From The Daily Stormer:
SS officer Leon DeGrelle never gave up the faith, speaking on behalf of the Third Reich until his death in 1994.
I have been asked that question a thousand times since 1945, and nothing is more difficult to answer.
Approximately two hundred thousand books have dealt with the Second World War and with its central figure, Adolf Hitler. But has the real Hitler been discovered by any of them? “The enigma of Hitler is beyond all human comprehension” the left-wing German weekly ‘Die Zeit’ once put it.
Salvador Dali, art’s unique genius, sought to penetrate the mystery in one of his most intensely dramatic paintings. Towering mountain landscapes all but fill the canvas, leaving ony a few luminous meters of seashore dotted with delicately miniaturized human figures: the last witness to a dying peace. A huge telephone receiver dripping tears of blood hangs from the branch of a dead tree; and here and there hang umbrellas and bats whose portent is visibly the same. As Dali tells it, “Chamberlain’s umbrella appeared in this painting in a sinister light, made evident by the bat, and it struck me when I painted it as a thing of enormous anguish.”
He then confided: “I felt this painting to be deeply prophetic. But I confess that I haven’t yet figured out the Hitler enigma either. He attracted me only as an object of my mad imaginings and because I saw him as a man uniquely capable of turning things completely upside down.”
What a lesson in humility for the braying critics who have rushed into print since 1945 with their thousands of ‘definitive’ books, most of them scornful, about this man who so troubled the introspective Dali that forty years later he still felt anguished and uncertain in the presence of his own hallucinatory painting. Apart from Dali, who else has ever tried to present an objective portrayal of this extraordinary man who Dali labeled the most explosive figure in human history?
LIKE PAVLOV’S BELL
The mountains of Hitler books based on blind hatred and ignorance do little to describe or explain the most powerful man the world has ever seen. How, I ponder, do these thousands of disparate portraits of Hitler in any way resemble the man I knew? The Hitler seated beside me, standing up, talking, listening. It has become impossible to explain to people fed fantastic tales for decades that what they have read or heard on television just does not correspond to the truth.
People have come to accept fiction, repeated a thousand times over, as reality. Yet they have never seen Hitler, never spoken to him, never heard a word from his mouth. The very name of Hitler immediately conjures up a grimacing devil, the fount of all of one’s negative emotions. Like Pavlov’s bell, the mention of Hitler is meant to dispense with substance and reality. In time, however, history will demand more than these summary judgements.
Hitler is always present before my eyes: as a man of peace in 1936, as a man of war in 1944. It is not possible to have been a personal witness to the life of such an extraordinary man without being marked by it forever. Not a day goes by but Hitler rises again in my memory, not as a man long dead, but as a real being who paces his office floor, seats himself in his chair, pokes the burning logs in the fireplace.
The first thing anyone noticed when he came into view was his small mustache. Countless times he had been advised to shave it off, but he always refused: people were used to him the way he was.
He was not tall — no more than was Napoleon or Alexander the Great.
Hitler had deep blue eyes that many found bewitching, although I did not find them so. Nor did I detect the electric current his hands were said to give off. I gripped them quite a few times and was never struck by his lightening.
His face showed emotion or indifference according to the passion or apathy of the moment. At times he was as though benumbed, saying not a word, while his jaws moved in the meanwhile as if they were grinding an obstacle to smithereens in the void. Then he would come suddenly alive and launch into a speech directed at you alone, as though he were addressing a crowd of hundreds of thousands at Berlin’s Tempelhof airfield. Then he became as if transfigured. Even his complexion, otherwise dull, lit up as he spoke. And at such times, to be sure, Hitler was strangely attractive and as if possessed of magic powers.
Anything that might have seemed too solemn in his remarks, he quickly tempered with a touch of humour. The picturesque world, the biting phrase were at his command. In a flash he would paint a word-picture that brought a smile, or come up with an unexpected and disarming comparison. He could be harsh and even implacable in his judgements and yet almost at the same time be surprisingly conciliatory, sensitive and warm.
After 1945 Hitler was accused of every cruelty, but it was not in his nature to be cruel. He loved children. It was an entirely natural thing for him to stop his car and share his food with young cyclists along the road. Once he gave his raincoat to a derelict plodding in the rain. At midnight he would interrupt his work and prepare the food for his dog Blondi.
He could not bear to eat meat, because it meant the death of a living creature. He refused to have so much as a rabbit or a trout sacrificed to provide his food. He would allow only eggs on his table, because egg-laying meant that the hen had been spared rather than killed.
Hitler’s eating habits were a constant source of amazement to me. How could someone on such a rigorous schedule, who had taken part in tens of thousands of exhausting mass meetings from which he emerged bathed with sweat, often losing two to four pounds in the process; who slept only three to four hours a night; and who, from 1940 to 1945, carried the whole world on his shoulders while ruling over 380 million Europeans: how, I wondered, could he physically survive on just a boiled egg, a few tomatoes, two or three pancakes, and a plate of noodles? But he actually gained weight!
