Q: You must be one of the increasingly small number of people who saw Adolf Hitler at close quarters. What was he like? How did you find him, how did he strike you, and were you drawn to him?
Spitzy: The more I knew him, the more I liked him. At first, [with] his shouting-out speeches and so on, it wasn't exactly the style I liked. But then when came to the Oversaltsburg and I knew him and he talked with me -- and he was always very nice to me. And friendly and helpful.... He was funny. He was amusing. He liked jokes, except sexual jokes and except political jokes. But all the other jokes he like very much.
And I had to tell him several, about funny Counts, and aristocrats, and like Corenal Blimp, and so on. He read a lot of books, and he knew a lot of history. And of course, when I saw him first time I felt...so happy. And I thought, now I'm selected, I'm allowed to come to the Round Table.... [I was with him during this first meeting], and then came in Eva Braun. [She] told him, "Adolf, we mush have lunch now. The soup will be cold." And I thought, "Who is that women. Who is allowed to talk with him, the leader of Germany, in such a way." And he said, "Yes my child, we will come immediately, just a moment." Then he continued to talk with Remner. Then she came again, and...looked at him, [and] again said, "Now Adolf, we have [to] really -- the soup will be too cold." I fell down from heaven and after the luncheon I went to the chief ADC, a Colonel and I said to him, "Colonel, who is that women?" I said. I couldn't say that lady because she didn't look like a lady.... Then the Colonel said to me. "Spitzy, our Fuhrer has the right of a private life. And what you see here you will forget. You will never tell it to your parents, to your sisters, and your other girlfriends, or your mistress. Because that would be very bad for you. Do you understand me?" I said, "Yes sir." And I never, never talked about it. And so...the fact that Eva Braun lived there was absolutely hidden to everybody, because we respected his right.... Hitler never drank coffee, always drank tea, and [ate] cakes.... He never [ate] meat, and what was absolutely forbidden was to smoke in the whole house. So I found myself with Ministers and Generals in the [bathroom] smoking secretly, opening the window, and with a towel moving out the air, like school boys.
Q: He's a very, very peculiar man isn't he, because, on the one hand, obviously in secret, he's having the most terrible conversations with people. But his outward appearance to the people who knew him is of an intelligent, thoughtful, considerate, and polite man. And I've seen this film of him that Eva Braun shot of him, and he's, he's not playing the big dictator, he's sitting in his chair on the terrace looking out. And he looks very, very peaceful. Now what are we to make of this man?
Spitzy: Oh it's very, I think it's very easy to understand it. Firstly, he was typically Austrian and an artist. Imagine what would have happened if Hitler would have been accepted by the art academy of Vienna where he was rejected. The whole world history would have changed.
Have you ever seen a the pictures he painted? Partly they are bad, partly they are very good. He [once] sent me to England in the time of Ansclose and he said, "Come back immediately and tell what the British are doing." [And he told be to talk to] Rimtrop, who was Ambassador. And Rimtrop wrote one report after the other one, and he thought he must write a report that will be published the next thousand years in all school books. Thanks to Rimtrop in London and so on. And he didn't move. And in the afternoon of the second day, Hitler called up and I got on the phone. And I was flabbergasted that he himself called up. And when I came back to Berlin I was more or less afraid I [would] get hell for that. And when I arrived at the airport a big Mercedes Benz was there with a several SS Generals, and so on. And I was brought to the Chancellory, and they told me: "You will get hell now;" "Why didn't you come earlier;" and, "Herr Hitler is waiting for news." And then I entered the Chancellory and I was pushed to his room -- big salon, the winter garden. Then [Hitler] said, "Spetsy how was the flight?" He didn't ask me what were the English doing. I said, "Yes, perfect, perfect." "Have you had breakfast?" And I said, "But my Fuhrer ,that is absolutely unimportant. Of course I had everything." "What do you want? Coffee, Zemmel, Kipfem, corns, jam," and so on. Then he went to the door and he ordered that. And then he came back and told me, "Now give me your paper and now tell me how it was." Perfect manner. I wouldn't have done the same. I would have shouted, "Spetsy where have you been? Didn't I tell you." But he [was] perfect, and of course it was overwhelming, of course. I thought [that at] that very moment, I was a defender of him.
Q: Did you ever see any cruelty?
Spitzy: No... [I saw] him the last time after Munich when he was still, let us say, a normal person.
A dictator to British [who felt] that he cheated them.... The terrible moment was Prague, when, against his promises, he conquered another nation. From that very moment he became a Imperialist. And before he reunited the Germans. And I can you tell you many stories about him, nice behaviour. And he was interested in the fate of his collaborators and he helped them. And he helped Generals who had difficulties with divorce.
He was extremely rich. Don't forget, his book was translated in 70 languages, and he owned the Felkisherbrewmaker the big German paper. He had money -- as much as he wanted now. And he gave it for good purposes. [I remember] General Brauhitch wanted to divorce, but his wife asked a lot of money. Hitler gave him the 200,000 marks, 200,000 marks.... And he liked fun. And of course he liked to hear himself. He talked up to four o'clock in the morning. We [would sit] at the table. We were not allowed to go away. Then we went sometimes to the [bathroom]. We smoked a secret cigarette. Then we came back and the part of the stories he told we knew already. Practically, you know what he was? He was very alone. He knew that most people told him just what he wanted to hear. He was alone, as all dictators.... And of course he was very much interested to hear news from his chauffeur, from his butler. Much more than from ambassadors. He read the newspapers. I couldn't imagine that he could have [talked] to a...taperecorder. He needed a person to talk with. So he needed his secretaries and his ADCs. And when he was thinking about a question and musing about a question, he took one of the ADC's -- for instance, me.
I was attache from the Foreign Office there. And then he talked [to] me, and said, "I am going to do that, and that, and that, and I think that's the right way and so on." And I got very much honoured and I thought, "Now world history is in my shoulders, and he has confidence in my person." He needed flesh and blood too, for the evolution of his thoughts. And then I went out and I told the others, "Now I know what the Fuhrer is going to do and what he really wants." And the next day he asked [to talk to], let's say the Naval Attache.....