*installment 10: hitler speaks
In Berlin.

I arrived yesterday. We have a short vacation. I need one. I
have been teaching my brains out. Its exhausting. You get
involved with these people. You are teacher, parent, friend,
psychiatrist. You also loan money.

I am staying with Felixmuller and his wife.

F looks good. F always looks good. What is it about this
man? He enjoys life. He enjoys painting, eating, fucking,
shaving, talking, reading, bowling. Its a gift.

I catch up on some news. He has a new dealer. He has
dropped Mother Ey. Now he is with Fletchheim.

Why did he drop Mother Ey?  Because Fletchheim gave him
a better deal. Mother Ey was taking 40% Fletcheim also
takes 40% But he has agreed to give him a show every year
and also to buy a specific number of  paintings. It assures F
of a steady income. F doesnt need this because he has a rich
wife. But it is always nice to pay your own way.

Fletchheim is a jew. He is Mr Jew. He has these lips like
pieces of wurst and the hooded eyes and a nose like a pickle
and a stooped appearance like a vulture standing patiently
beside the carcass of a dying beast. In other words--he
looks like an art dealer.

But so be it. The point is: he makes money for artists. He
pays his bills. Mother Ey also pays her bills.  But she takes
so long to pay them that people occasionally drop dead first.

F asks about the teaching.

I tell him. Its strictly a con game. The idea is to entertain
them. If they are having fun they will be happy.  If they are
happy they will stay in school and you can keep your job.
Knowledge is secondary. Those who want, will. Those who
dont, wont.

Lunch with Martha

Ive missed this woman. The fact is this: I am happy with her.

Has she missed me? She says yes. Separation can be a
funny thing. Sometimes you find out you dont miss them. Or
they you.

Whats happening with Hans?

Hans is miserable. He is ready to snap. He thinks he wants a
divorce. He wants to marry Eva. The problem is the
children. Hans is a miserable husband but a good father. He
loves the children. He wants a divorce but doesnt want to
give up the children.

What does Martha want?  She also wants the children.

That leaves me. What do I want? Ive thought about all this.
I love this woman.  I am fond of her children. But there is a
difference between being fond of a womans children and
agreeing to raise them. Is this what I want?

I dont think so. I want children of my own.  I dont think I
am capable of teaching, painting and raising two sets of

I visit my parents.

My parents are the same. My father is still working at the
foundry. They will bury him at this place.

My mother is fine. My mothers attitude is: keep busy. She  
is up at 4am weeding.

Everyone else is fine. I have two brothers and sisters. We all
get along. The only problem is Ernst.  Ernst is the baby. He
is 29. What to do about Ernst? He is without ambition. He is
a college graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering
and works in a hardware store. He is still living at home.
And I have news for them: he will always live at home. He
has two interests:  soccer and the track. He is either playing
soccer or the horses.

He doesnt have a girlfriend. Why? Because no woman could
love him the way he loves himself. He is fussy. Its always
something. This one is too fat and that  one has big teeth
and that one is a peasant and this one is too aggressive and
that one isnt aggressive enough, etc. Its endless.  The
perfect girl would be a virgin with a PH.d and perfect teeth
and a gift for winning at the track.

But the question is this: if he found the perfect girl why
would she want him?

I am there for dinner.

I love my mothers cooking.  Its simple but effective. Tonite
its my favorite: Swiss steak marinated in prune juice, home
fries with bacon bits and sweet peppers stuffed with cheese
and bread crumbs.

The conversation is the same. There is a pattern here. We
begin with 1) work--followed by 2) love, 3) religion and 4)
politics. They always occur in this order. We dont know why.

One nite I said: lets talk about religion

I ask my father how things are at the foundry which are the
same they have been for 40 years and Eva asks Ernst how
things are at the hardware store and my mother asks how  I
am doing at the institute.

We discuss love. Eva has a new boyfriend. Eva is 35. She is
a widow. Her husband was killed in a freak accident.  

She has no children. This has become an issue. She is
desperate to have a child.

What about me? They know nothing of Martha. Should I
mention Madeline? No.

Now for religion. This is my fathers favorite subject.  He
hates the church. Religion is at the root of all our problems.
They should burn these people alive--starting with the Pope.

Now for  politics. I would be happy to avoid this subject but
there is nothing to be done. Its my family.  I am stuck with
these people.

