THE

STRANGE DEATH OF ADOLF HITLER
" A n A m a z i n g D o c u m e n t of W o r l d - S h a k i n g Importance."

T H E S T R A N G E DEATH OF A D O L F HITLER

PUBLISHER'S N O T E : We predict that the facts disclosed by this astounding book will develop world interest u n equalled since Chamberlain's visits to G e r m a n y last F a l l .

W h a t is the sensational suppressed truth b e h i n d the zig-zag course of G e r m a n d i p l o m a c y since the d a y of the M u n i c h Pact?

W h a t was Chamberlain

the

appalling

situation that c o n f r o n t e d darkened rooms at

i n the

carefully

M u n i c h and Godesberg? A n d how does this account for his mystifying hesitations d u r i n g those hours o f life or death? • • • W h a t are the details of H i t l e r ' s threats of suicide? H o w d i d J u l i u s Schreck, H i t l e r ' s chauffeur, meet his death i n 1936? W h a t is in back o f the strangely persistent in L o n d o n a n d elsewhere that the real A d o l f is dead? rumors Hitler "double" and

THE STRANGE DEATH OF ADOLF HITLER
fires a bombshell whose detonations w i l l be heard intimate around the world. Its appalling revelations, the you the most astounding reading ever printed.

The Strange Death of

Adolf Hitler
Anonymous

New York

The Macaulay C m a y o pn

COPYRIGHT, BY THE MACAU1AY

1939, COMPANY

Printed in the United States of America

PUBLISHER'S S T A T E M E N T O n the last Friday in January, 1939, we were presented with the most unusual manuscript that has come to us in thirty years of publishing. The unimpeachable sources from which it emanated were a guarantee of its authenticity. The immense world-importance of the facts stated in the document gave us no alternative but to present it to the world without delay. The central and most vital fact is that Adolf Hitler, the N a z i Fuehrer and dictator, was assassinated at 2:13 A . M . on September 29, 1938, the night before the consummation of the Munich Pact; and that an opportunist double is ruling i n his stead. In view of the importance of this matter, a brief statement of the facts connected with our receipt of the manuscript is essential. It was handed to us by a German officer high i n the German merchant marine, who had just arrived from the other side, and at once telephoned for an appointment and called on us. We had known him for a number of years; and knew that, like so many of his fellow-officers, he did not approve of Nazi excesses or the Nazi philosophy, although his position of course depended upon his concealing this. "When asked for the particular purpose of this unexpected national secret of immense importance, which he wished us to publish, i f we thought it wise. This secret, he said, was the fact that Adolf Hitler was dead, and had been dead since the night before the Munich Pact was arrived at.

PUBLISHER'S S T A T E M E N T We brought out the January 14th copy of The New Yorker from our files, and showed him the two-column story there on page 66, claiming that Hitler had been killed in Hamburg in 1935, and that from one to four doubles were ruling in his place. But we explained that this was a facetious spoof story, not meant to be believed. His face grew grave, as he read through the article. The facts in it were nonsense, he said; but he had the real facts, and a full statement as long as a book to prove it. We asked to see the statement. He first secured our promise never to connect his name with the matter; for that would mean more than his loss of livelihood; it would mean at the least disgrace and imprisonment, with a strong probability of death, the usual punishment for tactless frankness in Germany today. A n d then he brought out a huge grimy manila envelop, which had been hidden inside his coat, liberally marred with broken red wax seals, and laid it before us. He pulled out first a brief note in French, and laid it before us. It was simple enough to translate: M . Michel Simon Compagnie Transatlantique Nice, France Dear Unknown Friend: I am asking you to treasure the enclosed statement, and at the time of my death make it public to the world. As to why I have a right to ask this favor of you, you may ascertain by asking your mother who Maximilian Bauer was, and whether you do not owe him at least this. Respectfully, Maximilian Bauer

PUBLISHER'S S T A T E M E N T We asked him to tell just how the document came into his possession, which he proceeded to do. This note, he said, had been outside of the sealed package. O n this present cruise trip they had put up in Monte Carlo, and he had run up to Nice for the day. Michel Simon was a young friend in the office of the Compagnie Transatlantique in Nice. He had dropped in to see him. They had gone to a cafe together, and then, at Michel's insistence, to the young Frenchman's rooms, two squares away. There Michel had told him of receiving this parcel by special courier from Switzerland the day before. Out of curiosity, after reading the note, Michel had opened it. But it was all in German, he pointed out, and he knew no German. Moreover, his mother had been dead for eleven years. The German seemed to be something about Adolf Hitler. Could it all be a joke? Would not his friend the German officer glance at it, and say whether it should be thrown away, or what? But by this time the German merchant marine officer had to catch the bus to return to Monte Carlo and his ship; and so he said that it was impossible. Michel announced that he did not want the document; it might amuse his friend to translate it on the long trip across the Atlantic, and, the next time they met, tell him what it was all about. He had never heard of Maximilian Bauer, he insisted, and he washed his hands of the matter. A n d so the German officer bundled up the documents in their original envelop, and left with them. The night after leaving Funchal, having nothing to do, he opened the package and read all night. It was all so incredibly important that he finished it the next night, and began to decide what to do with it. The world must know it now, that was clear; and yet, his own name could

in his opinion. He was to have eight days in New York City before being transferred to another ship on a South American cruise line. We read through the first few pages with growing amazement. He agreed to finish the translation in a week. "There is no possible doubt of it. Since two-thirteen A . and asked him if. he suffered from the government veto of his having money to spend in foreign ports. H e handed us the meticulously written version in English. M . on the morning of September 29. " N o one but one at the very heart of the Nazi machine could have known some of the things there put down. and that there would be royalties for him later. it was authentic." Like all Germans visiting outside of the Reich. although we i n Germany know them. We looked first into the matter of Hitler's doubles. or in such detail. that have never been told to the world. We assured him that we would see that he received the translator's fee. but not so definitely. H e thought of his friendship with us. We asked to see the translation. Already much more than half of it was completed. and it knows me by no other name. starting with these words that will soon be so familiar to the world: My name is Adolf Hitler. and did. and set to work translating it.PUBLISHER'S S T A T E M E N T not be connected with it. We checked up on two other matters." he said. By this name the world knows me. we had the accuracy of his translation checked. Even while he was working on it. I have been the only Adolf Hitler alive on earth. to make sure that the very idiom of the original had been wholly preserved. and the attempts on his . 1938.

December 10. page 11. When we first read them. We next checked the utterances given to Hitler. " W h y doesn't somebody shoot Hitler?" I found that many of the authorities amplified this data. in his standard masterpiece Inside Europe * had this to say of his major double: Another member of this company. a man who resembles him so startlingly that he can substitute for him. we tried to check the facts included. on public occasions. Most of * 1938 Edition. that Nazis seriously said that the Jew was a parasite instead of a human being. Göring. and who has fancifully been called the highest paid man in Germany—according to the London Daily Telegraph—is Hitler's double. We found that all of these attitudes were given accurately in this book. Last of all. if necessary. von Arnheim.PUBLISHER'S S T A T E M E N T life. for i n stance. We found it hard to believe. that Hitler had actually said that Germany must annihilate France. The facts. whose name is unknown. ** p. and so on. that they called the Lambeth Walk a Jewish conspiracy. 1938. and that here we had the first full-length portrait of all the major leaders in the movement. and with data about the doubles of Mussolini and Stalin as well. Goebbels. So accurate and conservative a commentator as John Gunther.** with the suggestion that there might be more. i n T H E S T R A N G E D E A T H O F A D O L F H I T L E R came entirely within the range of possibility. The theme of this article was. they seemed to be perversions or caricatures of Nazi sayings. . A n article in The New Yorker. described the four official doubles. 118. then. one of whom even had a voice like Hitler's. and the other Nazi leaders.

threats. lacking the former internal stabilizer. Most of these have been rigorously minimized or denied in Germany. A n d certainly the hysterical course of German machinations since the Munich Pact indicates that something is sorely wrong with the rowdy Nazi machine there. When the lion is away. we find authorities who place him in Vienna on that day. and faculties for suicide. As to the attempts to kill Hitler. but. and for the first time gives the world more of the true story. The only difference is that this statement is amplified. permitting the most eccentric excesses of conduct. The book will speak for itself. the jackals go berserk. The same applies to Hitler's plans. it is clear that the voice of shrewd authority is missing. when each German was officially invited to surrender his mistress to productive labor and motherhood. as i f the flywheel had been unexpectedly removed. in 1936.PUBLISHER'S S T A T E M E N T them are entirely accurate. and certain earlier and later incidents. When the Nazi government openly adopted its incredible policy of anti-Semitic rapine in late 1938. A few have eluded us. when plans for a Pan-Nazi Europe were stressed i n public utterances. A few incidents appear to be slightly out of order. more undisciplined minds. the record is fuller. yet word leaks out. Julius Schreck.—but these never affect the framework of the whole. from lesser. We know now rather surely the facts of the death of his double and chauffeur. again. We can find no official record of the suicide of Ulrica von at Nürnberg. Since it has become Arn availab . this may have been intentional obfuscation by the use of doubles.

it still remains that this amazing document is the most i m portant book out of Nazi Germany.PUBLISHER'S S T A T E M E N T ate publication. History has at times known such mysteries i n the past. even i f this were not pathetic Herr Bauer's intention. or an understatement of it. . or whether the death is symbolic but no less real. "Whether Hitler is physically dead and an opportunist double is rubber-stamping in his name. and in the long run the usual result has been the reluctant discovery that the strange revelation is the truth. THE PUBLISHERS.

CONTENTS CHAPTER PUBLISHER'S STATEMENT I Page 5 17 DICTATOR T H E FIRST M I S T A K E UNDERSTUDY FOR A U P A L O N E L Y ROAD H O W ODD O F GOD T H E SIGN F R O M H E A V E N T H E VISITOR A T M I D N I G H T T H E L O N G SHADOW OF HORST WESSEL DAY ROME II III IV V VI 34 47 63 79 97 117 128 138 151 163 175 186 199 VII VIII IX X XI XII XIII XIV XV XVI XVII XVIII ULRICA V O N A R N H E I M T H E UNENDING EMERGENCY I N W H I C H A B U L L E T DOES N O T MISS A P U R G E IS PRESCRIBED SPILT B L O O D A T WIESSEE T H E PURGE I N BERLIN " U N T O M E A L L P O W E R IS GIVEN---" 210 222 234 252 T H E MOTHERS OF T H E RACE THE GERMAN NARCISSUS T H E MATTER OF HERTA FUCHS .

CONTENTS CHAPTER XIX XX XXI XXII XXIII XXIV XXV XXVI XXVII XXVIII Page I FACE M Y O W N PROBLEM T H E COBRA STRIKES T H E S E E D IS S O W N T H E TIDE F L O W S EAST T H E F L O O D T I D E RISES DEATH I N MUNICH I A M T H E RESURRECTION "LITTLE M A N . W H A T N O W ? " T H E SKY GROWS D A R K E R Y E T TO B E OR N O T TO B E 265 276 291 303 315 328 340 351 361 372 .

THE STRANGE OF ADOLF DEATH HITLER .

I am writing down a bald skeleton of certain important events in which I was central. . I know well that Herr Gott was a bogy-man invented by the Judenschweine. 1938. In view of what sooner or later must be my next step. to gull the higher race and its allied nations after death. I would not care to appear before him behind a mask. I am pagan through and through.CHAPTER I T H E FIRST M I S T A K E Y name is Adolf Hitler. I will not let the one I must wear till death bloat me forever before other men. M . This is through no superstition. By this name the world knows me. I desire the name I was born with to appear on my tomb. To myself. and my colossal secret buried eternally with me. I have been the only Adolf Hitler alive on earth. as they endeavor to gull us through life. Since thirteen minutes past 2 A . But if there were a Herr Gott with his Purge on the Judgment Day. leprous domino I now wear. and it knows me by no other name. on the ghastly morning of September 29. God be thanked. there is no mask. Like all true Nazis and members of the superior German race. least of all behind that ghastly. Only thus may I correct the minutes of history before they are approved through error or ignorance and added to man's permanently recorded archives. and 17 M .

you can see off to the left the Danube where the Inn flows to greaten it. Passau. in Passau. What it still means to me has nothing to do with this strange and incredible segment of my life since. I prefer it. was only a governess in the home of the one deputy to the Reichstag living in Passau. to the right.— that is. cloven as it then was by the foul machinations of the Slavophile Hapsburgs. and my parents were married just before my sister Theresa was . What I was before that means nothing to the world. as far as I remember their precise sequence. and will badge me until my own hand or the hand of another has ended my life. May 1. to the one that badges me now before men. then. From the eastern window in the second story bedroom where I began life. 1890. with great reason. Lower Bavaria. it is Austria—that Waldviertel where Adolf Hitler himself was born. the facts of my life since the night of January 29. is the most typically folkic or racialist city in this heart of real Germany. I will in direct chronological order set down. and the heights of the Bohmerwald. I was born Maximilian Bauer just before sunrise on Thursday. who should give credit where credit belongs for the world that Germany has rebuilt. im wunderschöne Monat Mai. his cousin. I was the eldest of three children. while below. M y father was an apothecary. for all that favorable officials have not flattered it in the official census figures. before I arrive at that night of the first great mistake. Even the house I was born in looked out on the two halves of a divorced world. with a degree from Munich and his own shop. my mother.18 T H E STRANGE D E A T H before the folkic historians of the future. I preface with a brief word of needed explanation. 1933. I desire the name I was born with to appear on my tomb. These facts.

M y uncle was as much a success as my father had been a failure. and he taught me his secret of success. although she was but a few years beyond twenty. and had become converted. who had been apprenticed as a youth to a Protestant importer there. and I often saw my mother break into weeping when he taunted her about my paternity. and I attended university there. who had lived with my uncle Fritz when he was an apprentice. when I was barely three. and then it is the time to open the door. and little else except -a certain disease from the woman I boarded with in my last year at the University. She was the wife of one of the porters at the university. and I attended gymnasium there. and I was schooled first by the Brothers. who was an importer of drugs and chemicals at Nürnberg. When I was graduated from gymnasium. But it was . She seemed very mature to me. I shifted to Basle to live with her. but he would add that her own actions had made it uncertain which was my real father. who roomed each year four or five of the students. Italian and English. It was here that I got my French. He would boast to her that he made her pregnant first as the only way to prevent her from marrying a young Austrian doctor she loved dearly. He repeated it constantly until I learned it: Opportunity knocks once only at the door. M y parents were Catholic communicants.O F ADOLF HITLER 19 born. During my father's last few years his ill health made him bitter. and have followed it. since he did not wish Austrian blood to corrupt the Bauer stock. When my father died I went to live with this uncle. M y father's youngest sister. It is the sort of lesson it is wise never to forget. I have made it my motto. was married now to a Lutheran pastor with a charge at Basle. which became his favorite little joke. I had one uncle.

A t Geneva a well-to-do French merchant. I went to live with the family. who were summering with their mother here in the Juras. my regiment. transferred to the west. our troops showed the greatest restraint to the civilians on this courageous march. Clothilde Simon. and planned thus to begin my wander-years. "When war was forced on the Fatherland. she said. my regiment was with the first division that occupied Luxemburg as a protective measure. the mother of the boys. It is in Stekel I have read that it was on this magnificent . It did not keep me a long time waiting. which was to be expected. was very amiable and made my summer extremely pleasant. The work was nothing. still as tutor to the sons. when they returned to Nice. In 1913 I was called to the colors. and after the dash to the sea was the first to enter Antwerp.20 THE S T R A N G E D E A T H on a visit to her sister in Vienna. In the next May. I have seen him once. that she had acquired the disease. and listened for opportunity to knock. I remembered what my uncle the importer had said. employed me as tutor in German to his sons. But Basle had been a mere town after Nürnberg. When we learned the details of the frightful atrocities that French and Belgian soldiers were committing on German prisoners. who held a Government post at Schwabach. and Mme. after the absurd Slav assassination of the Slavophile Austrian heir to the throne at Sarajevo. H e is handsomer and brighter than his two brothers. and could appoint me to fill a vacancy as his clerk. Then I was told to go and live with yet another uncle. Eugène Simon of Simon et Cie. In September. of Nice. Clothilde bore yet another son. since. took up a strategic position along the Aisne. In the winter. and I had no desire to stagnate in a village when I had seen so little of the world.

A s a true German. The demand for German tutors now was very small. who seemed utterly in a daze since her husband had been shot down by some drunken dog of a Spartacist for refusing to surrender his decorations for a bonfire. Bavarian born like myself.OF ADOLF HITLER 21 march that the practice of tying down enemy girls and women to the bed before enjoying them. M y new work finally made such a more or less permanent attachment distinctly undesirable. and after being hospitaled for eighteen months. especially in selling instruction in the more familiar roulette systems to wealthy Americans unfamiliar with the game and its devices. According to my observation. She was very grateful for my i n dignation. I began to repair my fractured life in a world which had forgotten the imperative need of German leadership. After collecting my share of the estate of my uncle at Nürnberg. A t Nice. I did thereafter desk duty in the quartermaster's department. there was no such general custom. It was at Monte Carlo during that first spring that I met the young widow of the last colonel of my first regiment. During the season I found an easier livelihood at Monaco. first became popular. and in this state of mind I found it easy to console her. A t the capture of Hartsmannsweilerkopf I was wounded in the groin by shrapnel. and after the disgraceful Armistice and the revolution which put the Jewish scum on top. This work included . For this purpose I became Alsatian. I let her live with me for seven years. as it was more sympathetic. I was not a Social Democrat. But there were always opportunities for the man ready to take advantage of them. I returned to Basle. I managed to secure work as translator for a publisher.

I sent Greta back to Munich. By the devil's own luck. work well enough paid. replacing effeminate Paris and orgiastic Vienna. promising to rejoin her within the month. . and registered at the Kaiserhof. after von Hindenburg replaced the Socialist tailor as president of the Reich. who later took her to Berlin when he secured some government appointment from the republic. I have never seen her since. O f course. It would have been childish to miss so excellent an opportunity. and once or twice even visited Berlin. it was far wiser to confine my affairs of the heart to more temporary and less entangling relationships. of course. This time it was the exquisite little wife of the first attache of an embassy at The Hague—we will put her down as Chiquita. it had of course been for half a century the cultural capital of Europe. January 28. I was. I arrived in Berlin finally just after noon of Saturday. which was my invariable pet name for her. not alone. Between my i n termittent confidential assignments. occasionally I traveled throughout the Fatherland. Even in spite of its twilight under the Sozis. but requiring the maximum of personal secrecy. . 1933. I had not forgotten the tzigana . I was a Hamburger. which had become the center of world gaiety. when he was suddenly recalled for a personal consultation. using one of the various pseudonyms that helped conceal my movements when on assignment. this time: Hummel hummel. although I have heard that she actually became so poor that she lived with a Jewish industrialist. Berlin again became a city in which a German could hold up his head. But for me.22 T H E STRANGE DEATH more than a little confidential translation for several minor governments. . Her husband had had me as guest in his home in connection with some work I was doing for his government.

I decided to go for a stroll along the Reichstagplatz. before proceeding to enjoy the little holiday further. one seems to be like a central star in a constellation moving in one of the two great extra-galactic star drifts. although.O F ADOLF HITLER 23 proverb. with the drops on all sides following the same succession of trough and crest and the intervening progress. I observed. and dined in our suite at the hotel. that the street seemed to be more cluttered than usual with men in civilian clothes. We spent the afternoon at the Tiergarten. Leaving her to prepare for the evening. As I came out of the hotel and sauntered along. so made for amusement. To this day I still do not know just how she managed to get her fare paid back to The Hague. It was not hard to persuade her to leave her two exquisite little daughters in the care of the nurse and a sympathetic maid. even i f it was said he had become so senile that he bowed to himself in the mirror as to one of his staff officers. and behind. but not with especial attention. since my profession conduced . It is an amusing fantasy that I had learned to discourage. to each side. Sometimes. "Fruit not plucked now in this garden will never be plucked." Chiquita had always wanted to see Berlin and the grizzled war hero who had become President. These were the least I could promise her. I am sure she encountered no insuperable difficulties. I have observed. One of the things I regret most about what happened almost at once was that I did not have even one night of the planned vacation with the fascinating little señora. and to take French leave for a fortnight with me. As i f one were fixed in a certain position in the movement of a wave. attractive as she was in every way. with groups of related stars keeping their same relative positions ahead.

From across the street other groups were converging. " W h y . " Y o u know what happens i f you make the outcry. and those in front had turned and were returning toward me. and just behind me. This thing had gone far enough. Smiling at the fancy. Suddenly I felt. Otherwise. and observe with my usual acumen. " I began to splutter my indignation—I was not . castle the king. to where you will be led. It was the last free moment of my life. by a flank movement. and across the street. aware again how that faintly annoying fantasy hovered over me: the murky clusters of men in civilian clothes that seemed to keep such even distances in front of me. I thought. The group of three men behind me had caught up with me at once. pressed from behind against my ribs. I stopped for a moment to stare up at the huge frowning mass of the Chancellery.24 T H E STRANGE D E A T H to a constant fear of being shadowed. as if one of us. that definitive touch of circular metal that speaks with appalling." He bored more firmly with the pistol into my ribs." whispered a guttural voice. always so far imaginary in the past. which locked up within itself so much vital to the future of my clawed land. unanswerable eloquence. which even the President was occupying while alterations were being made in his Palais. Walk straight ahead. I would return to the hotel and thus. under my left shoulder. . It was like a game of chess in which every lane slowly narrowed. "Not a sound. . I decided to turn my steps toward the Chancellery. If I had had the wisdom to heed some remote subtle intuition then. all that followed might never have happened. with each piece threatening constantly to check. I sauntered along. .

with von Papen out and von Schleicher i n . arrogant over their traffic strike which had tied up the capital. with Communists and Nazis collogued and threatening a general strike.OF A D O L F H I T L E R 25 on confidential assignment in Berlin. I could talk my way out of that. at this time of all times. with Brüning out and von Papen in as Chancellor. I could explain who I was and why I was here. General. "Well. that I could somehow handle. and thanks to us for it. I felt sure of it. If it was her husband. it was a mad place to have brought Chiquita to. and kept wary watch for the opportunity. E v i dently that suspicious oaf of a husband of Chiquita had had me followed. for all that I knew how tense conditions had become. what were a few rentenmarken to a hole through the heart? Beyond this I could not think. Once they had taken me wherever they wanted me. no? I am not the man you wish. This was on an open street in Berlin in 1933. when are you going to lead your army against me?" Ach." And still that metal mouth bored into the ribs below my shoulder. Corporal. A n d then would I get him! The voice came colder. with plot and counterplot until senile old Hindenburg himself had barked out at his Chancellor before witnesses. "It will be easier to shoot you here. and thus my conscience was unusually free." For suddenly I understood—I was sure of it. and get back to Chiquita before the . It seemed incredible. But I would be more than a fool to resist. you walk ahead where you are led. If it was robbery. If you are wise. "I do not understand. It is some mistake. but on a pleasure trip. and want to be alive at dawn. and had arranged this unfriendly reception for me. more and more firmly.

I had no conceivable explanation of what they were looking for." I began. lighter. long room with blinding lights. several plain wooden chairs. With lightning fingers they had all my papers out. there's some mistake. I stiffened back again and did not topple. alive. The pistols were out in the hands of each of them now. and one man fingered swiftly through them. To my amazement. to the back and into its courtyard. Will you strip?" I opened my mouth to explain. a huge bull-like brute with the whole lower right side of his face a hideous red scar. into a bald. loose coins. ." sneered the leader of my captors. "Gentlemen. you little Austrian bastard. and down seven steps into a vaultlike chamber opening beneath it.26 T H E STRANGE DEATH infatuated simpleton had worked herself into hysterics over my unexplained absence. cufflinks and all my minor valuables. They even ripped open my unopened package of cigarettes. and methodically ripped down and inspected carefully each cigarette in the packet. "we were given the general impression that your corpse would be worth a lot more than you. knowing that I could appeal to them most sympathetically by telling them of my desirable companion waiting impatiently for me in the hotel suite. penknife. A door opened for them. one by one I removed my garments. Another group confiscated my watch. and his hand slapped against my mouth without restraint. " I f you will just let me explain—" "Listen. my captors—there were more than a dozen of them now—led me around the palace which I knew was occupied by the Chancellor himself. It had no furnishings save a long table. and an army cot with two blankets piled at one end. "Strip!" commanded the leader. and examined them carefully.

no!" I hastened to make it clear. too. A woman. I'll see you in the morning. " M y friend. in his hotel room—and she came with him. Is that your name. yes. Look! 'Max—Ten promptly. buttoned them.' It stinks of perfume. "Sewed in his vest are papers identifying him as Max Scharben of Pilsen.O F ADOLF HITLER 27 "His papers are in the name of Emil Haas. "Is that your name. of Hamburg. of all things. early. In my business—" " — A n d here's a note slipped in among his blank checks. "Ach. . that tallies." "False too. won't you give me some idea—-" . They said his papers would probably all be false. " A t least. Adoringly your C. I drew on my shorts. too." "False. Cigarettes." "But. of course. face paler. . swine?" "But. and slipped into my undershirt. swine?" Ignoring the needlessly embarrassing situation. Corporal. too?" demanded the leader. it is the perfect disguise. "Yet that I can clear up also—" "Save your breath!" said the leader. " I f you will permit me to explain—" His heavily shod foot ground my naked toes into the stone flooring. no!" I said. too! Well. . They seem correct. If you will give me just one minute." Another captor spoke. the name on the hotel register. His Excellency will hold an early reception for you. you've told the truth this once." The continued i l l treatment made me desperate. "The lady is even now at the hotel waiting for me. Captain. For what he is. Unless it's a boy dressed up in women's clothes." "Yeah.

you. " N o . for the last time. "not one word more. especially among the Sozis. From you. "So I am Adolf Hitler." He left. eh?" I did not hide the sneer in my voice. N o w that the burly leader had gone." The sergeant ignored me. I have heard your damned speeches too often." he turned savagely to me. Adolf. am I to blame?" So I said in my ignorance. detail four men to watch him every minute all night. I will return at six. "Me. with four guns covering him. and let you check up at once—" "They say he is a fox. Three times before I had been mistaken for this upstart Austrian agitator who was the head of the discredited Nazis—for so I regarded him then in my appalling ignorance—though never before to the extent of i n conveniencing my plans." He swung abruptly from me. I felt that it was time to let the sergeant in charge of the four policemen remaining. leaving me to curse the damnable stupidity of these baboons of Berlin secret police." "Don't be an imbecile! Because I happen to look like that misbegotten son of an Austrian Jew.28 T H E STRANGE D E A T H " Y o u are caught this time. Relief detail at one. "Lieutenant. for this was commonly charged in those days. It was all too clear to me now. and I will tell you my real name. " Y o u weren't man enough to come out with it before. I am Bavarian born. where you promise the earth and the sun and the moon and the stars to the gullible fools that listen to you. or by God I'll have my men pull it out with a pair of . speaking to the man seated beside him. He is an ass. when the Captain was here. Hold your tongue. understand more fully what an asinine blunder had been made.

the broad pink face. and I'll slice off the end! A n d don't think I am joking. here we have him. They placed me square before him. women of the Latin races are like that. I said no more. I drowsed. and leave me high and dry and lonely in this detestable city of police baboons and official imbeciles.O F ADOLF HITLER 29 pliers. "Excellency. A n d there were to be no more words from me. We marched upstairs to a huge room which it was easy to see was the Chancellor's study. H e was surrounded by half a dozen resplendent aides. a smile one moment. I do not know for how long. as I never would. I did not know until we were in the courtyard that the sky was gray and that day had already come. swine!" Well. the shrewd twinkling little eyes: H i s Excellency Major General Kurt von Schleicher. I roused once when the door opened and four other policemen came on for the relief. They placed me in their midst and marched me out of the Cell. Chancellor of the Reich. even i f I could send a message to her. I did not wake again until the room was full of officers. She might even now have arranged somehow to take a late train back to The Hague. flanked by guards with pistols still drawn. They told me finally to lie down on the cot. The Herr Captain would have taken care of her long ago. I recognized the bald head." . a stiletto the next. She would never believe the fantastic truth. It was of Chiquita I worried most. Once again I tried to get them to telephone to her. I held my tongue through that long ghastly night. I was informed. there was no gain in arguing with a man who had ideas like that.

But naturally! I do not know what devilment you and ungrateful Franz and the old Silver Fox planned last night. " Y o u still think I am Adolf Hitler. and ferret you out of every rat hole i n Berlin. a lady too. Already I have the O l d Man's permission to lead the Reichswehr into the streets against your Brownshirts and other Nazi traitors. and make straight for the palace where Franz von Papen and the Nationalist were waiting for you. M y men saw you arrive at the station. Y o u were so obliging as to walk right out in the midst of my men. That Hugenburg is no more than a swine. But this is easier. You have gone too far. ach no. no? I think I board you at the Colombia Haus in protective custody until death. "when you yourself saved me the trouble. also?" I still stared straight at him. no? A n d it is not so healthy there. and things happen. and watched you register at the Kaiserhof. "There may be something you didn't know. A n d now. you would have found it out. The Austrian demagogue." "Excellency. and the afternoon spent so innocently at the Tiergarten! I was about to have that room raided. this morning audience. the capitalist reactionary: treachery makes strange bedfellows. in spite of your lady-friend. too?" He seated himself and beamed smilingly at me. too!" " Y o u are childish. He tapped on the floor with his right foot. Adolf. "good morning. But I got word you were due for this conference. you still think I am Adolf Hitler. soon enough. with a satisfied smile. It was clever. Adolf. "For reasons of state—" . the Junker spy." His voice suddenly turned cold and harsh.30 T H E STRANGE D E A T H "Well." he studied my face. This is a rather early call." he bowed ironically.

" he said. But they knew everything. and Franz von Papen Vice-Chancellor. They would not listen. "General.O F ADOLF HITLER 31 " A n d I am Adolf Hitler. he was said to be a boy-lover. I have the honor to inform you that at eleven-thirty last evening President von Hindenburg appointed Adolf Hitler Chancellor of the Reich. and stood at attention. I knew at once it was Captain Ernst Roehm. heard the end of one of his speeches. born Passau. I knew. his voice very much smaller. I ' l l — " There was a peremptory knock on the door of the study. came around the great desk. and walked over until he was so close he could touch me. He stared above my eyes at my hair. What was he doing in private conference with the Reichskanzler this early in the morning? He flung his arm upward and forward in the old Roman salute." "This is some damnable trick! By God. I would have told them. Heil Hitler!" He saluted again. and in strode an austere plump officer in a Brownshirt uniform. Thanks. "There is a gray streak here. "Heil Hitler!" he shouted. and was not impressed. I regret very much to announce that your dismissal as Chancellor was announced at the same time. A t once the door was opened. "Maximilian Bauer of Basle. He rose from his chair. "Is this some trick? When did this happen?" "This is no trick. Adolf. Chief of Staff of the Storm Troopers. too. More an . who are you?" His voice was agonized. with battle-marred face set in a massive ball of head. Your police are imbeciles!" "In God's name. you still think?" I made the message peremptory from my brain to his.

for the same mistake. His Excellency was questioning him. Slowly his head bowed. the savior of Germany. . "But. and they wore brown shirts. But they were different guards this time. his lips mumbling. Adolf Hitler. " D i d no one ever tell you that you are the living image of Der Führer. . Good day. flanked with guards as before. shaking me as i f to make sure I was real. "He was arrested loitering in front of this palace last evening at ten o'clock. Captain Roehm was staring at me with startled wonder." said Roehm." H e swung around abruptly. almost frightened. General. who is this man?" His voice was curt. The general stared at him and then turned to stare more slowly at me. . and these men—" He caught me by both shoulders. Y o u come with me. in God's name." I explained with quiet indignation. and marched out. I strolled out from the Kaiserhof for a breath of air. He locked his hands behind his back. I followed. "That is over. "So!" he said. born Passau. Herr Gott in Himmel! . The burly brute of a Captain in charge of me saluted. I was about to be sentenced to Colombia Haus for protective custody until death." "Good. and pushed his fingers into my flesh. of Basle.32 T H E STRANGE D E A T H and more men in brown shirts were filling the room at his back. and began to walk slowly around the great study. "because these imbeciles took me for this same Herr Hitler. He did not seem to know he was not alone. who are you?" "I am Maximilian Bauer. " Y o u . His E x cellency the new Chancellor?" "I am under arrest." "Himmelherrgottsacrament!" Roehm ripped it out.

I soon found out my mistake. .OF A D O L F H I T L E R 33 It looked as if my future was to consist of one arrest after another.

He had turned back to look at me once or twice with curious intentness. with pleased. I was still uncertain as to my status. N o w he appraised me more slowly." He was back in less than a quarter of an hour. Captain? The arrest was a mistake. . . " I f you will be so good as to wait here with two of my men. This huge moving hill of fat with the sour killer's face must be Captain Hermann Göring. and much of Germany was sick at the rowdy brutality and horror they stood for. . I will return in brief time.34 T H E STRANGE DEATH CHAPTER II. Their faces had grown as familiar to republican Germany as the faces of the Kaiser and the Crown Prince had been before the war. There was a sly smile on his full strained lips. at the Beer Hall Putsch. But who they were I knew at once. without being told. " A m I not free. satisfied wonder in his eyes. Bavarian like myself. ." "Not quite. UNDERSTUDY FOR A DICTATOR A P T A I N R O E H M led me finally to an anteroom of the Chancellery. accompanied by four men. or Hindenburg and Ludendorff during it. ." He chose his words carefully. I could not have noticed everything about them that first moment that I came to know so well later. chief butcher of the movement—he who had in 1923. ordered his Brownshirts to crash in the skulls of their op- C . .

hated within the party almost as much as without. belching. he squeezed my biceps. of Basle. Von Arnheim simply stood and Stared. He rubbed harshly down my cheek. he even bent over. as if already he was off on some distant. A n d what do you say now. I thought you must be pulling my leg. Captain. Goebbels." said Captain Roehm with a triumphant gesture. Goebbels. and midway of this a vacant look blanked out his face. with the hideous. giving him control of the Prussian police. "He is all you say. with a thug's face and licking. So different were they.OF A D O L F H I T L E R 35 ponents with rifle butts. The fourth man. the vindictive little schemer. Erik von Arnheim. in God's name?" They were staring at me as i f I were the maddest freak of all. so extreme in so many ways. "Gentlemen. walked around me. but his touches lingered more and almost caressed. the sick-eyed little vulture. Heines came up more softly and felt me as fully. stumping in on his club foot. I found out later was General Edmund Heines. grunting his amazement. measuring. This keen-eyed. the tyrant of Silesia. caressing eyes. must be D r . freaks from a sideshow. they looked like four varied human monstrosities. bitter face. portly man with the salt and pepper hair must be the Junker convert. appraising. shrewd scheme. and . The great ox who was Göring waddled powerfully over. obviously flabbergasted. to scrutinize my legs and my shoes. "may I present to you Maximilian Bauer. I did not know then that he had already been named Reichsminister without portfolio." boomed Göring. " A c h ja. This sick-eyed little vulture. D r . For a moment. he poked me abruptly in the chest. and Prussian Minister of the Interior. born Passau.

no? Then—perfect!" "I'd swear it was his twin. until you have heard us speak. Such a fantastic likeness! A n y time we use him. "It is providence. A weapon's use depends on who has hold of it. " M y dear friend." " A c h ." I protested. "His identical twin." General Heines stroked my hair down further over my left eye. and not to antagonize me. Captain Roehm smiled at me from under slightly lowered eyelashes. the world will never know the difference!" "Here. with a disapproving look that traveled from me to the vindictive party schemer. Doctor. A n d we will need him. Ml will be forgotten. I brought her with me. you have found a treasure." ." said Goebbels sharply. a woman in his bed! That is much better. "For me. when you have heard us to the end. " A c h . We will ask you a question or two.36 T H E STRANGE D E A T H it was he himself. that can be forgotten. If I could only be allowed to make sure she is all right. act yourself. It is difficult enough to handle one Adolf. It was obvious that he was trying to woo me. "we darken it a little." "I have a friend at the Kaiserhof. with his temperamental tears and his threats to commit suicide. I think it would be far easier to slit his throat. Herr Bauer. i f the wrong hand gets hold of them. You think we need two of him?" " A c h ." Von Arnheim's eyes twinkled. Seat yourself. and understands—" Göring's eyes widened in Rabelaisian amusement." Goebbels accepted it more easily. Treasures are dangers. maybe." "Now we know. no! Captain. "She doesn't know Berlin at all. "Naturally." sniffed Göring." said Arnheim. i f his way is not the only way.

Difficult work. Yet it will be paid for in proportion to its difficult nature." said Göring heavily. that I knew. Heines I could dismiss with no more than a faint sense of repugnance. Yet this work evidently concerned all of them. "Until you die. We will arrange the terms later. Von Arnheim I liked: the kind of man I would be glad to take orders from. Y o u are free to accept it?" I did not like his face or anything about him. I smiled back at Roehm. for us to ask you a few ques- . Herr Doktor. and liked him no more. "It is a career for you. Interesting and dangerous work.—clearly not quite so discredited now. I am not without work now. H o w long will this assignment of yours continue?" M y mind was racing ahead.OF A D O L F HITLER 37 Goebbels raised a slight imperative hand. "Well. a well-paid career for you."But any man would be. no?" . " — O f old age. I looked at Captain Göring." "It will be necessary. Captain. It would be party work. A n d this work -—just what is it?" "He will accept. They were all Nazis. for the Fatherland. Herr Bauer. You are interested. Goebbels. "We have work for you. for they stared at me now as i f they were five hungry hens. And Captain Roehm I had liked from the start. But do it your own way." Goebbels amended swiftly. It will be of i n calculable service for the Party. but practically you can name your price. and I a particularly fat and juicy worm each wished to enjoy for his own purposes. "or I'll have his throat slit myself. perhaps translation." Göring stared at me with sinister satisfaction. first. since they had been admitted into a coalition government.

my occasional affairs. "Since I have been gone all night." Goebbels at last said abruptly. The five of them. "But. even down to Chiquita still waiting. Well. "Go ahead. extracted from me my whole history. and that a policy of complete frankness was my only hope. and jotted down each answer as I spoke." began Goebbels importantly. "Though we go in as a minority party in the . as remorselessly as if I were a clinic patient commencing a psychoanalysis. gentlemen?" They looked questioningly. I was questioned altogether for almost two hours. but belongs to no party. in the Kaiserhof. my aliases. Before they had finished." He had a notebook out. . Only Göring still scowled." "Der Führer. gentlemen. that ought to do.38 T H E STRANGE D E A T H tions. "Well. was last night appointed Chancellor of the Deutsches Reich. yes. I grew restless in the silence. He is not known in Germany. He has no ties. evidently satisfied at last." nodded Göring. grimly. ized that these five men were in dreadful earnest." I reminded them. one at the other. but chiefly Goebbels. . suspiciously. . " H o l y Mother. He is sympathetic toward the Party. He is not quite forty-three— twelve months younger than der Führer. and had me entirely in their power. Adolf Hitler." "Even the voice. I was spiritually stripped before them—the last detail of my life pitilessly bared." said Arnheim. "It should be enough. my confidential work for the lesser foreign powers. as I trusted. except in aliases we can conveniently annihilate completely. at the end. you have not yet told me what the precise nature of this work is. tell him!" "He'll do.

They mean much now. my little friend. and the success of the coup-d'état that made him Chancellor." I objected." "To be shot at for him. soon enough." These distinctions meant little to me then. so strange from so small and deformed a creature. " O f course. with only three seats. all that remained for me to do was to squeeze the last advantage out of it. It may astonish you. as we use doubles for stars in the cinema. "will be to be Adolf Hitler from now on. my friend.OF A D O L F HITLER 39 cabinet. as more sympathetic. Goebbels nodded." in his huge sonorous voice. to know that your unconscious resemblance to the Leader may have actually saved his life. i f that need arises." snapped Göring. "The pay?" I hazarded. and detained me all night. "With Captain Roehm's precious Storm Troopers protecting you. "Precisely. Y o u have been told that you resemble the Leader?" M y hands flew wide in exasperation. "That too. whenever we call upon you. To be his substitute. It was clear to me now that opportunity had guided the arrest by mistake. The work. But most assassins are surprisingly bad shots. thinking I was—er—the Leader. "But last night those baboons arrested me. his liberty. To ride in processions for him. in other words." Arnheim smiled encouragingly. and Himmler's Blackshirts. we will be the majority party soon enough—" "—The only party. To make public appearances for him. maybe. it will not be so healthy to shoot at you. and the Reichswehr now under von Blomberg." I caught the term of respect and used it. . and everything leading up to this conference. his double.

" A n exalted note swept into his tone and submerged all casualness. will be yours. or his. Y o u resemble him too much. We must have you. "or you disappear. in his excitement stumping on his club foot up and down the room. "What is the most you have made. what you wish. it is not money that matters. "You will be. the table is spread. "God in Heaven. " Y o u will be a member of the household of the greatest man on the earth today. A n d you will learn that the only salvation for Germany and the world lies in the Party. a sneer warping his face. What you need. this time." Göring's chin shot out belligerently. for good. I multiplied my memory of my best year's income by slightly more than two." Goebbels purred ahead. sonorous whisper. . hourly. or ours. to start with. now—or soon will be. for your health. to avoid showing too much eagerness." I pretended to hesitate still. and named this figure with a deprecating shrug." said this astounding little gargoyle. you said?" I temporized. " Y o u are not even a Nazi yet. . man. Such opportunities never come a second time. . But a little bartering. Is it not so?" "—To begin with. The dinner-bell has rung. in history as we rewrite . soon enough. my friend. and that the Party is the Leader. now! What Germany has is ours. It is for a reborn Fatherland and a reborn world that you will accept. his vulture eyes bulging out toward me. in any one year?" There is no harm in a lie in a good cause.40 THE STRANGE D E A T H Goebbels studied me. "You accept?" "You accept. Y o u will take part in world events that you do not dream of." His beady eyes brightened. "Say ten times that. in that silky. until his tiniest mannerism is yours. " Y o u will associate with him daily.

the more he displayed his deformity. when you need not appear in public. had been of value to me. " N o . I stepped out. no. beginning to thrill for the first time to what all this might mean. I accept. " N o w ! " it ordered. O f course. Gentlemen. N o w I was asked no more than to freeze myself into one disguise. H e has died conveniently. A n d now. Maximilian Bauer is forgotten. You. and that will end by seeing Germany where she rightfully belongs—the one power i n Europe. aliases. will take part in all this! Do you hesitate still?" " N o ! " I cried out. "I myself will have the simple stone engraved with his birth and his death in your Passau. and so help save the Fatherland." A sardonic smirk appeared on his emaciated face. one alias. and remake world history. indeed all I wished. But have our new Adolf behind the screen. henceforth and forever. a little more excited now. That pier-glass mirror will serve well for what I have to do. the major power in the world. in the future as we make it. I let myself be placed hidden behind the screen. Then came the suave silky voice. "From now on. "I go to bring him in. henceforth and forever. Then that is settled. Adolf." "Good. gentlemen. as personal defensive measures. I heard movements in the room near the great mirror. disguises. every moment of your life. From now on. I saw a sixth man. and be paid all I needed. for life. none other. you will have your long periods of rest.OF ADOLF HITLER 41 it." His fiery eyes seemed to burn through me. who looked strangely ." his bright eyes again were almost fanatical. until I am ready?" He thumped away with irresistible energy—I noticed that the more excited he became. For years pseudonyms. you are Adolf Hitler.

" smiled Arnheim austerely. they had me placed beside him. I stared with startled eyes at my own veritable eyes staring back at me from another face in the mirror—only. Herr Hitler. His mobile hands united. more inflexible. a doppelganger evoked by the aid of some evil black magic to be at his service. " A year younger. nodding his head with a little perturbed satisfaction. " Y o u are older than I. "Excellency—. with satanic glee in their eyes. Suddenly the handkerchief covering his eyes was whipped off. " A dash of hair-dye. Women." Hitler nodded with shrewd satisfaction. the new Chancellor—it could be none other! Mountebank and windbag to most of the world. then opened wide. as well. "and you will forget which is yourself." I half stammered. my . I swear to cross himself. then it froze rigidly at his side." "It will double their problem. it was surely Adolf Hitler himself! Without a word. he was slim as I. He was my height. It was the Nazi leader. N o wonder they had arrested me! A n d infinite blessing they had not shot me. my body. I have other doubles. as if I were an illusion. there was the same sallow tint to his complexion. more piercing. standing in front of the pier-glass. divinely inspired leader and redeemer to his own followers. more brilliantly blazing." suggested Goebbels swiftly. He walked slowly around me." he said finally. His hand moved falteringly up. H e looked at me first with awed animal unbelief. studying every angle of my face. " O f course. his eyes blindfolded by a handkerchief. I turned from the two of me staring back at me from the mirror to the me standing beside me.42 T H E STRANGE D E A T H like me. His voice shook a trifle.

It is not a great difference. His mouth twisted awry with satisfaction." I gave him a brief resume of this part of my life. He will be Nazi. but not yet personally. I can hear a lighter note. "Maybe he needs a purge. a mere clothing dummy tricked out with his life mask." "Leave that to Stalin. you are Bavarian?" "Born Passau. From now on. " Y o u . more as i f I were no more than a mere waxwork." He brought himself to speak to me at last. all swear I myself am driving. for I am ." said Göring caustically. we two." The Leader dismissed this as a triviality that a few words would correct." I said. Good!" " A n d not even a Nazi yet. they tell me. like a sun pushing away sullen clouds. but we are both Münchner. M y voice is dark beer." He smiled sardonically. We are men of the Danube country. and turned with a warm smile to Roehm." smiled Captain Roehm. I take the bows. Or Linz. Except in the brightest sun-weather.OF ADOLF HITLER 43 friend. I have rowed down the Inn to it. "It is not far from my own Branau. yet." "I will talk to him. He takes the insults." he nodded thoughtfully. where I attended Realschule." He hummed softly a bar or two of the great waltz." said von Arnheim decisively. Captain. my chauffeur. even the voice is the same. not quite. "Maybe I will use some. A n d he was approximately right. my unworthier I. Fascist Italy has concentrated all the castor oil. Excellency. my bodyguard. "More than one. "I know Passau. my confidential substitute. Little Adolf—. "you are my assistant. his is light. Mmmm. soon enough. " Y o u are right. " A n d you were wounded in the war." he smiled with swift brilliance. You should see Julius Schreck. "So far.

44 T H E STRANGE D E A T H by nature sympathetic. as I learned soon. Look! Call in Brückner. His heels clicked meticulously together. Anything." suggested Göring pleasantly. who had acted on the suggestion. returned. speak as I speak." with a strange suppressed passion in his voice. "Are you sure?' Hitler himself stepped out quickly. or when he is needed. his hand shot forward and upward in the N a z i salute. A n d I will teach you to live intelligently. Little Adolf. always in disguise. A l cohol ferments the food in the stomach. " A n d hair-dye. Von Arnheim. Ask him—oh. to me. But no more women. N o more smoking. " N o t until 7 need one. M y Adjutant. the Leader was noted for his lackadaisical response to salutes. yes. just as he preferred to lounge through life in all but moments of the greatest excitement. you speak to him. but quicker to scowl. " O r yours. except when we are this group. N o drinking. followed by a heavier tread." he announced gravely. A soldier a head higher than the tallest of us stalked in. Herr Reichskanzler. His face was quick to smile. my chief bodyguard. muscle every tremendous inch of him." "Tell him to kick his own rump around the block. is the conference room wholly prepared?" "But yes. " A n d you. it is a bad poison. and . think as I think. Y o u will eat as I eat. Captain. He stepped behind the screen where I had stood concealed when he entered the room. as a bodyguard— You will find some easy way to let him stay near me. I spoke curtly to him: "Lieutenant. He looked at me. When he is with me." said Hitler slyly. "Heil Hitler!" "Heil Hitler!" I returned it briskly—too briskly. Little Adolf. i f the conference room is ready." Swiftly.

He gave me a soft . affecting his vocal cords as well as his lungs. We never know when he will be called on to talk "also. Since it is a dogwhip. even to the little squeak. "it is you. "by the clothes. "So all that differentiates us. heels clicked together. with the others. Little Adolf. I learned soon this had come from his being gassed during the war. i f you change those." again his eyes warmed with affection toward Roehm. thank you. . is a suit of clothes and a dogwhip. "God i n heaven! But this is a game you play!" "Game? Which of us is der Reichskanzler?" I asked him in a sterner voice. with a little frown. His voice squeaked upward a trifle. Let me see." said Goebbels suavely. catching the intonation of Hitler's speech precisely." he said. It is well that he knows all that is to be known. "I will leave Little Adolf with you." his eyes fawned on Hitler's face." Hitler's face went remote and thoughtful. while the Leader marched out of the room. We have that conference at noon—. "Why. Even these will at once be remedied. but most by the dogwhip. His right hand fell swiftly to the revolver at his hip. Bring him in to me later." I stood at attention. Captain. in his excitement. His face broke into a huge crafty grin. lashing Jews and Nazis alike. . But. it would be Herr Streicher. "From now on. A l l the rest but Captain Roehm followed him. . Excellency—. "I can tell. "So!" he said. If it were a horsewhip. to the world.OF A D O L F HITLER 45 ranged himself beside me." "Little Adolf will be there. You may go. Brückner." He studied us. Brückner's eyes owled from one to the other of us i n ridiculous fashion.

"Come with me. So began my new and fantastic life.46 T H E STRANGE D E A T H and embracing smile when they had gone. as i f caressing. His voice sunk a little. I nodded and fell into step beside him." he said. .

"After twelve hours. naturally you do what pleases you most. "This cigarette is a treat. I know you already. or with some intimate companion." H . "He is very ascetic. his deprecating courtesy. . friendly eyes. His hugely built globe head. The Captain shrugged amiably. "But seat yourself. then. of course. "I had a teacher once. They were strange. Sometimes I think he is afraid of life. A n d I liked his soothing voice. . not when you are acting as him." I smiled respondingly. battle-marred and crudely patched. looked like a Gibraltar to trust. I had liked his face from the start. Cigarette?" He pushed a packet toward me. Your face and his are twins. of himself—of letting himself go. But he means." I wondered aloud. He turned to me with a quiet smile." I said. and I can study him in you. " A little brandy?" "But the Chancellor said I was not to. But how have you avoided becoming a Nazi? We began in Bavaria.OF ADOLF HITLER 47 CHAPTER III UP A LONELY ROAD ITLER'S Chief of Staff led me to his own quarters and closed the door. fearing how far it would take him. When you are alone." His eyes surveyed me with appraising approval. . and often seemed to caress. and. said the face mirrored the soul. not when he is around." "Perhaps because I have been so little in Bavaria.

as i f I had said something i n decent. and a demagogue or two. certainly no man loves him more. a thug. a demagogue. you could not forever evade such things. then. H e is none of these. But tell me." " Y o u cannot know too much. For I have talked with him . in Berlin." He stretched further forward in his chair. . I shall start at the beginning. If I am to be his double. what one doesn't read in the papers. "I have known him for thirteen years." he spoke thoughtfully. which please Herr Gott we will suppress to the last one. eyes searching my face. you read he is an inspired son of Germany. "What you will. you can always get what you want in my rooms. " I considered it. Some one might ask you a simple question about your beginnings. "and Goebbel's fine hand is always there. In the opposition papers. George and his dragon: the Jewish swine.48 T H E STRANGE DEATH He shrugged casually. . except Adolf himself. you have never even heard the Leader speak?" "I never saw him in the flesh until half an hour ago. "Such was my plan. the Marxian conspirators." His eyes saddened a little." "I am all ears. I mean. . A t least. an assassin. i f you are to be his double." "In the Party press. . . . he is pictured as an arch-fiend. come to exterminate the foes of the Fatherland. "Tell me a little of his background. I brought one along with me. The real Hitler. Perhaps no man in Germany knows him better. like St. Shall I then tell you what I know of him? It will take patience to listen. although there is no lack of thugs and assassins in the party. "Whenever you will. He is all that." "Even a woman?" I jested. and surely at least one arch-fiend.

Alois Schiklgruber. The Captain nodded. who loves him. When he was forty-six. She sent her illiterate husband to school. was a miller's helper until his death. and there were closer unions at times. trusting not even me. and was shrewd enough to marry a wealthy woman named Anna Gläsl-Horer. became a cobbler. the man who has influenced him most for good and evil. "But I must begin at the beginning." I said. never rising to owning his own mill. This son. he married a farm woman named Schiklgruber." Adolf Hitler. or acting as miller for the impoverished neighboring hamlets. his wife died. Johann Georg Hiedler. and learn it is never wise to trust others. by whom he had had a son five years before. The Waldviertel was a land of dull Catholic peasants. was the man Adolf hates most to this day. fourteen years older than himself." Again his face saddened. he told me. when he paused. and he rushed into a marriage with a younger woman. where cousin intermarried with cousin for generation after generation. . bought him a little job in the civil service. who died within the year. When he was fifty. who was to become Adolf's father. This man. "In the house next to where Alois Hitler mourned the precipitate death of his second wife. that undulating Danube land fringing this mishmash of warring races lumped together by the Versailles Treaty as Czechoslovakia.OF A D O L F HITLER 49 night after night until the sun rose red. and I see him now. I have seen him trust others and have them fail him. and when he was forty had him legitimatized as Alois Hüttler—so run the faded church records. His grandfather. They knew no higher trades than farming and setting up a little shop as village carpenter or blacksmith. was a real son of the Waldviertel. "I had heard none of this.

This was 1885. no one knows how she spent those years. naturally. such as Alois Hitler was. and a sister. and he married her. he said he and the men of his company knew her thoroughly." Captain Roehm proceeded. her daughter—the mother is Frau Raupel—was the one woman since his mother that the Leader loved and wholly tolerated. A customs i n spector. needed a wife. she returned to Branau.50 T H E STRANGE D E A T H lived a cousin of his. and there she lived on her wits for ten years. and now a restaurant-keeper in Berlin. Adolf Hitler was born. This cousin had run away to Vienna. I have talked with one man who claims to have known her then. was a cook in a Charity Hall for Jewish Students in Vienna: to such degradation do these foul parasites force the women of our race! The Leader has made her his housekeeper. After all. Klara Poelzl. The . " N o w from such a family. Adolf himself had a full brother." I reminded him that I was exactly three hundred and seventy-five days younger. Angela. Vienna was gay. with ample room for a young and lively girl who lacked money. unmarried. who later became legally Frau Hüttler and Frau Hitler. who died in i n fancy. His sister. still living in Vienna. Four years later. 1889. but could at least please. To this day. long a waiter. imbeciles and geniuses come. There is a halfbrother by the first wife. This. "But yes. A t the age of ten she had secured employment as maid in the house of Frau Schiklgruber. It is from such mothers great men always come. April 20. a tall hysterical girl with a mysterious past. I never told to Adolf. He was fascinated by his wife's former servant grown into such a mysteriously attractive young woman. Well. though there are unkind rumors of the way she lived.

when the boy spoke of becoming an artist. . Some strange tension in his soul between the constellation that was his father and his mother. the father's third wife. like the rest. and. he nourished huge. There is one first cousin. He who had been a village bastard had become the petty Caesar: let the world kneel to him! If the world snickered behind his back. "I will try. at least his sickly son Adolf must hop to toe the line when the father snapped his fingers. and there are no geniuses among them. there was a belt. on that only put his foot down. his niece whom he loved. and left only flame. burned away all the dross in his soul. would become a concert singer. living in abject poverty. upturned moustaches as was the custom. and. "when little Geli. . the father snarled that he was a spineless weakling. a feckless dreamer. It is strange how traits reappear: Adolf himself. " i n this family. I have read my Freud and my Stekel. moon-struck. a shoe. "But there was one genius. Edward Schmidt.OF A D O L F H I T L E R 51 rest of his relatives live still all in the Waldviertel. . and he beat him. like a leprous melon—his picture is on his grave." said the Captain. all laziness. when this did not suffice. you may yourself see it. Like father. H e must make his son an official too. a stick handy. What could you expect of Alois Schiklgruber then utter arrogance of the little swine lifted to brief village authority? He had a round hairless face. I do not know i f I can make you see." said the Captain impressively. this father sneered at the boy. His eyes were bitter little needles. Well. Hüttler . and even sewers may flow clear water. a hunchback who cannot speak clearly —a village monster—and. his chin was rock.

But his mother. a student at the Realschule in Linz. not painting. his mother buried two years. and again the next year. "Just before the father died. all the . when the boy was six. " A l l of Adolf Hitler. and not speedy. his mother developed cancer. and in school they jeered at him as a fool. Oh. in 1909. all of Der Führer. his bent ears. into. and it was not a pretty nor a happy sight for the sensitive boy. " N o w come the things so hard to say. Within the year he left and idled at home. A n d so he snarled away to the tavern. could never master her. some years before then. Alois Hitler. too." continued the Captain. but he must be all that his father had not been. while his soul expanded. he moved to Vienna to make of himself the man his father had never been. A n d so. It took her ten years to die. living with his mother on her tiny pension. what an obedient beauty his second.52 THE STRANGE D E A T H "But Adolf had his ally. He died of a stroke while guzzling a bottle of cheap red wine in a tavern. H e had spent his life marrying and enjoying women. lovely. luminous eyes. she poured her artist's soul. wished him to be an artist. When in 1903 the father had his stroke and died. in this tall. The pictures were sneered at: mere architecture. 1907 it was when he first submitted a picture to the Academy at Vienna. But a youth must have academic achievement even to become an architect. for all that he threw at her what an excellent hausfrau his first wife had been. It is a living death. Adolf is another story. Adolf was fourteen. no. quiet mother with the sensitive features and the soft. her dammed-up dreamings. she fired him. with barely fifty kronen in his pocket. like all his cousins. mysterious. and drank and swilled like the pig he was.

the . But he detested his father with all of his soul: and what is the Church but the father spread all over the earth and the heavens? Even the priest called himself the Father. O f their kindred was Adolf. that was all. His father stood in his young mind for hated and detested authority. there was a bar between son and mother that even the gods could not overleap. in God the Father himself. A n d even in the Nordic folk-myth out of "Thebes. but. There was a marriage. the Jewish Jehovah was God the All-Father. In her. the pope was the Father of Christendom. in the priest. we call on a Jew then. in the Pope. once. once the secret was revealed. There was a Prince of Thebes. corrupted. and this must be the son's eternal Grail. the mother was dead. there was death for the sinful queen. the son had to incarnate authority in his own body and soul. It took the cauldron of world events to bring it out. To qualify to win her. all unknowing. to vomit them out. Such power the son must take and hold. such authority as had once been embodied in the dethroned Alois Hitler. as his own. married his mother the queen. and fruit from it. and Adolf wanted no truck or traffic with his father or his father's people. once. Yet his father had won his mother. It would take more skill. and. dying as she was. and blind wandering over the earth's face for the sinning son. He had been bred a Catholic. dead as she was of the dread cancer. from some German he must have stolen his ideas. who slew his father the king. more power than Orpheus had. "Worst of all. on Sigmund Freud. the son would rebel against the authority of others until he died. as our witness. You see? Ach. to summon her back to the embrace of living arms. the mother. yes. well.OF A D O L F HITLER 53 greatness. was in him already.

H e shoveled snow in winter. his soul is the soul of a saint. and the outraged Fatherland rising to defend Nordic civilization against the inferior nations. the shot at Sarajevo. " A n d then. There are those whom it condemns to eternal loneliness. But he grew sick at the poverty of those around him. There are some among us"—Captain Roehm stared at the wall as he spoke"—who find one way out of this maze. I talk too long. in the midst of prodigal revelry in the palaces and the cafes. then. O f such was Adolf Hitler. and his own." he said. and a Caesar. that he might eat. " A c h . Poor. and was let off. as a . and most of all at the upstart Jews with their poisonous Jewish Marxism as the remedy. A t times starving. and the Slavophile Hapsburg shot down like the dog he was. he pleaded his ill health as an excuse.54 T H E STRANGE D E A T H son saw all women: and she was forbidden. that eternal rebel against authority?—and in October 1914 he was sent to the front. barely nineteen. He begged on the street-corners. He lived for three years in the most desolate slum neighborhood in Vienna. and it is a warm and pleasant way. when he heard it had become the German center of opposition to the Jews. and a god: no one can take this from him. He refilled my brandy glass. Adolf's personal petition to Ludwig of Bavaria was granted—were they not both worshippers of the music of Wagner. "We have the young Adolf Hitler. The time came when he could stand it all no longer. in Vienna. Let the Dutch mongrel sneer at him as a fanatical onanist. He made tiny drawings and water-colors for the few heller they would bring. and let its fire relight his ashen tale. in a hotel for homeless men. When he was summoned to service in the Austrian army. hence all women are forbidden. In 1913 it was that he moved to Munich.

