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Hitler's Mountain Home:
A Visit to 'Haus Wachenfeld in the Bavarian Alps
Appearing in the November 1938 issue of the English magazine Home & Gardens.
by IGNATIUS PHAYRE
It is over twelve years since Herr Hitler fixed on the site of his one and only home. It had to be close to the Austrian border, barely ten miles from Mozart's own medieval Salzburg. At first no more than a hunter's shack, "Haus Wachenfeld" has grown, until it is today quite a handsome Bavarian chalet, 2,000 feet on the Obersalzberg amid pinewoods and cherry orchards.
There is nothing pretentious about the Führer's little estate. It is one that any merchant of Munich or Nuremberg might possess in these lovely hills.
Fairest View in All of Europe
The site commands the fairest view in all of Europe. This is to say much, I know. But in these Bavarian Alps there is a peculiar softness of greenery, with snow-white cascades and forest-clad pinnacles, like the Schönfeldspitze and Teufelshörner.
The color scheme throughout this bright, airy chalet is a light jade green. In outside rooms, like the sun parlor, chairs and tables are of white plaited cane. Here Herr Hitler will read the home and foreign papers which his own air pilot, Hänsel Baur, brings him every day from Berlin before lunch.
Delights in the Company of Foreign Guests
It is a mistake to suppose that weekend guests are all, or even mainly, State officials. Hitler delights in the company of brilliant foreigners, especially painters, singers and musicians. As host he is a droll raconteur; we all know how surprised were Mr. Lloyd George and his party when they accepted an invitation to Hause Wachenfeld.
Every morning at nine he goes out for a talk with his gardeners about their day's work. These men, like the chauffeur and air pilot, are not so much servants as loyal friends. A lifelong vegetarian at table, Hitler's kitchen plots are both varied and heavy in produce. Even in his meatless diet Hitler is something of a gourmet as Sir John Simon and Mr. Anthony Eden were surprised to note when they dined with him in the Presidial Palace at Berlin. His Bavarian chef, Herr Kannenberg, contrives an imposing array of vegetarian dishes, savory and rich, pleasing to the eye as well as to the palate, and all conforming to the dietic standards which Hitler exacts.
Coffee, Cakes, Sweets and Mozart
These rustics sit at cottage doors carving trinkets and toys in wood, ivory and bone. It is then the little ones are invited to the house. Coffee, cakes, fruit and sweets are laid for them on trestle tables in the grassy orchards. Then Frauen Goebbels and Göring, in dainty Bavarian dress, arrange dances and folksongs, while the bolder spirits are given joyrides in Herr Hitler's private airplane.
Nor must I forget to mention the archery butts at the back of the chalet. It is strange to watch the burly Field Marshal Göring, as chef of the most formidable air force in Europe, taking a turn with the bow and arrow at straw targets of twenty-five yards' range. There is as much to-do about those scarlet bulls'-eyes as though the fate of nations depended on a full score!
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Date this page was last updated:
Friday, March 24, 2017