Hitler lives...SAY GERMANS
By GERALD BRYDEN-BROW
THOUSANDS of Germans living in the Western Zone still believe that Hitler is alive and will some day return to lead a similar organisation to the Nazi Party.
This fact I discovered through inquiries and interviews, as an engineer of a Norwegian motorship which recently visited Germany for extensive repairs and alterations.
Night visits to little bierstuben (drinking halls) at Kiel and Bremen in the company of a German-speaking ship's officer soon proved that the meetings of the local turnverein (social clubs) were really Nazi Party gatherings, although they went under the names of National Demokrat and others.
Of course, these meetings are checked periodically. English and American Military Police often crash in, the latter bristling with tommy-guns and resplendent in white helmets. They find nothing, and any papers on the table are invariably minutes of the social club.
The Americans are hated bitterly, but it is a surprising fact that the British are almost liked. As one German put it, "The British have suffered almost as we have, but Americans know nothing of war in their own homeland."
And so the beer mugs are refilled, and tired eyes brighten. In the hall outside the meeting room the hum of conversation is subdued a little as an old man tinkles at a zither. Soon someone will ask for Lili Marlene, and eyes vague in retrospect. I know then that those shabby men are thinking of their days with the immaculate Wehrmacht during 1938-43.
And Hitler? Many Germans claim he is in Portugal, but others say Spain or South America.
Hitler's double died
But listen to the story of one typical German, who spoke with grim surety. His name is Franz Fischer, and he is a nightwatchman at the huge shipyard of Holwaldt Werke at Kiel. He is tired and shabby, for he is keeping a wife and three children in the remains of a small house, and has eighty marks, about £6 Australian, a week, on which to live in a land of inflated prices.
Perhaps nightwatchman Franz Fischer does not look like an authority, but not so long ago he was Kapitan-Lieutenant Fischer of the German Navy, and commander of a modern submarine in the Atlantic. He has an imposing array of ribbons, including the rare Knights Cross. His opinion is worth hearing.
He said: "Can you imagine Germany allowing Hitler to die in a fire at the Chancellory? No, our efficiency could not permit that.
Adolf Hitler left Germany three days before Berlin fell, and the body found in the ruins was that of another man, Hitler's double even to his dental work. The double posed as the Leader many times, even before the war. His job was to appear at unimportant functions, when Hifler had more urgent things to do. And the double appeared when the Chancellory fell in ruins, and he died there.
"I know for a fact that Adolf Hitler is today alive and well, and he is in Argentina. Whether the Peron Government is aware of this, I do not know, but if anyone would take the trouble to make inquiries, he would find that the Argentine Navy is in possession of one of our latest Snorkel-equipped submarines. That is the submarine that took Hitler from Germany. No, I do not know whether his woman went with him, but I am sure he will come back to lead Germany again."
(Originally Published in THE WORLD'S NEWS, JULY 22, 1950)
AT exercise in the Nazi prison yard, a Britisher, Hugh Oloff de Wet, 28, picked up four inches of hacksaw blade and a plan for escape was already forming in his mind.
The discovery meant release from, torture and perhaps madness or death to the young spy in the service of the French Deuxieme Bureau. He had been arrested by German counter espionage men while spying on military installations.
De Wet had worked to a clever plan which had outwitted the Germans for nearly a year. He collected photographs of documents dealing with Qerman fortifications and sewed them in cushions similar to those on the Budapest-Paris express. De Wet would travel a short distance in the train, substitute cushions, then leave.
Using a special code he would then send French colleagues the apartment number of the carriage. Using this system he smuggled several valuable plans from Germany until a man he had trusted betrayed him to the Gestapo.
He was arrested. Gestapo men stubbed cigarettes on his hands, broke his finger joints and skilfully tapped a rubber mallet on the nape of his neck to make him talk. It was two years before his trial, and in that time he was moved from gaol to gaol. He staged hunger strikes to obstruct his removal but was immediately placed in a lunatic asylum.
De Wet eked out an existence and to keep his mind alert tried to achieve the impossible. His cell mate was having a birthday and for something to do de Wet promised him a feast of roast pigeon and rum. His friend said it seemed impossible; but de Wet tamed a pigeon to eat out of a noose formed by his thumb and forefinger. He caught the pigeon, cut it up and cooked it with lighted paper. The rum he traded for a pair of trousers with the prison guard.
Soon after he found the hacksaw blade. Every night he drew the blade gently across the bar so as not to disturb the prison-guard. Patiently he sawed three thousand strokes each night, no more or less. He filled the cut in the bar with bread kneaded into paste and darkened. A few weeks and he was through.
Using strips of looped sheet he hauled himself to the roof, then slipped down the earth wire of the lightning conductor to the ground.
Fellow prisoners had told of a rat-infested underground river that was a refuge for the desperate. In this de Wet found kindly apaches who fitted him with peasant clothes, plugged his nose with candle wax to alter the contour of his face. They stained his face with sunbronze and helped him finalise his desperate plan to swim down the Danube to the Bosphorus.
But his plan, close to fulfilment, was upset when worn out by swimming, he chanced a night in a haystack and woke up next morning surrounded by farm workers. They had mistaken him for a poultry thief and handed him over to the police. De Wet was chained wrist and ankle, transferred to Berlin for the trial and placed in a cellar with 500 other prisoners. One night a Nazi guard sprayed the cellar with machine-gun bullets, but de Wet was unharmed.
