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June 30 2015 3 30 /06 /June /2015 03:55

 

 

Adolph Hitler (1889-1945): "Today Germany, Tomorrow the World." and Based on 1-Andrew Nagorski, Hitlerl: American Eyewitnesses to the Nazi Rise to Power, 2012. 2-William L. Shirer, Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany, 1960, & Related Sources. Dialogue Given at Uplands, Adshead, Pleasant Hill, TN, June 16, 2014, by Franklin and Betty Parker, bfparker@frontiernet.net

 

Frank: We chose this Hitler topic when a friend, Alex Karter, refugee from Hitler’s Germany, read and praised Nagorski’s Hitlerland: American Eyewitnesses to the Nazi Rise to Power.

 

Betty: Andrew Nagorski was former Newsweek bureau chief in Berlin and Bonn. His Hitlerland tells what key Americans in Germany between WW 1 and 2—journalists, U.S. Embassy staffs, important U.S. visitors—what they knew, saw, learned, about Hitler's Nazism; their warnings/failed warnings; what they got right/wrong.

 

Frank: Hitlerland to journalists meant how Hitler's militarizing of Germany affected the U.S., Europe, and the world. ¶Nagorski begins with Chicago Tribune's woman reporter Sigrid Schultz's interview in 1919 of German naval officer Eric Raeder, who told her: “You Americans need not feel proud of yourselves. Within 25 years…your country and [mine] will be at war again. And this time we'll win, because we will be better prepared…” [1]

 

Betty: Eric Raeder's bitterness and outrage—felt by most Germans--determined us first logically to explain defeated Germans' terrible sufferings under the punishing 1919 Versailles Treaty, sufferings that gave rise to Hitler.

 

Frank: We trace Hitler's rise to power; tell why Germans backed him, why he wasn't stopped earlier, we explore his obsession to rule the world. We end with Nagorski's Americans-in-Germany views on Hitler. Historical background is from prize winner William L. Shirer's Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany.

 

Betty: World War I cost Germany millions of lives, loss of its colonies, plus vast destruction, upheaval, and misery. World War I winners France, Poland, USSR took Germany's most productive lands.

 

Frank: Poverty-stricken, half-starved, with 40% jobless, Germans endured high inflation, lost their life savings, could only pay high reparations through long term low interest U.S.A. loans.

 

Betty: Germans hated the Allied-imposed supposedly democratic Weimar Republic in power (1919-33), 14 years.4 It was left-leaning, weak, faction-ridden, with leftists fighting rightists in the streets. Germans were humiliated, seeking salvation.

Frank: Hitler's Nazi party arose from these horrible German sufferings and thrived during the 1930s worldwide depression.[2] Hitler, dictator after 1933, did end Versailles demands and Weimar, created job security, build autobahns and Volkswagens, re-awaken past German glories, militarized Nazi Germany, tied together every group, every aspect of German life toward one goal: world dominion. We pursue the roots of his drive for power.

Betty: Anything in Hitler's family background to explain his later cruelty? His father Alois, born illegitimately, was given his mother's maiden name, Schicklegruber: When Alois Schicklegruber was age 5 (1842), his mother married Johann Georg Hiedler. When Alois Schicklegruber, age 30, was a respected Austrian Civil Service Customs Inspector, a proud Hiedler uncle helped Alois change his last name legally, recorded as H-i-t-l-e-r. [3]

Frank: Alois Hitler 13 years later fathered Adolf Hitler. Why significant? "Heil Schicklegruber" would have been laughed at. Later, to neglect the required "Heil Hitler" with upraised arm salute was to court arrest, a beating, or worse.

Betty: Alois Hitler's illegitimacy was little known. Few knew the rumor that his unmarried mother worked for a rich Jewish family whose 19-year-old son might have made her pregnant.

 

Frank: Researchers never identified Hitler's paternal grandfather. Yet Hitler deliberately made the area where family records might exist into a military target practice area and wiped it out. Why? Hitler once said privately, "No one must know my past." Was hiding family shame part of Hitler's cruelty? Maybe. [4]

Betty: Hitler adored his loving mother Klara Hitler, hated his stern father who beat Adolf for wanting to be an artist rather than follow in his father's footsteps as civil servant. Did Adolf later reflect his father's cold nature? Was Adolf's early rebellion part of his iron will as dictator? Was Adolf's cruelty a strike back at a cruel father? Maybe.

