The Man Behind the Curtain

1 It was common: For details of the Schachno case, see “Conversation with Goering,” unpublished memoir, 5–6; and Messersmith to Hull, July 11, 1933, and July 18, 1933, all in Messersmith Papers. See also cumulative report on assaults against Americans in Phillips to Roosevelt, Aug. 23, 1933, file no. 362.1113 /4 1 /2, State/Decimal.

2 “From the neck down”: Messersmith, “Conversation with Goering,” unpublished memoir, 6, Messersmith Papers.

3 “From the shoulder blades”: Messersmith to Hull, July 11, 1933, Messersmith Papers.

4 “I wish it were”: Messersmith to Phillips, June 26, 1933, Messersmith Papers.

5 Inauguration Day in 1933: The Twentieth Amendment, passed in 1933, moved the inauguration date from March 4 to the now familiar January 20, a measure to reduce the amount of time that an outgoing president would be a lame duck.

6 Incredibly, the new ambassador: For more detail than you’ll ever need about the shipping of Dodd’s car, see Howard Fyfe to Harry A. Havens, July 8, 1933; Herbert C. Hengstler to Dodd, July 10, 1933; and Paul T. Culbertson to Dodd, June 19, 1933, all in Box 40, W. E. Dodd Papers.


Chapter 1: Means of Escape

1 The telephone call: Dodd, Diary, 3.

2 Dodd also owned: “Farming Implements” and Survey, Box 59, W. E. Dodd Papers.

3 “The fruit is so beautiful”: William E. Dodd to Martha Dodd, Oct. 15, 1926, Box 2, Martha Dodd Papers.

4 “sudden surprise”: Dodd to Westmoreland Davis, June 22, 1933, Box 40, W. E. Dodd Papers.

5 he pleaded for heat: Dodd to Lester S. Ries, Oct. 31, 1932, Box 39, W. E. Dodd Papers.

6 “embarrassing”: Dodd to Charles E. Merriam, Aug. 27, 1932, Box 39, W. E. Dodd Papers.

7 “hard men”: Bailey, 6.

8 “Monk Dodd”: Dallek, 6.

9 Other students indulged: Ibid., 9.

10 “How helpless”: “Brief Note,” 6, Box 58, W. E. Dodd Papers.

11 “There was too much”: Ibid., 7.

12 at Randolph-Macon: Bailey, 35–36; Dallek, 31–32.

13 In October 1912: Dallek, 70; Dodd to Mrs. Dodd, March 26, 1930, Box 2, Martha Dodd Papers.

   In this letter to his wife, composed one fine night while on his farm, Dodd wrote, “I am sitting by the dining room table in work-a-day clothes, the old-red sweater and the easy-slippers—a great oak log on the fire and a bed of hot coals three inches deep, all surrounded by white ashes. The old andirons (‘firedogs’ of my boyhood parlance) lean their solid black heads back in contented contemplation of their efficient service—the old red-brick fireplace as dignified as George Washington and the eighteenth century, when men had time to be dignified.”

14 Dodd also discovered: Bailey, 97–99; Dallek, 88–89.

15 More and more he considered: Dodd to William Dodd, Jr., Dec. 9, 1932, Box 39, W. E. Dodd Papers.

16 “These are posts”: Ibid.

17 “As to high diplomacy”: Dodd to Mrs. Dodd, March 25, 1933, Box 40, W. E. Dodd Papers.

18 Hull was tall and silver haired: Messersmith, “Cordell Hull and my personal relationships with him,” 7, unpublished memoir, Messersmith Papers.

   Messersmith writes, “When I heard this strong language from this saintly looking man and who was in so many ways a saint, I almost fell through the floor from surprise.” See also Graebner, 193; Weil, 76–77, 87; and, of course, Hull’s own Memoirs.

   One of Hull’s memorable aphorisms, directed at Hitler and his allies as war loomed, was this: “When you’re in a pissin’ contest with a skunk, make sure you got plenty of piss.” Weil, 77.

19 “After considerable study”: Dodd, pocket diary, March 2, 1933, Box 58, W. E. Dodd Papers.

Chapter 2: That Vacancy in Berlin

1 No one wanted the job: Noakes and Pridham, 180; Rürup, 84–86; Wheaton, 428; Ladd, 123; Evans, Power, 11; Stackelberg and Winkle, 132; Wise, Servant, 177.

2 “It is not only because”: Roosevelt, Personal Letters, 337–38.

3 Cox said no.: Ibid., 338.

4 Roosevelt set the matter aside: Dallek, 187–89; Flynn, 148.

5 “You know, Jimmy”: Warburg, 124.

6 “ROOSEVELT TRIMS PROGRAM”: New York Times, June 8, 1933.

7 Thus, he now found himself: Dallek, 187.

8 On Wednesday, June 7: Ibid., 189.

9 Polls showed: Herzstein, 77.

10 Secretary Roper believed: Roper, 335.

11 “I want to know”: Dodd, Diary, 3.