He was sent to investigate labor. and for a year after March. which had become part of the Reichswehr. as opposed to exploiting capital.OF A D O L F H I T L E R 55 German soldier. he received food and pay from the army as a secret agent. He gave the party its name. he would have ruled the Reich since 1923. denied him German citizenship. a thing of Jews and renegades. and was named as the seventh member of the executive council of a party with less than sixty members. he was gassed and blinded—it is that which at times fingers his voice still. By December. He was made orderly to the regimental staff. He himself designed its emblem. and hence did not have to waste his abilities in trench duty. Second Class. Austria would not accept him. The new Bavarian Republic. and report on them. have not been wasted. he had won the Iron Cross. "He himself invented the Leader principle. and yet in August of the last year he had won the same decoration. which alone "can save Europe and mankind in this troubled age." continued Roehm. 1919. the Hakenkreuz—the swastika. but not of course to Aryan capital—creative capital. "The heroic German effort failed. But for his betrayal by others. First Class. they have made practi- . however. where he heard Gottfried Feder make the principal speech. Two years later he was wounded. Adolf became a convert. These years. but his eyesight returned more piercingly than any man's in Europe. a part of the espionage. for had he not fought with Germany? So he spent the winter with the reserve battalion of his regiment. the party is Hitler. In mid-October. "From then on. Feder was violently opposed to Jewish capital. an intelligence officer. workers' and folkic groups. He was by good fortune detailed to attend a meeting of the Deutsche Arbeiter Partei.

for insisting. I would ." He flushed. A n d . the love of man and man." "But you have left yourself out of it all. "We have not always agreed. only so can Germany have the worldconquering Nazi army she needs and the world needs. and within the year he was almost elected President instead of the Old Man. " W h y talk of myself? A l l Germany talks of me. Captain. It is this man.56 T H E STRANGE D E A T H cally all Germany the Party. once already. "But I did not mean that. You too know of this— and how? Do you think 7 do not know what two Judases to me and my Leader saw that these personal letters of mine were broadcast in the opposition papers. once he has carried into effect the Party's social program. battle-marred face. From La Paz. As one would write to any friend. Yet he has sent me away. I marched with the Freikorps against Red Munich." A tense glow of worship softened his granite." "I know. yes: it was all disgusting slander. and the rest who had made this amazing success possible. I myself built the Storm Troopers. Captain. they snap at my heels without ceasing. To me. was unknown. and spread on hand bills throughout the Reich? The Leader stood firm. Your face shows that you know much about me." He said it bitterly. whose double you have the honor to be selected to be. naturally. Little Adolf. the Storm Troopers must become the Reichswehr. " A n d yet. merely commenting that real love. I wrote to D r . Again he shrugged. What difference do 7 make? I have been a soldier since I was nineteen. I fought the Communists in the Ruhr. in lovely Bolivia." I studied him with increased liking. he said. we will see the German millennium upon us. Brunswick made him a German citizen. Heimsath. to protect the Leader—my Leader.

and that is something. and without a word he tore it up. A n d I—my hands are tied. H e had his police health-card—just a young prostitute from Hamburg. one lives but once." His face saddened. "Not I. no? To be watched constantly. "I have not. and would you live a virgin. a perfectly lovely lad accosted me on the W i l helmplatz. A n d . to me—the opposite of that . there was a report of it the next morning on the Leader's desk. It did not flicker. as he must?" His craggy face seamed a trifle. his nostrils rose delicately. Besides. H e showed it to me without a word." I smiled defensively. no? But it is so— it has been so since early in the republic. i f I cannot speak? But I know. I could have arrested him for soliciting. . "He can himself at any time use it as a weapon against me. " "Things get known." he smiled remorsefully. of decentralization. to be spied on—to feel that men rise in the Party. . The essence of disorganization. so far. But—he knows. we went to my rooms. as they spy and tattle on each other. I trust I never w i l l . I had a lovely couple of hours. Why not?" I am afraid my eyes widened a trifle. "Three nights ago. But. . He chuckled. trying to make good in the capital. How can I even denounce the two who bared so my personal life to the world?" "In Basle. they said it was Göring and Goebbels who were responsible. .—but why? We went to a biergarten. would you believe this. . " Y o u did not know that the male prostitutes too have the police health-cards. . It does not give me the easy feeling." I watched his face as I spoke.OF A D O L F HITLER 57 remain his Chief of Staff though heaven shook. "What difference does it make.

According to this man—and I was careful never to reveal that I might know anything of the case— * Storm Troopers. But do not worry. that cooperation. Goebbels. It will be done efficiently. the SS. Brownshirts—the famous SA. Captain. or heaven knows what. that I have filled my Sturmabteilung * with. shrugged that he was sure she had returned in safety. in good time. when I asked him again. . I brought a friend to the Kaiserhof. For all I know. who had been abandoned by her lover at the Kaiserhof. ** Blackshirts. I discovered. More than a year later one of the SS staff told me of the Propaganda Minister's going to return some young wife. what finally happened to her remains a mystery. and we started to join the others. It was no doubt some of those Schutzstaffel. and surely some message from me should go to her!" He chuckled sadly. he had been assured of it. there is always some mixup. "remember. that she had not returned to the Hague.58 THE STRANGE DEATH teamwork. Well." I fell into step with him. and she will no doubt be returned where she belongs. and it is already almost noon. W e l l — " "But.** set to watch me by Himmler. be sure of that. and that her distracted husband had been entirely unable to locate her. a couple of months later. and deciding that there were better uses she could be put to. he'll report to her that you died of a heartattack. I talk your ears off. to her husband. the inimitable Herr Doktor doubt he will tell you what he has done. "With a woman. suddenly remembering. and I can guess who is behind that. We go to the conference. As for Chiquita." I said. or choked to death on a Vienna wurst.

Here we were. I was nothing in the mighty drama of Germany against her enemies within and without. Göring. with the men at the head of the Party. the slightest whim of the management. now. I was Maximilian Bauer no longer. rippling his grotesque fat whenever he moved. M y name was not on the program. she had been most anxious to see Berlin. bull-like. Well. and had in the end been handed on to some underling of the same department. That was it! I was like the understudy in the theatre. I was not Adolf Hitler. only his double. Heines was with them no longer. It was to escape this that she yielded finally. But at any moment they might call upon me to stand up and go forth to the world as Adolf Hitler. cool. at last. and the slightest indisposition on the part of the star. I must bide my turn. Here was Hitler. that chapter was ended. portly. aflame even more than when I had seen him first. and yet not one of them. the unsightly little dwarf Goebbels. yet. I studied Adolf Hitler with quickened interest. A n d strange things happen in Germany. It was strange to be of them. But I had to be letter-perfect in my part. I had given up the right to have a name of my own. his Little Adolf. tense. henceforth.OF A D O L F HITLER 59 she had not been agreeable. and yet at any moment I might be called upon to be the star. indeed. might put me forward to speak the lines and enact the actions that might make or mar the success of the glorious performance. concentrated. distinguished. and had been put in protective custody. so I at least had no responsibility. None of the press was mine. with his vulture's face. in . I was not Adolf Hitler. at first. von Arnheim. hill-like. and meanwhile become the character I had accepted as mine.

and the Leader had demanded of the O l d Man to be named forthwith as Chancellor. much of it came to me for the first time. Herr Reichskanzler—'Let that Bohemian Corporal learn manners. Goebbels smiled wryly. even when von Papen pushed it under his nose.60 T H E STRANGE D E A T H the Klieg light that Roehm had thrown upon his life. would not even see the dissolution decree signed by the President. Their conversation was like machine-gun fire. as well. A few of these facts I knew vaguely. But I studied the others. after he had dispersed you. " A n d what the O l d Man said to his precious Franzy. They spoke next of the session in the Reichstag where Göring. while I was being stripped and searched and imprisoned and allowed to drowse on that chilly cot in the room beneath the chamber where the Chancellor slept—where General von Schleicher slept." chuckled Göring. A s they flung words back and forth. by a vote of 513 to 32. no?" said Hitler dryly. which smothered the government in the worst parliamentary defeat the Republic had ever known. now. after his March on Rome. " Y o u scared the old dotard out of his wits. as Speaker.'—Colossal!" His mimicry was excellent. his character.'" "It is changed. too. not yet informed that he was Chancellor no longer. the picture grew upon me of what had happened the night before. until Göring had put the Communist vote of lack of confidence. They had rolled up almost fourteen million votes. " 'I demand to have precisely the powers of Il Duce. It was of the election of the last summer that they spoke first. or I'll name him postmaster in some little town where he can spend his declining years licking my rump on postage stamps. .

to the Old Man himself! That's how he cut his throat. Franzy ferreting out the Osthilfe scandal. . and he turned to his precious son Otto and said. in which a military dictatorship was decided on. . "Even i f I am only a minority Chancellor. O f von Schleicher's secret meeting in the Reichswehr ministry. . and winked slightly at me. . Baron von Schroeder. . . "But did you see the Old Man's silly face when the Storm Troopers marched by this morning. "It is a strange way to emasculate your power. and slipping word of it to you. " A n d what an ass Schleicher was as Chancellor. A n d even the Center fired him. O f the alliance offered and accepted. to wake him up at eleven at night. . " More confidential things were spoken of now. . . "When Franzy reminded the O l d Man of that. 'I did not remember that we took so many Russian prisoners. . ." said Arnheim. . Herr Hitler. . with only three seats in the cabinet. his wits more befuddled than ever—" "Yet. ." Hitler blushed slightly. . " A n d what a coup.' That incredible nitwit for president!" Goebbels observed the blush." von Arnheim pointed out quietly. " A n d the ass threatened to call out the Reichswehr against us. O f a secret meeting arranged by Papen with Hitler at the home of the old banker. . with Hugenburg and Papen under arrest.OF ADOLF HITLER 61 "It put Franzy in his place. . Herr Hitler." Goebbels laughed evilly. and there was nobody but Hugenburg's mossback Nationalists who would take him i n . " "The effort. we won!" said Hitler firmly. and Hitler to be arrested or worse. "was to shelve you. . ." nodded Arnheim. . . . to emasculate your power. last night.

since he introduced into the Reichstag a law to castrate all perverts. he i g nored the jibe." said Hitler. "He will be a zealous one." "Well. and Frick as Reichsminister of the Interior. Even i f I have to kill off so many of the opposition. out of six hundred seats. that I promise you. "I pledge you my word. a sneer twisting his warped face. eh. Otherwise. "We will have the majority." he announced. Although Wilhelm Frick is an authority on emasculation. we have already one new convert in Little Adolf. "We have thirty-three days before the election. ." smiled the Leader." For a long time I thought that he was right." said Goebbels. here. "I myself will see to that. Herr Reichskanzler?" "If any man can. H o w are we to do it?" "Leave that to us!" said Goebbels jubilantly. "We will find a way." said Göring heavily. "Two hundred and fifty deputies are not enough.T H E STRANGE DEATH to put Göring over the Berlin police. you will." This time it was Roehm that flushed.

and the last first. dead German-Jew. O f these four great. for I slowly became him. Lenin I never saw. and I saw in a human face. but that Hitler was the greatest man since Napoleon." until all men on earth would stumble under them . Stalin I once saw review the flower of the Red Army on Red Square in Moscow. i n the field of action. for good or for evil. and who built at last at least half a continent into such a world. and there can be greatness blended of both. to decree by ukase the words of a Jew long slain. . .OF ADOLF HITLER 63 CHAPTER IV " H O W O D D OF G O D — " O B E G A N for me a close association with one of the men I still believe to be one of the four greatest men of the present century—for there is a greatness in evil. or for both. he sought to build the dream of a bitter. I do not know. strong men. . I only know that with icy. the field of influencing the lives of millions. in spite of his faults and the ruin at last he spread. . "The first shall be last. as there is a greatness in good. remorseless logic. This association lasted five years and eight months to the day. A n d I came to know him better than myself. granite—a mongrel half Mongol and half Caucasian —superabundant vitality held in leash by more than S . and to cover the world with men and women who knew no lord on earth or above .

and no outsiders are injured or even humiliated. at least in the part that betrayal played in it. Mussolini I know. and the rest of the . To find its analogue. I am told. Men respect Stalin. and all the rest the despised. we must travel back down the bloody centuries to Rome trampling a prostrate world into the bloodied soil. Joan of A r c . and France still quivers taller at her memory—France. to twelve accursed tribes who swaggered that they alone were the chosen of God. little as they may have been worth it. The dream of Adolf Hitler was different. better now than when I faced him in the dreadful strain of the conference that led to the pact at Munich: an oily peasant strutting his rôle of modern Caesar over the dregs of the ancient Romans. and it is easy to believe it. man where she was woman. Achieve it. There is a difference between them deeper than these: who knows it better than I? Joan's dream is what we call sane: to free France for the French. Men fear Mussolini. But men worshipped Hitler. yet with a manner of death strangely akin. a scholar where she was illiterate. Germany at length produced her own inspired saint. to Athens in a death struggle for lordship over the barbaroi. servitor of her Lord in Heaven and of no Christian god. So Adolf Hitler dreamed the mad dream of one superior race striding in godlike dominance over the world. For good or for evil. empireorganizer where she was mere liberator. the non-elect. held something of the same mad consecration. or for a fanatical blend of both. illiterate French peasant girl as she was. the eternal deadly enemy of the German people.64 T H E STRANGE D E A T H superabundant intelligence. a flame of the spirit. After six hundred years. he was a flame. a soul on fire to build his world-girdling dream.

so I may at last dare say them—who set on fire the slow. great on the field and greater in ending ancient abuses. Gautama with his warped way of light. who cowed the arrogant East before the men of the West for a thousand years. . it crashed forever. . who turned a gladiatorial shambles into an empire. . who shook the tree of monarchy throughout Europe and the world so thoroughly that. I would add to them other and newer names. . the German-Jew—these words will be read in realms and times after the Nazis with their Jew-baiting have vanished. Caesar. There is a hashish grown of no hemp. . Wells to sneer at men of action.OF A D O L F H I T L E R 65 world kneeling in awed obeisance before it. . and its frantic dreams recur. after a century. I know the slow obeisance to the decretals of those strange. but for a few minor branches wilting toward the swallowing soil. the lunging spear that no men ever turned. G . For years I myself was under the hypnotic spell of this dream. . . It is easy for envious. . the Jewish carpenter whose mosaic ethics are still the uttered goal for much of the West. and measured Mazzaroth in his season and Arcturus with his sons. dyspeptic bookworms like H . aloof souls he rated higher: Socrates the probing idealist. and spelled the riddle of the Pleiades and banded Orion. whose waves will spread at least as far: the Englishman who traced our bodily evolution from microbe to man. the German-Jew who for the first time taught man what moved his thought and action. Alexander. . Napoleon. the German-Jew who answered his tribesman after the silence of thirty centuries. remorseless flame of analytical passion that made Soviet Russia possible.

The first. He was to the Catholics bitterly opposed. so that every knee bows or every cheek pales at one's passing. a continent. Strange. an hour for repentance. A n d . in the worldshaking field of action born of a dream. speaks a word that ripens in centuries to come. no terms on which one could be permitted to become a Nazi. He forgave them seventy and seven times. and out of his hatred of his father he hated them for their All-Father Jehovah and his Judaized son and Hitler's own eternal soul-slavery to the blood and tears they stood for. I know of none greater than that Adolf Hitler I lived so close to until his strange and unbelievable death. a slavery no rebellion could weaken. For the Jew. The other. the Napoleon. that I should have three times mentioned German-Jews in thinking now of all he was and achieved. these two hold different sway over men's minds and bodies. plunges a nation. and against the Protestants almost as bitter. providing only they recanted and became full-hearted Nazis. the man of dreams and thought alone. with slavery. I could never get to the bottom of his boundless hatred of the Jews. the Hitler. Both are great. and is still fecund when pyramids have crumbled. There were hours when he was convinced that they could not rightly be spoken of as belonging to the human race.66 T H E STRANGE D E A T H The man of action born of a dream. no forgiveness. the Socrates. or it may be ultimate liberation at the end. and it is much to mold the world one lives in. and there is in the scales of the centuries between them no choice. . But he gave to each of these a day of grace. Unless Captain Roehm was right. the Einstein. of the great of earth of this century. a world into warfare and death. or an integral part of our German world. there was no repentance.

" he said. Göring kept lion cubs for pets and named them all. "you will have opportunity enough. baffled. pronunciamentos. Not that I did not try to probe his mind down to its last. It is a long time. Goebbels took me aside for one moment that first morning. . Freshly named Chancellor as he was. He unhooked the worn dogwhip he always wore. for his dead and buried grandparents. ten years. tiniest flicker of passion. for his parents. A n d I had opportunity enough. from that first morning. he left Göring and Frick and the secretariats to struggle through the immediate beginning of elevating Germany out of its slough. . He was no man for detail. Become him. Caesar." he commanded. pamphlets. and wandered absently into the anteroom where I sat. his mobile hands. and let the bitch gnaw at his feet on its handle. . Blonda. "After ten years. The dogs. They must have something to lash and cow. always subjugate. his pet police bitch. these Nazis. gleaming passion in his vulture face. before a pile of party platforms. Learn him. Adolf Hitler.OF A D O L F HITLER 67 N o forgiveness for him. male and female alike. . " A start this time. I often wondered what forgotten sin or slip of one of Hitler's own grandparents first hardened him into this mold. . " I pledged my word to do this. So. . he loved mostly because they were ripping and rending power abject at his feet: them at least he could always master." " A n d the end will be . Hitler seemed to be speaking mostly to himself. fawned at his heels. I was sure. It was this I was ordered to do. when it must be you in his stead appear. what?" It was fascinating to watch the play of his mobile features. "Study him.

" he said. without ceasing. . His hands spread in the hopeless effort to make the obvious clearer. Judases within the twelve. "He most of all. A l l Germany to include all who are all German. Jews. I let my face fall into his expressions. his tense blue eyes gleaming eerily. make her his mistress or even his wife. . until it became second nature with me. N o . They must go!" "But take Marx. because they are all Jews. "Surely he was no conspirator to aid capitalists!" " Y o u will learn. for traitors. they are the major enemies of the Fatherland. There is a firing-squad." I protested. until some of it is anti-German? They are traitors within the camp. Nordic ideals. A Jewish youth can there corrupt a Nordic girl. breed children by her—and what becomes of the purity of the race then? A Jewish girl can seduce a Nordic man—and they are trained to it. one single soul who splits his allegiance. " A l l Germany only for those who are all German. how can we have in the Reich. to his filthy tribe. Look at Russia. As he spoke. move as his moved. you see the Jews flocking like vultures to feast on the carcasses of Nordic enterprises. from childhood—and the . all Judaized. and I would not have found it easy to think the thoughts and act the actions of the forgotten Maximilian Bauer again. Wherever Marxism develops. to the world-wide conspiracy of Jewish capitalists who conspire. to cripple every nation into becoming part of a world state ruled by Jewish financiers. They have no Jewish problem. H o w can we have i n the Party.68 T H E STRANGE D E A T H I let my hands lie as his lay. I never deviated from this. Jews and Marxists. There was never one that was not loyal first to his Jewish god. . They make no distinction.

the judges bought. the evidence is strangled. Little Adolf! I have a scientist who assures me that the Jews first developed all venereal diseases. . .OF A D O L F HITLER 69 racial stock becomes all mongrel. . " Y o u know how careful the Judenkenner is to authenticate every fact. I read you! 'Deutschenationalkamerad. my Leader. Look. and have pledged my soul from the Fatherland to extirpate them. and that they are mentioned as a plague in the cowardly flight through the wilderness from Egypt to Palestine. and from every land that follows its wholesome example?" "Yet there are only half a million of them i n the entire Reich. I have it on the words of men I trust—Streicher. gonorrhea and syphilis and all the rest. . when we have Germany ever before us? What do you know of ritual murder?" His eyes seemed to burn through me. Do you wonder that I recognize the Jew as a plague worse than the Black Death. and from there they spread to the Americas. Rosenberg." " A c h . many more—it is the final mystery of the Jewish religion. and he tore a deep rip down the top. . "Well. Look. The trial at Kiev. . . But why go to Russia. under your arm!" In his excitement he snatched at the paper so swiftly I could not move my arm in time. He smoothed it swiftly." I urged. I have read things. There is no doubt about it. and his quivering finger pointed at the horrors it contained. and with Columbus so back to Europe. have you forgotten that the Jew violates your child? Debauches your wife? Corrupts your sister? Seduces your fiancee? Assassinates your parents? Rots your culture? Infects with dreadful plagues your race?' What do you say of that. the guilty ones freed.

" Y o u too have been contaminated then. they think they are shrewd! From America they propose to send this Walter Lippman to interview me. Mongolians. even African Negroes. and we have done our work. Frenchmen. and men of lower races. Once I had a Jewish mistress—" His face went almost green with horror. O f course. when the Nazi is the only party. or their shrewdness in finance—" His mobile blue eyes brightened." "Is it their race." I wondered aloud. utterly. and I have encountered quite a few. "Yet I can truthfully say that I never yet met a Jew that went around raping children and debauching Nordic wives. or their religion. Even at times Nordics. no! A thousand times. and be but a propaganda sheet for their worldwide conspiracy. as a face for their machinations! Y o u investigate carefully. A h . are blamed for their crimes. From now on. all that may be so. and you will find that the paper he represents must be owned by Jews. Both lands are with the vermin almost to the death infected. "It is that they are i n - . Do I meet them? N o ! Thunderweather. yes! But you have been snatched from the burning in time. you never knew the Jews you met for the monsters they are." "Well. forever—unless they are at the open end of a gun whose butt you hold. Not since I have become a man have I to one even spoken! So it will be with all Germans. It is suggested that I meet Lord Reading to discuss the relations between the Reich and England. avoid them.70 THE STRANGE DEATH " A n d one typhoid carrier can infect a city of millions. I will end that. that is their diabolical cleverness. no! O n the telephone I would not to a Jew even speak. but it is not hard to recognize the Jew by his crime. There are in the Reich half a million Jews too many.

Speyers. Little Adolf—is that not enough? I can never forgive them for that!" "Some of them have lived here a long time—centuries. yes. he fouls. Sassoons. and association with inferiors corrupts. for thirty pieces of silver asked. These. our science. our philosophy. all Ger- . But the Jew. Even the Protestants have their international church organizations. to replace. our music. The Catholics serve the machinations of the international papacy. a Jewess to wash your floors. Look. and that his whole cabinet consisted of Jews. every financial deal. our legends. but their hearts look toward Jerusalem as the world capital. to supplant. it is significant that a Jew. our literature. They are not German. and forget that a man's first duty is to his Fatherland. no. Jesus. Peter as Chancellor. to debauch. that if you hire a Jew to fire your furnace." "Ach. to eject. rulers of that empire which should be as Germanic as we? Look at your Rothschilds. our system of government. inspired by the Jewish example. no group like them. Guggenheims. what am I offered? There is no race like them. utterly to dominate! They have no place in a world peopled by the superior race. The spider web of their international conspiracies fouls every land. They would betray any cause. What he touches. they plot at once to corrupt. A n d they are inferiors with such boundless and bitter ambition. Look at your Disraeli and Rufus Isaacs in England—did they not become Lord Gladstone and Lord Reading. can see the light. every administration. with St. and Jewish procurators ruling every land as a province of a universal Jewish state. any state. any man. is their god. and alter from their errors. the Catholics and the Protestants.OF A D O L F HITLER 71 ferior. Patriotism? Only to Jerusalem. and countless more throughout the world.

any who worship the Jewish Jehovah. "Surely he is entitled to his own religion. and what the great German thinkers. he chasteneth. God in heaven. The Jewish Jehovah must be eliminated! H o w can anyone call him a god of right or might. the stupidly blundering Judaized English?" Something echoed in my mind. Einstein. properly applied. for himself. Catholics. have made of them. Mendelssohn. until a little bronze replica of the Wingless Victory toppled to the floor. I tell you. when in the World War he gave the victory to second-rate nations. Loki the mischievous Satan. the Nazi propaganda. these. Siegfried. "Whom the Lord loveth. "But not the German god. Thor and his hammer.72 T H E STRANGE D E A T H man." I murmured. They can not be right. Hitler's hand slapped down on the table beside him. "What is the German religion? Our great legends. Sometimes I think Ludendorff is right. lifted into heaven by Wagner's supernal genius. and a few more names that occurred to me. can make an entire people see heaven as hell. and can we blame him that we took one Jewish sect and made it the religion of the gentile world?" Hitler's eyes blazed. and the most miserable life a paradise on earth. I spoke quietly. all Nordic. This Jewish cult called Christianity brought spiritual terrorism into the world for the first time. Protestants. and only a return to a magnificent paganism can wipe the Jewish stain off our religion. no? But our religion! Look how the Jew has fouled that!" It was no time to ask the Leader about Heine. Wotan the A l l Father. like the corrupt and effeminate French. a text I had heard Pastor Grünecke preach from in Basle. the philosophers. without thought. no! . and only force and terror can break its stranglehold.

. God. to become Marxists and conspirators.OF A D O L F HITLER 73 N o t the ancient Jewish Jehovah. His face seemed transfigured. a Nordic savior!" I answered him thoughtfully. in Lubeck. and so I am bound to be. But they surrendered being men. this bastard Jewish religion! I myself. than Judaizing the truth of the . Germany. either. they take a Jewish bride. under David and Solomon . he was the first Communist. no Jewish Bible. whom Catholics and Protestants alike worship. as i f they had not caused enough trouble with their circumcised Jehovah. and not chastisement. and replaced it." I did not add. . "In the end. and our Herr god. and suddenly she is discovered pregnant by the Holy Ghost—ghost stories. the bloody exploits of the Maccabees: they were not then pacifists. It was victory he gave. as a German. . . 'We will have no foreign pope. A Jew—a Jewish bastard! The Jews are right. We will have a German church. which had been a fact. never think that that plague started with hairy old Karl Marx. where it wavered a little giddily from its now unsteady base—"victory. what a tragedy that Nordics worship an illegitimate Jewish god. "I met a Nazi once. the pacification of the world. I am a heathen. A n d then. that I saw him given a black eye for it by a Centrist. The conquest of Canaan . to startle children with—and so we have Jesus Christus. devoted to extirpating from all of life this stain of Jewry. I know no more heinous crime that the international Jew has committed. yes. who said that you would redeem the Fatherland. instead of a German redeemer."—absently he picked up the dented bronze. as we will find a German redeemer. It must be so. National Socialism must be our religion. Ach.

More than ever I was proud of my retentive memory. the foulness beneath. and making us bow before an Asiatic mongrel. with a mind as clean as his. He was hacked out with an ax. A n d you. A l l this I would write down in the tablets of my mind. " Y o u will meet Julius Streicher. so all sharp edges and no blunted. A l l this might be true. But I remembered a kindly old Jewish tailor in Passau. my quick observation. the words.74 T H E STRANGE DEATH redeemer god who is still to come. Yet. and several Jewish professors at Basle who had done more than one big favor for me. my imagination can! I wake up in the silent watches of the night and writhe with horrid excitement from some unspeakable rape of a Nordic child. you will get a hint of them from Streicher. the intonations. A h . the facial expressions. from the clean words. that much at least was clear. it was part of his soul. and no plane used thereafter. curved mannerisms. There is the man who knows all that they are! It is worse than I tell you. instead of a Nordic deity!" "The case is strong against them. H e was so extreme. to avoid a charge of . He must have read my uncertainty. and a wise Jewish doctor who had treated my uncle's family in Nürnberg. It would not be hard to be Adolf Hitler. Little Adolf—far worse! There are things too ghastly to talk about in public. some ghastly debauching of a Nordic daughter or wife by one of the detested Jewish swine. the very tricks of finger-twitching. my natural mimicry. It tells as much truth as he dares put in print. never miss an issue of his Der Stürmer." I said reflectively. how was I to know? He believed it. when I needed them most. the chain of thoughts. how can he more than hint what is indecent beyond words? Your imagination must fill in.

They had this Jewish harlot stripped naked. indeed the world. and the Nazi task. This story he has not dared print yet—but he will. He snapped his fingers. initiating blonde Nordic women into orgies of lust that rival the orgies of Messalina and Lucretia Borgia. when they have the opportunity. and your task.OF ADOLF HITLER 75 flagrant and public indecency. She admitted the worst that they asked her—that she had been present when the little boy was bound down. they had to torture a Jewish girl whom they had suspected of being there. "It makes what difference? Only last month Der Stürmer had a more hideous story—of Jewish men and boys deliberately enticing and corrupting little blonde German girls to cater to the unnatural lusts they have made so prevalent in Berlin and Vienna. "Five years ago. yes. A n d then. she told the truth. in Germany itself. the little four-year-old son of a Nazi father and his devoted wife suddenly disappeared. Do you wonder that Germany must extirpate them. they had applied lighted matches to the soles of her feet and she still would not confess. "It can be a . and finally they pulled out one toenail with pliers. worst of all. to rid the fair Fatherland. he w i l l ! " Hitler's eyes gleamed with fanatical intensity. and that it is my task. bound to a huge table. A n d an orgy of lust followed it—she admitted even this. when they put the pliers to the second toenail!" "What happened to the girl?" I asked. and his throat cut. to save the rest of her body. of this hideous plague!" Slowly I caught fire from his fanaticism. and all the other awful ritual gone through with. and then. before she confessed to the truth—torture her almost to the point of death. It took three years for Streicher's investigators to find out the facts. actually raping them. and.

"you understand—you know more than all the Judenschwein in creation. When I purged him from the party. in the top drawer of my desk! Gregor Strasser used to go frantic. soon." "Leave that to Goebbels. not kin to the rest of us. Though. Hitler's strong nervous hands stroked the hair of her head rhythmically." he smiled proudly. when I would threaten it." He slumped back in his chair. " A n d I have told the Party comrades that. Oh. this time. no? Y o u must master the folkic literature. "Sometimes I wonder if Arno Schickedanz is not right. "He says that the Jew is not a human being. with a burst of wild energy. i f they let our revolution fail. you have not the whole power yet. something—I forget what—made me threaten to commit suicide again." He paced thoughtfully up and down the room. Blonda. He said there would be no Party. Blonda. with no Hitler. as I heard you say. "Sweetheart. . You have not read his Sozialparasitismus im Völkerleben. for the Judas he is." he said. Y o u are wise. I will blow out my own brains—for that I have my own revolver always handy. but science has established stranger things. he will arrange it. that he is a parasite on the human body. akin to the scientifically established parasites on all animal and plant life. . his pet police bitch. i f they would not let my will be the Party's will. It would simplify a lot. darling— . Then he sprang to his feet." H e stared fiercely at me. he continued. It seems incredible. laid her huge head in his lap. then!" He subsided again into his chair. . it is the duty of every Nazi. his face taut and wondering. every German—they will be the same. and sniffed luxuriously. Let them heed well what I say.76 T H E STRANGE D E A T H matter of time only. at all. "It was Goebbels who was so upset. as it is bound to be. A t my nod.

a world pestilence whose final form is that ultimate putrescence. and I tell you.—one at a time. the dead weight of sheer numbers alone. and the rest. and Marxism. Out of democracy comes the hideous disease called Marxism. sweetheart. rather than let this happen—rather than see the German race perishing under the Jewish diseases of democracy. I am carrying out the will of the Almighty Creator. I am acting as God himself!" "I did not know. A h a ! " as there was a peremptory knock on the door. . . N o . the eternal privilege of force and strength. The Jew denies all this. the parliamentary system." His strong rhythmic caresses had roused the bitch now to a low excited rumble of delight." I said humbly. I know Streicher might. "In the old days. If the Jew with his Marxian creed conquered the nations of the earth. Do you wonder that I say I would kill myself. So the Spaniards did with the Indians in the Americas. I did not know. adoring eyes of the bitch. until the last of them was gone. and the Jew is the root of all evils. but my Blonda knew. there are slower.OF A D O L F HITLER 77 you accept the aristocratic principle in nature. the Wolf." his eyes poured passion into the widened. his crown of victory would be the funeral wreath of the human race. until again the land was fit for man to dwell in. I think Göering might do it now. the planet would drive through the ether once again empty of mankind. and to Muck. my Little Adolf. "I would have fed the Jews alive to you. . better ways. You did not know. " A n d even democracy the detested Jew is responsible for!" "But naturally: it is an evil. as it did so many millions of years ago. and the parliamentary system? In fighting these. in that blind worship of majorities called democracy. .

and I have them all equipped with sjamboks— hippopotamus whips. The orderly looked with startled suspicion from the Leader to me. "Get a sjambok for this new bodyguard. saluted with a casual arm that did not quite straighten out. He turned to me when the orderly had departed. The room was empty when he had gone out. "You're one of my bodyguard now. But." snapped out the Leader's voice." he said. . too. when one is needed. So." He swung abruptly on his heels. her eyes liquid with adoration. They must not think that I am quintuplets running all over the Chancellery. with a warm smile. and gave the salute and the response also. i f ever a Jew comes near you. clicked his heels together. Excellency. and soon. His voice shook with uncertainty. .78 T H E STRANGE D E A T H A n orderly entered. I will have Goebbels attend to that quickly. while his arm slashed forward in a stiff gesture. and left the room. " Y o u are wanted at conference. Blonda settled herself again on the floor at his feet. . Little Adolf. gentle little weapons that can brain a man with one blow. "Heil Hitler!" he responded. "Heil Hitler!" More negligently the Leader rose. — A n d a revolver. Wait here. . I rose to my feet. we must hide your face. I turned my back discreetly. clicked his heels awkwardly.

through the cheering thousands. at first. I have burned these. and weekly. I treasured the daily hours with the Leader himself. his mannerisms. however. there will never be need for them again. and be the Leader in the flesh.OF ADOLF HITLER 79 CHAPTER V T H E SIGN F R O M H E A V E N E F O R E nightfall of that day. It was this which admitted me to strange councils in the month that followed my entry into the Chancellery. in which I absorbed more and more of his ideas. More than these. now. But over it. my hair was dyed the precise shade of Hitler's. in which I could watch his manner in public. his precise face. in his place. A t a moment's notice I could remove these. But even in those days when I would have to remove them at the bidding of the Leader or any of the inner group of the Party. an off-color wig was fitted. disguised as one of his bodyguard. until I resembled the Leader even less than Julius Shreck. to the day on which I write this. they insisted that I alone had his voice. B . I alone must be ready to speak even. and wax was inserted up the nostrils. it has been so dyed. for good. i f need arose. his chauffeur. his intonations. and one other of his doubles. or the wild excited dashes by automobile. his fanaticism. and hear his voice bringing balm to the torn hearts of Germany.

saluting me as the savior of the Fatherland. and Germany!" I removed the wax from my nostrils. and walked out of the door. I reached with a smile for his dogwhip. He beckoned me to my feet. Horst Wessel. that I could see disturbed him very much." insisted Goebbels. " Y o u must stay and decide what we are to tell them. it will do as well. he stood in front of me and gave the salute with more energy than I had ever seen him. too. Goebbels. A t first. as increasingly I saw Germany lined up on both sides of me. redeemer of the Fatherland. I threw out my chest. O n the way to the tomb. Adolf Hitler in the body. and cried "Heil Hitler!" In superb arrogance I returned the salute. "Let the wreath be sent. that first I appeared in public as the Leader. It had been planned to have him lay a wreath on the tomb of the sainted Nazi martyr. Little Adolf is at the service of the Party. and was . not even Brückner. "will lay the wreath on the tomb. which will release this astral body to do as you will about the dispatches. A t the last minute. I sat beside Brückner. my heart thumped a little more loudly than usual. None of them knew of the substitution. with a harassed look. and of course faithful Julius Schreck driving. with his own hands he removed the wig from my head. I had come to my destiny at last. This I quieted at last.8o THE STRANGE D E A T H It was during that first month. It had ceased to be a masquerade. with Schaub and another bodyguard behind me." The Leader rose magnificently to the situation. and more lackadaisically I gave the answering "Heil Hitler!" "I" with a grin toward me the Leader spoke. as we were about to start. came dispatches from several of the Rhine cities.

the momentary crisis. "Just three minutes. my Party comrades. lifting up before me a microphone. and every voice thundered forth a "Heil Hitler!" I drew my shoulders back.OF A D O L F HITLER 81 my own dominant self by the time we reached the tomb. and Goebbels and the rest had forgotten it entirely! The emergency. every step of my progress up the cleared area protected by machine guns. my Leader. let my arm rise with the proper nonchalance to the salute." he reminded me. The vast crowd assembled here stood in reverent silence as. thrust out my chest. He gave his life for his Fatherland in his heroic conflict with the forces that poison and destroy—the three-fold hydra-headed monster of . heart exalted: so might every son of the Party and the Fatherland die! I turned and faced the mighty gathering again. Good God in heaven. in the long night hours alone. The hands of all flashed up in salute. " M y friends. the great-hearted and great-souled hero and martyr. I marched up the steps of the tomb itself. For this I had prepared and schooled myself. A tear dropped from my eye as I straightened up. and deposited the wreath on the grave of the great Party martyr. "I greet you in the name of a reawakened." sonorously the opening rolled out. and responded with that hail that all the centuries will repeat: "Heil Hitler!" But here was the chairman of arrangements. did not find me lacking. Horst Wessel. there was to be this word to all Germany and the world. re-arisen and resurrected German Fatherland!" It was to a hailstorm of applause every other word came. "We are met at the tomb of the Known Soldier of the Party.

as he spread the other taints of civilization. the parliamentary system—" Could I forget the glowing golden words of my Mein Kampf. that Bible for all tomorrows? "—and it is to the destruction of that that we pledge here our bodies. to today and to unborn tomorrows as well. and spread it. words my Leader himself had used. pulling her back into line. One girl broke through the cordon of Blackshirts toward me. "He invented democracy. and a more glorious ending. in all that was displayed when a firm hand ripped off her waist. and in the rest of the world! Out of this sprang the monstrosity of filth and fire. our hearts. our souls." How beautifully it all came back to me. and even saluting places where . and so back through the packed passionate streets to the Chancellery again. over the unsuspecting world. I marched up the steps of the building. and all our futures! Not till the last Marxist has been strangled in the entrails of the last Jew will our efforts cease! Party comrades. words that as the Leader myself I was speaking out of my heart and soul to all Germany. Out of this vile nightsoil came the poisonous plant of Marxism. that threat at the manhood of every man. returning every salute and "Heil Hitler!". and I am sure it was no more than to kiss my hand that she wanted. But the magnificent sons of the Fatherland rose to the crisis. as I marched back to the car. Marxism. in the Fatherland. and democracy! The Jew is the root of all evil. To the magnificent strains of the Horst "Wessel hymn the cavalcade of cars started again. They went frantic with adoration. Heil Hitler!" It was a glorious speech. and I was quite interested. that decalogue for today. the chastity of every woman. and passed slowly through the frantically cheering thousands by the tomb.82 THE STRANGE D E A T H Judaism.

OF A D O L F H I T L E R

83

a salute should have come from. I was striding as I came into the conference room where Goebbels, Göring, the other Party leaders and the Leader himself were sitting back, smiling triumphantly over having solved the tangled snarl of the last minute dispatches. "You were magnificent, my Leader," said Goebbels, saluting me with the friendly smile of a hungry python. " Y o u were too damned good," said Hitler. "Hereafter, why should I speak at all?" But his eyes smiled, and I saluted him with all my soul and passed into the anteroom to become the unnoticed bodyguard again. Yet there had been a grandeur in that moment that I knew would rouse even my Leader to higher heights. I had not been rehearsing to myself for nothing. Even more interesting, during that passionate tug-andstrain month, were certain other conferences, especially late at night, to which even the Leader was not bidden. Usually it was his regular little camarilla, the huge ox-like Göring, the sick-eyed little vulture Goebbels, the sly-eyed rowdy Captain Roehm, stiff Erik von Arnheim, Major Generals Heines and Ernst, and one or two more. "He is still Adolf Légalité," sneered Karl Ernst, one midnight about the middle of February. "Three seats in the cabinet! Herr Gott, I talked myself hoarse, after the O l d Bull first refused to appoint him Chancellor, urging putsch, putsch, putsch! What good did it do? If he fought it then, he is frantic against it now." "There are those who went through the Beer Hall Putsch without a wound," said Roehm, in contemplative reminiscence. "The Leader was wounded in his soul. Just as well recognize it, that is his nature till death: never again arms, when craft will win." He considered the ceiling thought-

84

T H E STRANGE D E A T H

fully. " H o w young we all were in those days, how confident of ourselves, how sure the world was a ripe plum ready to drop into our upturned hands! Y o u weren't there, Little Adolf," he turned to me indulgently. "But you have a right to live in the memory of great dead hours, as we do. That fight was won, Little Adolf, when my Storm Troopers captured the meeting, with steel helmets and Maxim guns at the doors, at every window. So proudly the Leader sprang on the table and fired two shots into the ceiling! Go to the Burgenbraukeller, across Isar, look at the ceiling, and there the holes are, to this day! 'Fellow Germans, the National Revolution has begun! Six hundred armed men cover the h a l l ! ' " "Less five hundred and fifty," sneered Göring. " I f we had been six hundred, they would not have plugged me so the next day. I count." His hand stroked his hiked Crusader's sword. I had heard of the huge headsman's sword behind his desk against a velvet curtain in his home. " A c h , forget your damned accuracy, Herr Minister." His voice was electric: " 'Hitler—Ludendorff—Poehner— the new government—Hoch!' It worked like magic. Kahr, Seisser, Lossow, he backed them into the anteroom, the government of Bavaria, if you please, lined up against the wall! I took the platform, though speaking is not my first love; and I told the amazed audience what glories we would bring, while he fought for Germany against those traitors. The Leader lifted his revolver against the three of them: 'I have here four bullets—one for you, Gustav von Kahr; one for you, Seisser; one for you, General von Lossow—and the last for myself, i f you do not join us, and save Germany!' It was persuasion enough; they joined us. But Lossow's adjutant had escaped, and roused von Danner.

OF A D O L F HITLER

85

We trusted the three turncoats, the more fools we. If we had only been wise enough to keep watch on them! B y morning they had turned again, and the putsch was a corpse. Even at that, Herr Minister, we marched in, eh, seven thousand strong, Ludendorff and the Leader in the lead. . . . A n d then, the volley from the police. . . . Ludendorff arrested, the man arm-in-arm with Hitler plunked full of lead, the Leader on the ground with his shoulder dislocated, his bodyguard's body plugged with eleven bullets, Ludendorff's valet with his head half ripped off. . . . So it ended. A n d so we have Adolf Légalité. I, for one, am for the putsch still. What fun is there in government, i f there are not skulls to crack? But I can still understand." " Y o u understand," said Goebbels icily, "just where it has gotten us, this damned legalism. There are six hundred seats in the Reichstag. We need a majority. We have scarce two hundred fifty." "I thought we had a Propaganda Bureau," said von Arnheim, with a little sneer. "There are one hundred Communist seats," growled ' Göring. "I count better, when I have them all in jail. Give me my way, and those that are not in the hospital have made their choice between cremation and burial. I still say they are all trying to escape from something; let me turn my guns on them!" "We are all agreed, no, that this is no time to confine ourselves to political action?" asked Karl Ernst ponderously. "Except in the expanded sense it is used in the United States of America, where riots and shootings keep away unsympathetic voters?" "But, certainly!" said Goebbels irritably. "Leave it to

86

THE S T R A N G E D E A T H

speeches and votes, and in 1990 we are still campaigning for a majority. We have got to teach the German people what they want, is it not so?" "This should be an election by the free choice of the German people," said von Arnheim suavely. " A n y German fit for the suffrage is a Party member. Therefore it is our duty to see that their will is carried out. It will take a little direct action to arrive at this important result. Only, what direct action?" "Kick the Communists on the rump," said Göring earnestly. " M y boots are spiked." "The spikes are blunt," pointed out Karl Ernst quietly. " Y o u raided the Karl Liebknecht house, their headquarters, eh? Y o u gave us your word you'd find proof of a Jewish conspiracy to rock the world. I laugh till I am sick. You find Sunday School lessons and pamphlets denouncing Marx, and nothing else. A n d 'Heil Göring' on your picture, framed on the wall—though I will admit they had splattered it with filth." This man especially fascinated me. There were rumors enough about Captain Roehm's personal life, and he had admitted the truth of most of them. He avoided women, yes, and he did not avoid men. But there were facts common to all about Karl Ernst. He had been for years a waiter in a low homosexual bar and restaurant in West Berlin, and he was admittedly Roehm's chief pet. I did not like the way he looked at Goebbels and Göring. I did not like the way any of them looked at each other. Only when they looked at Hitler was there something I could applaud. "Maybe your boots are spiked," sneered Göring. " O r would you take them off and attack each Communist in pajamas?"

OF ADOLF HITLER

87

"Maybe you simply don't understand matters above your head," said Ernst heatedly. ""What are you, a marriage-broker or a soldier?" "I know what I'm not" said Göring brusquely. " A pervert— "Ach, an old woman's kaffee-klatsch," said Goebbels irritably. " W i l l you two never grow up?" "One of us has," said Göring, frowning angrily. But, as always, the little schemer quieted him. "Listen to me, then —when I talk, it has meaning. I must have them all in jail, these Communists; and I will. The hospital and the cemetery you veto. Be it so. The only thing left is, why do I arrest them?" Erick von Arnheim smiled suavely. " N o w we are getting somewhere. After all, our life's work is not to pick flaws in each other's footwear. Captain Göring will arrest the Communist deputies—good. Surely we can find some good reason!" He considered it thoughtfully. " A n attempt to assassinate the Leader—the bullet misses—the cowardly Communist assassins are all jailed. Reason enough, ready made for you! Why not?" "Bravo!" said Goebbels swiftly. "That is worthy of us. We all rally to save Germany's redeemer. Genius, Erik, positive genius! Heil Hitler!" But there was no kindliness in his tones. "Your genius will put the Leader in the cemetery," said Göring abruptly. "Suppose the bullet does not miss!" "Give 'em Little Adolf to shoot at," said Goebbels, with an unfriendly look at me, as at any new favorite of the Leader. I think, too, he sensed how little love I had for his waspish soul. "Then there is no harm done, however the bullet goes. We inform the world the noble leader is

88

THE STRANGE D E A T H

wounded, but so superficially; jail the Communist rats; and all is won." "Parteigenosse" I snapped it out in Hitler's best voice, "that is not worthy of you. Heil Hitler!" They all stiffened, and then relaxed. "Clown!" sneered Göring. " Y o u will become as bad as Putzi, the insane ape." "But it is a thought," insisted Ernst. "The Communist I select for the job will miss, I'll see to that." "Ass," sneered Göring. "Where did you learn Party tactics? What then i f he does miss? We have advertised to the world that the Leader is to be shot at, no? ' H i t the nigger baby and get a cigar.' N o . The idea is a boomerang. For your information, Fräulein Ernst, a boomerang is a weapon that gives you concussion of the brain next. Start a thing like this, and sooner or later a man will shoot and not miss." " A n d Little Adolf is rather new on the job, to risk his life," said Heines, with a smirk. " N o , I agree this time with the Reichsminister. There must be some better way than that. Jail them, yes; but,—for what?" I believe that this meeting ended with nothing further accomplished. But we were together the next night, and the night after that. O n one of these nights, it was Göring who brought in a counter proposal. "What about a bomb, exploded in one of the ministries? I have no portfolio; it would not jar me. Say the Interior—that concerns every German closest. Comrade Frick could be a martyr, no? Y o u give me the event, I'll do the jailing." "Somebody always gets caught when you fool with bombs," insisted Ernst. "Stalin himself may have thrown them, in his younger days; but not our milksop German

OF A D O L F HITLER

89

Communists. The days of the Spartacists are over. Besides —one ministry—who cares? We might do better to toss all the Communists into the German Ocean. I have a better idea. We could shoot at the O l d Man—" "We all take a shot then," grinned Göring. " N o t a bad idea, Karla." Ernst flushed and shot a look of hatred at his tormentor. "I hear your last levee ended in a charming orgy, Herr Minister." Erik von Arnheim shook an annoyed head. " Y o u are all adolescent, whenever you get together. Grow up, babies!" Goebbels raised a pacifying hand. " Y o u know, a fire is a lovely thing. It's one of the four original elements—fire, earth, air, and water. We can't achieve a landslide, or a hurricane, or a flood; but a fire is different." "The President's Palais!" suggested Roehm swiftly. "The Speaker's home," said Ernst, with an angry scowl. Goebbels again had his hand insistently quieting them. "I have often thought what an old wooden frame the Reichstag Building is." "God in heaven, and we look for genius anywhere else!" Göring's huge fist thundered down on the deal table. "It is colossal!" "Remember it in your will," said Goebbels sharply. "It spreads from the conference room of the Communist deputies. We apprehend the miscreants, and are the saviors of parliament!" I listened with keenest attention now. History was being made, a new and spiritual Germany was arising phoenixlike from the flames of conspiracy and treachery, here in this acrid conference-room, in the smoke-laden air, while the Leader and the rest of the world slept. What at first

by having us Nazis the clear and overwhelming majority. much less to vote. with insults and vituperation flying: but all for the sake of the Fatherland. His palace as Speaker of the Reichstag was directly across the street from the Reichstag building. a part of the original central heating system.90 T H E STRANGE D E A T H had seemed to me a group of assorted boors and thugs. the resurrected Fatherland. I even have your Communist villain. Out of this argument. "We apprehend the miscreants. Captain Roehm electrified us by the most magnificent contribution yet made to our patriotic scheming. appeared in its true light at last: statesmanlike patriots. He had discovered a secret tunnel connecting the two buildings. gathered to plan some crime that would eliminate a rival political party and so gain for themselves control of Germany. Let the Jews and the nations they gull. And how are you going to get inside the Communist conference room?" They were off now on a long and bitter squabble that lasted a full hour. A t the last conference of all. but should be jailed. Who else in all Berlin but we knew of it? Thus actual access to the doomed building was ridiculously simple. and that in the hour of need the divinely inspired Leader will not fail them. worship the silly result of a ballot. He has already set three small fires in the city. we had discovered that the people need to be led. that the real will of the German people might be expressed. "But I will forget that. who will actually set the fire for us! M y men have reported his actions." sneered Göring. all to make sure that duly elected Communists were not allowed to sit. the final brilliant method decided upon was suggested by Göring. "Gentlemen. and goes around maundering that . using the surest and speediest means to the most glorious of all ends.

all by myself!" Within the hour. once a Communist in Holland. I piled tablecloths and curtains. that way. "Leave that to me. The election is March 4th. ja. He smiled happily when they arrested him. . Göring and Hitler were on the scene of the stupendous conflagration. "Most Communists are damned unreasonable. . and see to it that his pockets bulge with everything from the Communist Manifesto to Genosse Stalin's latest edict!" "He can be hired?" barked out Göring. "It is the work of Communists!" said Göring emphatically. 1933. in the core of Berlin. he can be steered. Dutch halfwit named Marinus van der Lubbe. I lit one fire. the fire departments were fighting the fire. I set it! I went in with household fire-lighters. . He's a poor. smoke and flames burst from the windows of the Reichstag Building. Perhaps a week before. and a police cordon held the blazing inferno incommunicado. at once! Germany will show the swine that Moscow can no longer rule the Fatherland!" . and tore it into strips for tinder. half-blind." said Roehm suavely. "Fire? Sure. near the lower end of Unter den Linden. We may conveniently forget that they expelled him for feeble-mindedness.OF A D O L F HITLER 91 God named him to burn the world for its injustices. "I will have the vile miscreants apprehended. three fires. A n d now Roehm's masterpiece developed. or something like it. on the icy night of February 27." "Better still. Within ten minutes. and even—see!—took off my shirt. two fires. M . and suddenly the whole central chamber is one beautiful blaze! I set it. A man shambled vacantly out of the building." A t nine-fifteen P.

The confessed arsonist had a membership card in the Communist Party on his person. but the excitement of the triumphant moment had inspired Göring to this bold masterstroke. the Nazis shouted back triumphantly: Communist confederates! Yet the world grumbled. and the sceptical world outside. Germany was saved! Unfolkic elements in Berlin and Germany. "Only give us the votes!" they demanded. the most prominent structure in Berlin—how could . he acted without delay. the rest is gutted. and a leaflet urging Social Democrats and Communists to unite." "It is a sign from heaven. out of the five hundred still remaining. could Van der Lubbe have done all this himself? He must have had confederates.92 THE STRANGE DEATH The perspiring Fire Chief saluted the Leader. The Nazi orators went forth into the highways and byways. magnificent in his understanding. The one hundred Communist deputies were jailed. it was revealed. When the trial finally came around. demanded. the evidence established. that he had none of these. as saviors of the country. Martial law was practically proclaimed. as a mere matter of fact." said Hitler. Constitutional guarantees of individual liberty were naturally shelved in this national emergency." Göring hurried out with a statement. Meanwhile. A building of stone and heavy wood. A Communist coup had been planned. Germany will stand firm to the end of time! N o w no one will prevent us from destroying the Communists with iron fists. " N o matter what fire rages in her bosom. The response was magnificent—two hundred and eightyeight deputies. "We have saved the walls. Herr Chancellor.

Communist Chairman of the Reichstag deputies. designed in its every detail by Hitler himself. in black on a white background. surrendered to the police. The Constitution of 1919 was suspended: down with the Jewish pestilences of democracy and parliamentary government! Hitler and his Nazi government were given dictatorial powers for four years. through doors or windows. Aha. Tanev and Popov. Dimitrov. as well as the gasoline. demanding to be tried on the ridiculous charge that Communists had had anything to do with the fire. the Hakenkreuz. maybe? Again the masterstroke of Nazi shrewdness. without being apprehended? H a d he indeed come like Santa Claus down the chimney. N o one could be so base as to imagine that anyone but Communists could have thus sought to throw suspicion on the Reichspraesident himself! The second week in March. A t last the German people had spoken in their folkic pride and power! Ernst Torgler. We were riding on the crest at last. A t once the authorities revealed the existence of the unsuspected tunnel leading from Göring's backyard into the heart of the building. Only the cabinet could enact laws for the Reich. A n observant Nazi waiter reported that three Bulgarian Communists. let the republican flag be forgotten. He was at last grateful to the Nazis as the saviors of Germany. . Hereafter. the O l d Man spoke.OF A D O L F H I T L E R 93 anyone have transported inside the sulphur and other chemicals. and we leapt to rivet the chains of power so that no force could unseat us! Within three weeks the Nazi government introduced and passed the Law to Combat the Misery of People and Reich. the government was more than obliging. Public buildings must display the old imperial standard and the new swastika flag.

left the burning Reichstag in great excitement as late as ten o'clock that night. published abroad by renegade German emigres.94 THE STRANGE D E A T H had acted suspiciously just before the fire. I have even seen the secret report of the Deputy Oberfohren. A gateman testified to the incredible lie that D r . The Leader shrugged. full of lies from start to finish! A c h . and held firmly behind the bars until the trial opened in early summer. charging us with setting the fire! I wish he could be tried for that. or indeed of any of the forces of good. Look at this mock trial. the Jewish influence is everywhere." A t least. one of von Papen's flunkies. with mock defendants. and swore . The trial reeked with lies. and kept him in jail to insure it. a Nazi deputy." he mourned to me one day in mid-June. They were jailed swiftly. not Berlin. "It is unbelievable. being held in London—as i f the very name Germany were not a synonym for justice! A n d the villainous Brown Book. it became clear that he was dead. The government promised him complete justice. on the night of the 27th. Dimitrov offered countless witnesses that he had been in Munich." " W h y doesn't Göring arrest him?" I asked. three-quarters of an hour after the fire had started! One of Göring's own servants turned disloyal. "how quick the world is to believe evil of us. The Leader was very grieved at things that happened in this hour of national strain and emergency. Albrecht. "His flat has been combed. it almost made one determine to abolish all trials. Hitler exclaimed to me petulantly. I am informed that he has shot himself. Here was Van der Lubbe's lie that he had been with Nazis the night before the fire.

a monument to ruthless German justice. had set the fire. The other defendants were mercifully released. It was dated June 3. and had been sent abroad. and inferior races against Nordic greatness. in one of his rare moments of semi-friendliness. It gave a very exaggerated picture of the patriotic conferences of Goebbels. and unswerving loyalty from the people is our Schrecklichkeit. when rumors of the impending vengeance of Hitler for his plotting had reached him. A n d so the folkic cause rolled majestically on. "you will find that the most salutary method of achieving law. had his head chopped off with an ax—Göring contributed this return to the old Germanic punishment as a more salutary object lesson to evildoers. He was utterly outraged at the publication of the letter with Karl Ernst's name signed to it. and that his part had entirely ended in the preliminary discussions. insisted the Leader. Göring. order. The trial came to an end at last. that appeared first after the Purge. I can add to that that Ernst was clearly boasting. it was thought wisest to keep the practical details of the business from the Leader. as there was no evidence to hold them on. 1934. with two of the Storm Troopers. von Mohrenschild and Fiedler. clearly guilty of arson. Van der Lubbe. shrewd enough to use means like this to combat the undoubted conspiracies of Jews. Roehm and the rest. "Little Adolf. To the end. the halfwit never communicated how the various chemicals and the gasoline were transported into the building. ." Göring remarked to me. To his death. Marxists. and boasted that he himself. It was a definite and outrageous forgery.OF A D O L F H I T L E R 95 to hearing mysterious sounds in the underground tunnel for several nights before the fire.

The future is bound to show swift improvement. and a woman's head even more impressive as an example. and the concentration camps. to improve the Nordic stock. * The actualfigures." The world knows how he understated the case.* These. I will see that at least five thousand men and women are sterilized annually.863.1 9 3 3 . In the first year I have returned to this splendid moral discipline. instead of firmness. There is something lovely in cutting off a man's head with the ax. will teach a lesson Germanywill not forget. There will be more.96 THE STRANGE DEATH which foreigners translate as frightfulness. Each of these executions gives every loyal Nazi an upleaping of the heart. . two hundred twelve men and women have been beheaded.1 9 3 7 reached only 12.

Herr Hitler served me first. and had prepared this ragout of eggs and vegetables as a special treat for the Leader. . . up to that time. he was always the brilliant schemer. . I believe for this dinner Arthur Kannenburg himself had come up from Munich. my face pale and working. while I was taking the first few mouthfuls. . . envisaging a thousand possibilities that the rest of us were inclined to ignore. that I was poisoned. and was watched by three or four sets of eyes during every stage of the preparation of the food. . and that was all. 1933." . I am sure it was Goebbels who suggested it first. and himself the last. this once. a muggy.OF A D O L F H I T L E R 97 CHAPTER VI T H E VISITOR A T MIDNIGHT I T was the last day of that June. The Leader ate so simply that such a thing as poisoning seemed impossible: an omelet. Suddenly I felt a violent pain rip my entire abdomen. But the impossible happened. They were all talking so earnestly that they postponed commencing the treat. A n d every attendant was a Nazi. "Get the doctor quick please. a few vegetables. Never after that did the Leader again allow me to be his food-taster. "I am not well. I half rose from my seat. sweltering Friday evening. Neither of us had taken the little ritual seriously. then the other guests." "Don't touch that food!" Goebbels shot out of the corner of his mouth.

It was surprising. especially toward Göring. Things were happening that I wished I could have taken part in. make industry social. He was very probably guilty. It was additional evidence how unwise trials were.98 T H E STRANGE DEATH It was a close call. Even Bertrand Russell. But there was one thing. But he had once worked for Jews. appeared in a state procession for him. in that mad election campaign just after the Reichstag fire three months before. . . and lastly to achieve the all-important Anschluss with Austria. his chauffeur. Most of all of the impertinence of this Dimitrov during the trial. These were far-reaching steps which required deliberation. how even the English could have a thought at times. although there was no evidence precisely connecting him with the poisoning. to eliminate the octopus-like department stores. who was almost a perfect double. but he pulled me through. to return the land to the people. A t least once Julius Schreck. all that Germany needed. at least. abolish interest. he pointed out to me. To put the unemployed back to work. they came in and told me what was happening. I heard later that one assistant cook was beheaded for the crime. and it was other bodyguards that had to accompany the Leader wherever he went. to abolish the entire Versailles Treaty. A n d two scullery maids were spayed as an example to the others to be more careful. clearly a den of Jewish capital. I was in bed for more than three weeks. Göring told me. that we could do at . . During the last week of my invalidism. had prophesied in his Icarus that the time would come when rebels and political enemies would be sterilized. to regain for Germany the Polish Corridor raped from her by the democratic nations in a jealous effort to split Prussia into two parts. he said. We had promised.

the Jews. The real German people entirely ceased doing business with the little Jewish shops. placed in concentration camps. doctors. and. of course.OF A D O L F HITLER 99 once: and that was to move against the real menace i n Germany. There were those who held that any kinship with the Jewish Adam should be eliminated as rigidly. Tens of thousands of them were. for these gave bargains. A strict definition of non-Aryan was established— one whose great-grandfather had been Jewish. A n d wise and statesmanlike steps were taken. They had for too long been too prominent in these. The schools and universities were increasingly cleansed of them. to expect them to discontinue trading at the department stores. falsely representing real Aryan culture to the world. journalism and music. It was adjudged that even one-eighth Jewish blood prevented a person from being the possessor of real Nordic blood. for their own protection. It was too much. but quite a few of the impetuous Brownshirts did their personal bit against the menace. A boycott was proclaimed against Jewish businesses. The boycott at least served to waken the people against their real enemy. as soon thereafter as it was practicable. A l l non-Aryan officials and honorary officials were summarily dismissed as unworthy of holding office under the German Reich. at length this was terminated. the movies. and lawyers. I must admit that the SS troops had little to do with the personal attacks on Jewish men—the women were only rarely bothered. the crude condition of these camps was remedied. Göring and Streicher put their bitter heads together and much progress was made. Julius Streicher was magnificent in his aggressive . as well. Movements were started to ban them from the stage. due to the innate Nordic chivalry. first of all.

I had. it was only now that they were recognized as Jewish propaganda. Even better news was brought to me. The month after my recovery. grown up in a benighted period when the writings of Heine. of course. obviously inspired by the discredited militarist machine of von Papen and Hugenburg. Bastile Day in France. Freud. polluting the pure stream of Nordic thought. that conduced to my speedier recovery. the National Socialist German "Workers' Party was officially declared the only political party in Germany. Without legal opposition. This step extremely clarified the political situation. and said that the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 had bled the nation white. and reduced it to the impotence in which it still stagnated. called this a return to medievalism. The Leader himself assured me that this step was necessary. it became possible for the Nazis to proceed to their work of redeeming Germany from her enemies at home and abroad in far freer fashion. One bitterly reactionary paper. and saw personally that his order was carried out. It was incidents like this that showed Nordic idealism at its greatest. Feuchtwanger. Greatest of all. Einstein and so many more were regarded as distinct contributions to German culture. Marx. This paper was promptly suppressed as non-Ayran and a warning against any such perversion of history was featured in all the Party organs. Thomas Mann. O n July 14. as a symbol of Germany re-arisen. In a well organized . Adler. and public bonfires were held in which race-guilty books were committed to the purging flames. he ordered two hundred and fifty Jews who had been arrested to pluck a field free of grass with their teeth. all books polluted by Jewish authorship were banned from libraries.100 T H E STRANGE D E A T H nationalism.

and the United States of America. and closed as quietly. A t midnight. "Who's there!" I demanded. which has imitated Germany in all of its totalitarian steps. I have a revolver. "Without outcry. on the 20th. But I reflected at once that this was some lark of one of the more ribald of the . but akin in many ways to the superior German technique. and in Russia. for their own protection. It has long been the law in Italy. every progressive nation in the world has adopted it. It is not true of the secondrate world powers. the door of my bedroom in the Chancellery opened quietly. without contamination from international and other destructive forces. "Light the bedlight!" whispered a voice. the democracies. and ruinous inner conflicts. paralysis in an emergency. for all that chronologically it claims a slight advantage in preliminary experimentation. in darkness. Here harmful party conflict is allowed to obscure the national ideals. were soon placed in protective custody in concentration camps." I will admit that I was startled. A flashlight picked me out on the pillow. France.OF A D O L F HITLER 101 political state there is room for only one political party: the party that stands for the realization of the national ideals. a country with a Judaized ideal. England. and the result is divided counsels. which gave unexampled opportunity for reflection and conversion. Most of the other Germans. The doctor promised that I could leave my bed in one week after this law went into effect. There can be no second school of thought on a matter as simple as this. It heartened every right-thinking German to know that the Fatherland had at last enacted this most beneficent governmental policy.

