The Pittsburgh Press (November 16, 1944)
Rumors offer variety from new attempt on Führer’s life to trip by plane or U-boat
London, England (UP) –
Two independent sources suggested today that Adolf Hitler, far from mad, ill or dead, has left by submarine or plane for Japan for a spectacular conference with his last major ally.
The theory was advanced by non-Spanish diplomatic circles in Madrid and by Willi Frischauer, Austrian author who has spent 20 years studying Hitler’s life, in a letter to the editor of The London Daily Herald.
Diplomatic circles in Madrid also relayed a report that Hitler fled Germany last week and had taken refuge in some neutral country, “unconfirmedly Argentina.”
Other unconfirmed and often conflicting reports from the continent dealing with Germany and the fate of Hitler asserted:
Another attempt has been made on Hitler’s life.
Germany intends to begin peace overtures through Lisbon soon.
Gestapo agents arrested 70,000 persons in suppressing a revolt in Munich led by bombing refugees and foreign slave workers.
Nine Russian slave workers were shot in Berlin on charges of killing a policeman and possessing great quantities of arms and ammunition.
Austrians have begun passive resistance against the Germans.
A new decree will be issued soon giving Gestapo chief Heinrich Himmler, apparently acting dictator of Germany, complete authority over the German Army and perhaps requiring the Army to take an oath of fidelity toward him.
Hitler’s bodyguards have been recalled from leave and have been forbidden to mix with civilians because of the spread of rumors over the Führer’s health.
Neither mad nor dead
Frischauer, in his letter to The Herald, said that 20 years of interpreting Hitler’s personality and politics convinced him that the Führer was neither mad nor dead.
Hitler, I suggest, perhaps in company with Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring, is on his way to Japan to stage a spectacular east-west Axis meeting with the Mikado.
The emphasis on the German-Japanese alliance in recent Nazi proclamations points in this direction and so does the fact that the last time Hitler was photographed was in the company of Gen. Ōshima, Japan’s Ambassador to Berlin, who probably observed diplomatic custom by bidding Hitler farewell before the trip to Tokyo.
Sub trip suggested
Frischauer suggested that the trip to Tokyo could be made by submarine around the Cape of Good Hope or by plane over Russia or the polar region. He believed Hitler might try simultaneously to win over dissident Chinese forces to the Axis.
Almost simultaneously, a United Press dispatch arrived from Madrid reporting that non-Spanish diplomatic circles had heard that Hitler had taken off by plane either for Japan, refueling in Manchuria, or for Argentina, refueling at a secret base in West Africa.
Foreign diplomatic circles in Bern, Switzerland, said that Hitler’s eclipse should be attributed to a German desire to keep him out of the spotlight preparatory to a peace bid.
These circles said that Himmler had been given the task of maintaining order within Germany so that once peace maneuvers were underway, she would be in a position to negotiate on the basis that the German people were compact and orderly behind their leaders.