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Hitler's Gun of Destiny

Part Two



   …this idea was abandoned. Geli then had a meal of spaghetti with her uncle, who had, for now, returned, momentarily, and the argument began again, in earnest. Hitler “slammed out” of the room and left.
    After she retired to her room, the housekeeper heard soft sobbing for hours, and a dull thump from Geli’s room was heard during the early hours of the night. Frau Reinhart, the assistant housekeeper, heard this, but she said that she thought nothing of it. The next morning several attempts were made to awaken Geli by knocking on the door and calling out her name, but to no avail. Finally, the housekeeping staff called in a locksmith. Frau Winter and her husband were the first to pass through the open door. There, next to couch, reposed the lifeless body of Geli. According to Frau and Herr Winter, alongside her body lay the Ladysmith revolver.


Hitler's Gun
Another picture of Geli photographed by Heinrich Hoffmann, Hitler's personal photographer
   In the book, Memoirs of a Confidant, Otto Wagener, a well-known Nazi official, was quoted as saying that "…Hitler always kept a loaded pistol (and we now know what pistol) on his night table or desk. He had to be constantly on guard against the possibility that some desperado of the left might, as happened to Horst Wessel, one day burst into his home to assassinate him."
    Geli, she, who had loved so desperately, had obviously made a final decision in a hopeless, unrequited situation that had no chance of fruition.
   There are some variances in the accounts, but most historians agree that Frau Winter, at this point, notified Rudolf Hess by telephone immediately, and followed that up with a phone call to the Munich police. Hess notified Hitler, who was finishing up party business in Nuremberg just before going on to Hamburg. Hitler was totally devastated. He could not even verbally sign off with Hess; his voice was lost completely.


   Heinrich Mueller, who was later elevated to Chief of the Gestapo after the Nazis came to power, was at that time, a detective on the Munich Police Department. He, along with other police officers, arrived to investigate the incident. When Mueller observed the body, the revolver, and a note, Frau Winter watched him pick up both the revolver and the note and shove them deep into the pockets of his leather trench coat. Before he arrived Mueller knew from Frau Winter’s call that this was the home of Adolf Hitler. Being rather an opportunist and aware of the political hay that the leftists could and would make of this, he decided to keep Hitler’s name out of it all and possibly gain favor with this man whom Mueller could see as an upcoming important political leader with excellent potential.
    Mueller contacted Martin Bormann, an old friend, and who served as Hitler’s paymaster. They met, and he turned the revolver over to Bormann along with the note. Bormann arranged to have Geli’s body sent back to the Spital section of Austria, which is the birthplace of Hitler’s mother and the ancestral home of the Raubel family. The Munich police now closed its file with the verdict of suicide.
    The note never surfaced. Is it possible that it was burned along with sundry other important documents in the furnace at Number 16, Prinzregentenstrasse to provide heat for those American intelligence officers in 1945? We will probably never know about the note, but we do know that the little, but deadly, revolver survived!
    Hitler was a broken man after the incident. Her death to him was the “the ultimate tragedy.” Close friends such as Gregor Strasser, who later became his enemy, and Rudolf Hess, had to stay with Hitler night and day for several days ostensibly to keep him from taking his own life. For many years hence tears would come to his eyes when her name was mentioned. Her room was preserved as a shrine. Frau Winter sealed it off at Hitler’s orders and it was opened and entered by only the closest friends of Hitler and Geli, but no longer by Hitler, himself. He was never known to have entered that room after the suicide.
    The room was opened for remembrance ceremonies on the anniversaries of her birth and death. It was brightened with flowers, and all of her clothes and cosmetics were just as she had left them. The viewing, however, was always from the roped-off door. No. 709 was put in the drawer, the sad-memory drawer of the Führer’s desk, where it probably remained in its unopened case until Private First Class Andrew Sivi had opened it sometime later.
    Why did the Führer preserve the instrument that took the life of the maiden he often professed was his only love? Why did he not toss it into the nearby Isar River?
    Hitler always envisioned a great museum dedicated to the beginnings of the N.S.D.A.P. to be opened in Berlin some day. He always foresaw complete victory and the grandeur that would even foreshadow Napoleon or the successful conquests and victories of the Ceasars of Rome. It is probably an educated guess or assumption that he would have had the memory of Geli enshrined in a very special section of this grandiose enterprise, and that anything, everything, left of her memory would then be almost religiously displayed in a place of honor and remembrance for him. I believe the revolver was merely sitting in the drawer while waiting to be included, although sadly, in this magnificent design.


