* Lew’s review of “Hitler – the Missing Years” by Ernst “Putzi” Hanfstaengl

Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 18, 2013


Ernst “Putzi” Hanfstaengl was often in Hitler’s company from the early 1920s to the mid 1930s. Harvard educated and a friend (so he says) of FDR, Putzi was Hitler’s link to the foreign press corp. He has much to say about personal moments and matters (eg, Hitler was impotent) but all of this was written after he had escaped what he describes as Hitler’s plan to kill him in 1937. A fascinating but not necessarily reliable witness.

For example, here are Putzi’s observations on the infamous and tragic Geli Raubal … Hitler had moved into a handsome 9 room apartment at 16 Prinz Regentenplatz in one of the most expensive parts of the city … Geli was by then a buxom young woman of 21 … she had made some pretense of starting some course of study at Munich University … She was soon having an affair with Hitler’s driver … And others … Hitler found out about her and she was given a room in his house … She went round went very well dressed at his expense (the Party’s expense) … Much resentment was expressed about these expenditures … Hitler hovered near her looking like an infatuated adolescent … She was an empty headed little slut without either brains or character … She took singing lessons … Hitler had some idea she might develop into a Wagner heroine … She was not an apt pupil … on 9/18/31 she shot herself with Hitler’s revolver … Hitler was in a state of hysteria … Within a few days all the opposition papers carried the news.

For my novel-writing purposes, gossip may be as useful as facts.

Several scenes suggested themselves as I read through Putzi’s memoir.


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