A tall man in a military cloak stood staring aloofly down at me. I have paid much to have this talk with you." he said. I have come to talk. We will not be disturbed. "I will take it off. . " Y o u are alive. "I have been sent to talk to you." I had not heard the name I was born with for months. I noted. his firm left hand had me covered—the light." "Words may be defined in many different ways by many different lexicographers." I pointed out. "Well?" I demanded. "Lie still!" he said. "by those who wish your own good. Those higher up will see to that." he said. I saw at once. Yet . . . You will not wish—yet. underneath the flimsy domino. Herr Bauer. His eyes were masked. ." " A cowardly attempt on the life of the Leader. " N o harm is intended to you. "After all. "God be praised!" I said fervently. you almost died. and a strange thrill shivered through me.102 THE STRANGE DEATH party members who knew of my recovery and wished thus to welcome me back to active service. "I myself deadened the bell with cotton. " N o one wished your death. "May I sit?" He swirled his cloak over the back of a chair and drew it close to where I lay. . He wore the uniform of the Reichswehr." His lips closed firmly. He extinguished it. The jailing of a hundred Communist deputies—it was hardly a synonym for bravery." "They do not wear masks. and the stripes of a Captain." he pointed out. no? Nor the beating of unarmed Jews by armed Brown- . was in his right hand. I lit the light. do not worry." "Who are you?" I demanded. I have only to push this button—" " N o one will answer it. i f you wish.

that he would not upset the cabinet in which he was first named Chancellor. when the police opened fire—if we must ancient history remember. my friend. "There is the ax. to von Papen. Does it occur to you that those who have failed the first time can still count." I said fiercely. God be thanked! Me. and his dying body falling to the ground pulled down the Leader as he was about to charge!" "So it has been said. Scheubner-Richter's. I am a Catholic. and what I saw I saw." "It is a lie!" I said with aggressive passion." " A n d you call yourself German!" "Quaintly enough. How he kept his word history remembers yet. worse luck. But enough of that. " A n y German who is so unpatriotic. will not fail. no? N o r Herr Hitler's throwing himself on the ground so hard that he broke his shoulder. I do. and menacingly neared me. as a Jewish book. and there will be a second. in this present. He was no Catholic. so unnationalist—" "He gave his word. What does history say of the man whose soul is rotten with lying." "Do you think a Nazi wrote it?" I demanded. One man cannot set himself up to be the people. " N o . and so on up the ordinals until there is the last?" His face grew wolflike. "His arm was locked with D r . But I myself love those Lieder. for such attempts.OF A D O L F H I T L E R 103 shirts. — A n d the Lieder of Heine also. as is this Herr Hitler's! One of these attempts. your Leader. The psychiatrists are kind when they call it . I myself was there. and a third. The Bible was burned in the public square in Lubeck only last week. and the Leader too is alive. Y o u are alive. during the Beer Hall Putsch.

perhaps you will not be sorry to see me then. is it not?" "If I could push this button now and call those of the palace. the pistol threatening my mid-body. "for nights he cannot sleep. we will speak. H e walks in his sleep. and a tomb of state after that. " Y o u are Herr Hitler now. so. I speak what will be." I said. Remember that. . Your conscience is clearer. "But then. my friend. we do not burn Bibles and Heine. When we are ready to speak. when the attempt succeeds. Y o u have had a nightmare. Y o u at least sleep soundly. and i f you had anything to do with this cowardly attempt—" "Only to know of it in advance. So. you may be Adolf. my friend. . rather. at that. and had the ovaries of two Nazi kitchen wenches removed. while he is alive. But in that hour. A l l this is merely to give you something to think of. and a St. i f you prefer." "I will know you then. " Y o u will forget this night- . There is a Waterloo. When he dies. Göring has chopped off the head of one faithful Nazi cook. As for us." "This is nonsense! You're trying to threaten—" "I threaten nothing. when it suits his coward's soul. when that is. But I recalled how he held his pistol in his left hand. and applaud it. raising my voice—it was partly bluff. what of you?" I am afraid my eyes goggled stupidly. Like any Hollywood prima donna. a sleepwalker. in every life." H e rose menacingly. "I will denounce you—" "Little Adolf!" he jeered. and other nights he wanders around with a dazed look. Helena.104 T H E STRANGE D E A T H insanity. ." jeeringly. And. and mourn that it failed. like an imbecile. So. " — O f me?" I echoed. It is worth thinking over.

I decided to say nothing Until there was more to say. but there were clearly those who were restive under it and should be a nightmare to all Party members. ." I said. . at a moment like that. cowed by the unpleasant proximity of that menacing revolver." he said. I pinched my left hand to make sure that it was no nightmare. And. Herr Bauer?" " M y word. left-handed. " Y o u will see me again. it was by one high up indeed. But it might be taken for a nightmare. there was no occasion yet to break it. and was indeed protected. if I reported it." It was more tactful to agree. even i f the Leader was away! There might be only one political party in my Germany. and tell not even your worser I. there were those higher up. One thing only I did do. "Your word. I discovered that it was Erik von Arnheim. If this strange night visitor in his black domino and his swirling cloak had not been lying. To my amazement. In fact." A n d he was gone. So?" "Maybe. I had given my word. A n d what colossal nerve. He swirled his cloak around him again. "Pleasanter dreams.OF A D O L F HITLER 105 mare. a Reichswehr captain. It is already forgotten. I must keep my eyes open. . the great door closing silently behind him. A nightmare. after all. M y swift "Ouch!" reassured me. . to have come on me here in the very Chancellery. I made inquiries as to who had been in charge of the guards of the Chancellery on the night of July 20th. Tall. I spoke to Herr Hitler himself about it. cleanshaven. I began to court von Arnheim a little more than formerely.

"They are trouble-makers ever. She has said friendly things about the Marxists." he said earnestly. Little Adolf. he himself had done espionage work once. my Leader.106 T H E STRANGE DEATH Would there be objection i f I made a special study of leaders of the Party. I nodded agreement. I looked . by all means. I had heard much of the beauty of Ulrica von Arnheim who had been married to the portly Major General only three months now. I had heard. She had been a young entertainer in a Berlin night club when von Arnheim met her and incontinently married her. much is permitted. But we will take the little lady aside and you will let her see the Leader in the flesh. So long as you are merely one of the bodyguard." "I pledge you my word. " A n d his wife. Frau von Arnheim has heard just enough rumors of the cause of your illness to be mad to meet you. "The Leader says you are to take things easy for the next couple of weeks. Von Arnheim. or guess it." The opportunity was easy to make. he agreed. and a shrewd tongue. too. that she saw no reason why she should not stand as high among the wives of the members of the cabinet as Frau Magda Goebbels. these frauen. Find out all you can about her. and that she had an exquisite voice. no?" He patted me amiably on the back. too. "But yes. W i l l you not dine with us tomorrow evening?" "It is permitted?" I must not let him know of my mission. to keep him confidentially informed of their real attitudes toward him? Splendid. He himself brought it up." he greeted me jovially the very next day—I have wondered i f the Leader himself did not drop a hint of his wishes—"and I have a rather amusing request to make of you.

no?" He winked familiarly at me. we promised the little lady. A n d most of all the lovely woman presiding in the mellow candleglow beside me. I wore my wig. liqueurs. cigars. . I turned my back." she said. "Heil Hitler!" I gave it with just the proper amount of sloppiness—the Schlamperei. fanatic-eyed. I was introduced to her as Herr Zeit. no?" The dinner was excellent: an admirable Leibfraumilch. One swift gesture released the shock of dyed brown hair to just where the Leader would have worn it." "Ach. he's sweet! For a moment. and the wax up my nostrils. I relaxed as I had not done for months. "Herr Führer!" she gasped.OF A D O L F H I T L E R 107 forward to meeting her. the fowl roasted to a turn. Little . "There is too much going on behind the scenes. a sweet such as I had not had for months. but yes!" He watched me with amusement. I slid off the wig and concealed it under my coat. and removed the wax from my nostrils. O f course. "Ach. dear God. I was frightened. There was obvious disappointment in her voice. as I bowed stiffly and saluted her hand—her lovely warm little hand. after studying my features. and the further opportunity of studying her and her husband. I turned sternly. She turned pale for a moment. "There is some resemblance." she linked her arm in mine. "we go in to dinner. her hands fluttering up to her breasts. Erik. little Führer. that soon enough I was to know so well. the casual Austrian nonchalance that the Leader always shows. . Erik. "Little Adolf. my usual name as bodyguard. to greet her. "But I thought . Come.

"Goebbels she detests most of all. Yet it is a time. He hasn't had his wits for months." said her husband indulgently. now. . whom they dare call the National Bolshevists." "He will solve things in his own way. "Ulrica's a spitfire. whoever is President. Arnheim studied me closely. With the Old Man sick—it is not admitted yet. "Look! I am Hitler. holding every portfolio. brutally and ruthlessly. I have been a sick man. " Y o u did not hear the Leader in Bad Reichenhall—you were . with gamin grace: " 'I will crush. who then will be Chancellor? One can hardly be Pooh-Bah here. and this was the Sunday following. lovely Frau. who then will be President? A n d . every attempt to overturn what we have accomplished. Whoever lifts his hand against the National-Socialist State I will hit hard." she said to me earnestly. . I shrugged. As for me. and the Party achieve its promised destiny!" Von Arnheim shook his head. as i f unsympathetic. I heard him.108 T H E STRANGE D E A T H Adolf. A n aged Robot for President! When he dies. I will turn without mercy as well against what they have the effrontery to call the Second Revolution. now!" She mimicked to perfection. "But whom did he mean? The reactionaries. "Captain Roehm has his . when the time comes." I said. her face quivered. remember. he hasn't even his health." But my eyes warmed toward hers the message that I was a sick man no longer. "But this is all above my head. merely because we insist that the campaign pledges be fulfilled. of course.—or us. Ugh! I shivered!" She closed her lovely eyes. taken sick on a Friday. no matter where he stands in our counsels!' " She turned impulsively to me.

Y o u know how low he stands today. Erik." "I tremble for him. Just before the Leader became Chancellor. Strasser also. Herr Zeit. Ach. Yet here is how our enemies work. 'It is a lie! I have no part with Party-comrade Strasser in any of his machinations!' Nor did I. "Yet Strasser was a great man. once. as ready at this moment to betray the Party and Germany! Shall I read these names?' He paused impressively. though I read from the Party every deputy. He had forty deputies in his pocket. He is still alive. but you yourself know it.OF ADOLF HITLER eye on some job. Little Adolf. "I remember how you told me. yes. I'm sure of it. and that is mercy. no more. the Party. There is a fatality—" Von Arnheim's hand went up in warning. The first name on that list is Erik von Arnheim!' He whirled on me.' he announced. Friendly. That was before your time. 'I will read them. Captain . 'Are you a Judas to me. and he said he would accept. in my hand I have the very list of the others that this Judas of ours names." with a wink at me." said Ulrica quietly. eyes straight on Strasser. 'The Judas seeks to tar others with his brush. that Gregor Strasser was the Leader's best friend. to a traitor. He headed the political organization. and then was aflame." He shrugged sorrowfully. as far as the Leader read. Some of them— I do not know. If he did that to me. Look. and Germany?' I was on my feet in a flash. von Schleicher offered a coalition to Strasser. yes. i t is possible I would shoot myself. 'Every group of apostles has its Judas. Word of it was brought to the Leader. It is not a small thing to be the head of the Storm Troopers. "But all of us disowned him. "Little Adolf is not a member of the family yet. He summoned all of us Nazi deputies together. The Leader refused to shake hands with him.

I knew that then and there I would have sought to find out what were my chances with her. If she had not been the wife of one of the Party leaders. When I held the match to her. and such women belong to the men able to pay their price. mon chéri. Her husband shrugged." said Ulrica. Herr Hitler had said to find out all . I need a cigarette to assuage my grief. I stood there staring down at her. with a little mow of disappointment." I kept my face immobile. M y hostess smiled more invitingly at me. Yet that does not make him traitor. lowcut gown.110 T H E STRANGE D E A T H Roehm is the Leader's best friend. "There are the letters from La Paz. after these celibate months. "They are always after him to do this or that. I reflected. Forget them." I handed the packet toward her. "I cannot believe what they say about him—that he prefers men to women! It is not in nature. rather intoxicated by standing beside a lovely woman again. stifling my hunger. A man cannot have a simple evening at home with his wife and friends without some Party business intervening. though. Some of his Storm Troopers—" The butler came to the door to summon my host to the telephone. she linked her little finger in mine. when a thought struck me opportunely. He is sometimes too extreme. After all. with a bitter little sigh. After all. and I have been told repeatedly by girls and women that there is no lover like your German. I started to move away. it is Marxism that we must eliminate from Germany. she had been an entertainer in a night club. I could not help staring down at her daring. as if practiced." "There would be no Hitler. without Roehm.

God forbid. he is a real man—and he simply worships the Leader." "I like Roehm immensely. with more than a little encouragement. "They do not call me Captain Roehm. I. or Köln." "It is strange. "He is of the real Party—the group they dismiss as Left. and she knew how to increase it. in the nightclub. Could there be a better way? A n d then I smiled wryly at myself: could it be merely my desire that spoke. . if that was her whim. "For all the gossip. she smiled up over lowered lashes. or. He.OF ADOLF HITLER 111 that I could about her. . With some firmness I started to move away." "That's very naughty of you. "Thank God." she said slowly. I know." she said." I said. alas. "I trust not." I laughed. being married to a Party bureaucrat. no. but. "God's damnation. I told myself. with a forgiving smile." said her husband. which I was intellectualizing as a Party assignment? Behave. She must have read the hunger in my eyes. A t any rate." I said devoutly. . why must I have to hurry off to the Chancellery at an hour like this? They never strike a snag in Hamburg. Max. "I cannot get Little Adolf to swear he is a virgin. . " Y o u are so entirely like the Leader. outside. I wish that Erik could see him as I do." she said. "Thank God for small favors. " She laughed lightly. as Hitler is. she had no doubt seen it often before." she explained. or watch it starve to death. The husband's re-entrance interrupted her fresh peal of laughter. "You'll never know what it is. is Right. within yourself. But he was frowning.

though any of them would have been a treat to me.112 THE STRANGE D E A T H Königsberg. "Come. "we are to find a bottle of wine." Ulrica's little smile was sly." with a pout. perhaps more." she linked fingers with mine. rising to give him her crimson lips. I always break the corks. i f possible. sweetest—" Her eyes met mine rather mockingly over his huge shoulder. Open a new bottle of wine— God knows I'd rather stay here and share it with you." "I refuse to be lonely. I warn you." "Not a bad idea. you could do better than I. I'll be back in an hour—less." she laughed. Adorable. if you desert me. A n d then her eyes suddenly brightened. I felt more stirred by her presence than be- ." " I ' l l send you instead. Her nostrils wrinkled at the bottles. but they call on me to straighten it out. " Y o u never take me on these trips. with these damned Brownshirts of Roehm's thicker than flies on honey. He must have been a full twenty years older than his wife. I must miss three or four nights of your company." "We'll save you some. Well. " Y o u might tell them that 7 adore Vienna. and spun through an inspection of the wine there. and of course I have to be the courier. We saluted each other and he turned and marched out. I could understand her look." She led me into the butler's pantry. Now it's that embassy at Geneva that needs to have secret word taken to. for an hour. She knelt before me and rummaged underneath a shelf. "I will have Little Adolf dine with me again Monday. poor man. A n d back by way of Vienna and Prague. chéri—I hope to God you're a good butler. Y o u ought to have someone around to keep an eye open—so long as it's not that satyr. Goebbels.

" "I have been a virgin since January 29th. I never yet met a wife who did not resent her husband. " H e comes back soon. instead. and we can save what's left for him." She had the corkscrew in another dazzling. A man ought to be able to open anything. I felt on my mettle. I took her in my arms. i f you're a good boy. suppressing a giggle. and thus made superior to her." she said." I needed no further encouragement. " Y o u kiss like one with too much experience. and did a perfect job. a slower kiss. when I let her go. I rounded her slim body with one arm and sipped her lips. and handed it to me with a mock curtsey. "but I'll let you have some. and smiled up at me. She did not look me in the eyes after this. I made no move to reach for the bottle of wine. especially with her backside toward you. for another. "—Husbands! . "He saves this for himself. I meant just a kiss. I rarely met one who did not want to be encouraged to pay him back in the one way all women have. " N o w do your best. "We used to say in the cafe. A n d my other hand caressed her." she cocked her head pertly to one side. clutching a bottle.OF A D O L F HITLER 113 fore." I reminded her. There is something exciting in having a woman on the floor before you. She rose suddenly. "a bottle well opened deserves a kiss." she giggled delightfully. darting movement. "Naughty!" she stood shivering. The cork popped out as if it had been sparkling hock. God knows." Her eyes tempted me under lowered lashes. merely because he was a man. There was a mood in the air as if we were conspirators.

dear. hates Roehm's guts. "Little simpleton! Well. shall I say. and that is all that matters." "Nonsense!" snorted von Arnheim. with naive. One hundred thousand men. yes. His eyes went up when he saw which wine we were drinking. who commands them." she giggled. i f we have not even had one drink. They are sceptical of the Bohemian corporal." he poured himself a glass and subsided heavily into his chair. "it's trouble over the Storm Troopers. Even the ambassadors are demanding more Leftist action. smoothing down his portly belly until it was in comfort." Ulrica told him." I reminded her. he will be surprised. N o . but the crack troops of Europe—von Blomberg has made them so." "But Monday comes. no more. "It was all I could find. Y o u have an army—the Reichswehr. but Blomberg himself thinks that Hitler is Jesus come back to Germany. We were sitting decorously in the living room when he returned. three hundred thousand of them—and Himmler. the Blackshirts. What the hell can the Leader do with his two and a half million thugs?" He spat the word out at me. and all fairies. " Y o u do not know what is around you.114 T H E STRANGE DEATH A n d . as if daring me to contradict it. uplifted eyes. Pretorian guard. "Blind as a glowworm!" he beamed fatuously. Roehm's loose talk about the Second Revolution has spread too damned far. that is the Schutzstaffel." I objected. "That's what I'm afraid of. . " H i s pretorian guard. as usual. "But they are the Leader's bodyguard. you said. A n d what do they think of Roehm's rabble? Ask them! I know.

It is Roehm or Blomberg. what is there for them to do?" "But. with ." "So. but. and all is well. "I myself have served under Blomberg. and Blomberg's discipline shot to hell. after the war. A n d Blomberg does not aspire to be President or Chancellor. the Blackshirts do the protecting." observed Ulrica cryptically." said his lovely wife. i f they become part of the regular army—" I objected again. it is not my funeral. Well. yes. our precious Roehm was booted into exile for this very reason. it cannot be both. "is it not a lovely vista! They win the first revolution. now. Who is to feed them? They are not even needed any more. it is a serious problem for the Leader." "It is nobody's funeral." he sneered. "Ach. as far back as 1922. the spoils of victory? They see the Reichswehr flourish and Göring grow more double-gutted. the Brownshirts. Give Roehm and his Brownshirts a riot to end or to make. N o . these Brownshirts. for them. when any other dictator would be happy with one. or there will be the Leader's personal vengeance. was an agent for the Reichswehr—his first work. They are the real Left. and they are happy. the employment. God be thanked. they are told —no Second Revolution. and. • "Hitler.OF A D O L F H I T L E R 115 Three armies. yet. with Captain Roehm head of an army of three million men. in a land at peace. You tell me what is to be done!" "But why must they quarrel about it?" I objected. But where is the reward. the improved conditions. "Captain Roehm told me himself he had the perfect solution—simply absorb the Storm Troopers into the Reichswehr. and— Why." His voice quieted significantly.

except for Frau Goebbels and a few like her. Monday was to come soon." She rose. Well. . I liked him more and more. A n d his wife was the first woman I had been allowed to meet socially for almost half a year now. " O n Monday. the more I saw him. "But our guest yawns—he is tired. Little Adolf?" "God willing. too. . what with being on his back so long. stretching her lovely body languorously.116 T H E STRANGE D E A T H a sly little smile at me. and saluted her warm. what a deplorable waste of time! A n d she had entertained in a nightclub. at six. soft little fingers. ." I clicked my heels together. then. A c h . Erik von Arnheim drove me back to the Chancellery. .

OF A D O L F H I T L E R 117 CHAPTER VII T H E L O N G SHADOW OF ROME U N D A Y evening I had dinner at the Goebbels home. Hitler spread wide his arms to embrace him. for he had shown much interest in the brief report I made to him of Erik von Arnheim and his fascinating wife. jackanapes. slight man!" "With a lordly gesture Putzi brushed away Hitler's hand. but whose standing then as Hitler's favorite. It was not exactly of my seeking. next to his closest friend Captain Roehm. I arrived with the Leader himself. Frau Magda Goebbels. He was only torn away from the child and his charming mother. and found him at once in an intimate mood I had seen only rarely before. huge voice in the entrance hall. and always in this house. come. whose position in the Party was anomalous enough. "I am insulted by your own business partner. "Putzi!" he exclaimed." "Come. and made for the door. "Hah! Away. S . He had a Mickey Mouse of gaily colored wooden balls in his pocket for little Harald. by the sound of a jovial. was assured. what new nonsense is this?" grinned the Leader. and tousled the youngster as i f it had been his own. I still think it was of Hitler's arranging. I was always interested in studying Ernst Hanfstaengl.

If he calls me any more names." He scowled ferociously. Putzi. galumping around the floor on all fours. He said I was a jackass. your beloved Max Amann." With immense gravity he rolled over. But really. and each day madder than the day before. as I said. it has but one arm. with no more manners. has called me a zoo —a zoo infected with vermin!" " O h . That is too many animals for any man to be at one time. I roll over. and pulled his blond hair down in ridiculous imitation of Hitler's vagrant lock. you may be a crazy kangaroo—but I will be damned if you are these and a louse too! A n d neither am I. and rub him off on the back of an alligator on the river bottom. He was talking to Rosenberg. I'll bite off his other arm. See. he lost one arm hunting my cousin the roebuck. a crazy kangaroo. what wild new story have you got now?" Hitler sat back in a chair. 'You-Goddamned-son-of-a-bitch' Max Amann." " N o . Max. Harald." said Hitler. on all fours again. God wot. The louse is named Max Amann." he switched his mood swiftly.118 T H E STRANGE D E A T H "If you please. Adolf—you may be a jackass. it is gospel truth. as though it hurt him a little to laugh. and eat it raw—and I'll wear his eleventh finger for a fob charm. he is a top sergeant still. " A c h . "See. I r-r-r-resent it!" He tilted up his large nose. "I am really a hippopotamus in the Upper Nile. "The louse is on my back. Harald—and. "You're always mad. "Was that all?" " A l l ? Is it not enough? Listen. and a louse. the thinker of your precious Party—I have it on the word of one of the girls who is secretary there. N o w I will . quivering with mirth. I have caught the louse. and emerged." With huge gravity he was on the carpet before the startled child. beaming.

evil eyes surveying everything in the room. almost as dizzily. he stalked over to the piano.OF A D O L F HITLER 119 eat it!" With huge gusto he pretended to chew and swallow it. Destiny seemed to boom out in the vast opening chords. eh? But the star of the circus is the great gorilla. I sat across from him." . Dinner over. A n d then." Putzi roared. with you along!" smiled Hitler. Then he spun it with himself seated upon it." he continued imperturbably. on the death of the last fairy in Germany. "I play!" suddenly announced Hanfstaengl. and you can play them all night. and the mad rigadoon of the interwreathed Fates at the end. his restless. "I myself will compose you a sonata. little Harald wide-eyed at my feet. "Look. His wife sat quietly on the davenport behind the seat in which the Leader had ensconced himself. Finally he came to rest where he wished to be. and this is how a Nordic gorilla shakes the bars!" Only the bell for dinner ended the impromptu menagerie. at the sonorous end. " A l l clowns and no lions. I am in my cage. Goebbels was hunched up. He spun the seat a few times each way. in a bellow. "I could listen to you all night. Harald. as i f that were all he had come for. lost in a huge chair in one corner. As if no one else was in the room. " N o wonder they called the Party plane a Flying Circus." said Hitler quietly. "I will make records. I have never heard it played with more dreadful beauty. Not even Putzi's clowning of the round at the end could mar the magnificence of the whole. the Pathetique rolled out.

But her husband's large. dearie. Putzi! They say different things. If we are having a putsch and I need a man. Two leading physicians of Berlin have just resigned as doctors in the Storm Trooper organization. adore the music of Richard Wagner as much as I. with an effeminate smile.' and the audience goes wild. "Don't tell me we actually have airy fairy Lillians in Germany. and he crackled with laughter. yourself. his bobbing chin demanding an answer. Putzi!" "Ask His Mightiness. "Now. as he always did at talk of homosexual men. there. A n d just why should I concern myself with the private lives of my men? A l l that is important is their service to the Party. Christ. you will not understand it. The Leader fluttered nervous hands. identifying it as Hitler—while the actor thus makes a Hitler. now any little bastard of a ham actor with a Charlie Chaplin moustache only has to come out and squeak 'Now. my Gracious. D i d these doctors not protest to you. now. Putzi. do I ask whom he slept with the night before? You. his hand on his hip! It used to be Charlie Chaplin they imitated on the vaudeville stage. and plenty of them about you. as a protest against our chubby-cheeked Roehm's little proclivities. Adolf?" He crossed his arms magisterially. "Now.120 THE STRANGE D E A T H Hitler stiffened a little at this. H e looked apologetically toward Goebbels. there is not a cartoon that does not picture the Reichskanzler rouged." pleaded Frau Goebbels. In the United States. That is a pun. feverish eyes popped suddenly open. Do you shut your ears to his greatness because he was a man-lover?" "Roehm's dream is a Reichswehr of two and a half .

A n d I was reared for some years in a Jewish family. no?" " A n d what of the Catholics?" snapped out Goebbels. " Y o u see I am in the minority. D r . The fools say they serve one greater than any king. any Führer: the vicar of their Jewish god on earth. with swift. ." said the Leader firmly. "It is too many. They say enough about me—that Günther was a Jew. even if he were German. undermining all the good that is accomplished in a Nordic state! What was it Voltaire said—'Europe will never be at peace until the last king is strangled in the guts of the last priest!' There is wisdom for you.OF A D O L F H I T L E R 121 million Brownshirted pederasts. "Working blindly underground all the time." said Goebbels. vindictive bitterness. "Her first husband. "They can never be Germans. . Quandt—a splendid Nordic. "There I cannot help you. " I must have looked inquiringly. "There you have the real teachers of such unGerman practices. It is not that he is Italian. not a bit of it. "He was merely a capitalist. Hitler threw over at me." said Hanfstaengl insistently." Hitler looked helplessly at Frau Goebbels. we would still have them serving two masters—an international pope. than that. and twenty-five years older than I. dear lady. What am I to do when they besiege me like this?" Magda Goebbels smiled gravely." "There is more wrong with the black moles. "You should know. and a German people's . ." Putzi looked belligerently from Hitler to Goebbels. the priests." "They are not Germans." She smiled thanks. But Catholics—I know little of them." "You two were brought up to say mass.

Think what this means. his wife. lusty. with a woman's legs and breasts and body. and all?" " A n d boys and men. the to-be mother of his children. or." put in Putzi explosively. of course." Magda Goebbels observed him with her sweet. she has a body she will give to some man. "Ask Roehm!" Hitler flushed again." sneered Goebbels evilly. she had a body such as the Virgin had. Herr Hitler? About corrupting girls and women. He is not supposed to think of her even as the mate of his bed for one night. "Is it true what they say about the confessional. human. You tell me he thinks of nothing but Herr Gott when he talks to her? She is a girl. from that!" "Voice of God. the whole system. she will go to her grave.122 THE STRANGE D E A T H party. as wife or mistress. my dear?'" His sonorous voice rolled out—and I marveled anew to hear this magnificent voice . H o w easy is corruption. if not. Here is the priest to confess her—young. Germany is not large enough to hold one man whose soul is pledged to serve anything not German. Look: a priest is forbidden by the tenets of his faith from ever marrying. whether as nun or unmarried woman. His voice was grave. ach. "Here comes a sweet young German girl in to the confessional. Y o u think the priest does not think of all this? 'Has no man ever touched you. no matter what monasteries and seminaries and nunneries have been down the ages. able to thrill just like the body of a wife or whore. For his whole life he can never look on any woman as his own. candid gray eyes. But he is a male. It gives them an unparalleled opportunity. and the Holy Ghost found out about her. A l l this is forbidden completely. "There is much truth in it. and so he must think of such forbidden things as the woman's body and all that it does.

what is there left but to enjoy sex vicariously by suggesting the most unspeakable perversions to the sensitive minds of those girls and women who have come to him as the voice of God. as the Leader says. or stripped off your clothes and enjoyed you? Have you never admired your own nude body in the mirror. A n d . . It was so. they can never think of her as man normally thinks of a woman—it must forever be merely a prurient curiosity to know what her body is." added Putzi triumphantly. the holy Father!" Hitler shivered. or slipped his hand up your leg. . it makes me sick. that his speeches grew: first tried out upon his .OF A D O L F HITLER 123 from this little Jack-in-the-box of an emaciated dwarf. It is hideous. and how she surrenders it to men. lacking all normal outlet for sex. of married women. damn their perverted souls! You know how they are saturated. of brides. do you have clean thoughts? What do you think when you sit on the pot. the power these ignorant Romish swine have over the minds of young girls. honeycombed. "They have such power." " A n d over boys and sensitive young men. "Germany has no room for the Catholic Church." he said. certainly. when you lie sleepless alone in bed. infiltrated with unnatural vices of all sorts!" The Leader shook his head. as if to clear this all out. and what it looks like. as well. almost pompously. as i f he were rehearsing a speech to make before a vast multitude. I had begun to learn. And. and how she touches it. or touched it at its most sensitive spot to enjoy the sensations? When you sit on the pot. . rubbing your legs together because you cannot go to sleep?' A c h . " Y o u have seen the reports from the schools run by the good Brothers. " 'Has no man ever rubbed your breasts.

" M y uncle was a Protestant convert. I came to the conclusion both of them were lies. long before the War —to sell the body and soul of Germany to the international bankers. to break the spirit of the free Nordic race. and build of my Austria and of Bavaria a state that would be subservient to the pope. taught by Jews. denying to the best trained and educated among them the duty of fatherhood to provide soldiers for the Reich. and never patriotic. and learn. less loudly. They joined with the Jews and the Marxists in 1918—nay. my uncle's was a lie. and they have sworn their souls to this. If my father's religion was right. at best. and when I went to live with him. for they serve a foreign representative of a foreign god. "Go to the Brothers' schools. when they approved. I became a Protestant. and. They are not for Germany. Little Adolf!" It was I Frau Goebbels applauded this time." "They will go. They must go!" "Bravo!" said Magda Goebbels softly. and perverters of their communicants at worst. spoken so to the German world." said Hitler firmly.124 THE STRANGE DEATH friends. they played their large part in the debacle of 1918. discovered how they milked the body of Germany to provide cream for the dissolute papal court. my father's was a lie." "Bravo. They are international." said Putzi. Luther. and have no free souls to give to their Fatherland. they are spiritual traitors and bodily eunuchs. their practice is abnormal. so long ago. "I started Catholic. If my uncle's was right. "They are traitors to the Fatherland. and ultimately to crush Germany itself. "Germany has no . "and learn. never nationalist. Their religion is a lie." I said quietly. A n d then I figured it out for myself.

It is DeutschlandüberAlles. Little Adolf." "American swine. with a slow enveloping smile. "about Europe . Little Harald had long gone to bed." she said slowly. It—it reflects on the . We will make it so. Court fool. You heard Putzi." " A n d all Miss Nancies too. Only what the paid propagandists . I leave you in better hands." mimicked Putzi. about Germany. oftener than not. Laughter is a tonic for the soul." she said slowly. "He is incredible. proceeded to discover a bottle of brandy and poured a glass for each of us. lazy lubber.OF A D O L F H I T L E R 125 room for divided allegiance. Y o u will see. It is a shame they speak so. that Putzi." said Putzi. before ten. Putzi?" "We go to kick the pope in the rump. "Come. bye-bye. "and all clericals with him. Goebbels. troubled by the conversion. Only when we have a German church and a German god will the Reich be herself again. the Leader needs it. "They make small difference. . court jester—all monarchs once had them." I murmured. . affectionately laying an arm on Putzi's shoulder. and worse. She shrugged. Y o u hear that. "But he is not a bad influence for the Leader." "They know nothing." "Are things as bad as he says among the Storm Troopers?" I asked. . Frau Goebbels. "Who can tell? But I believe they are. It is truth that Putzi talks. We got them out of the house at last." Hitler rose." "As for the Brownshirts.Leader. A n d yet. Abroad. not Deutschland unter RomeüberAlles. " I f we only had time for more Beethoven now! But there is a meeting I must speak at. . . Truth is healthy. M y husband says it is so. dearie." said Goebbels firmly. than I put myself in.

"There has been talk in America that once he was about to marry you. wondering how far she dared go. of course." "It would quiet the rumors. well. he was as fond of her as if she had been his own daughter. it must be forbidden. He . . She shrugged. I haven't a doubt of it. She shook her head sorrowfully. She mourned that the Leader would not marry. I joined the party." She studied me slowly. Frau Raubel's little Geli. when he could not understand or sympathize." I said. certainly. "I was never more than his dear friend. "That I had not heard. once. " O h . I talked with a charming woman only this last spring—a woman of broad education and civilized background—she was German-American. ." . little Geli lived there. His own sister's daughter. A l l sweet and beautiful. A t that time. He has not gotten over it. his own father had vetoed his wild craving to be an artist.126 THE STRANGE D E A T H say. and by the best of all possible luck became secretary to Joseph. in 1930 she shot herself. Hitler was not so uninterested in a woman. in her bedroom in his house. It would mean so much to the unsympathetic world. Perhaps he will not. But even the books from America that I had read during my convalescence had said as much. and." I admitted. there only Herr Hitler put his foot down. N o . she said. So. I became a N a z i convert while I was still married to my first husband. She—well. naturally I secured a divorce. She wanted to be a concert singer." I was startled at my own effrontery. ears agape. went to work for it. A n y more than we know about the real America. She was simply wild about her uncle—she loved him wholly. it was nothing. The mother was the housekeeper in the Leader's house in Munich.

but . "Do you think I have not tried! After all. . then." Her voice died away." She made a wry moue. deeply moved." . N o ." I said proudly." I hazarded. "Thank God I am not the savior of my country. . so many marriages start. The doctor who gave the death certificate was a swine. It is a pity. "Before the world." She nodded. I am afraid. "If he had more to give to a wife or mistress. he is a solitary until death. . of course. it would make a difference. "There is one ghastly thing about it all. that is all. and where have I got! He talks party tactics to them. "If he even had a mistress. " A n d he is Germany. he might have less to give to Germany. that she was more than merely a niece to the Leader. . a ghoul. It clears Herr Hitler. it is so. "It is so." She fixed me with eyes tense with deep sorrow. the very thought is ghoulish. ." I shook my head.OF A D O L F HITLER 127 "But it seems so tragic! A n d there was surely nothing wrong in it all. I know men who knew him." she said slowly. He made sure that she was a virgin—virgo intacta—before he had her embalmed. There had been rumors. isn't it? I have trotted out every attractive girl I knew before him. —As if Germany were his bride.

but of his joining the Party —when a breathless orderly came in from General Himmler and asked to be closeted with the Leader. to see the curtains part and pistols cover them from each side of every window. Hitler's reception room in the Chancellery had huge windows heavily hung with brown curtains. from excess nervousness. as one of his bodyguard. A n d this day. I. marching as part of the Party parade in honor of Horst Wessel—not the celebration of his death. half of . The Chancellor was all prepared to review detachments of the Blackshirts and the Storm Troopers. A n d now. his Adjutant. Huge Brückner. browning leaves. But such is the guard that is kept over the modern redeemers of the people.128 THE STRANGE D E A T H CHAPTER VIII HORST WESSEL D A Y I T IS strange that slight shivers of apprehension strike panic in the official families of dictators. that sent everyone flying helter-skelter like an October gust among dry. Some little rumor about the ambassador at Geneva had sent Erik von Arnheim off to the tour of the nearby capitals. when some unexpected sound or motion caused alarm. It has often startled visitors. and Schaub were also present. there came another flurry of rumors. on the very day on which I was to dine with the lovely Ulrica in the evening. was in the room with him.

His eyes narrowed and grew tense. and now the feared head of the Blackshirts. The ammunition has still not been discovered. "Heil Hitler!" came rather breathlessly from his lips. H. There is evident a plot in connection with the parade and the review.OF A D O L F HITLER 129 the Blackshirt guards were in their window embrasures. he tugged at his microscopic moustache. "He seems to think he has discovered something. when one was overheard saying "You watch out." Five hours' questioning. Heil Hitler! Excellency. his hand flashed up in the Nazi salute. "Read it. I recognized the sprawled initials at once as the signature of Heinrich Himmler." he directed Schaub. The Leader responded more lethargically. once Gregor Strasser's secretary. although no outsiders were expected. . in his impressive black uniform with a schoolmaster's pince-nez riding his narrow nose. discovered nothing more definite. Hitler read it rapidly." I hazarded. using all means. something will happen tomorrow. I could picture him presiding. Zeit." He handed me the message. over the futile questioning of the two Austrian Communists. "Send for Goebbels and Göring. H. It is urged that all precautions be taken. a Jesuit or a Communist. I recalled what Arnheim had said of him: that he suspected everyone not a Party member of being a Jew. Two Austrian Communists were arrested in the Excelsior Hotel. The orderly's heels clicked. one hundred stands of arms were discovered in a warehouse cellar belonging to Communist sympathizers in North Berlin last night. The orderly handed him a message.

even to the dogwhip." "Far wiser. His manner might be callous. The guns have been seized. Göring came ponderously in and read the note." he said meticulously. I saluted. with a troubled look." I said." "It is just a review. So it was that I emerged at eleven forty-five in the same reception room. this was what I was paid for. "to send registered letters to the world that we fear an attempt on the Chancellor's life. A n d I barely out of a convalescent's bed from the poisoning! A n d then I quieted within." he said aggressively." said Göring. in his silkiest voice. there is something to be discovered everywhere all the time." "It would not be as bad i f they hit him." said Hitler swiftly. It would be as bad if they shot at him. but. "Let us trust there will be no shooting. "I am to command. I prefer machine-guns. after all. my wig and wax removed." Hitler stared around the room. here?" I flushed unconsciously at the callous way he was willing to expose me the moment there was a whiff of danger. "It is not wise. But it is much wiser. W h y not use Little Adolf. "For me. wearing the uniform of the Reichsführer. "Gladly. "I will clear the street for three blocks beside your reviewing stand." said Goebbels suavely." said Hitler. and have machine guns guarding every direction. " A n d I hope they do start something!" Meanwhile Goebbels had thumped in and was considering the note. the ammunition is worthless without them.130 THE STRANGE DEATH " M y dear Zeit. It . "There may be no danger. as i f expecting the window to disgorge Communists i n stead of his devoted Blackshirts.

"Excellent. Göring and the rest of the important cabinet members saluted me solemnly." I said. "I would like to have seen Rosenberg kick him down the stairs. and took my place in the middle car. I once told this laughingly to Captain Roehm. my bodily stature had not lengthened. as ever. "Putzi was. By now. relaxing my grim look a trifle to respond to salutes from the packed throngs on each side of the avenue. Little Adolf?" "Herr Reichskanzler to you. Goebbels has a satanic kink in his makeup that made him enjoy the masquerade far more than the others. beside Goebbels and just behind Brückner and Schaub. of course." "I am surprised he did not come out crawling like a centipede. but I knew that I acted a larger part. with heil-Hitlering on every side. was driving. He leaned intimately toward me. "He is capable of it. the ineffable clown. and he had me measured both ways. I often wished Herr Hitler himself could see my impersonation of him. Goebbels. " H o w was the brandy last night." " A c h ." I added. feeling like Napo- . here we are.OF A D O L F HITLER always seemed to me that it added several inches to my stature to impersonate the Leader. I outdid myself in lackadaisical responses. —Göring and his machine guns!" But there was plenty of space cleared for the car to park beneath the reviewing stand. and. Julius Schreck." I said. keeping my face stern. it would suggest several distinct improvements to his own bearing. and I played it with my full soul." He considered this thoughtfully. They say Putzi was so excited he rushed into the Braun Haus and came out wearing two hats. I was the object of solemn consideration from all of them. N o .

led by von Papen. Which of them would triumph. As he was dying. nay. he did not falter in this supreme emergency. it seemed . . in silence. But. With his dying breath he waved the man away. soon would come the representatives of the two fighting bands whose loyalty and bravery had made our success possible. about to greet the columns marching in honor of the brave young hero who had died that folkic Germany might live.132 THE STRANGE DEATH leon about to lead the attack at Austerlitz. and the revolutionary Party itself on the other. O n both sides of the wide avenue I could visualize all Germany lined up. von Blomberg of the Reichswehr. there was no nobler act in the annals of all Germany. the dying Nazi learned that the man was not Nordic. than that of this inconspicuous Brownshirt. and his name has become i m mortal in Nazi annals. worst of all. What a dreadful pity that Germany was increasingly becoming split into two rival forces again—the Reaktion. To his horror. As Goebbels had explained to me. and the shade of the great lindens was a welcome relief from the gold blaze of the sun. . A l l Germany lined up to reverence his heroic spirit. i f a clash occurred. that he was one of the accursed race of Jews. And. hero as he had lived. the financier Schacht and Göring. It looked to me like the dilemma of the immovable body and the irresistible force. I mounted to the reviewing rostrum. A n d so he died. while his Horst Wessel H y m n is sung even more fervently than DeutschlandüberAlles. marching down the wide avenue. on the one side. . who had been beset and wounded to his death by Communist thugs. they brought the nearest doctor to minister to him. he would rather die than be treated by a Jewish doctor. The day was deliciously warm. with his heroic soul. of all the nations of the world.

men of Germany. no stodgy squire who chopped down cherry trees and spent his time wintering out of doors. all with Heil Hitler on their lips. A h . no old-fashioned archer shooting at apples. men of the Party. I stood erect. the Communists and Marxists. the actual slime of the extreme Left stirring. One need only compare the patriotic slogans of various nations. Germany. below these. the cause. that was all that could possibly matter. and his Fatherland. rather than let a Jewish doctor bandage His wounds. with Captain Roehm riding magnificently in front. his Party. A n d then the trig columns of the Blackshirts. who had gladly laid down his life in honor of his cause. with Heinrich Himmler at their head. Go forth. and even wilder direct actionists. A n d . and save Germany. it was a great day in the history of the world when these myriads marched before me. and save the world! What difference did it make whom the men who served me had slept with the night before? What difference did it make who any of us would sleep with tonight? As long as we all served the Party. I gave them back the salute with my whole soul. all with hands flung up in salutation. at last—the head of the column. but a freeborn German.OF ADOLF HITLER 133 impossible to foresee. A c h . What are such trivial remarks as "They . to realize the amazing superiority of the folkic Nordic soul. there they were. the conspiratorial Jews. no one-armed admiral stumping immorally over Europe with another man's wife. in honor of a national Party hero such as the world had never known! N o ignorant peasant girl bedazzled by imaginary voices. as they passed so microscopically beneath me.

I could read men's fantastic devotion to me in their eyes.134 THE STRANGE DEATH shall not pass!" " M y only regret is that I have but one life to give to my country!" "England expects every man to do his duty. as long as I had anything to say ." "Give me liberty or give me death"—mere platitudes. Every one of us would have gladly made the sacrifice that Horst Wessel made. I let Goebbels steer me into the car. all of us. Let Stalin be respected. let Mussolini be feared. I passed wearily through the reception room. . But I was the Leader. such. Later. and. of the Nordic hope of the world! Such is the reborn. to the last syllable of recorded time! We felt. freeborn Germany of today. and thus done our small part in saving folkic Germany and with it the world's culture and civilization. and that the Fatherland was saved once more. saluting to right and left." "Britons never will be slaves. it will be. The last long column passed at last. and drowsed back until we reached the Chancellery again. . It was only then that I realized that somehow the expected attack by the dastardly Communists had been thwarted. immortal majesty of "I refuse to be treated by a Jewish doctor?" Saintly Horst Wessel. May as glorious a fate await each of us! Peace to his ashes. this same night . the German god willing. and that was verboten. your dying words phrase the eternal aspiration of the German folk soul. uplifted in that sublime moment. Hitler at least. parrot-like repetitions of the obvious—to the sublime. my arm almost numb with the constant salutes. May all such attacks on Germany end as abortively! And I knew that I would relish a glass of brandy more than anything in the world.

and every heart was wrung at what I had done this day for the Fatherland. put on my wig again. snapped me back into a forgetfulness of all my weariness. I relaxed. the precise Steaming Bath given in Nazi Germany today is entirely folkic in origin and development. and was soon stripped and midway of a Steaming Bath. "We were lucky. at this moment." I reported. wearied at the long waiting for the expected reforms that their government had promised and should have brought in.OF A D O L F HITLER 135 about it. as the Leader had told me to. the first opportunity he had for an aside. and he was certainly a master of his trade—and I dressed slowly. "They did not dare do a thing. It was forbidden to call them Turkish baths in the Fatherland. to remind him that the discontent came primarily from the Brownshirts. and came out to greet the Leader. A vigorous towelling at the hands of the Nordic attendant —he had been recommended by Captain Roehm. A n icy shower. faintly startled that he could call them his. until I felt like a new man. and was thumped and thwacked and beaten on the buttocks and all over my body. It was not wise. "I only wish that your Excellency could have enjoyed it all. For all that the Turks had been our allies during the war. with each needle of water like a prickling icicle. would be beloved! They saw my weariness on my worn face. restored the wax to my nostrils. I disappeared in the anteroom. I would have fought the man that tried to hold me under that shower another second. There is no discontent in the Fatherland when my Brownshirts and my Blackshirts are marching!" I smiled assent. "It was a mighty sight." he said proudly to me. so far did I identify myself with him when I was substituting for him." .

I was rather sure just how the political affiliations in that family had developed.136 T H E STRANGE D E A T H "Putzi played the Moonlight for me. The folkic state must be superior to private profit espe- . not so long before. Yet what he stood for was different. A l l of these Rightists. the distribution of land to the people. I had long ago discovered. So twilight comes. had one profound misfortune: they had as their leader the President. he was in command of his faculties. whose dregs were represented still by von Papen and the discredited von Schleicher. but. who worshipped Hitler. "It was better so. even von Blomberg. any time after that . yes. with the Junkers. she was all different. face devout. . but what was the Party today? I determined to find out. even by his own letters. I was driven to her apartment with mingled feelings. A t breakfast." he said. the socialization of industry. She defended Roehm violently. The Party itself had once been Left. had a strong personal attachment to Hitler. chiefly because she refused to recognize him for what he so clearly was. But he had been identified. about Frau Ulrica von Arnheim." A t six I left the Chancellery to learn more. for the Leader. for Führer and Fatherland. and this too she stood for. yes. just how deep went her allegiance to those steps that neared the Marxist ideal too closely: the things demanded by the Party platforms and its speakers so late as six months ago —the elimination of the thralldom of interest. in life. a man who had been notably senile for months. and his thoughts all tended to the Right. By now. . Erik von Arnheim. with a merciful sponging out of the absurd realities that seem so vital in the sunlight. But how can men at noon stand thralled to a man in his twilight? As for Ulrica.

and Nordic capital and profit. and the Jews were the most international of all races. 14th and 17th of the original unalterable 25 Points of the Party. "Wherever you discover capital that is grasping. But how did she stand with regard to Nordic profit? I could never forget how the Leader himself had emphasized to me the vital difference between Jewish capital and profit. on the one hand.—that is Nordic. wherever you discover capital that is creative. He must go!" M y problem was. did Ulrica von Arnheim distinguish so clearly? . The one distinction is the presence of the Jew. when he was explaining to me the 11th. to which he stood unalterably opposed.—that is Jewish and must be exterminated. for it was international. 13th.OF A D O L F HITLER 137 daily.

and ultimately decide just what were the reasons which entirely justified this course of action. Erik von Arnheim had been i n charge of the guards at the Chancellery the night my midnight Junker visitor came. considering all of the circumstances. N o w if there had been a liaison between him and the mysterious voice from the Right. the unfortunate accident of having had to double for Herr Hitler at the Horst Wessel parade had rendered that entirely impossible. so spontaneously and undeliberately. Perhaps the most unsettling thing about this specific affair was that I had come into it so automatically. A n d now. that of itself made potential retaliation justified. on my brief ride to the von Arnheim apartment. to make sure that my intended course was entirely justified. Herr Reichskanzler himself had urged me to make a special . I tried with desperate rapidity to myself to sketch the arguments pro and con.138 THE STRANGE DEATH CHAPTER DC ULRICA V O N A R N H E I M ONE feels a certain delicacy in approaching the house of a hostess one intends to seduce. I had indefinitely set aside this final day to consider the matter with the necessary thoroughness. that I had failed to weigh it i n advance from every possible aspect. weigh the reasons and arguments pro and con. from every conceivable point of view.

There was such a thing as the marriage vows. I would be recreant if I failed to follow it to the very end. opportunity and science spoke on the one side. and naturally are irrelevant to civilized conduct. in the butler's pantry. " A l l I could" was a blanket commission. with hundreds of stands of arms potentially aimed at me on the reviewing rostrum in Unter den Linden. But i f it were possible to get in more trouble than I was in now. What was to be said on the other side? It was difficult to find any objection that could be dignified with the name of reason. He was my host. That we were not in the Tuareg country. it behooved me to weigh any opposite reasons with a suspicion amounting to downright scepticism. . Biology itself came to my aid. were merely trivial carpings. I would have to chance that. in deprecating my enforced abstinence since January 29th from all corps-à-corps contact with the opposite sex. It might mean out of the frying-pan into the fire. but this point was nullified by the positive duty in the Tuareg country and elsewhere to offer one's wife to one's guest. I might get in trouble. that a bottle well opened deserved a kiss. and find out "all I could" about the lovely Ulrica. the spirit was the thing.OF ADOLF HITLER 139 study of von Arnheim. but what a charming fire! The only real reason was that a mistress made. When providence. it would be worth while to discover the fact. but Westermarck has established with finality that these are based upon primitive folk-customs connected with the detestable invention of private property i n women. often meant a friend lost. and that he had made no offer. by adverting to a tavern custom entirely unknown to me. patriotism. I had been agreeably surprised when Ulrica had invited the first kiss.

For when I act as his substitute. it's you." I said. which conditions as well what I think. I bent stiffly and kissed her soft little fingers. A n d so. since. I felt a repugnance to the idea of coming into close contact with any woman. as i f it were. I am con- . that I think his thoughts and share his attitudes." said Ulrica. "I thought you had forgotten. is conditioned by a perfect imitation of him. as I entered the living room. the more I reflected upon it." I thanked him. my veriest alteration of a facial muscle. although it did not seem entirely relevant.140 THE STRANGE D E A T H considering the positive delight of securing a mistress. The die was cast! Behind the Alps lay the Rubicon. Herr Zeit. I throw myself so heart and soul into the chore. I have tried much. and the extreme uncertainty about the value of friendship under troubled modern conditions. except some reference to the deity and a clearer enunciation of "jackass. squared my shoulders." "Elephants never forget. "We are here. it must be that this sets up a biochemical reaction in my brain. remembering something that Putzi had said the night before. walked down the entrance hall to the elevator and announced the proper floor. " O h . The chauffeur of the car from the Chancellery repeated for the fourth time. a thing forever barred. and have come to the conclusion that it was the unfortunate result of my day's activities as double for Herr Reichkanzler. to analyze this. and my slightest action. indeed. smiling at me through her lowered eyelashes. but here I must all the truth write down: I felt a distinct sense of repugnance in kissing her fingers." I did not catch the mumble that followed this. It is a strange thing. kissing the lovely wife's little hand. When my face and body are identical with his.

I could hardly think that her sole reason was to give the servants something to talk about. the arpeggio that led up to the final resounding chord. It mellowed us beyond description. A t that. as often.OF ADOLF HITLER 141 vinced that I was at that moment. That would be the classic example of the isolated instance. and I must not forget my assignment. It is a pleasure to chronicle that it ended the moment it began. Herr Hitler in my soul. But. and then dinner was served. she had insisted that I remove the wax from my nostrils. the wig from my head. a happier person: as i f living the life of the wife of a cabinet member was a rôle it was pleasant for her to lay aside. We walked back into the living room. and I will confess that for a moment my -thoughts tended to stray from the immediate business in hand to the realization of my ultimate hopes. as it was for me to take my Steaming Bath and revert to simple Herr Zeit. There was a cocktail instead of the sherry and bitters which the English have borrowed from us of the Fatherland. before going in to dinner. washed down with the most delicious Steinwein I had had in years. The liqueur at the end was only the final grace note. after all. I was supposed to find out for the Leader the shades of opinion i n this important family among the Party leaders. . If she had not rubbed her fingers against my lips. It may well have been that she wished to fancy herself seduced by Herr Reichskanzler. the mood might have grown on me. The pièce de resistance of the meal was a haunch of venison from her husband's preserves in the Schwarzwald. Somehow the impression grew upon me that Ulrica was a different person. although I found her later as thoughtful in every way.

no circumlocution. "I'm simply miserable. with the group I had always known. . . between us. and he's awfully distinguished looking. That was my first mistake. When he asked me to his apartment on the Wilhelmplatz. and . I still had my contacts with the Party. he thought I was the most marvelous person he had ever seen—he told me so. "Three months and a week ago I was a very happy girl. . Someone brought Erik in. I had my answer made up. Loveliest?" "Erik. . . . in West Berlin. They were all high in the Storm Troopers." Her face was tortured. he's more than twenty years older than I. A n d I don't know what in hell to do about it. "It is easy to talk.142 THE STRANGE D E A T H Ulrica von Arnheim made my task lighter from the start. Well." "What's the trouble. as first I thought he only wanted what every other man there wanted. A n d he gives me everything in the ." "You're—what!" "—Miserable. . too. oh. . what of that? Other girls have married men all ages and been happy. plumping herself in a chair opposite me and linking her fingers closely together. of course: why not? But he wanted . the Cabinet have simply oodles for their expense account. A n d he had money to spend. it definitely advertised that there was to be no evasion. From that first night. marriage. I had been singing for four months at the Schwarz Anser—and. . A lot more. at least. A n d he was in the Cabinet. ." she said. Well." She said it simply. how I worked to make good at that opportunity! I was pleasing everybody. He is a dear. "Little Adolf." "But everyone says what a happy marriage. First of all.

For ten years I have been on fire with the Party. look how he brought you here. . ." I insisted." "But you can't really mean ." "I cannot believe it is so. Thyssen. Eternally. the silly platform —the things we demanded. . The capitalists—Schacht ." I protested. Göring is their little lapdog. . "Where have they gone? Do you really think that von Papen and Neurath and von Blomberg believe i n any of it? The Junkers? The dead old fool in the President's Palais? A n d it is to that party that Erik belongs. but I know. . "Here we have the face I detest. . the moment I asked it! But there's one thing I can't stand. . and prouder of me than a girl of her first date. their envoy. the Left. A n d I'm married to h i m ! " "But he's a Nazi. The Reichswehr is their mailed fist. when we were first the Nationalsozialische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei. "He's Reaktion. " A h . with all my soul." "I'm afraid I can never make you understand. Even when I was only a kid." she said wildly. . barely grown out of the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei. "Surely he must stand for all the things you stand for!" "There are two faces to the Party. That platform—I still believe in it. passionately. ." There was tragedy in her face. and he will not change. He shows me off to everybody—he isn't jealous a bit. The Junkers—those I have named. Then there are the others. That's the whole story in a nutshell. The land for the people— no more slavery to interest—the socialization of industry. I know! I hear too much.OF A D O L F HITLER world—he's simply infatuated. It meant something to me." She tapped with her slim toe against the polished hardwood mosaic of the floor. Erik is their voice. "I am twenty-three. The farmers I do not . .

Rosenberg. "Himmler would desert Roehm in a moment i f he was told to. In the end. H o w can the Party succeed when they all worship the Leader and not the Party—and when the Leader does not know where he stands!" "Surely you exaggerate. O n the one side. the little dwarf Goebbels— how I detest him. "The Leader is the Party. "These are differences of tactics only. He only sees that there is but one thing to do with the Storm Troopers— to blend them with the Reichswehr. and how many more. her cheeks flaming." sadly. appalled by her vehemence. But too many men love the Leader. led by Captain Roehm— they are the ones who made Germany what it is to become. until Germany has an army that she can be proud of. all of the social program—" " N o . with Ernst Roehm at their head." I said.144 THE STRANGE DEATH know. there are Roehm. Only one of these is wildly alive— Captain Roehm." " N o ! " she said positively. "I know. not of objective." I said. to the last man of them pledged to the last plank of the Party platform. mild Fräulein Hess—why do they call him by that absurd name?—Heines. That is the Leader principle he himself has invented. It is Erik who says so. I have observed. who must make it what it must be—and Erik is not of them. " she said bitterly. with his leering lascivious eyes. the real party. almost stiffly. dull Frick. But the rank and file of the Party. The bourgeoisie makes no difference one way or the other. the Storm Troopers and all they represent. Heinrich Himmler. It is a mistake for a woman to argue. Von Blomberg of the Right worships the dust the Leader leaves behind him. "The . What am I to do!" "We are one Party.

he is still its soul. throughout all Germany. God! Himmler worships the ground he walks on. . and— Oh. except to make them the Party. "There will be a suppression. "Nothing will buy them off. ." " A n d the Party is Hitler. and its aims!" "But what can I do?" I asked her earnestly. "But my heart is breaking." she said bitterly. about Party tactics? Nothing! You know what a German man thinks of women. They have already forced the Leader to say that there will be no Second Revolution. It will never desert him. I grant it: his creation. something you can do! You are close . with Himmler at the head. "Too little already I know of the Party and its aims! I am young." I remembered my midnight visitor. i f there is an uprising of the Reaktion. given half the chance. "and von Blomberg has his ear. becomes of the Party. But the Reaktion—it has never been his. and he is already head of the Blackshirts. and nodded. and I thought it would help turn the tide. then? The Reichswehr would slit Roehm's throat tomorrow." "I talk too much. three hundred thousand of them. There is only one party in Germany now." I said. A n d Roehm and his Brownshirts—what of them. What. He made it. we must unite and keep the Party true to itself!" "But it is sure to be so. except such isolated cases as von Blomberg and my husband." she said despairingly. I think I married Erik because he was Cabinet. Little Adolf. But something. then. gnädige Frau. What do I mean to him. and Erik. They are restive still. young in the movement. Erik says there is even talk of a secret police. except for the bed. M y husband himself says so. . The last election did not break the Junker group.OF A D O L F H I T L E R 145 Party is his.

"You've been good to listen. exhausted from her own vehemence." She slumped again into her chair. don't. yes. he does not care!" She stood erect for a moment." "But your husband—" I wondered. She shrugged. You are alive. "I will say no more. i f he has not already done so. Come. amuse me. He is not bitter. Y o u are the Leader. and pressed the . helpless." Her lips locked closely. Tell him to trust Roehm. closer than any of us. If she put that much passion into her politics." she urged. Little Adolf. once I had removed it from her breast. Frick is a bureaucrat. I will say no more. One thing especially was in my favor. "as i f it would pop out of your body. I laid the trespassing hand on her leg. So. eyes pleading into mine." She leaned back in the depths of her husband's huge easy chair." I said. his eyes frighten me! Goebbels would sell his mother's corpse for old leather. cheeks flaming from her excitement. she would put that much or more into the more serious affairs of life.146 T H E STRANGE D E A T H to the Leader. reared so. Streicher is all bile and no brain. "Your little heart is beating. alert— what none of us can do. I do not think he chose it so. "I have said too much. when times demand it. her lovely bosom rising and falling. such as loving. " "Please. above any man in the Party! Hess— Ugh. Rosenberg has his nose in his books. She seemed to be thinking still of all she had been speaking of." I smiled down. "That only can save him. as today. I began to realize more and more that this assignment was going to be extremely pleasant. I will quiet i t . I walked over to where she sat and stood above her. "He is in the other camp. you can do. pushing my hand gently away." "It was a pleasure. he was born so.

your best. . . and rummaged underneath the shelf. M y other hand caressed her. to give her a taste of where the real power is. I knew that there were ways that were closed at the far end. She clung. Come. shivering. " N o . A man cannot help thinking how it would feel to bare the pretty little rump and essay her. you bring the wine." She led the way back to the butler's pantry." "Please!" She rose suddenly. having her on the floor before me with her backside turned." I said no more." She fled swiftly ahead of me into the living room. . Again she knelt before me. "I begin to see what you mean. I felt more stirred by her proximity than before. . to me when I had finished. "But tonight we'll just steal it. come. it seemed to be a door closing tantalizingly. we have been neglecting the wine." she said. and finish it up." Her eyes under her lowered lashes tempted me. clutching a bottle. and sipped her lips. It may be that this goes clear back to the Caveman. She smiled shyly up at me. It was a pleasure to watch her hips sway as she walked: as always." She presented me with the corkscrew as before. and then opening invitingly. I made as good a job as the first had been. . "That was well opened. . "Come. bright-eyed. Their taste was more firing than the first time. and smiled to myself. or even give it one good hearty kick. "We will behave. "He saves this for himself." she giggled excitedly. I rounded her slim body with one arm.OF A D O L F H I T L E R 147 warm soft flesh encouragingly. She rose. "So long as you'll do what you can with the Leader. eyes unnaturally brilliant. . dear friend. not that. He'll never know. Now.

