Hitler's Piano Player: The Rise and Fall of Ernst Hanfstaengl, Confidant of Hitler, Ally of FDR
Through newly declassified documents, interviews with surviving members of the Hanfstaengl family, and original writings by Putzi, historian and author Peter Conradi weaves Putzi's captivating tale.
It was at a Munich Beer Hall in 1922 that this German man first saw Hitler speak, introduced himself and made his way in 20th-century history. Acting as haughty court jester, soothing pianist, and savvy foreign press chief for Hitler, Putzi became a close ally of the Fuehrer. Yet, once Putzi fell out of Hitler's graces, he escaped Germany, was interned in Britain, transferred to Canada and finally to America. Here, in an unusual turn of allegiance, Putzi began working with FDR, an acquaintance from New York's Harvard Club, and became the star of Roosevelt's “S-Project.” He provided the White House with biographical information on hundreds of leading Nazis, analyses of Hitler's speeches, and a 68-page psychological portrait of Hitler —describing his education, diet and even his sex life.
Filled with revelations about Hitler's personal life and descriptions of American psychological warfare, Hitler's Piano Player is a gripping book about a man torn apart by the most antagonistic of loyalties and history's missing personal link between Hitler and FDR.