Frank: Adolf Hitler's mother was his father's third wife; the first two wives died. Adolf's siblings and step siblings died young. Did Adolf, a sickly lone male survivor, later believe himself spared to Nazify and Aryanize Germany and the world? Maybe.

Betty: Adolf's elementary school grades: good; high school marks: poor, partly from clashes with his father; partly, he said, from bad teachers, except history teacher Leopold Poetsch, who inspired Adolf with German heroes, glories, with Germans as a master race when race-polluting Jews, Slavs, other inferiors were eliminated.[5]

Frank: High school dropout at 16 and unskilled, Adolf loafed on a civil servant orphan's pension in Linz, Austria; read library books, watched and worshiped Richard Wagner's Germanic opera heroes. His only friend, August Kubezek, music student, said Adolf was high strung, opinionated, angry if corrected, sometimes violent.

Betty: They roomed together in Vienna, Austria, 4 years, Adolf aged 19-24. Adolf, twice rejected by the Vienna Academy of Art, then rejected by the School of Architecture for not having a school-leaving certificate, was angry, vengeful. He read Darwinian survival of the fittest books; read eugenic tracts on eliminating the mentally handicapped and physically deformed.

Frank: Dependent on flop houses and soup kitchens, Hitler painted scenes of well-known Vienna buildings on postcards sold in a few Jewish shops or hawked by Jewish flophouse acquaintances. His scapegoating of "Jewish-communist-betrayers-of-Germany," came later, when, as Nazi Party head, stressing Jew hatred won him public notice, Nazi party members, and financial contributions. Did Hitler sense that defeated Germans with no way to hit back at their Allied enemies, got some satisfaction from hitting back at substitute ancient scapegoat, Jews?12 Did he use historic Jew hatred because it bonded German masses to him? Did hatred of Jews, gypsies, Slavs, political enemies become an ingrained obsession? Maybe. [13]

Betty: Leaving Austria for Munich, Germany, to avoid Austrian compulsory military service, Hitler loafed in Munich 2 years, ages 24-25. Austrian authorities found him, gave him a physical exam, rejected him as too thin, too weak.

Frank: It was WW 1 that galvanized Hitler. With Army medical requirements lowered, he enlisted in a Bavarian branch of the German Army, served 4 years as a message runner behind trench lines, was twice wounded and twice awarded an iron cross.14 Did anger over WW 1 defeated, persecuted Germans instill in Hitler his later drive to rebuild Germany into a Deutschland uber allus? Maybe. Did W.W. I kill-or-be-killed trench warfare harden Hitler later to kill, without remorse? Maybe. [15]

Betty: Germany's November 11, 1918, surrender ending WWI shocked and angered Hitler. No Allied troops had occupied German soil; the German General Staff never surrendered. Hitler believed the "Stab in the Back" falsehood: that the 1918 Armistice was signed by left-wing German politicians paid to do so by Jewish-Russian Marxists. Hitler later called them "the November Criminals."

Frank: For food, lodging, income Hitler remained in the army 1919-1920, in a propaganda unit, lecturing mustering-out soldiers to be pro-German, anti-communist.16 His superior officer, impressed by Hitler's speeches, sent Hitler to see if a new small Munich German Workers' Party was pro-German or communist. [16] [17]

Betty: Attending this party's Sept. 12, 1919, meeting, Hitler spoke out against a remark that Bavaria should secede from Germany. His impromptu rebuttal impressed party co-founder Anton Drexler, who said: "He [Hitler] has the gift of gab; we need him." Drexler gave Hitler a pamphlet listing German Workers Party aims: pro-German nationalism, pro-military, anti-Communist, anti-Semitic, anti-Weimar government. [18]

Frank: Wandering young Hitler, dreamer, loafer, rejected artist-architect, now a budding politician, had—as he inwardly always knew--hidden talents that emerged amazingly: organizer, propagandist, mesmerizing speaker. He instinctively sensed and spoke to audiences' wants, needs, fears, hopes. Even hostile audiences warmed to him, praised him to friends. He voiced their hopes, shared their prejudices, promised them a good, proud life. He pushed out weaker party leaders, became the party's leader, listed 25 party aims, broadened the party's appeal by renaming it National Socialist Workers Party, popularized it as the Nazi Party, chose its arresting red and black flag and striking swastika.