I steered her to the huge davenport this time and took her in my arms for yet another kiss. and especially when I was at the night club. The Party members were so splendid. " "But there's Erik. please. . No—Little Adolf. Little Adolf! Anything but that!" "If you can give me one good reason—" But I did not stop. . as I held her immobile." she urged." I toasted. " N o . . "To the Party. It isn't fair to him.148 T H E STRANGE D E A T H I filled the glasses. . life is sweet and love is sweet. don't. and stared pleadingly into my eyes. " Y o u must go home—it must be dreadfully late. "Darling . it was expected of a girl. we are alone. dear friend. . tapping her toe on the floor. and beauty. A n d to us—together!" She lifted her head. He expects so much of me. . a home—he wants me to be the first lady in the Reich— O h . please!" "But why? We are young. and later. . when I was entertaining. and at the end clinked." " A h . of course. don't please. then. I verily believe that she was at that moment troubled about the Party still. He wants children. . . it was not wrong. " T o you." Her bright gray eyes were frightened now. no. She stood staring uncertainly at me. somehow. and to hell with Reaktion—and you as our ally!" "Good. not that. but surely he is not the only man in the world! Love did not begin and end with him!" "Don't. —Before we were married. But being married changes it all. when she had emptied her glass. and love.

Come. A n d it had been January 29th since I had last touched a woman. too." She smiled slyly. I won't go. " A n d to hell with Reaktion!" I sat smiling at her." .OF A D O L F HITLER 149 Her breath came more desperately. . too. and that I liked too. She shivered. there is no better way to get at a woman's secret soul than by securing her surrender to you. salty tears in her eyes. . and the taste was delicious. as we drank more slowly this time. Y o u knew I didn't -want to! I thought I could trust you! Men are all alike. She was sobbing softly at the end. . . "I detest you. closing her eyes. . I have observed." But I did not falter. right now. . there are facets of beauty that only the rain can bring out." she said. There is no doubt about it. — F i l l up my glass. It is like seeing a landscape in all sorts of weather. tell me again what you fear as to the precise outcome of this deadlock i n the party. "We have shown tonight which side we are on. "You're not going to. "But you've promised to speak to the Leader. "To us— and love!" I toasted. a lie-detector. . that so some women express pleasure. "We are just married. eyes snapping slightly. I kissed away the warm. "He wants a child from me." She regarded me with dreamy speculation." I clicked my heels together and presented her with a glass of the golden laughter of the Rhineland. you're wicked. . I ought to send you home." She smiled shyly at me. "I was afraid you would be like that. " A c h . I have always observed that the episode functions like a truth-machine. I have observed." "I ought to send you home.

She would not let me leave until there was a dinner date for Wednesday night also. "It would make a scene. to the very end. don't you!" A man needs a universe of dittos when he is with a woman or a child. "I knew what you were going to do that first night. men. men. and giggled. A n d you do love me. Little Adolf. — I f only you didn't have to go!" I promised that the Party would keep him busier than ever in the future. Ach. " Y o u are close to the leader. " A t the cafe.150 THE STRANGE DEATH She made a swift little shrug of failure." But I shook my head firmly. . what I fear . She smiled softly. It was most satisfactory. ineffably graceful. to tempt me so. it used to be begging men to spend one more night away from their wives. i f you refused to go. That's why I suggested dinner here last night. she would hardly let me go. really! Erik's in Vienna tonight. ." It was naturally a pleasant assignment. ." She considered me thoughtfully. the Leader. —Closest. . " Y o u don't have to go to that stuffy old Chancellery. "After all. It wouldn't be fair to Erik to let that come to his ears. he needs all his energy for these damned Party assignments. no. . and in Prague tomorrow. " She kicked off the sheet even. . . Erik. Little Adolf. In the morning she clung to me. . It's like the old days. I established this to her satisfaction again. . Now.

There was hatred of the national impotence caused by the betrayal at Ver- I . I told him all that was relevant about the night before." he observed to me thoughtfully. he said. today. Later that morning.OF A D O L F HITLER 151 CHAPTER X T H E UNENDING EMERGENCY A R R I V E D at dawn at the Chancellery—it seemed far more discreet than to wait until the servants had awakened. it was less rather than more. Only so. Communism. A n d yet. might constitute a conspiracy. watching huge Blonda mouth the butt of his worn dogwhip with low growls of pleasure. could the real attitudes of the Party members be brought out. any one could always be made to reveal what he really wanted from the Leader. Marxism. and he commended my astuteness and enterprise in having this interview with Frau von Arnheim in her husband's absence. and out with such alien parasites as Judaism. Catholicism. even Protestantism —all the aspects of the international peril that saps the vitality of each land. he said. "It is so when success comes to any cause in any land. each people. There was the strong folkic feeling—Germany for the Germans. in our case. The ones who achieve it are more or less of a unit i n their early efforts. "There is such a conflict within the Party. A n y two together. I gave my report in person to Hitler.

But it is bad for any little Napoleons that have fattened in puny. of the world. that I myself created and have never departed from. every trick of phrase and gesture and facial expression. I had myself made dictator of the party. Russia tried. As far back as 1921. and one way only. watching every slightest intonation of his speech. no? A n d I will do it. A l l these we harnessed into one colossal floodtide of pan-Germanism—the Nazi floodtide. "We won—and at once we are confronted with the inevitable fact that there are other currents i n Germany—the old ruling class. neglected arrogance during the early fight. for I have a weapon that is new i n politics. There is a way. Junkers. the fighting spirit of Ludendorff. shocking i n efficiency. "I alone. I have . the power of the betrayed German ruling classes. worse still. They must be harnessed. Der Führer Prinzip—the Leader principle. too. as the first power of E u rope." M y hand flung up to the salute. But we do not wish to eliminate them: they are vital to the coming greatness of Germany. to make a greater Danube. when Dickel and Streicher planned to take the party from me. these two floods that have joined together since our victory—the fervor of the Party. corruption. and. — A s the Inn flows into the Danube below your Passau. the power of Aryan capital.152 T H E STRANGE D E A T H sailles. There was national bankruptcy and unemployment. official graft. they have crept back as enemies within. and that is bad for any land." " Y o u can reconcile them?" I tried to follow his tense absorption. "Heil Hitler!" He smiled approvingly. We could not extirpate them i f we wished to. militarists. These are German. and cannot now see with m y eyes.

Dictators . and shifting of power—Conservative today. the teredos boring into the hull of the vessel until the leak they start floods her and she sinks. and he dare not take one affirmative step. There is no leader. yes. it is for me to say when the time is ripe to harness these two turbulent. There can be no revolt. and compromises. . 'Heil Streicher!'. for I. Herr Reichskanzler. as now. but always I decide! Once it was 'Heil Dickel!'. so that the . the lock of hair falling suddenly into place over his left eye. for fear all will be undone in tomorrow's election. to merge them. the duty of the rest is only to obey. I. am responsible alone for success or failure. to make them one colossal one. . " He shook his pale head. Centrist tomorrow. A n d I fear that that time approaches now. now it is only 'Heil Hitler!' There is no other country that is so. and coalitions. O n fire with his power. am still the majority! When we are still seeking the power. to blend them. never. I am Germany!" He threw back his shoulders and gave the salute and the hail again. except the moment's vote-grabber. even of a majority. to weld them." His voice grew quieter. tumbling floods together. "Other rulers have a similar power. their insidious dry rot. I am the seeker—the Party.OF ADOLF HITLER 153 been so since. He holds his power only until the bedamned sacred ballots have been scribbled again. So. I gave the response. So we have blocs. standing alone. I will listen. as the head. "Good. as the Leader. Communist the day after—and none with real power. which all the united nations of the world could not withstand. it is our backbone of iron. It is their structural weakness. "Democracies. When we have won the power.

on the moving tide of ocean. the Leader might . of race. and act at the moment's whim. It is that that the fools do not recognize. and the objective can be altered entirely. Is it not so?" "But naturally. it is recognized that. all this is insanity. when these things are realized. cold. merely. The moment there is an emergency. Herr Hitler!" "Good. death—all these must be fought.154 T H E STRANGE D E A T H blunted aims falter and the alien tide sweeps over them. For there is no emergency! This is theoretical. A new word from anyone. Look. emphasizing each point by thumping with the butt of his dogwhip against the table. eternally." he started pacing up and down the long hall abruptly. and no great harm done. of boundaries. let us say. There are the facts of nationality. Little Adolf. —Democracy. Would you have a Reichstag deliberate and orate and vote whether to luff or go about when the storm hits? Insanity! Now listen: a country can have but one captain! Life can have but one captain! There is always emergency. of employment— all these must be disciplined into the natural order. you will see. and conquered. In some far world-pacification. of armaments. A ship has but one captain. I grant you. and seen so by all men. of colonies. drought. suffering. heat. disease. volcano. there is always emergency. hurricane. it is pleasant for a group to listen to all. and the other races recognizing their inferiority—and this is a neverending emergency. "where there is no emergency. flood. There are the powers of nature. with the superior race dominant as should be. and understood. and disaffection and inferiority held down with an iron hand—when the lambs that are the other nations lie down gladly under the shadow of the lion that is Germany—then.

I will reconcile them. Catholic. But can you imagine Siegfried running for mayor of his town. except internationalism. and being defeated by a Communist shoemaker. Stalin increasingly makes peace with capital. . a Catholic priest. when he paused. and the rest must be obedience. Herr Reichskanzler. A majority can never be a substitute for the Leader. not of the ballot. . except becoming one of the majority? Look. and moves Right. Mussolini is to make peace with the Vatican.OF A D O L F H I T L E R 155 relax a little. then?" His hands flew violently outward. For the only reconciliation is oneness." "You would give no recognition of minorities. such a city as Berlin. he must be authority. Recognition . Jew. Protestant. We have—and they are all scattered—some representatives of almost every race. a pacifist lawyer. a goal he i n herited. one by one. the soul. I have it from the highest sources. as long as we wish it. as long as we hold it wise. pacifist. Only so comes might. . Can enemies make peace? In Germany. far from the goal Lenin aimed for. Lop off the heads. "Other dictators. "What recognition can they desire. we have no enemy. and listen with readier ear. you ask. Communist. though I cut my heart in two to do it. and all who stand in its way must go. But so long as there is any possibility of any thwarting of his will. of every country. . Grant autonomy to them? Give recognition to them? Tolerance. A n d Germany will be might!" "The world recognizes the greatness of your principle. . in the world. the world-leader. however hydra-headed the single beast may seem to be." I said. . Leadership is of the blood. a Jewish carpenter? N o . for instance. Can enemies make peace? The only peace is extermination. A n d so the young Siegfried stands forth. Marxist. even I.

The will of the Leader is the will of Germany. After all. and we will have tea together soon. Meanwhile. no? Ever your U. There came a note from my Ulrica: Cheri— Wednesday is too madly precipitate. There was but one answer to make. is dreadfully jealous by nature. and urge that he be sent on more and more of these important journeys as the liaison officer between all disaffected groups in the Party. I saw to it that Erik von Arnheim was away on these trips of Party pacification through Germany and further. and I made it. I wired her: INVITATION GRATEFULLY RECEIVED EXPECT M E FOR LUDWIG ZEIT DINNER WEDNESDAY SIX O'CLOCK The dinner. there are the servants. and all that followed surpassed in every respect the former occasion. my personal problems were not inconsiderable. I positively forbid you to come. in adjusting Party disaffections. Thereafter.156 T H E STRANGE DEATH is unthinkable. the evening. For Germany is God! A n d I will keep it so. more frequently than before. and E. for me to listen. The will of Germany is the will of God. I will get in touch with you. It is so a woman's mind must be made up for her. It was not difficult to slip in subtle praise of his results to the Leader. But it was for him to think. naturally he tended always toward the Reaktion—I had . O f course." There was much in this that I still do not follow.

Meanwhile. the Leader's espionage within the Party had more than doubled. as a result of reports I made. SA. When you once get a woman in a continually expectant state of mind. I was extremely pleased to observe that Ulrica herself looked forward to these absences of her husband as eagerly as I. you have gone a long way toward the complete soul conquest that is so vital a part of man's proper rôle in his relations with women. for each of these trips afforded me Erik's adorable little frau as a bedmate for the night. He sent for Captain Roehm in early April. until he had at his fingers' sensitive ends an understanding of precisely the way things were tending. As the weeks slid into months. except for the everpresent Blackshirts behind the window draperies. and soon restored me to the excellent physical condition I had been in before January 29th.OF ADOLF HITLER 157 no doubt of that. " W h y the devil don't they accept the revolution as a fact accomplished. and I had the chance to hear the issues splitting the Party threshed out more authoritatively than any other living man. "The whole damned Sturmabteilung * is grumbling. and go to work making Germany what she must be?" * Storm Troopers. and more disquieting information. Brownshirts. and the social principles that Ulrica stood for were pushed further and further from achievement." the Leader flung it brusquely into his friend's teeth. 1934. . But my own reward was increasingly delightful. Thus gradually the strong revolutionary spirit of the Party was hobbled little by little i n favor of the return of the Right. Only the three of us were present. and the results increasingly showed it. von Arnheim's journeys.

"Tightening. God. first. Germany must be well again! Let sleep be peaceful. at a reasonable rate of speed. it was you and I. But that plum he has. The country is sick of so much peace. When they were indispensable. my Leader. Look. ach yes! That is what is wrong. Y o u can't bring even a German millennium overnight. but for God's sake. for the good old days when a Party meeting meant after the Communists and the rest with clubs and whips. last. let waking be alive!" "We are tightening our forces all the time. when all it set out to do has been ignored?" "That's not fair. with a new medal on his chest every morning—ach God. with unemployment growing hourly? A n d how can we regard the revolution as anything accomplished. It was not Himmler who organized the fighting forces of the party. to . Adolf. and while the industrialists flourish—all this time my men starve. Look what we have done to the Jews already—and even so that is only begun." "Where else are they to go? They're Nazis to the core. While Göring struts around. hounded man. We are moving intelligently forward." objected the Leader. to achieve everything we set out to do. every man of them. A s you yourself are—a Brownshirt. what a price he would bring for scrap metal!—while the Reichswehr swagger around as in the old days when to be a Nazi was to be a hunted. now the Blackshirts replace them even in guard duty.158 T H E STRANGE DEATH "Go to work? How? What work is there for them to do. and forever. and broken heads were the least we could be sure of giving them! Peace is a disease. W h y i n God's name do you have so many men? Two and a half million is a dreadful drain on the Party funds. Ernst. they saved the cause.

We will come to that. all that the damned Treaty allows us. when I am absent. and the futile democracies will bow to your every request! Don't you see the chance you have." But I noticed that he did not leave himself out. with me only as commander under you. i m patience makes ruin. on fire to make Germany dominant over every race on earth —and you pass them by! In God's name. there must be an army —not this pitiable little division of a hundred thousand men that is the Reichswehr. open the door and let me pour them all into the Reichswehr—and then Germany has an army second to none on earth! We can achieve the social justice at home we have promised—who is there to stop us. of course. "It is a great pity that they libel you and Heines and the rest so.OF A D O L F HITLER 159 take her place in the German sun. with an army like that? We will be so formidable that you have but to say your will. " V o n Blomberg says he will shoot himself before he will take orders from you." Captain Roehm bit his lips and squeezed his fingers. " A s a posthumous regret?" The Chancellor shrugged. H e stared at the wall and said nothing." "For God's sake! W h y from me? From you. But I know what they say. on fire to serve you and the Party. "There are things I let no man talk to me. soon enough. Adolf." . That will come. "We cannot dismiss the Reichswehr." said the Leader distantly. that you're letting slip?" Hitler's face was ambiguous." "As an epitaph?" Roehm's scorn cut. Hitler's eyes unlidded once and grew cryptic again. it is all brought to me. can't you see what I offer you? Two and a half million men. "It is not time to trouble ourselves about social justice yet. It is a pity.

they call them. You know that as well as I. So long as my men can cease starving and start serving. . i f we do it wisely. Ernst. Hoodlums. you and I. We are all the Party. There is no end to what we can do. Listen to reason. or the precious SS. "It will make it easier when the next step comes. Well. "Little Adolf. He rasped the dog's huge neck with his foot. as defenders of the Party and Germany. Cultivate von Blomberg and the rest.160 T H E STRANGE DEATH "Who wants to dismiss them? In God's name. while Blonda mouthed it in ecstasy. dear friend. Germany needs all of us. and that is." said the Leader. let them be the guard of honor—they. snapping the dogwhip handle to left and right. . as I have. We are both of the army. It takes training to make a soldier. yes. while deep growls of satisfaction came from the huge throat. . Fighters." After Roehm had gone. Lessen the number of the SA." "Is there a wise way to starve?" Roehm's eyes flashed fire. " "Slum proletariat. we will see. although any moment . not merely us few who lit the fuse. as aggressors for the Party and Germany! So we will reach our destiny!" "I am glad you are sure. the Leader called Blonda to him and tussled with her until he had thrown the devoted bitch to the floor. no. with a smile not too warm. "There is only one wisdom. though. enroll us under the banner we have earned. and I trembled within myself. soldiers. now. we will see. A l l Germany. to act! In the name of the two and a half million loyal German Party members who are my Brownshirts. I plead with you. I had learned to read the hinterland of that smile. Boy Scouts." he slumped back into his favorite chair.

and I borrowed from it the courage I needed to keep on fighting. If I only . "When things seemed darkest. there are times when a divorce must be. Damn it. He is as bitterly ruthless as Goebbels. and I have thought of suicide. when we split on tactics before. It is not hard for the Chief of Staff suddenly to become more.OF A D O L F H I T L E R I thought her neck would be broken. "there is a great man. when we had to have it or perish." I agreed. but I could see that he bristled with pleasure. A n d there have been Crown Princes that have not been too alert when the king's life was menaced. only. A great man. H e is loyal to the movement until death. in Germany. or he would not have spoken so openly to me even just now. no. " H o w many great men can live in a country. He made the SA. It will never be recorded how much he has meant to the Party. I care for him too much. Not quite the shrewd brain." " A n d he for you." "He is important. Little Adolf? In a world?" He did not want an answer from me. He has more energy than fat Göring ever had. but a great brain still. He argued aloud with himself. and that is more than I can say of some. you are really great. too." Hitler shrugged. "But. and to me. "Sometimes I wonder i f he does not consider himself as the Crown Prince. If one insists in living i n Munich. how can they meet—except by divorce? I let him go to Bolivia once. The answer he knew. "Even when a man and his wife are ideally mated. A n d he loves me. so dark they became—who has not?—I took one look at the granite of his face always." He shivered. and the other in Rostock. Too much more.

. . here. so I could discipline him by sending him to cool his heels a long way from Unter den L i n den. he would organize the world as we would have it—there was never an organizer like him! But. ." . I do not know. my Leader. A c h . ." "Von Blomberg thinks the world and all of you too. But Roehm is my heart's friend. Increasingly so. yes. .162 T H E STRANGE DEATH had our colonies back. I do not know." "Perhaps. . A n d Himmler. yes.

"Tell them what's really in your heart. The senile old warrior. over the President's Palais. and death could not be too far ahead. I was there when the invitation was extended. O n April 18th. Only the Leader seemed to keep his head in the snarl of plot and counterplot. Captain Roehm was invited to speak before a distinguished gathering at the Propaganda Ministry—the assembled diplomatic corps and the foreign press. For in that moment it would be too late to plan." said Goebbels. at the suggestion of the vulture. "What shall I tell them?" asked Roehm straightforwardly. The world is saying we have slowed down. "Talk out. it would be time to act only. Who would be the new President. and who then would be his Chancellor? In both camps plans and plots grew more and more feverish. grew sicker and sicker." O . "That's the damnedest part of it. Goebbels. von Hindenburg.OF A D O L F H I T L E R CHAPTER XI IN W H I C H A B U L L E T D O E S N O T MISS N E especial shadow hovered lower and lower over Germany." said Roehm unhappily. craning his head closer. They say—" "We have. and I will never forget the black laughter deep in the little hunchback's eyes. as he discussed it with the Chief of Staff.

petty and great. but it was quite as certain that he was no friend of Roehm's. H e was one of the aggressive revolutionists. and later under the corrupt Marxists. except the task I was named for to substitute for the Leader when need arose. the revolution was not a quietist movement. the unofficial spokesmen of the foreign press. In his head it buzzed that Goebbels was slowly moving over to set himself behind the Chief of Staff. good!" Goebbels' eyes gleamed eerily. 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." "Good.164 T H E STRANGE D E A T H " A c h . Captain. but we will end that. soon! It is time the machinations of the Reaktion are firmly put down. 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 that my one course was to avoid all of it and see nothing. I myself wondered a little at Goebbels' attitude. Listen. I will. as it is. to prepare his speech. know nothing. you and I! N o one has ever called me Rightist!" " B y God. and you'll soon see how content they are! It's all I can do to hold them back. spun on all sides of me. It was almost a personal promise of action. who will spread to the world what our aims really are! After all. Roehm's direct talk startled the world. and thanks to you for the wise advice!" He strutted cockily away. hear nothing. certainly. we are of the revolution. of something strangely akin to . are they?" Roehm snorted. "Let them talk to you as they talk to me. "Tell them so—the representatives of the foreign governments.

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

Nevertheless he seems to be playing into the Captain's hands. . . Goebbels has me puzzled. that Diels—just a lickspittle for the Junkers and the capitalists. I am wild for you!" Vidi. and there's more in the air. . . and now this! Göring must be a volcano of rage. "But." I smiled at her. with the portfolio of Economics. There must be some reason behind it. Surely Herr Hitler won't turn the future of the Party and the government over to swine like that! He must be coming around to Roehm's point of view. . Think what a threat that will be to the Reaktion!" "Sweet. First Roehm's splendid speech. sweet. and put his own creatures over it—that vile Diels. veni. dear God." "I have not seen the Herr General since it was announced. . Come." "Just an example of what I mean. "He's not even a Nazi. Oh. Just about five I dressed again." " A n d yet. He is no friend of Roehm's. . too. killjoys and all the forces of the Reaktion." she said to me earnestly. it is all too good to be true! We are winning. my Little Adolf. we are winning! A n d I believe it is you who are really doing it. boor though he may be! He's actually sent 'Fraulein' Hess to invite him back into the Cabinet. This very morning he told the Leader that he was about to let loose another Niagara of propaganda against petty critics and alarmists. who's been cracking skulls for the police since the worst days of the Marxist régime—he must be raging. Captain Roehm has persuaded the Leader to combine with Gregor Strasser again—and there is a real revolutionary for you. chéri. no. vicisti.166 THE STRANGE D E A T H any real headway. since he created it just a year ago. since the Gestapo was his own child.

Ministerpraesident of Prussia. What did the Leader want. troubled as he already was with his headship of the Reichstag. The principle of Leadership must be supreme. his resignation? H o w dared he remove Diels from the headship of the Gestapo. A t this. That afternoon. of course. without even consulting Göring in advance? H o w could there be loyalty to the Party. and I could never understand a man's crying out of sheer baffled pique. just before dawn. But it was from the side door I left. But Göring was not to be mollified so easily. I walked down to the floor below to take the elevator. It was far wiser to have the head of each organ of the general front responsible directly to himself. minister. and general. It was not fair to Göring to overburden him. "Would God I were buried in Sweden with Karin. at six I appeared formally at the main door and was admitted by the butler for dinner. "It is the end. at peace with the world. 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." His voice was all bitterness. when old and tried members of it were passed over like this? For more than an hour Hitler argued with him.OF A D O L F H I T L E R 167 and the maid slipped me out of the side hall door. with evil fury in his eyes. . A n d I had things to report to the Leader too." he said heavily. and not burden his able assistants with the task of serving as conduits between their underlings and him. ReichstagpraesidentGöringcalled i n person on the Leader. Once or twice before I had seen him give way to his emotions so. the sensitive Leader broke into tears—a hysteric outburst of feminine tears.

Von Arnheim and the Leader talked before me once. Each day I kneel and pray before her picture. The greatest mausoleum in all Berlin is too small to hold her soaring spirit. "But she should not lie on Swedish soil. in my own study." "I have thought of bringing her body back. it can hold all mortal that is left of her." " Y o u will let me kneel before the shrine. General." But he said no more than this. but all obscure. my well-beloved friend. at least. had been the noblest woman he had ever known. he said. "We need more funerals in Germany. " I thought of making a shrine for her there. Surely she is more worthy of worship than this Jewish trull worshipped by Christians as the Mother of God. his eyebrows lifted. "She was surely German." said Hitler earnestly. with references to a pact that the Leader had made with von Blomberg on the Deutschland in mid-April. Nordic. 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. too. folkic. "Yes. There were other things happening. And. Only after Göring left did I see Hitler straighten up. to the core. "That is the sort of Nordic religion that we need. Little Adolf. and that Erik had the general's word that the Right group.T H E STRANGE D E A T H The Baroness. "It would clear the atmosphere. even ." His huge face stained red with embarrassment." said the Leader cryptically." said Göring heavily. his nostrils faintly curled. quieting his tears at last. she should lie i n German soil." he said. 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.

and it was to me he exploded most. But most of the talk in the Chancellery was of the Leader's visit to Venice. provided what had been promised was carried out. with Paris. were interred in the soil of the Fatherland that has so many graves. he called him. It was all cryptic. 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 another type are chosen to rule thereafter: a direct slap at Roehm. that much was clear. and leading to the swift French mobilization along the borders. he had informed Mussolini that he was prepared to execute a coup in France itself. to me. to talk with Il Duce. Yet Il Duce had been most inconsiderate. There had been another interview . the 16th.—as if planning to prevent in advance the Anschluss. Statesmanship was not elementary arithmetic. H e had even dared suggest that Hitler might well learn that one type of men make a revolution. when asked merely to give his spiritual support to the planned subjugation of Germany's eternal enemy. he had insisted on receiving a pledge of full recognition of Austrian autonomy. Hitler was sullen when he returned. Swine. with such strangely assorted people in them. had agreed to support the Leader. Göring's first wife. all mystifying. Lyons and other strategic centers laid under a blanket of poison gas.OF A D O L F HITLER 169 with von Schleicher present at the Bad Nauheim conference a month later. on June 14th. O n the next day the remains of the Baroness Karin Fock. It almost seemed to me that Hitler was laying his eggs in both nests. greasy Italian swine! In confidence he told it to me. It was not a quiet time. and the country overrun from Berlin in twenty-four hours. This was Saturday. Instead of agreeing.

called peace. It is almost time for the annual vacation for your Brownshirts. It may seem wise to introduce conscription at any time. I alone." Roehm's face flushed. then. "It must stop. writhing at his defeat in Venice. "Reports from every section of Germany say that the Storm Troopers bray about nothing but the Second Revolution. Ernst. called inactivity.170 THE STRANGE DEATH between the Leader and Roehm. had been the only outsider present. They may all come in. " A n d no S A uni- ." said the Leader coldly. by one simple word—that the Storm Troopers are to be absorbed into the Reichswehr!" "They may come in. If only we could have been let loose on France! But I will end the talk of the Second Revolution. except for the Blackshirts in the window embrasures. "Advise them to use their two months of vacation to reflect on the matter then." His face hardened. and it had been explosive. too. when he is not throwing the Communists at the Reaktion to put them in a panic. and out of temper with the world. "Goebbels. has talked of it. Let them spend it learning silence. This calls for mature deliberation." "Can I cut their tongues off." said H i t ler. "but only when and how I will it. my Leader. simply by qualifying by the accepted system of selective recruiting the Reichswehr demands." "They won't accept that crust!" Hitler's jaws grew firmer. or their hearts out?" demanded Roehm fiercely. Ernst." the Leader's tone was colder than ever." "I will have no more of it. "That is all they have been having—that vacation without pay called unemployment. I am sure you will agree with me. "The discontent has become too great. Again.

Ernst. and all the Party too. I am sure you do not mean them. Sunday. I will expect you soon to tell me you are sorry for your loss of control. I speak for all Germany. a thing I had never seen permitted before. "Strange words. Perhaps you had best ride i n the car in front of me. It is the betrayal of the revolution!" Hitler rose slowly to his feet. I saw General Göring and several of the more conservative Party members present. General von Blomberg and several of his staff were in attendance." "You are not all Germany!" " M y friend. "I am attending the services over the remains of Frau Göring. Think it over. Deliberate. hell." "The men won't stand it! They are pleading now to have the furlough cancelled. His face was harried. Soon." A n d he flounced sulkily away. It is too damnably still. Consider. I'm sorry." the Leader took me aside and told me. I smell a storm. I noticed that they wore service revolvers ostentatiously on their hips. and highest i n my regard. and see i f I am not all wise. Adolf. when I speak. But i f you think this is the way to win the revolution—Himmelherrgottsacrament! A c h . Y o u are still Chief of Staff.OF A D O L F H I T L E R 171 form is to be seen on the streets during that period." "Oh. But not for words like that. Ernst. too. "You mean—as Der Führer?" . "There is a restlessness in the air. Go. to address to the Leader. just before noon. good day. the Leader summoned me. You are not all Germany.

and will dare try to occupy Berlin. " He studied me fixedly. I should not have come. with Schreck driving you. we will all walk together to the cars. and Germany's future with me. no?" " A l l as you wish. the Leader stepped quietly inside. . . striding stiffly. In that moment off came the wig. my Leader. I always fancy that I myself am about to be lowered down into the grave.172 T H E STRANGE D E A T H He shook his head. Little Adolf. I reached for his dogwhip. "I do not like funerals. whom can I trust? So. I moved forward and . A n d then. . . and I for a moment got in beside him. Unless there is a change of plans. but I had promised. His face stiffened. I have feared them. "July 1st will be critical: when the brown shirts are peeled off of the malcontents. too. never to be removed again. "but I wish to go on with it! There is a bitter word abroad." "Why the heavy artillery?" I glanced toward the display of revolvers. From a boy. that it was I who was there in the coffin. "Bodyguard merely. and the lid of the coffin sealed and screwed down forever. " Y o u I can trust. N o . that Karl Ernst refuses to disband his Storm Troopers." his face showed agony. God in heaven. A l l the staff officers go armed so." After the solemn ceremonies at the new tomb for the remains of the Swedish wife. I felt today. and even murder all of the general staff. Germany will go on." We walked in a thick clot past Göring's car. and do you sit i n my place. and I will slip into the darkness of Göring's car. . Until then. face altered to his likeness. Listen. . and the dirt and stones piled on me. Hitler walked a few feet away with me. stronger than ever. out came the wax in my nostrils.

my Germany. A t that moment. the glint of late sunlight on metal struck my eye. Schreck. The sky had grown sallow and leprous. or a group of these." We were within five blocks of the Chancellery when it happened. I stared with peculiar fascination . like wine to the soul. I would order the bastards to smile. seeing the official guard before us and the official cars behind. A n d many of them. stood lowering as we passed. from a balconied window above where the mob had been thickest. It did not seem so welcoming. who was beside me. The chauffeur of the first car had to slow down. and none knew that the Leader was to be present. bickering scowlingly over what was to be done. on that ride back. with their frantic "Heil Hitler!". There was the usual Sunday afternoon crowd out on promenade. these surged aimlessly into the street. "Hoodlums!" said Schaub. to avoid running down the saunterers. and rowdy. did the same. who was driving for us. As the leading car neared.OF A D O L F HITLER 173 occupied for the return the seat he had occupied riding out to the mausoleum. There was a denser mob on a street corner here than we had yet passed. There were no packed thousands along the way. till leaves hardly born fell plummet-like to the darkened earth. "Dogs!" the chauffeur threw back over his shoulder. and fists were shaken with hideous violence the moment we had passed. The funeral had not been announced. We were momentarily almost at a standstill. Most often these were clotted on some corner to listen to some malcontent airing his earned misfortunes. "If I were the Leader. brawling gusts snapped the tree branches suddenly upward.

far quieter than a car's backfiring. "I will. as I automatically cowered back in pain. and Schreck had followed. Y o u know. He did quicken his steps a trifle at the very end. Schaub a step or two behind me. Bet you twenty marks you can't walk across the sidewalk and into the Chancellery without flinching!" "Take you. Things were jumping up and down inside of me. I walked into the entrance hall. a shoulder wound doesn't bleed much. The car ahead had speeded up." breathed the guard. .174 THE STRANGE D E A T H at it. grind to a standstill. I heard our car whirr off and the car behind. A n d then at one and the identical moment I felt something slice through my left shoulder. The great door swung silently open. containing the Leader. through tensed teeth. . a bullet pinged into the woodwork right in front of me. that's nothing! I've been drilled through the body too damned often. Then. "I think he winged me. I marched it as the Leader himself would have done. "Dung!" The car stopped in front of the Chancellery entrance. and I heard a faint popping sound." I said. . "Naturally. " "Thank God he was in the next car. I steeled all my nerves against the searing pain in my left shoulder." I said. . with relief. and then knew nothing. "Shot?" gawped Schaub." "Serious?" " — M y shoulder." "Dung. as I knew the room was falling. or you carry me i n . I saw Schaub's face staring with huge eyes down at me. But I was to walk without flinching across the sidewalk and into the building.

The official Völkischer Beobachter never referred to the incident. She was more than passion. The building from which the shot had been fired was found to be vacant. Lesser papers mentioned it as merely a lying rumor that anyone could be so unGerman a traitor as to "shoot at the Leader in Germany. We knew the reward offered to the member of the Gestapo who could establish the connection of anyone with the murderous attempt on the Leader's life.OF ADOLF HITLER 175 CHAPTER XII A PURGE IS P R E S C R I B E D W A S by the doctor patched up in half an hour. I had one blissful night with Ulrica the Thursday after I was shot. Some disgruntled far pointed to their victory. I was let out as I sorehead . He prescribed a sedative. But that was all. H i m m ler sent his Blackshirts snarling into every place he could think of. and sent to bed. a bit pale and my shoulder stiff enough. Who was responsible for the dastardly outrage? The forces of the Reaktion? But they had come to terms with the Leader. harsh though those terms were. and it was taken over by the government at once. but otherwise not seriously damaged. in gratitude for my escape from the close call I had had. and by the next morning I was at my post.

He fell into step beside me. Before me was a tall officer. "I am sorry it was you again. Herr Zeit. " Y o u are going my way a few steps. darkening and lessening in height as it neared. A fog had crept up from the river during the warm. We wanted him gone before the O l d Man dies. a Captain." "We?" I parried. when suddenly a vast black mass emerged ahead of me." I said." . at least. "He twists about like an eel—you never know where he is. so that to any passing we would have seemed two grotesque hobgoblins vomited up out of the fog's gray belly. rosy hours of night. on that midnight when I was recovering from the poison I had taken in the dish served to the Leader. in front of the building where the von Arnheims had their apartment. He shrugged." His voice was gray and cold like the mist. It must never be made public that at this hour I was returning from the von Arnheims—that would wreck everything. shrouded both of us. to recognize it hereafter. "There is luck in the third attempt. A n d more than this I felt that there was some subtler danger to me in being seen with this tall cloaked officer. wrapped in a black cloak. I stood staring into the swimming sea of gray. It sloped down toward me. urging me forward. and barely ten feet of the iron railing socketed in concrete running along the building's front to my left. The mist. I had heard it once only in my life before. I tried to imprint it more surely on my brain. "So. like a djinn for height." His voice was quiet. and I could see nothing but blankness across the street.176 T H E STRANGE DEATH usual into the gray Berlin dawn. of the Reichswehr. locking arms with mine. Yet it was a familiar voice.

With troubled heart I groped through the swirling fog then for the entrance to the Chancellery. by this second time that I had inadvertently saved his life. I turned him away from the fog-shrouded Chancellery. while a double led some great charge for the Fatherland. by sacrificing me and double after double forever. "One. . called on to substitute when the star was afraid to play some risky part in his life. . Y o u will see. Grant that it was all-vital to preserve his life by all possible means. I was summoned in as a bodyguard. . . " Y o u have two futures open before you. I could not imagine Wilhelm Tell employing a double to shoot the arrow at the apple on his son's head and then wave the final one at the tyrant Gessler. Within the hour. . A stunt man. . "I leave you. I found Goebbels and von Arnheim closeted with the Leader. is to hold the lead for life in Hollywood pictures dealing with the Branau swine. M y eyes widened with horror at sight of von . "Look up Ides of March in the German calendar.OF A D O L F H I T L E R 177 " A n d then?" More and more embarrassed at this strange encounter. . I could not imagine Luther employing a double to nail the theses on the church door. after the great event happens. you will see." "What great event?" I demanded." With an ironic "Heil Tod!" he swung off abruptly into the fog. ." he said. ." he spoke ahead idly. even though it was all needful I slip in there soon. . I knew already that the Leader felt more drawn to me than ever. . The other. O r Barbarossa standing safely hidden. . M y lips curled with a little faint scorn of modern dictators.

it's a reserve in his own damned SA now! Do you think that the Reichswehr doubt. von Arnheim's ruddy and furious. Somehow he painted the one word so that it meant murderer. as i f not seeing me. " Y o u have done much. eh? So . offering them to lop and slice off so many and so many more from the SA. . and a dozen Little Adolfs can't save you then!" "I wouldn't let him dissolve the Stahlhelm—" " A t best." Goebbels sneered again. he will swallow the tent! I tell you. "I know. I'll make him behave. that his next effort will be to get the whole Reichswehr inside the Brownshirts! If the tent will not admit the camel. Is friendship nothing? Leave him to me. "Damn it. if you please." "Friend!" sneered Goebbels. a surprise not so pleasant for any of us! God takes care of lovers. and he might have come to his apartment first. and. . . So he had been suddenly summoned back to Berlin. now. and you slice off each end and toss it to the dogs. and then. I know. Goebbels' more cynical and sardonic. the man is a constant threat!" Hitler looked increasingly unhappy. he is my friend. Hitler's face was more drawn than usual. i f they'd just forget that damned Treaty. Herr Reichskanzler. It is not enough! Some morning you will wake up and find Roehm the new Chancellor. Arnheim. "Like a cheap Vienna wurst.178 THE STRANGE DEATH Arnheim. They returned my salute swiftly. he himself dictated the terms of the compromise. "I tell you. I know. and forget to count when I increased the Reichswehr." he snapped it out like a live wire grounded. you know I sent Ribbentrop to France and the League.

dear Leader. well—" H e brought the butt of his dogwhip down with a crash on . But I will have Rudolf Hess speak for me over a nation-wide hookup. The revolution is won!" H e rose to his feet. and will you let Ernst Roehm make it. and thrust the words out stormingly. the last one of us would be on the streets in half an hour? But it is that you do not want it. i f any man or group of men try to force speed where it is wiser to me to move slowly. Arnheim. now! I have my plans—I must make all the plans. and. no. it is either accept us or Germany goes bankrupt. they are calling on us to disarm further. "He is my friend. That was a good move. But you have read the reports I gave you of the harvest—the worst in years it will be! We are cut off from the world." protested von Arnheim. Suspending payment of foreign debts is not vital. It was good news in the V B that he has a 'painful nervous disorder." There were sobs in his voice. and most of all to me. I tell you. and. no?" Erik von Arnheim planted himself squarely in front of the Leader. "It is not that we are not behind you. against you?" "I know you are wrong. " D i d not Göring say that i f you wished a Second Revolution.' and on the advice of his doctors he is taking an enforced vacation. worst of all.OF A D O L F H I T L E R 179 long as you toss Roehm along with it. "I tell you. and warn both Roehm and his SA and the Reaktion that I will tolerate no outbreak from either. here is your own Chief of Staff with his knife at your throat!" "It is not fair of you to say so." stormed the Leader. " Y o u will see he is as faithful as any man in the Party." said Hitler mournfully. " I will have no rebellion.

at that moment. came to all the SA . saw an interview with the Leader that appeared in the London News Chronicle of the same day. and I shivered at the ungloved claws in it. I could not be sure that the Chief of Staff." persisted Arnheim. for now and then there was some reference to relatives or friends I had there—gave me something new to ponder: that the Leader planned. I felt that it would be healthier." Hitler faced them. though the Party press said the same thing of the Reaktion. If he eliminated both. but it spoke warningly of the need of divorcing himself from his friends of the dawn of the Party's growth. who had retired to Wiessee. to be in the shoes of any man in Europe. but so it was that the Leader sounded out opinion before he acted.180 T H E STRANGE D E A T H the table. and that the laws had already been drawn up for this. Arnheim had called it. what would be left? Hitler and myself only: and that would be a too small Germany. A Pooh-Bah. the moment Hindenburg died. to become both Chancellor and President. Even the National Zeitung— I still pored over the Basle papers." said Goebbels silkily. signed by the Leader. I doubted if it was so. cornered at last. rather than in Roehm's. Y o u refuse to see it. A notice. Blonda awoke from a nap and growled menacingly. "Prove to me he is doing it. "and with my own hands I will slit his throat!" "We will prove it. The account went on that the national Bolshevists in the party were about to be eliminated—which should have been warning enough to Wiessee. "Roehm is doing it. I listened to Rudolf Hess's speech on the 25th.

A t least it gave me the opportunity to repay him for his treachery to revolutionary principles by having a most enjoyable night with Ulrica. first of all. to make God knows what hellish preparations. What a misfortune. when she did ask me what was the news from the tense front. I knew that she would. it was quite a problem what I should tell her.OF A D O L F HITLER 181 leaders in the Reich to appear on the 30th in Wiessee. Naturally. want to know the precise situation. This had now become entirely untactful—that much Hitler himself had explained to me. it is personal and not cosmic like man's: like mine. for instance. So. in which he said the last one of the Storm Troopers was ready to die for the Hakenkreuz—the swastika. to make it live up to the last syllable of the long outdated Party platforms. I could not reveal any confidences—at least. none beyond those I thought it wise to reveal. or the Leader's. and that would be a tragedy. Roehm gave out an interview. But would you expect a woman to understand that? The female mind does not lend itself readily to abstract thought. But she was wrapped up heart and soul in the fight Roehm was making to radicalize the party. and to eliminate capitalism and its worst evils in the Reich. von Arnheim flew down to Munich. After all. So some of the Party press hinted. he and the Chief of Staff might be preparing a secret coup that would land Göring and A r n heim and the rest of the Reaktion behind prison bars. She might try to notify Roehm. The night of the 28th. It might be a great mistake to let her understand what seemed now more than possible. i f the Leader did not wish him notified. i f she were allowed to interfere with that! One thing at least . to force the Leader to carry out his pledges.

and he would be sure to notice. at a time when I needed most of all to have my mind taken off this depressing situation throughout the Reich. she suggested. She responded beyond my most ardent expectations. She gave herself to me with i n creased abandon. It would be actually unfair to me for me to make her sad. so the only wise thing would be to drop a few hints that things were going better than she hoped for. and thus she and I would be released for the maximum of enjoyment out of the precious hours. more than ever convinced of the depth . remote from the concern of one and one. I approved. she adjudged at first. So I decided. Surely we could together do that much for the Party and the Fatherland! We clinked glasses on it. and a woman is not at her best for pleasure when she has tears in her eyes over some outside matter. and so I did. She would never want to be unfair to me. Naturally. and indeed she kissed my hand for my thoughtfulness. A n d then her face dimpled. and that there were strong reasons why it would be only fair to name him Little Adolf.— Might she tell her husband about it? I saw no reason he should not know the good luck in store for him. —But it seemed a bit unfair to him. it would give her a splendid excuse to sleep alone from now on. Moreover. — D i d I really wish it? Perhaps it was her duty to save all his energies for the Party and Germany. for the sake of the little Reichminister yet to be. She even whispered to me. sooner or later. that she expected a little stranger in about seven months. I pointed out. with oh such a shy pride. a husband cannot remain entirely blind forever.182 THE STRANGE D E A T H was certain: she would become sad and perhaps tearful.

" He seemed to be using just words. to be saying everything but what he meant. his eyes glittering blackly. Y o u and I. "I do not remain here?" "Would it surprise you. " Y o u saw the Völkischer Beobachter yesterday: von Blomberg accepts the new government and its Leader entirely. " Y o u say we. and always shivered when I was close to him: a foul little Loki. So we have our Reichswehr. you know. "Heil Hitler!" he jeered." he declaimed sonorously. my dear friend. I knew that the Leader had flown down to Essen the day before to attend some wedding. spilling some of it at last. I entered. Only Goebbels was present. "to know that we know now even the . This was the morning of June 29th. needs the overseer's eye forever." His voice was too casual. "Labor. "To put a period to what the Fates have written. a little wearily. to avoid undesired company on the way back to the Chancellery. It is the pleasantest mood in which to keep a woman. I was prouder than ever that I had prevented her from one night's unnecessary worry. plotting only evil. For I distrusted this wicked little gnome more than anyone in the party. I returned to my room.OF A D O L F HITLER 183 of my devotion." I protested. A n hour before dawn. "Well. we will do a little inspecting of the labor detachments in the Rhine country with Herr Reichskanzler. Yet here came for me a summons to the Chancellor's reception room. you and I take wings now and join the Leader. he will today say it over the air to all Germany." "But what comes next?" I asked." he beamed hideously. The vulture-like Minister of Propaganda clicked his heels together and threw up his arm in a mock salute.

It is blazing lead we are using now. then." I sighed. Herr Reichsminister!" "When I joke. A n d there would be others to die. for last night had been so delicious. at a time when there is a plot against the Leader's life!" "One does not call 'Ready?' when one is about to serve . He has the signed confession of one of the Storm Trooper colonels who was party to the plot. This man will be shot—have no fear of that. death!" Goebbels chuckled without mirth. no. most incredible of all. my face expressed bewilderment. and death. What a pity. "There will be many who will envy him by this hour tomorrow!" "I go. The man took his own life. But I had her word as to how she would gull him off. immediately after signing. and one does not want to dine at even the Kaiserhof nightly. in a way. A n d then. Germany by all odds the most i n credible part of it. I may even let you shoot him. "But we go to inspect labor-camps." he snickered. "I bury my jokes. Erik von Arnheim went down to Munich yesterday to make sure of it. so that the way could have been rendered a little smoother for me with Ulrica. Little Adolf—he will not be the only one who will be shot!" "But this is incredible! To plot to kill Herr Hitler!" "Life is incredible.THE STRANGE D E A T H name of the man Ernst Roehm has appointed to assassinate the Leader?" "Dear God forbid! Y o u are joking. But this is no joke. A c h . as it will come to some. von Arnheim was not of the Roehm party. and stand by and applaud you as you pour blazing lead into his body. There were always important trips he could take.

A l l the dung will be gotten rid of. He has no hood. I have always felt toward Goebbels as I felt toward that spitting cobra." . Men are blinded when his venom strikes. Little Adolf. this will end it. This one will be thorough. and he has the ability to spit his venom nine or ten feet." I managed to smile as I said it. I remembered a spitting cobra from lower Africa in the great Hagenbeck zoological gardens at Hamburg." he sneered evilly. The plane awaits. The Leader will be anxious. We have had much trouble. but his beady eyes have a malevolence that few snakes possess. It is hard to smile at Goebbels. for good. in Germany. Little Adolf. his head is small and needlelike." "Every healthy body needs a systematic evacuation now and then. aimed directly at the eyes of the annoying great mammal. "Come. We do not use castor oil for a purge.OF A D O L F H I T L E R 185 to traitors. "Let us commemorate the great hero of the Sturmabteilung by forever printing his picture on toilet paper.

which is equaled by no man living. I have seen crowds of tens of thousands dazed and hypnotized under the spell of his eloquence. perhaps: "the imp tempted me. He steadied his hand against the stonework. I stared with utter repugnance at the emaciated imp of the perverse. it was on Adolf H i t ler's that night. as he thought—too arrogant in his moment to mind observation. and I fell. at this moment. so dazed. Part of it. and perhaps has never been equaled on the face of the man-stricken earth." But this was the work of a myriad of voices. and read it T . gloating eyes at the Leader. There was consecration in his eyes. So Hitler stood. so hypnotized. unobserved. the powers of death. and one stronger than all the rest: the voice that itself had so often reduced tens of thousands to dazed hypnotized infantilism. Had he cast the spell? A n d then I shook my head. If I ever saw torture on the face of living man or woman. the gnome-like spirit of evil that stood smiling with arched. N o r could I be sure what had hypnotized him. but it seemed to me to be consecration to the powers of darkness. A square of flimsy shivered in his trembling hand.186 THE STRANGE DEATH CHAPTER XIII SPILT BLOOD AT WIESSEE H R E E of us stood in the sickly darkness on the terrace of the Godesberg Hotel.

Then he crushed it into a shapeless unrecognizable wad. righted him- ." sighed the Leader. " ' A strong man is the strongest when alone. stop! If once my husband guessed. . When a sweet girl you win. we destroy also those who oppose i t . Gather the roses gay That bloom beside your way. When rosy lips are near. A girl. as the familiar specter of Mein Kampf came back to haunt its author. I shivered. Fritzie. . she seemed hardly more. with the ageless Viennese magic: Kissing can be no sin. his voice heavy. Brute?' " A n orderly stumbled running up the steps. " The Leader's voice came heavily. and thumbed it out into the darkness. darted out of the door and into the thick covert of potted evergreens in the deepest shadow of the terrace. ' " chanted the vindictive pigmy." " 'Et tu. "Fritzie. . "I have counted him my best friend for fourteen years already now. Possess them every hour. " 'There can only be victory in winning the people's soul if. "Always. "Naturally.'" quoted Goebbels quietly. Lest others win your due. hot laughter. The Wunderbar chorus lilted from the orchestra through the window. sonorously. while we struggle to express it. Take what is due to you.OF A D O L F HITLER 187 again. Her voice came dripping with soft." said the Leader.

which alone was his friend—"from Munich. formed a protective constellation around him. The Leader laid the first sheet of flimsy on the stonework of the terrace. solitary. but a dozen steps below. who had been waiting in plain sight of him. Goebbels?" "Yes. black. flung forward his arm in salute. " M y friends. He opened the second dispatch. He was reading it when a second orderly clanked more methodically up. and we were the only two within reach of his voice. and laid it on the first sheet. and took the envelop." He stood. "Heil Hitler!" The Leader returned the salutation. The Leader took a step forward. and reread it. clicked his heels together. A gust of wind whimsically snatched up one and rolled it edgewise along the leveled stones toward where the girl-wife had disappeared and a breathing silence had followed. except the slim young orderly and the huge-faced other one—but he seemed to speak to the great allness of Germany. "Heil Hitler!" He clanked down the steps to the cars waiting below.188 THE STRANGE D E A T H self." "Good. clubfoot and all. Faithful Brückner and Schaub and half a dozen more. The two envelops fluttered to the stone flooring. Goebbels. news has come. we must fly at once to Munich. The plane is ready. the orderlies just behind him. read it. and went through the same ritual. It is so serious. . from Berlin. We go. his heel grinding the second into the stones. alone. His arm sloped forward to salute the darkness." he said quietly. The orchestra had swung into the languorous Lüstige Witwe waltz now. step by step. Herr Hitler.

I followed. A t four o'clock. They were shot. pulsing life. and then no earth at all.OF A D O L F HITLER 189 rounded his arm with a horrid smirk. Herr Leader. Yet so must the Party's future be assured. only the conquered air. as he went through the full ritual of the salute. "—resisted arrest. " A c h . and took two or three macabre waltz steps toward the beginning of the descent." "What is the last report?" The Bavarian drew himself proudly erect. Herr Reichskanzler." Hitler for one moment had the same ghastly look of indecision I had seen on the terrace of the Godesberg Hotel." The Leader tossed his head. Goebbels prompted him. a sardonic glitter in his eye." greeted the Munich head of the Blackshirts. " A l l the local leaders of the Storm Troopers are under arrest. the vast swastikaed planes roared to. the stray lock flapping . " N o doubt they think you are afraid to venture into their den. A t the aerodrome. "Still at Wiessee. our plane slid to a perfect three-point landing in the Munich aerodrome. with us. And—the ringleaders?" I noticed that he did not pronounce the name of the Chief of Staff. Several—" his smirk broadened. Off through the sickly blackness we roared. my heart sick. and more carefully he thumped down the steps. gray waking the ending black. It was as i f a smirking skeleton was his partner for the waltz. and felt the earth thumping away behind us." "Naturally. His face altered suddenly to demoniac fury. We climbed precariously in. of all of man's future. " Y o u have come. good. bearing the hope of all Germany.

There on the bed was a sight I had never seen before— two men. arms high. "For the Reich. A t six. M y friends.190 THE STRANGE D E A T H savagely over his left eye. there can be no fear. racing to the top of the first flight of stairs. at the sight of the drawn revolvers. our headlights blurring as the sky brightened. lad. After our third car came two more cars heavy with Blackshirts. and nodded approval to a huge mountainous fellow behind him. "Come on. the Leader and myself. This man crashed his shoulder against the heavy door before which we had stopped. in charge of all the Storm Troopers in Silesia. Good God. We nosed our way through the gray foggy dawn roads. A sleepy night clerk opened the door." demanded Hitler authoritatively. not asleep. "Show us your register. forward!" There were cars of heavily armed Blackshirts leading the way. He pulled me. Then came our car. his worn dogwhip in his right. naked. we drove up to the Gasthouse Heinzlbauer. with Brückner and Schaub. Even I had my gun out. The Leader had his revolver in his left hand. It splintered open. and moved back aghast. as he stared at us. the one who raised his head first to stare at me was Major General Edmund Heines. doing a forbidden thing to each other. He still moved his body. breaking i n — " "Perverts! Sons of bitches!" "With infinite relish the Blackshirt beside me placed his pistol beside the general's . Goebbels followed with three more of the raiding party. what do you mean. i f you want to see the fun!" One of the local Blackshirts I had met at the Chancellery in Berlin linked arms with me. for the Party. "Swine.

in scarlet-striped pajamas through which his . Hitler's mouth trembled once more. under that awful wound which had blown away the top of his skull. as i f he would break the door open so. Blood and a strange graying matter blown from his head sprayed the bed and the other man's body. until the mass of us halted outside Room Seven. he pounded with all his might upon the door with the butt of the whip. "We go there. wide open. naked. he lifted his dogwhip. the Leader with a face pale as putty. M y stomach retched." said Goebbels. ran screaming from another door they had crashed open. and he fell twitching in my vomit. Some of them were to mutilate. Somehow the sight seemed to give me courage. of the dead general. and another scream. A l l I could see was the staring. They shot him as he ran. and more and more shots. and let me i n ! " "Holy God. They were coming up the stairs. I heard another shot. you already? I thought it was to be noon—" Roehm. my stomach still twitching. now. no?" I fell in beside Brückner and Schaub. at an hour " like this!" "It's I—Hitler! Open the door. and pulled the trigger. light blue eyes. his voice shivering with mad excitement. yes. The general's body settled down above the legs of the other man.OF A D O L F HITLER 191 head. I stood there. "Damn you. A young man. and I held on to the jamb of the door to relieve myself upon the hall carpet. "Open the door!" he screamed. There was a loud crash and a burst of smoke that made the air acrid. Goebbels thumping eagerly beside him. trying to regain control of myself. "Ach. "It is Room Seven. Goebbels nodded peremptorily. open the door!" A sleepy voice answered—I recognized at once the voice of the Chief of Staff. but who is it.

eh. you masturbating bastard. His pajamaed arm rose in a weak "Heil Hitler!" He owled at the guest struggling in the arms of the Blackshirts and bodyguards. shaking the dogwhip while he raised his revolver. . "I've lied and protected you for years—" "You're a traitor to the Party. before I kill him myself! He tried to . and stood staring sleepily at us. . advancing on him. "What goes on here. how the hell have you got the nerve to talk to me! I may like men. "Heil Hitler!" " Y o u damned pervert. you swine! Just let me get my hands on a gun—" "Friends. His hand went up in slow salute." shrieked Hitler. vile scum that corrupt the youth of Germany! Y o u will have a Second Revolution. handcuff him! He's about to attack me!" Hitler's voice rose to a screech. eh. " Y o u dirty traitor—" "Steady. pederasts. the filthy pervert!" screeched Hitler. "Take him away. a traitor to the Reich. Adolf Hitler. Herr Kanzler?" "Take him away. you bastard? You've betrayed me! You've broken the promise you—" "The Reich keeps no word with perverts. "I see now. " The vile abuse that poured from his lips made me want to vomit again. steady! What in God's name does this mean? —Blackshirts?" in sudden suspicion. as he hid his body half behind the huge bulk of Brückner. but I'm no . a dirty Jewish Judas to your friends! A Jewish whore is cleaner than you. had the door open. Here at the door was the frightened face of the landlord. you dirty swine!" "God damn you.192 T H E STRANGE D E A T H belly bulged above the pants.

and saluted." he gasped. too. O f course. The command in the face of the warped little dwarf was inexorable. his smirk broader.OF A D O L F HITLER 193 attack me!" He seemed capable of it. "Well. his head clenched in his hands. now?" . and recognized me. Little Adolf. Two Blackshirts stood guard within it as I talked to him. Max Bauer. I arrived at the cell. "I am Ludwig Zeit." His eyes were pools of stark horror. in Berlin." he said. The Leader still sobbed. but it was a message of no light importance. what now? What terms does he offer. The Reich. The Leader was sobbing. as I entered. in one sense. the Party. it was merely after all being a messenger boy." "From Passau. His nostrils curled evilly. The Leader handed me his pistol. We were driven to the headquarters of the Blackshirts in Munich. no? I know too damned much. as he walked ahead of all of us down to the cars. in this world. "This. That's what men get in trouble for. This was an assignment far more to my liking. had been saved. i f he could have remembered to transfer his pistol to his right hand. The plot against his life had been smashed. Tell him to shoot himself. It was the first time I had been given the opportunity to do something beyond return salutes. butt toward me. "Give it to him. The danger was over. " Y o u know me better than that. General Roehm—what are we to do with him?" Hitler looked Goebbels full in the face. He was sitting in his shirtsleeves. Well. He stood up heavily. " O f the Chief of Staff. stiffening. Give it to him. The head of the Munich Blackshirts appeared." I reminded him. the Leader's bodyguard. I—I must phone Göring it is time to begin his Purge.

no?" H e stared at it curiously." I explained. I had thought it over carefully." he was still careful of his words." I put the pistol down on the table before him. "We have shared one gun before. eh! The hell you say! But dung! Tell the bastard I checked my brains." I said. rather than face disgraceful death." I objected. instead of having you executed! Y o u know Göring and his ax—" . it is his own revolver. he is offering you this. when I trusted a doubledealing. not touching it. "But.194 T H E STRANGE D E A T H I had the pistol in my right hand. I flicked out my right hand from the elbow down. and still give Germany what the Party promised. maybe? By God." "So is his desire. He had not noticed it." he said. "He wants. eh? What does he want?" I stiffened up. General. "From the Leader. self-polluting son of a bitch like him!" M y face must have shown the utter shock I felt. presenting it to him. So tell him. But is that enough with which to shoot my way out of this nest of reactionary traitors? Take it back to the Leader. does he? D i d Adolf tell you to give me that popgun to blow my brains out with. double-crossing. General. "and tell him to send me one regiment of my Brownshirts. and I will face every dirty son of a bitch of a Judas in the Party with it. and I could not imagine a more dramatic way of giving it to him. " A brave man shoots himself. "Oh. Go. "From the Leader. its butt toward him. and even rehearsed that flick of the hand from the elbow down. "So is his desire. he and I." I said meticulously. "But that is not the answer he wants. he does. "So. I was rather proud of that presentation.

no. He will not shoot himself. Little Adolf?" " A c h . God damn his dungy soul to hell! Tell him I am in a cell: that he put me in it. Tell him that! Tell him he's the only dog low enough to do it. Tell him this." He slipped the pistol back into his holster and turned away with a start as Goebbels came into the room. of the Reich! For making the little self-strumpet. " D i d he shoot himself as I ordered. Herr Hitler." I explained simply. A c h God. emotional part.OF A D O L F H I T L E R 195 "For being his friend! For being the friend of the Party. Me—Ernst Roehm. But he—he will see. i f he's got any guts at all—and I doubt it. who loves him still." There was no use trying to argue with a man so excited. Christ! Y o u can never see. omitting the irrelevant. " H e has started! God. I . and giving him the Chancellorship. he says. who had lost all real sense of values. I gave him the sense of the message. "We started with less. so much less! Thanks. his own face pinched. A n d then. with a sudden startled glance at me. The Leader studied my face as I spoke. what a cleanup!" We were still getting reports from Berlin—it was well after four o'clock—when Goebbels suddenly turned to the Leader. "First reports from Berlin!" he said. which one had to forgive Captain Roehm in his disturbed state of mind. "Has Roehm shot himself?" " H o w do I know?" snapped the Leader. jubilantly. Little Adolf. damn him. Tell him here is his popgun—I send it back to him. He says for you to shoot him. "I believe with a regiment of Brownshirts he could do much. I picked up the pistol and returned to the Leader. Tell him to come and shoot me. and— Oh. Little Adolf." he said. Dung! Good day.

and the Reich." said the Leader. The two Blackshirts waited outside with me. and steadying himself . "Then we return. for the Party. I swung abruptly on my heels. I pulled out my service revolver and aimed at his heart through the bars of the cell. no? We must go back to Berlin within the hour. Go and shoot my Chief of Staff. with a sort of film over his eyes. "I told you so!" snapped Goebbels." Out of the dead pause. like a dog whose eye is running. Ernst Roehm. "Little Adolf. " Y o u wish to have him shot. and returned to the cell. and gave the salute and the "Heil Hitler!" The Leader returned it. "He said you must die for the perverted dog you are. but his hand shook. "Well?" he asked. I did not go in. This was far different from returning salutes or acting as a messenger boy." he stared at me. he suddenly snapped his head up. He came over to the bars of the cell. this time. saw me. but instead he jabbed the pen back in the potato. " Y o u gave him my message? What does he say?" I felt rather better even than this morning. D o what Herr Goebbels says. yes. and Germany above everything!" He walked backward to the table. no? I clicked my heels proudly together. "you have your service revolver? Good." "So. He looked up. M y Ernst. It must have been that Goebbels' presence made some difference. He started to add a word to what he was writing. He was looking better than in the morning. and waved with a wry look at me.196 T H E STRANGE D E A T H could not believe he was so forgetful. and smiled as on the morning he first met me. Captain Roehm was writing at a table when I arrived.

his waist was below the table now. By this time. to the salute. the smoke. eye lower. like this. It may be that it is hard to hit a man's heart." he said. I pulled the trigger again. almost at the same time I saw the round hole in his forehead. and shifted the end of the barrel slightly to the right. and was myself startled at the kick. He did not stretch out full length on the floor. I pulled the trigger. " Y o u are joking. and going lower. the sudden blast. and I watched and did not move. On his breast I saw the little hole. no more. the way they say a person who is shot stretches out. and his face and his head entirely concealed. It seemed he was swaying back and forth. The difference chiefly was. I may just as well insist at the same time. It was strange how long he stood there and did not move. I saw the blood spurt out. I have observed that it is always wise to learn from the first shot. there was no use to make a botch of the job. His right hand rose.OF A D O L F HITLER 197 with both his hands pressed against it behind his back. I let the barrel rest on the crossbar of the cell. I had never shot a man before. but more slowly than usual. "Heil Hitler!" he said. right at the butt. there was none noticeable. But there was no reason to think I had not done a good job. and it was his huge rump that was closest to me at the end. took a rather good bead on a medal on the left breast. He moved his head back and his shoes forward. . and this time I prepared my wrist against the faint kickback. Even the table fell. There was a sort of wavy motion in what he did then. and make the second a more thorough and efficacious job. I had aimed at the middle of the forehead.

