of Austrian autonomy,—as

if planning to prevent in advance the Anschluss. He had
even dared suggest that Hitler might well learn that one
type of men make a revolution, and another type are
chosen to rule thereafter: a direct slap at Roehm. It was
only later that we learned of the wily Italian's further
betrayal of German aspirations in notifying the French
of the planned coup, and leading to the swift French
mobilization along the borders.

This was Saturday, the 16th. On the next day the re-
mains of the Baroness Karin Fock, Göring's first wife,
were interred in the soil of the Fatherland that has so
many graves, with such strangely assorted people in them.
It was not a quiet time. There had been another interview

170

THE STRANGE DEATH

between the Leader and Roehm, and it had been explosive.
Again, I alone, except for the Blackshirts in the window
embrasures, had been the only outsider present.
"The discontent has become too great, Ernst," said Hit-

ler, writhing at his defeat in Venice, and out of temper
with the world. "Reports from every section of Germany
say that the Storm Troopers bray about nothing but the
Second Revolution."
"Can I cut their tongues off, or their hearts out?" de-
manded Roehmfiercely. "Goebbels, too, has talked of it,
when he is not throwing the Communists at the Reaktion
to put them in a panic."

"I will have no more of it," said the Leader coldly. "It
must stop. It is almost time for the annual vacation for
your Brownshirts. Let them spend it learning silence."
Roehm's face flushed. "That is all they have been hav-
ing—that vacation without pay called unemployment,
called inactivity, called peace. If only we could have been
let loose on France! But I will end the talk of the Second
Revolution, my Leader, by one simple word—that the
Storm Troopers are to be absorbed into the Reichswehr!"
"They may come in," the Leader's tone was colder than
ever, "but only when and how I will it. It may seem wise
to introduce conscription at any time. They may all come
in, then, simply by qualifying by the accepted system of
selective recruiting the Reichswehr demands."
"They won't accept that crust!"

Hitler's jaws grew firmer. "Advise them to use their
two months of vacation to reflect on the matter then,
Ernst. This calls for mature deliberation. I am sure you
will agree with me." His face hardened. "And no SA uni-

OF ADOLF HITLER

171

form is to be seen on the streets during that period,
Ernst."

"The men won't stand it! They are pleading now to
have the furlough cancelled. It is the betrayal of the revo-

lution!"

Hitler rose slowly to his feet. "Strange words, to ad-
dress to the Leader. I am sure you do not mean them,
Ernst. Think it over, and see if I am not all wise. You are
still Chief of Staff, and highest in my regard. But not for
words like that. Consider. Deliberate. You are not all
Germany."
"You are not all Germany!"
"My friend, when I speak, I speak for all Germany, and
all the Party too. Go. I will expect you soon to tell me
you are sorry for your loss of control. Soon."

"Oh, hell, I'm sorry. But if you think this is the way to
win the revolution—Himmelherrgottsacrament! Ach,
good day, Adolf." And he flounced sulkily away.
Sunday, just before noon, the Leader summoned me.
His face was harried. I saw General Göring and several of
the more conservative Party members present. General
von Blomberg and several of his staff were in attendance,
too. I noticed that they wore service revolvers ostenta-
tiously on their hips, a thing I had never seen permitted
before.

"I am attending the services over the remains of Frau
Göring," the Leader took me aside and told me. "There
is a restlessness in the air. It is too damnably still; I smell
a storm. Perhaps you had best ride in the car in front of
me.

"You mean—as Der Führer?"