It seemed de Wet's charmed life was to end when the German People's Court condemned him to death. Gaoled in the Death Corridor of the dreaded Plotzensee prison, given food only every other day and manacled, he learnt how to slip his hands free of the fetters and to control his racing thoughts as the death guards tramped down the corridor with victims for the guillotine.
Every evening he heard the guards coming to collect the new day's victims. Footsteps marched nearer and nearer and the crash of the next door bolts often sounded like his own. Every morning he heard the hiss of the guillotine and saw the short coffins and pools, of blood.
Determined to kill himself he stood on the stone slab used for a bed, smashed a window into small.pieces and chewed up the splinters—but nothing happened.
Nearly four years he waited under sentence of death. He had. to fighl insanity and learned to tame flies for company. He would sit with his tamed flies and feel their gentle caresses as they climbed over his body. Each evening he attached a shred of black ribbon to his prison rags, and he was dressed for dinner — a small crust.
Eventually, the RAF bombed the prison and because no accommodation was left in the wrecked cells, 180 prisoners were hanged that night. But de Wet was drafted to another prison for execution of his sentence. At this prison camp he came close to death.
He was put in a sentry box cell by the execution squad, told to strip and don a paper shirt. The guards came soon after and took out the doomed in rapid succession. De Wet's door opened—-"Dress," said the guard. "Have no fear. Only a try out."
In 1945 the prison gates were opened by the Americans and freedom came at last to Hugh de Wet.
(Originally Published in THE WORLD'S NEWS, AUGUST 12, 1950)
The Nazi leaders families still pay for their crimes
Hounded by their names, the Hitlers, Himmlers and Goerings today live in poverty and obscurity.
MOST of the families of Adolph Hitler and his former nazi henchmen are today paying dearly for the crimes of the German leaders by living in abject poverty.
Hounded for eight years by their names, the Hitlers, the Goerings, the Bormanns, the Ribbentrops and others have tried to bury the past in obscurity.
Most have succeeded in becoming postwar Germany's forgotten men and women.
Stripped of their former wealth, most of them live in poverty, shunning the limelight and refusing publicity or interviews. Except for an occasional lawsuit, their names are rarely mentioned in the German Press.
Few Germans are aware that Hitler's brother [Note: Alois Hitler Jr. was Adolf Hitler's older half-brother.] and sister are still alive.
The brother, Alois, was, like Hitler himself, the son of the second of their fathers three marriages [Note: This is false. While Alois Jr. WAS a product of Alois Hitler Senior's second marriage, Adolf Hitler was born of Alois' third wife, Klara, who also gave birth to the only other child of Alois Sr. and Klara to live to adulthood, Paula]. When Hitler was alive and in power, he set Alois up in a restaurant in Berlin, but the brother took no part in the social or political life of the day.
Today Alois [Jr.] is a wasted, elderly man. He lives the life of a recluse in Hamburg. He has changed his name from Hitler to Hiller. He keeps his door firmly barred to newsmen and photographers.
The sister, Mrs. Paula Hitler-Wolf, now 57, was a child of Hitler's father's third marriage. As far back as 1923 Paula—unmarried, although she calls herself "Frau" or "Mrs,"—tacked the name "Wolf" on to Hitler to keep herself out of the limelight, at her brother's request.
Until the end of the war she lived in seclusion in Vienna on an allowance from Adolf.
Then she moved to Berchtesgaden in the Bavarian Alps. Her few acquaintances say she is penniless, except for public assistance and small sums sent occasionally by relatives and friends.
Frau Maragarethe Himmler, 59, widow of the notorious SS and Gestapo chieftain, Heinrich Himmler, also has had her troubles in the Bavarian courts.
Early this year she lost an appeal before the Munich denazification court and remained classified as a major offender under the denazification law. That meant that her personal property, worth about £5000, remains impounded.
Frau Himmler lives in retirement in a tiny Munich apartment with her daughter Gudrun, now 23.
Gudrun is a seamstress in a dressmaking shop. A denazification court which acquitted her admonished her to "live a life worthy of a German citizen and atone for the crimes of your father".
The once buxom, bejewelled fun-loving Emmy Goering, widow of the pudgy Field Marshal Hermann, is another nazi widow who has sought and found obscurity.
The erstwhile actress—formerly unofficial "first lady "of Hitler's reich—moved to a drab Munich apartment a year after her husband cheated the gallows by swallowing a poison capsule.
Emmy Goering, now fat and fifty-ish has also failed in her attempts to get her confiscated property released by the Bavarian State. She and her daughter, Edda, now 14, share their small apartment with a maid who looks after them.
Emmy made one of her rare public appearances recently when she attended Edda's confirmation in a Munich church.
More fortunate than the other nazi widows is Frau Annaliese von Ribbentrop. Early last year she won a five-year legal battle in a Wiesbaden court to get her wealthy relatives to accept her 32-year-old son, Rudolf, as director of the million-dollar champagne firm of Henkell and Co.
Martin Bormann junior, 22, son of Hitler's former deputy, has found obscurity as a Roman Catholic monk.