Betty: To oust communists and other hecklers, to intimidate and remove enemies, Hitler organized brown-shirted Storm Trooper thugs. Then, 1923 events led Hitler to attempt a Bavarian government takeover which failed, Nov. 8-9, 1923. What were these events?

Frank: Event 1-The German mark's sharp decline halted reparation payments. France seized Germany's rich industrial Ruhr Valley. Its German workers rebelled. Riots erupted against France and the Weimar government.

Betty: Event 2-Hitler's role model, Benito Mussolini, had marched on Rome to become Italy's dictator. Could Hitler do the same? [23]

Frank: Event 3-Hitler's Storm Trooper rowdies wanted more power, pay, action. Event 4-Hitler's hidden ace was popular WW I hero General Eric von Ludendorff, Nazi Party member, to co-lead the attempted Putsch.

Betty: Hitler secretly bribed 3 wavering Bavarian high officials to back his Nazi Party's seizure of Bavaria as a first step toward ending Weimar.

Frank: Nov. 8, 1923: the 3 Bavarian officials held a large beer hall political rally. Hitler barged in with armed Storm Troopers, fired his pistol for attention, declared a Bavarian revolution.

Betty: Herding the 3 Bavarian leaders into an anteroom, Hitler demanded their support. They hesitated. Hitler dashed back to the large audience, lied triumphantly: Bavarian officials support the Putsch! The waiting audience cheered.

Frank: News of the attempted coup quickly reached Weimar officials, who firmly ordered: stop the traitors; arrest them, jail them, try them, convict them.

Betty: Nov. 9, 1923: armed Bavarian military and police clashed with Hitler's Nazi marchers. Shots fired, 16 Nazis, 3 military/police killed. Hitler, dragged to the ground, escaped to the home of his Nazi friend Ernst Hanfstaengl. [19]

Frank: Police arrived. Hitler put his gun to his head. Ernst Hanfstaengl's wife, Helen, pushed the gun aside, said: the Nazi Party needs you, saved Hitler to fulfill his destiny. [20]

Betty: Tried for treason, Hitler's brilliant defense went something like this and spread his fame:

Frank: When a thief takes your money and you take it back, is that owner guilty? No. Never. Our Nazi Party and every German must take back what the criminals robbed us of: our land, resources, government, past glory. Tear up the criminal Versailles Treaty. End unworkable Weimar. Restore German honor, glory. Improve Germany today, for tomorrow we lead the world.

Betty: The judge, sympathetic, had to pronounce Hitler guilty; sentence, 5 year; early release recommended. Nine months in jail was Hitler's re-think, rebuild time. He told aides: We will hold our noses, compete legally to win Reichstag seats, gain power, and destroy Weimar.

Frank: Ten years later, 1933, Hitler, whose 1923 beer hall Putsch failed, was Chancellor, Fuehrer, dictator.

Betty: In jail Hitler dictated Mein Kampf (My Battle), a mix of sanitized autobiography plus a blueprint for a rebuilt Nazi Party aimed to win political power legally to end Weimar.

Frank: Now, we quicken our pace to dates, key events, from 1925 to Sept. 1, 1939, 14 years, the start of WW 2 in Europe.

Betty: The years 1925-29 were better economic times. In good times Nazi Party membership dwindled. May 20, 1928. Nazis won only 12 legislative seats in the then 491-seat Reichstag.

Frank: Oct. 29, 1929, U.S.A., financial Wall Street crash. 1930s Great Depression worldwide with Germany hardest hit. Joblessness and despair returned. A Germany in misery again was Hitler's golden opportunity, for the Nazi Party thrived on troubled times.

Betty: Sept. 14, 1930. National election. Nazis won 107 seats in a 577-seat legislature, making Nazis the second largest party.

