Menu JTA Search

Hanfstaengl Just a Big Boy Who Expresses Himself with Music

Dr. Ernst Franz Sedgwick Hanfstaengl, piano-playing aid to Chancellor Hitler, is analyzed as a good-natured, overgrown fellow, in an article by Sir John Foster in the Evening Press.

“One of the nicest fellows I met in Berlin,” writes Sir John, “was Dr. Hanfstaengl, who keeps Hitler informed about the world’s attitude toward Germany. He is a personal friend of the leader, because Hanfstaengl is steeped in classical music, plays the piano beautifully, and Hitler likes to listen.

“But there is nothing Nordic about his appearance, as there is not about Hitler. Hanfstaengl is like the late Lord Birkenhead, but larger in size, very bronzed, and very black haired.

” ‘F. E.’ had Gypsy blood in his veins as the friend of Hitler has Irish—his mother and grandmother were Irish, evidently Southern Irish, Celtic Irish. Hanfstaengl is like a big, dreamy Irishman given to poetry and romantic thought.

ALWAYS THE PIANO

“He has a habit of illustrating everything by music. In the midst of a talk he will suddenly exclaim, ‘Ah, do you remember how Bach expresses that idea,’ and, going to the piano, he will start playing. He is always doing that—this tall, smiling fellow.”

Commenting on Hitler’s assumption of Hindenburg’s office, Sir John says that “Hitler has proclaimed himself in complete command of the Reichswehr. Those acquainted with the undercurrent of talk in Berlin have more than a conviction this body will soon show it is in command of Hitler.

“The Nazis are disappointed that Hitler has made no progress with his program—nationalization of industries, profit sharing, abolition of unearned income, no man to have a higher income than fifty pounds a month, however eminent, the death penalty for profiteers, and so on.

“The heads of the great concerns submitted silently to the proposals —they have told me so themselves —because they did not want an experience of a concentration camp; they thought anything was better than Communism, which it was thundered Germany has been saved from by the rise of the Nazis.

DEPENDENT ON FOREIGN TRADE

“Now the chiefs of industrial combinations are letting it be known that they are not going to accept the Socialism of the Nazis.”

Sir John expressed the opinion that the Anglo-German rift has grown wider. He said that “if anything has stimulated a close alliance between Britain and France it has been Germany’s own conduct.”

He stated that despite all kinds of maneuvering on the part of the Nazis, efforts to make Germany

NEXT STORY