Ernst Franz Sedgwick Hanfstaengl ( German: Ernst Franz Sedgwick Hanfstaengl , sometimes Hanfstaengl ; February 2, 1887 , Munich - October 6, 1975 , Munich ) - German historian, publisher and politician. A friend of Adolf Hitler in the 1920s, provided financial support to the NSDAP . In 1933-1937 he served as spokesman for the NSDAP for relations with the foreign press.
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Family and Education
Ernst Ganfstaengl was born into a wealthy Munich family of publisher and antiquarian Edgar Ganfstaengl and his wife Katarina Wilhelmina Sedgwick-Heine and was half American. Ernst's maternal grandmother came from a well-known New England family and was a cousin to Union Army General John Sedgwick . Hanfstaengli was a well-known family in Munich: grandfather Franz served as a photographer at the court of the King of Bavaria, and the father of Ernst Edgar, who inherited the case, became famous for his romance with the Duchess Sofia Charlotte of Bavaria , at that time the bride of King Bavaria Ludwig II . The nickname "Putzi" (in the Bavarian village means "little boy") Ganfstaengl wore from two years, so it was called a servant from ordinary peasants who nursed Ernst who suffered from diphtheria.
Ernst studied at the Royal Bavarian gymnasium, where one of his teachers was the father of Heinrich Himmler . After graduating from high school, Ernst went to the USA and studied at Harvard in 1905-1909. One of his classmates was the future president of the United States, Franklin Roosevelt . At Harvard, Hanfstaengl made friends with T. S. Eliot , Walter Lippmann , Hendrick van Lawon , Hans von Kaltenborn , Robert Benchley and John Reed . Returning to his homeland, Hanfstaengl voluntarily served a year in the Royal Bavarian Guard Infantry, and then studied for a year in Grenoble , Vienna and Rome . In 1911-1921 he lived in New York , where until 1918 he headed the branch of his father's company, the Hanfstaengl art salon on 5th Avenue , which was visited by Pirpoint Morgan, Henry Ford , Arturo Toscanini , Caruso , Alberto Santos-Dumont , Ignacy Paderevsky and young Charlie Chaplin . After the United States entered Entente, Hanfstaengl, thanks to his influential acquaintances, was not interned in exchange for a promise not to participate in anti-American activities. By the end of World War I, the art salon was confiscated as “enemy property”. Property worth half a million dollars was sold at auction for about 8 thousand. After the armistice, Hanfstaenglu was allowed to open a small art shop.
In 1920, he married Helen Elise Adelheide Niemeyer, the daughter of a German-American businessman who emigrated from Bremen. In 1921, the son of Egon was born to the spouses. In 1921 he returned to Munich. In 1924, the daughter of Hertha was born to Hanfstaengle, who died at the age of 5 years. In 1921-1927, Hanfstaengl studied history at the University of Munich and in 1928 he defended his dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philology on the problems of Bavaria and the Austrian Netherlands in the XVIII century.
At the NSDAP
In 1922, Hanfstaengl met Adolf Hitler at the Kindlkeller beer hall in Munich, where he delivered a speech at a party meeting. Hitler had just served one month in prison for disorderly conduct and seemed Hanfstaengl a provincial with a Viennese accent, dressed as a waiter. His dubious surroundings were also embarrassing; nevertheless, Hitler's very performance and his oratory made a strong impression on Hanfstaengl. Hanfstaengl attended several more appearances of Hitler and, in order to get to know him better, invited him to dinner, and soon Hitler became a frequent guest at the Hanfstaengl house. Hitler spent a lot of time in the company of Hanfstaengl’s older sister Erna and inflamed a platonic passion for his wife Helen. Hanfstaengl took an active part in the work of the NSDAP and met Hitler's associates. He took his place in Hitler's inner circle, who greatly appreciated his piano playing. Hanfstaengl often played for Hitler in his modest apartment on Tierstrasse, helping Hitler to get in the right state of mind before important meetings. Hanfstaengl introduced Hitler to American football marches, including his own compositions written at Harvard based on German tunes. The idea of using the hypnotic effect of tried and tested football fans was enthusiastically supported by Hitler. Soon Hanfstaengl’s march “Falarah” learned the SA orchestra. Hanfstaengl wrote with a dozen marches, and under one of them, columns of brown shirts marched through the Brandenburg Gate on the day Hitler came to power.