Frank: Spring 1932: Weimar President Paul von Hindenberg, WW I commander-hero, age 85, near-senile, was up for re-election. Austrian-born Hitler wants to run against Pres. Hindenberg but he cannot. Hitler is not a German citizen. Then, by trickery, an official of Brunswick State, Germany, a Nazi party member, suddenly appoints Hitler envoy to Berlin, making Hitler automatically a German citizen. Hindenberg wins, but runner up Hitler, is now a major political figure. [21]

Betty: July 31, 1932. National election. Nazis win 230 seats in 608-seat legislature and are now Germany's largest party.

 

Frank: Jan. 4, 1933, the secret meeting that made Hitler Chancellor. The then Chancellor Franz von Papen, weak, unable to govern, made this secret proposal to Pres. Hindenberg: you appoint Hitler Chancellor, and me (Papen) Vice Chancellor. Hitler to name only 3 of the 11 member Chancellor's Advisory committee; I, Papen will name my 8 majority members. Why? Hitler's Nazi Party, largest in the legislature, was popular, Papen, not popular. He wanted to convince Pres. Hindenberg that he (Papen) could control Hitler. Senile President Hindenberg reluctantly agreed. Papen's mistake made Hitler Chancellor of Germany. Hitler already knew how he would achieve absolute power. [22]

Betty: Jan. 30, 1933. FDR elected; his inauguration still weeks away. Hitler, now chancellor, pushed Papen aside, ousted him, later jailed him. Suddenly, as if by magic, Hitler, intent on dismantling the Weimar Republic, is aided by the Reichstag fire, equivalent to the burning of our U.S. Capitol Building. Accident? Or did Hitler make it happen?

Frank: Feb. 27, 1933, is the date of the Reichstag Fire, blamed on a half-witted 24-old-Dutch communist arsonist, hastily tried and hanged. Hitler immediately thundered publicly his big lie that Communists deliberately set the Reichstag Fire to start a Communist takeover of Germany. Hitler's intent with the big lie was to win public approval to remove all communists. Also, eliminating communists with impunity masked Hitler's eliminating hundreds of his other enemies. Suspicion persists that Nazis set the fire, scapegoated the half-wit Dutchman, to eliminate enemies and strengthen Hitler's control.

Betty: March 23, 1933. Less than two months as Chancellor, Hitler won Reichstag approval for an "Enabling Act" that gave Hitler sole power to make all laws, a ruthless move for absolute rule.

Frank: July 14, 1933: Hitler removes problems. Stressing the Reichstag Fire as prelude to a planned Communist takeover, Hitler induced Pres. Hindenberg to suspend civil liberties. This allowed Chancellor Hitler to suppress all parties except the Nazi Party, outlaw trade unions, tie workers to their jobs, farmers to the land. Hitler's last hardest problem was Nazi Storm Trooper head Capt. Ernst Röhm who demanded that his Storm Troopers replace the Prussian Army. Prussian Generals thundered: Never, sharply ordered Hitler: remove Röhm and his lieutenants or the Prussian Army will crush and replace you with a Kaiser descendant. Hitler had to act.

Betty: June 30, 1934, was the "Night of the Long Knives." During a Storm Trooper night rally, Hitler's armed personal guards swooped down, murdered Röhm, his lieutenants, and over a thousand others who had opposed, angered, or threatened Hitler.

Frank: July 13, 1934, Two weeks later, after massive propaganda about putting down the "Röhm Attempted Revolution," Hitler justified the Röhm bloodbath to a Reichstag audience as follows: "In this [crisis] hour I was responsible for the fate of the German People. I became the Supreme Judge…" Reichstag audience cheered and applauded.

Betty: Aug. 2, 1934, Hindenberg Died. Learning that Hindenberg was dying, Hitler ordered his cabinet to combine the office Presidency with his Chancellorship. He compelled all military to swear: "unconditional obedience to Hitler unto death."

Frank: Nov. 5, 1937. Lebensraum, Living Space. Now absolute dictator, Hitler secretly told his generals and admirals: prepare for war, which might come anytime as he (Hitler), through peaceful ways (mostly threats and tricks), sought Lebensraum, living space, by absorbing neighboring Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland.