" I said. " N o w we can return. A n d then I smiled." he said. I slipped it back into the holster. with much relief. . A n d so. "Beyond doubt. for this time there had been no obstacle to his will.198 T H E STRANGE DEATH "He is dead?" I asked the Lieutenant of the Blackshirts. "But pardon. I returned to the Leader." I broke the revolver—it had ejected the two used shells—and refilled it from my belt. who had watched it all carefully. "We can return. then." I said.

men so unnatural i n their tastes. Marshal Göring and General von Arnheim were there to report to him. retired by himself. rather. General. can you believe it. eyes intent on the inscrutable face of the Propaganda Minister. For the Leader. the damned fool. seeing the Leader's former associates. and shoot him down for the dog he was!" "Excellent!" "Heines. spoke of the former Chief of Staff as Hitler's wife —and dared to picture the Leader in brassiere and panties? I . who received the report.OF A D O L F HITLER 199 CHAPTER XIV THE PURGE IN BERLIN T H I N K I know more of what really happened in Berlin than Hitler himself was ever told. was in bed with his Lustknabe. Is it any wonder that those imbeciles in the United States. I clicked my heels together. "In media res! In flagrante delicto! A n d did they pump those perverts full of slugs! A n d what they shot off wasn't their bull's-eyes. desperately pale and shaken. bowed my head. i f you please!" chortled Goebbels. Count von Spreti. It was Goebbels and I. either. Goebbels flipped his hand authoritatively toward me. "Roehm?" asked Göring. and gave the Nazi salute: "Heil Hitler! I myself had the honor to carry out the Leader's will. once he had reached the Chancellery.

"The Reichstagpraesident's planning was so perfect that we arrived at his house." smiled Göring. gentlemen. too. Well. " Y o u got one of the Chancellors. " H e blunders everything. but yes. all three of them drilled him before he could close his mouth! He had the most surprised look on his face! It was then that his wife came rushing in. just as she stood there. even his own getting shot. I got a good bead on her right midway of the forehead. both of his secretaries. von Bose and Jung. He was talking on the telephone to some friend when we burst in and I heard him say. for a soldier. that keep the rest of the world from being civilized." " A c h .' Ahead of me were three of the Blackshirts— and. 'Excuse me one moment. eh?" "Well. and he did not dream of the little surprise we had for him. But—von Schleicher!" Goebbels' face lighted up. "Tell them. please—someone is just entering the room. I had my revolver out. it was nothing. But. would you believe it. what a pity!" mourned Goebbels. I ." said von Arnheim modestly. General. But it simply wouldn't do to have exChancellors around with any thought of a coup in their empty craniums. i f I'd have had calipers to measure with. "Good man." smiled von Arnheim. her hands clenched over her heart. and it was not wise to have witnesses of a thing like that. the swine! It is things like that. what of Berlin?" " V o n Papen escaped. Y o u know." "Oh." "Arnheim was there. Herr General. at least. staring down at her husband's body.200 T H E STRANGE D E A T H —ach. and I hadn't flushed anything yet. were put out of the way. eh!" " A c h .

yes!" said Göring. too!" "But yes. this time. would you believe it. Brigadier General Hayn. " A c h . Let him try to lead his Catholic Youth movement from the cemetery. she was no man! I saw! It was ridiculous." "Plenty more. too. and she lay there with her legs stuck up in the air in the most absurd fashion. and so I gave her one more. She lifted her hands." "Aha. A n d Probst. now! V o n Bredow—" Goebbels nodded. General Schneidhuber. bare to her belly! It was a sight. that he fired the Reichstag! Knowledge can be too dangerous. Major General von Krausser. off for a honeymoon to Madeira. He'll never boast. he'll never play Judas again. " A n d we got. her skirt tumbled down over her face. better still. now. eh?" beamed Goebbels. von Kahr. " A l l the wives we shot were men. History did not stop when he betrayed our first putsch. "Well. who was the one to shoot the Leader. the boor. and fell back into a chair. D r . "It was a purge. in the heart this time. I was not sure then how excellent the first shot had been." grinned Goebbels sardonically. of course. she and the chair went over backward! As she fell to the floor on her head. They dragged him out of his bed in his nightshirt. and.OF ADOLF HITLER 20I could not have placed that shot more exactly in the center of her forehead!" "Colossal. U h l . Listen! Gregor Strasser is gone. I had one of the men straighten her out on the davenport. Knausler—" "Aha! You got at the Catholics. Karl Ernst was shot on his way to Bremen. and we went on to the next place. and I hear even his body is .

when he gets around to it. . and von Schleicher and his wife. That may be enough. What more?" "After all. though. no?" "Well. Goebbels nodded." said Goebbels. . "There will be those that know too much." said Göring pompously.202 THE STRANGE DEATH gone. . "We should not go too far. Brückner will keep an eye on that. screeching out 'Heil Hitler!' The poor fools thought this was a counter-revolution!" "They should know. too. But Party business is Party business. it will be good to announce. he is good at not letting him know more than is good for him. disguised as a Dutch priest. The Leader is shaken—so?—about Roehm." said Goebbels judicially. A n d over two hundred more in Berlin alone! O h . . in a nearby swamp." His hard mouth pursed importantly. . . He will make the official announcement of the Purge. that's certain. " " H e ' l l not come back. That would be a purge." said Arnheim firmly." said Arnheim. "We have nothing to hide. if we want any Party left. no. " A n d look. "Nothing to hide. to get all of them! * It was later discovered. This was a moral purge. dreadfully mutilated. We cleaned the homosexuals out of Germany. Certainly that the malcontents in the Brownshirts have been killed." " A n d more than this plot. too. "The welfare of the Party and the Reich demanded that a few traitors be shot. I will say a few things. Meanwhile. by now. and we need announce only what we please. I would not tell him all that happened.* If only Brüning had not been such a coward and sneaked into Holland. if that is all we say. and Ernst and Sander died giving the salute. when you announce Colonel U h l had been named to assassinate the Chancellor himself. .

I remember it was that month also that he received a deputation headed by . "It was an emergency. If the Leader was thus great in the hour of national emergency. he read the list of Judases who had perished. He told how insupportable Roehm's insubordination had become. to the Leader himself. He did not sleep for four nights. he was as great in meeting every problem that confronted him. He told of von Schleicher's colloguing with an unnamed foreign diplomat. But the Propaganda Minister kept after him. not too many details. "I tell you members of the Party that i f any traitor to the Fatherland holds a conference with a foreign statesman and hides it from me. From what I saw of him in the next two weeks. But. He rose to tremendous eloquence at the end. I was responsible for the fate of the German nation. even though he only chatted about his stamp collection or the movies. One by one. I do not believe that anything ever so shook the Leader as what had happened—especially to Ernst Roehm. but not loud. and am Germany! For twenty-four hours.OF A D O L F HITLER 203 But the leaders. yes. and thereby I was the supreme judge of the German people. until the seventy-seven he was to announce had been named. and on the 13th. it will discourage it. and in an emergency I think for Germany. and solving with almost supernatural wisdom all matters that affected the Reich. and he walked in his sleep for long weeks after that—his guards were all warned to guard him especially at such times. and did not mince words about this. with no appeal even to God himself!" They almost tore down the hall in their wild applause. naturally. gentlemen!" So it was left. and act for Germany. I will have him shot!" There was some applause at this. the Leader himself told of the purge to the Party members.

" And then. the salutary effect of the failure of 1923 at Munich. when the applause had begun to die down. They desired to learn from his own lips in what directions the government was going to improve education. as we had promised." he thundered. Only a few nations in mankind's history have been creators of culture. and it is significant that science has admitted at last that these all belong to the Nordic race! What culture . and when we made the mistake of seeking to ally ourselves with bourgeois elements. "We do not blink from facing the truths of history. He led up to a thrilling description of the Nazi revolution. corrupted and tainted beyond recovery by the twin poisons of Marxism and Judaism. " M y friends." he began. its struggles at first. the maintainers of culture. including all the leading educators of Germany. those major enemies of man's progress throughout the world. "Germany has been raped and violated long enough. when we had not yet come to see that the Party's destiny was alone to save Germany for the future. Few of the Leader's great speeches were so statesmanlike and saturated with the Nordic spirit of undying truth. Let me remind you of a few vital truths.204 T H E STRANGE D E A T H the President of the University of Berlin. A n d the tragedy to mankind is that this has been done. in spite of the fact that the Nordic race is the only race of supreme importance to mankind! We know that there are three sorts of races: the creators of culture. "you ask me what is our program for education in the Reich. with incomparable eloquence he traced the birth of the Party. and the wreckers of culture. and had his auditors on fire with the glorious moment when at last a folkic Nordic government set earnestly to work to wipe out the foul errors of the past. as was his custom.

all the nobility of mankind!" A wild storm of applause. Africa? Nothing! Absolutely nothing! Their record is as blank as if they had never existed. " Y o u ask me to tell you of education. but for its survival. the crude savages of the Americas. the pacifist Chinaman. Who better than I should know? "I can see into the distant future. as all of us know." I assured her. not alone for its creation. as all of us can. "He's inspired. of whose history and purpose you know so much better than I. Science is already beginning to doubt whether some of them did ever exist. the mongrel Babylonian. A l l the culture in the world depends upon the Nordic race. all the beauty. " H e does. monitory hands. all races." said von Arnheim devoutly. In that hour. that there will come a time when mankind faces his problems with open and enlightened eyes. He sat on one side of me. all the learning. If our race perishes. led energetically by Goebbels. will turn to the one noblest race to be their undisputed leader. and we will not fail of our high summons in that high moment!" They almost went hysterical at this. supported by the forces of the whole globe. all nations. ." murmured Ulrica sadly. and the exquisite Ulrica on the other." his voice screeched upward in divine passion. "If he only could always live on that high plain. greeted this simple enunciation of the basic postulates of anthropological and social science. But the Leader hushed their rapture with firm. all the genius.OF ADOLF HITLER 205 was created by the despised Jew? What by the lowly Egyptian. As before. Australia. "and I know. they carry into the grave with them all the truth.

imitate the action of the tiger. We have no right to let a single youth sin into weakness!" Again he hushed the tumultuous applause. and bend up every spirit To his full height! So spoke our great Nordic poet. but to build a body worthy of a Nordic! A n d this is a responsibility that falls upon each one of us. Hold hard the breath. and stretch the nostril wide. with timewasting in moving picture houses saturated with the reek of erotic stimulation. The boy who enters life soft is a weakling." He beamed proudly at the President of the U n i versity of Berlin. "One of the major subjects of education must be the sport of boxing. and the Reich has no room for him! The function of education is not to cram the brain with gobbets of knowledge miscalled education. is to occupy a boy's free time i n the profitable cultivation of the body he was born to tend. neglected too long. Stiffen the sinews. . for it encourages the spirit of attack more than any other subject in the curriculum. .206 THE S T R A N G E D E A T H the Reich will put the education of its future soldiers as its first and paramount civic duty! The whole purpose of education. as he expressed this platitude. there are only two major names in the world's annals—Baer and Schmeling! Is it by accident that both are German? A n d each of us knows that the finest and highest institution of national education is the army. When we think of boxing. When a boy's daily work is done. it is time for him to harden his muscles. . as we all agree. "Never . . We are done with idle loafing about the streets. . . Now set the teeth. summon up the blood. not an individual responsibility alone.

in this age of applied mechanical marvels. Lies like this must be purged forever! For we know that it was the Union itself which created most of these miscalled States. as becomes a soldier of the Fatherland. the hour will come when we will regard that as an outer frontier of the world-shaking Reich! "So much for history. "When we teach history. is science. and dry dates better forgotten. it is to learn from the spirit of the army that the Nordic race is unconquerable. It was the German aid to the struggling colonies which in 1776" defeated an England already saturated with the poison of Jewish internationalism. must be taught as .OF A D O L F HITLER 207 think that the function of an army is to teach a youth merely how to keep step in the ranks and stand at attention. Marxism! The population of North America consists almost entirely of Nordic elements. The salutary lesson had sunk in deep. and there was no one listening who did not shiver at the memory of June 30th. The whole history of nations. and ripe for its poisonous off-spring. today. it is to read the past and the present so as to assure the perpetual existence and progress of our superior nation! The errors of past teaching must be purged relentlessly—" his eyes glared." again stilling the applause. But like a trumpet came the Leader's magnificent tones. by any power on the globe!" The frenzy seemed more than the hypnotized audience could bear. "Thus we are taught that the separate States of the United States of America created the Union. it is not merely to learn to parrot lists of names of kings and popes. even of civilization itself. A n d every one of us knows that the purpose of teaching and learning science is to increase our national pride in the advancement of the German race and the German nation that we constitute. " A s important.

He waved the frenzy to silence. Jatho. one soul. Westinghaus. that his pearls might not be lost. Bunsen. Hertz. and secondarily because they have lived up to the best of the Nordic tradition. Watermann. . to his seat. Mond—what names are fit to be mentioned beside these? A n d even i f we look at a foreign land. to return the great salute. . since we treasure the women of the Reich as the mothers of the race. Otto.208 THE STRANGE D E A T H one great stream leading up to German greatness. Benz. and have benefited the Fatherland. "I am asked to say a word about female education. A n inventor is not great merely because of his invention. and hence of mankind's superior race! Heil Hitler!" They rose as one body. Eickemeyer. so with inventions: our major pride will forever be that the fortunate doer and inventor are Nordic. such as the United States of America. Mergenthaler. primarily because they are Nordic. but because he is a fellow German! If you take away the German inventors. So let us hail our fellow-countrymen. what names do we find but Schnebley. von Kleist. Brusch. which is of course essential. weary and sweating." his hands pleaded desperately for silence. Baekeland—Germans to the last one of them! Creativeness is an exclusively Nordic attribute. A message was handed to the Leader. and so the world! As with great deeds. even as he was about to return. . "Take inventions. one heart. It does not take so many words. Bodily training! That of course will receive the major H . invention began and ended with the German people. who are left? But hear the roll of the world's major inventors! Gutenberg. Mitterhoffer. Shallenberger. mankind's highest achievement! Take inventions. Welsbach. Female education.

Germany could not fail. Let her have well-developed breasts. But first. Let her have strong legs. Let her have a strong well-developed thorax and abdomen. A n d I will not deny that. for work and to hold her babies suckling at her breasts. the training of the woman's body. "Never have I understood education so.OF A D O L F HITLER 209 stress. There were tears in my eyes. Let her have strong arms. her intellect should not be entirely neglected. and all the time. the bodily development of the mothers of tomorrow—the educated Nordic mothers of all tomorrows!" There were tears in the eyes of the aged President of the University of Berlin. that her birth-pains may be less." he had to repeat it. "beyond this. to support her body while it works. last. to bear children worthy of our great fate!" His hands battered feebly against the solid flood of applause. there must be character. so? Let her have a well-developed pelvis." he almost sobbed. Let her have a fecund uterus. lord and master. kept supple by daily exercise. and always. there must be a proper attitude toward her husband. First. with such a redeemer to lead it to its destiny! . last. there must be morals. to bring her to her home and husband and young when day is over. to nourish the soldiers of tomorrow. that she may breathe to her maximum efficiency. as the Leader reached this magnificent peroration. since the son inherits much from his mother. "Beyond this.

You told them. Czechoslovakia and how much more was stolen from them by the democracies. Again. The Leader greeted him warmly. it is your country. straight from a confidential mission to Vienna. Again. Again. the avenger of Austria's shame. and they should march beside their brothers under the swastika. Herr Hitler. Inside was Erik von Arnheim. Y o u are Austrian. we can develop the Styrian iron deposits far better than they.210 THE STRANGE D E A T H CHAPTER XV "UNTO ME ALL POWER IS GIVEN—" H E N we returned to the Chancellery from the Leader's great speech on education. W ." * Slovenliness. One cabinet member spat. as I said?" The special envoy nodded. amiable casualness. I will drill that out of them. "Well. sloppiness. "That damned Austrian Schlamperei! * They have forgotten already why they should want the union!" "They have become contaminated by Jews and clericals. when?" Von Arnheim shrugged. and naturally they should look to your genius to rule it. and you will restore it to the united Reich— yourself. it is to be the Anschluss. when I mentioned it. they are your own people. " W i t h all the frills in the world. six and a half million of them. even the outer offices of the great building throbbed with a tense excitement. they are Germans.

though. "Well. he fouls. unbelievable! Record his name." His hand gestured as i f slitting his own throat. of course?" "Indeed yes. H e had flinched when Dollfuss's height was mentioned."—I was always amused at the way each close satellite toadied to Hitler. their bombs—and a thousand men. Herr Dollfuss. It may be peaceful. he'll get his reward. the harvest is . and what the pope touches. They refuse the Anschluss. Even his guild government is a papal invention. women and children brutally murdered. we have a prescription for that. suavely. through our Nazis there. after June 30th here—" Hitler shivered. " U g h . I reminded them that these dastardly clericals had destroyed all the magnificent work of the Vienna Socialists—who certainly must have been inspired with Nordic ideals. the way they rebuilt—with their artillery. In spite of the Purge. He was sensitive about dwarfs. A s you pointed out to me. you did not send me to fail! It will come. his lips tchk'd once.OF A D O L F H I T L E R 211 I shuddered. of course. of course. Hitler scowled ominously. stands in the way. "It will help greatly. as he still did at all mention of that day. A n d they are ready—ready to act. no?" Von Arnheim's hands spread. " A clerical. Leader. "I suggested the 25th of this month. Von Arnhiem nodded. now!" "Anything definite?" asked Goebbels. giving him credit i n the aggregate for every brilliant thought that anyone had—"this four and a half foot dwarf of a Chancellor. " A c h . and all clericals are swine! Y o u told them that every loyal Nordic would see to it he eliminated a Catholic Chancellor.

We have promised the Anschluss to the Party. get out! The overture commences. They are slipshod. now. " O n l y if it succeeds. in spite of the importance . said irritably. and there are more scowls than I like to see. and their heaven ended forever. A n d then.. The planes will be ready to fly the Austrian Nazi exiles back to Vienna. It was the final chords rolling despairingly out. but hardly enough to interrupt Wagner for. Even before the opera started.. but of course! Get out. and the putsch would succeed anyway. These Austrians! Even Hitler. Just as the curtain went up. when I carried this word to him. and I was not to take word in to Hitler unless it was i m perative. lazy. word came that it had taken too long for his confession to reach the cabinet." Goebbels shook his head doubtfully. The radio announced that the putsch had succeeded— that Dollfuss indeed had been shot! This was more likely. It was Gotterdämmerung that afternoon. " A c h . what was the Leader's word? A n d with it a last minute dispatch from the Italian frontier that Goebbels brought over to give to the Leader in person. the putsch was a success. It will pull their minds off their bellies.212 THE STRANGE D E A T H execrable. he received word that one N a z i renegade had confessed the whole plot. for release the 25th. more confusing: Rintelen hadn't arrived. with the German gods dead at last. reports grew vaguer. But I'll get all the propaganda written in advance—I'll even have photographs of Rintelen as the new Chancellor spread broadcast. We won't fail!" But the 25th must. and not even a revolution could keep the Leader away from Wagner. he was i n prison. be the Bayreuth Festival. Goebbels stood silent. these Austrians. of course.

in Wagner. "Damn that greasy Italian! So. as we sat at dinner. to begin with. . "Maybe some good news happens soon!" A n d then. N o more than a postponement. all this is done to God himself—ex- . "Now. next time. "The Stations of the Cross?" "That." "I will be. . " I f you had been there to direct them. . "Rosenberg says that this Jesus is the most contemptible god any race or people ever worshipped. It isn't just that he was crucified like a common criminal—but the things that led up to it! The flagellation—the torture—" "The Passion of Jesus?" I asked. they are more alive than ever—and eternally!" "I suppose it is their religion that's at fault." said Goebbels thoughtfully." "Thank God for that!" said the Leader devoutly. A n y more death notices?" H e scowled at the opportunity lost. Hitler's face grew hard. "Hindenburg is sinking. They're rank with Catholicism—and the plot and counterplot to get Austria more fully under the pope's thumb is unbelievable!" The Leader smiled. i f the putsch succeeds! W h y didn't he keep his filthy hands off our i n ternal affairs?" Von Arnheim looked glum. Goebbels smiled evilly. and more.OF A D O L F HITLER 213 of his message. H o w they can worship the gods they do! I have spent the afternoon living with real gods—the great German gods! Surely. at worst. until the final note died away. "It's usually at the base of most human stupidity. He pulled Hitler to one side and showed him the last message first. "This Austrian debacle seems unimportant to me. a sly glitter in his eye. he'll occupy Austria in twenty-four hours." said von Arnheim authoritatively.

his daughter. with his permission. he creates Mary. Leader.214 THE STRANGE D E A T H isting before Time began. Pilate had him scourged— and you can be sure the Roman made the blood stream down!—they beat him on the head. to the final . he permits himself to suffer every indignity a masochist could desire—and all at a time when he is boasting his 'heavenly Father' could send twenty divisions of angels to rescue him. creator of the earth and the whole universe. the Christians have formed flagellation sects. but not of Christians! I have told you. As God the Holy Ghost he makes her pregnant. the Jews beat him. " A h . i f he wished it! Read the details in Matthew—a few less in Mark—less still in Luke. if you please! He was blindfolded. Once a year they kidnap some Jew. and give him a full sample of all that this Jesus had to undergo. who displayed his backsides to Moses—so the O l d Testament says—and then split himself into three that still continued one—" "Such bosh!" interjected the Leader. Is it any wonder that. ever since. they spat in his face repeatedly. as God the Son. then a Jewess married to the Jew Joseph. and John adding a few—why. slapped in the face. there's nothing that we do to the Jews in the concentration camps they didn't do to him. "But how convenient! As God the Father. and welcomed on their own bodies the ecstatic agonies of the beatings and other indignities given to their Jesus!" "Isn't there a sect in Berlin that commemorates the crucifixion annually?" smiled the Leader. and let him hang there between two dying thieves until he died. gave him vinegar and gall to drink. and then nailed his hands and feet to the cross. Jesus. he is born out of her Jewish womb! As if that were not contemptible enough.

congratulating them on the magnificent achievement of the Blood Purge? O n August and. and more glorious news—that again the Leader had solved a vexing problem of state with utter brilliance. word came to us that Rintelen had tried to commit suicide at midnight the night before. "he deserved all he received." he said dispiritedly. no?" But the Leader had to hurry back to the opera. in his home in East Prussia. "Everything must end. The Party propaganda department repeated again and again that the latest and greatest N a z i convert was giving his life for Germany. shooting at his own heart. One year I could have seen it. like true Nordics. A n d meanwhile. ." "If he was a Jew. well. It is a splendid precedent to do this to all Jews. sooner or later. but that he lived. . The morning papers carried this news to Germany. the President sank lower and lower. When Holzweber and Planetta were hanged for their part in the putsch. Jesus. so hidden from other . and these others too. the senile old Field Marshal breathed his last. The next morning. and so this discussion went no further. "Not you. I could see that the Austrian matter was at last weighing on his mind." said Goebbels fiercely. "When I do it. The Leader passed the dispatch to me to read. with stitches taken in it. I will not miss so.OF A D O L F H I T L E R death on the cross. they died with "Heil Hitler!" on their lips as their last words. Herr Hitler! What would the Party—what would Germany do without you?" "Well enough." he said soberly. always doing the common-sense thing. and . but it was a Jewish girl. had he not sent telegrams to Hitler and Göring. I did not go." There was some good news out of Austria in the days that followed.

and hence need only be cast by the Leader himself. the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. that I will render unconditional obedience to the Leader of the German Reich and people. at all times be ready to stake my life for this oath. Magnificent words! The Party press told how sick officers had rushed from their sickbeds to take the oath and pledge allegiance to the Leader. Who hereafter would be President. which we in Germany are approximating more and more nearly. all votes will be unanimous. The vast columned reviewing-stand of the . and who else would be allowed to vote? In the ideal government. A l l unable to take it on the 2nd did it on the next day. Adolf Hitler. It is socially unhealthy to let it be known that there is even one dissentient in a properly organized state. N o doubt the tired polls officers were too wearied to count the last 12% of the vote." The German people ratified this action of the Leader's by a vote announced as 88% in favor of it. thus denying the earlier story that many had taken sick leave to avoid taking it. "Otherwise.216 T H E STRANGE DEATH minds. and that I will." von Blomberg explained to me with a wink. he would be both. "we have enough unexplained suicides to make the Blood Purge look like an Alpine skiing trip. naturally! A n d that very morning. it is inconceivable that any true German would not have voted for him. as a brave soldier. and who Chancellor? Why. at the annual Party Day at Nürnberg. A n d then came the immortal ratification of the cleansed and rejuvenated Germany. every Reichswehr officer and soldier throughout all Germany took the solemn oath: I swear by God this sacred oath.

OF ADOLF HITLER 217 Luit-pold Arena faced the armed might of Germany. This habit and belching have grown constantly on him. We were to dine at the Kaiserhof Hotel that night. jubilant at one more year ended. at least. ." It is no wonder that Germany loves him. two by two. with no open outbreak seething up from the discontent of starved and suffering millions. When once some finicky Junker objected that his manners were coarse for a general. I thought. Today. the whole . the yet unrevealed future of German glory—and say that I have never done one deed or indeed held one thought that was not for the benefit of the whole German people. I have lived my life with but one motive: a greater Germany! A n d I have achieved it. with me as her spokesman. the magnificent present. as the world will one day come to love him. . the Leader shut him up swiftly: "When I find a man who belches louder. Perfection is not even true of the Leader. a vista so vast that I. with winged words no man has ever bettered: "Such achievements as I have made have been made by Germany. with fanfares of trumpets wafting the immortal souls upward into the German heaven. Be it written to my credit or discredit. could hardly see the impressive Party standards that ringed the whole horizon. After the roll of the heroic dead were called. seated on the tribune just behind the Leader. he can have Göring's place. So. Such mistakes as history may record against me I myself assume full responsibility for. we returned to Berlin the next day. . But I can look the whole world of men i n the face—the heroic past. the Leader himself spoke. Well. Heil Hitler!" Göring was so excited at this peroration that he voided wind like a thunderclap. with his tones ringing then in my ears.

after a sip of brandy. and smiling. His words would seem more golden. as well as the inner group of the Nazi rulers. I turned toward him. I decided to slip up to the coatroom. placed at a table a little higher than the one occupied by the Leader and his glittering cohorts. no outcry. at these representatives of a triumphant Germany in a contented world. through the swirling gray haze of a Corona Corona. which was on a balcony with a full view of the tables. It was a pity there was no place I could retire to with the coatroom girl for a brief session. alas! I secured the cigar and stepped out on the balcony. Naturally. and enjoy a cigar at a time when it could not possibly bring offense to the Leader. i f ever I happened to stroll out to the men's room. "Keep looking down at the tables. The Chairman came near the end of his remarks introducing the Leader.218 THE STRANGE D E A T H cabinet. This night I had taken advantage of his friendliness more than once. half hidden behind a huge trellis of smilax forming a gigantic swastika. when a pistol was shoved rudely against my ribs. I lit the cigar and stared down." said the voice I had heard twice before. N o one who opposes that Austrian swine is a traitor to Germany." I stiffened more erect. more hidden than I by the massed smilax. as the Leader rose to speak. M y escape is provided for. and cigars and cigarettes. and. or it will be your last. traitor to the Fatherland!" "So you say. " A n d . heart at ease. Erik von Arnheim had long ago told me that on such occasions there was always a flask of brandy in his greatcoat. I was along as a bodyguard. re- . "But you will be apprehended too. closer to the wall. Suddenly I knew that a man stood beside me.

H o w could it? The dining room is sealed to all but to those high in the Party and their trusted guards. Besides. There will be the swift conference. tonight. and neither of us wants that. or the world outside." he said slowly." I said firmly. and the matter will be hushed up—until it is tactful to announce such as they wish to announce.OF A D O L F H I T L E R 219 member. " Y o u will see." he said swiftly.—in five minutes. "What is it that you wish with me?" "When Hitler is shot. "word of it will never reach Germany. yes. Tonight is the great night. when it is almost too late for talk. Little Adolf. A n d you will die at that moment. the Leader thinks "there were only seventy-seven. I have wanted these few words with you. "Adolf Hitler will die." I said. "When he is shot—and you will stand on this high mountain. voice aghast. D i d not this Hitler name only seventy-seven killed in the Blood Purge. But it was my duty to try to find out all I could from this mysterious traitor. by a shot. instead of the nine hundred and more that lost their lives then?" "The other deaths were mere coincidences. now. for all that I knew that he wore the uniform of a captain in the Reichswehr beneath it." "Enough of that. If you make the outcry. Tonight. is it not so?" I was quite convinced that this was mere idle talk. "That is Party tactics. The thought of the Leader's death could not be entertained. it might happen sooner." "For what!" I said. time grows small. Y o u prefer to live. A n d the pistol pushed into my ribs was held in his left hand! "But talk. for some time." his voice-was low but knifelike for clearness. as the Jesus you despise stood there beside the devil . still in his great cloak swirled about him.

it might even be Party tactics. It might be some joke planned by some of the more ribald members of the Party. and saw the pistol aimed at the Leader. and I had too much common sense to believe that it could be real. "Watch out!" he shouted. but the part of wisdom. The man with the pistol laid its barrel quietly on the shoulder of one of the waiters. things happened too fast for me to observe them with accurate regard to sequence. I felt a natural curiosity to ascertain which it was. But out of the corner of my eye I saw a huge Blackshirt guard behind the Leader hurl him . so? and say quietly. such as had been discussed before the Reichstag Building was burned. Adolf Hitler. "Look —there to your left—where those two men stand behind the three waiters—you see the gun lifted that will end this Hitler forever?" It was like a pantomime show." in slow triumphant certainty. I have observed. I saw the gun blaze. cursed with a cold. at that moment a Blackshirt guard looked over to where the cough came from. hurling himself across the space toward the man with the pistol. who was in the pantomime too. was to curb my curiosity. here am I. without sound. with this pistol boring into my ribs. Sooner or later one always finds out such things. and aimed it at the Leader. 'Gentlemen. at your service. as he rose with his greathearted smile to begin his speech. "Let them decide. by ill luck. A t that moment. your nose as should be! So?" "But—then!" I objected.220 T H E STRANGE DEATH and watched the glories of the world unrolled beneath him—you will walk down these steps. A n d . It was at this moment that one of the waiters. coughed.'— Your wig off.

the huge guard too screamed. I still do not know how it was managed. "Good night. and he sat ingloriously on the floor. We were all startled. "Quiet. Make no outcry. Little Adolf. all was quiet again. "the future of Germany. "But not forever a miss." he said. for the moment. . As i f by magic. ." he said. " The pistol bored once again into my ribs. a napkin wrapped around his bleeding hand. " The voice beside me spoke." he leaned forward. knocked unconscious from a blow with the butt of a revolver. with melancholy music. M y friends. You will see me again soon. and he was gone. as they led away the moaning Blackshirt. so close I stood. .OF A D O L F HITLER 221 down into his chair—indeed. . . my friends. . The Leader was on his feet. It is forgotten. It is nothing. . A n d already the man who had shot lay on the floor. with his great-hearted smile. A t that moment. blood splattered all over the tablecloth. that a finger had been shot off. writhing it. his rump scraped off its edge. I could see. and lifted up his hand. I finished my cigar and returned to the table. " A bulb has blown.

I felt rather proud that the felicitations were really intended for me. to return to the Reich. who was selected for O N . and was only sorry that the Leader was of such a nature that he would not have enjoyed having this made clear to him by me.222 THE STRANGE D E A T H CHAPTER XVI THE MOTHERS OF THE RACE J A N U A R Y 13. which occurred not so long afterward. 1935. the Leader paid especial tribute to the Reichsminister's wife as a type of the highest i n German womanhood. which by Ulrica's cleverness was named after him. in its plebiscite. But the month was far more important to me for a more personal reason. held under antiGerman auspices. a loyal Party member since the start. "Here we have a young and beautiful woman.It was always an event when any of the inner council did anything conducing to Germany's firm stand for a richer and ampler married life. and in this instance the Leader congratulated the proud father before the whole cabinet. since the superiority of German culture is increasingly becoming known to all the world. on his addition of a little Reichsminister to the Nazi Party. my adored Ulrica gave birth to a son. This was but natural. He himself stood godfather to the child. In his Mother's Day Speech. the Saar territory voted overwhelmingly. O n the 28th. .

and smiled at her husband. personal bravery. inheriting all of his father's stanch party loyalty. "She should be spanked. and achieve as fruitfully! Heil Hitler!" In the midst of the wild applause of the general response. not the hideous disgrace that it has become in the democracies. and statesmanlike acumen. for that." "Lout. the darling—I was seated between her and her infinitely flattered husband—blushed prettily. If we men must face death in defense of the Party and the Fatherland and the Nordic ideals to which Germany is consecrated. "It's nice to have a little Adolf of my own. she calls you. and out of love comes the glory of motherhood." smiled her husband. But at the proper time. It should be consecrated as an institution to raise up soldiers and . A n d now a far higher accolade has been laid upon her—that of the mother of the future! For out of wifehood comes love. and follow in your footsteps. "Here we have a sample of what marriage at its best can be. you have done well! May all the girls of Germany choose as nobly as you. to bring back a rosebud boy who will himself grow into a mighty Siegfried of valor. instead of this lout who does not agree with me nearly often enough on party tactics. surely no less do the German mothers go down into the valley of the shadow. and was for so long in the Republic under the Marxists.OF A D O L F HITLER 223 her beauty and her exquisite voice to render the immortal music of Germany before the discriminating musical appreciation of the sons of the Fatherland. she laid aside this lessor glory for the far higher and nobler calling of wife—wife of one high in the councils of the Party. "Ulrica von Arnheim." But the Leader had soared ahead.

iniquitous devices which prevent the birth of offspring even where the parents are healthy in the highest Nordic sense. that creature of internationalism. and so we are magnificently achieving! A n d this should be a warning to inferior races. and thus bring unspeakable suffering on his fellow countrymen and the monsters engendered of his lust. but they are eternally wrong.224 T H E STRANGE D E A T H mothers of soldiers in the highest N a z i tradition. whose produce can only be monstrous degenerate beings. where would you be! If my mother had sunk so low as to commit this sin. "Quite as sinful is it for the weakling. except in Nazi Germany. the fear of destroying an immortal soul. the invalid. Most wicked of all is it to me to see on sale in any drugstore. In Germany. and even hawked about by street peddlers. that it sets its face sternly against any limitation of offspring. instead of being a cloak for private lusts and perversities. That far they are right. half man and half monkey! It is the custom of the age i n which we live. of either sex. of their nature degenerate!" He pushed through the hurricane of handclappings. we have ended that. Nordic stock. to permit any corrupt mongrel or degenerate to reproduce himself upon a lovely girl of blonde. this invalidism. I myself would not be here before you! For that only do I respect the evil Roman Catholic Church. even though its reason for this is superstitious. and entirely fitted to bear children worthy of the Fatherland. Let the surgeon's knife render the degenerates. sterile forever! So we have decreed. when they apply the same standard to degenerates! It is the duty of such to abstain from anything that may . to bear children who may inherit this weakness. Let me bring this home to you: i f your parents had used birth control. that this is sinful among healthy parents.

the invalid. and it is society's duty to protect itself against such monstrous offspring. an exalted passion lighting his face. must never be lost sight of. strange infant of healthy parents. even dogs and cats. and their pedigrees fully known. A n d the goal we aim for is not Utopian. swine and horses! The sires must be registered. there is always the adoption of some poor. which will i n sure a continual race improvement of our glorious Nordic stock!" Again he hushed the clamor of enraptured applause. the dams must be guarded from contamination by mongrel sires—and no cloak of marriage can hallow such a foul and unnatural union! They must receive service at the proper time. or the mother of German soldiers. under the supervision of qualified Nazi officials. who can with even more profit be bred quite as scientifically and profitably? We Nazis intend to uplift the breeding of human babies until it is done quite as efficiently and amelioratively as the breeding of prize-winning dogs and cats. or of a pedigreed police bitch for some unpedigreed vagrant dog? . It is the application of Nordic science to human offspring! "Why should we make such vast strides in the breeding of poultry. D i d you ever hear of the romantic love of a well-bred Siamese female cat for a mongrel alley Tom. and ignore the human race. I grant. "The full value of romantic love. but very near and very real. who can be brought up with full love and devotion to become a worthy soldier of the Reich. cattle. But this is an extremely overrated matter. "For the weakling. Out of these—I am sure science will one day corroborate me—the inferior races of mankind have sprung!" He stilled the torrent of applause. swine.OF A D O L F HITLER 225 perpetuate their degeneracy.

" . "I'll marry me another wife in April. That is reserved for the men. and the Germany of the future will be peopled by a race whose parents have been selected by blood tests. "Certainly one wife would be at least enough. and then looked at the Leader with a sly twinkle. with the Leader as best man.226 THE STRANGE DEATH Even as unthinkable is any thought of romance between a Nordic girl and a mongrel mucker. chemical analyses. responsible for Horst Vessel's death. since in that way too they contribute to the welfare of the Reich." Göring chuckled. by God. on that day we will have those two Communists. we will extend this privilege also to German females engaged in business. A t the cabinet dinner afterwards. Epstein and Ziegler. Romance will bud from a scrutiny of pedigrees. M y friends. or mistresses." said the Leader firmly. "But you did not mention adultery. he quieted the demonstration. His eyes flamed more than ever. But the German girl who marries will cease to be thereafter merely a State subject. they are not of themselves qualified to be German citizens. the sword is the suffrage. Y o u seemed to assume that all babies are made in lawful wedlock. by the old German law. and a rigorous use of the most qualified sires to serve all dams worthy of perpetuating the stock." "Adultery is unnecessary. And. executed—the old German fertility rite of a blood sacrifice. "One other blessing we will bestow on our German girls. but will automatically by her marriage become a full citizen! Naturally. Naturally. I give you the German mother! Heil Hitler!" This was the Leader's epochal Mother's Day Speech. being female. So it will be!" With his infinite good humor. Goebbels praised it without restraint.

when he had had to go to Vienna. it's universal. Even such a little swine as Ludecke went about boasting of this affair and that. the very thought of her husband is repulsive to her. she would blow out her brains.OF A D O L F H I T L E R "Frau Sonneman?" "Yes. to prove her so deep love to me. with mutual pleasure. I let her kiss my hand to seal the pledge. I've never heard of them. A n d so I was interested in all that von Arnheim said. for two nights before. "We've hit it off together. mellowed by the wine." . after a thing like that. for subversive remarks. If such is human nature. A woman is sensitive. "Ulrica has just borne her little Adolf. If ever another man but myself touched her. "Let the man wait until it is time to serve. Herr Reichskanzler. she said. It was I who suggested that she continue so sensitive against her husband." he said." said von Arnheim. for a time. I have observed that women are most fascinating in such moments of extreme love. If there are any Party leaders who don't have a mistress. and she swore to do it." "Take my case. "Adultery is entirely unnecessary." gruffly. A n d what is a man to do?" I smiled to myself at this. We will get married. That is enough. The General had to put Rosenberg's mistress in jail. He turned a little paler. Streicher and his doctor's wife are known to everyone. or more than one. we will change it. Emmy. " I f human nature interferes. she and I had rehearsed our first night together. what are you going to do about it?" They all watched the Leader covertly. But the Leader shook his head." Von Arnheim smiled a bit cattily. "Whether you think adultery is necessary or not.

One by one the very planks of the platform that poor dead Captain Roehm had struggled so for were being shaped and planned as achievements. For each day has its twenty-four hours. for four times during the interval I had to be Adolf Hitler on parade. The Leader is not like Stalin. It was in the August following that the Leader suddenly disappeared from the Chancellery. I would have had to have been told anyhow. and there is no inactivity in the waking hours for minds as alert and loyal to the Party and the Reich as those at the head of the Party. and on one of these occasions had to broadcast to the world his ideas on Jews and Catholics. for safety as well as concealment of his actual health. "It's nothing. but the Leader inherited none of it." Goebbels told me. It was merely a polyp on his vocal cords. so familiar it had become. who when he needs an operation has it performed simultaneously on himself and all nine of his doubles. and I was told that ho was at the hospital undergoing a minor operation. his face drawn and haggard from worry. I have observed that it is in the times of apparent inactivity that the most progress is made. unless they were clearly inapplicable to conditions. "It's absolutely not cancer. not yet cresting into actions to shake the peace of the world. the Leader faced his crisis alone.228 T H E STRANGE D E A T H This was the busiest of all times with us. I only regretted that there were not new subjects that I could talk on. I know his mother died from it. for all that the activity was preparatory." . what he thought about these subjects I could have repeated in my sleep. the incredible speech-making he has made to carry the Party to where it is—these have finally exacted their toll. The gassing in the World War.

Little Adolf. and I can never know when it will be. routine work as party secretary. of Paris and London. it is writing. as i f German administration of this ancient and i n tegral part of the Fatherland must wait on the rubberstamp O." A t the Nürnberg Party Day that came a month later. A l l of these months." he said proudly." I asked the repulsive-looking cripple.K. cringing beneath the iniquitous treaties of Versailles and Locarno." It was clear that the idea of death hovered over him. but. But I know that the Party will continue and flourish and rule and lead Germany to her destiny." "But what a coup! The world suspects nothing!" He was off. "There has been no such eloquence like it in the history of mankind. it is the golden magic of his voice—is it not so?" "But naturally. and there was more and more talk of cancer. confident that it will never falter in its sacred duty. we were forbidden to exercise our God-given right of sovereignty over our own territory . . too. I can never forget the talk the Leader had with me on March 3rd of the next spring. is it not. as i f he were addressing the Recording Angel. "that has given him his tremendous power? With Mussolini. the Leader saddened the hearts of all the Party members by speaking of the hour when he would die. the history of tomorrow was being planned and matured. "That hour will come for me. on Saturday my Reichswehr marches into the Rhinelands. with the Leader. and that was enough.OF A D O L F HITLER 229 "It is his oratory. so quiet above. I commit to the magnificent German army the power of the Party and the Reich. with Stalin. Herr Minister. " U p to that hour. marching up and down the long Chancellery study. "Well. But I had Goebbels' word for it. We had to stand by and . .

but Italy now has an aggressive government. which we will annihilate before our destiny can be made secure! We will find it necessary to turn France into a German mandate. . England is no longer impressive. "Fellow Germans.230 T H E STRANGE DEATH see France illegally fill these lands with mongrel African soldiers. we are told. and will take orders hereafter from no power. But what was France? The Leader had a minor throat attack. and I had to say it for him to the Reich over the air. I give you my word for it. and so France has only one course open before it. living or dead! Heil Hitler!" Utterly inspired. which will sooner or later be used by us for no more. "France is a democracy. will hold hands off—and I expect from my great friend Il Duce his personal congratulations on my manly step! . to bow to the Juggernaut of our decision. What a bombshell in the squabbling camps of the impotent European diplomats! France wanted to march. Italy too had guaranteed its demilitarization. but what is Belgium? A mere truck-garden at our backdoor. to permit room for our destined expansion into a nation of two hundred and fifty million dominant Nordics. I gave the response. "That is all over! By this one move I will notify the world that Germany is sovereign still. France is the eternal inveterate enemy of the Fatherland. Italy. we are in the Rhineland! We have militarized it. at where it holds the world's Olympic championship. that spawn of Jewish creation and eternal structural weakness. A n d on Saturday we marched in. utterly opposed to the poisonous Jewish concept of democracy. the salute. . . and white French officers stand by and applaud while they violated our Nordic mothers and sisters. Belgium shivers. England has done nothing but hem and haw.

and of course the Nazi dominated the conference.OF A D O L F HITLER 231 " A n d why are we justified in this historic step? Because the Franco-Soviet pact of mutual aid. so that the infantile democratic delegates forgot what the conference had been summoned for. and had taken it. itself violated the Treaty of Locarno. hold a plebiscite on his plan! But it was the Leader himself. asking much of what we really wanted. . We will go. "There can be no peace on earth until all nations have the same law and the same legal system. but an object I pledge you we will achieve!" He was jubilant. the rest could only pass resolutions of condolence to themselves. The Leader shrewdly had Ribbentrop offer the Leader's plan to the conference. who lifted the Nordic fist against the Judaized Soviet power. . to London. He sent his ambassador-at-large. and in each case an improvement. young Joachim von Ribbentrop. and then begin to list their major prophets!" . This is no idle dream. It is because of this that I know that National Socialism will one day cover the entire world. For we knew what we wanted. indeed. one week later. . and discussed the Leader's proposal that France. We have been summoned to a conference at London to settle the matter. twenty years from now . but it has been settled by our actions! Heil Hitler!" He congratulated me highly on the speech. "Let them read that ten years from now . . and said that I had indeed gone beyond his planned utterances in several particulars. for the return trip. when we entered the car together after this magnificent Nürnberg speech. even now being ratified in effeminate Paris. and thereby frees us to move forward to our destiny.

The Blackshirt guards had fallen upon the three men. Utterly indignant. and his Adjutant and Schaub close behind him. Schaub told me later he fell the same way. and I rolled over and bumped the back of my head against one of these." I said fervently. and walking alone behind us Julius Schreck. all informal and delightful. while a foot tripped me and sent me sprawling on the ground. There was no need for it. for once we were entirely unprepared. as i f they were beating carpets. and then the Leader. As the Leader himself was pushing open the swinging door. the Leader. For so. Wisely the party in our car repaired to the men's room. of course. had on my wig. I thought. or I would not be writing these pages. It was so sudden. in those days. I. more than the Milky Way. It was Schaub and I who came out first. I rolled to my feet.232 T H E STRANGE D E A T H "It Is the Bible of the future. and they were methodically beating in their skulls with the butts of their sjamboks. After an hour of eating and relaxation. it was time to commence the rest of the trip. The Leader was standing there alone. with Brückner a . who was Hitler himself. myself. the trusted chauffeur. three men sprang out from the center of a clump of privet. I know now that there was a border of bricks slanted half out of the ground. and had out my revolver. A brutal hand hit me under the jaw. so that it was stars I saw. I remember Julius Schreck and I went in first. I remember we stopped for dinner at a charming little inn near Jena. and the three most trusted bodyguards. except for his blacker eyes and hair.

There came a note for me. I destroyed it. I looked at what had been done to his head. and then life did not win. Concussion of the brain. and studied those whose first names or last names began with W . It was poor Schreck. we buried him with the highest Nazi honors at a military funeral. But he was still alive. . unsigned: This was not our doing. and a dreadful inflammation that kept him hovering between life and death for three weeks.OF ADOLF HITLER 233 step behind him. It is so a soldier of the Fatherland should go to his next detail. A t least. yes. W. and I looked away. We receive many such crank letters. "Dead. But the hour nears. He was looking down at a man's body on the ground." the Leader said. M y stomach is not strong. But I got a list of officers of the Reichswehr.

reorganized the Reichswehr staff with himself at the head. . I might say briefly that the Leader formed the Fascintern. . . and everything was being prepared. A t least I know a little about that. . who hovered as close behind him ever as a shadow behind its object. gave England the jitters by our plain talking.234 THE STRANGE DEATH CHAPTER XVII THE GERMAN NARCISSUS I A M baffled when it comes to trying to tell briefly the happenings of the six months ending with the spring of 1938: so much. Though there were some moments that were not too placid. The Fascintern came first. But that is as bad as writing in shorthand: nothing clear. The moment of birth is nothing. Let me try at least to show how some of these epochal events impressed me. and consummated the Anschluss with Austria. and so varied. and time and again became the object. to the rest of the world—at conflicts of engagements. at minor illnesses. . for I had to make the Leader's broadcast announcing . Months when nothing seemed to happen. our year of glittering action. 1938. established to me that Jesus never existed. developed in the swelling womb of placid-faced 1937. without the nine slow developing months of pregnancy that precede it. . nothing ordered. at especial danger of assassination.

cellars and attics were sealed under guard. The RomeBerlin axis became more than a name. " A n d now. "We have begun the building of the Nazi world. To our south lay a great but envious land. Spain would be one of the democracies. the visit of Il Duce to Munich has made the Fascintern the major world power. to our far east lay Japan. a unit against the world power of . That was the map then. If we had not done this. It is from this visit I now may announce to you that the Axis has become a triangle—Germany. and during his procession it was strictly verboten to open any front window. Japan. France and England. not a motorcar was allowed to pass. But my audience never knew it! " M y fellow countrymen. "The map today is different. as the heart of such an irresistible world-power. a year ago Germany stood alone and self-sufficient. and marching into that Communist-plagued land together. in gratitude for recognizing Franco in Spain together. having the Communist government they voted for. powerful. the land that prevented the A n schluss with Austria. so complicated was our foreign policy growing—at least. in a world devoted to Nazi ideals. Our alliance with Japan came first.OF A D O L F HITLER 235 i t to the world—though he and Erik von Arnheim labored hard to make me understand. but Nordic in all its tendencies. Northeast lay the huge Communist Soviet menace. German loyalty and thoroughness were never better displayed than on that visit: not a train went unsearched. This is impossible to contemplate. since Italy to the south and Japan to the east are riveted to us. while our ally Japan claws into his rear. to me. so the Communist finds us with claws upraised against his face. Mongolian. westward lay the impotent democracies. Italy.

which met with the same tumult of applause as i f he himself had spoken it. a man with bargain-counter brains . More serious charges we will make against him later. about that Ghetto Jew who intrigued to become Mayor of New York.236 T H E STRANGE DEATH Jewish Communism." The Leader smiled approval at this magnificant use of propaganda. i f he speaks again. Goebbels. . . ripe for assimilation with us at any time. it would be believed anyhow. this news that we have isolated the Communist to the northeast and the democracies to the west. and lacks the proper respect for us?" Goebbels smiled wryly. And we are the center of the triangle. The democracies stayed silent when I announced that Germany disclaimed all guilt for the World War. . . . then." he continued thoughtfully. . . but with its northern cities populated almost entirely by Jews. when I stand before you and announce that the last state in Europe has bowed entirely and accepted Nazi government. " O f course. and our plans mature for more!" Herr Hitler himself congratulated me on this delivery. . Herr Reichskanzler: a Jewish boob . you mean? I doubt i f he will ever face a public audience again. but what did you do. a procurer . and to us each flows. . "This La Guardia. as to a way state! " Y o u will not be bored. We uncloaked him thoroughly. so what difference did it make how true it was? A n d . after what I let the Party press say of him. welcome. where Nordic race superiority is the beginning of their creed—and they are. We left out the United States of America—a country Nazi enough in the Southern States. a dirty Talmud Jew. We had long discovered that the only important thing was what we said. "one sentence can not contain everything. a well-poisoner . a filthy soul . naturally. .

too. the Leader made his most delicious international joke: he announced to the world that the era of surprises in our foreign affairs was over! "But will they believe such bilge!" sneered Göring. listen. " W h y not just say. to strengthen us for theft by warfare. when the Leader and you and I have finished!" The Leader chuckled. the cream of humanity." The journalist never got a chance to do more than throw in an occasional question. "First I secure their arms. A n d . He wrote it all down. " N o w I turn on the tremolo. leaving Bolshevism and mongrel Asia to overrun trampled Europe." smiled Goebbels frostily." with an affectionately look at me. General. ." " A n d soon. his little vulture face twitching. and the world had it the next morning. "Send in that French journalist who desires an interview. " A war would mark the final twilight of our races. on the fourth anniversary of his elevation to the Chancellorship. Y o u . 'hands up!' and go through their pockets!" "Theft by propaganda.OF A D O L F HITLER 237 then. Little Adolf. There is no unsettled matter in all European affairs which can possibly justify another way like the last!" I chuckled to myself at that brilliant reservation: the next war would be different! "I am not quite mad—" Another brilliant qualification. the sobs. too. it is enough hereafter to give back to the . then you torture and destroy them. which German readers at least accepted. "War!" roared the Leader. . Not for the Nazi government! For me. with an unfriendly look at Goebbels. General. "It is unthinkable! It is repugnant to the German soul." "Our propaganda for ten years was broken heads. you can watch his face while I pump him full of more of this bilge. . there will be no heads left to break.

of course. but we knew. to speak the English prayer. a League of Nations cleansed as we indicate. and this let us see the Leader thunder as he had shone benignantly in that interview. "Take this word back to your democracy. . In November. handling all challenges by manipulating the scales and disqualifying all contenders? Not for Nazi Germany. while England remains the heavyweight champion. and plebiscites. The Leader permitted Halifax. to beg of the Leader what was the German will for the rest of the world. Germany informs England she insists upon no assistance of any kind to Austria. and now over the Foreign Office. England sent Lord Halifax to Germany "to attend a hunting exposition"—so it was announced. and of the Franco government in * Privy—a backhouse. and we massed for the attack. Would I turn aside from this to jeopardize all on the throw with loaded dice that a new war would mean— dice loaded with destruction for all of us?" A n d so the democracies went to sleep. 1937.238 T H E STRANGE DEATH German his joy in the simple things of life. Webster's Unabridged Dictionary. after this interview. it was a pilgrimage on hands and knees. " Y o u mean the Procrustean bed that lessens or enlarges the continental powers at England's will. autonomy for the Sudeten. and then we will join. Could there not still be a continuance of the balance of power on the continent? Ribbentrop interrupted him sharply. A petition was started. a jakes. Lord Privy * Seal. Lord Halifax!" The Leader nodded. English recognition of Ethiopia as Italian. to keep them all the same weight for warfare. to give Herr Hitler the Nobel Peace Prize. with a cantonal system for the rest of Czechoslovakia. But they presumed too far. his simple prosperity.

Herr Hitler. "Look. O l d Marshall von Blomberg. and Göring too." He left. for violating the Reichswehr code of marriage of officers. were witness at this marriage of aging Junkerdom and the aspiring proletarian.OF A D O L F HITLER 239 Spain—and we guarantee to stop the Loyalist resistance in Spain at once. It is incredible. was tipped off to go to the Leader and demand that Blomberg be eliminated. no? A n d . but he was slowly rising to some such power as Captain Roehm had once had. we would guard their independence. "Leave that to me. in return for our promise to keep silence for six years about colonies. her father a carpenter." I watched with awe as he moved the pawns around. English aid in regaining them at the end of that time!" "But this means Germany dominant in Europe—in the world!" The backhouse ambassador turned pale. Göring came belching in one day. Chief of Staff under Blomberg. Y o u may depart. Luckily for the Leader's planning. was sixty. with his tail between his legs. and. "I have solved it already. Naturally this Fritsch intended to i n - . he fell in love—for his first wife was five years dead. of course. Naturally the Leader. and not march a German army on Austrian soil. Hitler nodded. the Leader dismissed him. If I had not had my Ulrica. who dripped affection for the Leader. snarling about the heads of the Reichswehr. just twenty-three." he said. He picked out a snappy baggage named Erika Gruhn. " Y o u comprehend. these years. the Anschluss is planned. we have had to promise to Austria. but von Blomberg and the rest regard their promise as sacred!" After some discussion. her mother a skillful masseuse. I should have cultivated the Marshal's household. A n d then von Fritsch.

form a new sect. no? The earliest of these lives was not known until 175 A ." "But they have lives of him—the gospels!" " A n d lives of Wilhelm Meister and Don Quixote too. in person." So it was handled brilliantly.240 THE STRANGE D E A T H herit the post himself. Thirteen other generals resigned for " i l l health" it was said—but the ill health was prevented by their resigning. James and John at the head. They adopt a new name for Jehovah—remember. Göring at last was made a Field Marshal. It is at last to prove the non-historicity of Jesus. Ecce Deus. but a humanized god. has proved it beyond all argument. Little Adolf. "I have a new coup coming. But the Leader cut the snarl with one magnificent slice of his snickersee. no? From now on. ever squabbling and split into sects. A n d that was all until— N o . General. Another American. I myself. and Ribbentrop. it is from Jehovah to Jehoshua or Jesus—'the salvation of Jehovah'—that they . definitely a Leftist. Rosenberg has dug up a book by an American. I forget Jesus. when Egypt tyrannized over them. which establishes that the Jewish Jesus was no deified man. I accept your resignation at the same time. now. will directly command all the armed forces of Germany. when Rome tyrannized over them. became Minister in charge of Foreign Affairs. they changed from E l to Jah or Jehovah. by William Benjamin Schmidt. One night the Leader relaxed. decorations. D . Y o u should know of it. " Y o u are right. with Jews named Peter. The Jews." "The Anschluss?" " A little later. belches and all. A n d perhaps. with none but me present. named Holz. for the good of the service. von Blomberg must go. Let me give you the picture.

their writings show this. disregarding Paul's repeated warning. since it is true.OF A D O L F H I T L E R 241 change. and so. Well. and propaganda is easier to put across than truth. and went to convert the uncircumcised. with a childish initiation—baptism. aimed at General Muff or even von Papen. in an attack on our embassy in Vienna. based upon Paul's life. "That may be difficult. The Jews would have none of it. Now that they've arrested the . embroiders a Wilhelm Meister about the life of a man Jesus. is the New Testament! The genealogies are put in to convert the Jews. even this religion hits the toboggan. that those damned Austrians bungled? A fake assassination. Paul. A renegade Jew named Paul—and did he despise the Jerusalem leaders of this sect!—broadened the faith to include the Gentiles. Old Testament miracles. knew there had been no man Jesus. But we will see. You know the plan we had made. "Yes. you mentioned. ascension to a throne— limited to Jews. A n d so. N o w all of these men—Peter. and died soon. Mark. and fifty years later by a pupil of Philo named John." He smiled. John. commencing the international conspiracy. i f you please—Mary and the Holy Ghost left out entirely! The virgin birth is a typical Jewish theft from Greek and other sources. since it sought to overthrow Rome. James.—Anschluss. crucifixion. and no act except the silly initiation ceremony. mentioning no word of his. and Biblical and Talmud sayings—and this. carrying a cross. the ambassador. The Jerusalem movement never joined with him. A secret conspiratorial sect. we have a synthetic Jewish man-god at last—no more historical than Mickey Mouse!" "But will people believe this?" He shrugged. one of his followers. resurrection. as embroidered by Matthew and Luke. and trace Jesus through Joseph. Soon.

Maybe it is the Italian that is quick with the stiletto. and obey! Y o u will name Seyss-Inquart over Interior and Public Security—for we must have control of the police. and make him surrender Austria!" "Herr Hitler. Schussnigg begged. resumed my wig and the wax in my nostrils. "I am Germany speaking. . A n d Schussnigg came wearily. and became mere Ludwig Zeit. You will receive other orders. Remember. a bodyguard. sanadin. watch the Austrian always for some dirty treachery. . you have only to hear. is cooperation than sullenness! "Watch that louse. I have observed. and curtly ordered the Austrian to dismiss his guards and let Austrian Nazi exiles." von Arnheim warned the Leader earnestly. pleaded. . and perform them. "I have come to know these Austrians. for the eleven hours of the Leader's magnificent eloquence that followed. Cnut once tried to order the ocean to stop. who hated him. but he left with a sulky. I entered the chalet. ungracious look. I've adopted von Arnheim's plan—to summon Schussnigg to Der Berghof. How much better. I am the Leader of every German throughout the whole world!" He left. bought as Haus Wachenfeld and now impressively rebuilt. It was I who rode down to the border as the Leader. realizing Italy would not help him. only you could have designed such a brilliant plan!" He smiled serenely. wept: the Leader was adamant." . to try to stand alone in the way of the German tide.242 THE STRANGE D E A T H leaders. A n d so it was that on February 12th we repaired to the Leader's mountain chalet on the Obersalzburg. and unsure of aid from the democracies. be his guard thereafter.

he told us what he intended to say that day over the telephone to Seyss-Inquart. Von Arnheim was in Rome that night. Erik told us of Mussolini's receiving word of this planned plebiscite. to be held on the 13th. . . He had instigated disorder all over the land and given us every reason to i n tervene. A t its end." said the Leader firmly. ripped out an incredible. or we. the Austrian people! He announced a plebiscite. reveling in the caresses of the increasingly i n fatuated Ulrica." he snorted. " N o t the beginning of it.OF A D O L F H I T L E R 243 "But what?" asked Goebbels. and approved. puttying a few cracks i n the Fascintern. Two days later. We sat tense in the Chancellery. while Austria fought for its own Ger- . at the Chancellery. to determine whether or not the Austrians desired the Anschluss and promotion into German citizenship. and order him to call off the plebiscite and resign at once. We have Italy tied in the bag of the Fascintern." said the Leader irritably. we found out the one weapon left to him—the one thing we had ignored completely. Il Duce. who was seeking to betray the sacred Anschluss. What's left?" For once. "Fools do not stop at Modane. He was told to do better. it occurred to none of us. "Give him two hours. to trot around to the recreant Austrian Chancellor. in the name of German culture. "It will explore like a bomb in his hand. So far. would invade at once! This was just before 4 P. vulgar oath. We listened. "They'd sooner line up with the devil than with Stalin. he said. the Austrian Nazi had done well. O n March 9th." "That is not the half of it. The democracies won't move a step. N o w what I plan. and naturally I doubled for him in his home. M . " His bitter anger was greater than I had ever seen it. frowning. .

Yet it was told us that. This is the picture that comes to me. There came back a plea for more time. seeking to fly the land. . Halifax. Schussnigg did as he was commanded. . Was it so he surrendered his own Caesarship? I do not know. through a framed picture of the Leader. " H o l d them a l l ! " . the backhouse ambassador. why then did the trousered old woman. which he used as a paperweight. i n God's name. impotence. we had won! The Reichswehr. Mercifully the Leader granted an hour and a half more. He saw the danger in the planned plebiscite. that the Austrian soul joyfully joined itself to Germany. and eunuchized himself as far as protecting Austria was concerned. . A n d what a belly-aching coward Schussnigg was when he broadcast his resignation! H e did not admit the truth. and watched the huge hooded menace swallow the first of them. The other nations sat around.244 T H E STRANGE DEATH man soul as part of our world-ideal. weep out "Horrible. . and I in the car with him. he claimed that his government had been forced to surrender! A c h . I have wondered since what the other nations actually felt. had already told us England would not move to protect Austria. he heaved a bronze head of Caesar. when he heard of this great coup as a thing done. but we had won. A t ten minutes to eight that night. . before our will became a fact. when he heard what we had done. like birds hypnotized by a cobra. No. Jews scurried past us. and the people opened their hearts to welcome him. He had bound himself to Hitler. . before our Nordic superiority. Impotence. marched into that Linz where Hitler himself had attended Realschule so many years before. horrible!" Il Duce knew what must come. The only picture I can get is this. with the Leader glittering before them.

