I HAVE not read the book to which The Observer refers, and am inclined to distrust books which are hyped so much in advance as this one was in the book-selling trade, months ago already. Adolf Hitler, being dead, is of course a soft target, and nobody will be deported or arrested for saying he was homosexual – unless of course the homosexual and lesbian communities take offence at the shoehorning of this belated newcomer into their ranks. Nor would I attach much weight to a blackmail file assembled by Otto von Lossow, one of Hitler’s most implacable enemies in 1923.
I am not an expert on the young Hitler, but I am on the mature man that he became. I am not impressed by a book that Hitler’s Italian interpreter Eugen Dollmann is said to have published in Italy after the war, allegedly containing the police file. I interviewed Dollmann, a Munich hotel owner, extensively in the early 1970s, and he never made any such allegation to me. The CIA file on Dollmann has now been released by the National Archives, and it reveals that—like the infamous Wilhelm H?ttl—Dollmann was a paid OSS informer and agent after the war; he revealed to me that the Ciano Diary widely quoted by conformist historians now was largely faked by the OSS (there are voluminous files on the diaries in the still closed papers of Allen Dulles at Princeton University archives).
It is noteworthy that Hitler preferred to surround himself with women secretaries at his tea table in the evenings, when he wanted to relax, at least one of the four being a considerable beauty (Gerda Daranowski, who married the air force general Christian).
There are insider rumours that he had a long-standing relationship, or infatuation at least, with Magda Quandt, and persuaded her to marry the unbecoming Dr Joseph Goebbels solely in order to ensure that she remained within his field of view. The wife of Dr Otto Meissner, President Hindenburg’s old state secretary, told The Stars & Stripes in September 1945 that Hitler, not Goebbels, fathered Magda’s son Hellmuth. The son’s likeness to Dr Goebbels is however unmistakable; I think there may however be a weak case to be made for Hitler having fathered little Holde Goebbels however.
The Goebbels diaries give a clear image of Hitler’s sexuality in the 1920s and 1930s. At that time Hitler frequently had girl friends, to the vexation of Dr Goebbels who wanted the chief to concentrate less on what he called skirt-chasing and womanising and more on politics and seizing power. I published the relevant excerpts in my biography, Goebbels. Mastermind of the Third Reich. In 1930 Hitler started an intense relationship with his only half-willing niece Geli Raubal, daughter of his sister Angela. Goebbels’s diary shows that he also took a shine to the young Geli, but rapidly backed off when he realised that she was already spoken for.
His secretary Christa Schroeder related to me that according to Emil Maurice, Hitler’s chauffeur (and the first chief of the SS), Hitler used to send him out to procure women in the 1920s; and that when Hitler found out that he was having an affair in 1931 with Geli Raubal, he dismissed him as chauffeur, and angrily confined his niece to her room. That was shortly before her suicide in September 1931 (I discussed her affair with Hitler with her brother Leo in Linz, Austria, and he never indicated that there was any abnormality about it). He carried the gun with which she shot herself until he himself held it to his head in one hand in 1945 (but actually shot himself with the gun in his other hand, the Walther 7.65). Ever afterwards, he compared each new woman he met to the lost Geli, and did not hesitate to tell them so, either.
Hitler joked to the sculptor Arno Breker, so Breker told me, that he liked to visit his studios, as this was the only occasion when he might hope to glimpse the nude female form. He certainly had an eye for the good looking female: Leni Riefenstahl was one example, whom he repeatedly invited to tea, according to the Goebbels diaries; Anni Brandt, wife of Dr Karl Brandt, his surgeon, was another. So was Heli Bouhler, and the stunningly beautiful first wife of labour chief Dr Robert Ley, a blonde who killed herself in 1940.
On March 24, 1938, when Karl Jesco von Puttkamer, his perennial naval adjutant, asked him as his supreme commander for permission to become engaged (as was the custom then), Hitler sighed and said that Puttkamer had it good, becoming engaged, and how much he too would like to take a wife, but that would be wrong for Germany. He was thinking of the effect on the female electorate (I know the date, because I told Puttkamer, when he related this to me, “That was the day I was born, Herr Konteradmiral!”)
Women who have read Hitler’s Table Talk—the first-person record of his private conversations with his staff—have told me that they marvelled at his insight into the female psyche. With the exception perhaps of Winifred Wagner, who was English, and of whom (so she told me) he was genuinely fond, he took pains to avoid the battle-axe variety of the German female; he told his staff he could not abide Ilse Hess, wife of Rudolf, after she turned into a virago in later years. I believe Hess’s attorney Alfred Seidl related that to me.
His testosterone level measured only about half the normal for a man of his age, but Dr Cortez F Enloe, who investigated and questioned Hitler’s doctors in 1945 for the USSBS, told me in Washington DC in the 1960s that (a) the measuring abilities of serum and hormone levels was not precise enough in the 1940s for an accurate determination; and a low level, if correctly measured, would be a normal characteristic of a busy man who had no time or opportunity for a prolonged sexual relationship, e.g. an industrialist or a convict.
There is a 1945 US interrogation report summary devoted to the subject of Women around Hitler, and there is no hint of homosexual proclivities in this. Nor is there in the diaries of his doctors, Karl von Eicken and Theo Morell, which I was the first to find, transcribe, exploit, and publish; nor in the 500-page diary of Dr. Erwin Giesing, who treated him after the July 20, 1944 bomb attempt on his life. Nor in the interrogations of the other doctors like Hanskarl von Hasselbach. Nor is there a hint of this in any of the otherwise often scurrilous reports on public opinion, the morale reports prepared by the SD (Gestapo).
Christa Schroeder told me that when she was ill in 1938, Hitler visited her in hospital with flowers; he joked with her flirtatiously, “People will say you’re my secret mistress.” She was shocked at what she took to be a shy advance.
SS General Sepp Dietrich once spread the rumour that Hitler had found the beautiful baroness Sigrid von Laffert in his bed, naked, in the Chancellery; he had brusquely told her to get dressed and remove her person from his presence. Reinhard Spitzy, a close friend of the baroness, assured me this was completely untrue, but she certainly continued to grace the Berghof tea parties until 1935, when young Eva Braun finally took over and secured Sigrid’s banishment from the court (by staging a fake suicide: see her personally faked May 1935 diary, in the US National Archives, for this episode).
In 1935 he started a long lasting relationship with this attractive, simple young laboratory assistant (she worked at Heinrich Hoffmann’s photo studios); in fact he continued thereafter to pay her salary until the end of World War II (Gerd Heidemann showed me the Hoffmann Studios receipts for these payments). I discussed the matter of Hitler’s relations with her, with Otto G?nsche (who is still alive in 2001) and with Nicolaus von Below, his SS and Luftwaffe adjutants respectively (that was around 1967-9). While tact constrained what they were prepared to divulge, they both indicated that the sexual relationship between Adolf and Eva was infrequent but normal, and that they had specific reasons for that belief. Her bosom friend Herta Schneider confirmed this to me when I interviewed her on film for Hard Copy in the 1980s.
No doubt we shall be told by the next conformist scholar that he did not just like children and dogs, but that he was a paedophile.
David Irving, 2001