Hitler was impressed by the origin of Hanfstaengl, with his help he intended to give respect to his party and often took him with him to meetings to raise funds for the party. During a car trip to Berlin through Saxony, Hanfstaengl actually saved Hitler from death when a detachment of communist police stopped their car on the road near Delic , posing as a Swiss businessman and Hitler as his footman. Hanfstaengl introduced Hitler to the upper strata of Munich society. In his speeches, Hitler used materials from the foreign press with which Hanfstaengl introduced him. Once Hanfstaengl and Hitler talked about the methods of working with the media in the United States, and Hitler complained about the scarcity of coverage of party activities in the German press. Völkischer Beobachter's party press came out on a miserable four pages once a week, and significant financial injections were required to produce the newspaper daily. This financial assistance was provided by Hanfstaengl, who transferred to Amann for the purchase of two American rotary printing presses the funds he had just earned for refusing a share in an art store in New York in favor of a partner. Thanks to the rotaprints acquired by Hanfstaengl, Völkischer Beobachter began to appear since August 29, 1923 as a full-size daily newspaper, the editor of which was Hitler, who steadily followed the divide and rule rule , and Alfred Rosenberg was appointed. Hanfstaengl unsuccessfully tried to restrain the influence on Hitler of the ideas of anti-Bolshevism , anti-Semitism and anti-clericalism professed by Rosenberg, and to draw Hitler's attention to the importance of the United States in European politics, to convince Hitler of the impossibility of victory over Russia and the role of the Catholic Church in Bavaria.
In 1923, Hanfstaengl participated in the Beer Coup , Hitler entrusted him with protecting the interests of the party before the foreign press. In the Burgerbroikeller , on the evening of November 8, Hanfstaengl held a press conference for foreign journalists invited by him there, but by a lucky chance did not participate in the Nazi march the next day and avoided participating in the shootout at Feldhernhalle on Odeonsplatz . After the failure of the “national revolution”, Hitler, in anticipation of a car from his admirer Edwin Bechstein , was hiding in the attic of Hanfstaengl’s house in Uffing for further escape. Hitler was arrested by the police a few days later, Bechstein’s car arrived too late. Only the pregnant wife and son of Hanfstaengl were in the house in Uffing all this time, and he himself fled after the coup in Austrian Kufstein . Seeing the police, Hitler tried to shoot himself, but Helen Hanfstaengl managed to knock his gun out of his hand. While on the run in Austria under a false name, Hanfstaengl visited the wounded Goering in a hospital in Innsbruck , and in Vienna he met Hitler's half-sister Angela Raubal and her daughter Geli .
Hanfstaengl illegally returned to Bavaria at Christmas , and shortly after Hitler appeared in court, the order to arrest Hanfstaengl was canceled. Hanfstaengl visited Hitler several times in a prison cell during the trial and during his imprisonment in Landsberg prison . After the dissolution of the party and the closure of Völkischer Beobachter, at the request of Max Amann, Hanfstaengl paid part of the newspaper’s bills to keep the editorial board afloat. On the day Hitler was liberated from Landsberg, he was expected for a gala dinner at the Hanfstaengleigh house in Munich. Noticing that after Landsberg and the release of Mein Kampf, Hitler fell under the influence of local doctrinal politicians and, above all, Rudolf Hess , Hanfstaengl tried to expand Hitler’s political horizon by inviting him to learn English and travel abroad, but Hitler categorically rejected these offers explaining his refusal by the need to restore and reorganize the party. In 1924-1928, Hanfstaengl somewhat disassociated himself from party work, partly disappointed by Hitler and having lost his trust, partly due to family problems, wrote scientific papers, traveled with his wife across Europe and worked in the family business. Working in Paris on photographs of the Louvre exhibits for an album of reproductions for the family publishing house, Ganfstaengl met Picasso , Derain , Marie Laurencin and other French artists.