172

THE STRANGE DEATH

He shook his head. "Bodyguard merely. Unless there is
a change of plans."
"Why the heavy artillery?" I glanced toward the dis-
play of revolvers.
His face stiffened. "July 1st will be critical: when the
brown shirts are peeled off of the malcontents. Until
then. . . . All the staff officers go armed so."
After the solemn ceremonies at the new tomb for the
remains of the Swedish wife, Hitler walked a few feet
away with me. "I do not like funerals, Little Adolf. From
a boy, I have feared them. I always fancy that I myself
am about to be lowered down into the grave, and the lid
of the coffin sealed and screwed down forever, and the
dirt and stones piled on me, never to be removed again.
I should not have come; but I had promised. I felt to-
day, stronger than ever, that it was I who was there in
the coffin, and Germany's future with me. No, Germany
will go on," his face showed agony, "but I wish to go on
with it! There is a bitter word abroad, too, that Karl
Ernst refuses to disband his Storm Troopers, and will
dare try to occupy Berlin, and even murder all of the gen-
eral staff. God in heaven, whom can I trust? So. . . ."
He studied me fixedly. "You I can trust. Listen, we will

all walk together to the cars, and I will slip into the dark-
ness of Göring's car, and do you sit in my place, with
Schreck driving you, no?"

"All as you wish, my Leader."

We walked in a thick clot past Göring's car; the Leader
stepped quietly inside, and I for a moment got in beside
him. In that moment off came the wig, out came the wax

in my nostrils. I reached for his dogwhip. And then, face
altered to his likeness, striding stiffly, I moved forward and

OF ADOLF HITLER

173

occupied for the return the seat he had occupied riding
out to the mausoleum.
It did not seem so welcoming, my Germany, on that
ride back. The sky had grown sallow and leprous, and
rowdy, brawling gusts snapped the tree branches sud-
denly upward, till leaves hardly born fell plummet-like
to the darkened earth. The funeral had not been an-
nounced, and none knew that the Leader was to be pres-
ent. There were no packed thousands along the way, with
their frantic "Heil Hitler!", like wine to the soul. There
was the usual Sunday afternoon crowd out on promenade.
Most often these were clotted on some corner to listen to
some malcontent airing his earned misfortunes, or a group
of these, bickering scowlingly over what was to be done.
And many of them, seeing the official guard before us and
the official cars behind, stood lowering as we passed, and
fists were shaken with hideous violence the moment we
had passed.

"Hoodlums!" said Schaub, who was beside me.
"Dogs!" the chauffeur threw back over his shoulder.
"If I were the Leader, I would order the bastards to
smile."

We were within five blocks of the Chancellery when it
happened. There was a denser mob on a street corner here
than we had yet passed. As the leading car neared, these
surged aimlessly into the street. The chauffeur of the first
car had to slow down, to avoid running down the saunt-
erers. Schreck, who was driving for us, did the same. We
were momentarily almost at a standstill.
At that moment, the glint of late sunlight on metal
struck my eye, from a balconied window above where the
mob had been thickest. I stared with peculiar fascination

174

THE STRANGE DEATH

at it. And then at one and the identical moment I felt
something slice through my left shoulder, and I heard a
faint popping sound, far quieter than a car's backfiring.
Then, as I automatically cowered back in pain, a bullet
pinged into the woodwork right in front of me.
The car ahead had speeded up, and Schreck had fol-

lowed.

I steeled all my nerves against the searing pain in my
left shoulder. "I think he winged me," I said, through

tensed teeth.

"Shot?" gawped Schaub.
"Naturally."
"Serious?"
"—My shoulder."
"Dung, that's nothing! I've been drilled through the
body too damned often. . . . You know, a shoulder
wound doesn't bleed much. Bet you twenty marks you
can't walk across the sidewalk and into the Chancellery
without flinching!"
"Take you," I said. "I will, or you carry me in."
"Thank God he was in the next car," breathed the
guard, with relief. "Dung!"
The car stopped in front of the Chancellery entrance.
Things were jumping up and down inside of me. But I
was to walk without flinching across the sidewalk and into
the building. I marched it as the Leader himself would
have done, Schaub a step or two behind me. He did
quicken his steps a trifle at the very end.

I heard our car whirr off and the car behind, containing
the Leader, grind to a standstill. The great door swung
silently open. I walked into the entrance hall. I saw
Schaub's face staring with huge eyes down at me, as I
knew the room was falling, and then knew nothing.

OF ADOLF HITLER

175

CHAPTER XII

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