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He Was My Chief: The Memoirs of Hitler’s Secretary
"I Was Hitler's Secretary"
Author Christa Schroeder's First-Hand Account of Hitler
Christa Schroeder working as scretary for Adolf Hitler

Adolf Hitler's personal secretary Christa Schroeder has revealed the first-hand account of Hitler's secret life in her memoirs "He Was My Chief: The Memoirs of Hitler's Secretary." It was reported by the British media Daily Express.

Here is the full story by Daily Express.

Hitler was behaving strangely that autumn morning in 1944. The frown that often spread across his face was gone and he was smiling oddly.

Suddenly he flung open his arms and said with emotion: "How lovely it is when two people are in love!"

Those around him were astonished and uneasy. The Führer, whose mood could change in the blink of an eye, was seemingly overwhelmed with a new bonhomie.

Later an aide nervously asked Hitler's doctor, the sinister Theodor Morell, if the Nazi leader was ill. The doctor peered over his glasses and gave a slight, sly smile.

"So you've noticed? Well, I'm giving him hormone injections from bulls' testicles. That should pep him up!"

The astonishing revelation is contained in He Was My Chief: The Memoirs Of Hitler's Secretary by Christa Schroeder. Hired because of her shorthand skill she worked for the Führer from 1933 until the end in May 1945.

She had replied to a tiny advertisement in a newspaper asking for a woman with secretarial skills.

The job turned out to be in the Munich office of the Nazi party and after Hitler had been made Chancellor in 1933 she became his main secretary at just 25.

After seizing power Hitler installed himself in Berlin's Radziwill Palace where he lived and worked and was surrounded by aides, advisers and other officials who were an integral part of the Nazi machine.

Christa Schroeder and the other secretaries worked in the "Ladies' Saloon" and one morning Hitler happened to see the girls sitting there and asked if he might join them.

It was the first time Christa had spoken to him and he would soon call regularly in the office for conversation – what he called "an hour of easy chatter" and tea.

Hitler became so relaxed in Miss Schroeder's company that he would talk with surprising openness about his childhood.

"Our room was a place where he felt unburdened and I always had the impression that what he said there came from a secret memory box which at all other times he kept locked shut," she wrote.

Often he would speak affectionately of his mother, to whom he was very attached, and also of his father's violence: "I never loved my father but feared him," he told her.

"He was prone to rages and would resort to violence. My poor mother would then be afraid for me.

I had read that it was a sign of bravery to hide pain so I decided that when he beat me next time I would make no sound. When it happened – I knew my mother was standing anxiously at the door – I counted each stroke out loud.

"Mother thought I had gone mad when I reported with a beaming smile: ‘Father gave me 32 strokes.' I never needed to repeat the experiment for my father never beat me again."

Working alongside Hitler could be unpredictable – even judging from his eyes. Miss Schroeder found them expressive, even friendly and warm-hearted.

But in the last months of the war they lost all expressiveness and became bulging and watery. She was also able to tell his mood from his voice. It would start off as being unusually calm and clear.

But suddenly it would increase in volume – even during normal conversation – and become overwhelmingly aggressive.

His most frequently used word was "ruthless" and she often heard him say of an order: "Force it through ruthlessly whatever the cost!"

He was also a health fanatic and set great store on personal hygiene. ­Hitler took as many as nine baths a day, particularly after meetings and speeches from which he would return perspiring.

He prided himself on seemingly endless reserves of energy about which he used to boast to Nazi underlings who could not keep up.

But, as Miss Schroeder observed, from 1944 onwards he was no longer master of his own body and his trembling left hand became a huge embarrassment.

When surprised visitors saw the shaking hand he would cover it instinctively with the other.

She also learned to read his reactions to bad news. Although, to the end, Hitler remained master of his emotions, his reaction to bad news was a slight movement of the jaw.

He clearly enjoyed showing off his knowledge. As a largely self-­educated man he had gleaned much information and was obsessive about looking up facts in an encyclopedia.

This way he often managed to convince listeners that he was a profound thinker and the possessor of a sharp analytical brain.

But he could be caught out. Miss Schroeder recalls that one day he launched into a philosophical dissertation on one of his favourite themes.

"To my astonishment I realised he was reciting a page from Schopenhauer which I had just finished reading myself. Summoning all my courage I drew the facts to his attention.

Hitler, taken aback, threw me a glance and explained in fatherly tones: ‘Do not forget, my child, that all knowledge comes from others and that every person only contributes a minute piece to the whole."'

His waffling cover-up silenced his critics.

Taking dictation, often straight to typewriter, posed problems for the spirited Miss Schroeder. Hitler would begin to dictate calmly, with expansive gestures.

Gradually he would speak faster and the keys of Ms Schroeder's typewriter would tangle. But he chose not to notice and kept dictating.

Every so often, while pausing to fix the keys, a sentence might be missed and the text would not flow. Hitler would not be pleased.

Sometimes Miss Schroeder went too far. On one occasion she did not like the way he had phrased something and pointed it out. He just stared at her neither angry nor offended and said: "You are the only person I allow to correct me." And then he added: "We are at war and I must weigh carefully every word for the world is watching and listening. Were I to use the wrong word in a moment of passion, that could have severe implications."

Hitler was also fanatical about smoking and wanted a skull and crossbones printed on every packet of cigarettes made in Germany. He believed soldiers should be given chocolate instead of cigarettes.

But one day after a rather lingering visit to the officers' mess, Miss Schroeder spoke up and declared:

"Ah, mein Führer, let the poor boys have this pleasure, they don't get any others." Hitler looked serious and explained how nicotine and alcohol ruined people's health and addled the mind.

And without another word he walked out giving her an ice-cold aggrieved expression.

She observes: "I no longer existed for him. It was to be many months before Hitler forgave my faux-pas."

Among his other obsessions was a passionate liking for vegetables which he would often eat in large quantities.

This had the unfortunate effect of giving him regular bouts of flatulence – a fact of private amusement to those around him but often deeply unpleasant.

He also insisted on huge vases of flowers on tables, as much apple pie as his chef could make and he would spend hours listening to classical music – Aryan composers only.

In addition to his hatred for smoking and alcohol he deeply disliked meat and, surprisingly, cats. They made him nervous and he would look horrified if he saw one.

One sure way to irritate the Führer was to make an excessive fuss of his pet dogs.

He was noticeably selfish in his desire for their unflinching affection and if they responded to stroking from anyone else, Hitler became visibly irritated.

Miss Schroeder was arrested at the end of the war and after being convicted as a war criminal, was reclassified as a collaborator and released from prison in 1948. She died aged 76 in June 1984.

Although she tended to exclude herself from the Nazism which surrounded her, an American Army interrogator wrote of her: "She was rather stupid, dumpy and an ardent Nazi."

But she knew many of Hitler's secrets – from hormone injections to flatulence.

To order He Was My Chief: The Memoirs Of Hitler's Secretary by Christa Schroeder (Frontline Books), £19.99 with free delivery, send a cheque or PO payable to Daily Express Bookshop to: Hitler's Secretary Offer, PO Box 200, Falmouth TR11 4WJ, or call 0871 988 8367 with card details or online at www.expressbookshop.com.




 

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