Editorial: The Hitler mystery (11-18-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (November 18, 1944)

Editorial: The Hitler mystery

Passing days are deepening the mystery of Adolf Hitler. The public has not seen him or heard his voice since July 21, when he assured the German people of his safety after the “bombing plot” which was quite possibly faked.

Since then, Heinrich Himmler has read two purported Hitler speeches, one announcing the formation of the Volkssturm last month, the other at the postponed “Beer Hall Putsch” celebration in Munich.

Is Hitler paralyzed or insane or even alive? The outside world is buzzing with speculation, and Germany must be buzzing even louder. For even the Gestapo cannot silence every whisper, or bring reason to recent illogical happenings.

For instance, if the press of affairs is all that keeps Hitler out of sight, then it is not likely that he would have taken time to write the lengthy Munich speech that Himmler read. Or if he had, then he certainly could have spared the time to deliver it, for it would have been to his obvious advantage to do so.

Every head of a state knows the necessity of showing himself in public on occasion to spread confidence in time of distress, to bolster his waning popularity, or to allay rumors which opponents may circulate.

So, the German people must know that all is not well with the Führer. All of which doesn’t concern the Allied nations particularly except as it possibly affects the war. The possible effect does not seem to be anything to build sanguine hopes on. For, whether Hitler is dead, ill, mad, or simply incapacitated by fear, the German Army and the German nation are still in the hands of leaders committed to a war to the death – the death of Germany, if need be.

These leaders are a desperate gang whose lives and fortunes are at stake. They are intent upon saving both. With them still are many thousands of the people, faithful, fanatic young followers whose minds have been carefully warped by Nazi education for just such an extremity as this. The rest of the Germans have the Gestapo.