Ernst Hanfstaengl returned to party work in 1929 after a party congress in Nuremberg , where he met and subsequently made friends with Prince Augustus Wilhelm of Prussia , who was interested in the activities of the Nazi party on behalf of the Hohenzollern . By this time, the NSDAP began to receive at its disposal very large subsidies with the help of Hitler’s new press officer Otto Dietrich , thanks to family ties in the Ruhr, introduced Hitler to Emil Kirdorf and Fritz Thiessen . In the Hanfstaengl’s Munich house on Pinzenauerstrasse, Hitler met with Prince Auvi and Goering, who had kept the distance, who had not yet been rehabilitated in the eyes of the party members after emigrating to Sweden. After the success of the National Socialists in the 1930 Reichstag elections, Hitler, despite several years of semi-exclusion, offered Hanfstaengl the post of head of the party’s contacts with the foreign press. On January 1, 1931, the headquarters of the NSDAP, the Brown House , opened in Munich, where Hanfstaengl had his own office next to Heinrich Himmler . The young Baldur von Schirach, who was fluent in English, unsuccessfully tried to get into the secretaries to Hanfstaengl. As a spokesperson for foreign press relations, Hanfstaengl, taking advantage of friendly relations with Randolph Churchill , in March 1932 unsuccessfully tried to organize a meeting of Hitler with Winston Churchill in Munich. At the last moment, Hitler refused to meet.
In 1933 he received an official appointment, becoming the party's press secretary. He wrote the Hitler Youth march Jugend marschiert (Jugend zieht durch die Straßen, stolz mit brausendem Sang!), Which first appeared on the screen in 1933 in the film “ Hans Westmar ”. Hanfstaengl was not popular among Hitler’s circle for a number of reasons: because of his membership in the “bourgeois” class, constant contradictions and conflicts with many Nazi leaders, criticism of the dictatorial regime established in Germany, etc. Despite the fact that no one He did not perceive Hanfstaengl as an immediate threat; for most, he was an irritant. Judging by the memoirs of Albert Speer , Hanfstaengl was "not so much an enemy as a dangerous talker." In 1937, Hitler , Hermann Goering, and Joseph Goebbels sent Hanfstaengl with a secret mission to Spain, torn by the Civil War , and an accident was to be staged on the way to Spain. Then Hanfstaengl managed to escape to Zurich . Having organized the urgent departure of his son from Germany, Hanfstaengl took refuge in London . After the outbreak of war, in 1939 Ganfstaengl was taken into custody as a citizen of an enemy state and interned in a camp in Clacton , and from there to Sithon-on-Sea . Only in 1942 he received some freedom when, thanks to his old connections, he managed to get settled at the headquarters of the American government, where he was engaged in anti-Nazi propaganda issues. After the death of Roosevelt in 1945, the need for Hanfstaengle disappeared, in 1946 he was transported back to Germany, where he was kept in the internment camp in Recklinghausen for six months. In 1947, he returned to Munich .
He was buried at the Bogenhausen cemetery in Munich.
Ernst Ganfstaengl is one of the main characters in the film Hitler: The Ascent of the Devil and became one of the characters in Maxim Cantor's novel Red Light.
He was an amateur composer. Fragments of his suite for piano, written on the occasion of the death of his daughter, were included in the film “ Hans Westmar - one of many ”, under one of these melodies the lyrics of the Hitler Youth song were written. The SS used the march "German Breeze" (Deutscher Föhn).
- German National Library , Berlin State Library , Bavarian State Library , etc. Record # 118545604 // General regulatory control (GND)
- BNF identifier : Open Data Platform
- Ernst Hanfstaengl. Hitler Lost years. Memoirs of an associate of the Fuhrer. 1927-1944 = Hitler: The Missing Years. - M .: Centerpolygraph, 2007. - ISBN 978-5-9254-2945-1 .
- Hanfstangl Ernst. My friend Adolf, my enemy Hitler. - Yekaterinburg. : Ultra. Culture , -U-Factoria. 2007 376 s - ISBN 978-5-9681-0116-7