An introduction — plus German-to-English translation — by a blogger calling herself 'putschgirl' of a 1949 article written by Hermann Esser .
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The following article was written in 1949 by Hermann Esser (1900-1981), a co-founder of the Nazi Party and an intimate personal friend of Adolf Hitler for two decades. They met in 1920, thirteen years before Hitler assumed power in Germany. Esser was very close to Hitler in the early days of the National Socialist party. He was the first editor of the Nazi newspaper, its first propaganda minister and was designated as Hitlers deputy.
[Still] today, hundreds of articles appear each year in which Hitler’s sexuality is dissected. It has been (ludicrously) claimed that he was gay, impotent, a pervert, a virgin, asexual or any number of inanities. Inventing salacious stories about Hitler’s sex life is a cottage industry. But this article, written by someone who was actually close to Hitler, should put these tales where they belong: in the graveyard of historical lies. Esser describes Hitler as quite normal sexually and in the early years, highly interested in pursuing women. Apparently he had no trouble in procuring them...
He discusses in detail Hitler’s girlfriends of the 1920’s, his one night stands in the early days in Berlin and women’s hysterical reactions to him in private. In the second part of this series, Esser will devote considerable time in discussing Eva Braun, whom he met in 1930 and who eventually became the godmother of his daughter (also named Eva).
Esser’s piece, The Great Lover, Adolf Hitler
appeared in Revue magazine between September 27-November 6, 1949. It caused a sensation and most copies were seized because West Germany authorities deemed it “sympathetic to Hitler’s image.” Esser was even arrested because he had “stirred up more Nazi trouble.”
Here is Esser in 1949, holding a newspaper which contained his [account of] Hitler’s “sex life”.
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Der Grosse Liebhaber Adolf Hitler
(‘The great lover Adolf Hitler’ by Hermann Esser)
Four years after the conclusion of the war, I still have people asking me if Hitler enjoyed the company of women. The question astounds me, since anybody who knew him as a young man would have the same opinion as I have: he was a ladies man through and through before he came to power. Hitler’s appreciation of women was conspicuous, and he always preferred their company to men. He was the Austrian charmer, who always offered hand kisses, flowers and car rides.
I will now share with you my personal experiences with the young Hitler. How we met, how we chased girls together, the names and personalities of some of his countless conquests, his love for his niece and for the woman he married in his Berlin bunker, Eva Braun.
I knew Adolf Hitler as well or better than anyone. I was one of the few party comrades who addressed him by his first name and with whom he used the intimate Du
(the German informal form of you
). He called me Hermann or sometimes Hermchen, when he was in a benign mood. I was at his beck and call throughout the decade of the 1920’s.
I saw him in private and in the company of girls nearly every day throughout the period of struggle. We had arguments, some of them heated, and we had break ups in our friendship throughout the years. Yet in 1939 on the day of my wedding, Hitler still took my hand and told me, “the happiest days of my life were the early ones spent with you in Munich.”
Adolf and Hermann in 1933
Other friends of Hitler often said that he kept me around in the 1930’s solely because I knew too much about his private life... I sometimes had the impression this remark was true based on Hitler's attitude towards me, but I still saw him constantly until 1942 and was a constant guest at his home, the Berghof
Adolf and Hermann at the Berghof in 1941
Part 1: How I Met Adolf Hitler
I met the future Führer in January, 1920 at the regional army headquarters in Munich. I was 19 years old and Hitler was then 30. He made an immediate impression on me, as he did with everyone who met him. I had heard about this fellow from some army comrades and I was impressed that a common soldier wore the Iron Cross first class. This was something usually only awarded to officers. Hitler’s spell bounding presence struck me profoundly. He had something about him which was quite incredible. He had it even then as an unknown soldier. He was unbelievably persuasive.
Adolf in 1921
Hitler at that time was very thin, pale and usually in an excited frame of mind. His eyes, as everyone knows, were a luminous, deep blue. He had boundless energy, a frenetic mind and an aura about him that was unmistakable. I think I liked him immediately and was drawn to him in a way I never felt before. I felt he was the coming saviour of our nation. His dress and shoes were shabby, he ate little but radishes or bread and his apartment was rather downtrodden. His life then was very simple.
