Adolf Hitler's uncouth behavior and shocking table manners appalled his wartime dining companions, according to a secret intelligence report discovered while cleaning out a house.
The papers, marked “Must be destroyed within 48 hours of reading”, include a psychological profile of the Nazi dictator based on the interrogation of one of his closest aides.
The aide, an officer who kept the appointments diary at Wolf's Lair, Hitler's military headquarters at Rastenburg in East Prussia, described how the Führer bit his nails during meals, gorged on cakes and was often lost in his own thoughts, paying little attention to the conversation around him. He also spoke about the rages that kept Hitler's senior officers in a state of constant terror.
The papers are part of an intelligence summary prepared as the war neared its end and are believed to have been saved by a British officer. They were found at a house in the South West and are to be sold at auction next month.
The unnamed German officer, a lieutenant colonel referred to as PW — prisoner of war — was based at Wolf's Lair for several months in 1943. He dined with Hitler at least 30 times and observed his daily routine. He told the Allies that Hitler would eat only vegetables and stewed fruit and banned smoking in his presence. His meals would be accompanied by one or two glasses of beer.
“Hitler eats rapidly, mechanically, for him food is merely an indispensable means of subsistence,” PW said. Conversation at the dinner table relaxed Hitler and stimulated his thoughts. When he spoke it was “in mellow baritone, without that raucous, unpleasant stridency of his public speeches.”Click here for more on this story from the Times of London.