Geli’s Death in Perspective

    Over the years there has been much speculation as to whether Geli’s death was suicide, accident, or murder. Authors run rampant with various notions and stories. Of course, the sensationalists always choose the homicide story, and they embellish it in every way possible. In the popular American magazine, Vanity Fair, Ron Rosenbaum, a sensationalist author, even quotes Hitler’s one-time friend and later his most-hated enemy, Otto Strasser, as saying that the “murder” was perpetrated because Geli was getting ready to expose “perverse sexual acts that she was forced to participate in.” Serious historians, however, have completely discounted all of this as the ramblings of an angry man disappointed that he had been expelled from the Party and thus lost his ticket to leadership therein. Many other speculating stories abound and a self-proclaimed Hitler “expert” and furniture restorer in Vienna claims he has found Geli’s grave and presses the city fathers of Vienna to have her remains exhumed. This man sought to prove that Geli was carrying the child of Adolf Hitler, and that forensic tests would also show that she had been beaten before the fatal bullet had entered her chest. The most accepted theory, however, remain the findings of the Munich police, as it was corroborated by Frau Winter, and seems to be verified by all who had close contact with Geli and Hitler, that it was merely the tragedy of an unrequited love affair; no more, no less.
   During the time just before Geli died, Hitler could have been described as almost overconfident. Historians generally agree that if he had continued on this political path, his fortunes may well have withered and crashed. The financial supporters among the mega-rich were beginning to perceive him as an “upstart” and a man too wild to deal with. They had a hard time seeing him and his followers as all that different from the Bolsheviks that they felt menaced by. When Hitler received the news of his Geli’s fate, he went into an almost comatose state. He was completely crushed and devastated, and for a period of time he could accomplish nothing. It was as if he had been suddenly stricken with polio or some other disabling disease. He talked to neither his friends nor followers. There was no sign that he was taking his meals or caring for himself, at all. For a time, Hitler was a broken man. After the grief finally abated the man that emerged was a significantly more quiet and serious politician who now had a grasp on the meaning of life and its inherent fragility. This tragic event nearly vanquished Hitler, but for him, it was the crucible that fired him up to a “keener edge” and very probably set him on the path toward the ultimate victory for himself and the Party.

Hitler's Gun
Bronze bust of Geli by famed artist, Thorak. Hitler commissioned it and it was placed in a special room to commemorate her.


   Geli’s death will be seen in the historic perspective as the catalyst for Hitler’s tactical change, and the little S&W No. 709 as the only physical instrument that survives this catastrophic event and, today, provides silent, although dramatic, testimony of this prodigiously important turning point in the historical accounting of the saga of Adolf Hitler.
    However, No. 709 had actually already entered into “historic notoriety.” In 1923, because of the events in the next chapter (The Putsch) that I will later relate, the revolver virtually disappeared only to reappear 9 years later. After the death of Geli, in 1931, it disappeared again and emerged some 14 years later in 1945, in the hands of Private First Class Sivi. And now, 56 years later, No. 709 is brought forward into the new millennium with its dark secrets fully revealed here at last!


The Putsch

   Equally as germane as Geli’s suicide was to Adolf Hitler’s career was the exciting and momentous episode known to history as “The Failed Putsch at Munich” in November of 1923. This has been referred to as “Hitler’s rehearsal for power.” Historians note that Hitler transcended the stalemate that existed between the Nazis and the numerous other parties that vigorously competed. He also transformed himself from a mere beer-hall orator and agitator into a real leader, who would be well on his way to ultimate world power as Chancellor and Führer of Germany.