He drank only water. He did not smoke and would not tolerate smoking in his presence. At one or two o’clock in the morning he would still be talking, untroubled, close to his fireplace, lively, often amusing. He never showed any sign of weariness. Dead tired his audience might be, but not Hitler.
He was depicted as a tired old man. Nothing was further from the truth. In September 1944, when he was reported to be fairly doddering, I spent a week with him. His mental and physical vigor were still exceptional. The attempt made on his life on July 20th had, if anything, recharged him. He took tea in his quarters as tranquilly as if we had been in his small private apartment at the chancellery before the war, or enjoying the view of snow and bright blue sky through his great bay window at Berchtesgaden.
At the very end of his life, to be sure, his back had become bent, but his mind remained as clear as a flash of lightening. The testament he dictated with extraordinary composure on the eve of his death, at three in the morning of April 29, 1945, provides us a lasting testimony. Napoleon at Fontainebleau was not without his moments of panic before his abdication. Hitler simply shook hands with his associates in silence, breakfasted as on any other day, then went to his death as if he were going on a stroll. When has history ever witnessed so enormous a tragedy brought to its end with such iron self control?
Hitler’s most notable characteristic was ever his simplicity. The most complex of problems resolved itself in his mind into a few basic principles. His actions were geared to ideas and decisions that could be understood by anyone. The laborer from Essen, the isolated farmer, the Ruhr industrialist, and the university professor could all easily follow his line of thought. The very clarity of his reasoning made everything obvious.
His behaviour and his life style never changed even when he became the ruler of Germany. He dressed and lived frugally. During his early days in Munich, he spent no more than a mark per day for food. At no stage in his life did he spend anything on himself. Throughout his 13 years in the chancellery he never carried a wallet or ever had money of his own.
Hitler was self-taught and made not attempt to hide the fact. The smug conceit of intellectuals, their shiny ideas packaged like so many flashlight batteries, irritated him at times. His own knowledge he had acquired through selective and unremitting study, and he knew far more than thousands of diploma-decorated academics.
I don’t think anyone ever read as much as he did. He normally read one book every day, always first reading the conclusion and the index in order to gauge the work’s interest for him. He had the power to extract the essence of each book and then store it in his computer-like mind. I have heard him talk about complicated scientific books with faultless precision, even at the height of the war.
His intellectual curiosity was limitless. He was readily familiar with the writings of the most diverse authors, and nothing was too complex for his comprehension. He had a deep knowledge and understanding of Buddha, Confucius and Jesus Christ, as well as Luther, Calvin, and Savonarola; of literary giants such as Dante, Schiller, Shakespeare and Goethe; and analytical writers such as Renan and Gobineau, Chamberlain and Sorel.
He had trained himself in philosophy by studying Aristotle and Plato. He could quote entire paragraphs of Schopenhauer from memory, and for a long time carried a pocked edition of Schopenhauer with him. Nietzsche taught him much about the willpower.
His thirst for knowledge was unquenchable. He spend hundreds of hours studying the works of Tacitus and Mommsen, military strategists such as Clausewitz, and empire builders such as Bismark. Nothing escaped him: world history or the history of civilizations, the study of the Bible and the Talmud, Thomistic philosophy and all the masterpieces of Homer, Sophocles, Horace, Ovid, Titus Livius and Cicero. He knew Julian the Apostate as if he had been his contemporary.
His knowledge also extended to mechanics. He knew how engines worked; he understood the ballistics of various weapons; and he astonished the best medical scientists with his knowledge of medicine and biology.
The universality of Hitler’s knowledge may surprise or displease those unaware of it, but it is nonetheless a historical fact: Hitler was one of the most cultivated men of this century. Many times more so than Churchill, an intellectual mediocrity; or than Pierre Lavaal, with him mere cursory knowledge of history; of than Roosevelt; or Eisenhower, who never got beyond detective novels.
THE YOUNG ARCHITECT
Even during his earliest years, Hitler was different than other children. He had an inner strength and was guided by his spirit and his instincts.
He could draw skillfully when he was only eleven years old. His sketches made at that age show a remarkable firmness and liveliness. He first paintings and watercolors, created at age 15, are full of poetry and sensitivity. One of his most striking early works, ‘Fortress Utopia,’ also shows him to have been an artist of rare imagination. His artistic orientation took many forms. He wrote poetry from the time he was a lad. He dictated a complete play to his sister Paula who was amazed at his presumption. At the age of 16, in Vienna, he launched into the creation of an opera. He even designed the stage settings, as well as all the costumes; and, of course, the characters were Wagnerian heroes.
More than just an artist, Hitler was above all an architect. Hundreds of his works were notable as much for the architecture as for the painting. From memory alone he could reproduce in every detail the onion dome of a church or the intricate curves of wrought iron. Indeed, it was to fulfill his dream of becoming an architect that Hitler went to Vienna at the beginning of the century.
An interesting read!