Betty: March 14, 1938, meeting with Austrian Chancellor Kurt von Schuschnigg, Hitler raved and ranted that Germans in Austria were mistreated, abused (a deliberate lie). Hitler demanded that unless Schuschnigg signed a declaration of Austria-German union (Anschluss), German troops would march into Austria.

Frank: Taken aback, Schuschnigg insisted on a plebiscite (Austrians to vote yes or no). Hitler cunningly forestalled a most likely "no" plebiscite vote. He had his Nazi agents line up crowds of cheering Austrians welcoming equally cheering friendly entering German troops. With no way to resist, Schuschnigg signed the Declaration of Union. Hitler absorbed Austria. No shot fired.

Betty: March 15, 1939, a year after Austria. Czechoslovakia had 3.5 million Germans living in its Sudetenland area. Again, Hitler, ranting and raving his lie about abused Germans, demanded that Sudetenland be ceded to Germany or the German army would enter and take it. Britain's Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, seeking peace at any price, convinced Czech leaders to cede Sudetenland to Germany.

Frank: Soon after March 15, 1939, wanting all of Czechoslovakia, Hitler met with old ailing Czech President Emile Hácha, raved and ranted his propaganda lie of Germans persecuted in Czechoslovakia. Hitler's bluff worked. The Czech President signed all of Czechoslovakia to Hitler's Germany. No shot fired.

Betty: Aug. 23, 1939. Poland and the Hitler-Stalin Pact. Britain's PM Neville Chamberlain, finally realizing war was inevitable, said: if Germany invades Poland, Britain and France will fight Germany. Threatened, Hitler entered a secret pact with Stalin, whose communism Hitler hated: Germans attack Poland from the west; Russians from the east; Russia's reward: northern areas of Poland.

Frank: Aug. 31, 1939. Hitler needed to justify invading Poland. He faked this incident: Nazis dressed in Polish uniforms attacked German frontier stations bordering Poland and left scattered bullet-ridden German uniformed bodies (the dead bodies came secretly from a German concentration camp). Realistic Nazi propaganda film of the faked Polish massacre of Germans convinced many that it really happened.

Betty: Sept. 1, 1939. Hitler's army invaded Poland, attacked and killed Polish military. Britain and France declared war against Germany. WWII, which we do not cover, began.

Frank: Now we turn to Nagorski's Hitlerland to view Hitler's Nazis through the eyes of key U.S. journalists, U.S. Embassy staff, and U.S. visitors to Germany; their experiences and insights.

Betty: Some 50 U.S. news reporters between WW 1 and 2 covered Germany, stationed mostly in Berlin, which was then surprisingly the artistic-cultural-cabaret-song-and-dance center of Europe. Berlin, more than Paris, was the swinging-rocking-sin-city. Recall the 1972 musical with Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey, Cabaret.

Frank: Besides being Europe's cultural hub Germany was Europe’s least expensive center, drew many tourists. The small overworked U.S. Embassy staff in Berlin, especially the Harvard-Yale Ivy League State Department professionals, kept publicly

quiet about Nazi atrocities. Not so U.S. journalists who aggressively with searching eyes and keen minds sent back to the U.S.A. searing reports on Hitler-Nazi misdeeds.

Betty: Newspapers were numerous, avidly read, the main source of the ordinary person's view of the world. Still remembered U.S. journalists who covered the rise of Hitler include: H.V. Kaltenborn, William L. Shirer, Dorothy Thompson, Howard K. Smith. Less remembered top journalists were Chicago Tribune pioneer woman reporter Sigrid Schultz and Chicago Daily News reporter Edgar Mowrer. But first, the views of some prominent U.S. visitors to Germany.

Frank: In July 1933, then well known YMCA International Secretary Sherwood Eddy, on his l2th visit to Germany. Sherwood Eddy said publicly to a German audience: “In your country, injustice is committed every day, every hour,” a bold thing for an American to say to Germans.

Betty: Visiting novelist Sinclair Lewis, then married to newswoman Dorothy Thompson, visited Germany summer 1934. He felt compelled to write his novel, It Can't Happen Here, set in the U.S.A. Its Hitler-like dictator, claiming to solve all problems, abolished the U.S Congress and established a fascist U.S.A. Lewis's popular novel warned Americans to beware of home-grown Hitler-like fascist politicians.