Hitler's Gun
"The Putsch," where Hitler & No. 709 were central to the entire plot.

   We know that this S&W was the only gun Hitler ever carried in the days that history recalls as der Kampfzeit, or “days of struggle.” It follows that this was the very weapon that he would fire at the ceiling of the Burgerbraukeller, the famous beer hall where Hitler and his followers actually held the Bavarian Weimar Government captive on November 8th and 9th, 1923. It was here that he declared the government deposed, and announced that the National Socialist Revolution would now “break out.”
    Now the circumstance most significant to us at this point in this enormously critical juncture of history is the fact that this important political “hooligan” held the all-powerful government leaders at bay with this diminutive revolver. Here, once again, we have an event that utterly and devastatingly changed the course of history. Please consider the fact that had Hitler not fired the shot into the hall’s ceiling, as I will relate here, and had he not fully intimidated the assembled politicians and officials, it is more than possible that they would have called his bluff and simply walked out, straightaway, and this melodrama would have ended. This brilliant showman and his followers would have more than likely had to settle down for the rest of the evening of oom-pa-pa music and had a good cry in their beer. However,our little No. 709 in the hands of the man called the “Political Mephisto” turned the tide.
    In Ernst Hanfstaengl’s book, Unheard Witness, the author states that the National Socialists arrived at the Burgerbraukeller during a particularly boring speech of General Gustav Von Kahr, who was the Bavarian State Commissioner. He was at a particular sleep-inducing part of his address, when all of a sudden the doors flew open and Hermann Wilhelm Goring and 25 SA Storm Troopers armed to the teeth burst into the hall; all hell broke loose. People headed for cover. Tables with beer and food spilled over, and Adolf Hitler resolutely and hurriedly paced toward the speaker’s platform followed by the Nazi leaders and SA men. Hitler, as Hanfstaengl relates, clamored onto a chair and fired a round at the ceiling. Hanfstaengl said that it was often maintained that Hitler did this to terrify the gathering into submission, but he earnestly believed it actually was to wake them up. At this point, with revolver in hand, Hitler proclaimed, “…the National Revolution has broken out. The Reichswehr is with us. Our flag is flying on their barracks…,” and while brandishing the revolver, Hitler loudly proclaimed to the politicians and assemblage, "One last thing I can tell you, either the German revolution begins tonight, and the morrow will find a true nationalist government, or it will find us dead!"
Hitler's Gun
November 9, 1923. The Putschisten; ready to “do or die.”
    Hitler then turned his pistol on the leading politicians: Gustav von Kahr, General Otto von Lossow, and Colonel Hans von Seisser, while all the time gesticulating the weapon and proclaimed, “Fight this battle with me, or die with me. If things go wrong there are four bullets in this pistol: one each for my three collaborators should they desert me.” Then, as if under a spell with eyes now glossy and dilated, he then pointed the revolver to his head and softly uttered, “The last one is for me. If I am not triumphant tomorrow, I shall be a dead man.”
   History records that this was a point in time when Germany appeared to stand still between the convincing and desperate power play of this "upstart" of a revolutionary, and the little S&W revolver that he brandished so effectively; and it worked, for the moment.

Hitler's Gun
A Karl Goetz caricature medal struck in 1923 commemorating the Putsch.
Note: Hitler’s holding revolver in hand with the captivated Otto Von Lossow standing alongside.

   The officers completely capitulated at this point. Had they not, it is probable that Hitler’s followers would have, for the most part, finally deserted him and the historically important march to the Feldherrenhalle might never have occurred. This was without a doubt the “bluff of the century.” The moment was seized and thus began the march of the 'brown battalions' forging forward towards their appointment with destiny and the birth through martyrdom of the Third Reich.
Hitler's Gun
Bürger-Bräu-Keller, where the Putsch began. This was a yearly reenactment that took place each November 9th on until the 1940s.
   All of this is well documented. We know that the trial that ensued set the pace for the ever-increasing popularity of one who was nothing but a struggling nationalistic zealot who probably would have utterly failed if he had not stormed forth that night at the beer hall with his trusty American revolver. This was the incident during which No. 709 was first employed in historic use and deed.


