Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Reuters: "Hitler Was Personally Behind Holocaust, Book Says"

Click here for AmazonHere's a headline worthy of Al-Reuters: "Hitler Was Personally Behind Holocaust, Book Says" (hat tip: Best of the Web). Gosh, and all this time, I thought Hitler actually disapproved of the slaughter and carnage! If only his evil henchmen hadn't violated his strict orders not to harm anyone, perhaps the Holocaust and the millions of other deaths during World War II would never have happened!

Al Reuters reports upon the revelation that Joseph Stalin, the Soviet Leader, took two of Hitler's closest attaches prisoner at the conclusion of the war. Based upon their interrogations, the KGB created a 'briefing book' detailing a psychological profile of Hitler. Two German historians unsealed "The Hitler Book" in Russian archives, which documents Hitler's rise to power through his final hours in the Berlin bunker. Of course, don't bother with Al Reuters' coverage: go directly to The London Sunday Times.

Here are some salient points culled from multiple articles.

THE bride wore a dark blue silk dress with a soft grey fur cape; the ashen-faced groom was dressed in the same crumpled jacket that he had been wearing for days, his Iron Cross First Class and other military decorations pinned to the lapel.

The ceremony, held in a storeroom in a Berlin bunker as Soviet artillery rained down on the city, lasted only 10 minutes. When the couple emerged, Adolf Hitler kissed Eva Braun’s hand. There was speculation among aides that she was already carrying the Führer’s child.

Within 24 hours the couple were dead — Hitler from a single bullet to the temple, his wife from biting on a cyanide capsule...

The portrait that emerges is far more complex than the conventional one-dimensional depiction of a monster. Hitler, it seems, personally ordered those who crossed him, even over minor matters, to be sent to concentration camps but also had a wicked sense of humour, frequently mocking the pomposity of Hermann Goering, his number two.

He was also fanatically devoted to his dog, Blondie.

Among the episodes illuminated by the book is the flight of Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s party deputy, on a doomed mission to Britain in May 1941 to try to instigate peace talks. Hitler’s immediate reaction was to conclude he must be mentally ill.

Deeply embarrassed by the affair, he ordered the arrest of Karl Heinz Pintsch, Hess’s adjutant, who had known of the mission. “This shows beyond doubt that Hitler had no prior knowledge of Hess’s trip,” said Uhl.

The book also reveals Hitler’s personal interest in the workings of the concentration and extermination camps. Linge and Günsche claimed that he had pored over the first blueprints of gas chambers and ordered more funding for the project.

When Nazi troops were forced to retreat before the advancing Soviet armies, he also ordered gas chambers contained in camouflaged lorries to be sent to the front to execute prisoners of war and partisans.

The description of Hitler’s mental and physical degeneration during the war is one of the most powerful elements. Germany’s defeat at Stalingrad in February 1943 proved an especially heavy blow to him.

Theodor Morell, Hitler’s personal physician, treated him every second morning after breakfast with “stimulating injections”. Linge used to hand him opium. Hitler’s right eye also began to hurt so badly that the only way to ease the pain was to rub cocaine in it.

He became increasingly paranoid that people were trying to poison him, demanding analysis of his soap, shaving cream and toothpaste. Even the water in which his food was cooked had to be examined.

By the spring of 1945 it became clear that defeat was unavoidable and hopes of a successful German counter-attack against the Soviet forces were futile.

On April 25 Linge was summoned by Hitler, who informed him that he and Braun were to commit suicide. “Get hold of some petrol to tip over our bodies and burn them,” he said. “Under no circumstances must you allow my corpse to fall into the hands of the Russians. They would love to bring me to Moscow and put me on show.”

When Braun emerged after the wedding ceremony, Linge was struck by how pale she looked. “Good luck,” she told the butler. “I hope you manage to get out of Berlin.”

The book does not address directly the question of whether Braun was pregant. But in its conclusion the historians claim that Hitler’s pilot, Hans Baur, who was captured with the others, confided to a cellmate who was spying for the Russians that she had been carrying a child.

Uhl said the evidence was inconclusive. “We know that the autopsy on Eva Braun’s remains was simply not adequate because of the situation and shortage of medical equipment,” he said. “It’s certainly possible that they failed to detect the unborn foetus.”

By the early hours of April 30 both Hitler and Braun were dead. Alerted by the smell of gunpowder just before 4am, Linge accompanied Martin Bormann, one of the leading Nazis, into Hitler’s office. The Führer was sitting on the sofa. He had a tiny, coin shaped wound on his right temple and two flecks of blood on his cheeks.

There was another pool of blood the size of a dinner plate on the carpet and more spatters on the sofa and walls. On the floor were two Walther pistols, one by each foot.

Braun was seated beside him with her legs drawn up. Her high-heeled shoes were on the carpet. Her lips were pressed together in a final spasm.


Hitler also had a strange sense of humour.

He allowed German soldiers in occupied countries to marry local women, but only after he saw photographs of the women.

"Most of the women in the pictures were not especially pretty," the book said. "Hitler laughed and said once the soldiers who fell in love with these women sobered up again they would curse him for allowing them to marry."

The book quotes the two aides saying Hitler mocked the United States when it declared war in December 1941.

"He said their cars never win races, American planes look sharp but their engines are worthless ... He said they hadn't proven anything -- just mediocrity and advertising."