 

Frank: African American sociologist and NAACP leader W.E.B. Dubois, had a six-month fellowship in Germany during the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Nazis had efficiently removed all anti-Jewish propaganda signs temporarily. It was "Be Nice to Foreign Visitors During the Olympics" time. Black W.E.B. Dubois was treated with courtesy. Yet he observed and wrote that Nazi Germans' ugly campaigns of hatred against non-Nordic races and Jews “surpasses in vindictive cruelty and public insult anything I have ever seen.”

Betty: H.V. Kaltenborn, American-born radio newsman of German heritage, at first thought warnings about Hitler overblown. Then in 1933 when Kaltenborn’s own son Rolfe was beaten by a storm trooper for failing to salute Nazi banners carried in a parade, Kaltenborn quickly saw his mistake.

Frank: Novelist Thomas Wolfe visited Germany in the mid-1920s, again in 1935 where he was lauded for his Look Homeward Angel, and also attended the 1936 Olympics. His loud cheering for African American runner Jesse Owen irritated Hitler who, sitting nearby, scowled at Wolfe's cheers.

Betty: Thomas Wolfe admired the German people and culture but he abhorred the Nazis. Wolfe described a German train ride as follows in You Can't Go Home Again, which the Nazis banned.

Frank: Wolfe was with talkative German passengers enjoying themselves, when Nazi officials burst in and roughly hauled out one of the travelers as an escaping Jew. In the shocked silence that followed, a German woman said to the others: "Those Jews. They make all the trouble. Germany has to protect herself."

Betty: Dorothy Thompson, first in Berlin in the mid 1920s, again in 1931, met Hitler, misjudged him as insignificant, not to be taken seriously. Returning to Germany in 1934 with Hitler by then a menacing dictator, she reported devastating truths about his ruthless regime, was expelled and, back in the U.S.A., her expulsion made her an instant celebrity.

Frank: Howard K. Smith was in Berlin in 1936 as a United Press junior reporter, later as TV commentator. Seeing how easily American visitors overlooked Hitler's threat, he was alarmed that the world had no idea of the danger Hitler posed.

Betty: Howard K. Smith identified 4 stages in U.S. visitors’ reactions to Nazi Germany: Stage 1-Admiration for spic-and-span, attractive Germany. Stage 2-Awareness of uniforms, guns, rearmament, parading soldiers. Stage 3-Awareness of swift preparation for war, of quick cold-blooded killing of regime critics. Stage 4: Alarm that Hitler's gathering military strength could annihilate unprepared countries including the U.S.A. Most U.S. visitors on quick visits were stuck in stage 1-Admiration, and never saw ultimate dangers Hitler posed.

Frank: Now, a few experiences of journalist Sigrid Schultz, Chicago Tribune's newswoman, who in 1919 interviewed naval officer Eric Raeder. Chicago-born of Norwegian parents, well schooled in France and Germany, multilingual, Schultz in 1932 in a group of U.S. journalists met Hitler. Fascinated, she saw him as a consummate actor. He locked eyes with each journalist in turn, shook hands, was amiable even with journalists known to be hostile.

Betty: Schultz was among hastily assembled foreign reporters when Nazi Air Force Marshall Hermann Goering justified the June 30, 1934 "Night of the Long Knives" massacre. In his justification Goering said: we had to prevent a planned rebellion against Hitler. Looking directly, piercingly, at Schultz, who he knew to be a Nazi critic, he named a prominent German politician shot trying to escape. Schultz had the chilling sensation that Goering was telling her that the Nazis could do anything they wanted with impunity.

Frank: Schultz noted that the Nazis soon stopped expelling hostile reporters who back home only drew sympathetic attention. Instead, the Gestapo tried planting damaging evidence on critical journalists to arrest, try, and jail them. In April 1935 an envelope marked "Important Information" delivered to Schultz contained an airplane design. Seeing the agents outside who delivered the envelope, she loudly told them that she burned the envelope. Entering a cab in their presence she shouted to the cabbie for all to hear: "Take me to the U.S. Embassy." Schultz believed Goering tried several times to set her up as a spy to dispose of her.