PFC Sivi’s Treasures!

    There is much evidence and historic provenance to prove that No. 709 is indeed the Hitler pistol. When PFC Andrew Sivi removed the pistol and its case from that desk drawer amid the obvious melancholy and grief of Frau Winter, he had no idea at all of the earth-shattering events that this innate object had already participated in. Frau Winter was very relieved to give away this pistol with its sorrowful tale still etched in her mind.
    Sivi, with Frau Winter’s permission, had tucked it away in his duffel bag and during the next 20 days, while staying there, traded coffee (which Frau Winter loved) for many other souvenirs. Among the other items he acquired were more than 70 post cards that had been sent to Hitler, plus documents and telegrams that the Führer had sent to Frau Winter, and a stuffed dog that Hitler had given to Geli on her fifteenth birthday. Many important letters from familiar party leaders were among the treasures. Of particular note was a letter from Alfred Rosenburg to Hitler imploring him to cosign a loan for him or he might commit suicide within a short time. Other items having to do with or personally belonging to Hitler, and Major Winter’s uniform and swords began their journey to the USA via a short stay in England.
    The little revolver and the fact that it had belonged to the man who, for a time, was the most powerful world leader awed all who viewed it. Sivi sold Major Winter’s outfit and the other items to the late Colonel Larry Michael in 1980. It has been stored away in safekeeping ever since.
Hitler's Gun
A cozy nook in the apartment.


Hitler's Gun
The N.Y. State pistol permit issued to Andrew Sivi when he registered No. 709.
    Included in the significant and weighty provenance that accompanies this pistol, articles from newspapers in Jamestown, New York; the Buffalo Evening News, and Buffalo Courier Express dating back to 1945 mention that PFC Sivi was quartered in Hitler’s house and tell of the souvenirs he brought home to include the SS uniform and a small American-made pistol. Other articles in these journals mention that Army officials at the time valued the collection at $50,000. Mentioned also is the fact the Sivi’s accumulation was taken to Buffalo for exhibition.
    Lieutenant Robert Schermer, Buffalo Army Recruiting Officer, revealed this. The regimental history of the famed 45th Thunderbird Division that Sivi was a member of also documents Sivi’s post at the Hitler house. The Jamestown Post Journal in December of 1960 had a rather lengthy article on Sivi and his treasures, and featured a picture of him with letters, Geli’s stuffed dog, and the revolver. The present owner also has the original NY-State pistol permit (#6292-1946) from 1946 when Sivi registered the pistol, and the aforementioned letter from Mr. Roy Jenks, historian, and customer-service manager for the Smith & Wesson Company in Springfield, Massachusetts. His letter of September 2, 1982 traces the history—from factory to France.


    It’s quite easy, and perhaps logical, for the mind to ascend to the possibilities given the 1903 destination of this weapon. Among the articles of provenance are signed and notarized affidavits from PFC Sivi and notably, one from a Mr. Arthur Peters, who, after stating that he was a member of the U.S. Army 45th Infantry Division holding the rank of sergeant, goes on to say that he was also quartered in No. 16, Prinzregentenstrasse with PFC Sivi, and the others. He states he witnessed Sivi removing the small revolver in a black case. He identified it as a Smith & Wesson, and in 1984 he signed a photo of the gun for Larry Michael. Hitler's Gun
The Life magazine that chronicled the apartment story and the subsequent looting.
Hitler's Gun
Sgt Peters on the bed at No. 16, Prinzregentenstrasse.
    Peters went on to say that he is the same Sgt. Peters that is pictured on page 38 of the May 1945 issue of Life magazine. Peters is pictured as he sacked out on Hitler’s bed (which turned out to be Geli’s bed), while looking at a copy of Hitler’s book, Mein Kampf.