Politics these days means the Nazi party. The Nazi party
means Hitler. Sometimes its Goering. My father likes
Goering.  Goering is a
mensch.  Mensch is a yiddish word
that is untranslatable. It refers to a man who represents
certain qualities such as loyalty, generosity, steadfastness of
character and such. A
mensch is one of the boys. He drinks,
smokes cigars, hunts, tells cornball jokes, plays poker and is
a rabid sports fan. He can be depended on in a pinch. This is
the main thing.

All this is true. Goering is a
mensch.  When he isnt throwing
people out of airplanes hes a hell of a guy.

Hitler is next. We discuss his sex life. Everyone has a theory
about this. Why isnt Hitler married?  Does he have a
girlfriend. Is he a homosexual.  What about the rumor he
was born with one ball?

What about the rumor he has syphilis contracted from a

Sometimes all these theories are lumped together into a
single theory: He is a homosexual with one ball who has
syphilis contracted from a prostitute.

Ernst says: He has a niece who pees on his face.

We look at him.

Robert says: where did you get that one?

Ernst says: its a well known fact.

Robert tells us a story. Robert is the oldest. He is 40.  He is
married and has two kids. He is an engineer. He reminds
me in some ways of F.  

The story is this.  People are always trying to fix Hitler
up.He likes women. And he has a preference. Hes a T and A
man--tits and ass. Its T/A, T/A, T/A.  Also legs--the showgirl
type. He loves these Hollywood musicals featuring Can/Can
style dance routines with 50 cuties lined up arm/in/arm
kicking up a storm showing plenty of crotch.

So Goebbels--who has contacts in the movie biz--fixes him
up with an actress--a blind date.  Hitler picks the girl up and
takes her to dinner. They eat dinner and return to her apt.  
She is sitting on the couch. The evening has gone well. She
likes the man. When he isnt standing up on a stage
haranguing a hundred thousand lunatic party members he
can be charming.

But nothing is happening. She is sitting on the couch and He
is talking.  He is talking talking talking. Her ears are
beginning to cramp.  At one point she nods off. She snaps
out of it and he is still talking

But the story is this. The girl is sitting there on the
couch in this dazed state and Hitler suddenly stands
and snaps his right arm out in the Nazi salute. The arm
is snapped straight out at this acute angle aimed at the
ceiling--stiff as a bone.

Hitler says: I can maintain this gesture for an hour!

He is beaming.

End of story.

Actually there are similarities between Hitler and my
brother. They will never marry because they are too fussy
about women and hopelessly in love with themselves.

Hitler has given a speech.

I attended this event.

I went with F.  F remains a pacifist but he is fascinated by
Hitler. I admit to some curiosity of my own here. You have
to give this man credit. He has come from nowhere.  10
years ago he was a bum--a drifter. He had nothing. He had
no money, no friends, no job, no education He lived in a
flophouse. He was as alone as you could get.

Now he is a national figure. He leads a powerful organization
that continues to grow. They are getting contributions from
people like Fritz Thyssen. How has he done this?

Hes done it with his mouth.

The meeting occurred at the Felderhaus--a large hall in the
Friedrichstrasse district. The room holds 3,000.  Its a full
house. There are a lot of women. I have heard of Hitlers
appeal for women.  This is unusual for a politician. Getting a
woman to attend a political speech is like getting them to
attend a convention of mining engineers.

But Hitler is different. He interests women because he
knows what he wants.  This is always an attractive quality
for a woman.

The meeting is scheduled for 8.

Hitler arrives late--about 830. He mounts the stage.

He stands at the lectern and fusses with his speech.

I have not before seen him in the flesh.

This is a nondescript creature. He is average in height and
build. The hair is dark and slicked down and over to one
side. He sports a small moustache. The suit is conservatively
cut. He stands at the lectern waiting for the buzz to subside.

He waits and waits.

F tells me he refuses to begin a speech until there is
absolute silence. He will wait as long as it takes. A certain
type of individual is required to insist and on this and stand
there waiting for it to occur.

Now he begins.

The voice is low, even, moderate.  Its pleasant.

He spoke for 2 hours. He has three speeches: short,
medium, long. 2 hours is the short speech.

I note some of the major points.

He says: Where are we today in Germany.  The answer is:
the same place we have been for 10 years.  We are spinning
our wheels in this country. How many governments have we
had since the war. Ive lost track.  Its a joke. We should get
Hollywood to come over and make a movie: The Keystone
Cops visit Germany.

This draws a laugh.

As he speaks the voice changes.  Its not so low and even--or
pleasant. It enters a higher register and a more urgent,
insistent, nagging tone begins to creep in.