A n d then he took the final step. from the ancient Hapsburg palace the next day. familiar as he was with the situation. He called the re-entry of his homeland into the Reich the most important act of his life. from Königsburg and Hamburg to Vienna!" His own speech. will never again be broken apart! We are one land forever. A delicious week followed. had to spend the . to the high rank of the eighteenth German State. for word of a plot to shoot him as he spoke? But my voice thundered out for him. and his magnificent speech from the balcony of the Imperial Hotel—how many in the world knew that it was my lips that spoke the historic words. did the step meet with Il Duce's approval? The answer almost gushed with affection: " M y attitude is fixed by the amity between our two countries. Little Adolf. while he waited trembling in the inner room." We were informed that Il Duce had severe retching and vomited after sending this message. to send to Il Duce: telling of the coup. But the Leader smiled like a cat licking its chops: "I will never forget this." Vienna.OF A D O L F HITLER 245 ordered the Leader. as something Hitler had planned since the making of the Versailles Treaty. of course. and promoted Austria from being merely an independent nonentity among world powers. "We will handle them here. which is consecrated in the Rome-Berlin Axis. would have called it the most important event since God's creation of the first German. was rather an anticlimax. I carried his dispatch to Ribbentrop. if I had made the speech. V o n Arnheim. A t least. as it stands today. "The German Reich." he said to me. I. He told of liquidating the Austrian cabinet. as if it had been a mere trades union or monastery we were liquidating.

who spoiled the 1934 putsch. Ostmark. we removed the misleading name Austria." she said quietly. and cesspools. " A n d so he has won again.* We have put the Jew to his proper place cleaning streets. toilets. my dear. aristocrats." I smiled. To Ulrica he wrote the details. This much is sure: they are all buried—and Fey's wife and son as well. and substituted the old German title. Jews and other antiAnschlussists. Here in Vienna we say the dog even committed suicide. .246 T H E STRANGE DEATH whole time almost in the rehabilitation of the land. Social Democrats. I am sorry to say that only 7. for she had never entirely accepted the necessity of the invaluable Blood Purge of June 30. everybody opposed to our regime has been made safe in protective custody! Y o u will read Baron Neustaedter-Stürmer. You'll be amused to know that Baron Louis Rothschild is under arrest. and each night she and I chuckled over the progress we were making. ashamed of his opposition to the Anschluss. in all German dictionaries in the future. in which her individual favorite among the leaders. however. and Fey. they might have cooperated more. "Hitler and victory will be synonyms. Catholics. "Before we finish. who aided us and then like a renegade entered the Schussnigg cabinet.000 antiNazis. 1934." " N o man rides home in the end with Death trotting at his stirrup. and his dog too. harassed so long by Slavophiles." he wrote her." she said to me. I had come to expect these morbid moods of hers. "He always wins. It is all a holy victory!" Ulrica let this letter drift neglected to the floor. committed suicide. Catholics.000 committed suicide. with a little sigh. as a hostage for his inferior racemen.000 had been reported as imprisoned. * By June. only 50. "we will jail at least 100. O f course. Protestants. capitalists. A n d .

a Mademoiselle France." she giggled. I forgave her these morbid moments. "Herta just lent me a copy of Le Journal of Paris already two years old. Let the rest of the world name a Miss United States. and across the threshhold through the curtain of eternal mist. and it may be there are some men she has cared for—who cares—but surely the Leader has never looked twice in her direction. too." A n d then I clutched her tighter. a Señorita Francist Spain. A n d even more ridiculous is the story that Leni Reifenstahl is even now his love. and the tallest of us is glad to walk quietly at his black stirrup. had paid for his treason with his life. for so she had been officially named by the Leader. and awarded its highest honor to a married woman who was as well a mother. yes. Her voice continued sadly: "For a certain hour. on the Mother's Day after she bore her second son." "The Leader is immortal." I boasted. He is Germany! H e is married to Germany. with that amusing article on 'Hitler's Secret Loves. Frau Konrad Fuchs now. had begun singing at the Schwarz Anser. which with reason might well have been named as was the first.'" Herta was Ulrica's sister.OF ADOLF HITLER 247 Captain Roehm. she had other moments I could not do without. who stood for the unwise revolutionary portions of the Party demands. eased by my caress. and bridegroom and bride alike will live forever as man's highest achievements. Only Paris could have i n - . " H i s name is deathless. "But you are my Frau Germany". or she in his! Yet she is listed. who. in my so great ignorance. ""What silly nonsense! I myself know Margaret Slezak. "They talk about him in other lands. a Miss Yugoslavia: Germany regarded the unmarried girl merely as a subject. But the hour comes when Death does the riding.

" I insisted hotly.248 T H E STRANGE DEATH vented that story. The German Narcissus." She looked more indignant now. these are not flattering. unless they can put two in bed together. indeed. . though. It is much. I had begun to wonder how much of his magnificent thoughts really grew first in that mind. "One book from the United States calls him "The German Narcissus. Narcissus"— she spoke dreamily—"was a Nordic youth in Greece who was adored by many nymphs. . .' True or not. "He loves Blonda. From the pool he himself looked back at him." "They talk about him in other lands." A n d yet. then. A n d then I smiled. He would not move ever thereafter from that woodland pool. But he was too vain.' A leading editorial writer there speaks of him outright as 'a crack-brained onanist." "Are we. Love began in the German Garden of Eden. and Muck. but there he pined away and died. . and of his body came the spring flower we name after him. " H e has the finest mind in Europe—in the world. " A n d there I grew silent. bitches and dogs alike. a Leader of the leaves and the flowers. and it was such beauty as he had never seen. and Wolf—all of them. there is no story. and it will last as long as German man and German girl are left on earth. to be wise enough to know the diamonds from the paste in the wallets of others. " . then. sweetheart. He came to a woodland pool and knelt to drink. no. "As for the other word. who sought him constantly to share a pallet of leaves with them. too much in love with tending his own smooth body." "He is not crack-brained. In Paris." "He can dominate them sufficiently. turned French? A c h . . .

Ulrica smiled softly. . Your onanist turns his back upon the world of reality. how many millions of young onanists have fantasied marrying so above them." I objected." I insisted. none. A crack-brained onanist. She is one of the five women named in the geneology of Jesus in the Judaized New Testament." she said reflectively. "Your onanist. and Jehovah slew him also. . and have eaten of the . he was the brother of Er. Instead. that the line of E r might not perish. what scruples overcome! None. "is your prince of the realms of fantasy. . the harlot of Jericho. who played the harlot to her father-in-law. Ruth. " "He is not crack-brained. and those who spill their seed themselves are named after him. the husband of Tamar. and says. 'It is so'. Your one Dick Whittington marries the Lord Mayor's daughter. he spilled his seed on the ground. Bath-Sheba. to give her seed. strange that all five of them stepped outside the confines of marriage. so that in the end by playing the harlot. But Onan was vain. H o w easy to wed oneself! What wooing is needed. Judah bade his son Onan go in unto his brother's widow. Tamar. "Onan was the son of Judah. your lord of laziness and effortless leisure. what resistance conquered. . one of the twelve of the despised self-chosen of God. who glittered in her adultery with David. who surely was not legally wed to the Holy Ghost. Tamar secured seed of Judah himself. A n d this was Onan. When the Jewish Jehovah slew Er for his wickedness. who won a husband by sleeping in the threshingfloor at his feet. . . in greater or less degree.OF A D O L F HITLER 249 "The Leader has no time for woodland pools. and Mary. Rahab. and to him it has become so. and would not. as was the custom.

and relaxes with dazed. . demanding that they amuse him so. while mongrels take and plough and seed and harvest in their unploughed fields. "We two know how the vote is manipulated. I long for the fresh sweet bodies of the blonde Nordic maidens. and no other banquet! Life flings obstacles forever in the way of lovers. and I shall annihilate i t ! ' " "But the Leader says he w i l l ! " "When was any land ever annihilated.' " "But the plebiscites show it. It is not good for the world when an onanist desires to lord it over them. supported by the forces of the whole globe!' "The army must teach the boy that the nation is unconquerable!'—when was there an unconquerable nation? 'One Man shall decide for mankind!'—and who shall .250 T H E STRANGE D E A T H banquet of their own fantasies and their own bodies. while he himself relaxes back into his effortless fantasies. "I speak in general only. they all approve of me. She shrugged. by anyone? Was Germany annihilated. Your onanist says. more. fantasying his victory won—while the one he desired passes on to those worthier of wooing and winning her fresh young embrace. 'France is Germany's inveterate enemy. Your onanist is a voyeur: content to play the peeping-Tom on others. aghast. then he relaxes." " Y o u cannot mean the Leader!" I said. when this word thundered forth from Versailles in 1919? But more. 'We must destroy all who oppose our own aim!' 'The whole world will one day summon the German people to lead the world. or its people? Who living will ever see this done to France. 'I am the voice of all Germans everywhere. every one of them!" Her shrug was more contemptuous. more. Your onanist shirks the task of overcoming even the first. . sated eyes. .

I am thirsty . and what have we but Golgotha. when Troy fell. only they themselves agree." she said quietly. and amuse me. Come. strength is in infinite cooperation. and has created all the world's culture. "Find out. . for more than wine. pour me another drink." . that Jesus out of Galilee.' Let the man try to stand against the majority. when it perishes. the domain of make-believe. when his vaporings are heeded too long!" "Cassandra. woe to the world. Woe to the land. 'Germany is the sole creative race. A n d then her face melted into the love I was awaiting.OF A D O L F HITLER 251 say which man? 'The strong man is the strongest when alone!'—for onanism only. Little Adolf! He could not even feed or clothe or house himself. all beauty on earth goes with it into its grave!' 'The eternal privilege of Force and Strength'—and what is the force. "We shall see. ach. some day. except rarely. St. Shakespeare. the Ides of March? Your onanist is your prince of the realms of fantasy. Socrates. In the end. even Marx and Freud and Einstein have sought to use? 'I am God!' So many have said. ' A majority can never be a substitute for the Man. Helena. the strength." I sneered. what happened to Cassandra in the temple. . But I shivered as I sneered. your lord of laziness and effortless leisure. Buddha the Enlightened.

you know. I could have suggested a trip to Prague or Budapest for him to the Leader. But." H i s eyes narrowed a trifle at the outer slits. no.THE STRANGE DEATH CHAPTER XVIII THE MATTER OF HERTA FUCHS T was the second day after his return from Vienna that Erik von Arnheim sent word for me to come to the Foreign Office. after all. The poor kid's in serious trouble. is husbands. Her sister. What is it is up?" "I wondered i f you'd care to come to dinner with me. and the fact that they sleep at home so often. If I had just known about it in time. and the evening would then be far more intime. say?" "But yes! A n d gratefully. I have observed. Zeit?" "Nothing I cannot sidestep." The only thing I was not grateful about was that he would probably want to stay on for the evening and the night. but there was something remote and disturbing in them. and it would be too tantalizing to see my adored one for a few hours only and then have to return to the Chancellery to sleep alone. Five-thirty. I haven't heard any of the details. at home. "It's about Herta. "Doing anything this evening. She suggested that I bring you along—Ulrica did. Ulrica's just phoned me. somehow. He greeted me with eyes cordial enough. The thing chiefly wrong with modern marriage. he had had to spend an entire week I .

She was not more than twenty-one now. Naturally she lacked the soft fullblown glory of her sister's matured beauty. and I had met her once at a dinner party at Ulrica's. the celebrated Konrad Fuchs. She still used her maiden name. bring me into it? I considered the matter from another angle. which were more than . but why. and. theatre. cinema. who had left the Schwarz Anser when she had married. It might be merely a young married couple's quarrel between two strongly-passioned artists. I have observed that this is an invaluable preparation for any interview. Herta Diehm. Her husband was. younger even than Ulrica had been when I first met her four years before. then. Unlike Ulrica. that astonishing rival set up to Goebbels' Staatsoper. of course.OF ADOLF HITLER 253 in Vienna. quite formal. I had heard her sing once at the cafe. artistic and scientific activities for the praising of the Nazis and the glory of the Leader. he was the most popular classical singer on the air. In spite of this appearance at the rival opera house. but the younger sister gave promise of becoming even more dazzling. . in addition. I could arrange something. who had appeared at Göring's opera house. and I must not be the pig. Before I joined Erik for the ride over to his apartment. the young lyric tenor. . I recalled methodically all that I knew about this sister of Ulrica's. Herta's marriage had not ended her career as prima donna there. cultural. I had been told that both Herta and her husband stood high with the allpowerful Reichsminister of Propaganda and Public E n lightenment. . There were certain troubles to which actresses and singers were addicted. Before the end of the week. in public. opera. the vulture-faced little dwarf who was Lord High Everything Else of the German press. and all musical. radio.

She had been in wild demand in republican Germany both in opera and the films. as unfit to represent Nordic culture. the detestable little demon. Such as Gitta Alpar. and the faintest touch of the reputation of being Caesar's harlot was enough to cause the offending man or woman to be hurled into the limbo of outer darkness. I knew that he would stop at nothing to keep unsullied the reputation of each artist.254 T H E STRANGE D E A T H regrettable from a standpoint of our wise censorship. after all. the sole purpose of the Propaganda department was to present Germany to Germans and others as the Leader would have it presented. A n d so art had been cleansed by this divorce. as I thought of the case. that a shining Nordic example might be set to the world. What sort of trouble could this be that had come upon Herta. for all that she was Hungarian born and the daughter of a rabbi! It was then that Goebbels had uttered his famous dictum: Germany expects every Nordic to divorce his Jewess. hovered over my mind and constantly entered it. This was the Leader's insistence. in a land with the highest public morality among its artists of any land in the world! Somehow Goebbels. it was a dreadful pity i f it affected the morals. O f course. Each artist must indeed outshine Caesar's wife for spotlessness. and the remarriage of the great romantic Fröhlich to Lida Baarova. with her budlike beauty the toast of all the masculine hearts i n Germany? A c h . most obvious of all had been such artists as were banned from stage and screen and concert hall and the air because they were of the detested Jewish race—a clear breach of morals. who might not know how to act—so managers and audiences said—but who at least had a pedigree with no stain of the Talmud . the wife of the Nordic cinema star Gustav Fröhlich.

A l l Germany remembered. I decided. and the most peremptory instructions from Goebbels to her to obtain a divorce had been with no reason whatever in the world refused! Naturally. He talked only of what he had seen in Vienna. who was Aryan enough. Even before her it had been shapely Maria Paudler. But her husband was of the seed of David. rejoining Erik in the Foreign Office for the ride over. once so universal a movie favorite. two German noblewomen who were made to kneel to have their heads chopped off as spies. Aryan from the top of her blonde page boy bob to the tip of her twinkling toes. There was lovely Greta Tiemer. too. Vienna born. But the mere breath of scandal had been enough to cause her name and face to be blacked out the length and breadth and height of the Reich: art must remain Nordic and pure! With a morality so strict that if singer. actor or actress could even spell the word "adultery" he or she was suspect. the exquisite Renate Hueller. N o one ever quite knew her connection with Baroness Benita von Berg and Baroness Renate von Natzmer. and some of the Jewish suicides he described were simply excruciating. too. . For other important reasons purity was maintained. as the "unknown blonde" co-respondent. But she became a fixture in divorce actions of prominent Nazis. Well. and in 1937 she showed her belated repentance by committing suicide. it was no cheerful news that lovely little Herta Fuchs was in trouble. as a last tribute to the purity of Nordic art. so she was shunted into less public adultery. I would know soon. condemned by the grim People's Tribunal. her pictures were expunged from the Fatherland. and a universal favorite of the old regime.OF A D O L F H I T L E R 255 fouling it.

256 T H E STRANGE D E A T H "When we arrived at the apartment. Why. you're i n sane! O r she is. just as the poor frightened darling told it to me today. But. and the three of us had moved into the living room for coffee and liqueurs and odorous Corona Coronas for two of us. what sort of trouble can she be in? We are in a fever to learn. that left us both extremely unfit for appearance under the auspices of the Department of Propaganda and Public Enlightenment. For he has the face of a perverted satyr. It was not until the flawlessly appointed dinner was over. for all of the rouge she wore and speedily repaired. every word. she flew into my arms for a swift kiss and caress. then—I'll make you believe me! I'll tell it all to you. " A c h . A n d her husband had to pry it out of her. I. that she spoke at last. so it's hardly the usual thing that annoys a girl. until the ash sprayed his trouser leg and he had to stamp out sparks on the rug. even then. my little rose. at once." said Ulrica straightly. while I tell it all?" We nodded. a leer that fouls a woman with a very . the poor innocent little darling. She's married. both of us tense for every detail of such a story. "Ulrica. "Well. it was clear that her face was as white as Pentelican marble underneath. his cigar falling out of his mouth. good God!" said von Arnheim. 'While her husband went in to prepare for dinner. I think I believed it." "So? But listen. the two of us. Y o u can be patient. Ulrica was her own exquisite self. What in the world has happened to Herta? Y o u spoke of trouble. here we are." "Goebbels has forced her to become his mistress. and under the soft sweetness in her eyes there were pools of dark bitter despair.

" . no kindness. Well. But there can be ups and downs to such a Death Valley. and took her. "It is impossible. But Ulrica's hand hushed us. or the hopeless fall of one note. five weeks ago. Never speak or act until you can crush. Ulrica's voice was level as she talked. and I have observed that as a rule he knew what he was talking about. he was the Reichsminister. and I had heard enough dark things hinted about him." " N o . no sweetness. the Leader always said. So . she began singing at the Schwarz Anser. A lift of her lovely eyebrows. Well. But it would not do yet to let Ulrica know what I thought. So she went to his table." "Nonsense. Herta said. what could she do? I think she was very glad to go. . my word was a feather in securing her the audition. and he saw her. and his voice thrills all Deutschland. no.OF ADOLF HITLER 257 look. and she proceeded with the dread. I myself had urged the management to give her the audition. . all slime. never before. no. a rise of a note in the monotone of her ghastly story." I spoke swiftly. while his weighed as lead. Both of you know what I have always said about the Propaganda Reichsminister: the heart of a hideous devil. He sent an orderly around to ask her to come to his table. dead monotone of her story. to Konrad. H e heard her sing. it might mean much to both of them. "It's not like him. and wanted her. and those passionate ups and tragic downs we heard. and they went wild over her voice —from the start she was more of a hit than I ever was. you shall hear. "She was already married. marked all the difference between heaven and hell. but said openly." insisted her husband. "Four months ago." said her husband.

happy little tears of joy in her eyes. —She must come around to the Propaganda Ministry the next afternoon. A n d so did I. like a snake. beady eye. — A h ." Ulrica shuddered. "the girl is all imag- . my child. you must not go yet. but of him another time. splendid voice. "Frau Magda was not along. The next afternoon she arrived at the M i n istry. he had heard of him. She could not see it. Only men. and give him an audition. the voice the whole world waited to hear. She was so proud and excited that night." " N o w . and drink with us.—a black. he insisted. and his eyes did not leave her. garment by garment. —She must sing in costume. and how. "Frau Magda Goebbels was not along?" I asked. she knew it. just as she was about to slip on the first filmy robe she was to wear. "Listen. Y o u must sit down. too. and a maid who directed her all she was to put on. " H e was all slime in his praise.258 T H E STRANGE D E A T H But I watched her lovely lips. A n d we will all cry 'Heil Herta!' A n d so she sat down until it was time for her to sing again. There were things he would do with her. —But she had the voice all Germany waited to hear. she sensed it. now. Ulrica. until it is time for your next song. He would see that the whole world heard it. she said. she was told. she could have drawn it. She gives me her word that. he said. and remained silent. as Germany's greatest! Her husband? A c h . that she did not even dream of yet. Naturally. she realized an eye was watching her from some hole in the walls of the room. but no. yes." I protested. and Konrad. I too knew those cobra eyes." Her face grew harder. A n d so she was given a dressing-room to change in. She thanked him. she told me. and knew better uses to put them to.

"he called her in—she was in the flimsiest of all the costumes this last time. She is imaginative. I have only her word for it. A c h no. eyes licking over her body. i f she was— nice to him. it might have been a Blackshirt guard. arias. —This. besides." insisted her husband. then. yes. She thanked him with all the sweet dignity she could. let her finish. H e told her. A Titania— after an Undine. and always with Konrad to look after her. but I. until her body burned hot and red from it. A n d now and again she must change her costume again. she says. It was no Blackshirt. and stroking the arm from the shoulder down—he was a lonely man. grew gravid with significance. Lieder. Again and always she swears the black. " A n d . she was married when she was barely out of school. "It was dreadfully difficult for the poor little infant. all her repertoire. only give him a chance. . catching hold of her hand. I believe. I believe what she says. she sang. and she's been taking vocal or acting ever since. in the Propaganda M i n istry!" I reflected. Well. she said. beady eye like a snake was watching her. "Sssh. intuitive. that there was no height she could not rise to. He believed in her. she would be especially nice to him. She's really infinitely young and sweet. . —But she was nice to everyone. he whispered. he said. and told him she and her husband were most . A n d then." "Rather direct.OF A D O L F HITLER 259 ination and moonshine. I think she guessed what he wanted. She couldn't afford to offend Goebbels. and she must be as nice to him as he wanted. ." I commented." "Watching a girl's dressing-room? Dear Little Adolf. She wasn't quite sure he meant what she was afraid of. half like a father." her voice slowed. always.

" A c h . and held her close for a moment. She was worried already. i f they had ever let him appear again on the air. he said." I leaned back. Erik's look hushed me. Ulrica's monotone continued. Adolf." "Bravo!" I applauded. my mistress—' " "Goebbels!" I gasped. —Touched her. she said. For that insult to his wife. . "So he spoke: '—That. but his eyes shot black fire at this. "That night she told it all to Konrad. The next night. "Colossal! I'd like to have seen the little shrimp's face when he got that letter!" But Erik only stared gravely at his wife." I smiled with delight. or I'll drive you out of Germany. too. Ulrica's voice spoke monotonously on. she returned home from the cafe. A l l but the final touch. Forced her to let him touch her intimately. and to every German girl and woman and wife as represented in her. holding his hands one in the other until the knuckles whitened. at his next hour on the air he would announce to Germany and the world what kind of dirty swine the Reichsminister was. and she and her husband would come and sing for him and Frau Goebbels whenever he desired.160 THE STRANGE D E A T H deeply grateful. 'It is not that I want. He wrote a letter to the Reichsminister. she said. A n d Goebbels knew it. "Swine!" he said. So?' and he put his hand familiarly on the flimsy costume.' he sneered. and she thought it was wonderful of him to help her. So careful I had always thought him. Ulrica's hand rose swiftly. almost scandalized. Erik drew in his breath sharply. really nothing to hide her body beneath.'—Sing! I want you—as my love. shaking my head. Herta told me. Ulrica continued. "He would have done it. he said.

saying that her husband was detained. to let no one know. she could learn no reason.OF A D O L F HITLER Konrad's program had been replaced by another tenor. or tell anything direct. learned of this. under orders from the Propaganda Reichsminister. it was for her not to worry. I was too excited to interrupt. The M i n ister. Each time she was put off. and no word from him. There was a threat of a trial before the People's Tribunal—so far." This time I drew in my breath sharply. and the next day she would be told all. "He talked. "The fourth day. Mysteriously all his appearances on the air were cancelled. . With a bed in it. Things happen so in Germany." Again she shuddered. no Konrad. she was allowed to see this Goebbels in the Ministry. was trying to prevent a trial before the People's Tribunal. Her husband. He was all sympathy. or it would be most harmful for her husband. "It was a telegram from the Gestapo. . now. only the . then. A secretary told her that her husband was all right. In a different room. what could it mean? In the apartment. and she dared ask nothing direct." Her voice stopped. N o t even to me. "Three days poor Herta tried frantically to get to Goebbels. and they were myriad. She phoned at once to the Ministry. Erik stared at the floor. his face working tensely. for suspected subversive activities. without explanation. But there was word. or she might never see Konrad again. I. only. unfortunately. But Erik stared still at the floor. . with more dreadful warnings that she must not mention the matter to a living soul. his mouth working. he said. What a story this was! If once the enemies of Goebbels. she was told." Ulrica sighed heavily. was in a concentration camp.

"But you have only her word for all this. unless she yielded." said Erik sternly. unless she did it. "Herta never lies. I have here some pictures. . meant always a death sentence. " "This is Ulrica's sister. Men being tortured and mutilated in unspeakable ways. . however much of a swine he is! It is not fair to condemn any man on one girl's story— A n d Konrad might have said subversive things. . . ." It was too much for me to credit. she pleaded hysterically. she would die first. —Oh. he said—this slimy little dwarf. corpses. That is not in her. in any case. but never. swollen. . before nightfall. "Goebbels is no fool. In this room. Konrad would be beaten and tortured and then killed. being beaten. Now. A t once. nearly naked. . said Goebbels softly. . if she did what he wanted. never. "She loved Konrad. and a few words. Such trials. There were men in agony. laid out in the pitiless sun." She could say no more. naked. so it had been so far. N o . "Well?" Erik asked heavily. Only her yielding would keep his case from the People's Tribunal." I protested. he said quietly. at least. hideous. 'I do not like them. only her yielding would have him alive when the sun set once again. From all this he could save Konrad." I could see that he believed .262 THE STRANGE DEATH Reichsminister himself had prevented this. distorted. —Die then. and could one expect an exception? As to these camps. A n d finally. .' He showed the pictures. . . being bound to stocks and dreadful instruments. people talk. A n d so she yielded. word must never go back to Goebbels that anyone had believed such things. he said. their bodies bleeding and bruised. . some naked. talk was cheap. nearly naked.

There is something hidden—" "No. D o not ask me how he got it smuggled to her. Little Adolf. he will die. For three weeks—three weeks of utter dreadful hell—she has done as he made her. and told no one. "Whenever he sent for her." said Erik distantly. consider! Consider his power—" "If he were the Leader himself. " I told her one thing only. She sang her tragic Lieder better than ever. the light ones. power is power. I will do it. he will be hounded out of Germany. Unless he can escape. and would not be tortured or beaten. A n d now. and did as she was told. this morning. . "She thought. He had been beaten. . I would say it—I would mean it! Nothing will stop me. Ulrica darling. "That was three weeks ago. . But no." continued Ulrica sadly. That is the letter she received this morning from him. I. he had been tortured. I can't believe it! If you knew Goebbels as well as I do—he is capable of villainy. as long as she came when she was summoned.OF A D O L F HITLER 263 it all. . Unless she secures his freedom. It is all true. that Konrad would be freed at once. so open. I saw no reason not to believe it. if anything happens to him. but not so crude. but the others. myself!" " N o . too. I will shoot Goebbels. "He can do much. myself!" " A c h . ." His stern eyes stared off into the distance. no one on earth. yes. too. A n d I. even she does not know. Erik. it was only that he would not be put to death. "I know him. Others can do. but. said the Reichsminister. she received a letter from Konrad. he wrote. at last. . every word of it. What is she to do?" She stood still and tall beside her chair. he wrote. . . For this. A n d yet . from what was said that first time. It came. once I have set my soul to do justice! I too have Leader in me!" H e looked very .

I felt it wiser to lull your enemy. and Nordic. mass the attack. "I will handle it." His face was heavier. . and noble. it is not wise! It may not be true.T H E STRANGE DEATH terrible at that moment: the Junker. for Herta's situation. I left at night. something must be done. that this was the most efficacious way. I returned to the Chancellery just after midnight." said Erik fiercely." But what were we to do? A t my suggestion. herself alarmed at last. the eternal Protestant." Ulrica. "It may be that so Goebbels has saved Germany from a traitor. M y own wife's little sister! A n d Konrad of the golden voice! A c h . and fine. But this—it is the last time. Once let me get him. "I have always guessed it might be something like this. I explained. Could Erik? I said I was willing to do anything she wished. we laid aside the pointless discussion of possibilities. pleaded with me. for Konrad's actual situation. That is always a safe promise to make. . "—Leave it to me. "Traitor to everything decent. I did not yield. wouldn't I promise to do something about it? There was nothing I could do but promise—at least. Could I take it to the Leader. when I get through twisting his neck—" "Erik!" said Ulrica. embodied all in him at that moment. but for me. not move until I could crush him. to inquire at once. True or not. pleaded Ulrica. looking more helplessly beautiful than ever. too like him. I had observed. . "Erik. and pure. troubled. guilty or not. and maybe not through the Leader." said Erik harshly. It is like him. remember—" "I know it is true. cursing the fate that made it one of those nights when Erik was at home." "The only traitor in this story is the swine himself. .

A You would think that these international tensions would keep all of us busy enough. i f what Ulrica told me was to be believed. that might mean actual European warfare. and. But no. True or not. more like a fishwife than a statesman.OF A D O L F HITLER 265 CHAPTER X I X I FACE MY OWN PROBLEM s I look back to that mad early spring of 1938. But the tension of this bred a kind of madness in him too. everyone I knew closely. forcing his will on her. by threat of the People's Tribunal. which led to that rather disgraceful scene at Der Berghof in which he screamed and shrieked at the Austrian Chancellor for eleven hours. "We were getting too much too easily. and within four days he had promised full protection to the Sudeten Germans in Czechoslovakia —a magnificently audacious gesture. until he had battered his resistance down. here was Ulrica embroidering to the point of obsession the . I sometimes think we were all a little mad. exiling Herta's husband to a concentration camp. here was Goebbels using his vast power to satisfy his own personal lusts. everyone in Germany. indeed. we came to feel there was no limit to what we could get. I have observed that life fixes a limit to everything. I cannot blame the Leader for his hysterical determination to achieve the Anschluss.

whose mere presence had begun to annoy me as an obstacle to my own natural living. in his chambers in the Foreign Office. here was Erik. O n top of my intensive preparation for that. I have observed that it never rains but it bursts a cloud.z66 THE STRANGE D E A T H charge that the Leader was an onanist. As her husband. A little mad. . But she had been so tantalizing to me in her tragic sorrow. I went home. too. and leaving her with the man who had no ethical right to be there. that I was furious that it had turned out so: that the situation banned me from doing more than decorously bidding her goodnight. the emotional tension. whatever legal right he might have had. A n d I. and had raved that he would hound Goebbels out of Germany and twist his neck. . . Well. and conflicting dates. all of us. so that he had also agreed to give an interview to an American journalist i n Berlin at the same hour. I must of course be the Leader in Berlin. I myself had my own problems. Yet he had swallowed it as i f it were a report of the Gestapo. he most of all should have kept his head. . as last night. wishing he had been Konrad Fuchs. the husband. had to summon me to his chambers. I began to share the madness. Worst of all. The Leader was to fly to Vienna the next day. Erik surely had the right to spend at least an occasional night in the house with Ulrica. and there had been a slip-up. and now flying off the handle utterly. Reichsminister and Party leader as he was. while he was orating in his native Austria. and threatening to shoot Goebbels for what he had done to her sister. at least until he investigated this whole mad story his wife repeated to him. Erik called me into conference the next morning.

I am to go as special envoy to Rome—an appointment that will be made permanent. at this time. i n being recognized as our major ally. In Rome is where the real danger lies: to quiet Il Duce. harassed to death as she is. he seemed so bottled up with repressed anger. The Anschluss is a fact. What now?" A t the least. within the month. Perhaps charged would be the better word. it ought to mean a weekend trip for him to some nearby capital needing Nazi persuasion." "Naturally. Little Adolf. strode up and down his study.OF A D O L F HITLER 267 Erik gave me a cigar. God knows. a few months riveting the Axis. I have good news for you. But this is colossal news! But what will you do with—with Ulrica. But of course she goes with me. it is for me to convince him that he is over-rewarded. A n d so. And then." he said. and I return to Berlin—and it is hinted that Ribbentrop will be shifted. when you are stationed so permanently beside the Tiber?" He shook his head. my dear friend. "There is room for it. In Prague and Pilsen. dearest friend." I said. and Foreign Affairs will be mine at last!" I gave the salute." But a flame of red anger . "no more shooting around the Reich and nearby like a messenger boy. I am in Vienna needed no more. and assure his support in what must come soon." he grinned expansively. He will be demanding his share of the spoils. it might mean a whole week. now. but I can always be summoned back for that. "Heil Hitler! Heartiest congratulations. in a quiet voice. served brandy. " N o w first of all. perhaps. "For me. as ambassador. "I meant the matter of poor Herta. it will break her heart to leave poor Herta. but certainly. "Alas.

and left.268 THE STRANGE DEATH shot through me. to trick her. now. and go with you herself to Herta. You must be our ally. so much for the good news. and you are to hear the story from the girl's own lips. Herr Reichsminister!" I gave the salute. and go over what were to be my opinions as the Leader when I was interviewed . Such things have been. Little Adolf. A c h . I had to be in the room with that swine Goebbels when the Leader informed me. you do not wholly believe this story. But she might be mistaken. his power. i f you are free this afternoon. now. She was more than disappointed that you did not fully credit all that Herta said. yes. surely Ulrica's word settles that. You. it's the first time I ever heard you defending the swine! I told you I am to fly to Prague at dawn tomorrow. the Red Lounge. you'll meet her in the Red Lounge?" "But surely. Not one night. This is a message for you from Ulrica. no?" "That Herta said it. she will meet you at the Kaiserhof. then. there is no other way! A n d so. it might be someone using Goebbels' name. my hour will come! Well. even now! But I must be in conference till God knows what hours. i f you please. I do not know. i f only I had time to be with you—and myself to act. no? Conference with Henlein. getting instructions for tomorrow. when I wanted my hands on his throat! M y hour will come. Little Adolf. I had to smile at him. but permanently! "What right did he have to let his public life disturb my satisfactory private affairs so? " A n d this is all already official?" I probed. Look. I next had to visit the Chancellor's study. For the rest. "Absolutely. his offices even. What a mad tangle it was all growing to be! From von Arnheim's chambers. A t four." "Now.

darling—all we want to talk—" "With this I had to be contented. . after the two sisters clung together for a breathless embrace. as I said. biting her lips." She left swiftly. But nothing does me any good now. I had next to read and memorize his personal letters and his answers to them. He at least is to be trusted to the death. that was not good to see. "But this trip to Rome—" "Darling. "Pour me one. He will be in Prague tomorrow night. As much as I. "Hold back nothing. We taxied to the apartment of her sister." Ulrica said. but there was something hard and bitter and black staring intermittently out of her eyes. As much as Konrad. while matters dealing with the Sudeten were gone over with von Arnheim. dreadfully nervous. More than Erik." she said. But how changed since I had seen her hardly six weeks before! As beautiful as ever.OF A D O L F HITLER the next day by this journalist from America. rubbing her hands. as if the life had gone out of her soul. I must be at Frau Göring's at six—and look what it is now! A n d Herta has been waiting this half hour—I phoned her for God's sake to forgive our being a little late. She dragged herself around listlessly. Ulrica was still waiting for me. so much was happening each day. yes. "There are drinks. and Herta Fuchs and I were at last alone together. "I can't stay but a minute. we haven't a moment. A n d then I was kept on for the conference. It was not until twenty-five after four that I arrived at the Red Lounge. to be prepared to know his attitude on any subject that might conceivably come up. darling. Herr Hitler himself was a little hysterical. " Y o u did come!" I disengaged her caress finally. and I met the lovely Herta Fuchs for the second time.

more than hinted under her shimmery hostess gown. and told everything. only a warning to say nothing. with more pauses and a more dreadful horror in her voice. " I studied her closely. and leaned back to enjoy one myself. snake eye watching her unseen while the maid changed her to this costume and that. I have observed that one learns more so. she had dressed herself in her best for this tragic interview! Her legs were flawless. So I always had to do. I waited for her to speak. as I myself had observed when Ulrica hugged her. She sat regarding me without words. and her rump. I walked to and fro. with the Leader. She had an exquisite body. as she leaned forward and poured out the story as Ulrica had told it. —Yes. She made it all live again before me. between the groups of her songs. was even more to notice. . what he said when he stroked her arm so tightly. his dreadful disappearance and the three days and nights of black uncertainty when she could get no word. from the gold slippers to the spread curves of the thighs. from that first afternoon at the Ministry. "Ulrica has told you?" "But yes. . A s the story unfolded— her husband's frienzied letter threatening to reveal the scandal to all the Reich over the air. . pausing now and then to get a better view of her body. a little smaller than Ulrica's: bud." as I offered her a cigarette. rather than fullblown blossom. thanks.270 T H E STRANGE D E A T H though. Yet it might be better i f you started at the beginning. only not quite the same. beady. and then touched her as no wife can let herself be touched. and my own eyes warmed at what I saw. when she felt the black. . and what happened at the end. and of her summons to the ministry at last—I studied her. Poor child.

utterly excited at the whole story. She was crying. he would die i f something were not done. or by sunset tomorrow it would be her husband's picture that would be shown to her so. the People's Tribunal . I patted her shoulder. . If she would only let me help her. A n d she had loved her husband so. . . I begged her. If not. . But no. as she told the rest of it. and. her leg. she had gone to Goebbels again. . When my hand touched her intimately. the next day. what else could she do? Had she not done right? I was seated beside her now. trying to quiet her hysteria. . he said. . . smuggled out she could not guess how.OF A D O L F HITLER 271 It became clearer to me how any man would go to elaborate planning to secure all these treasures. her husband was being held for subversive utterances. . i f she would only trust me. he had been tortured. when he was not freed. . a letter from Konrad. . A n d then. . she stiffened . H e had been beaten. and of the ultimatum to her: Do as I say now. . A n d yet. sympathetically: but of course she had done right. . I had my arm around her now. trust me utterly. A n d so she had yielded each time. it was very risky for any man to do things as openly as she claimed that the Propaganda Minister had. there was nothing I would not do. I insisted. Then. no tortures. she had done nobly. M y face was all sympathetic when she told of the ghastly pictures of the men mutilated and tortured and finally dead in the concentration camp. as long as she was amiable. But tell me all the details. and accused him of breaking his word. at dawn. But I encouraged her to omit nothing. A n d she omitted none: so only would all be well with Konrad. by night. . . there would be no beating. only. . he had told her.

I could kill myself! That German men are like this!" "But you did not understand me. don't you? Isn't it so?" "Why—er—" "She told me you were her lover!" I shrugged. "Only trust me. not you. " Y o u did not mean that you wanted me. For that. like him! A l l ordure! I need your help. angry like a tigress. . I was . . i f you trusted me utterly. my body. things like this have happened to me. when there is a husband. "I merely said that. or any man in the world but Konrad? Haven't you the faintest idea what love means? — H o w she can love a thing as low as you! Y o u will not help. me. yourself. "I love her more than any woman in the world. it was best not to press this matter now. do you think I'd let you touch me. "But I loved Ulrica! Naturally not. "But I do not know what you mean! Y o u —you love Ulrica. " A n d I trusted you. there is nothing I will not do!" " Y o u dirty swine!" She flashed to her feet." I spoke rather stiffly. or him again. to be . you scold me!" She stared at me with angry suspicion. . and all you can think of is what he thought of! A c h God. but naturally. . and Ulrica trusts you! Are all you men alike? Ugh. ever! I can read your soul!" It was real hysteria now. . now?" M y eyes widened with disbelief. nice to you!" M y hands were tighter now. all muck. " "But you want . ." She stared at me harshly. I would pledge my soul to do all I could to secure your husband's release.272 T H E STRANGE DEATH back abruptly. trust me utterly. "Pour me another drink. One does not admit things. . " Y o u are all slime.

The next day I was at my best in the interview with the American journalist. The United States. which could only be achieved by the world's accepting German leadership. could mere geography wipe out the love of the Fatherland in their hearts? The Fatherland was wherever a German was." It did not seem the occasion to do more than repeat my promise to make the fullest inquiries. I said. no matter where he lived. If there were Germans in London or America. with Erik safely in Prague. If I had not succeeded in every field. so naturally the soul's dream of the Germans in the Sudeten must be granted to them. I am glad that you will help Konrad. That night. Her going to . was predominantly Nordic as it was.OF A D O L F H I T L E R 273 overwrought. as had happened already in Austria. and added two Heil Hitlers that I had forgotten. his nationality. I made clear to him how every act that I and my Nazis had done was inspired only by a great love for the world's peace. I was given a chance for a long. serious talk with Ulrica. changed the punctuation in several places. as I explained. I felt inspired to give the performance of my career. than he could change his ears or his liver. it was headed: HITLER FAVORS IMMEDIATE GERMAN WORLD! It pleased the Leader as much as it pleased me. He himself saw the proofs. A man could no more change his race. there were fields in which I was incomparable. I have found the scruples of women at times extremely inconvenient. When I saw the interview later. The Reich must include every German. then. I am sorry. there could be only peace between the Nordic nations.

think how lonely it would leave me! A n d it was not my personal feelings that mattered most. it is different. I imagine. After all you are the father of my children. dear. and no one knew. darling. Little Adolf. you— I do not want to leave you lonely. I am not free like other men. . I was all overjoyed at this. . " W i t h Erik. I said." Naturally. and then they asked you to keep on impersonating him. To me. and take a wife. the Leader's double." I shook my head at this." "He will give me a divorce. . Do you realize that I love you. But with you. If you want me to stay. marriage is naturally forbidden. no. "That makes it unpleasantly public. Adolf?" "But naturally. not until death. she had been named Frau Germania officially—and how could Frau Germania leave Germany? She sat studying the stem of her wine glass." "Then you will not go!" "If you cared for me as I care for you. Then at last I would be free. doesn't it?" "But how else could I marry you?" Now wasn't that just like a woman! " M y dear. But .274 T H E STRANGE DEATH Rome was most inconsiderate. but now—no. . "Magnificent! A n d how shall we announce it to him. . darling! As I love you—" She continued to stare at the stem of her wine glass. "But i f he died. I don't believe we would ever be parted again. He's dreadfully decent. Until his death. H e is all consideration and I wouldn't do anything to hurt him that I could avoid. The title meant nothing to me. I am Little Adolf. "I am not interested in all Germany. I will stay." Her face weighed me. at least. . I said.

The common sense of this matter would be to eliminate the husband. Something did. . There must be some other way to keep you here.OF A D O L F HITLER 275 . the next morning. " How could I object to a prospect as remote and delightful as that? " A h . I knew now all that had happened to Herta. But there must be a way. . I was sure his advice would be valuable. I have always observed that when I make up my mind. But how could I achieve this? When the Leader was confronted with a problem. is much more pleasure when she is cheerful. something happens. I have observed that the secret of his brilliance is to use common sense. he found an answer always. A t least. in that event. especially when his Frau Germania was concerned. . more than ever troubled at the whole situation. . . yes. I was convinced that all this had happened to Herta from some villain. would be made to pay to it—even to the death. i f I could have secured it. but soon I made her forget her tears. But the Leader would hardly be sympathetic to that. but it is not to be thought of now. I have observed. of course. and I swore to myself that I would find it. and the man who had done it. I was convinced? I realized that this was a time for careful walking. I said. A c h . This was enough to make her cheerful. she came back to it much later. jokingly. I pledged her my word for that. that was definite. ." She wept a little. and a woman. Erik has said something like that. Ulrica must be kept in Berlin. yes. I went back to the Chancellery.

176

T H E STRANGE D E A T H

CHAPTER XX

THE COBRA STRIKES
A M convinced that we were all of us a little mad that spring; and the solution I found, as I was brushing my teeth after breakfast that morning, had all the brilliance of an insane solution, so simple it was, so obvious from the start. To me, it had the simplicity of plane geometry. Goebbels, or someone in his department, had desired Herta, and her husband was in the way. Well, where was the husband now? A n d , meanwhile, Herta was very much present in Berlin, and when she was desired she was available. It was incredible to have Erik von Arnheim take my own mistress to Rome; it was not fair to me, nor was it fair to the Party, or to the Reich, to have Frau Germania leave so. Yet he would not go without her. A n insuperable impasse? Not to me! He must not go, then! But how could this be achieved? Again, by letting him act as Konrad had acted, which had solved the whole situation. Nothing remained, once I had come to this conclusion, but to arrange to have Erik removed to a concentration camp, instead of to Rome. There might be difficulties; but what is life for, if not to give the opportunity to us to eliminate difficulties? In the mid-morning I went in to the Reichsminister for Propaganda and Public Enlightenment, and asked i f

I

OF A D O L F HITLER

277

I could have a few minutes of his time. He was in a good humor, for news from the Sudeten showed a magnificent response, among the Nazis there at least, to our tentative suggestions that they were entitled to autonomy, and that we were ready to give it to them. ""Well, Little Adolf, no time like the present, as the bull said to the cow. Don't tell me you wish more salary! Y o u make more than the Reichsbank president, as it is." He grinned at me evilly out of his beady black eyes set in his vulture face. "Why don't you get some rich industrialist's wife to support you, the way most of the Party leaders do?" "Herr Reichsminister," I said diffidently, "it is about loyalty to the Fatherland, and the Leader, and you, I come to speak. I am, as you know, in a position of peculiar trust; and, as one close to the Leader, men and women, too, speak to me with great freedom, as i f I were a conduit to his ear and yours. I have learned something that might be of great interest, about one high in the Party councils. It is my duty to tell it?" "Everybody dumps his night dirt on my desk," he said. "Let's have it." "If one high in the Party councils, in the government itself," I made it as impressive as possible, "had been heard to threaten about the Leader, or about one as high in the Party, say, as Marshal Göring or yourself, that he would hound him out of Germany, and would indeed strangle him with his own hands, it is my duty to tell this?" His face grinned satanically. "I knew it was about time for another Purge. Let's have it." "It would not lower me in your regard, to have come thus close to a traitor to one of the Party heads?"

278

THE STRANGE

DEATH

"You'll get paid for it, as you wish. After we have acted." "What would happen to such a Party leader, who made such a threat against one of the Party heads as high as Marshal Göring or yourself?" He snickered. "Göring prefers the ax. I like my concentration camps. Protective custody is a slower and surer punishment. They send me pictures of what is done to the prisoners, yes. A n interesting dossier; some night I will show them to you. After mutilation and death especially. We know how to deal with traitors, now. A n d there is always the chance that one recants, and names others; then we have a better Purge. A n d it is against me that this was directed, so; or you would have gone to Göring. Proceed." I was startled at his intuition. "It is even so. I have your word there will be such a punishment, then, for the traitor?" His claw hand came toward me. " N o more words. —Who?" " Y o u are about to name as Minister to—" "Arnheim, eh!" I was again amazed at how fast his mind leaped correctly to the right solution. "—That he would hound me out of Germany, eh, and strangle me himself? What a charming fate for me, no? A n d why—" "His wife—" I began. His face grew more evil than ever. "So. I have heard that lie myself. I keep the libels against me tabulated on a card index. This one is recent. —That I annoyed her sister; isn't that it? N o w here are the facts. Konrad Fuchs, this sister's husband, is under arrest, for his own protection, for subversive talk. His wife is naturally a sorehead

OF A D O L F H I T L E R

279

—so the Americans say it; a grumbler. So she talks loose. Von Arnheim believes this. So. He will hound me out of Germany, he will strangle me? He!" There was utter scorn in the dark voice. "You, yourself, actually heard him say it? Y o u will swear to this?" "Not once, but a number of times." His finger pressed a button. I heard it buzz in the outer office. "I thought he was too grown-up to listen to gossip," the Minister snarled. A n orderly entered, with a " H e i l Hitler!" and a salute from him, and then from each of us. Goebbels spoke curtly. "Tell the Leader I wish to come see him for a moment." M y eyes widened in fright. "He must know!" "Do not back down from this story, Little Adolf," his eyes were beads of sanadin, "or you will be held in protective custody for a long time yourself. Tell him what you have told me, or I will add pictures of you to my dossier, no? Fools," he grunted. "It is time for a Purge. He is useful, too, more's the pity. Maybe there will be ways of converting him." We were led into the Leader's study, and all withdrew. Even the Blackshirts were ordered to stand outside the windows, since it was only Goebbels and I. "Tell him," grunted Goebbels. I gave the salute, and told it all, as I had told it to the Propaganda Minister. Only, I had noted that the Propaganda Minister had called it a libel, a lie; and so I was careful to make clear that I dismissed the whole cause of the incident—the story told by Herta Fuchs—as a complete fabrication, a libel invented to discredit the Minister and scandalize the administration. The Leader's face went hard. "This is serious, yes. Our

28o

T H E STRANGE D E A T H

great thanks to you, Little Adolf, for keen ears and a loyal heart. So the wind blows up that creek, eh? He can't want to take over Propaganda! He's a good man, in his field." " A n undoubted expert on foreign affairs. Too Rightist, always; but otherwise. . . . " "Yes, that is so, too. A n d superficially this is not a matter aimed against me, but against you. A n d yet," he weighed it unhappily, "whatever splits our central group, whatever scandalizes one of us, damages the Party, the cause. A n d just when we need him in Rome, too!" "We have no lack of men and ability," said Goebbels. "True, too. Well, pick another, then." Hitler sighed. "I leave him to you. Entirely. What do you expect to do to him?" "He is a fool," said Goebbels sharply. "For a long time we have needed some such thing as this, to cut his comb a bit. It must not grow too high. A splendid second man, yes; never a first. I will handle him. Protective custody; a few serious heart to heart talks; the thing laid on the table—which does he prefer, to be sterilized as subversive to Party discipline and then exiled from Germany, even to go before the Tribunal—or to see sense, and come back into harness. He will see sense." His face looked as i f it could have torn the man apart with a vulture's beak, as he spoke. "That seems thoroughly wise." The leader spoke wearily. "I will forget it now, and leave him to you. Oh, but word from Prague! Henlein agrees to announce the demands I suggested; so the eastward sweep gains momentum, no? W i l l they stop us," his eyes stared far off, "at the Pacific? I do not think so. Waves roll around the world." "Look at the wave of proper punishment of this interna-

OF A D O L F H I T L E R

281

tional Jewish conspiracy," said Goebbels, face warped with delight. "There is no country that is not feeling its impulse, now! Poland, little Danzig, Czechoslovakia, H u n gary, Italy, Spain, France, Colombia, Peru, the Argentine, and throughout the whole United States—we have started a movement that will not end, until even the name Jew has been wiped out of man's chronicles. For the Jew is responsible for democracy—the leveling of mankind until the Leader is no higher than the follower; and your attack on that spirit will not end until all Europe is Nazi, hailing you as Leader! A n d , after Europe, South America, North America; Africa, with all of our colonies enlarged; Asia, with Communism ended and even Japan learning to say 'Heil Hitler' instead of 'Banzai.'" "It is a wave," said the Leader gravely. "It is sweeping the world, yes. Peacefully, so far. It will not all be peaceful." Goebbels' face lighted up with wild fanaticism. "There is bound to be war—with Germany triumphant. War is the simple affirmation of life. Y o u can no more suppress war than you can suppress nature itself, moving in its own natural way. We sacrifice much, my Leader, when we permit peace and postpone war? A n d when we have such a war as must follow the wave of your triumphant planning, to produce the pan-German world, there will be protective custody for all Jewish swine—and then what? Protective custody is an admirable thing." He considered it gloatingly. "For, when we have the Jews so, has it ever occurred to you that a simple surgical operation on a mere seven and a half million males will half solve the whole problem for us? They are all circumcized; let a simple castration hereafter accompany each circumcision—to be

282

T H E STRANGE D E A T H

done retroactively in the case of all already circumcized— and a bare half is left of the problem. A n d the Jewish women are equally subversive. Once they are spayed, the matter is ended in one generation! A n d nine and a half million of them are in Europe now, practically under our thumb! As soon as we have a Nazi Europe, a potent Jewish male is unthinkable. A n d then the four million in North America, and the mere handful elsewhere—and the whole disease is extirpated. Look how the wave spreads! The refugees—have you seen any country leaping to accept even one of them? The stupid United States, for all of its Jewish control there, shuts the doors on any more. So every nation, each one saying, 'Let our neighbors take them.' France says, 'Put them in Ethiopia'—but not in a French colony! Italy says put them in the cemetery, as we do. If we could only censor all that the Pope says, and this Roosevelt, and the others who speak in favor of them. . . . What an encouraging thing, my Leader, to read of a Jewish suicide! That is the sort of cooperation we cannot have too much of. This wave is spreading—and our wave to the east is just as satisfactory!" The conference ended on this high note. I left it, caring not at all about this rather absurd persecution of the Jews; after all, I had never met a Jew who was not friendly and better behaved than his gentile neighbors. But I was dazed with delight at my personal problem and its solution at last: so well I had planned, so well I had achieved! A n d I knew Goebbels would not delay. . . . A cryptic wire came to me from Ulrica just after I had finished dinner:
E. GONE. COME AT ONCE. U.

" she greeted me. darling. and they have power to do this even to each other. and it would be better to wait until she expressed complete relief at her husband's elimination. in Germany. as i f thoroughly mystified. by three of the Gestapo. But she might not have understood the complete necessity for what I had done. but not definitely as Jewish. it makes one weep! He. What am I to do!" "But why!" I exclaimed. just before five this afternoon. or Göring. "That is how things are done. even as I was kissing her. It would have been amusing to have told her just how brilliantly I had solved our problem. I bathed and dressed with unusual care.OF A D O L F HITLER 283 This was a visit I looked forward to with much pleasure. "Erik was kidnapped. if I could have been sure that she would understand it just as I did. Some one goes with a lie to any official. . and went around to console the bereaved darling. "What in the world has he done!" "It's what someone has done to him. "Oh. A c h . he's emitting such infantile nonsense as his attack on the lemon as Jewish in origin." she said brokenly. or any of half a dozen * Frau von Arnheim's error. I was disappointed when I saw her woe-begone face. meanwhile.* and urging that we use the Nordic folkic rhubarb in its place. and then we could laugh together over how well I had managed it. the most dreadful thing has happened. The lemon was attacked as sinful and alien. Look how Goebbels is allowed to censor even members of the ministry! He's even dared to dictate what von Papen. Adolf. and God knows where they've taken him! A clerk at the Foreign Office phoned me—and that was all he could find out. Schacht and Streicher are allowed to say —and.

" "But what in God's name am I to do about Erik! Just when he's been appointed to go to Rome. That's why I sent for you. too!" " A n d you with him. "Surely the Leader will know. thanked him for his information. . of course. that I was to find out all I could about her attitude. Y o u can get in touch with him. also. the German Narcissus." I tried to hint gently to her what delightful news this was to our dreams. "He himself has said that i f a man does his duty fully to the Party. sweet. Frau von A r n heim reports that her husband disappeared with three Gestapo officers this afternoon just before five. "But. Is it possible that he is in conference with your Excellency?" I listened carefully. I was so high in his confidence. "I can phone him. . . or. and it is confidential Party business. "Herr Hitler says that in due time his absence will be explained thoroughly. and she is unable to find trace of him.284 T H E STRANGE D E A T H others could have done this." Her lips curled in scorn. I am at the residence of Reichsminister von Arnheim. that he knows where your husband is. and gave the hail "Heil Hitler!" Only then was it permitted to hang the receiver up. A n d you didn't want to go. "This is Ludwig Zeit speaking. I turned to her with a troubled face. the cause." But I knew that it was not. saluted the instrument. . Herr Reichskanzler. it is presumption. find out for me!" "Well. She did not take the hint. not to be inquired about. and Germany." I did not repeat what he had added. it makes no difference whom he sleeps with the night before. you must not speak of the Leader so!" I insisted." I got the call put through without any difficulty. Now perhaps you won't have to.

Oh. it's tragic. and I will take you to Tristram! It would be a shame to waste two such tickets. and he had tickets for Tristram und Isolde. Ach. and I knew I would have made a much more suitable Tristram than the fat tenor who wheezed through the immortal love songs." "But what did they arrest him for! We were to dine here. Go now and dress. Adolf. "But I couldn't! I'd be miserable! Oh. But he is good at propaganda. I have observed.OF A D O L F HITLER 285 Her face went ashen. he was told. "Let us take a moratorium on our troubles—that is my suggestion. and even tomorrow. It was very much like Ulrica and myself. no! Please don't make me!" But I smiled firmly at her. I am insisting. Ulrica sweetest. We arrived with the first act just beginning. like Erik to the life. his appointment to Rome would be announced. no. "Good God! Just like Konrad Fuchs! It must be that same damnable little Goebbels at the bottom of this too. Y o u slip into an evening dress. What is one to do? He has power." Her eyes were appalled. to walk carelessly too close to power." She sobbed a little while she was dressing. she looked so deliciously woebegone. grizzled look. "I do not like him. and it is never wise. for her own good. "For your own good. what a blessing to Germany i f the Leader would turn him over to Göring and his ax!" I shrugged. as you so well know. God. . tragic! A n d there is nothing on God's stricken earth to do about it!" I smiled tenderly at her. and thrilled together to the magnificent passion of the wife of Mark of Cornwall for the glorious knight. darling. but I told her I would prefer she conceal that. Mark did have a rather skinny. I reflected.

Such music as this of Wagner's was written for true lovers. H e looked up at last. "The Minister is not here. July 30. and. and then spoke. A n d how amusing to wonder what was at this moment to the husband happening! That too I would learn. my hand caressed hers tenderly. I decided that an opera should be written about Ulrica and myself. He read it slowly. 1934." I went in to the office of one of Goebbels' confidential secretaries. " O n Monday." His tone did not make me feel comfortable." I said to the clerk at the huge information desk. after a most satisfactory night. we were all a little mad. "Well?" He thumbed over many sheets. including ." He brought out of one of his drawers a huge folder. no? This is the Dossier Ludwig Zeit. with your host away i n Geneva. if I would brush up on my vocal. I hurried around. I have here a list of approximately two hundred other nights you have spent in that apartment. these days. "Here I have a dossier Herr Reichsminister asked me to bring to your attention. I might even sing the hero's rôle. Zeit? Seat yourself. myself! A c h . It made me almost romantic. Herr Dissel will see you. under similar circumstances. Pleased at this good fortune. which he opened and studied with much deliberation. and drew forth one. " A c h . you spent the night at the apartment of Erik von Arnheim. The next morning. which no doubt indicated further information or perhaps even an especial reward to be given me. "The Minister sent for me.286 THE STRANGE D E A T H In the darkness. I received a message to come to the Ministry for Propaganda and Public Enlightenment. This is in complete confidence.

however. Correct?" "But this is unthinkable!" I showed great indignation. Yes. but what if it were not a correct thought? There could be no harm. "Yes. M y own nature is essentially frank anyhow. "One can never be certain." "—Which you refused to do. I had. unless there is a distinct advantage to be gained by a necessary evasion. how could one be sure." I explained. Y o u are the father of those two sons." "Frau von Arnheim has offered to divorce her husband." I said. "I am of that opinion. Goebbels himself had this information. and not exaggeration. It would be most advantageous to be absolutely frank with this man. "Her husband is now also under detention. Frau von Arnheim has borne two sons since that time. correct?" " N o w that you remind me. "Affidavits of the von Arnheim butler and maid. Correct?" A somewhat similar reasoning applied with equal force now. "Good. in my words. In the light of these.OF ADOLF HITLER 287 last night. of course. a natural pride in the thought. This was to be faced. N o pressure was exerted. and marry you. within the last week. who overheard it from within the door of the butler's pantry. "Who can have spread a story so ridiculous?" He tapped his finger firmly on two other documents spread under his hand. yes. in assuming that a denial was not anticipated. Correct?" I had often boasted of the excellence of German espionage. and yet. Would it not be wise." he continued in a blase voice. but never before that moment was I convinced that there had been understatement. by order of the Reichsminister. they are in the service." he held his . This is unknown to Erik von Arnheim.

I did not feel that I earned halos. I leaned over more passionately toward him. " Y o u are human. I am not sure she is a close friend of the Reichsminister's. . . at an address I give you?" I studied his face for a long time.288 T H E STRANGE DEATH thumb and the three final fingers against the desk. I almost forgot. He did not look at me. "I am to make her come. Herr Zeit. That is understood. . . i f you make sure she comes!" It was no query. The Minister told me to tell you that the Leader had not been troubled with this dossier yet. no. folded under." He paused significantly. He knows me. She might not even desire to go. "for Frau von Arnheim to see the Minister herself about her husband. "Yet this is different. . He lit himself a cigar. Would it not be wise for her to come. . then?" . "But . and would kill him i f she ever got her hands on him. and thumped with his index finger against the dark red-brown mahogany desk top. from another dossier. M y face grew naturally a little white. "But if she will not go!" "Is not that for you to make sure of? A c h . " But his face did not yield. she . Women have their own particular desires. and very wise. perhaps she would much prefer to have me discuss. . . until at last he observed with pleasure that he had achieved commendable smoke rings floating from the tip of his cigar above my head. ." "She does not like the Minister. and puffed it absently. . Only last night she had said to me that she hated him like a snake." The secretary acted as i f the matter had been settled. on some early opportunity—say tomorrow evening. before I answered this.

OF A D O L F HITLER 289 "Would it not be wise?" "—To make her come. A n d now Ulrica. that he might convert him. naturally the Leader will not be troubled with this dossier?" His eyebrows rose. But the unusual was happening. It would not do to have Ulrica behave so. A n d yet. the Leader. in that case. "Surely you are not one that believes in libels! This is the Reichsminster we speak of. Suddenly I thought of a brilliant idea. "But naturally. and shook my head. He is very busy. "If Frau von Arnheim were of the opinion that it was planned to detain me in protective custody. especially in Germany. in the concentration camp where her husband is." "She is very dear to me. that he had first had me shown this dossier about myself. surely he might wish only to question her about her husband. Unless she has done something subversive. We both know that. "He will not harm her?" The secretary's hands opened gently. when there is need. I have observed that. A n d yet it was unusual. It is not easy to contemplate sending one's mistress to such a man." " A n d any way I make her come. no?" I thought reflectively of Herta Fuchs. It was best to regard it so. naturally not. There had been talk of this. and so summoned Herta to come to him. The Minister thinks that such an interview will be mutually profitable." I remembered back that so he had gotten rid of Konrad Fuchs. it will be all right?" "That is for you to decide. A n d then a thought came to me. such ideas happen naturally to me. A woman is difficult to make to do anything. or even to take me before the People's Tribunal. it would be natural for ." I said stiffly. " I f she comes.