    Recently on the History Channel in its series of “Tales of the Gun” a segment entitled “Million-Dollar Guns” was aired. A gun owed by Hitler was featured. This particular weapon was the Mod. PP Walther pistol that was presented to him by the Walther Family on the occasion of his fiftieth birthday, April 20, 1939. It was gold plated with deep floral motif chiseling and ivory grips. The initials “A.H.” are found on the left side of the center panel. The provenance was convincing and the gun sold at auction for over $100,000 in November of 1987. It was a very beautiful piece and very historically important. However, the fact remains that by 1939, Hitler did not need to carry a gun because at this time he was guarded by the SS and didn’t need a personal gun and probably never even carried this Walther. Hitler's Gun
The Walther 7.65automatic pistol that was presented by the Walther family to Adolf Hitler on his birthday, April 20, 1939. He never carried this weapon.
Historians Agree Hitler Packed a Revolver

    Contemporary history also documents that Hitler’s earlier preference in pistols was the revolver over an automatic. It has been many times noted with period photographs that he wore an old weather-worn great coat in those early years and it is usually observed that he continually had his right hand thrust deeply in the pocket, especially in the time of political struggle, der Kampfzeit. He was the world’s busiest aspiring politician at this time and had many very tough and dangerous enemies among the communists, and other reactionaries. Various historians almost invariably agree that down deep in this pocket the Führer gripped a revolver.

Hitler's Gun
Hitler, visiting the Landsburg Prison where he was incarcerated after the failed Putsch.
Note his hand (perpetually) in his right pocket clutching No. 709.