12 Roosevelt gave him two hours: Ibid., 3.

13 His wife, Mattie, understood: Mrs. Dodd to William Dodd Jr., April 19, 1933, Box 1, Martha Dodd Papers.

14 “There is no place”: Dodd to Mrs. Dodd, March 25, 1933, Box 40, W. E. Dodd Papers.

15 Even had he been present: Messersmith, “Cordell Hull and My Personal Relationships,” 17, unpublished memoir, Messersmith Papers.

   Messersmith wrote, “As Secretary of State he should have had really the deciding voice in determining who occupied the principal as well as the secondary posts of chief of mission.” Instead, Messersmith wrote, Hull abdicated and gave Roosevelt a free pass. “Some of us always felt that some of the more unfortunate appointments which were made during the time that Mr. Hull was Secretary could have been avoided if Mr. Hull had directly intervened in the matter.”

16 “get out of bounds”: Hull, Memoirs, 182.

17 “Telephone Book Dodd”: Flynn, 148. See also Martha Dodd to Flynn, Oct. 17, 1947; New York Times, Nov. 2, 1947; and New York Herald Tribune, Nov. 9, 1947, all in Box 13, Martha Dodd Papers.

18 “My dear child”: Dodd to Martha, Dec. 16, 1928, Box 2, Martha Dodd Papers.

Chapter 3: The Choice

1 “William is a fine teacher”: Dodd to Mrs. Dodd, April 20, 1933, Box 2, Martha Dodd Papers.

2 “It would never do”: Dodd to Mrs. Dodd and Martha Dodd, April 13, 1933, Box 2, Martha Dodd Papers.

3 Her very first word: “Baby Book,” 1908–c. 1916, Box 1, Martha Dodd Papers.

4 In April 1930: Chicago Daily Tribune, April 25, 1930.

5 “I want nothing from life”: W. L. River to Martha Dodd, c. 1927, Box 8, Martha Dodd Papers.

6 “kisses soft”: James Burnham to Martha Dodd, n.d., Box 4, Martha Dodd Papers.

7 “His face is smooth-shaven.”: Cincinnati Times-Star, n.d., but likely Jan. 13, 1932, Box 8, Martha Dodd Papers.

8 “It was pain and sweetness”: Martha to Bassett, Feb. 19, 1976, Box 8, Martha Dodd Papers.

9 “What fun it was”: Bassett to Martha, Sept. 19, 1931, Box 8, Martha Dodd Papers.

   I love these letters in large part because they are so full of Jimmy Stewartesque prose. In this letter Bassett deploys the greeting “Honeybuncha mia.” His first line reads, “I had the swellest love letter from you this morning.” And I, personally, had the swellest time reading all these letters. To quote Bassett again, “Yes, you bet, I have.”

10 “Never before or since”: Martha to Bassett, Nov. 1 (“more or less,” she writes), 1971, Box 8, Martha Dodd Papers.

11 “Either you love me”: Bassett to Martha, Feb. 21, 1932, Box 8, Martha Dodd Papers.

   By this point, things are getting a little tense. Bassett begins this letter with a more sober “Martha dearest.” The “honeybuncha-mia” days are gone.

   Three days later (Bassett to Martha, Feb. 24, 1932) he tried again: “Surely you cannot feel bound to go on and marry some one you do not love, merely because of a mistaken promise, when we both know how deeply, irrevocably, we are bound to each other.”

   He began this letter with the greeting: “Dearest of women.” For a return address, he wrote: “The Bank.”

   Honestly, we men can be so tone deaf.

12 “I desperately loved”: Martha to Bassett, Feb. 19, 1976, Box 8, Martha Dodd Papers.

13 It was bad enough: Ibid.

14 “show some nervousness”: Ibid.

15 She acknowledged later: Martha to Bassett, Nov. 1, 1976, Box 8, Martha Dodd Papers.

16 “That was IT for me”: Ibid.

17 “flirting”: Ibid.

18 “I love you past telling”: Carl Sandburg to Martha, n.d., Box 63, W. E. Dodd Papers.

19 “I was busy”: Martha to Bassett, Nov. 1, 1971, Box 8, Martha Dodd Papers. The greeting on this letter is “My dear Ex.”

20 “Do you know really”: Martha to Bassett, Feb. 19, 1976, Box 8, Martha Dodd Papers.

21 “I had to choose”: Ibid.

Chapter 4: Dread

1 Roosevelt, smiling and cheerful: Dodd, Diary, 4–5.

2 “But our people are entitled”: Ibid., 5.

3 For Roosevelt, this was treacherous ground: Breitman and Kraut, 18, 92; Wise, Servant, 180; Chernow, 388; Urofsky, 271.

4 Even America’s Jews: Urofsky, 256; Wise, Challenging Years, 238–39; Wise, Servant, 226.

5 “If he refuse [sic] to see me”: Wise, Personal Letters, 221.

6 On the other side: Chernow, 372–73; Leo Wormser to Dodd, Oct. 30, 1933, Box 43, W. E. Dodd Papers.

7 As Ron Chernow wrote: Chernow, 373.

8 In early June 1933: Quoted in Breitman and Kraut, 227.

9 a Fortune poll: Ibid., 230.