" He handed it to me on a slip of paper. Ulrica would have the thrill of saving me from threatened arrest and detention or worse. . This I had not at all anticipated. It is of such stuff that leaders are made. "Heil Hitler!" I walked stiffly out of the room. He rose. you said?" "So. I felt that I had risen to the emergency in a way to be proud of. The Minister will be pleased?" "But naturally. due to my quick-witted handling of the situation. when the brilliant idea came to me of arranging for a substitute trip for von Arnheim instead of the embassy to Rome which he expected. so no one would suffer.290 T H E STRANGE D E A T H her to wish to talk that over with the Reichsminister. Goebbels would get the interview he wished. hein?" "But naturally. especially in Germany. I began to understand how well equipped I was to act in emergencies. It is wise to make the best of any such eventuality." "Tomorrow evening." "She will come. —To this address. no matter their nature." "I think she will think that. when I talk to her. "Heil Hitler!" His arm snapped forward to the salute. " A t nine o'clock." I said. I have observed that the unanticipated often comes.

and thus precipitate the thing I was most anxious to avoid. it seemed more N . The only way to prevent this was to have Ulrica cooperate in the way indicated by the Reichsminister's secretary. "Let him expose us! I will be proud to appear before the world as your lover.OF ADOLF HITLER 291 CHAPTER XXI THE SEED IS SOWN A T U R A L L Y . In a way. But she. was excessively sentimental. like all women. which would of necessity follow from any such publicity and scandal? As a matter of fact. i f once that dossier were shown to the Leader. I went with the full realization that I faced a difficult task. So my task was to turn her sentimental nature into my ally. I almost decided to tell her the exact situation." But that would be as absurd as her being willing to divorce Erik and marry me. i f I was as valuable as a double as I imagined. Great disgrace was in store for me. contemplate surrendering that position. She was quite capable of saying nobly. in my magnificently paid position. Ulrica expected me to dinner that night. and one might think that she would do anything within reason to prevent this. the disgrace would involve both of us. how could I. But there comes in your woman's sentimentality again. and she might let her personal feelings interfere with this simple solution.

the reverse would be far more effective—the noble pose. But. I recalled how frantic the affair of Herta had made Erik. A n d then. I would not mention his secretary. I would say that it was Goebbels himself had talked to me.T H E STRANGE D E A T H probable to me that Goebbels. it was a test of my persuasiveness to see i f I could do as I had boasted. I was on my mettle now. and her husband's. as well as mine. beaten. I had said that I would send her around. not for mine. she had laughingly told me that the first time she went to Erik's apartment she never dreamed it was marriage he had on his mind. would see to it that there was no publicity. was one Reichsminister so different from another? If the matter did not turn out to her pleasure. M y one chance. I could count on her woman's wit to conduct the interview to her entire satisfaction. But. M y responsibility ended when I secured her presence there. for their convenience. and this would without doubt make him so wild against Goebbels. tortured. After all. M y task was to turn her sentimental nature into my ally. would be for her to appear as my advocate. than have her . i f not the People's Tribunal: he could elaborate that as he chose. that I would a thousand times rather be jailed. that I could well expect to see the repulsive Propaganda Minister finally removed. I would report him as saying. and a test of her love for me to see i f she would do as I wished. a brilliant idea occurred to me. A n d that would come most easily from her regarding me as in danger. after all. I need not urge her to go. as well as the Leader. no scandal. or at least infinitely demoted. that was none of my business. in fact. killed. that would be far stronger. after all. I would say that he himself had threatened for me the concentration camp.

Then she would happily make the supreme sacrifice for me. As I walked around to the von Arnheim apartment. I began to feel more and more sorry for myself. There was a tear in my eye as I left the elevator and crossed the hall to press the button to her apartment. Yes. soft little fingers. . take Ulrica too often from me. it built itself up splendidly. and all would be well. A n d I knew that I would not fail this night. Ach. as I greeted Ulrica. that I was insane with jealousy. "Well. torture. Altogether. . the thing seemed to be working out to the complete satisfaction of all of us. as I dressed for the dinner and the evening. as she knew— A c h . I had been given only this one farewell night. threatened with imprisonment. such a rôle would have all the romantic nobility a woman desires in her lover. So it was that I had always prepared myself to take the Leader's place—by throwing myself heart and soul into the rôle. and the concentration camps were huge. after all. the whole world of cinema and stage actresses.OF A D O L F HITLER 293 go. M y face was pale. perhaps death. no matter how it turned out. Colossal! I could plead with her not to go—that it would break my heart. Nor could this. Goebbels already had his nights that he must give to Herta. . I doubted i f the Leader himself could have faced such an ordeal so magnificently. and Germany did not lack its quota of attractive wives. singers and performers of every kind. and then I clasped her . I need not even bother about this. I bent stiffly and kissed her warm. For. and surely he was expected home every so often. came before him. like a man I could stand it—like a man I would stand it! O f such stuff heroes are made. even before tomorrow's sunset.

Let us forget it. he says." "Good! He admitted that he did it? A c h . and he will do what he can. She leaned tensely toward me. " — A n d you! What do you mean." I let it fall as casually as if she knew it all the time. there is nothing to worry about. But the butler was in and out. dear." I finished my glass of sherry and bitters before speaking further.294 THE STRANGE D E A T H wildly to my bosom." "But—you! You mean that the fool claims that you are in this. By Erik and me. "I was summoned in to see the Propaganda Minister today. Do not worry. but why! In God's name. It was not until we had repaired to the living room for coffee and liqueurs that she had a chance to question me again. you've got to . too!" "There is the butler." Throughout dinner I could see how dreadfully worried she was. " A c h . "There can be nothing to what he says. yes. —That he knew of it in advance. darling! D i d you get any more news for me of poor Erik?" "I have some news. but it is marvelous to see you. yes. as soon as he can." "But—subversive—about what! — Y o u ! " I spoke too rapidly to be coherent. Something about subversive talk—that was all he would say. and did not meet her eyes. "Adolf. as i f he had been tipped off in advance to prevent confidences. "Something about the Sudeten. We will talk of this later. "He admits nothing. M y lips burned against hers." I said. Little Adolf!" " A c h . A n d then I pushed her away. why!" I shrugged. but I did not mean to tell that part! He admits only that he knows of it. announcing dinner. I see him tomorrow.

as he requested. then. yes." as i f wrenched from me. as one speaking into a cave without a back wall. er. wasn't it?" "Yes. "that this will be the last night I can be here with you. We will know. What he indicated was. no! A million million times. . and that I would never permit you to visit him. I see him tomorrow. "Sudeten. right away. that I had not spoken before you.OF A D O L F H I T L E R 295 talk to me! You're to see him tomorrow." Ulrica's face went as white as the square of linen clenched in her hand. I told him that never in my life had I dreamed of other than complete loyalty to him. that was overheard by some servant here and reported. it is unthinkable. there was talk . no!" "But you're talking in riddles! What was this one thing he mentioned?" "Ach. "Yes. i f you must know. So. I did not mean for you to guess. "It was about Herta it was. and my voice was aimed inward. before you. that it was a he." " A plot against the Leader. that was said by me as well as by him. " A c h . But." she said. that concerned Erik alone. I don't see how you knew. I ended it. about the Sudeten. For the one thing he mentioned I told him ' N o ' to. He said something about one last night. with gasping violence. I'll bet! Y o u are to turn against him?" Her eyes gleamed strangely. ach! It was Herta. that was regarded as subversive." I spoke very slowly. and something more than this." . It may be. you say? Y o u can't mean that he seriously threatens he's going to arrest you!" " M y dear. . darling.

dreadful swine! I will kill him. Yes. I will not let him make a martyr out of you. for what Erik said—something you didn't agree with. I told myself jubilantly. . and under no circumstances to go near the room in the Nonpareil Hotel he designated. also. or I fail. " N o . I was furious with you." I stared at her grimly. for that. N o . You. . as i f she expected eavesdroppers everywhere.296 T H E STRANGE DEATH " A n d he claims you too said what Erik said—about hounding him out of Germany!" " A n d something about strangling with bare hands. the dreadful. when she visited him. . But the idea was planted. I'll shield Erik as much as I can. "I will not permit it. O f course. Anything but that. I received the impression that it was so reported. I can only do my best. I cannot guess how far beyond she saw in that first chasmed second. at all!" " N o . before her mind told her that what her heart saw could not be true. Let it be. first! I will kill myself first!" " A n d would that help any of us?" I asked sadly. "That. Not that. I have promised you. a frightened glance studying the empty room. ." "But I can convince him! When he hears my account of the— Why. I forbid you to leave the house tomorrow night. She shuddered. Let it have . never!" It was then that Ulrica saw with terrible swiftness that she too was trapped. Oh. Either I convince him. "But—you. . you defended him. Servants even no one can trust! I did not say it. and he should be hounded out of the Reich. Y o u must not." she said. . There was a long silence. " I insisted. face paler than ever. Little Adolf." She dropped her voice to a whisper. "I have not forgotten what happened to Herta.

I can at least meet my fate like a Nordic and a soldier!" Bravery such as my face glowed with deserved at least the Iron Cross with the gold leaves. lost in a mist." I said it sadly. "I have lost it. I will kill myself. "He spoke only of an interview. absolutely. before me!" "I will see him." I spoke swiftly. moaning all by itself." "It is forgotten. even to talk to him!" "I will see him. I'm sure of that. I will face it alone. Tomorrow. after. I see him." she said. I will grant that there was a rather grisly macabre pleasure in the evening and the night that followed. "Give it to me. A n d ." Her voice was the lowest string on the violin. to reconstruct what these servants reported." I said slowly. But think of what she went through! N o . She stared at me as i f not seeing me. I will never let you suffer so. I could see the immense love in her heart burning out of her shadowed eyes. and corpses not good to see." she insisted. "I have already burned the slip that was handed me. "He knows how much I mean to the Leader. darling. I forbid you to see him." "Give it to me!" I pulled it forth. and Herta spoke of those photographs of beatings. "and Erik." I said firmly. But I forbade it. her voice serene. before I will do that. it is unthinkable. "It is only my dreadful fear. "Tell him so. "I will kill myself. "But you must burn it. —That he should be allowed to live!" "Konrad is in one of his concentration camps.OF A D O L F HITLER time to work. I have some power of words. It was a beautiful sight to see. It was ." I let my hand slip toward my hip pocket. and tortures.

it was not so much she was called on to do. my plan about Erik had succeeded with brilliance. at times makes facing the realities of life in a factual manner rather difficult. though so far I had run no risk of them. and it certainly was the part of wisdom to harness it. a woman in love can become! A n d romance. Ulrica would at most suffer a momentary embarrassment. when she herself worked at the Schwarz Anser. In the old days. The Reichsminister . this would be forfeited entirely i f he ever read that dossier. still. So he would not be disappointed. A n d . A l l great loves had been so. A t least. but. the power was his. The greatest gainer beyond doubt would be myself. A n d all for the most natural actions in the world. I would be freed of that danger completely. merely responding to a love which was mutual and beyond all blame. It would be more than unfortunate i f that dossier were ever placed on the Leader's desk. how was I to guess that Goebbels would then have his different ideas? Over all my protests.298 THE STRANGE D E A T H unthinkable that he should have any such power. how romantic. A n d now. It was unthinkable that I should face the loss of this most excellent salary I was receiving. So the Leader himself had told me. Erik would have his lot lightened. toward such things he is very unsympathetic. and even run the risk of actual imprisonment and torture and the Tribunal and Göring's ax: for these were usual things to happen in Germany. besides. she would not even have minded what was asked of her. and the work I had come to enjoy more and more. His trust in me meant much to me. especially where they concern men high in the Party. how sentimental. I have observed. rather than to oppose it. Amazing. Ulrica remained determined.

A library to roam through. It might be a boring evening. So must Herta have gone to him. more so than usual. If not. and the night had been more tender than any we had ever had. How time passes. I have observed! I rose to my feet. but one owes something to a devoted woman's whim. the new books to browse into and one to read. . . I was rather startled when I heard the hall door clicking open to see from my wristwatch that it was twenty after midnight already. " she ." "I will be here. interview . Y o u only. darling! So long it has seemed!" She let her cloak slip unheeded to the floor. "I wish you would come again tonight for dinner. I think I will be back before midnight." I assured her proudly. . my arms outstretched. my eyes all welcome. . . In the dawn. N o one would suffer. The time passed far more delightfully than I had anticipated. . my voice tender. A n d power is power. .OF A D O L F HITLER would not go unsatisfied. "The hour will be nine o'clock. cannot take long. staring into my eyes. you know how to leave this early. and this would be admirable for that purpose. I would like to know that you are here. she held me close for a long time. that first night. The . . There were several of the new books I had been promising myself a chance to read. " O h . Strange things happen in Germany. " A h . and at a quarter to nine I saw her leave. I love you. darling. well. Her face was exquisitely made up. . at the Nonpareil. And so I was back for dinner. or earlier. excellent cigars and cigarettes and Napoleon brandy from Erik's own stock." she said quietly. . and all would be set right at last.

N o — " A s I came close to her. It is difficult to be tender to a woman who neglects her appearance so." She added the last word hur- . I had to admit to myself. my eyes tender and warm. and so he must know me better. I lifted my glass to toast her. Y o u ordered me not to go. Ulrica darling. She let me clasp her to my heart." "But that is wonderful. and walked over and stared at a large chair before sitting in it. Women are made so. he said. . you can't mean that he actually demanded the surrender of your virtue as the price of not imprisoning me! Darling. like lead. I forbade it! I ordered you not to go!" "Yes. annoying. N o t ever again—tonight. " Y o u might give me a brandy. I told him I would kill myself. to the ears.300 T H E STRANGE D E A T H said. he said. it makes what difference? But he promised not to jail you. So I am here. — Y o u would be arrested tomorrow. " Y o u saw him?" " Y o u need not worry. I was Frau Germania. I poured one for each of us. "I saw him. was he? As with Herta?" "He was not annoying. I sometimes wonder why." she said. Y o u will not be arrested. She had not repaired her makeup. She sipped her drink without responding to my toast. and my lips fasten to hers. "do not touch me tonight. i f I was not nice to him. darling! Y o u convinced him? He was not . —Taken before the Tribunal. my arms welcoming." "Why. now. But the situation was unusual. It happened that I loved you." It is strange how a voice can have weight. and her lips were not warm. . She pushed me away finally. He said.

"But I'll see you tomorrow?" I insisted. I did my best to explain that all that she had done she had done for love of me." She smiled. with jealousy. was how whimsical a woman could be.OF A D O L F HITLER 301 riedly. and her lips were not icy now. and how inconsiderate of what a man desired. She kissed me goodbye. I was free. that I was not to come near her. —For you. I would not be arrested. she said. "I am soiled. before drowsing off to sleep. A n d . So it was that all she said was irrational. and she had done this. That ridiculous pose she kept up the rest of the evening. nothing could make her alter it. I told her. i f she would let me. like Herta's sacrifice. but warm. "Yes. it had succeeded. I would go right out now and shoot him down like a dog. Give me another brandy. N o . can one argue with a woman's whims? I was as tender as was possible. Little Adolf. for this night. unlike Herta's." The whimsical nature of woman is something I shall never cease to marvel over. "There is no doubt of that. and yet she made me leave. you will see me tomorrow. — W h y think of him again. and I could see my breath in the light of the street lamps when I paused to smoke a fresh cigarette before entering the Chancellery. I was so insane with fury. She sent me home soon after three o'clock. I remember my last thought." Well. yet all availed nothing. It was a very icy night for April. But one thing was clear: she had made up her mind. but there was a strange quality in her smile that was disturbing. never having let me come nearer her than the moment she returned. She let me out of the side door herself. . I told her it was all inconsiderate.

Loses Life in Unusual Accident The story said that she had been cleaning a pistol. I love you forever. during the absence of her husband. I have observed. or someone else impersonating the Reichsminister. Married to Reichsminister von Arnheim. i f he was ever in the right mood. and only then did I see the headlines above it: F R A U GERMANIA DIES SUDDENLY DURING ABSENCE OF HUSBAND Ulrica Diehm. by her sympathetic maid. I cannot be sure whether it was Herr Goebbels himself who met her at the Nonpareil. I determined to find out from Herr Goebbels. You will understand. It is such uncertainties. But he was not often in the right mood.302 T H E STRANGE D E A T H I was immensely shocked. delivered. or the secretary who had talked to me. reading the morning paper. to see her picture on its front page. It had twelve words inside: I gave you a promise. . Former Cafe Singer. I found out later. I have observed. To this day. U. when it exploded. due to her fear of burglars. I knew that there was more in the story than this. that keep life interesting. There was a letter in my box.

and the cool keen wind of logic rarely blows through their overpersonalized minds. with Erik completely out of the way in protective custody. all I could do now was to forgive her. at the very moment when I had shrewdly arranged to have our relationship made permanent. The incident. She was not capable of a continuing sacrifice for love. and no true German had a right to add to our difficulties at a time like this. and not a corpse. Most of all. had been a touchstone of how deep her affection for me really went. A n d here. a man wants a woman. For this was the frantic spring of 1938 when the Leader's plans were maturing so magnificently. The Reichsminister for Propaganda and Public Enlightenment took charge of the funeral himself. the re-acquisition of the Sudeten was coming closer and closer. Naturally. calling for our most undisturbed application to the cause of the Party and the Fatherland. Women are as they are made. some mere personal dislike. had wrecked all of my careful planning.OF A D O L F HITLER 303 CHAPTER XXII THE TIDE FLOWS EAST H E unfortunate suicide of Ulrica von Arnheim came at a most inopportune time for me. which I T . a man needs such relaxation as a night with Ulrica could afford. The Anschluss was a fact. at such a time. some woman's whim of hers. There were demands on me. there were demands on all of us. naturally. Well. I reflected a little sadly.

But our problem now is the husband. If this imprisonment can bring him to his senses. He said he was sincerely grateful for my appreciation." He smiled again. If not. That is all forgotten. "She deserved such a funeral. I trust?" "But of course. Little Adolf! After all." I said slowly. we can use him still. I will be frank. I told him so. As we two rode back together from the ceremonies. a feeling any of us might have shared. by one of your secretaries. perhaps she's luckier off as it is. in your office. "Within a week." "Admirable. "She was a very beautiful woman. and." he said. who certainly took a subversive attitude toward the welfare of Germany in the matter growing out of the imprisonment of Konrad Fuchs. your offense. There was nothing in the slightest degree savoring of disloyalty to the Leader. and I was glad that the smile was not directed against me. I cannot say as much about von Arnheim and his wife. whose untimely accidental death had shocked all the Reich? I had to admire the impressive ceremonies he planned for the occasion." It was difficult to say what I had to say next. it was the Leader himself who brought . " O n one occasion.304 T H E STRANGE D E A T H thought was extremely considerate of him. i f that's so. Purely personal. or to me. well—accidents happen. if it be called such. the Party. Yet was she not officially Frau Germania. "I wish I had known her better. I was shown a certain dossier about myself. eyeing me slyly. was merely a commendable personal interest in a pair of pretty legs. I have been assured that she expressed opinions quite as disloyal as her husband. as an inspiration to all other German women to rise as high in the esteem of the Reich.

Moscow and foggy London. we are moving. as full Nazis. and suggested autonomy for them. half glumly. France has blustered that she will march i f Czechoslovakia is invaded. during the voting —and a swift mobilization for a Blitzkrieg* which will win the matter for us. . pretending to be hornets." said Ribbentrop smilingly. It was Ribbentrop." he said. "Why fight. it may not be possible to localize it. when it is ours without fighting?" I asked. So. unless the Czechs mobilize in time. a little rioting. But that means only that he is afraid of bombing raids over London." "They will have to. But opinion is not quite free there. "Well. Goebbels. " A n d Chamberlain has brayed out that. sooner or later. next month. there might be an anti-Nazi majority. and I that he had in conference late in April. Litvinov has said that Russia will move. which they cannot accept—full autonomy for the Germans in the Sudeten. instead of Paris. we will have a plebiscite." " A n d Henlein has agreed to announce his Karlsbad demands. "Admirable. isn't it?" "Wasps. where the Czechs live and have their shops. We've got Premier Hodza squawking that he doesn't want any foreign interference." said the Leader seriously. Mere fly-buzzing. Little Adolf! But I tell you I need von * Lightning-war." pointed out Goebbels. and a demand that they accept us as protector. "Now. i f there is a war. New York City. "We've promised personal protection to the Sudetens.OF A D O L F H I T L E R 305 up the matter of von Arnheim. he says it is as absurd as i f he were to suggest autonomy for 86th Street." "Göring wants to fight anyhow. if France moves first.

With him away. he asked me to have a preliminary talk with him. or me. nothing but the Tribunal. realizing how I could gain favor with him. unless he is sent an engraved invitation to the bedding. "It's always best to meet an issue fairly. When your office had that immense dossier on me and Ulrica. " I f he's too bitter.306 T H E STRANGE D E A T H Arnheim again. or he might just as well go before the Tribunal. hein?" " I ' l l do more. how could he know nothing?" Goebbels shrugged. well. and perhaps about you. Well. at least. "The whole world knows every detail of an adultery. no? He is bound to hear rumors." Goebbels promised to do his best. about me. and sound out the precise present state of his attitude toward Goebbels and the government. "It was all to protect her. since you practically moved into his apartment the moment he disappeared." " A l l that I will admit. Herr Reichsminister. en- . she developed an anxiety neurosis about burglars. God knows what sort of wild stories he has heard." He beamed complacently. Either he is straightened out by now. the husband never suspects. But he will hear. Moreover." I said. no? A n d an effort to scheme his release." I said smilingly. " Y o u can expect him to be annoyed about his wife. no? Y o u stick to that. which may involve you. or even both of us. H e can speak these bastard foreign languages. now. sooner or later. it was an accident. thank God I never wasted my brain learning anything but good German! A n d he has a brain. A man cannot let personal antipathies enter into his duty to the Party and the Reich. and gave orders to have von Arnheim brought up from Brandenburg where he was being detained. Little Adolf.

" He showed me. "Make it satisfy him. I myself interviewed her one night. you think?" " A n admirable alibi." He nodded." " I ' l l do it. we proceed. so unsympathetic. no? A n d so. tomorrow you see von Arnheim. W i l l it do the work. He will believe me. But I have more than that in mind. I tell him it is absolutely a lie that she went out and saw you or anyone else that night. the headlines that had just come in from the Sudeten Party papers: SAVAGE HORSEWHIPPING OF SUDETEN DEPUTY BY BESTIAL CZECH and tapped the paper with firm fingers. because he wants to. and the accident happened within half an hour. that I came to the conclusion that whatever you had done to her was no doubt deserved discipline. After all. What went on i n life will not bother him so much now. and then went home." I said proudly. If not. and I found her so subversive. "After all. there is always the People's Tribunal. that I stayed with her until almost three o'clock. talking over every possible means of getting him free. Herr Reichsminister. It is the last straw. his eyes small and beady." I read into the story and looked up at him in astonish- . Probe out every inch of his soul." he smiled." he smiled. as what caused her death. Little Adolf.OF A D O L F HITLER 307 tirely loyal to him. every minute. we have no room for traitors to me in the Party. "For that. I'll try to bring him to a more reasonable attitude of mind toward the Herta Fuchs matter too. "what is a woman for? Well. We want no suspicion about that last night. before I left. too. There will be rumors. "I have done some espionage work already. it is a form of Party work I especially like.

"How did they treat you." This was so obvious that I nodded agreement and left him." I said to him. so old and white and worn he looked. " N o t in history. " A c h . and was merely slapped for it!" Goebbels shrugged. and of her funeral. the first moment I did not recognize him. unless his case deserved that we do something for him. and men believe. Little Adolf. "What really happened? I know nothing." I said to him frankly. Erik?" I inquired. "I will tell you everything. First of all. "Ulrica." he interrupted me at once. The chief error is to let the mere facts influence you. but his greeting was broken by a grinding. grossly. For all that von Arnheim was still in custody. racking cough that seemed to shudder to the very depths of his frame. where Goebbels spoke. while drunk. "But this case was in the morning papers! It is the case of the Deputy who insulted the government officer. by the withdrawal of all guards from the warden's room in the Berlin military prison where he had been brought. It spoke of death hanging close over him. "For I alone know." His eyes looked starved for what I had to say.308 T H E STRANGE D E A T H merit. after my Propaganda representatives handled the story so. there are vile rumors afloat —as about everything in Germany. The welfare of the Reich must always be the prime consideration. "how well you are looking!" He took my hand. You know how a . History. the way was smoothed for a frank talk between us. A l l during our talk this cough came as a macabre punctuation. dear friend. When they marched him in. except that she is dead. is what we write.

She was nervous. we knew. "She herself told it all to Ulrica. and manufacture the most absurd and exaggerated accounts. "What did they do. i n stead of her sister!" "But that is absurd. even when the simple truth has been told. and then—this ghastly accident. But many things called accidents happen i n Germany. It was that we talked about. Had she even seen Goebbels?" "That is the silliest part of it. with this Sudeten matter keeping all of us so busy that there is not time even for sleep." he worried. sooner or later. yes. beloved by everyone in Germany. yes. she had to be content with that. When I left her that night. I suppose." " Y o u think it was really an accident?" His eyes probed my face. but there was hope ahead. she was discouraged. She had no enemy." I continued mournfully. I should have spent . or Göring. from what had happened to you. that she could get to him. word of the story Herta Fuchs has told too widely had spread around as gossip.OF ADOLF HITLER censorship makes people suspect every story that is printed. or even the Leader himself. so what more simple to claim that it was Ulrica who had been visiting Goebbels. in this case? Well. It was a dreadful accident. remember. "What else could it have been? She was Frau Germania. there must be some way. but he refused to see her! Too busy. We would have arranged it. too. of course. "She had me try to arrange it. We know the facts. and so the sensation-mad mind leaped to the conclusion that this was like that. he told me to tell her. to Konrad. and was his mistress.—He would see her as soon as he could squeeze in half an hour. somehow. that last night.

these days? A n d so. he still meant power. because I raised my voice." He stared at me earnestly. "I did. that night. " N o ." Suddenly it came to me. and so . I've had time to think things over. deeply moved by the simple story of those days." " Y o u were my friend." . This would be agreeable music to Goebbels' ear! A n d . A s long as he had that dossier about me. I will kill that man. Who in Germany is not a spy. much as I detested him." "It was loose talk. . one day. all I could hear was that she had been buried. "Well. but I had to appear for the Leader in a procession the next day. then? You mean it. that third night. She died. I was not there to protect her. "because I was not there to protect her. and I was too selfish. " A n d I. If I had stayed." I said mournfully'. yet. and would be alive today. "I know I may trust you to the end. There was one man responsible for what happened to me. I went to him and told him what I had discovered." he said. I raised my voice.310 THE STRANGE DEATH the night there. Little Adolf. my friend? Y o u did not mean all you said then?" I watched him earnestly. how brilliant to tell this much of the truth! "She herself half suggested it. that is over. when we were talking about Herta and what had happened to her. the first two nights after you disappeared. there was much wisdom in loyalty to him. This you do not know. Brandenburg. throughout it all. in some loose talk about what I intended to do. she was so dreadfully nervous. than one who was uncertain. and said I'd rather have a spy I was sure of. . she might never have tinkered trying to load that pistol. M y butler reports to the Gestapo—I found proof of it." he said it sorrowfully.

but my heart jumped. * So many of the Ministry referred in private to Goebbels. and found out it was not I. though. Each man kills himself in the end. Lunch.* not the negroid Nordic dwarf. Brandenburg is not as bad as Orienburg. with a gross guard shrieking out. not the Tainted One. . bedbugs. . or a little square of mouldy cheese or salted fish. one minute to urinate!'—and then one minute more each to dump his pot. dear friend. some slop called soup. " "In confidence. . how did they treat you?" He shrugged. you bastards! Three minutes to defecate. But I will admit then a most uncomfortable moment. or some carelessness. But even Germany has its coffee ration. "I am alive. So. Breakfast. Burlap bags filled with straw to he on. . . they all say that. Horsemeat would have been a treat. But it is bad enough. Infinite filth. and he paid it back with death. . for talking too loosely and too loud. drybread and a cup of chicory. . usually spoiled. It is I myself. 'Quick. Dinner. by some intemperance. or by letting the worn engine slip one cog. Not soon. flush it out. i f I have much more of this imprisonment . H o w can words describe it? To eat slop that pigs would vomit at. was it possible he knew what I had done—or even suspected it? In that case. Lice. Though.OF A D O L F HITLER 311 I kept my face rigid. as his Nordic scientists have classified him. a bite of condemned sausage. I must certainly report to Goebbels that he was entirely subversive and intransigent. let out in squads to the filthy hall that was the latrine. each day we survived. But I kept my voice steady. It was not for four months that I found out what man he really meant. Three times a day. . dear friend. I spoke: " Y o u cannot mean Herr Goebbels!" " N o . . N o t he. A c h God.

or fouling these worse. A n d death even to protest— Ach God. German gymnastics for an hour—at my age. i f once again I am returned to that prison. The Jews —no indignity too vile to inflict on them: jailers spitting in their mouths. what you tell me tears me to the heart. —Men. I was not beaten. Little Adolf. plenty were. But my soul was beaten. dear friend. in their food and drink. I have seen them carried out to be buried afterward. What i f I pledge you this—that I will risk my freedom. and I do not know if I would come out alive. Y o u know how close I am to the Leader—to all the Ministry. who woo me to get to the Leader's ear. or some gross brute of a jailer. . I was not beaten. O r has this thing made us somehow less than men? I do not know. and well and sick beaten to do everything in perfect rhythm! We were made to roll in the dirt. I did not have to root out the grass with my teeth. in insisting either that you be turned loose. or that I be jailed too! What may I say to them your attitude will be. as the Jews were required to do. but I had to suffer while I saw it being done to them. having the prisoner held down while he danced on his abdomen and kidneys with his heavy heels. if you are wholly freed—and it is announced that your arrest was all a mistake?" He considered me a long time. A n d one sullen look called forth a steel rod or a rubber truncheon flailing against the abdomen. often drunk.312 THE STRANGE D E A T H fill it with water again. . . "It would save my life. We made our own foul beds. they are men too! Have we of Germany forgotten that? They were mistreated without ceasing—forced to amuse the rest of us—forced to strip and go through the most ghastly perversions alone and together before us. Me. as we are men. to toughen us." "Erik. .

I will not survive. If by the Leader's grace I am freed. i f word of mine can achieve it. "One man only visited me in prison." I warned him. who said he knew you. i f I have to endure that again. "Then it is both of us in jail. why was I jailed? Because hotheadedly I said a word that should have been left unsaid against the Minister for Propaganda. I am not so young now. I will not forget. i n vented to scandalize the administration. "I live. but he spoke on." He shrugged. I am to blame. well. And so it was that Erik von Arnheim was restored to the service of the Party and the Reich. or you free as I am free! Within the hour." M y cheeks flushed. and freed! Only. "I tell all I know. i f it is only before Goebbels. I will serve the party as I always have. i f I am free. I thought you would understand. he is not the man really responsible. in the ticklish negotiations leading to the joining of the stolen German Sudeten to the Reich again. that it would not be long. H e sent word for you to be ready. A Reichswehr captain. . Goebbels told me the very next day that I had again been of distinct service to the cause." I shuddered again. from now on. D o you think I will not watch my words? Besides. "it might be sympathetic if you said you were convinced that the suggestion that he had done anything improper to Herta was a gross libel." I let it pass at this. Can one have less than all gratitude for that? As to my attitude." I clasped his hand jubilantly.OF A D O L F H I T L E R 313 of course. . "But what did he mean? A n d who was he?" Erik shrugged. . you will be brought before them. I can promise no more. for the Leader was most anxious to use von Arnheim. .

in releasing von Arnheim. that all the stories connecting me with Herta or his wife were scandalous libels. when he had been misled into believing that the arrest of Konrad Fuchs was unjustified? Yet he assured me. But this. except impetuous Ulrica. I have observed that simple devotion to duty. Y o u did excellently.314 T H E STRANGE D E A T H "He was surprisingly admirable in his apology. as witness my actions in this matter. Meanwhile. that rewards ultimately must be weighed in more than one set of scales. But that part was still hidden in the near future." smiled the little vulture-faced gnome. Little Adolf. too. too. often harvests an unexpected reward. I had indeed taken a step toward my own world greatness that would have been unbelievable to me then. and the Reich. he said. " H e had suffered a complete change of heart. He only regretted that I had not been able to see Ulrica and do more for her. and he pledged me his personal support henceforth. the Party. H o w could he be blamed for a sudden loss of temper. he said. Y o u will be a famous diplomat yet!" A n d so the whole matter ended splendidly for all of us. I did not then realize that. our eyes again were all cast to the east. is life. . I have observed. as well as the undying devotion he had always given to the Leader. and one other. But it is so that life's pattern functions.

swaggered in with his party. today?" "Tell them we apologize for not having gone to war yet. 1938. strung tense like a crossbow ready to shoot. Our car came first. Shrimp. after him scuttled Goebbels and the Propaganda representatives. and then west. "We march tomorrow!" "Tell them Germany is so powerful." said Goebbels swiftly. as usual. "Our maneuvers will be first east. wearing so many medals he looked as if he were in mail. "Don't remind the world that England is our F . as i f to shield him with his wings." Göring sneered. ever since he had been released he had seemed to hover over the leader. what do we tell Germany. Here was the Leader himself. In this tension over the Sudeten and the foreign policy. Doubleguts?" smiled Goebbels pleasantly. "How goes it.OF A D O L F H I T L E R 315 CHAPTER XXIII THE FLOOD TIDE RISES O U R or five of us stood with the Leader in the anteroom at Nürnberg at that all-important PartyCongress of September." he smiled. "Let's say everything but what we mean. and every step adds a foot to the Reich!" Von Arnheim smiled. but the Leader had to have his throat sprayed. my friends. "Well." blustered Göring. "Good morning. for the speech to come. Göring. no enemy will face her.

"They're expecting war. and rape grows monotonous. speaking of 'rectifying' the frontiers. That's too important to talk about. either way!" He considered our faces earnestly. He strode out on the tribune. His hand won quiet at last. with a million and a half men under arms. Germany wins. like a sun emerging from behind clouds. They expect war. but he did it. to the world tensely listening beyond. He felt stronger with von Arnheim at his side once more. We will no longer let an integral part of the German . Herr Hitler. nodded. we have ended that forever. "Germany. that Lord Runciman in Prague has urged partition for Czechoslovakia. or raped again! Constant plundering irritates." his voice thundered." Ribbentrop. and the reserves called to the colors. Heil Hitler!" It was almost impossible to keep them quiet now. The Judaized 'democratic' state that preceded our government let itself be blackmailed for fifteen years. The thieving democratic nations are impotent in the face of Germany's might today. We will not permit the Reich to be plundered further. Czechoslovakia's mobilized. The English fleet steamed into the German Ocean—but what is that but a gesture? War or peace. France is entrenched in the Maginot Line. to the vast crowd. close beside him. "will kneel to no power on earth. and smiled.316 T H E STRANGE DEATH best ally. and a quarter of a million workmen strengthening the Siegfried Line. Leader. "The German Reich today faces a disgrace that we should have extirpated many years ago. They've all noticed the coincidence that it's the month for our maneuvers. but that isn't a good mouthful. while assembled Germany rose as one man to the salute and the hail. it is in your hands to decide.

Zeit. We gave the salutes. "God never created the three and a half million Germans there to be plundered. We were at Der Berghof at Bechtesgaden. to receive instructions from the Leader himself. Erik drew me aside. Three times before I had seen this man." his voice was a trumpet now. be further violated by the mongrel democratic hordes of Czechoslovakia! " M y friends. toward the man beside him. as i f to protect him even more than Brückner ever had from some ambiguous danger that menaced. I noticed that von Arnheim hovered over the Leader more than ever. and each time after some threat to the Leader's life. when word came that Chamberlain himself would fly from Heston aerodrome to us. and nodded. and I spoke formal words of pleasure. and with his cloak still swirled around him. tortured. A n d now. It was colossal. summoning the rulers of the world to approach our throne and receive our will! As we were going in to the final conference. smiling coldly. Captain von Wulle. all of us.OF A D O L F HITLER 317 Reich. from now on. it will be war—war to restore a violated right! With rejuvenated Italy standing beside rejuvenated Germany. with piercing blue eyes. "I want you to meet my new aide. to find him trusted high in the Party—it was astounding! " A new convert?" . in the name of the superior Nordic race! This has ceased to be a battle of words. He is heart and soul in the fight for a rejuvenated Germany. there is no power on earth that can stop us! Heil Hitler!" During the tense days that followed. tall." He was a Reichswehr captain. the Sudeten. ravished and outraged by the seven and a half million Czechs there! We will at once end this humiliation and oppression.

" "Heil Hitler!" I said. and all other areas with more than half Germans. good servant Chamberlain will say. and little one-eyed General Sirovy will take his place. we stood back and watched the nervous English merchant receive his orders. there must be. In the end. plebiscites in all other areas with German nationals. was he ever less than a thousand years behind the times? Benes must resign. " N o . Germany's aims are in the open." The Leader smiled softly. "We have not yet had one. "We drove back to Berlin. the merchant premier thanked the Leader for his friendliness. and went back. promising to secure us the consent of France." insisted Göring. and then good servant Chamberlain will fly back. "his work has been more confidential hitherto. They will ask for the Hague Court. von Arnheim summed it up for the Leader. to say his work is done. i f they are to remain in Germany. and to be neutralized. or a war of extermination. and protest a little. In the Chancellery. and bow and scrape assent at the end. and a forever guarantee by the democratic nations of the rectified frontiers. Accept. in Germany. now. "Who knows? They give so . "The rest is simple." "We were entitled to a war. For there are more and more of them. in which you stand alone! The Pope will sob that they are mistreated. to let Chamberlain and Daladier and Bonnet convey our will to no-longer-to-befeared Czechoslovakia. It seemed the only answer to anything. " smiled Erik. Czechoslovakia to divorce herself from England and France as allies.—All the Sudeten to be ceded to the Reich. In the conference.318 THE STRANGE DEATH I asked.

" smiled the Leader. von Arnheim. But where was one to secure time for a private talk. I decided that a talk with Erik would be of value. and a surrender of all munitions. A n d this time. but a mongrel buffer state created by the Versailles Treaty. to cripple Germany forever. Herr Chamberlain. and we heard how cordially the English premier was greeted this time. "Practical men like you and I. and said what he and Ribbentrop and von Arnheim had decided: a thousand miles more of territory than asked before. raw materials. rolling stock. in our manhood.—" A n d then he leaned forward. in those mad days and nights? So it was we whirled down to Godesberg. and it might be that on these previous occasions he had been merely testing my loyalty. freight installations.OF A D O L F HITLER 319 much. Herr Reichskanzler!" But I was most interested in watching the occasional looks that he and Captain von Wulle exchanged. ." "Bravo. everything. I could not reconcile myself that von Wulle was welcomed here in the Chancellery. We will greet him at Godesberg this time. cattle. in the surrendered areas. You have brought with you the full acceptance of the government at Prague? Good! A n d now. are thwarting that murderous intention. I knew enough of agent provocateurs. and we. let him tour Germany on these errands. foods. to explain my terms a little clearer. an eight day limit for unaccepting Czechs to move out of these reunited parts of the Reich. I give him a headache! They will give more. radio and utility services. But it was carrying a test a long way to shoot at the Leader as part of it. they will give more! He will come back. "realize that Czechoslovakia is no nation.

this English editorial translated by me. " i f We had no air fleet. A l l he said was that endless talk would always prevent wars. "But i f they say no—" "Then. and patted my shoulder. with more than a thousand fighting on each side. " Y o u might say that this is the last German territorial design on Europe. There will be no war." It was the 26th." "We will mobilize." It was only after Chamberlain left that we all sat around and laughed till our bellies ached at this joke. but how boring! " Y o u may ignore both of them. If it was endless. France had started to yield. It will come closer." I suggested. and France vacillated again." said Göring. when the Leader made his magnificent speech at the Sports Palace. no?" "We would have a war. and also a message from President Roosevelt translated by me. now. England will stay up all night digging trenches against bombing in every park. But the English papers hailed Hitler as the greatest German of all times." said von Arnheim coldly. We were an army. we march! Good day. Herr Hitler. then Russia had said her Communist word. Actual fighting had broken out in Habersparirk. every man's little garden. We will mobilize. One by one he let . and dine at the nightclubs. my good friend!" His face beamed with stern kindness. yes.320 T H E STRANGE DEATH The Englishman turned very white when the Leader had ended. as he was about to enter for this great speech. every one of us i n full uniform. that she marched i f France did. this time. in the Sudeten. and drink beer. "This time. He smiled. "maybe we get our war. I handed him. England will drink her afternoon tea in gasmasks.

there is but one answer to be made: Germany's every demand must be granted! President Roosevelt has again asked us to talk and talk and talk and talk and talk. giving the Nazi salute and the "Heil Hitler!" D i d the world seek to see the foul old order changed. the capital of the world was clearly the Chancellery dominating the Wilhelm-strasse. in a Nazi Reichswehr uniform. . He hushed them tensely. it is not a Leader or a man who speaks. the greatest building in the world. and every German united as one. setting stakes for the demolitions that would lead to the new Chancellery. or war? Let Czechoslovakia decide! We are ready. " M y friends. for they are impotent while thousands are massacred. . a Bavarian corporal. W i l l it be peace. and his hand leapt upward to the great legend over the platform: SUDETEN GERMANS. Ribbentrop. WE WILL NEVER DESERT Y O U ! It was a magnificent oration in itself. but most in the greatest of all. and the humble soul of the people ruling? Look in every land on earth. Then came Prince August Wilhelm. even waspish little Goebbels. the German Reich! A wandering Austrian artist. to receive tremendous ovations. So Germany . Yet already surveyors were swarming all along the Voss Strasse and the two adjoining streets.OF A D O L F H I T L E R the others enter first. and will win in either eventuality! Heil Hitler!" On the morning of the 28th. He turned without words. the most powerful man on earth! So it is today. . Göring. With Italy standing man to man at our side. son of the old Kaiser. The Leader entered. but the entire German people! We despise all the democracies. We have spoken our final word.

The trained seals will jump through the hoops. Admiral Raedar. with a complacent smile at the group of us. General Keitel. Would he not grant the obstinate Czechs twenty-four hours more! The Leader looked up at me. "England sees that every man does her duty. A l l day long our gigantic Siegfrieds strode in and out—waddling old Field Marshal Göring. The Leader had at first named October 1st for the attack. " N o w it is time for my little circus to begin. The Leader gave them what they were entitled to. "Tell his Excellency I am always at his service. with a tired wink. no more." he chuckled. came with their desperate pleas: the democracies offering anything to prevent the war. Here the Leader. eyes intent on Göring's plan for immediate occupation of all Czechoslovakia. "Chamberlain has just announced that Czechoslovakia is too insignificant for England to fight over!" "Bravo! Heil Hitler!" Here was the Italian ambassador. General Brauchitsch. and answered them as was their imperial will. he had advanced this to today. aimed for the Siegfried line on the western Rhine frontier. He turned to the interpreter. Von Arnheim tossed a dispatch over before the Leader. the French ambassador." The English ambassador. It will be so. von Ribbentrop. and von Arnheim received the supplications of the entire world. army lords and navy lords. A l l night long the divisions had passed through the capital. A t last he leaned back happily.322 T H E STRANGE D E A T H builds ever the future while the present is still being made. or for the little ant's nest of Czechoslovakia that we might have to smash forever tomorrow. with a desperate plea from Il Duce. no? .

. it was choked with sobs. I had heard him talk at Berchtesgaden. this was Chamberlain's voice corning over. I have just been notified by the Führer that he has invited to meet him tomorrow morning in Munich Signor Mussolini. where a radio was blaring out the session of the House of Commons in London. . and again at Godesberg. . tears streaming down his face. agreement in principle already established. Daladier and myself. take Zeit in with you." We two hurried into an anteroom. Blah—blah—blah . Signor Mussolini has signified his acceptance. Such is a democracy's reaction to any chance to avoid a war they have pledged themselves to fight! Ribbentrop smiled brilliantly at me. world catastrophe . Wouldn't Mussolini restrain the Reichskanzler. . . P. . . I need not tell you what my answer will be: I will go to see what one last effort can do to preserve the peace of the world!" As his voice came over the air. waving of paper from the staid M . Daladier will do so. shouts.'s: a scene unprecedented in the House of Commons. . Gentlemen. weeping. . . . the first time we gave him an audition. . The voice of the announcer coming over: "The Prime Minister has just been handed a memorandum by Sir John Simon . a letter." A n d now again Chamberlain's voice: "I have one thing more to inform the House. . He understands that damned English language. too. . . Yes.OF A D O L F H I T L E R 323 Ribbentrop. . "Go tell the Leader . . Chamberlain sitting down. . A n d then. The announcer's voice picked up the story. a sudden abrupt hush. . where he was so much chummier and so aghast at what the Leader had said. . . and beyond question M . . M . . If you two want to hear Chamberlain blubber when my message reaches him . Wild cheers.

. A n d then back swiftly. warn them not to eat too much of the goose. "Good." was the burden of the whole broadcast. and the rest of the Foreign Office group would be on the same floor. we were called i n to hear Prague on the air. This is not their business. Naturally we had to leave in the early afternoon. until we are ready for them. when one deals with democracies. . "send word to Munich that no envoy of any sort from Czechoslovakia will be allowed to near our conference hall. as the fleet of cars drew up before the Chan- . Göring and the army authorities and Goebbels and the Propaganda representatives on the floor above. The rank and file could eat at the C a f é Heck in the Ludwigstrasse." smiled Hitler. Marsaryk Day. for we will share the meal tomorrow.THE STRANGE DEATH they are weeping with rapture that Hitler mercifully gives the world one day more of peace! Heil Hitler!" The Leader heard me with a tense smile on his strained face. and sleep at the Alpine and the Greater Bavaria Hotels." he applauded. "So it is. Von Ribbentrop. . good. yet! Remind them. For the night. and so on up. A l l was planned. "They will learn. would of course be at the Continental. Von Arnheim." turning swiftly to the minister hovering forever so close above him. for word to the Italian ambassador. all the members of the cabinet and their immediate suites." his nostrils sneered. von Arnheim. "that this is today their great holiday. The Leader would have the royal suite of course. the Leader's party. to have dinner as desired at the Braune Haus. "Another sell-out. " Just as we had finished our mad preparations for the ride down to Munich.

." he spoke swiftly. He has just returned from Peru. But thanks. take at once this memorandum to von Arnheim—the ninth car. . Captain von Wulle smoked his cigarette in his left hand. . . . where the Leader sat tensely with Ribbentrop. "Heil Hitler!" I raced back to the Leader's car. "you know Captain von Wulle. as I came out at dawn from the von Arnheim apartment . His voice trumpeted to the marshal of the cavalcade: "Forward. Just as I was about to step into the fourth car. That midnight visit when I was recovering from the poisoning taken i n stead of the Leader . . were gone. I did not like his nose. . . . the cavalcade that was to move the capital of the world from Berlin to Munich for one day. Von Ribbentrop. . when I returned at top speed. It reminded me too much of times when I had seen him before. the Leader snapped his fingers at me.OF A D O L F H I T L E R 325 cellery. But my eyes were troubled. "Heil Hitler! Herr Zeit. . to Germany triumphant! Heil Hitler!" . . on the landing in the Kaisferhof. the Italian ambassador. A n d hurry back!" "Heil Hitler!" This car I found where the fleet of cars turned beside the building into the broad avenue. . in the fog that second time I met him. But it was of course impossible. Erik. "Quick please. A n d this Klass." His eyes fell to perusal of the memorandum. . . The Leader had the door open for me. for you! The Leader says—" "Heil Hitler! Herr Zeit. the Italian ambassador gesticulating through the car window at him. . when the shot was fired that had missed the Leader. This is Herr Klass. my friend. my aide. "Heil Hitler! A c h ." he smiled at me.

"it was in Munich that I first found the German world. "Little Adolf. all screamed "Heil Hitler!" The very sparrows seemed to jitter aloud "Cheep cheep-cheep!" as if Heil-Hitlering too. too. to save the world's civilization. to the chauffeur of the foremost car. The traffic officers screamed "Heil Hitler!" Everyone lined along the avenue. . The motors of all of them were alive. The chauffeur of the first car gave the Nazi automobile salute: "Honk honk-honk!" This was recognized as the mechanized "Heil Hitler!" the length and breadth of the Reich. with the Talmud nose. What was that murderous Reichswehr captain doing in von Arnheim's car. dropped a swift salute on the fresh-polished radiator hood. man to man. backed into the darkest part of the seat beside him? The Leader laid his hand on my lap. with hearts broken because they. ." he said softly. by realizing at last the superior Nordic ideal. and started Germany on her rehabilitation as the greatest power in the world.326 THE STRANGE DEATH "Forward! Heil Hitler!" "Forward! Heil Hitler!" So it was flung forward. closer and closer to the Leader every day? And who was this strange Herr Klass. But. "Heil Hitler!" "Honk honk-honk!" "Cheep cheepcheep!" We were off. could not go along. Each car in line responded: "Honk honk-honk!" like a vast flock of patriotic geese. One of them. It is fitting that it is in Munich that . "God damned bastard." muttered the chauffeur. flying above our car. with an upward flirt of his tail. . the massed clerks and underlings on the Chancellery steps. It was in Munich that I founded the Party.

"Heil Hitler!" "Honk honk-honk!" "Cheep cheep-cheep!" A n d so we started out. my Leader." I said. Heil Hitler!" "But naturally.OF A D O L F HITLER 327 we go now to complete the achievement of the dream of the German soul. .

Schaub was detailed to duty in the kitchen. "Wicked one. laughing-eyed.328 T H E STRANGE D E A T H CHAPTER X X I V DEATH IN MUNICH H E R E were nine of us who sat down to dinner in the royal suite of the Continental that night. and Hess. I had understood that we were all to have eaten at the Braune Haus. his voice chuckling." he demanded. there were of course also Blackshirts here." she laughed. myself. can't you duck the first few courses and enjoy this as an appetizer?" He rolled her over face down. and bunched up her T . Out stepped an utterly demoralizing blonde beauty. not for the inner group that ran Germany and the world. the Leader's devoted Adjutant. Captain von Wulle. giggling. and closed the door. "Come out. But just as we were waiting for the Leader himself to appear. N o . Trudy. "Look what I captured. there. Goebbels. There was the Leader. von Ribben trop. that was for the rank and file. everywhere. Göring. " A c h . where the dinner was being prepared. and in addition von Arnheim's new aide. von Arnheim. Zeit! Would you believe that the Leader's special chef tonight is married to all this prettiness!" He sat on the bed and pulled her down on his lap. and Brückner. five of the Ministers. Schaub signalled me aside to his room.

" A packed court. I have observed. i f I can." smiled Goebbels evilly. and giggling invitingly at me. It is the rump of the cow. He gave to each rear cheek a loving pop with his strong hand. with a huge belch. but to be re-elected because they have prevented war. and rolled her over. I gave her one kiss. and maybe brandy. But I would be sent to the People's Tribunal i f I was not on hand in my seat for the soup. as should be. Never was to me so poignant the inconvenience of being the double to a man blind to such obvious beauty." he lifted his glass of water. and to the stallion it is the rump of the mare. with the handy flasks. too. as the rump of a German woman. The Leader's face. . as I entered. that vision would. There is nothing so beautiful in the world. "Well. "Friends. "Chamberlain and Daladier—they want nothing. gone was the worry that had seamed it for weeks. "The naughty little bitch wanted to postpone me until tomorrow morning!" If anything could have tempted me. and hurried back to the dining room. "When you snap your fingers. They were sitting down. A u f wiedersehen. you lucky bastard!" She was burrowing into his neck.OF A D O L F HITLER 329 skirts. But I hoped for wine later. and so with all animals. I have observed. that is the object of major interest to the bull. triumphantly. "to the German will—a world all Nordic —mankind's highest achievement!" We lifted our glasses and toasted it so. as he applied himself to the soup. later! Save her for me. I noticed." said Göring. Evidently he had already reached much of an understanding with her. they come. you say what?" " A c h . There was always Erik's coat. shone brilliantly. as he held her.

Daladier I have never seen. the fourth month." smiled von Arnheim carefully. He is the sort of leader." said von Arnheim delicately. . to win the next election. my Leader." The Leader sipped his soup with finikin relish.330 T H E STRANGE DEATH They would gladly give us Poland. and Il Duce. This is the fourth word on the Sudeten: Karlsbad. Yes. that the only way to achieve French dominance would be to castrate thirty million Germans. but the eggs are all laid i n your nest. myself. Vienna. "The Italian capon still crows.* I do not like such vulgar jokes. " H e boasts of being a respectable tradesman. four is always lucky with me. the Ukraine. "One of these days he will learn that each Augustus had his Caesars beneath him. the figure Foch gave. whose first * The Leader's error for 20. Ostmark. . when he observes a sword. leaning over as i f he were shielding the Leader. you two do not mind what they say!" "Only you. I am the fourth of the great conquerors—Alexander. "Chamberlain I like.000. Munich. . Four was always lucky to me.000. So long as the representatives of the democracies hold their hands up i n the air. . Napoleon. the Rhineland fortifications. Herr Hitler. I was born in April. . Caesar. I have a lesson for him later. and now Munich. I have heard that he repeats with gusto the insult of Marshal Foch. Berlin is my fourth home: Branau. in a democracy." said the Leader frankly. Godesberg. . ." "He is a happy Caesar to glow in the shadow of so great an Augustus. no? M y fourth meeting. A tradesman always sees reason." "It is my fourth meeting with the Modern Caesar. Berchtesgaden. the Sudeten. and now the world capital. This is our fourth acquisition: the Saar. Ugh! But you.

. " he said firmly. Clearly. First to make the Black Sea a German lake. Switzerland. "In the United States." . "Europe must be all N a z i . The Leader's omelet. and we all nodded gravely. The Ukraine has wheat and oil. "It is our mission." smiled the Leader. increasingly ready for absorption. We will not fail. and we will cure that. so close to Königsberg. the Polish Corridor. which by then will be ready for a plebiscite.OF ADOLF HITLER 331 ministry lasted only four days! He thinks he looks like Napoleon. but only the widening ring against France. Latvia. against Russia. Lithuania. . bull has the colloquial meaning of bull-pudding. the three little kingdoms occupying our shores on the German Ocean. no? Then it will be time enough to do the little things. for the modern degenerate Frenchman. ." smiled Hitler. He sniffed the aroma with delight." "That is more correct. Estonia. almost to himself. "I suggest ox. it disfigures the map. "Like Czechoslovakia. and they call him the Bull!" Von Arnheim smiled. but it will come. What an immense saving. done to that perfection which only a Bavarian cook can achieve. no? To make Europe all N a z i will be slow. " But he did not end it. and that we will get by degrees. and brought in the next course. and have something to say to Stalin at the end. when all these need no fortifications against us. against . was placed before him first. and then. . "This is such a small beginning. what is left of Czechoslovakia is a Vienna sausage squeezed in the center." said Göring. Even the Democracies must approve of the theory of the plebiscite. power and cotton. ." By now the waiters had removed the soup plates. and statehood for Poland soon after. "Yet a necessary one. He smiled craftily.

332

T H E STRANGE D E A T H

he equipped himself with knife and fork, and studied the viand with a little twinkle in his eyes, "I shall carve it up. Only some of that mongrel land will be served to Hungary and Poland soon, to hold in trust for us; and all of this will be gobbled up by myself! Yours is not overdone?" with a careful scrutiny of Marshall Göring's huger dish. "Mostly air," sniffed the huge general. "But it is done to perfection. N o t so much to get a man's teeth i n , " he grumbled, with a heavy wink, "but full of vitamins, mineral salts, and rooster glands, no doubt. Mushrooms, hein, and pimientos— A c h , and a little cheese! It's filling, God be thanked." "Barbarian," the Leader smiled, chewing each portion of his own omelet carefully. "Sometimes I think that you're still in the cannibal stage." "Sooner or later, it may be necessary. But we still absorb the Ukraine before that, no? Or can I have a war for that yet?" "Tomorrow, we open the door," said the Leader. But I noticed a strange thing, that there were beads of sweat on his forehead, like beads of water on beams in damp cellars. A n d he was moving his jaws much more slowly than usual, as i f each movement was difficult to finish. But he stuck at it doggedly. Then he looked up, and saw my eyes fixed so on his face. "We had a long ride today, Little Adolf," he said apologetically. "Car-sick, no?" asked Goebbels, with a sour little snicker. "They moved like planes. A c h , those new roads are superb! Soon no country in the world has roads like ours!" Meticulously the Leader laid his knife and his fork on

OF ADOLF HITLER

333

the rim of his plate. "One moment, I go to the bathroom—" He tried to rise from his seat, and he was almost straightened up, but with his features scrunched up and his eyes so narrowed they had disappeared. Then with startling suddenness he slumped back on his chair. " A c h , " he half groaned. Göring was deep in the violation of his great dish, which he was shoveling up as i f into a bottomless pit. Ribbentrop was toying daintily with his omelet. Goebbels seemed withdrawn, as i f listening to the words rather than bothering with the food; as i f trying to see what words and deeds must come after these. Von Arnheim and I alone seemed to show a genuine interest in the Leader. "Can I get anything?" I asked, my face whitening. "You're not feeling too well? Perhaps—" Von A r n heim's face was all solicitude. " M y stomach—" The Leader kept his control magnificently, in spite of the sharp sudden spasms of pain that twitched across his face. "—Disordered. —Nothing." He tried again to rise. "—Indigestion," he half sobbed it out. "Damn! —Acute. Get Doctor—" His eyes closed, his body began sliding down off the chair seat under the table. "He's not well," snapped Goebbels suddenly, belatedly pulled back to what was happening. "Send for D r . Anton!" Von Arnheim rose swiftly. So, I noticed, did Captain von "Willie, as i f eager to be of service before his chief spoke. "Brückner," said Erik sharply, "go to the door, and send Schaub on the run for D r . Anton. The Leader and Herr Zeit are both indisposed." H e made each word very clear. I looked astounded; I felt all right. But he continued,

334

T H E STRANGE D E A T H

in complete charge of the situation. "Stand in the hall, then, and let no one in. Absolutely no one. It is no doubt nothing. Don't let anyone know that either of them is so tired out. Everything is all right. Heil Hitler!" The huge Adjutant, happiest when obeying commands, saluted with a swift "Heil Hitler!" and passed out of the door. Luckily, Schaub had returned to his post, for I heard the order transferred, and his heavy feet running down the hall. "Bellyache," laughed Göring, in a huge rumble. "Such belly-bilge as omelets, instead of a man's food, makes me feel sickish too. Lay him on the couch," noticing the Leader's blank strained face. "Friends," he spoke. But his voice died away in a mumble. Four of us got him to the couch, loosened his coat, his tie, his shirt. But this was incredible, on the eve of our greatest victory over all Europe, all the world! "I feel all right," I reassured von Arnheim. He pierced me with a look. "This is poison, I am afraid. Tell him to hurry that Doctor, Zeit, for God's sake! N o , " with a sudden reversal, "Sigmund, you tell him." "Then send Schaub in to me" said Goebbels vindictively to von Arnheim's aide. " N o , " said Erik curtly. " N o t till we know, Herr Minister." Goebbels shrugged with ugly grace. " A s you w i l l . " Here was D r . Anton, and another doctor behind him; and in a moment he had taken entire charge. We stood by with troubled faces. "What an absurd interruption to our plans! I remembered how sick it had made me, the time I got poisoned by mistake for him; how could to-

OF A D O L F HITLER

335

morrow's business be done, i f there was to be such a sickness now? Unless, of course, they'd call on me again; after all, the way things were, it did not seem they could keep Germany running without me. A n d I wrinkled my nose in deeper disgust. I had not forgotten the blonde Trudy that Schaub had captured, and I had been scheming how I could manage an hour with her, when this dinner was over. A n d now this had to come to spoil even that! They all stood between me and the Leader now, and all I could hear was his heavy stertorous breathing. The other doctor threaded through them somehow, went to the door, and came back. In a few moments, two more doctors had arrived. It was a stomach pump, I was sure, that one of them was carrying. "Organic," I heard one doctor say. "Instantaneous, practically." Only words drifted through the huddle of men bending over the suffering man. "The emetic won't work. Sacrament! —Nerves paralyzed." " T r y this hot saline. —Slowly. . . . " "There must be a purge. —Castor oil is best." "Here's the brandy." —For the Leader! A good thing he was unconscious, or he would have never let them hear the end of this. It fermented the food in the stomach, he always said. "Got that oxygen tank? Hurry please!" I could hear his groans now, so low, so heartrendingly hideous. It was not like a man, it was like an animal dying. That was all a man was, I thought suddenly: animal in the way he was made, in the way he was born, animal much of his life, all animal in his dying. A n d I myself groaned. "When we took every precaution against such a

T H E STRANGE D E A T H thing happening, how was it possible that it could happen, in Munich of all places? A n d at a time like this! Well, I threw back my shoulders, and began to prepare the way I would greet these three men, Daladier the stranger, Chamberlain whom I had given orders to three times, Mussolini who was learning to take orders now. I was sure I could do it in a way that would earn even higher praise from him than he had ever given me. " M y good friends, the problem is simple. We are quite willing to let Czechoslovakia reorganize, provided. . . ." Aha, there was where I would say it! "More air for him, there!" I looked up swiftly. The others moved away from where the Leader lay. I could see now that his face looked like the face of a dead man, putty-colored, almost blue, except for those horrible pleading eyes, still alive, still begging for release from the pain tearing him to pieces. Well, I had been poisoned; I knew what it was like. I felt really sorry for him. A n d then I had had no double to take my place, those weary three weeks in the hospital; he was a lot luckier than I. D r . Anton came over and joined the clot of Cabinet Ministers. I moved closer. "It's an organic poison, yes—we have no idea what. But we should bring him around. Damned shame to spoil your dinner so, gentlemen." "Omelet," sneered Göring. "I go out and get myself some sauerbraten with potato pancakes, no! A n d beer, plenty of beer." Von Arnheim looked inquiringly at Goebbels. "For us, too, brandy?" Goebbels' limp was more noticeable than usual, as he thumped over to the door and gave the order. "Let me get

OF A D O L F H I T L E R

337

Schaub," he demanded truculently. "I'll put every damned bastard in the hotel under arrest! Every damned bastard in Munich!" "This may be more serious," said von Arnheim tensely. "We do not want to advertise this, no?" "He's right," said Ribbentrop fretfully. "God, at a time like this, of all times, with all Europe arriving tomorrow!" "Lightning hits," grunted Göring. "Once is too often." The brandy came, and it released the tongues of all of us. The doctors were huddled more than before over the gasping body of the Leader. Ribbentrop lit a cigarette. The rest of us followed his example. "He's been going it at a high pace for a long time," said Goebbels slowly. "I have urged more rest on him.—Massages! But, no, so much was to be done. . . . " "Resistance weakened, eh?" asked Ribbentrop. "Yes, nature takes its toll. Everything he has to do himself!" "But he has the stamina of an ox," said von Arnheim. "He can do things no other living man can.—Endurance." "Doctors are a lot of fools," grunted Göring, with an ill-favored look at Goebbels—"The Doctor," to most of us. " W h y don't they fix him up? Holy Christ, don't the bastards realize that this is the Leader!" Goebbels hand arced wide, slowly. "One body, like the rest of us. One brain. One heart. When it stops. . . ." He stared at the wall. "If he dies," suggested Göring. Only he would have dared say it. "Well, he won't—he can't," said Ribbentrop violently. "What would we do?" Captain von Wulle, who had stood silently on the out-

338

THE STRANGE D E A T H

skirts of the group across from me, looked straight at me with his burning blue eyes, and with his left hand lifted his brandy glass slightly toward me. It was then for the first time that I knew that the Leader was going to die. A n d then I did feel sick at the stomach. I felt it would have been easier i f it was I who had taken the poison. "He won't," said Goebbels aggressively. "It is unthinkable." Von Arnheim's eyebrows lifted. But he said nothing. Dr. Anton came toward us, his narrow face channelled with worry. "Gentlemen, he's sinking." "Do something," said little Goebbels, almost in agony himself now. "For God's sake, it's the Leader!" "He's a man, too," the Doctor shook his head. " I f there were anything else we could do . . . " We moved our feet so quietly, until all of us were ringed around the couch, but not as close as before. His cheeks had fallen in, his face was more clearly blue now. His lips were moving, now. Goebbels suddenly leaned forward with terrible intensity, his ear close to the dying man's lips. But we knew the word he was forming before Goebbels told us. "Geli," Goebbels whispered, his face incredulous. Convulsive shudders, oh so faint, passed like sudden shadows over his sunken face now. Goebbels kept his ear close. He raised his face at last. "Mutter!" he whispered. " H e calls his mother!" The Leader's head seemed to fall back, as i f it were no longer connected with his body. His hands fell wide, one sliding off until it almost touched the floor. D r . Anton knelt above him, his ear at the Leader's heart.

gentlemen. pulled out a clean handkerchief. "Well.OF A D O L F HITLER 339 He rose to his feet without a word. and polished them industriously. "he is dead." . He held them up to the light and polished them again." he said quietly. he removed his glasses. Only then did he put them on again.