    Automatic pistols were as common as sauerkraut in Germany, but everyone in the know seems to always mention Hitler’s revolver. In his work, The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler, Robert Payne says in the chapter “The November Putsch,” “Hitler wore a trench coat and carried a revolver in his pocket.” Later, Payne states, “Hitler jumped on a table, fired two shots from his revolver into the ceiling and shouted, ‘silence!’” Hitler's Gun
Ernst “Putzi” Hanfstaengl (left), Hitler, and other Nazi notables on the campaign tours. Note: Hitler’s hand in pocket, again.
    On page 74 he recounts that Ullrich Graf, Hitler’s bodyguard, “…brought him a stein of beer, which he drained while waving his revolver at the three adversaries.” Page 181 refers to Hitler’s almost incoherent state of mind when, after the failed Putsch, he was hiding out in Uffing, a suburb of Munich, at the home of Ernst “Putzi” Hanfstaengl, who was an early friend and later Hitler’s representative with the foreign press. Hanfstaengl was of German-American parentage and was descended from two American Civil War generals and was the son of an art dealer, who owned a shop on Fifth Avenue in New York. At this point in the narrative we see yet another intriguing “American connection” to the saga of Hitler and his revolver.
    When Hitler had reached a point of complete desperation after the failure of the Putsch, and the horrible state of affairs, as he now perceived it, he believed his life had now reached “the point of no return” and now would attempt suicide. He suddenly announced at Hanfstaengl’s Villa, “This is the end! I will never let those swine take me. I will shoot myself first,” as he lifted the petite No. 709 to his temple. At this point something happened that also would affect world history forever. Herr Hanfstaengl’s wife, Helene, cried out, “What are you doing?” and seized his hand and wrested from him the revolver just as it was about to fire. She exclaimed, “Think of all your loyal followers who believe in you. How can you forsake all those good people who share your ideal of saving your country while you take your own life?”
    Hitler then covered his face with is hands and Helene ran immediately into an adjoining room where she hid the revolver in a barrel of flour. It is a fascinating and captivating synopsis when one’s mind ascends to the implications of that moment when this man, who certainly made the largest mark in history since Napoleon, came within a heartbeat of finality. It becomes, again, very apparent especially at this momentous point in time not only how historically significant No. 709 is, but also at the same time imagine the earth-shattering implications had the future Führer succeeded in his suicide attempt with this now infamous revolver. Had Frau Hanfstaengl not intervened, what would the rest of the century and the future have held in store for our world?
    The reader may now be surprised to know that Helene was an American citizen that “Putzi” had married in the U.S. in 1920. She was the daughter of a German-American businessman who had emigrated from Bremen. Also interesting is that in Hanfstaengl’s book, Unheard Witness, (Lippencourt, 1959), where he describes this incident, he clearly denotes “revolver,” not “pistol,” “gun,” “or Walther,” just “revolver.”
    We believe the American connections to No. 709 are prodigiously engaging—American gun, German-American friend, American wife, who history records most assuredly saved the life of the future Führer and preserved the little revolver in the offing.
    So, again, No. 709 continued its effect on history. Had the wife of "Putzi" Hanfstaengel not intervened history would have been very different, indeed.
    It is bizarre that through political intrigues and such, the Hanfstaengls later became bitter enemies of the Führer; however, we must reflect at this point again on the importance of the Smith & Wesson revolver on 20th-Century history. In his book, HitlerM, Herbert Walther also references Hitler’s brandishing of a revolver at the beer hall. In the most famous work ever published about Hitler and Nazi Germany, William L. Shirer in The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich states in the chapter on the Beer-Hall Putsch, page 104, that Hitler fired a revolver toward the ceiling. On page 105 Shirer states that when Hitler was holding the Bavarian officials at bay, “It was at the point of Adolf Hitler’s revolver.” He also recounts that one onlooker at the last event of the ill-fated Putsch known as the “Feldherrenhalle massacre” observed that Hitler might have fired the first shot with his revolver; this is speculative at best. The German author, Heinz A. Heinz, on page 178 of Germany’s Hitler, when describing Hitler’s actions at the Burgerbraukeller states as follows: “Hitler made an attempt to speak, but the excitement was so great he could neither make himself heard nor understood. So he drew his revolver (emphasis added) and a loud report rang out. He had pointed it upward to the ceiling.” In The Making of Adolf Hitler, subtitled “The Birth and Rise of Nazism,” author Eugene Davidson recounts on page 197 his firing of a revolver into the ceiling.
    Many more eminent historians have noted the word “revolver” when describing the beer-hall Putsch. Because of the other circumstantial, but convincing evidence assembled, this writer believes it safe to make the logical assumption that little 709 was the beer-hall-Putsch weapon considering all the other prevalent facts.