10 Within the Roosevelt administration: Ibid., 12–15.

11 “my little Jewish friend”: Phillips, Diary, April 20, 1935.

12 “The place is infested with Jews”: Phillips, Diary, Aug. 10, 1936; Breitman and Kraut, 36–37.

   Breitman and Kraut are rather direct in their description of Phillips. They write on page 36: “Phillips hated Jews.”

13 “kikes”: Gellman, 37.

14 “They are filthy Un-American”: Breitman and Kraut, 32.

15 “dust, smoke, dirt, Jews”: Gellman, 37.

16 “In all our day’s journey”: Carr, Diary, Feb. 22, 1934, Carr Papers.

17 “How different from the Jewish atmosphere”: Ibid., Feb. 23, 1934.

18 “an anti-Semite and a trickster”: Breitman and Kraut, 36.

19 “likely to become a public charge”: Wilbur Carr offers a detailed, bloodless discussion of the “LPC clause” and other immigration rules in his memorandum “The Problem of Aliens Seeking Relief from Persecution in Germany,” dated April 20, 1933, Carr Papers.

20 “It seems quite preposterous”: Wolff, 89.

21 Jewish activists charged: Breitman and Kraut, 15.

22 “an almost insuperable obstacle”: Proskauer to Phillips, July 18, 1933, vol. 17, p. 35, Archives of the Holocaust.

23 “The consul,” Phillips replied: Phillips to Proskauer, Aug. 5, 1933, vol. 17, p. 40, Archives of the Holocaust.

   The exchange of letters between Phillips and Proskauer, pages 32–46, makes compelling reading, for both what is said and what is not said. On the one side, deploying statistics and dispassionate prose, is Phillips, who, as we have seen, disliked Jews. On the other was Proskauer, a judge, whose careful prose seems clearly to be masking a scream of anguish.

24 One result, according to Proskauer: Dippel, 114; Proskauer to Phillips, July 18, 1933, vol. 17, p. 36, Archives of the Holocaust.

   Proskauer tells Phillips, “The well-known fact that only a negligible number of U.S. quota visas have been issued in recent years, and are believed to be likely to be issued, other than to relatives of U.S. citizens, has prevented applications being made by German Jews, believed in advance to be futile.…”

25 It was an argument: Breitman and Kraut, 14.

26 “The German authorities”: Dodd, Diary, 5.

27 Dodd insisted: Ibid.

28 “You are quite right”: Ibid.

29 Here at the State Department: Dallek, 191; Stiller, 33, 36–37; Kershaw, Hubris, 473–74.

30 “Forty-Page George”: Stiller, 5.

   Jay Pierrepont Moffat, Western European affairs chief, left the following entry in his diary for Oct. 6 and 7, 1934: “Saturday afternoon being cold and rainy, I was sitting home reading through Messersmith’s four last personal letters (that does not sound like an afternoon’s job but it took nearly two hours).…”

31 “has probably ever existed”: Messersmith to Hull, May 12, 1933, Messersmith Papers.

32 “Responsibility has already changed”: Ibid., 15. See also Messersmith to Hull, June 19, 1933, Messersmith Papers.

   In his June 19 dispatch, Messersmith wrote, “The primary leaders have under the sobering influence of responsibility become steadily more moderate in practically all of their views and have in many ways endeavored to translate this moderation into action.”

33 “I have tried to point out”: Messersmith to Phillips, June 26, 1933, Messersmith Papers.

34 “Pleasing, interesting person”: Diary, June 15, 1933, Carr Papers.

35 distaste for Jews: Weil, 41.

36 “He is extremely sure of his opinion”: Moffat, Diary, June 15, 1933.

37 Undersecretary Phillips grew up: Phillips, “Reminiscences,” 3, 50, 65, 66, 99; Phillips, Ventures, 4, 5, 183.

   In “Reminiscences,” the transcription of an oral history interview, Phillips (on pages 2–3) stated, “The Boston that I grew up in was limited to friends who lived on the Hill and in the Back Bay district. The community was self-centered—we lived surrounded by cousins, uncles and aunts and there was no incentive to discuss national or world affairs.… I must say it was a very pleasant place in which to grow up, but it was a very easy and indulgent life. We saw no signs of poverty.… We were in fact on a sort of island of well-being.…”

38 “They have all felt that they belonged”: Weil, 47.

39 “I am sorry”: Dodd to John D. Dodd, June 12, 1933, Box 2, Martha Dodd Papers.

40 “this great honor from D.C.”: John D. Dodd to Dodd, June 15, 1933, Box 2, Martha Dodd Papers.

41 “A rather sorrowful day”: Dodd, Diary, 8.

42 Dodd feared: Dallek, 194; Floyd Blair to Jay Pierrepont Moffat, June 28, 1933, Box 40, W. E. Dodd Papers.

43 A letter from a prominent Jewish relief activist: George Gordon Battle to Dodd, July 1, 1933, Box 40, W. E. Dodd Papers. See also telegram, Battle to Dodd, July 1, 1933, Box 40.

