Piano-playing "Putzy" put out to sea early yesterday morning in a very merry mood indeed. Full of good spirits (doubly meant) he sailed for the homeland and his chief, Her Hitler, aboard the Europa.
In other words, Dr. Ernst Franz Sedgwick Hanfstaengl left New York full of sound signifying, in round numbers, O.
Shortly before sailing for the purged Naziland, Putzy was besieged by reporters from near and far.
"Aus mit the pencils!" ordered the buoyant giant, "Fire away!" he commanded. "First let’s hear from the dean of newspapermen here, the duana."
No one willing to appoint himself dean, Putzy pointed to the most venerable of the unvenerable lot of reporters, and roared, "Let’s hear from you first."
Then the barrage descended.
He was asked: "Do you feel any insecurity in returning to Germany?"
"Ha," said Putzy, "that is number one. Now then," he waved a massive hand toward Dr. Hans Borchers, the German Consul General who accompanied him, "make a note of that question. That is highly important. I’ll answer that later."
Just how much later "Putzy" did not say. He did not answer the question before he sailed. It was considered likely that he meant to test his security in the New, New Germany before answering. Perhaps in a week or two, it was thought, he could reply with certainty.
Putzy was then asked whether or not the German people were still behind the Hitler government.
"Of course they are," he boomed, "and the storm troops as well."
He did not respond when he was asked what percentage, in his estimation, of the people were behind Hitler. Nor did he give a full answer when asked:
"Was Hitler long aware of the conditions within his storm troops which caused him to act against certain of their leaders? And if he was long aware of the condition, why did he not take action sooner?"
"Certainly Hitler was aware of conditions," Putzy responded. "Next question!"
NO PROPHET IS HE
When asked whether or not last week’s revolt was inevitable, the man mountain cried, "Inevitable? Certainly it was inevitable. Everything that happens is inevitable."
He was asked for an opinion as to the future of the Jews in Germany.
"I can not prophesy." He refused to elaborate upon a statement given the press some time ago that "The German-Jewish situation would return to normal."
Hitler’s No. 1 aide will return to the United States next fall to witness the Yale-Harvard football game, he said, and he also expects to present West Point with a bust of von Hindenburg.
Asked his impression of America "Putzy" replied, "Nothing has been grander than the last two weeks—my reception in Boston, New England, and here."
He said in response to a query, "Indeed I did have a good seat at the Astor-French wedding. I sat so close to the couple that I was almost married to the bride."
"I had a dangerously good seat," he remarked as an afterthought.
IN TRIM FOR RECEPTION
Following the interview "Putzy" led a group of admirers a merry chase about the decks. He dashed along the upper promenade deck with the dignified Dr. Borchers close at his heels, and eventually lost his fans when he and the consul general dashed into the captain’s cabin—presumably for another wee nip.
A number of members of the League of Friends of New Germany also sailed aboard the Europa, for an excursion through the homeland, conducted by their former Fuehrer, Reinhold Walter. While "Putzy" kept the first-class section amused, they enlivened the lower class.
Elbows among the Friends worked overtime, first bending to pour refreshments down parched gullets, and then straightening up to the Hitler salute.