He says:  What are the issues here?  There is only one
issue: The treaty of Versailles.  This is the root. Everything
else comes from this.  Germany is not an autonomous state.
We are a slave state. Our masters are the French. We are
ruled by the French according to the provisions of the
Versailles Treaty. We are being raped by these people. How
much longer do we permit them to occupy our soil and
commit this pillage.  I think 10 years of living in bondage is

He pauses. He is beginning to perspire. He retrieves a
handkerchief and wipes his face. He sips water.

He continues.

2. Re-armament. A state becomes great in one way only.
Through strength. It should inspire fear and respect--not
laughter. Germany is weak as a baby. A baby is not an
intimidating creature.

We must correct this situation. To do this we need weapons.
We need planes and tanks and guns and submarines and the
armed forces to employ these weapons.

3. Real Estate.  We lost some land during the war. It was
valuable land. It went to the French and the Poles.  They/ve
had it for ten years. I want this land back. It isnt going to be
returned voluntarily.  We must take it back.  

4. Enemies. Germany has enemies. The French are an
enemy. Poland is an enemy. I consider Russia an enemy.
We have internal enemies. The communist party is an
enemy. The jews are an enemy. The war was not lost on the
battlefield. It was lost at the conference table--behind our
backs. I know this to be true because I was in the battle
field when it occurred. It came as a great surprise to
me--and all my comrades in the trenches--where we were
being shot at, gassed and eaten by vermin--to learn the war
was over and the
result of all our suffering and sacrifices and loss of life and
limb was a humiliating defeat.  We were shocked. But it was
true. We had been sold out. By who? By The jews.

These people are not Germans. Would a German hand his
country over to the French?

I am not an evil man. But It is not evil to advocate the
elimination of people who commit treason. Treason is the  
unforgivable crime.

We must destroy our enemies or be destroyed by them.  
These are the choices.  There  are no other options.

Now he is rolling. He is lathered up. He rants and raves and
screams and shouts and threatens and begs and moans and
groans and whispers and wails and whines and wheedles.

Hitlers passion for music is well known.  Esp the music of
Wagner.  He loves Wagner. And this devotion to Wagner is
reflected in the speeches.

There are the rattling
staccato bursts and the smoother
rippling passages of
legato and the vivace and lentissimo
and the forte and the pianissimo and the accelerando and
diminuendo of the hammering chords.   Above all there are
the hammering chords. He hammers, hammers, hammers.

There is an operatic flavor here. He crafts a speech the way
a composer writes a score. The same elements are
present--rythym, dynamics, intonation and the gradual
working up to the thundering climax and crashing coda.

There are the gestures to go with. The head is snapped back
and the eyeballs spin and the arms whip about in this and
that way and the hands pound and smash and slash  the air.

Did I call this man non-descript?

This isnt a politician delivering a speech. Its an actor
giving a performance.

He wraps it up.

The National Socialist party has a program.  it isnt a
program based on the democratic model.  Its a single party
system. There is a place for democracy--the United States.  
The situation in Germany is different.  We had nothing but
coalition governments for 10 years. It is time to unite under
a single form of leadership that has the power to act--and to
act swiftly.

Look at Mussolini. Look what this man has accomplished in
Italy--fantastic things! If Mussolini had to receive permission
from an assembly full of half wits before building a hospital
or highway or train station or commissioning a navy--how
far would he have gotten.  They would still be arguing about
installing a few extra urinals in the post office.

This draws a laff.

He continues: I anticipate the use of force. I make no secret
of this.  If I must rule by fear I am prepared to do so.

The sweat is pouring off.  He has worked himself into a fury

He says: Life is a struggle. Its always been a struggle  In
this struggle it is the strong that survive and the weak that
perish.  We can destroy our enemies or we can be destroyed
by them. There is no middle ground. I am only interested in
one thing: restoring greatness--and self-respect to
Germany. I have dedicated my life to this.

He ends by hammering at a few simple ideas: strength,
action, fear--order

Now its over.

He stands bracing himself against the lectern  dripping like a
rag. He is pooped--wrung out.

The audience erupts in a  storm of cheering and thunderous
applause. The woman go wild. Some are crying.  They look
like they have seen Jesus. This isnt a political rally--its a
faith healing. All that is required is belief. If you believe you
will be cured. It is a form of mass hypnosis. And he
hypnotizes himself as well.

*for previous installments and an intro to the book go        
next month: marriage