44 “There was much talk”: Dodd, Diary, 9.

45 “For an hour and a half”: Ibid.

46 During this meeting: Chernow, 374–75, 388.

47 “I insisted that the government”: Dodd, Diary, 9.

48 The news was humbling.: Ibid., 10.

49 “the Jews should not be allowed to dominate”: Ibid., 10.

50 “The Jews, after winning the war”: Crane to Dodd, June 14, 1933, Box 40, W. E. Dodd Papers.

51 Dodd partly embraced Crane’s notion: Dodd to Crane, Sept. 16, 1933, Box 40, W. E. Dodd Papers.

52 “Let Hitler have his way.”: Dodd, Diary, 11.

53 A dozen or so reporters: Ibid., 11.

54 By this point he had begun: Ibid., 7.

55 “a disproportionate amount of sadness”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 17.

Chapter 5: First Night

1 Martha continued to cry: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 17–18.

2 She saw Hitler as “a clown”: Ibid., 10.

3 As a student at the University of Chicago: Ibid., 5.

4 “I was slightly anti-Semitic”: Ibid., 5.

5 One poll found: Breitman and Kraut, 88.

6 A poll taken decades in the future: Anti-Defamation League, 2009,

7 “an enchantress”: Vanden Heuvel, 225.

8 “The personality is all there”: Sandburg, Box 63, W. E. Dodd Papers.

9 “give way to every beckoning”: Ibid.

10 “find out what this man Hitler”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 16–17.

11 Thornton Wilder also offered: Wilder to Martha, n.d., Box 63, W. E. Dodd Papers.

   In one letter, dated Sept. 15, 1933, Wilder wrote, “I can see the plane rides”—here an apparent reference to the airborne courtship of her by Ernst Udet, World War I flying ace and aerial adventurer—“and the tea dances and the movie-stars; and the brisk (soon autumnal) stroll in the most autumnal of all great parks. But I cannot see what you’re like when you’re alone—or alone just with the family—or alone with the typewriter. Your letters are so vivacious that they deafen my mind’s eye to all this other.”

   He opens his letters to her, variously, with “Dear Marthy,” “Dear Handsome,” “Dear Marthy-la-Belle.”

   “We’re cusses,” he wrote in April 1935, “both of us, preposterous exasperating cusses and were meant to be friends.”

12 Martha kept a picture: Brysac, 142.

13 “half a dozen or more”: Wise, Servant, 191–92.

14 “He was most friendly”: Ibid.

15 “One cannot write the whole truth”: Ibid.

16 “unfair at many points”: Dodd, Diary, 241.

17 His daughter, Martha: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 12.

18 He told a friend: Bailey, 150.

19 Dodd had assumed: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 20.

20 Meanwhile, Dodd fielded questions: Ibid., 20; Dodd, Diary, 12.

21 He was stiff and arrogant: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 20–21.

22 “very choleric temperament”: Messersmith, “Some Observations on the appointment of Dr. William Dodd, as Ambassador to Berlin,” unpublished memoir, 8, Messersmith Papers.

23 “clipped, polite, and definitely condescending”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 20.

24 “the like of which”: Ibid., 21.

25 Mrs. Dodd—Mattie: Ibid., 21.

26 “a dry, drawling, peppery man”: Breitman and Kraut, 40.

27 “I liked Dodd”: Messersmith, “Some Observations on the appointment of Dr. William Dodd, as Ambassador to Berlin,” unpublished memoir, 3, Messersmith Papers.

28 “a perfect example”: Fromm, 121.

29 “looks like a scholar”: Ibid., 120.

30 “is clear and capable”: Brysac, 141.

31 “a woman who is seriously interested”: Ibid.

32 “I was drawn to her immediately”: Unpublished memoir, 3, Box 13, Martha Dodd Papers.

33 She found long, straight boulevards: While I ought to footnote every little nugget in this rather long paragraph, frankly the effort would be too tedious and of limited value. So allow me to refer the reader to a couple of sources that provided me with a vivid sense of old Berlin: Ladd, The Ghosts of Berlin; Friedrich, Before the Deluge; Richie, Faust’s Metropolis; Gill, A Dance Between Flames. For a quirky look at Berlin’s night life, see Gordon, Voluptuous Panic. Also I urge anyone with a yearning for still more knowledge of Berlin to visit and search for “Symphony of a Great City.” You’ll be delighted.

34 “The bells on the streetcars”: Kaes et al., 560–62.

35 “Oh, I thought it was burned down!”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 22.

36 “Sssh! Young lady”: Ibid., 22.

37 Greta Garbo once was a guest: Kreuder, 26.

   Kreuder’s “cultural history” of the Hotel Esplanade includes a number of photographs of the hotel before and immediately after World War II, and in its current incarnation as an artifact sequestered behind a wall of glass. For more on this, please read my source essay (pp. 367–75).

38 the Imperial Suite: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 22; for specific room numbers, see letter, Hotel Esplanade to George Gordon, July 6, 1933, Box 40, W. E. Dodd Papers.