" said Goebbels dismally. I could know only what I was thinking: and it was grief. and I could not imagine what work I could do next. about Hollywood. my job was over. at that black moment for the Party. N o . Look with what insults they had there greeted Leni Reifenstahl. There there was a chance. After all. M . in the interim? I recalled what Captain von Wulle had said. But then. grief for myself and this tragic blow to my prospects in life. in the espionage. If they decided to do all the other Grimm's fairy tales before they got around to Herr Hitler. for the world. of course. and it was work that I felt I was especially fitted for. for Europe. for now my job was over. Unless. when she arrived there! A n d noble young Vittorio Mussolini. in unsympathetic America. and what work could I do next? What other work was I suitable for? What could I turn to. "Germany dies too. great and overwhelming grief. I might indeed starve to death first. for Germany. Later on each one of them told me what were his thoughts. that did not seem promising. he might be willing to use me still. as the doctor spoke those five words. fresh from his imperial conquests in Ethiopia! N o . Goebbels had used me.340 T H E STRANGE D E A T H CHAPTER XXV I AM THE RESURRECTION U C H clicked and slotted in the brains of every man in that room.

OF A D O L F HITLER

341

" A c h yes? Not with me left!" said Göring ferociously. "Not with any of us left," said Reichsminister Hess sadly. "We live out his will, as he would have wished." Hess had been his beloved disciple; yet too mild to be more than a willing worker. "Not with him left," said Erik von Arnheim, his index finger picking me out and seeming to transfix me against the wall, like a specimen moth pinned. "What else is there to do? We must have the Leader for the conference tomorrow, no? They will listen to him, and him only. It cannot be otherwise. Well, what is Little Adolf for!" "But he can't masquerade for a dead man!" said R i b bentrop, crossing himself. " H o w could he!" "Who is dead, after all?" purred von Arnheim, raising: his eyebrows. "Do you gentlemen see, now, why I told Brückner that Little Adolf—Herr Ludwig Zeit—was i l l , as well as the Leader? Little Adolf dies; the Leader lives on. What else is there for us to do?" " A c h , I will not stand for i t ! " said Göring fiercely. "We will have the Party elect a new President, a new Chancellor! A n d my Reichswehr will keep order, and m y Blackshirts!" Goebbels looked up sharply, and so did all of us, at that possessive my that he had used twice. But Goebbels spoke first. " A c h yes you will, Field Marshal." His twisted little face blazed. " N o man in Germany will be permitted to spoil the conference tomorrow. Later on, i f you wish, when it is timely, we may announce what we please.—Kill off Little Adolf, with my full permission. But not with the conference tomorrow! Who but the Leader among us could now make all Europe do as we wish?" "If we'd only started the war," said Göring bull-

342

T H E STRANGE D E A T H

headedly. " B y God, I'd defy the world, then, no matter who died! Maybe that would be better! Look, we're all mobilized; we call off the conference—call it off this moment. By God, we are in the Sudeten by dawn, and you think the democracies would stand in our way then? They're too paralyzed to act. Sure, keep Little Adolf as the Leader, then—he can review the troops, he can have his picture in all the papers—but give us a war! This is a sign from heaven!" For a moment, I could see that they were almost persuaded, even the doctors. But Goebbels shook a decided head. "When we can get it all without a war, why waste our energies? The war comes soon enough. Each day we are stronger, and the rest of the world weaker. N o , gentlemen, Herr Zeit is dead, Herr Hitler lives! I call on each of you in this room—" It was my hour to speak, at last. " N o , " I flung with sudden violence at them. "I could not do it! I would not know what to do, to say! They would be too much for me! While he was alive, yes; but I won't, I won't, I won't, now! I can't, gentlemen! Y o u must see that!" Von Arnheim's head nodded swiftly, and Captain von Wulle was beside me at once, his pistol out, boring into my ribs. "It is either that," he said quietly, "or I shoot you now." " — A s a conspirator," said von Arnheim suddenly. "—Attempt on the Leader's life. We'll make out, somehow. Decide!" I knew that he was bluffing; I sensed already how skilfully he had schemed. But that pistol was not bluffing. " O h , " I moaned. " I f I only could! It is much harder work

OF A D O L F HITLER

343

—and what is the pay you have been paying me? Gentlemen, I've got to be sure—you'll all stand by me?" " W i t h pistols out," said Erik, giving me no friendly look. "Little Adolf—and this is the last time I will call you that," said Goebbels suavely, "you are the greatest actor in Germany, no? You, yourself, know it too. Y o u have lived with the Leader for five years and more, until you can in a moment be more Herr Hitler than he was himself. Y o u speak as he speaks, think as he thinks, are him. It will be the easiest thing in the world. Each day you merely take his place for one day only. Forget what happened tonight; no one will ever know. H e will inspire you. We will counsel you. The world needs his name, his face, his words, his thoughts. Y o u have all these.—The greatest actor in Germany, in the world! Y o u will do this, for the sake of the Party, Germany, the world! Heil Hitler!" Nothing could have won me but his appreciation of my skill as an actor. Naturally, that I was extremely proud of. I stood pale and erect. One by one their arms sloped upward and forward in the salute. One by one the words rolled out from each of them, "Heil Hitler!" Automatically I gave the response: "Heil Hitler!" "Gentlemen," said Goebbels swiftly, including the awed doctors now also in his darting, vulture glance, "I call on each of you in this room to raise his hand to the German God, and to all other gods, and to swear on his sacred word of honor that no word of what has happened in this room shall ever be revealed to the world—not before death, and not after it! If any break his word, each of the rest of us pledges his soul to take personal vengeance by

344

T H E STRANGE D E A T H

death on the recreant promise-breaker, at once! Do you swear this oath?" "I swear," said Erik von Arnheim firmly. One by one the others gave the oath. I, only, they did not ask to swear; no doubt Goebbels forgot I was now more than a mere double. I walked over and stared down at the face of the dead Leader. "Ludwig Zeit," I said quietly, "was a faithful servant to me and the Fatherland, and it is a great pity that he has had to give his life to save me yet again. Carry him out. Announce, not that there has been poison, but an attack of acute indigestion." So I rose to the emergency magnificently. " — A n d a weak heart," prompted Goebbels. I nodded. "—Superinduced by a heart constitutionally weak. These have caused the death of this faithful bodyguard. In spite of this shadow over our dinner, gentlemen, we will regard it as a happy augury. The Party does not die; the Reich does not die; the German world can never die. Heil Hitler!" Goebbels made a bit of a wry face, and Göring was quite sulky; but each of them gave the response. "Tell Brückner, Adolf," ordered Goebbels. I shivered a trifle; I was sure that it was the first time he had ever used that first name. Evidently he had wanted to use it; he used it quickly enough, now. I wheeled, and started for the door, before I remembered my wig, the wax in my nostrils. Von Arnheim, and then Goebbels, lifted hands toward me, as i f to restrain me; but I had remembered first, and had the wig off, the wax out, in a moment. Göring, with a strained look, reached for the Leader's worn dogwhip. He looked me over

OF A D O L F H I T L E R

345

from head to foot, and cracked it viciously once toward me. Then he handed it to me. M yfleshcrawled at the cruel sound. Yet it was mine, from now on. I lifted my eyebrows inquiringly. They all nodded satisfaction. Captain von Wulle opened the door for me. "Brückner," I called him in, my face lined, my voice heavy —though how I kept it from wavering I still do not know —and spoke to him: "What has happened in this room is entirely confidential; it must never get out. Zeit's had a heart attack. He's dead." " A c h , the poor boy!—Poison?" His eyes glittered savagely. "Thank God, no. Acute indigestion, weak heart; that is all. The body will be taken out secretly. Friends," I turned to the Cabinet Ministers, " i f you'll come into my study. . . ." "Sauerbraten" grumbled Göring. But he too came. I walked ahead, as the Leader would have done. As the Leader did; I must never again forget that I was the Leader, from now on. It was a wild session we had, lasting nearly all night. A l l that Hitler was to have said had been written down, luckily for me. Ribbentrop, von Arnheim, Goebbels, all had copies of it. In a few minutes we had the Gestapo heads in, and enough given out about Ludwig Zeit's omelet to cut off half a dozen heads. A n d then we turned to the conference for tomorrow. It was agreed, of course, that we would stand on the Godesberg memorandum, and demand that we enter the Sudeten by Saturday; and that by then the Czech troops be gone, to the last one of them. Daladier, a memorandum said, was to suggest a mere occupation of Asch and Eger,

T H E STRANGE D E A T H and the rest by easy stages; with Italian, French, and English troops occupying the plebiscite areas. A n d I knew our answer to that, to yield a little and demand a lot. I knew it all so well already—I had been present at every conference where our course was decided upon. A n d I had even his words to say, written by himself. But they made me go over it again and again, until I was wearied out, and so were they. By now, though, all this coaching, drilling, preparation was all unnecessary. I had recalled what my uncle at Nürnberg had taught me so carefully: Opportunity knocks once only, and it is wise then to open the door. Admit that a natural humility had made me at first a trifle reluctant to undertake this tremendous assignment for the Fatherland, that humility was gone, now, like dew vanished before the sun. I knew that I could do the task as I, the Leader, should do it; better than even he himself could have done it. There was nothing more to be said. The Munich conference is history. H o w proudly I walked beside Il Duce over the cobbled streets, rather sorry that he was an inch or more short of being quite a man; and wondering i f indeed it was not one of his doubles walking beside me. Ciano came just behind us, as gay as a university boy, and Göring had on a fixed simper that should have let everyone know that things were at least not going to his liking. It seemed strange to have men representing a whole country without uniforms on; yet such was the troubled little Frenchman, growing bald, with the ridiculous remnants of his hair pulled down toward his nose; and the harassed old English merchant, still bundling along his umbrella. Five hours and a half, and it was all ended. Even Cham-

OF A D O L F HITLER

347

berlain in this time I easily instructed to sign a brief twopower treaty of eternal amity with me, substituting consultation for war. Thus danger of attack from our rear was largely averted—for increasingly France grows too weak in man-power to annoy us; and we could turn more freely to our destiny to the east. I attended the funeral of poor Ludwig Zeit. I had not been allowed to take part in the erection and dedication of the tombstone to Maximilian Bauer, more than five years before; but this was a state occasion, as befitted one of the most loyal of my bodyguard. I myself spoke at the funeral. I held up the life of Ludwig Zeit as an object-lesson to every German. He had played his humble part, I pointed out, in lifting Germany from a mere 60,000,000 that we had been left by the iniquitous Versailles Treaty, to the 78,700,000 and more Germans now in the Reich. There was only one real power left in Europe, our magnificent ally Italy. France and England could no longer be regarded as first class powers; although the loose backing England's overseas dominions gave her kept her from being entirely negligible in world affairs still. It was a symbol of resurgent Germany, I pointed out, that the death of this faithful son of the Reich on the very eve of the Munich Pact had not slowed down our progress in the slightest, in this the greatest year of German achievement. For this was the year of the Anschluss, when my native Austria returned unanimously to its Fatherland; and the year of the reclamation of the oppressed millions of Germans in the Sudeten. More than this, the Jew in Middle Europe was being increasingly shown that his homeland was Palestine, and it was time for him to go

those hotbeds of homosexual corruption.348 T H E STRANGE D E A T H home. A n d every Jew must be badged by being named Sarah or Israel. Jewish doctors were forbidden to occupy rented premises. Ludwig Zeit had bravely contributed his all. and no alien god must be considered at all. The state schools and universities were sealed against the Talmud spawn. and the German God second. were forbidden increasingly to enter i n any of the businesses and trades." said von Wulle firmly. Throughout the Reich now these poisonous toads. He and Erik von Arnheim rode back to the Chancellery with me. we had closed down the Catholic schools in Austria. Heil Hitler! Captain von Wulle had been named my aide. and all Jews hereafter must have only such swine-names as we permitted them to have. Moreover. "After our cooperation. these parasites on superior races. " Y o u gave him a nice send-off. though not by me. and Protestants were being increasingly taught that the Reich came first. Jews whose immediate removal would improve the condition of those remaining? We agreed with this M . . To all of this.. A n d then my voice grew stern. P. said that half of the Jews in Europe might be described as surplus—that is. even a funeral can evoke a good hearty laugh in Germany. —They laughed hilariously at this. Robert Briscoe." said Erik amiably. except that we included the other half in the surplus also. even though he starved for lack of employment. and naturally no Aryan was to be permitted to run the risk of contamination by working in a Jewish household. I said. or live in flats with windows on any main street. — H a d not the one Jew in the Irish Parliament.

He investigated certain organic poisons used by the Indians. too. when I was confined in Brandenburg. and I am always grateful for that.OF ADOLF HITLER 349 "The doctors were baffled. I toyed with the worn dogwhip I always carried now. I pay my debts too. he was in your car!" "Naturally. too. "It seems the Jews pay their debts. " i f unfortunately he did not have to proceed straight through to the Swiss border. that was. of course. "that. and Germany's attitude. I thank God I am not one of the . and I know the Party's attitude. He is a Ph. when he had to leave Germany because he was no Aryan. decided to go to Peru.D." said Captain von Wulle firmly. and I imagine he did not forget to pay it." said Erik quietly." I said. I pay my debts. I made my appeal to the Leader himself. "Perhaps you have one little debt you will not forget." " A Jew!" I gasped." "I am a Catholic. "Our acquaintance Moritz Klass." said the captain." Captain von Wulle smiled austerely." "This seems to be an age of debt-paying in Germany. " W h y ." "I never told you. He could tell you more about it. He told me it was his will that Goebbels held me there. It did not restore my ease of mind. " Y o u were Ulrica's friend to the last. we permitted him to depart. He is a man without a homeland. as soon as we found out that he was not an Aryan." von Arnheim addressed me softly. I am a German. " I have seen the Bible publicly burned in N a z i Germany. Herr Hitler. But he told me that he had a little debt to pay in Germany. A t Munich. As for the Jews. that have no antidote. I was naturally all curiosity to know more. yes." I suggested mildly. i n Chemistry.

" I was quite moved by his appreciation of what I had done for Ulrica. Herr Hitler. Ribbentrop the diplomat." I thought suddenly of a picture I had seen of five lions tugging at the five corners of a prey they had pulled down. your inner cabinet. Goebbels the sly evilplotter. Y o u will not forget that we are two. from time to time. my friend. and we two. which accounts for your being where you are. "But I am sure that a faint reminder will be enough. Göring the berserk elephant. . smiling in a cold fashion that was not quite comfortable. from now on—is it not so? Hess we can forget. It was not a reassuring thought. and pay them. But.350 T H E STRANGE DEATH circumcized." he said. "there are five of us who compose your camarilla." he stared at me directly. "I will remember my debts." "This will call for a reminder. at just that moment. and that we two spoke what was finally decided.

and by chance this vom Rath got the bullet. We had a third secretary at the embassy there named Ernst vom Rath. Luckily for us. nonvenereal. it was decided I was to announce to the world that this Christmas would be a festival of peace. and they were not filling to the German soul. in the third Sudeten zone just that day occupied. O n October 4th I was driven to Karlsbad. in Paris. . who had been invalided home from Calcutta with tropical fever. M y task resolved itself down to listening carefully while my five advisers made up my mind. in Berlin. A n d I renamed the Siegfried Line. named Herschel Grynszpan. and then announcing this to the Reich. But all of these were on peaceful occasions. decided to avenge the persecutions of his race by making for himself a Nordic martyr. since there was no reason for anyone to suspect anything. occurred just what we had been waiting for. a seventeen-year-old GermanJewish emigrant living in Poland. and in general orated through the Reich.OF A D O L F HITLER 351 CHAPTER X X V I "LITTLE MAN. telling them of Germany's high ideal of more and more oppressions of the Jews. dedicated public works. November 7th. The next day. A n d then. WHAT NOW?" I N E E D not have been nervous about the success of my performance. no one did suspect anything. and here I spoke to my new fellow countrymen.

and ultimately have his head chopped off!" "Denounced!" sneered Göring! "Castrated." shouted Göring." I said mournfully. or my men jump on me!" A bitter row developed. "But J have the army!" sneered Göring finally." jeered Goebbels. i f I lay hands on him. But we have Jews nearer home it is easier to hit. drawn and quartered.352 T H E STRANGE D E A T H The moment word of it came to the Chancellery. superannuated ham actor. and I was allowed to read in the Party press all that happened. all I got for my pains was to be called imbecile. they might actually leave. I tried to reconcile these ideas. "Friends. saying our foreign policy would be shot to hell by any further oppressions. Ribbentrop was more moderate. to take two tablets of Nordic aspirin. Herr Hitler!" Von Arnheim shook his head. the six of us went into excited executive conference about it. "we jump on all the Jews in the Reich! It's either that. " I f you wear 'em all out with mistreatment. Heil Hitler!" Well. "Please to excuse me. nitwit. "Watch me!" " A n d I have the propaganda. and who could we mistreat then?" "If vom Rath dies. . It was the most orderly rioting in history. Goebbels sided with Göring." I made it clear. done with complete German efficiency. and von Arnheim and von Wulle saw no need for monthly pogroms. "Watch me!" " A n d I have a headache. "it is a shot at the entire German people! This Grynszpan should be denounced throughout the Reich. all of 'em. vom Rath died.

and announced that all Jewish property in the Reich must be transferred to Nordic hands. and decreed justice against those at fault. pneumonia often resulting. That is. the Blackshirts often helping. cut the carpet into strips. looting and arson on shops. As a rule. in return for annuity bonds. we fined the Jews 1. thousands died. made a bonfire of the books. O f the tens of thousands put in concentration camps. without explanations.000 marks. In addition. They broke all the china and pictures. Every Jewish shop was wrecked. It was agreed among us that something would be done about these bonds. On November 12th we officially stopped the rioting. the women were not molested in public. we forbade Jews to engage in retail and other businesses. They found him away. and the goods looted. and then beat Frau Klass all over the body with their fists. The synagogues were all burned and the Jews fined for this. V o n Arnheim himself told me what happened in Moritz Klass's house. and the Jews were then fined for this. or were dumped in the river.OF A D O L F HITLER 353 The Brownshirts were most aggressive. Others were merely beaten until they died. Jewish boys and girls were beaten and abused by the patriotic Hitler Youth. She was of course confined to her bed after this. The whims of a . and required them at once to repair the damage done by wrecking. The most inexplicable feature of this example of Nordic justice was a series of uncalled-for comments made by President Roosevelt of the United States. Jewish men so tactless as to be on the streets had their teeth knocked out.000.000. homes and synagogues. to make sure they never matured. and their ashes were usually mailed home to their families. finally holding her down on the floor and kicking her and walking on her.

"Part of it's ancient history. now!" "Why. and that.' as you called it.354 THE STRANGE D E A T H democracy are unpredictable. by now. we affixed a 20% capital tax on all Jewish property. all the rounds in the free-for-all that the cabinet meetings had become had gone to Goebbels and Göring. Herr Reichskanzler. O n the morning of December 22. in spite of our five years' campaign." he greeted me. Nordic justice must not falter! So far. libel or not. the ground stated was that Herr Goebbels had been too insistent upon having an affair with lovely Lida Baarova. my information is. Erik. Well. In an emergency like this." . Fröhlich's wife. Gustav Fröhlich challenged the Reichsminister for Propaganda to a duel. von Arnheim was shown into the Chancellery very early. at least we could all set to work at once to reverse this inequality. for subversive utterances. "What! Herr Goebbels has not limped around yet?" I frowned at the unfriendliness. Much more vital was Goebbels" discovery that Jews still owned 60% of Berlin real estate. except that as a rule they never have a whim to fight. no. It was then that Frau Goebbels talked first of divorce. just as we were marching into the Sudeten. "Do you expect him so early?" He chuckled. The very next day. they owned proportionately four and a half times as much wealth as Aryans. "Heil Hitler! Good morning." "Well. "To be frank. You remember the 'libel. to be paid in cash. It was then that the famous cinema actor vanished mysteriously—concentration camp. I imagine it will be some weeks before he bids you good morning." "It was a libel! Goebbels himself told me so. what do you mean!" His face grew sterner.

" I had begun to realize that the victory was not always to the winner of the first round. Erik!" "Use the record of last year's speech. Yet as before. why not me. and Konrad in camp. "it must have been a libel. "Does he think the Propaganda Department means Propaganda for himself. "I recall Herta Fuchs. what an example to Germany! If they can horsewhip him. and knock out a tooth!" "Incredible!" I mourned. I assured Frau Goebbels so. The more I investigated the case. from Melbourne to San Francisco. we shall see. enough of Fröhlich's friends appeared to give him a thorough horsewhipping. because her father was a rabbi. I was most saddened by the emphasis the story received in the press of the United States and the . or you?" His face grew harsher. "Goebbels apparently decided to discuss the affair more intimately with Baarova in her apartment. was the Nordic thing to do. and forbade a divorce. maybe? Besides." "But last night. That. A n d this time. the more it stank. I'm told." he sneered." von Arnheim snickered. no?" I recalled the matter of Ulrica. Anyway. "It will be all you can use. We shall see. and decided it was not wise to go into the matter further. of course. I think there will be enough publicity.OF A D O L F H I T L E R 355 " N o . but it gave less reason for this story tying up Goebbels with the lovely Aryan second wife of our romantic cinema star. the Hungarian star of all Europe. Goebbels had first forced Fröhlich to divorce the lovely Gitta Alpar. in bed. "But he always makes his New Year's speech. this year. blacken one eye. to make Herr Goebbels' technique of propaganda a bit embarrassing to the government. " I worried aloud.

even of the black eye. one lesson would be drilled into the next generation: the excellence of National Socialism. Naturally. Is i t to be conceived that the German papers would even run a story stating that Vice-President Garner had had Franchot Tone put in protective custody in Alcatraz. or that Reichsminister for Foreign Affairs Cordell H u l l had had Charles Laughton interned in Leavenworth. and as well as I could understand his mumbles. while he educated Elsa Lanchester in American propaganda? Yet the papers of the democracies gave full details. with a fairly good chance for health again. I spoke to the Sudeten Germans at Reichenberg. I expected that broadcast as usual. I told them proudly that the future of the N a z i government and the world were safe. I reminded them. I informed Frau Goebbels that divorce was unthinkable. From birth to death. since the new generation was growing up. to replace the one he had lost. Your German is your natural friend in need. never to be free again in their entire lives. We . I had one talk with the bandaged Reichsminister. later. Several hundreds of loyal Germans sent him a Twelfth Night present of a tooth.356 T H E STRANGE D E A T H other democracies. To distract attention from this regrettable intestinal grippe of the Propagandaminister. and sent word to him that. while he consoled Joan Crawford in the Senate Chambers. I had it announced as acute intestinal grippe. bandages or no bandages. he indicated contrition and convalescence. "Let the misguided English boast 'Britons never shall be slaves'—a democracy can look no higher than that. and happy at the prospect. I had a Blackshirt guard placed around his home i n Wannsee.

More and more I was irked by the way the rest of them treated me. In fact. "Then you don't know that slimy snake! Can't you see him corrupting all the little school girls. isn't he? A n d . which would let Göring register a definite rise as Vice-Chancellor. and making the girl graduates come to him in person to get his diplomas? Far better it is to put him i n charge of the Berlin Zoo. "Well. since our government must stand for the purity of the home." " N o . can we think of anything more admirable than to have him i n bed with a Frau Porcupine?" But this was hardly constructive. . ." suggested von R i b bentrop. nitwit. "We finally tentatively scheduled him as over-governor for Berlin. "Enough from you. "There was a man who turned down m y plea for release. "Shut up. 'Germans never shall be free! Germans shall be slaves forever!' Heil Hitler!" But this did not solve our problem about the Propagandaminister. "Make him Minister of Education. There was a man who carried his love-poaching until it fouled my own wife's sister. I talked it over first with Erik von A r n heim. I am not so sensitive about what propaganda he conveys to the Frau Rhinoceros and the Fraulein Giraffe. Herta. aren't you?" He shrugged. " chuckled Göring." was von Arnheim's usual courtesy toward me. "Well. "You're rather proud of yourself for stirring up this mess about Goebbels. "He can't do much harm there. he is dead. when I was thrown in Brandenburg Prison. even for a hearing. " "We assembled what was left of the little cabinet. More and more they refused to let me say a word. he is pretty well publicized for his tastes. .OF A D O L F HITLER 357 Germans lift the holier cry." was von .

while Göring. The Little Cabinet absolutely forbade my altering any of the Leader's divine eccentricities. " Y o u God damned little shrimp. But it gave Germany a more composite picture of me than so far it had had. the divine Redeemer of the Reich. I was again the i n spired Leader. where he had a wife or the equivalent. feeding bratwurst to a dachshund. The Party press pointed out how each detail of this story was obviously a fabrication: since the Leader did not drink." was Ribbentrop's. no? Speak when you're spoken to. for some of these doubles could not resist the temptation to speak. I was in the public eye too much. I had my own doubles now. There was one particular time when I was speaking at a Horst Wessel commemoration. and then four. But at night. and damned little of it then!" So it was that my mind was made up for me. if you open your yap again I'll knock all your teeth down your throat. would say. and one young double had been allowed to return to Vienna. three first. and with a female strip dancer on my knee. even into the microphone. and. you impotent little Bavarian bastard. "Give us a vacation. and I do not think it liked me less for the picture. The non-Party papers reported with much detail that I had been seen in a leading cafe. when they were hailed as Leader. Some of the newspaper stories were very bewildering. the moment we walked out of the door.358 T H E STRANGE DEATH Wulle's. I . smoking. or have a dachshund. and had never sat with a female strip dancer on his knee. It was mentally unsettling a little. in his milder moments. drinking huge steins of beer. and nobody considered my feelings any more. or smoke. It was harder now to get a smoke.

It was then that a scrubwoman came in to scrub the floor of my inner study. everybody had gone off. It was hardest of all to get a woman. It was harder now to get a drink. for they had a man to scrub the study thereafter. to desire is to act. I merely lifted her skirts. Even her husband. and taken up by the Party press. I looked at her suddenly. God knows what the rest were doing. But I bribed one of the Blackshirts to help me out in this. and one double was reviewing troops for me. I gave her a tenmark note at the end. But it was not her face I saw now. and.OF A D O L F H I T L E R 359 used to collect the cigarette butts in the ashtrays. i f I was supposed to act like a human glacier? One late afternoon I had very marvelous luck. and several times. I will admit that the sight made me excited. She may have said something. and had a bottle of brandy always hidden. . A n d my general condition got rottener and rottener. With me. and I saw her rump. for I did not desire to interrupt her duties. as she moved about the floor. A t least. What were women for. I was permitted to make a magnificent address on The Revolution in Private Life—the movement started by the Sturmabteilung Mann. I was staying late at the Chancellery. I managed to swipe a package from the coat of one of the guards. I achieved my desires. with this absurd continence. her backside to me. and the delicious cigar butts. alone. I did not speak to her. another was speaking on a European hookup. Hereafter immature boys. I have observed. and there is no use to speak of it. She was on the floor. I had seen her face. diligently scrubbing. had found himself a window-washer as a mistress. and what was I as the Leader for. who was a porter emptying the spittoons. when I was lucky.

we might as well make the discomfort general. and immature girls. GIVE YOUR MISTRESSES T O YOUR FATHERLAND! The Leader Pleads That All Little Do-Nothings Be Put to Motherhood or Productive Labor A t least. . I was very pleased at the headlines in the Party press: GERMAN MEN. were not to smoke or drink. up to twenty-one. A n d when I came to the matter of personal purity. were to abstain similarly.360 T H E STRANGE D E A T H until they were eighteen.

and the practical impossibility of escaping the universal observation enough to manage an evening with some girl or woman. except on sentimental and humanitarian grounds. and. the more I realized that they were the most unreasonable and unjust things in the world. once he recovered from his acute intestinal grippe—for that remains the official report. better yet. gave us such a tightly locked censorship that the world for the first time knew only of Germany what we would have it know. whereas science has established that such grounds are as absurd. that the Germans were told only what was good for them. The more I studied these. in addition to my difficulty i n getting cigarettes and brandy. I must admit that the Propagandaminister. This was especially to be valued. There could be no criticism of the government and the Leader. and is the history of the future —and emerged from his bandages at last. as would be an effort to organize sorrow for the cattle necessarily slaughtered to provide beef. to intelligent men. during the winter of 1938-1939.OF A D O L F H I T L E R 361 CHAPTER XXVII THE SKY GROWS DARKER YET H E R E were many minor annoyances. or the swine that must be killed to furnish T . because of the alarming increase in the number of attempts to kill me.

that luckily killed only half a dozen of the spectators. it was a bomb. Assuming that cattle could shoot and throw bombs. since it is for beef and pork they exist! The same reasoning made it unthinkable that there should be continued restiveness on the part of Catholics. and he had finished it before the shot came from the balcony that barely missed him. since I became Hitler. and Jews. and pierced the heart of the nearest Blackshirt guard. instead of against cattle and swine. and limit each hunter's bag strictly. our folkic movements had been directed against Catholics. and especially the Jewish swine. So there was no just ground for resentment. but I thought this was not in good taste. Protestants. and none of my guards even. It was precisely from these groups that the attempts on my life came. But the principle was the same. of course—I sent one of my doubles to deliver the brief speech. and that swine could conspire to shoot or use poison. Protestants. In my great public appearance for the review along the Hermann Göring Strasse. ham and bacon. and again it was a double i m personating me here. It was a minor speech. Luckily. Naturally. Yet how unthinkable that they should ever rise against butchering mankind. and hence should be none. Göring said it was clearly the open season for Führers. the day I was to dedicate Albert Speer's magnificent new Chancellery Building on the Voss Strasse—impossible weather drove us into the Sports Palace for the ceremonies. The swine were too clever to be . it all pointed to an obstinate unwillingness to accept the direction of the Leader. we would have a parallel case. and neither had I. and he'd like to be appointed Warden.362 T H E STRANGE D E A T H us with pork. Hitler had never done one act that was not for the greater glory of Germany.

Herr Hitler. were clever enough to sponge the incidents out entirely. For a moment. and a new valet installed. We had him in a concentration camp the next day. Ulrica's lovely sister. I noted on my schedule of the day's activities an interview with Frau Fuchs set for four o'clock. I did not identify her as Herta. Propaganda. and that is always an annoyance. but the entire German nation. I decided that they were all so unfriendly. Loose talk damages. Anton suggested ended it forever. Herr Hitler always had a coat collar foul with dandruff. I imagined he had given it through some devilish streak of perversity. while he was dressing my hair. But immediately I was sure it must be the same Frau Fuchs. I recall that day in January when my valet said to me. and regard a heaven as a hell. It had no dandruff. . " M y Leader's dandruff has gone entirely!" This I had overlooked." He nodded. properly applied. A n d then he spoke too casually. some desire to thwart Goebbels still further. for this audience had been arranged through von Arnheim. as I wrote in Mein Kampf. I would not play the game of any against another. One morning. I shrugged: "One application of a new remedy D r ." I reported this to von Arnheim. "I did Herr Zeit's hair a few times. I had to change valets. who had treated me so shabbily when I tried to prove myself a real friend to her. so that not only the world. But we.OF A D O L F H I T L E R 363 apprehended in any of these attacks. It was very like your hair. were properly led to believe that every German loved the Leader with his full soul's passion. can make a people accept a hell on earth as a heaven. There were minor things that troubled me too. for our part.

leaving me free practically until six. akin to the stories current just before last Christmas. she had told me every detail of her surrender! And then I showed that marvelous knowledge of the welfare and even the daily lives of all of my subjects that is the highest test of a monarch's greatness. in a way to accentuate her body. would do something? How utterly amusing to reflect that. I will be glad to interest myself in your case. She made up her mind. A n d the Propaganda Minister was too busy with other matters to give the case the proper attention. drew herself up right across the desk from me. her husband had been interned in a camp. But it was all a mistake. for reasons of state. I was to be Herr Hitler to her! The interview might be amusing. for all that her face was now very sad. Very cleverly I assigned one of my doubles to take the next two engagements. was it not possible that I. Frau Fuchs." . She was dressed exquisitely. he had never breathed a subversive word or harbored a treacherous thought. but only if you will be entirely frank with me. and began her prepared story. dealing likewise with him and Lida Baarova. as the fountainhead of all German justice. She gave the "Heil Hitler!" mechanically. "I have heard also certain scandalous libels about the Reichsminister for Propaganda. the last time. as she told it. Was there any foundation for such stories?" Her face studied me dispassionately. M y face grew sterner. But I did not then dream of all that that interview might bring out. There was no blame to Goebbels in the story. he was no traitor. this time. "Yes. "I have indeed heard of your case." I said.364 THE STRANGE DEATH And.

a little friendliness. they are torturing him still. I saved his life. But the promises were all broken—" " A h . they will kill him. for Konrad. when you love a person. "I was given a simple choice: either the People's Tribunal. . "But this is a serious matter against the Minister's impartiality and administration! Y o u mean that he actually offered to exchange consideration for your husband. I could not help it. to save his life. i f you'll only show a little gratitude. in return for your surrender to him?'' "Yes. Herta . and drew her closer. the other. this night. " Y o u ! Y o u — But you are just making talk! You cannot mean it. I were to pledge you my word I would set him free?" Her face went like ashes. this time. . and death. they were made by a man who does not break promises. except your beloved husband!" "These things are outside of your life. Such things are not said of you! Why. to me in advance! If only—" . but if. I suppose so." she said bitterly. if. " I ' l l turn him loose tomorrow. " I clenched her hand in mine. "But you are proud of the surrender you made." "But surely you did not make this surrender! Surely you never gave the usance of your body to any man. too! But all promises made to me have been broken. ach no? You would proudly do it again. i f you had to?" "God. What can I do? Is there no justice in Germany anywhere?" "Germany is the home of justice. .OF A D O L F HITLER 365 M y eyes widened. or . at once. ." I said impressively. I'm proud of it. you never have—" "But i f you would. for instance.

i f you are Adolf Hitler. . kill me—Konrad would be prouder of me for that. torture me. damn you. " I tried to make it impressive. the dirty swine—and he makes his vile proposal to me. hands pleading with her. . a mere " N o " is irrelevant. masquerading as his double. as she threw her two hands below her cheeks. "I know you now! You're that Herr Zeit—Ludwig Zeit—you were Ulrica's friend— You're masquerading for him! But they said you were dead—they buried you! Ach. and now I tell it to you! Do you think no decency. no cleanness. to prostitute myself to him. A n d I . " Y o u dirty swine!" she stormed.366 T H E STRANGE D E A T H " A c h God in heaven!" It was a loud penetrating scream. while her great lovely eyes stared at me in black horror. . . "So. and voice too. while he is off attending to his other business. Suddenly her hand lashed out. I was around the desk. and taken his place! God. to save my husband from further torture. I'll tell this to the world. . . either you are Herr Zeit. and slapped me harshly across the lips. I'm through with that—I've told that little rat of a Goebbels so. as you wish. "Once before I told you not to touch me—and I wouldn't let you touch me now. not dead. There was a gleam almost maniacal in her eyes. Oh. pressing them upward frantically. then you've killed the real one. . God in heaven. no real love. i f it's the last thing I do! I am sent in to Hitler. . damn you—" "I am Adolf Hitler. to listen to reason. than whoring myself to you. eh? Well. or . to let me aid her. is left in Germany—you polluters of everything human that your filthy hands touch! Put me in jail too. i f it would save Konrad's life! N o . to be quiet. the great Leader. keep away—" "When a man wants a woman. as I have done already to his Propaganda Minister.

in the most hideous agony in the lowest sub-cellar of hell! I can see now why you are here. now. to my amazement. even to sin! H o w could Ulrica ever waste a moment's second thought on vile scum like you! Nothing will ever come back to haunt you: nothing but your futility. your cheap lust. you dung of the earth!" A n d . but there are compensations. Herta—" "Listen to me. "Now. Ernst Roehm. and broke his oath. ghosts he had made. to whom he broke his word forever. with all the ghosts of torn and ravaged Germany. that you sent my sister to the . you offal. by God. flayed soul in." she drew herself up imperially— never say that Herta Fuchs was not a magnificent actress! "Adolf Hitler is dead. A n experience like this is unpleasant. I shall— But. you dirty pimp. and all their theatrics is merely a way of inviting on the attentions of a real Nordic he-man. no wonder he walked in his sleep. It is this that such spitfires really demand." with utter scorn. His conscience would not let him live. you're not big enough. she leaned over and spit in my face. I only wish that it had been the place and the opportunity to choke her until her objections quieted. N o wonder he was sleepless. and killed—von Schleicher and the rest. filth. a bargain with you! In return for my not telling any of this—or even telling Erik. A woman in a rage is always a lovely sight. and then settle the matter as I wished. and the dreadful hundreds of others murdered in the Blood Purge—all eternity will not be long enough for the Furies to punish his screaming. his dearest friend. pushed closely toward hers.OF A D O L F H I T L E R 367 defy you! I spit in your face. come back to haunt him! The ones he gave his oath to. your ineptitude. your foul tiny arrogance. "You're not man enough. H e is bound to be.

and announced my decision. that you forced her with your lies to go. capable of wagging loosely. may I call in Reichsminister von Arnheim. O n the terms you have suggested. Please. too. there went a woman's tongue." she said. and I have had to translate even from that abortion called the American language." I said severely. and such can do more damage than a division of the Reichswehr. I recalled that the Leader had never gotten more personal with them than to talk of the menace of Communism in the remoter South American countries. and I. free of all restrictions. whenever you will?" "It's your cue. One tooth had been giving me a little trouble. or the proposal to introduce camels . But out of that door. and have it made clear now that he is to be freed at once. It is promised?" A t her nod. and said that he would see that the necessary orders were issued at once. I reflected sadly as she flounced away triumphantly on Erik's arm. and you and he be permitted to leave Germany. He congratulated me on the wisdom and justice of my course.368 T H E STRANGE D E A T H dirty lecherous clasp of Goebbels. more discretion before Erik. I must be more discreet in the presence of women. "Frau Fuchs. "you have made a good plea for the liberation of your husband. "I had to teach English once in Nice. is Konrad to be freed at once. This was clearly no matter to be dogmatic about. and both of us allowed to shake the dust of this hideous cancer that is Germany from our feet forever and evermore?" M y mouth still stung from her blow. her ring had hit it and it ached dully." I lifted my hands deprecatingly. "Make it snappy. and caused her suicide—In return for my keeping silence about all this. I had him summoned.

and tapped as if he had stabbed me. now I've got to talk to him. and use them sometimes!" Increasingly I began to have the feeling of the fish in the aquarium myself. have some brains. Goebbels had a different recipe. the last day of the month. hereafter. . his face was the face of a fish flung high on the bank. encouraging man. " "You're always the nitwit. That tooth that her ring had struck pained me more and more. "Well. and the "Heil Hitler's!" given and responded to. But one could not be everything. There was wisdom in much that he did. A n d for Christ's sake. He was a huge. i f I could even not have Herr . Adolf. unless he swears to me he's a damned sight stupider than I think he is.OF A D O L F HITLER 369 into Australia. We stop the pain right away—" A n d then he stopped talking. "He didn't say a word—he didn't give it away. and soon enough the dull pain had gone entirely. ." he scowled ferociously. and stared from my mouth to the chart of it his assistant was holding up. he said. this will give us no trouble. jovial. I wished that I knew it. and told it all to him. But I sent forthwith for von Arnheim. the French ambassador called for an audience. and he may find himself incommunicado for the rest of his life. but —he knows! He knew every tooth in Hitler's head—he's treated me too. and he chortled all over the place as he finally came and had me point out the tooth. A n d then. that's nothing—a mere gum abrasion. and so had the dentist and his attendants." he began maundering to himself again. " A c h . He wanted a confidential talk. He came with his procession of attendants and paraphernalia. so that by nine I had to have the dentist sent for. "Yes. there was the chart before him. and all was laid down. .

and to establish one of his points he quoted first Verlaine. for he switched into one of Kipling's more imperialistic poems. whatever France didn't wish to give up should be left to my arbitration. he said. and you knew no English.370 THE STRANGE DEATH Reichsminister Ribbentrop present. and was familiar with all of them. and realized i n creasingly what a charming companion he was to talk to. and then repeated a whole paragraph from Haldane's Daedalus. and then an apothegm of Anatole France's. always one of my favorite pseudo-scientific fantasies. and can quote both. Colossal!" I shivered. why had Goebbels never warned me to con- . — A very erudite man. and are familiar with their latest and brightest prose and poetry. So it was arranged. And then. his voice unchanged. I gave him the parallel passage from Bertrand Russell's Icarus. capped off with something Rémy de Gourmont says in the Physiology of Love. his eyebrows lifted ever so slightly. and I neatly turned each quotation with another as apt from the same or some related source. A n d now you speak both fluently. Whenever the conversation demanded it. and I listened with keen interest. you will recall that so late as last September you knew no French. "Herr Reichskanzler. and finally a bit of Poincaré. It was a long and earnest discussion about the Italian claims against France that he introduced. I always enjoyed any excuse to avoid the presence of the members of my small cabinet. who called me too often too many low names in private for me to enjoy their company anymore. He was a very erudite man. In the old days I had translated two of these into German for publication. I made Germany's position clear: whatever Italy wanted of course Italy should have. quoting its chorus.

Herr Reichskanzler—that chap Bauer that was buried as Zeit—had been a teacher of languages. "I will always consider carefully all you have to say." he said. to be more like Hitler! " A c h . "I am sure we will be better friends. from now on. never need of a threat. . I do not think that is the proper way to conduct a diplomatic discussion. "Now you say Heil France!" "Well. or any other demands we make. and the English authors as well." I agreed. Just the way the Leader himself had talked to Schussnigg. . ." I shivered a little as I spoke. and we will expect and receive more consideration hereafter! Is that understood?" "I am beginning to see merit in all that you say." . Keep your little game up as long as you please. "One more word pick up. When we come to you again with France's demands against Italy. I have picked up a word here and there—" His lips crinkled ever so faintly. But I saw his point.OF A D O L F H I T L E R 371 ceal most that I knew. From now on. Although your double from Passau. Excellency. staring down at me. "Heil France!" "Sacred blue. you will listen! Do you hear me? Do you understand?" His voice had become absolutely nasty." He rose to his feet. Benes and the rest." I agreed. but word of this goes to the Foreign Office in Paris. interpreter. merely do so and so. and I nodded gravely. . just between us." he said. "Good day. I remember your high opinion of our authors. . then: this . and translator. "Heil Hitler. " A l l France has to say—and it will be much! I don't quite understand what you've done. I think threats should have no place in such discussions.

and no Maximilian Bauer. the wax replicas that would rise and give the salute and the actual hail at moments vital to Germany's history. So Cheops and the other great pyramid-builders built their own tombs in person. I think Goebbels took a waspish delight in my discomfort observing it. of I . But none of them. my Leader. " Y o u see. of the pointless dangers. that this was all Hitler. I had gotten sick of the work.372 T H E STRANGE D E A T H CHAPTER XXVIII TO BE OR NOT TO BE D E C I D E D to write this memorandum of my life with Adolf Hitler and my life as Adolf Hitler. I think. the group of six young doubles. who would give the salute unceasingly. day and night. and they still last. i n relays. altered every few years. knew the reason for my discomfort: and that was. I wanted you to approve every detail of this greatest of all mausoleums ever built by man. from the amount of free shooting that was going on around the Chancellery these days. years in advance of the event itself. I know Göring grumbled out we might as well get it going. the day that Albert Speer exhibited to us his great design for the tomb of Adolf Hitler. of the vile way the small cabinet spoke to me. compared to this!" He went into the last grisly details. absolutely lifelike. The tomb of Lenin in Red Square is nothing. too—the corpse to be preserved by eternal mummification.

as a true son of the Fatherland. one major problem troubled me: what was I to do with this all-important document. Yet out of Germany it must go. my beloved mistress Clothilde Simon had borne a son that I was the father of: Michel Simon. I recalled that Karl Ernst had sent his letter about the Reichstag fire to London. I could not even trust the French ambassador. . His . Maximilian Bauer had not taken on this work to have his name vilified down all history. and a man. and privacy is unknown. for I had surrendered being a man worthy of friends. As the statement grew. now. He would be twenty-six. A n d so that night I started writing down this memorandum. . Yet I knew no one there. I had no friend to trust it with. as I discovered on the one occasion when I later saw him. I had no friend in all the world. . and had seen only once. intelligent child. as long as it stayed in Germany. as the greatest actor of his age. I must rush to completion this document. in Germany or out. or forgotten either. where nothing is sacred. to become the impersonator of a man all reviled and hated. for reasons of state he might decide to suppress the document. but the risk would be increasingly great thereafter. In May. 1912. except the starving millions. in return for favors from the Reich.OF A D O L F H I T L E R 373 the increasing suffering to others my words and actions caused. and send it by confidential courier from the border to him in Nice. There was no one I knew I could trust. it was for me to see that he was remembered as himself. as a magnificent ruler i f he had been allowed to rule. once I had finished with it? I might conceal it while writing it. who grew into a handsome. A n d so I decided to trust some one I did not know.

After I became connected with him. But first. One thing that interested me most about it is that in it he quotes from only one poet. Voilà. he had his revolver ever handy to blow out his brains. always preoccupied him. he continued to threaten it. After the Beer Hall Putsch. Yet suicide. he threatened it so often that he gave the party leaders the jitters. more to mean existence than suicide. wondering what they would do i f he carried out his threat. I had the espionage report on him two days later. and was said to be a youth of exemplary habits. In the tense ten years when he was Adolf Légalité. as a theme. but that he was brought back to willingness to live by Putzi Hanfstaengl's sister. which I am told establishes that it is i n spired. it is said he would have committed suicide. Schaub and poor Julius Schreck bound in a suicide pact. and have reached this far. and that poet the great Nordic Shakespeare. It may be that it has the inspired quality of the Koran or Science and Health. I have never been able to understand most of Mein Kampf." He first uses it about the German Social Democrats. my problem was solved! A n d I applied myself with more courage to finishing this statement. and then letting the world know it. and each time the same line. I must find out i f he was still alive. He was a sub-manager for the Compagnie Transatlantique at Nice. H e had Brückner. "To be or not to be.374 T H E STRANGE D E A T H mother could tell him for what cause he should be interested in doing this favor for me—preserving this statement until my death. by a coup d'etat or an armed uprising. describing suicide as the solution chosen by a weak nature. to me at least it shares their unintelligibility. Later he uses it of the German nation. and flourishing. to kill . If his regime ever collapsed.

for these attempts increased more and more. To me he has called them lucky. I was Adolf Hitler. even the mass of the German people. hated by all the Catholics. and it became harder and harder to conceal them. . A n d I was hated. If the Leader had thought suicide wise. drinking. normal living with a woman. the Sudeten Germans who believed in self-government. He brooded over the suicides of the Jews. and. my dentist. and there was no resignation: there was only assassination. "So. time and again. the whole world! Let us deny as much as we pleased. until death. and. and there was no other Adolf Hitler beside me. it is to Jews we give our autumn honors!" And now. the monarchists. More and more were learning of it: my valet. the real Austrians. lashed with the slave-whip to shriek out a terrorized affection for me none of them felt. he said to me. I was Adolf Hitler. Five cabinet ministers and three doctors knew every detail of the substitution. when eight thousand of them committed suicide in one day. deprived of all ordinary human comforts— smoking. the world at least would believe. I had a thousand more reasons to think it wise! If he had been willing to end his life. hated. all Europe. I was at their mercy. hated by all the Jews for what Hitler had done to them and what I must still do in his name. the French ambassador and his Foreign Office. hated . when he chose. or suicide. the republicans. should I be coward enough to flinch? . the Communists. i f once they spoke. Herta Fuchs and her husband. I was the Leader. A n d I was miserable. the Protestants.OF A D O L F HITLER 375 themselves at once i f anything ever happened to the Leader. . I was increasingly under the nervous fear of being assassinated.

376 T H E STRANGE D E A T H Hardest of all to bear were the meetings of the little cabinet. . not to think. marked increasingly by a flood of insults and vilifications that seared my soul. Greece. A n d . he was making me and the world pay for the horsewhipping he had received. too. and the German Ocean and the Baltic increasingly lakes of the Reich!" " Y o u have omitted the Atlantic. It was so from the time of Pompey on. the Black Sea a German lake." "That's the Field Marshal's speech. and I came to understand why. "Good. or injustices. beady-eyed. Doctor?" Goebbels nodded. by voluntary absorption. "The Mediterranean an Italian lake—" "But what of Spain." said Goebbels tartly. In public. in private. very well. the Pacific. "One of these days I do it. " Y o u should be caned for your imbecility. I remember the bitter session over the speech I was to make on the map of Europe ten years from now." I suggested mildly. France. a little more bitter and evil than ever. the festering sense of inferiority in their hearts toward me burst out i n all its insulting virulence. Turkey. the bitter envy. Egypt—" "Your business is to talk. each had to humble himself before me as the Leader. Göring. now they denied that I could think at all." snapped Göring. Albania. the deep hatred. But the others were as bitter toward me. and I was helpless. Yugoslavia. Goebbels and Ribbentrop had evidently formed a bloc before the conference assembled. Goebbels was back i n the group. you told me. the Indian and the Arctic oceans. as well as spoke like him. now. Once they had said that I thought like the Leader." insisted Göring. "We must promise Italy what she wants. A l l that I had to say was either lies. Palestine.

" I shivered." Von Arnheim nodded. when he had finished. in forty-eight hours. condemning to the ax Niekisch. and condemning innocent people to death. " Y o u told me they were innocent!" "But. and imprisoning the Protestants. and of course must be sterilized. "But why must I spend all my time robbing the Jews. announce a second capital levy of 20% of all Jewish-owned property. " O h . to pay the surgeons. on the Revolution in Private Life. stop the salaries of all Protestant pastors who continue to read from the Jewish Bible. with Nazi cardinals and bishops. and stealing Catholic property. answerable only to the government. however. can't you understand that the purpose of punishment is example." sneered Goebbels. now we teach the Germans the more important lesson of discipline. " O h . Drechsel and Kroeger. Their mild sentences are known to the world now. and make a radio speech." I said glumly. We are considering taking over both Catholic and Protestant churches as a State church.OF ADOLF HITLER 377 "For me. "In the matter of Justice. We must never let up on any manifestation of this poisonous international conspiracy. Put Pastor Wilhelm Niemoeller in jail with his brother. so what difference can innocence make?" "He will never understand. we should run the church as efficiently as the Postoffice Department." He beamed smugly. good God. whom the Tribunal condemned merely to imprisonment. describing the Lambeth Walk as poisonous Jewish propaganda and lascivious animalistic hopping. By fall. A l l who fail to pay are subversive. as an example of German mercy. I had decrees for you to sign. and lying about the . payable in cash. they. I'll make the speech.

Everything we have done was illegal. brawlers. I had your coffee ration shifted to my account. we took it. at the Coburg meeting back in 1922. we have never altered one moment since. like a true German!" Little vulture-faced Goebbels sat back. we brawled our way to power. Catholics. parliamentarians. But we . orderly law-abiding citizens? A n d where would the movement have gotten.378 T H E STRANGE DEATH amount of our armament and food—I haven't been allowed coffee in two weeks. The Austrian Germans were aristocrats. Jews. Adolf. I'm paid to do them. "Less and less you know daily. and you know there is a daily allowance of an ounce a day—" I stretched forth a pleading hand to them. and spoke with sudden bitterness. but a man does like a little variety now and then!" "In a democracy. i f you insist! We found out that we had to be. If you are interested. i f we had been! We are thugs! Is that clear to your cracked cranium? We are rowdies. harden yourself. " Y o u and your variety! Damn it." said Göring gruffly. gangsters. Industrialists. The Sudeten Germans were contented. that's all. Protestants. We wanted Austria. they robbed the Jews and the wealthy in retail robbery. so much. Capitalists. we have made it wholesale. Anybody else with money. variety. Bankers. no variety. "Can't you ever give me anything else to do? It's not that I mind any of these. and we have been giving Germany and Europe a gangster regime ever since. all right. and didn't know they wanted the Anschluss. when are you going to realize what the Nazi movement really is—and has been from the beginning? Do you think we are gentlemen? Do you think we are legalists. Coffee is a luxury. Adolf. i n a totalitarian state. Why must I repeat the obvious? W i l l you never learn? In the Middle Ages.

she was Judas enough. get these things straight. we'll take 'em. so we've got it. no? We've turned on France and joined it to the Reich as the twentieth German State—unless we temporarily make it a mandate first. in 1924 I saw French white officers stand by and applaud their African troopers raping Nordic German women. rowdies. O h . It's in Mein Kampf. and never again will we have to lesson you in them! Is that clear? Is there anything that isn't clear?" . God. your eunuch's ambition. The Polish Corridor. when they tried to steal the Ruhr. your incredible remnants of sentimental and romantic decency and honor! For the last time I tell you. i f I talked to him the way I talk to you? Christ bedamned! He would have called me a filthy pusillanimous half-hearted chicken-livered leprous whoreson pimping son of a bastard Jew and a mongrel sow. when I think of your castrate's soul. But they were a democracy. I want to vomit.OF A D O L F HITLER 379 wanted it. and he'd have said it so eloquently. "I thought—" " A c h . brawlers. we've got the Corridor. at the right time. for once and for all. gangsters. do you remember nothing? A l l right. do you know what Adolf Hitler would have said to me. we will remember it. N o w . We force all Europe except Italy into a Pan-Nordic Reich—let Italy think she has the damned Mediterranean. . till we are ready! Remember. We want France —France annihilated. in 1914. we keep! Don't you know these things yet?" I tried feebly to speak. . N o w for God's sake. the whole Ukraine—we want 'em. and proud of it! We have improved the former code of thieves in one respect: we have eliminated honor. I'd have believed it! He was a man. they couldn't hold it. we are thugs. the Ukraine. you . What we take.

the corpses get up and walk off the stage and have dinner and their drinking and women. gestures. It is not so. A n d there are private audiences I will not go into details about: as when Herta Fuchs brought in her husband. I shall omit this Jew's complaints as to what had happened to his parents. and a man released with him. The gangster never kicks a man until he is down. But. I am told. A n d I have found out what is wrong. This man turned out to be a Jewish World War veteran now unfriendly to the government. the greatest actor in Germany. I am so lonely.38o THE STRANGE DEATH "Just one little thing. even the soul of the man. half an hour a week. his wife even. "I have to live so unnatural. facial expressions. his business. intonations. But what i f some day the man refuse to lie down to be kicked? It is this which makes me shiver. in the world. I am an actor. . Talk of statecraft and the superior Nordic ideal give me a daily headache. yes. his children." I pleaded. in Germany. The conference is adjourned!" I do not enjoy these daily conferences any more. words. just released from prison. after the curtain goes down. could I have a woman sometimes?" "Always selfish! A l l right. A n y appearance for Adolf Hitler I do superbly. Never before did I hear of a revolution won by brawlers and gangsters. N o more. It is enough that Konrad held me while this Jew did to me what they do to Jews in the concentration camps. much less of a government conducted so. for looks. Hitler needed much less. when a play is over. who had died of what Brownshirts did to her during a Party Day celebration. I could see more clearly thereafter why Jews do not prefer Germany as it is today. finally.

half an hour. . The ideal I must enact makes me vomit. . . once a week. One day. . . . with no chance of awakening. and my valet. A n enduring worldwide dictatorship of rowdy. .OF A D O L F HITLER 381 The ideal superior Nordic German world. murdered or exiled. Thought forbidden. . Gangsters ruling everywhere by force. . Every Jew oppressed. Liberty reserved to the head gangsters only. robbed. . to be replaced by worship of Germany. . . . . and is to be brought up a race of slaves. when there is any hope I may be shot at or poisoned. . The world is sure to know soon. . the French ambassador and his Foreign Office. just once. Hereafter I will double for my doubles. with no threat of dreams. . . . . Catholicism. as far as possible. when alone. sometimes. Herta Fuchs and her husband. and can our screams of "Lie! Lie!" echo beyond our own ravaged and self-abused land? I have decided. brawling gangsters. . sterilized. There is. . It will be good to go to sleep. and accustoming my forehead to the cold feel of its circular steel mouth. my dentist. of course. except to the gangsters. Protestantism. . . But the small cabinet knows the truth. of me. . . . and my soul to a prayer for its swift coming. There is always my own revolver—increasingly I have been taking it out. a woman. . . . rooted out and tortured away." . . . anything. . Jail or worse for an indiscreet word—I have just sent Ernst Niekisch to his death for calling me "a German misfortune. how can I tell when? I will press the trigger. Jail or worse for any official's whim. A nation boasting that it has surrendered freedom. and God knows how many he has told it to. . . . The religion in the soul of man.

comes this behind-thescenes spectacle of Germany's ruling circle. T h e story is told by M a x i m i l i a n Bauer. The full details of how this manuscript came to be brought before the reading public are embodied in the Publisher's Statement at the beginning of T H E S T R A N G E DEATH OF A D O L F HITLER. and is being impersonated by his double—this much is certain: no more convincing. on the eve of the M u n i c h Pact. von Roehm. The resemblance is startling—even to the voice. magazine and newsreel material For here we have walking—talking—-breathing through 381 bristling pages Hitler.THE STRANGE DEATH ADOLF HITLER OF F R O M the heart of dictator-frenzied Germany. they are a l l plausible. and Herr Bauer who was permitted to stay close to H i t l e r i n order to learn the dictator's (continued on back flap) on the subject have left u . so real you can almost touch t h e m — a picture which only a close associate of these men could have drawn. 1938. answering a thousand questions which you have wanted answered. questions which all the newspaper.—from the inner sanctum of the N a z i ringleaders. and as far as can be ascertained from accepted authorities. And whether or not the climax of the book w i l l be borne out by future records—that the real Hitler died September 29. Göring. Goebbels. von Ribbentrop and others. reputed to be the highest salaried man in Europe. Der F ü h r e r ' s famous double. Careful and extensive research went into checking the manuscript with respect to the events depicted as w e l l as the personalities and the dialogue. complete and constructive picture of N a z i s m has ever before been published.

with their leader dead. 1934 took place. his henchmen could little afford to let such a fact become known. for readers o f T H E S T R A N G E D E A T H OF A D O L F H I T L E R w i l l realize more sharply and clearly than before just how important the strange figure of Hitler is to the success o f the N a z i creed and aims." Needless to say. Germany's desired position as overlord o f a l l other races. when the incredible Blood Purge of June 30. convincing account of just what went on backstage when the Reichstag Building burned. the position of women.(continued from front flap) every mannerism. and. F o r the first time there is given a single. T h e story further reveals Hitler's background and antecedents. M A C A U L A Y • Publishers • NEW YORK . Many past events in Germany come within the realm o f this story and these are told simply and lucidly. leaving no confusion in the m i n d of the reader. Close observers of the German scene today have not failed to sense that the manner in which the N a z i machine has been functioning sinc tered. most important o f a l l . even at the cost of a W o r l d W a r that w i l l hurl Western culture into permanent twilight. science. and the later desperate insane attack on the Jews which shocked the conscience of the civilized world. the constant attempts on his life. the incredible attitude o f the Nazis concerning education. and while they have not been able to reach any definite conclusions about the cause of this change. the consensus of opinion has been that "There's something wrong in Denmark. some o f which barely failed. even before D e r Führer's death. the theft of the Sudeten areas of Czechoslovakia. a blueprint o f the N a z i plans for further expansion and conquest. the rape of Austria. proved such an apt under study that he made several speeches in public as Hitler. religion.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful