For Nearly two years, Pauline Kohler served as a maid in Hitler's country home n Berchtesgaden, where he had built his famous "Eagle's Nest" and even his storm troopers were allowed to engage in wild orgies. She observed the dictator in his most intimate moments, at work and play in the decadent luxury that power had brought him. She was a witness to history as the famous men and women of the era paid homage to Hitler. Kohler carefully recorded their relationships for publication were she later escaped to Britain in 1939.
Hitler has all the normal man's liking for a pretty face and a trim figure, though he dislikes women to use make-up or to be attractive in an artificial way.
He is a bachelor. The propaganda minister Dr. Joseph Goebbels says Hitler will never marry because he has only one love in life — Germany. Hitler may remain single, but to say that Germany is his only love is nonsense.
Hitler is woman-crazy. He is discreet and his love affairs are not always the normal affairs of a healthy man. But he cannot exist without women.
He owes his position to women. Women flocked to his meetings long before he was much more than a soapbox speaker. It was the woman's vote that swept him to increasing victories at the polls. The wives of the great Ruhr financiers met him and were fascinated. Their husbands' money soon afterward began to flow into the Nazi till.
That is well known to every student of the Nazi movement. But what is not well known at all is the story of Hitler's personal, intimate friendships with women.
Let me tell about one such relationship. The story was told to me on three different occasions by three different people — one a Nazi of high rank. I also personally knew the girl did exist and did commit suicide.
Her name was Geli Raubal and she was the daughter of Hitler's half-sister.
She was nineteen when Hitler first met her in 1921. He fell head over heels in love with her. She liked him, but her liking never blossomed into love.
Adolf, then only Member Number Seven of the National Socialist Labor Party, began to neglect his political work.
He failed to turn up at meetings, preferring to spend his evenings walking in the Munich parks arm in arm with slim, dark-haired Geli.
His days were spent in writing passionate letters. The family disliked the idea of Hitler's marrying his stepniece.
And, although Geli was flattered by his love and had a real affection for him, she felt she could not marry him. Yet she dared not tell him so.
Already she felt what millions of others have since come to know — that Hitler cannot have his wishes slighted.
After one romantic rendezvous, she said goodnight to Hitler at the door of her home. Half inarticulate with desire, he put his arms round her and rained passionate kisses on her upturned mouth. Finally she broke away and ran indoors.
In the safety and peace of her own room, she wrote a letter to him, telling him that she could not marry him. She slipped out with it to the mail — then, when she returned, locked herself in and turned on the gas.
She was dead when they found her next morning (Historians say Geli shot herself). It nearly drove Hitler to suicide. Gradually he recovered but, for years, he never loved another woman.
After Hitler came to power, Goebbels soon resolved that, if his Fuhrer were to marry, it would be a woman whom he himself had chosen. In this way the little doctor sought to strengthen his position.
Goebbels arranged the actress Renate Muller's first meeting with the Fuhrer. He led up to it by praising her acting and suggesting that some of her films be shown in the private cinema. Hitler was entranced and ordered Goebbels to invite her to spend a few days at his country home at Berchtesgaden.
She arrived one Friday in time for dinner. When that was over, Hitler offered to show her round the house.
They set off together, accompanied by Hermann Goering, Goebbels and his wife, and one or two other guests. But after they arrived in the library, Renate found herself alone with Hitler.
This is what happened — it would be unbelievable if Renate had not told her friends and I had not heard from one of the maids: the incredible story of Hitler's first attempt to make love to Renate.
Hitler suddenly looked for a few moments at her, then stretched out his arm in the Nazi salute. "I can hold my arm like that for two solid hours," he declared.
"I never feel tired when my Storm Troopers and soldiers march past me and I stand at the salute.
"I never move. My arm is as if of granite.
"But Goering can't stand it. He has to drop his hand after half an hour of the salute. That means I am four times as strong as Goering. He's flabby. I am hard. I marvel at my own power."
And with that he turned and walked out of the room.
Renate was stunned.
On the last night of her stay, he invited her to see herself on the screen in his cinema. No one else was present, except the operator.
Hitler ordered Renate's latest film to be shown. Halfway through it, his hand found hers. He said nothing. She was flattered.
She did nothing to check his ardor, and so he indulged in an orgy of petting.
Next morning Renate was flown back to Berlin in Hitler's private plane. For several weeks he sent her flowers every day.
There were other and more costly presents — diamonds and furs. Articles appeared throughout the Nazi press praising her as Germany's greatest actress. Cinemas were ordered to show revivals of her earlier films.
Renate acted in the theater as well as in the film studios, and so she had to stay in Berlin.
Hitler then left Berchtesgaden and for more than two months we never saw him. We all knew why.
He just could not stay away from Renate. She visited him at the Chancellery. Twice he went to her flat. The second time he left at four in the morning.
She did not love him. She liked him, and the position he could offer dazzled her. But a Jew made their marriage impossible. It is this which intensified Hitler's hatred of the Jews. I have heard him say that, not content with trying to ruin Germany, they had tried to destroy his personal happiness.
"But they shall pay! But they shall pay!" he used to scream.
The Jew was the only son of a millionaire whose family had lived in Germany for the past 200 years. It was in the Tiergarten in Berlin that he met Renate Muller, riding a horse that had been given her by Hitler.
It was not long before she and this young man were madly in love. There were secret meetings, long motor drives, dinners in country beer gardens.
But always the shadow of persecution hung over them. Renate finally persuaded her lover to leave Germany. He crossed into Czechoslovakia — still free and independent — and went to Paris.
The two lovers spent a glorious month in Paris. Hitler was forgotten. They were seen everywhere together. So it was no wonder that the Gestapo heard of them. Its agents shadowed them with cameras.
Gestapo leader Heinrich Himmler made a special trip to Berchtesgaden with this incriminating material.
Hitler went white with fury as he read the dossier and glanced through photographs. He gave orders that Renate Muller be brought to him the moment she crossed the frontier on her return.
I and two SS men were sent to Aachen to meet her. Her own maid was sent to Berlin. I was given strict warning not to discuss the Fuhrer with her and to forget everything she might say to me.
Renate was worried. She plied me with questions.
I could have answered none of them even if I had dared. She was taken straight to her room on arrival at Berchtesgaden. It was not until 11:30 in the evening that she was summoned into Hitler's presence. She did not return until three in the morning — pale, tired, but no longer frightened.
? made her coffee and she told me everything that had happened. "The Fuhrer was alone," she said. "He sat at his desk as I walked across the room toward him. I smiled and hoped for the best.
"For nearly three minutes he never even looked at me. Then, with a violence that overthrew his chair, he sprang to his feet.
"'Slut! That's how you spend your time! You're wasted on the screen! You should be on the streets of Berlin — that's your real place! Picking up men from the gutter!' He screamed the words at me.
"'Yes, I know all about your Paris trip. But I'm not to be insulted like that. I am the Fuhrer!'
"He paused, then picked up a mass of papers and a bundle of photographs and flung them in my face.
"'Look at those!' he howled. I knelt and picked them up. I glanced at a photograph. It showed Herr R — walking along the Seine embankment with his arm in mine. I knew then that everything had been discovered.
"I rose to my feet and looked into the mad staring eyes of Hitler. 'Yes, you are right,' I said.
"He began to shout something, then suddenly burst into tears. He cried like a hysterical woman.
"I laid my hand softly on his shoulder. 'Adolf!' I whispered, 'I'm sorry. I was wicked — criminally wicked, if you like. I lost my head. Forgive me. I can only ask that. I know I don't deserve it.'
"And, Pauline, it worked! The first mad storm of his rage passed. He sobbed as if his heart was breaking. And then he forgave me.
"He put his hand in mine and looked at me. 'You were foolish, but I cannot hate you for long,' he said quietly.
"And I knew I had won. Oh, yes, I've had to promise never to see Herr R — again. Which is, of course, a promise I have no intention of keeping."
And so the matter was patched up. For a month or two everything went on as before. Hitler was always in Renate's company.
Then she left Germany again, this time for Monte Carlo. And Herr R — was there.
The Gestapo was still active. Renate reached Berlin before they could put the new material they had gathered into the hands of Himmler.
What had happened at Monte Carlo one can only guess. It seems as if she had said a final goodbye to her lover and gone home, prepared to die, for on the night of her arrival in Berlin she went to her flat and, just before midnight, flung herself from her window to the pavement, three stories below.
An ambulance rushed her to the hospital. There were operations, blood transfusions, but they were no use. She recovered consciousness for only a few moments.
The news of her death was flashed to Hitler at Berchtesgaden. For two days he behaved like a madman, screaming hideous threats against the Jews.
He saw only that a Jew had won a woman whom he himself desired, and, in his twisted mind, this added fresh fuel to the flames of his anti-Semitism. His love for Renate Muller died with her.
He soon had another friend — another film star. This one's name was Jenny Jugo. She is a small brunette and very pretty. Her family are poor, but they are good Aryans.
The German Freedom Station, broadcasting in 1927, interrupted its illegal program with this statement: "Frau Magda Goebbels. Do you want to know where your husband spends so much of his time? Well, it's easy to find out. Ask young Jenny Jugo. She should know."
The station was right. When Hitler heard of it, he called Goebbels to account. Goebbels replied by introducing her to the Fuhrer, and from that moment she ceased to be Goebbels' mistress, becoming Hitler's instead.
It is true that Hitler is not strongly sexed.
But I once heard him say to Goering, "I know what women are for just as well as you do, Hermann." Jenny Jugo was his mistress for several months. The presents I know he gave her were a diamond bracelet, a mink coat, a villa, two motorcars, three horses and a four-seater cabin plane.
The total value of these was about $90,000 — easily the most he has ever spent on a mistress.
I doubt if Jenny loved him. She certainly tantalized him more than any other woman has dared to. She was always late for meals at Berchtesgaden. It sometimes drove him into frothing rages — during which she would deliberately scream from time to time to add a little more to the noise.
She insisted on playing practical jokes. Once she gave Goering a rubber sausage. He wrestled with it for a few minutes, then hurled it and the plate to the floor with a string of resounding oaths.
Another time she introduced a parrot into the Fuhrer's aviary. She had taught it to say: "I'm the Fuhrer! I'm the Fuhrer!" It caused a lively five minutes when it first spoke in Hitler's hearing.
She also sent outrageous wires to Hitler signed with names like Goebbels, Ley, or Goering. Anyone else would have died beneath the headman's ax.
During Jenny's reign at Berchtesgaden, Hitler had a room fitted up as a studio with a small stage, on which she used to perform.
Her performance was filmed. Hitler declared it was art.
One Christmas a select number of the staff were taken into the Fuhrer's private cinema. We saw a long, dreary film about the achievements of the National Socialist regime, then a short film starring Jenny Jugo. This was a striptease act, at the end of which she faced the camera completely naked and, for ten minutes, did various exercises.
Hitler saw this film, or one similar, nearly every night when she was away from Berchtesgaden.
There was nothing tragic about the end of the romance. It just ended. Jenny Jugo took up her normal life in Berlin, and the Fuhrer's famous friendship with Leni Reifenstahl developed, but it never became anything but platonic.
More importantly, Hitler was very fond of Magda Goebbels, the little doctor's wife. He once showed it very pointedly. He invited Goebbels and his wife to Berchtesgaden for two or three days.
I saw Goebbels arrive, but out of the car there stepped — not his wife, but a blonde with an exciting figure.
She was a Viennese and a very minor film star. She wore a long sable coat that must have been worth thousands of marks.
She entered the house and was taken to a room adjoining that of Goebbels. Neither of them saw the Fuhrer until dinner that evening.
As they entered the dining room, Goebbels led her up to where Hitler was standing and introduced her. Hitler ignored her.
"Where is Magda?" he snapped.
"Ah, she asked to be excused," explained Goebbels. "She said she was feeling too ill to make the journey."
Hitler at once went to his study and got on the phone to Berlin.
He then spoke to Magda, discovered that she was perfectly fit and had just been shelved in favor of the film star.
He gave her a personal and pressing invitation to Berchtesgaden and told her a military plane would be waiting for her early next morning.
That done, he went back to where Goebbels was shifting about uneasily and he announced that the Viennese would find an excellent meal served in her room in a few minutes.
I served the meal — to a pale-faced and very frightened young woman. "What have I done?" she cried. "He made me come. I knew there'd be trouble. And now I'm ruined."
Actually she was far from being ruined, for she remained Goebbels' mistress for several months and acquired a fortune in jewelry.
She left after breakfast next morning, and Magda arrived shortly afterward, to be greeted by an effusive Hitler and a sulky husband.
Publication Date: June 15, 1940