39 “that there was scarcely space”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 22.

40 “modest quarters”: Messersmith, “Some Observations on the appointment of Dr. William Dodd, as Ambassador to Berlin,” unpublished memoir, 2, Messersmith Papers.

41 The family settled in: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 22–23.

42 Later that evening: Ibid., 23–24.

43 “In the Tiergarten”: Kaes et al., 425.

44 “I am sure this was”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 23.

45 “I felt the press had badly maligned”: Ibid., 24.


Chapter 6: Seduction

1 “A little pudgy”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 24.

2 “the dragon from Chicago”: Schultz, “Dragon,” 113.

3 The opening of one such camp: Stackelberg and Winkle, 145. Regarding “wild” camps, KZs, and such, see Krausnick et al., 400, 410, 419;

   Richie, 412; Fritzsche, 43; Fest, 115–16; Kershaw, Hubris, 462, 464; Deschner, 79. As of July 31, 1933, some 26,789 people were held in protective custody, according to Krausnick et al., 410.

4 “I didn’t believe all her stories”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 24.

5 “What a youthful, carefree”: de Jonge, 140.

6 Within days she found herself: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 24.

7 “their funny stiff dancing”: Ibid., 24.

8 “weren’t thieves”: Ibid., 25.

9 the Berliner Schnauze: Jelavich, 31.

10 “I’m not Jewish”: Grunberger, 371; de Jonge, 161; for more on Finck, see Jelavich, 236–41, 248.

11 “The sun shines”: Isherwood, Berlin Stories, 207.

   It cannot be said enough that Germany’s seeming normalcy in this period was deeply seductive to outsiders. Angela Schwarz, in her article “British Visitors to National Socialist Germany,” writes that “a considerable number of British travellers concluded after a tour through the Third Reich, perhaps even one organized by the authorities, that in Germany everything was as quiet and peaceful as could be.” Schwarz, 497.

12 Gleichschaltung—meaning “coordination”: Orlow, 29; Bullock, 149; Kershaw, Hubris, 479; Hughes and Mann, 81; Gill, 238.

   Engelmann, 36, offers a slightly different translation: “bringing into line.” Orlow, in his History of the Nazi Party, notes that the literal translation is “to switch equal,” a physics term that “originally denoted the coordination of different types of electrical current.” Orlow, 29.

13 “self-coordination”: Kershaw, Hubris, 481; Gisevius, 96; Gellately, Gestapo, 11, 137.

14 Gerda Laufer: Gellately, Gestapo, 97.

15 coined by a post office clerk: Crankshaw, 15.

16 One study of Nazi records: Cited in Gellately, Gestapo, 146.

17 In October 1933: Gellately, Gestapo, 137–38.

18 “we are living at present”: Ibid., 139.

   There was nothing funny about the Gestapo, but this did not stop Berliners from quietly—very quietly—coining and trading jokes about the agency. Here’s one of them: “At the Belgian border crossing, huge numbers of rabbits appear one day and declare that they are political refugees. ‘The Gestapo wants to arrest all giraffes as enemies of the state.’—‘But you’re not giraffes!’—‘We know that, but try explaining that to the Gestapo!’ ” Evans, Power, 106.

19 only about 1 percent: Dippel, xviii; Gill, 238.

   Kershaw, in his Popular Opinion and Political Dissent, presents statistics that show that 70.9 percent of Germany’s Jews lived in cities having more than 100,000 inhabitants. In Bavaria, the percentage was 49.5. “One implication of this is obvious,” he writes: “the population of large tracts of Bavaria had no, or at best minimal, contact with Jews. For very many, therefore, the Jewish Question could be of no more than abstract significance.” Kershaw, Popular Opinion, 226–27.

20 some ten thousand émigrés: Dippel, 114.

21 “Hardly anyone thought”: Zuckmayer, 320.

22 “It was easy to be reassured”: Dippel, 153.

23 The salute, he wrote: Messersmith to Hull, Aug. 8, 1933, Messersmith Papers.

24 “I felt really quite fortunate”: Ibid., 4.

25 Dodd threw him a mock salute: Martha to Thornton Wilder, Sept. 25, 1933, Wilder Papers.

26 “You remember our bicycle ride”: George Bassett Roberts to Martha, Oct. 22, 1971, Box 8, Martha Dodd Papers.

27 “You had had it”: Ibid.

28 “To my charming and lovely ex-wife”: George Bassett Roberts to Martha, n.d., Box 8, Martha Dodd Papers.

29 “I’m not at all sure”: George Bassett Roberts to Martha, Oct. 22, 1971, Box 8, Martha Dodd Papers.

30 A Harvard graduate: Conradi, 22.

Chapter 7: Hidden Conflict

1 “the most beautiful park”: Dodd to R. Walton Moore, March 22, 1936, 124.621/338, State/Decimal.

2 “A photograph of you”: Phillips to Dodd, July 31, 1933, Box 42, W. E. Dodd Papers.

3 “rolled in the gutter”: Martha to Thornton Wilder, Sept. 25, 1933, Wilder Papers.