Hitler’s Munich apartment between 1920-1929 was here on Thierschstrasse
A few days later Hitler came to a gathering of our small (Nazi) Party and he heard me speak for the first time. I was gaining a reputation as a forceful and lively public speaker, and Hitler always praised my talents as a talker. Hitler himself did not speak that night and he took me aside to ask me if we could meet for lunch the next day. Happily I agreed. We met at the Sterneckerbräu and had beers and schnitzel, since Hitler was not yet a vegetarian. I recall I paid for this meal and Hitler was effusive in thanking me. He always had excellent manners. It sounds odd to say it, but it’s true. Hitler always had impeccable manners with everyone, unless he was annoyed.
It wasn’t long before I realized Hitler’s tremendous impact on the female sex. Bear in mind no one in the general public knew who he was in the year 1920. His fame was not yet in existence. But I noticed not only the waitress, but several other young ladies there were making conspicuous eyes at him. This unsettled me because I was very young and always was interested in ladies myself. I already had much experience with girls, despite being only 19 years old.
I admitted to feeling pangs of jealousy, especially since Hitler seemed oblivious to the attention of the girls there. I asked him if he had a girlfriend and he laughed, saying he had “no time” for such things. Very quickly, however, I was to realize he was not being candid with me. From the very earliest days, Hitler always had girls hovering around him, and these were not platonic relationships. Like most soldiers at the front, Hitler was anxious to make up for lost time and avidly sought female companionship at this time. This is very little known about him today. But Hitler avidly pursued different women for the first 12 years of our association. And they pursued him.
Munich then was a city filled with men who had been ravaged in the Great War (WWI) and women who were lonely, widowed or victims of the inflation of those years. The cataclysmic events of the time created an atmosphere of free love and diminished morals. Casual relationships between men and women were accepted, as long as the girls did not get in trouble (i.e. get pregnant). People commonly speak of “free love” now, but Munich in the 1920’s always seemed to me even more liberal than Berlin, which was a Babylon.
Soon I was to become Hitler’s shadow and our tastes in young ladies were similar. We both liked young, pliable, naive girls. “Nice, sweet, cuddly things” as Hitler put it to me one day.
While my tastes evolved, Hitler’s never did. When he was 40, he still liked teenage girls. When he was 50 he already had Eva Braun, but had she not been in his life, I have no doubt he still would have preferred a young girl who never got older than 20. Incidentally, Hitler himself never made any excuses about this. To him, a hero such as himself “deserved” the most beautiful and the most willing women. It was his mindset.
Within a few months, Hitler and I became Du
friends and we addressed each other by our first names. This continued until Hitler became Chancellor in 1933. Then he told me that his position demanded that I no longer be so familiar with him. I had to change my form of address to “Herr Hitler,” and even that was frowned upon, but I refused to call him “mein Führer” unless we were around other people. When we were alone, I always called him Herr Hitler. On rare occasions he would still call me Hermann and clap me on the back of the neck in a fond way.
In these early years, Hitler’s entire focus was on giving political speeches and gaining members for our political movement. We were not travelling much away from Munich in 1920-1923, but when we did, I was at Hitler’s side.
As the months passed, Hitler’s tremendous skills as an orator became apparent. He was mesmerising on stage and women, especially, were drawn to him. Women were simply hysterical to get close to him or become his favoured one. I used to tell him I wish I had what he had, but I had my hands full myself with an active life with women. Hitler used to say to me, “your habit is women. This will get you into trouble, my young friend.”
He turned out to be a prophet in this regard.
One of Hitler’s strongest traits was that he was secretive. He often said, “I never tell anyone anything about me that is of a personal nature. They don’t need to know.”
Many people in Hitler’s circle of associates had no clue about his private life. He was so successful with his secrecy that he hid much of what he was doing.
Adolf in 1921
It was several months into our friendship before Hitler began to allow me a glimpse into his heavily guarded private life. He invited me to his apartment on the Thierschstasse, where he lived very modestly. In these two rooms, he had a hot plate, many books, a single bed and a dingy carpet. His drawings and architectural sketches were always lying all over the floor. The sink, bath and toilet were adjacent. Hitler was then very unaffected and would receive me in a white shirt with no collar, wearing his black pants with suspenders. It took about a year before one of his wealthy female benefactors purchased for him some new shirts, shoes, suspenders and socks.
On one visit to Hitler’s apartment, I noticed a card with some cherubs laying on his table, with feminine writing on it. Hitler hastily took the card and then said sheepishly, “this is just something personal of mine.” I soon discovered it was an affectionate greeting from his girlfriend of that period, a lovely girl named Suzi Liptauer. He introduced me to her shortly thereafter.