    As to the suicide of Geli Raubel, there can be no reasonable doubt whatsoever that this is the weapon used in the tragic moment. It is very interesting to note at this point that in a fairly new book entitled Hitler and Geli, by Ronald Hayman, he writes on page 170 of Adolf Hitler’s telling Friedelind Wagner that Geli was scared of guns ever since a fortune teller predicted that a revolver bullet would end her life. In the suicide incident we have some conflict in the narratives where authors quote the report and deposition of Gregor Strasser, later, Hitler’s archenemy, who identified the suicide weapon as a Walther 6.35 revolver. First of all, no such weapon exists, and it should be noted that Strasser was probably not at all familiar with the nomenclature or caliber of firearms. It was his original recounting that has been quoted by numerous historians; however, although the caliber has been disputed, all have agreed that it was indeed a small revolver that Geli used to end her life. In The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler, author Robert Payne on page 227 recounts that “They found Geli Raubel lying on the floor in a blue nightdress at the foot of a sofa. The revolver lay on the sofa. She had been dead for many hours.” He also noted that she was dead at the age of 23!
    So it is that the word “revolver” constantly emerges in the early history of the man, Adolf Hitler, but the Germans always preferred automatics from their earliest warfare—1870 on. In fact, there have been practically no revolvers manufactured in Germany except for one “hulking piece” that goes back very early; its manufacture or nomenclature unknown to us at this time.
    Adolf was not the only Third Reich notable that preferred an American revolver. When he surrendered to American forces in 1945, Reichsmarshal Hermann Göring turned over his Smith & Wesson Model M&P (military and police) .38-caliber revolver to his American captors. It seemed S&W was the weapon of choice among the Nazi leaders.
    In any case, I have not attempted to reconstruct the entire documentation or provenance that abound with No. 709. When one peruses the clippings, articles, affidavits, testimonies, and various literary works, one can readily see that there can be no reasonable doubt to the fact that here is the personal handgun of the German chancellor and wartime leader.
    I have shown how Hitler’s faithful housekeeper, Frau Annie Winters, interacted with the American GIs of the 45th Division. Essentially Hitler’s personal items were given freely and exchanged because of the kindness shown by PFC Andrew Sivi and others, including Sgt. Arthur Peters. We know that Adolf Hitler was not a gun collector or weapons enthusiast as was the Reich’s hunting master, Herman Göring. Hitler despised the killing of animals—he was a vegetarian.
    Hitler collected nothing, as he admitted in the collected works known as “Hitler’s Table Talk.” He was a plain and simple man who was not a materialist in any sense of the word. Unlike the flamboyant Hermann Göring, the Führer’s material possessions would fit into a traveling valise.
Hitler's Gun
Adolf Hitler’s pistol permit issued on November 26, 1921, 3 years after he was discharged from the Army.
    In 1921 Hitler applied for and was granted a pistol permit. In his book, Hitler, the Pictorial Documentary of His Life, author John Toland shows a picture of this permit as photo No. 50. Unfortunately, on its face the number ‘709’ does not appear, but there is the number ‘22’ (for .22 caliber?) clearly showing.
    We know that Hitler preferred to carry the small revolver tucked down into the pocket of his shabby greatcoat, but there is at least one historical reference to a holster. In the book, Hitler and Geli, published in 1997, author Ronald Hayman quotes Ernst “Putzi” Hanfstaengl as describing Hitler’s wearing of a rather outlandish outfit occasionally consisting of a blue suit, a purple shirt, a brown waistcoat, and a red tie. The bulge at his hip was caused by a revolver in its holster. According to Hanfstaengl, he may have been modeling himself on Karl May’s cowboys. He also mentions Hitler as he arrived for coffee: he stopped at a coat hook in the hallway to discard his velour hat and trench coat, and hang up his cartridge belt, which had a revolver attached to it.
    We are certain that even in the future more will be unearthed about this extraordinary, historically important relic. Even now, it is without doubt the most important piece to ever surface from the actual property of Adolf Hitler. Certainly there was never any item that was used by him for so long or depended upon so much. The revolver’s use was practically a daily event, until the day when it was retired after being part of the greatest tragedy ever to befall him.
    After Geli’s suicide, Hitler put No. 709 in that desk drawer where he kept all the other sad or distasteful memories of the formative years of the Nazi epoch. This drawer was probably never opened by anyone but the Führer, himself, until a GI from New York’s southern tier entered No. 16, Prinzregentenstrasse and became the temporary custodian of No. 709, the “Gun of Destiny.”


1Hermann Göring commented at the Nuremberg Trials that this suicide had such a devastating effect on Hitler that it changed his relationship with all other people.
2The famous book, outsold only by the Bible, in which he relates his background, struggle, and plans for the future.
3Once, he confided to a friend: "I could marry her."
4This is the place where most of the early development of the Nazi years began; a place about which Hitler later intimated was where his formative years were lived, and is the only place he ever felt completely relaxed—more so than Obersalzburg or the Reich’s Chancellery.
5The LAH (SS guards) probably removed many items just before its retreat from the inner city. Most of Hitler's articles of clothing were missing.
6They were translated many years later in 1972-1982.
7History has recorded this event as "The Night of the Long Knives."
8This reinforces the validity of the oxymoron "military intelligence."
9In later years, Frau Winter managed to sell much of this material to supplement her meager living. Much of it was sold in a special "Winter's Offering" at an auction house in Munich.