4 “Gordon is an industrious career man”: Dodd, Diary, 16.

5 “come to Germany to rectify the wrongs”: Ibid., 13.

6 On his first full day in Berlin: Friedlander, 496.

7 He also learned that staff: Dodd to Hull, July 17, 1933, 124.626/95, State/Decimal.

8 The consul general now dispatched: For example, Messersmith to Hull, July 15, 1933, 125.1956/221, State/Decimal.

9 In notes for a personnel report: Dodd, Memorandum, 1933, Box 40 (1933-C), W. E. Dodd Papers.

10 “Evangelical Christian”: New York Times, July 1, 1933.

11 He also recognized: For a summary of the conflict between Hitler and Röhm, see Evans, Power, 20–26; Kershaw, Hubris, 505–7; and Wheeler-Bennett, Nemesis, 307–11.

12 admittedly homosexual: Röhm was outed when his letters to a medical researcher were made public. In one letter he wrote, “I make no secret of my inclinations,” and acknowledged that the Nazi Party had needed “to get used to this criminal peculiarity of mine.” He also wrote, “Today all women are an abomination to me, particularly those who pursue me with their love.”

   Hancock, 625–29.

13 “adolescents in the great game”: Dodd to Newton Baker, Aug. 12, 1933, Box 40, W. E. Dodd Papers.

14 “These men wish to stop all Jewish persecution”: Ibid.

15 “his face,” she wrote: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 247.

16 “he was trying to train the Nazis”: Heineman, 66.

17 “He always believed”: Ibid., 82.

18 “most agreeable”: Dodd, Diary, 13.

19 “Hitler will fall into line”: Dodd to Newton Baker, Aug. 12, 1933, Box 40, W. E. Dodd Papers.

20 “It is not unlikely that [Zuckerman]”: Messersmith to Hull, Aug. 9, 1933, Messersmith Papers.

21 Messersmith added, “It is interesting to note”: Ibid., 4.

22 “It has been a favorite pastime of the SA men”: Messersmith to Hull, July 26, 1933, Messersmith Papers.

23 “inaccurate and overdrawn”: Messersmith, “Attack on Kaltenborn,” unpublished memoir, 2, Messersmith Papers.

24 “was a German by origin”: Ibid.

25 “to influence Americans coming to Germany”: Messersmith to Hull, Sept. 26, 1933, p. 1, Messersmith Papers.

26 He saw evidence of this: Ibid., 3.

27 “that if Americans in Germany”: Ibid., 3.

28 “The fact that Jews are permitted”: Ibid., 7–8.

29 “The Americans coming to Germany”: Ibid., 15.

Chapter 8: Meeting Putzi

1 She also became a regular: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 100.

2 “Everybody else in the restaurant”: Isherwood, Berlin Stories, 204.

3 “pretty, vivacious”: Shirer, Berlin Diary, 34.

4 In this new world: I was struck during my research by the extent to which my key protagonists saved the calling cards they received during their days in Berlin. Martha’s cards—scores of them—can be found in Box 1, file 2, of her papers at the Library of Congress. Armand Berard, her much-abused future lover, jotted on one of his cards, “Rang you up in vain / and came in vain.” A good friend of Martha’s, Elmina Rangabe, wrote, cryptically, “ ‘Be still, my soul, be still; the arms you bear are brittle,’ ” from A. E. Housman’s A Shropshire Lad. She crossed out Rangabe to indicate intimacy.

5 “If you have nothing more important to do”: Ibid.

6 “a lavish and fairly drunken affair”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 25.

7 “in a sensational manner”: Ibid., 25.

8 “supremely awkward-looking”: Dalley, 156.

9 “an instinctive dislike”: Messersmith, “Dr. Hanfstaengl,” unpublished memoir, 1, Messersmith Papers.

10 “He is totally insincere”: Messersmith to Jay Pierrepont Moffat, June 13, 1934, Messersmith Papers.

11 “went out of his way to be cordial”: Reynolds, 107.

12 “You had to know Putzi”: Ibid., 207.

13 At Harvard: Hanfstaengl, 27, 32; Conradi, 20.

14 One story held that Hanfstaengl: Conradi, 21.

15 “Uncle Dolf”: Ibid., 46.

   Egon Hanfstaengl told the Sunday Telegraph of London (Feb. 27, 2005) that Hitler made an excellent playmate. “I loved him. He was the most imaginative playmate a child could wish for. My favourite game with him was trains. He would go on his hands and knees, and pretend to be a tunnel or a viaduct. I was the steam engine going on the track underneath him. He would then do all the noises of the steam train.”

16 “so blatantly proclaiming his charm”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 26.

17 “of almost frightening dimensions”: Fromm, 90.

18 “He had a soft, ingratiating manner”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 25–26.

19 “He could exhaust anyone”: Ibid., 26

20 “He was a modest little southern history professor”: Hanfstaengl, 214.

21 “Papa” Dodd: Conradi, 121.

22 “The best thing about Dodd”: Hanfstaengl, 214.

Chapter 9: Death Is Death

1 One of his foremost sources: Mowrer, Triumph, 218.

2 Putzi Hanfstaengl tried to undermine: Ibid., 219.

3 “I was inclined to think him Jewish”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 39.

4 “To no purpose”: Mowrer, Triumph, 224.

5 “almost as vehement”: Dodd, Diary, 24.

6 Gestapo chief Rudolf Diels felt compelled: Messersmith, “Some observations on my relations with the press,” unpublished memoir, 20, Messersmith Papers.

7 “people’s righteous indignation”: Mowrer, Triumph, 225–26.

8 “one of the most difficult conversations”: Messersmith, “Some observations on my relations with the press,” unpublished memoir, 21, Messersmith Papers.

9 “If you were not being moved”: Mowrer, Journalist’s Wife, 308.

10 “never quite forgave my father”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 39.

11 “perhaps the foremost chemist”: Dodd, Diary, 17.

12 C × t = k: See “Fritz Haber,”

13 On a personal level: Stern, 121. Also see “Fritz Haber,”

14 “In this profound dejection”: Ibid., 53.

15 “trembled from head to foot”: Memorandum, Sept. 14, 1933, Box 59, W. E. Dodd Papers.

16 “the saddest story of Jewish persecution”: Dodd, Diary, 17.

17 “He wished to know the possibilities”: Ibid., 17.

18 “You know the quota is already full”: Dodd to Isador Lubin, Aug. 5, 1933, Box 41, W. E. Dodd Papers.

19 “The Ambassador appears”: D. W. MacCormack to Isador Lubin, Aug. 23, 1935, Box 41, W. E. Dodd Papers.

20 He left for England: Goran, 169, 171.

21 Zyklon B: Stern, 135.

22 “How I wish”: Stephen S. Wise to Dodd, July 28, 1933, Box 43, W. E. Dodd Papers.

23 Dodd “is being lied to”: Wise, Personal Letters, 223.

24 “the many sources of information”: Dodd to Stephen S. Wise, Aug. 1, 1933, Box 43, W. E. Dodd Papers.

25 “tell him the truth”: Wise, Personal Letters, 224.

26 “I might be recognized”: Wise, Challenging Years, 254.

27 “Briefly it may be said”: Messersmith to Hull, Aug. 24, 1933, Messersmith Papers.

28 “fundamentally, I believe”: Dodd to Roosevelt, Aug. 12, 1933, Box 42, W. E. Dodd Papers.

Chapter 10: Tiergartenstrasse 27a

1 Though he reviled: Dodd to William Phillips, Nov. 13, 1933, Box 42.

2 “Personally, I would rather”: Dodd to Sam D. McReynolds, Jan. 2, 1934, Box 42, W. E. Dodd Papers.

3 The Dodds found many properties: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 32.

4 “We have one of the best residences”: Dodd to Roosevelt, Aug. 12, 1933, Box 42, W. E. Dodd Papers.

5 Trees and gardens: In the course of my research I had the pleasure of interviewing Gianna Sommi Panofsky, the daughter-in-law of the Dodds’ landlord, who provided me with detailed plans for the house and photocopies of several photographs of its exterior. Sadly, she died before I completed this book.

6 “twice the size of an average New York apartment”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 33–34.

7 “entirely done in gold”: Ibid., 34.

8 “We are convinced”: Dodd to Mrs. Alfred Panofsky, undated letter, provided by Gianna Sommi Panofsky.

9 “I love going there”: Fromm, 215.

10 “second home”: Ferdinand, 253.

11 “When the servants were out of sight”: Ibid., 253.

12 “If you don’t try to be more careful”: Ibid., 253.

13 “We love each other”: Martha to Thornton Wilder, Sept. 25, 1933, Wilder Papers.

14 “short, blond, obsequious”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 147.

15 “Now the hegira begins”: Carl Sandburg to Martha, n.d., Box 63, W. E. Dodd Papers.

16 They traveled first by car: Dodd, Diary, 22–23; Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 27;

   Reynolds, 118.


Chapter 11: Strange Beings

1 “an American citizen of a fine type”: Messersmith to Hull, Aug. 19, 1933, Messersmith Papers.

2 “very young, very energetic”: Messersmith to Hull, Aug. 25, 1933, Messersmith Papers.

3 “confessions of regret”: Dodd, Diary, 26–27.

4 “The excitement of the people”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 28.

   Details of the episode described on this and following pages may be found mainly in Martha’s memoir, pages 27–32, and in Quentin Reynolds’s memoir, pages 118–21.

   Martha’s account varies a bit from that of Reynolds. She claimed Reynolds agreed to write the story upon his return to Berlin, rather than cable it directly from Nuremberg, and that he would leave her and Bill out of the account. Reynolds, in a later memoir, reported that he did omit reference to the Dodds, but wrote the story while still in Nuremberg and filed it by mail rather than by cable. Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 29; Reynolds, 120.

5 “a short, squat, shaven-headed bully”: Kershaw, Hubris, 179.

