Interview with Reinhard Spitzy
Q: Could you talk about your involvement with the SS?
Spitzy: I personally was in the SS -- [the] racial, Nordic, selected people, and we shall be the future aristocratic spine bone of the German Nation. Well I thought wonderful. No? And I felt myself very much flattered by being chosen for this. And then the uniform was very beautiful. Black, no?
And then I started to study a little bit more [about] what they wanted. What they wanted was to be a selected part of the nation -- showing how the nation should develop and give the right taste to the people, so that they select slowly the right women so that in seven generations the whole nation would switch to the Nordic-Greek ideal. I thought wonderful. It sounds beautiful. We thought we are Esquires. We are sort of the table round of -- you know, the Esquires of the table round. No?
Q: The Knights of the Round Table.
Spitzy: The Knights of the Round Table.
Q: This idea of the SS -- that there would be a new future and you chaps would all be the Knights of the Round Table presiding over a new age. What was that all about?
Spitzy: Yes, we thought that we are selected people. We have our laws. Very strict laws. And we have to give example. And we have to select our women according the Nordic and Greek ideal. And that we can breed humanity like we can breed Arab horses. What is practically true. But the question is if it's useful.
Q: What about the selection of the mate, the wife -- the checking out of the genealogical tree? Can you talk about that and how it affected you personally?
Spitzy: Well, I was affected by this when I married. I had to prove myself as a SS officer -- all my ancestors down to 1750. And my wife, that was very difficult because her mother was a Southerner and her great grandfather was the Secretary of State of the Confederates. But that was good enough and I had to write to get the permit that [allowed me to marry] my wife during the war.... [My wife] had to fill out a very funny questionaire, about 22 questions: whether she likes too much dresses or perfumes, or if she wants to be a perfect German wife, [if she is] for the children, for the house hold, for the high ideals of German philosophy, and so on. Of course we filled out the lines...[while] laughing about it, because it was a little bit childish. But of course I didn't mind it because it wasn't hundred percent important. And I thought, well in my case, it will be a little bit funny, but in thousand cases it might be good. No? And of course we thought and was convinced that we...can form a new ideal race. That doesn't mean German race. That means the Greek Nordic German ideal.
Q: Picking up this idea of the creation of a Nordic ideal. By elevating the people who fit the ideal, isn't it forcing down and creating, if you like, a lower race. Can you talk about that?
Spitzy: I don't think that we thought about creating a lower race. We thought -- at least what I felt and I knew -- we wanted to be better. But to be better with more obligations at the same time. More right, more obligation -- we should show an example. And to destroy the other people, nobody thought about that at the time. You can't forget that the time I'm talking of was up to 39, up to the war. All this terrible things passed during the war.
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.
Q: On the subject of the Jews in the 30's: there was an increasing process of criminalizing the Jews. They couldn't even sit on benches. You lived through this. Can you tell me about that?
Spitzy: I didn't live through that -- I was at first at the Embassy in London. Then, when I was in Berlin, I was isolated on the top. I was in the Foreign Office from seven o'clock in the morning up until ten o'clock the evening. Then during the war I was in Admiral Kenaris office. What I really hated was that I noticed these benches, NOT FOR JEWS. It was appalling. Or for instance, they were not allowed to use lifts in the houses. A useless cruel dirty way of treaty them. We all thought we the train left to the East, that it was a transport of populations to other places. Don't forget the South Therolian people have been sent to Poland. The Baltic people have been sent from the Baltic to central Germany. There was a continuous movement of Germans from Romania. And we thought [Hitler] is sending [the Jews] to the East.
Q: So many people were involved with the running of the Concentration Camps. Can you explain to me what happened to those people? How they could come to do those things?
Spitzy: Some people did it by order. I had a friend who had to participate. He refused, and he went to the front -- immediately. That was always a way out. So there is no excuse today that they say that we had to do it by order. They could have gone to the front as a decent soldier and do[ne] their duty. Everybody. And of course this ]Aeizats groupen people], they have been butchers. They have been the worst of the SS. Of course the SS had a terrible quantity of scoundrels and butchers and so on, and they had a better life. They could steal. They got food. They lived like kings. Meanwhile on the front in Stalingrad, you had to fight and you had to suffer. ...A negative selection went to the Aeinzats groupen.... The positive selection was the front. They were the better people.
Q: We have seen the film of the German people being brought to the Concentration Camps. You've seen it yourself. Can you to try to tell me what you think is going on in those scenes.
Spitzy: There were poor people. They didn't know about [the camps]. They did their duty as at home or in the front or in the factory and so on. And then they are presented with such awful things.
Q: Do you have any insights of Hitler's thoughts about Jews?
Spitzy: You know the, the famous interpreter, Schmit. He made always a joke. He said, "Now Hitler has seen everybody. He has seen the British, the French, etc. Yeah he's seen even Molotoff -- even the Russians who have been the scum of the World, at first. And now I am just waiting to receive the chief Rabbi of Jerusalem as a beloved guest of Adolf Hitler. That's the one person I have still missing." You see, Hitler didn't have very strong rules.
Q: Then why were so many, any, killed? I think. It was pure hatred and revenge.... It was not on philosophic lines -- that he said, "They must go away." That was[n't the way it] started.... I remember so many times [that] Hitler signed papers to Aryanise Jews in Germany. It existed. Field Marshal Milch was a half Jew. Heinrich himself probably a quarter. No? I have a photo here. A famous photo of the Third Reich. Hitler is talking with a tiny blonde girl over a fence. And [this photo] was produced in hundreds of thousands. And then it came out it [that she] was the daughter of a Jewish dentist. Then the Party asked to destroy the whole thing. And Hitler said no.... And he, for instance, my companion in the Embassy in London -- Torna, Mr. Torna. He got [shat] we call Pasilschine -- a white wash paper from Adolf that [says] his descendants has by no means must give any sort of difficulties for him. But he became more, and more, and more radical. And it was so stupid because we know everybody knew the...strong influence of the Jewish lobby in the United States. And to come to a peace, a possible peac,e you needed them. And a great part of the Jews were pro-German because they descended from Germany. They were proud, like my friend John Weitz. His father was a member of one of the best regiments there, and he had the Iron Cross number one. And he felt always as a German and look at the whole race question [as] ridiculous.... You know what I say -- the idea of the superior race is as stupid as the Jewish idea of the selected race.
Q: Of the chosen race.
Spitzy: Of the chosen race.
Q: Of the chosen people.
Spitzy: Quite the same thing no?
Note: Red text is available in RealAudio.
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