Hitler was sceptical of Hermann Goering, his bombastic air force chief, and his claims to be able to win the war. Stalin noted an anecdote on page 276 of his paperwork where Hitler allegedly said after the Battle of Britain: "If the Luftwaffe can’t fly anymore then at least we can use his men to fight on the ground."

Günsche and Linge said that far from being in the background, Hitler’s mistress Eva Braun was at the epicentre of Nazi politics for most of the 12-year lifespan of the Third Reich.

One passage, concerning 1936, reads: "He was always accompanied by her. As soon as he heard the voice of his lover he became jollier. He would make jokes about her new hats. He would take her for hours on end into his study where there would be champagne cooling in ice, chocolates, cognac and fruit."

But when Hitler burned the midnight oil speaking with his Nazi underlings or his generals, "Eva would often be in tears".

"She felt a bird in a golden cage, her life unfulfilled as his bed partner," they said.

Linge said that Hitler once ordered a doubling of the police guard on Braun’s Munich villa before the war, after she told the Gestapo that a woman had called her the "Führer-whore".

Stalin, who ordered Hitler’s skull to be brought to Moscow after Red Army troops found his and Braun’s bodies in the ruins of the Reich Chancellery in 1945, was obsessed with the minutiae of Hitler’s daily life.

He wanted to know in particular about routine at the Berghof, Hitler’s mountain home in Bavaria. Linge told him: "Hitler’s conversation there was banal. At the dinner table he would praise the dresses of the female staff, say how difficult they must find it not being able to get their hair done or their nails filed on the mountain.

"Hitler had a weird sense of humour. He would laugh at Eva’s lipstick on a serviette and then say: ‘Soon we will have replacement lipstick made from dead bodies of soldiers’."

The book contains details about how his SS guards were detailed to buy him presents, how his dark moods were uplifted by photos in magazines of the early days of Nazism, and how he sat under the portrait of Frederick the Great, which he carted with him everywhere, believing he would give him divine inspiration to win the war.

Günsche reported how Hitler once flew into a frenzy with his secretary, Martin Bormann, because Braun wanted to hire ten more serving girls over the 30-strong complement laid down by him for the kitchens.

"I stamp whole divisions into the dirt!" screamed Hitler. "And I can’t get a few more serving wenches for the Berghof? Organise it now!"


"Hitler told Himmler to use more trucks with mobile gas chambers so that munition needed for the troops wouldn't be wasted on shooting Russian (prisoners)," the book reads.

"Himmler reported that the mobile gas chambers were working. He laughed cynically when he said that this method of murder is 'more considerate' and 'quieter' than shooting them," it adds.


Adolf Hitler was so crippled with anxiety during his final days that he would scratch his neck and ears until they bled and demanded that his toilet water, as well as the water in which his eggs were boiled, be constantly analysed for traces of poison.


The book is giving Germans a rare glimpse of the dictator, who is still presented in schools and public discussion as either mad or bad or both. Perhaps the most disconcerting revelation of the extracts in Bild is that Hitler had a sense of humour, albeit a particularly cold one. After an evening of small-talk and wise-cracking, Hitler told his guests: “The English believe that I’m sitting or cowering in the Chancellery, guarded by a fierce bulldog.” The truth, he said, was that he was having a good time. “It’s good that they can’t see me now. The Chancellery should be renamed the Happy Chancellor Restaurant.”

The comments, reported by Günsche, came after an evening of concentration camp jokes that had his guests rolling with laughter. Heinrich Hoffmann, Hitler’s court photographer, had turned up drunk. The photographer, Hitler said, should not stand too close to the stove lest the alcoholic fumes from his breath catch fire.

On another occasion, Joseph Goebbels, the Propaganda Minister, told Hitler the latest scurrilous rumour: that the immensely vain Hermann Goering, head of the air force, went to bed wearing medals on his pyjamas. “Hitler liked the story so much,” one Bild extract says, “that he ordered Hoffmann to make some medals out of gold and silver foil as well as a bombastic citation for bravery to be presented to Goering.”


The butler’s testimony shows that Hitler was unable to form proper emotional relationships. His closest companion was his dog. They ate together frequently. When Blondi fell ill, Hitler had a special ration of eggs, lean meat and dripping sent. He received regular medical bulletins about the dog. “It was easier for him to sign a death warrant for an officer on the front than to swallow bad news about the health of his dog,” Linge said...

Hitler decided to mate his beloved Alsatian dog, Blondi, and summoned a breeder to bring a pedigree male. Hitler asked his butler, after emerging from a briefing about the Eastern front, whether his dog had copulated. “Yes, my Führer, the Act of State has been completed,” Heinz Linge said with heavy humour.

“How did Blondi take it?”

“They both behaved like beginners.”

“How do you mean?” Hitler was genuinely curious.

“They both fell down.” Hitler burst into laughter


The file suggests Hitler wasn't in charge of German strategy in the last days of the war, Eberle said.

Hitler ``wasn't the engine of warfare by the time the fighting had reached Berlin,'' Eberle said.

The accounts also show Hitler was personally interested in the development of the gas chambers that were used to kill about 6 million Jews from across Europe, Eberle said.

He ``studied in-depth development projects that were presented to him by Himmler,'' Eberle read from the book, referring to Heinrich Himmler, who was in charge of the deportation and murder of the Jews.

There was only one copy of the file made in 1965 and put in another Soviet archive, where Uhl and Eberle said they found it.

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1 comment:

Keir said...

Quite interesting that only a fortnight ago, the Russian archives were suggesting based on post-war interrogations that Hitler knew all about the Hess trip beforehand.