Betty: When Poland was invaded, Sept. 1, 1939, Schultz's maid appeared red-eyed, teary. Asked why, she said her husband had seen pictures of uniformed Germans maimed and killed by Polish troops at a German military outpost near Poland. When Schultz told the maid that the incident was faked to justify Hitler's march into Poland, the maid, affronted, later reported to the Gestapo all of Schultz's phone call, messages, and mail received.

Frank: Schultz described this above incident to show how gullible and unquestioning most Germans were to follow their leader Hitler. He had given Germans jobs, social security, restored their pride. Joseph Goebbels' Nazi propaganda was masterful. Most Germans closed their eyes and minds to alleged Nazi atrocities, saying if Hitler only knew of abuses, he would have stop them.

Betty: Schultz, at a reception of Nazi officials after Hitler invaded Poland, asked about reports of mass murders of Poles. A Nazi official answered her: I don't see why you get excited over the deaths of Poles. They are Slavs and only white on an inferior level. They outnumber us Germans, have a much higher birth rate, so killing them is justified. He concluded with: only those Slavs and Jews who work with us as slave underlings will survive.

Frank: U.S. Embassy junior Military Attaché Army officer Lt. Truman Smith first interviewed Hitler Nov. 20, 1922. To Smith Hitler openly admitted his intent to become dictator and rid Germany of Jews. Lt. Smith from the first believed Hitler was dangerous but did not then imagine Hitler becoming Germany's dictator or European conqueror or WW 2 initiator.

Betty: On Truman Smith's second 4-year tour in Berlin, 1935-39, as U.S. Senior Military Attaché, he was much more concerned about dictator Hitler's military build-up. Smith arranged famed aviator Charles Lindbergh's several visits to Germany, believing correctly that Nazis would be proud, especially Air Marshall Goering, to show Lindbergh their air force Luftwaffe advances. Lindbergh gathered information about Germany's massive military buildup invaluable to U. S. Intelligence.

Frank: Chicago Daily News reporter Edgar Ansel Mowrer, learning secretly from a Jewish doctor about Jews in concentration camps, warned his readers about Hitler, told Jewish friends, "Get out of Germany while you can."

Betty: When new President FDR in 1933 appointed University of Chicago historian William E. Dodd Ambassador to Germany, FDR told Dodd: "I want a liberal in Germany as an example." Dodd, disliked by State Department insiders, early saw and told FDR that Hitler was a danger who must be stopped.

Frank: Author Nagorski concluded his Hitlerland by saying that the most insightful Americans in Germany helped the U.S. begin to recognize Hitler as an ominous threat, begin to abandon U.S.A.'s strong USA isolationism, begin FDR's rearming to stop Hitler. They changed U.S. public opinion. That was their most important contribution. ¶Time, Betty, to wind down with last thoughts. Your last thoughts, Betty?

Betty: I feel more strongly than ever the need for vigilance against fascism and racism. Hitler was a genius, wrote William L. Shirer, impossible to understand, except in the context of a defeated, desperate Germany which his megalomania led astray. Your last thoughts, Frank.

Frank: Democracy with all its faults is slow but safer and better than dictatorship. Our demagogues, would-be-Hitlers: Huey P. Long, Joseph McCarthy, Father Coughlin of Detroit, others, spouted, we listened, then repudiated them. It's better to jaw jaw than war war, said Winston Churchill. About our own considerable U.S. problems: Let debate flourish; let thoughts contend. Between political parties let's return to civil compromise. If you want peace, work for justice.

Betty: Anything we missed for lack of time?

Frank: Yes, Hitler's henchmen, worse than Hitler; they did his dirty work with vengeance: Hermann Gõring, Heinrich Himmler, Joseph Goebbels, Martin Bormann, Reinhard Hedrick, others.

Betty: Why are we glad we chose this topic?

Frank: Hitler, starting WW 2, changed history in so many ways. His evil hastened the founding of the United Nations. He and WW. 2 changed all our lives, got me into the armed forces, to Berea College, KY, where we met and married, to Nashville's Vanderbilt University, to 40+ years teaching, to Uplands.

Betty We could not have done it without this Uplands audience and Third Monday Book Review Co-Chairs Mary and Don Smith. Thank you all so much for being here. End.