Hitler’s love affair with this Viennese beauty had begun about six months after I first met him. Suzi appeared in the summer and she was stunning. I myself was highly attracted to her, but kept my distance with difficulty, since she was “Hitler’s girl."
At that time, Suzi was about my age, 19, with dark blonde hair, blue eyes and a cupid’s bow mouth. She had the delightful Viennese charm to her, which spellbound men. Hitler, as he told me, rarely took her to his apartment for their trysts, but used another apartment which belonged to a party comrade who was a jeweler. Because Hitler’s nights were consumed with party matters and speeches, he had little time for seductions by night. He and Suzi met intimately in the afternoons.
Hitler made it a habit of taking "interludes” with Suzi several times a week. Party leaders grumbled about Hitler’s activities, whether through envy or genuine concern for the future of the National Socialist party, I can’t say.
I saw them together often throughout these early days. Suzi had every reason to be jealous of other women, since Hitler’s affections were not exclusive. In those days, it was difficult for him to remain faithful. He would generally have in his life one fairly steady companion, but he would still have adventures with other beautiful girls whom he met.
Interestingly, it didn’t matter to him if the woman was married. I saw him with a number of married women in the period 1920-1923. I noticed oftentimes Hitler was not the instigator in these love affairs, but was rather the hunted. Women sought him out increasingly, sometimes arriving at the door to his apartment. Many times I was with Hitler when a girl would timidly knock on his door, hoping for an invitation inside.
I admit I was enjoying my proximity to Hitler, because even though I was considered handsome and very eager, Hitler’s effect on women was unparalleled. In all my life I never saw anything like it. He didn’t have to try and gather women to him, they came in droves on their own. His charm, his riveting blue eyes and his seeming diffidence attracted women to him quite effortlessly. More and more women began attending our rallies and they would often be in the first row during his fiery speeches.
Suzi and Hitler did things as any other couple would do: they attended theatre performances, took drives, had picnics and ate meals together. I saw her sometimes at Hitler’s apartment, but never at night.
Even in these early days, Hitler was very secretive about his relationships with women, He was a bachelor and some assumed he had no outlets for his abundant nervous energy. Some to this day persist in this nonsense. Many party comrades legitimately believed he lived only for the party and was married to Germany. He was so clever in hiding his women that even today there are old fighters alive in Munich still who think Hitler was abstinent of women. I know better based on long years of personal experience with him. He was actually a notorious womanizer (Frauenheld
) up until the time he became Chancellor in 1933.
Suzi sensed that Hitler was not faithful to her, and began to suffer from Hitler’s resistance to marrying her. She saw and heard many little things from gossipers in Munich, so Hitler eventually confessed that he could never marry her as his life belonged to Germany. She also had seen him in Munich in the company of two other girls, the musical twins he was crazy about for years.
The Epp twins
Suzi’s bouts of jealousy were so acute that she threatened Hitler with suicide if he didn’t keep her. Hitler never spoke to me about this matter, but others in the party did so. I heard a great deal from Hitler’s limping adjutant, Julius Schaub, who was the man who kept Hitler’s “little black book” with the names of his various lady friends.
Finally the relationship between Hitler and Suzi ended. It was quite a mess at the time. Hitler had begun a relationship with another girl named Emmi. Some old gossip (Klatschbase
) at the Viktualienmarkt in Munich told Suzi that her Adolf had lost his heart to another girl. Suzi promptly checked herself into a hotel in Munich and made a half-hearted suicide attempt by tying a sash from a robe around her neck. Some hotel chambermaids found her unconscious a short while later. Thankfully, there was no scandal and hardly anyone in the party even knew about it.
Hitler resumed his affair with Suzi after she recovered, out of a sense of guilt, I presume. Their afternoon lovemaking sessions continued on the Cornelisustrasse for awhile, but then they finally broke things off. Suzi later married an Austrian man and Hitler kept in contact with her for many years.
He usually remained on good terms with his former lovers, and he supported her financially at times, as Brückner (Hitler’s chief adjutant) told me. He always remembered her birthday and would instruct one of his adjutants to send her flowers, a card which he would sign, and a box of chocolates. Sometimes he gave them cash as well. He sent the same packages to many of his old flames. I know because several times I was personally the errand boy he selected for this delicate duty.
Adolf in 1924
Adolf Hitler and Hermann Esser photographed together in 1933
Photos of Adolf and Hermann taken in 1933