1931: On the afternoon of 22 August, a young British aristocrat named John Scott-Ellis was making his way along Brienner Strasse, in Munich, in a little red Fiat. “Although I was going very slowly, a man walked off the pavement, more or less straight into my car.” The 42-year-old pedestrian was bowled over, but quickly picked himself up, politely shook hands with the driver, and went on his way.
Tag archive: Adolf Hitler
1942: Field Marshal Erich von Manstein’s well-drilled dachshund, Knirps, would respond to shouts of “Heil Hitler!” by raising its paw in salute.
Source: Antony Beevor, Stalingrad (2007), p. 273
1904: Adolf Hitler attended the Realschule in Linz, where Ludwig Wittgenstein was a contemporary. The boys were the same age, but Hitler’s lacklustre academic performance meant he trailed two years behind Wittgenstein in his studies. In September, Hitler was obliged to leave the school because of his poor record.
Source: John Toland, Adolf Hitler (1976), pp. 14–18
1941: In May, Hitler’s deputy, Rudolf Hess, flew to Scotland on what appears to have been a misguided peace mission. Hess baled out of his aircraft and parachuted down near a cottage where David McLean, a ploughman, lived with his mother, Annie. The ploughman checked the airman for weapons, and then escorted him to the cottage. Mrs. McLean, meanwhile, had responded to the excitement by making a pot of tea. Hess politely refused the tea but asked for a glass of water.
Source: Roy Conyers Nesbit and Georges van Acker, The Flight of Rudolf Hess: Myths and Reality (1999), pp. 70–1
1937: When the entomologist Oscar Scheibel acquired a specimen of a previously undocumented blind cave beetle, found in only a few caves in northern Yugoslavia, he demonstrated his admiration for Germany’s leader by naming it Anophthalmus hitleri.
1938: In his diary entry for 8 May, Italy’s foreign minister, Count Galeazzo Ciano, noted: “Mussolini believes that Hitler puts rouge on his cheeks in order to hide his pallor.”
Source: Galeazzo Ciano, Ciano’s Diary 1937–1938 (1952), p. 113
1938: I felt “some slight sinking when I found myself flying over London”, turbulence “rocked and bumped” the aeroplane “like a ship in a sea”, and there were “more nervous moments when we circled down over the aerodrome” at the end of the flight. The apprehensive air passenger was Neville Chamberlain, heading to Munich in September for crisis talks with Adolf Hitler.
Source: Ian Kershaw, Hitler 1936–1945: Nemesis (2000), pp. 110, 876
British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain addressing a crowd at Heston Aerodrome on 30 September 1938, after his shuttle diplomacy secured “peace for our time”
1933: What words can properly describe Hitler? I remember watching a television documentary with footage of him speaking to a crowd. He raged and bellowed and waved his hands about. Sonya – she was eight – said, “I don’t like Hitler. He’s bossy.”
Source: Personal recollection