Footnotes:

1-See Sigrid Schulz and Eric Raeder in google.com and in Nagorski index.

 

2-William L. Shirer's condensations in his: The Rise and Fall of Adolph Hitler, NY: Scholastic, 1961; and his: "Hitler on the March: The Years of Triumph," Reader's Digest Book Section-II (April, 1962), pp. 248-299.

 

3-WW1 (1918) defeated Germany's sufferings: http://tinyurl.com/og7yrbc

4-Weimar, a university city, less politically volatile than Berlin.

5-Hitler's background…recorded as H-i-t-l-e-r. http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/riseofhitler/born.htm Or: http://tinyurl.com/dn7qar

6-Why significant? "Heil Schicklgruber" would have: Ibid.

 

7-Hitler's illegitimacy… impregnated her. http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=google.com&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8#q=leopold+frankenberger+hitler&rls=en

 

8-Family cover-up shame: ßßßß http://tinyurl.com/dn7qar …for unknown paternal (alois) father: http://tinyurl.com/odmtcrt

9-Leopold Poetsch (1853-1942): http://www.google.com/webhp?source=ig&hl=en&rlz=1G1GGLQ_ENUS352&btnG=Google+Search#hl=en&q=leopold+poetsch-hitler. Or: http://tinyurl.com/mdbxk5l

10-Wagner's (1813-1883)

11-August Kubezek: high strung, opinionated, angry when corrected, sometimes violent. http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/riseofhitler/art.htm (or: http://tinyurl.com/pltbmd3). http://www.toolan.com/hitler/fuhrer.html

Or: http://tinyurl.com/qewc4fl

12-Hitler's anti-Semitism: German author Göetz Aly, Why the Germans? Why the Jews? Envy, Race Hatred, and the Prehistory of the Holocaust, Metropolitan Books, 2014.

 

13-German author Göetz, Ibid.

 

14-Hitler's 1918 German-Jewish commanding officer Hugo Gutman, 1880-1961, see: http://tinyurl.com/qjsmyl7, never promoted Hitler above lance corporal despite his two iron crosses. Some questionable sources allege that superior officers denied Hitler's promotion because of his devious sex reports: http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=google.com&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8#q=Hitler's+sex+orientation&rls=en

 

15-Frank: Recovering from a gas attack: http://tinyurl.com/nk6ygce

16-Betty: Unskilled in a jobless time, Hitler remained in the army 1919-20: http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=google.com&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8#q=german+freikorps&rls=en

17. His Bavarian military Captain Karl Mayr (1883-1945), http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=google.com&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8#q=Karl+Mayr&rls=en

Or: http://preview.tinyurl.com/o2vsnnp )

 

18-Impressed by Hitler's persuasive speeches, was pro-communist: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Workers%27_Party)

 

19-Nazi friend Ernest Hanfstaengl's (1887-1975) house: http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=google.com&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8#q=Hitler%2C+Ernest+Hanfstaengl&rls=en

20-Helen Hanfstaengle pushed the gun aside: http://www.theglobalist.com/the-woman-who-prevented-hitlers-suicide/ Or: http://tinyurl.com/m8ffe6z

http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=google.com&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8#q=Hitler's+Beer+Hall+Putsch&rls=en

Or: http://tinyurl.com/pjk8jbs

21-Hitler got German citizenship by trickery and subterfuge: http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=google.com&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8#q=how+did+hitler+become+a+german+citizen&rls=en

22-Hitler became Germany's Chancellor by trickery and backroom bargaining: http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/riseofhitler/named.htm

and: http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=google.com&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8#q=how+hitler+became+chancellor+essay&rls=en

23-Event 1: Hitler's model Benito Mussolini, Oct. 29, 1922: http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=google.com&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8#q=mussolini+facts&rls=en

 

For Americans-in-Germany, see their Last, First names in Nagorski, Hitlerland index

 

General Sources:

Adolph Hitler references are enormous. Besides the Nagorski and Shirer books reviewed the authors used Google.com and other search engines under these typed headings:

--Adolph Hitler

--Germany Under Adolph Hitler

--Nazi Germany

--Adolph Hitler's Henchmen

--Adolph Hitler's Psychological Profile

--Adolph Hitler's Best Authors

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