6 Goebbels smiled: One problem with the Nazis’ adulation of Aryan perfection was that none of the regime’s most senior leaders fit the tall, blond, blue-eyed model. Hitler, when not ranting, looked to be a rather prosaic type, a middle manager of middle age with a strange mustache that evoked the American comic actor Charlie Chaplin. Göring was hugely overweight, and increasingly given to odd quirks of narcissistic display, such as painting his nails and changing his uniform several times a day. Himmler looked like a practitioner of the field in which he had been employed before being anointed by Hitler: chicken farming.

   Goebbels’s appearance posed the greatest challenge, however. He was a shrunken figure with a crippled foot whose looks bore a startling resemblance to the grotesquely distorted caricatures that appeared regularly in Nazi hate literature. A bit of doggerel discreetly made the rounds in Berlin: “Dear God, make me blind / That I may Goebbels Aryan find.” Gallo, 29.

7 “The youth are bright faced”: Martha to Thornton Wilder, Dec. 14, 1933, Wilder Papers.

   Many people held similar views, at least early on. I was struck in particular by the observations of Marsden Hartley, an American painter living in Berlin, who on Dec. 28, 1933, wrote, “It takes one’s breath really to see the young here all marching and marching of course as usual. One gets the feeling Germany is always marching—but O such health and vigor and physical rightness they possess.” Hartley, 11.

8 “I received a non-committal reply”: Dodd, Diary, 26.

9 “very pleasantly unconventional”: Ibid., 25.

Chapter 12: Brutus

1 “It was all over”: Dodd, Diary, 30–31.

2 “really doing wrong”: This quote and other details of the Kaltenborn episode come from Messersmith, “Attack on Kaltenborn,” unpublished memoir, Messersmith Papers; Kaltenborn’s correspondence in his archive at the Wisconsin Historical Society; and Kaltenborn’s memoir, Fifty Fabulous Years.

3 “This is no more to be expected”: Kaltenborn Papers.

4 “otherwise tried to prevent unfriendly demonstrations”: Dodd, Diary, 36.

5 “I was trying to find excuses”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 36.

6 “I felt there was something noble:” Ibid., 36–37.

7 “and that the press reports”: Ibid., 37.

8 “And when are you coming back”: Mowrer, Triumph, 226.

9 “And you too, Brutus”: Messersmith, “Some observations on my relations with the press,” unpublished memoir, 22, Messersmith Papers.

10 Mowrer “was for a time”: Dodd to Walter Lichtenstein, Oct. 26, 1933, Box 41, W. E. Dodd Papers.

11 “His experiences, however”: Ibid.

12 “Nowhere have I had such lovely friends”: Reynolds, Journalist’s Wife, 309.

13 “The protokoll arbiters”: Dodd to Hull, Oct. 19, 1933, Box 41, W. E. Dodd Papers.

14 “So today the show began”: Dodd, Diary, 33.

15 “Well, if at the last minute”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 236.

16 “You people in the Diplomatic Corps”: Dodd to Hull, Feb. 17, 1934 (unsent), Box 44, W. E. Dodd Papers.

17 “We simply cannot stand the pace”: Ibid.

18 “Infectious and delightful”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 233.

19 “one of the few men”: Ibid., 233.

20 An extraordinary newspaper photograph: A copy of this image can be found in Dodd, Embassy Eyes, opposite page 118.

21 “certainly looked flirtatious”: Schultz, “Sigrid Schultz Transcript-Part I,” 10, Box 2, Schultz Papers.

22 “you felt you could be in the same room”: Schultz, Catalogue of Memoirs, transcript fragment, Box 2, Schultz Papers.

23 “I was always rather favorably impressed”: Reminiscences of John Campbell White, Oral History Collection, Columbia University, 87–88.

24 “three times the size”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 221.

25 “To illustrate,” he wrote: Dodd to Hull, Oct. 19, 1933, Box 41, W. E. Dodd Papers.

26 “But,” he vowed: Ibid.

27 The embassy’s cupboard: Berlin Embassy Post Report (Revision), p. 10, 124.62/162, State/Decimal.

28 “We shall not use silver platters”: Dodd to Hull, Oct. 19, 1933, Box. 41, W. E. Dodd Papers.

29 “I can never adapt myself”: Dodd to Carl Sandburg, Nov. 21, 1934, Box 45, W. E. Dodd Papers.

30 “with attacks of headaches”: Dr. Wilbur E. Post to Dodd, Aug. 30, 1933, Box 42, W. E. Dodd Papers.

31 a Sonderzug: Metcalfe, 141.

32 Knight, Death and the Devil: Burden, 68.

Chapter 13: My Dark Secret

1 “I suppose I practiced”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 41.

2 She had a brief affair with Putzi: Conradi, 122.

3 “like a butterfly”: Vanden Heuvel, 248.

4 “You are the only person”: Armand Berard to Martha, n.d., Box 4, Martha Dodd Papers.

5 “Of course I remember”: Max Delbrück to Martha, Nov. 15, 1978, Box 4, Martha Dodd Papers.

6 “I often felt like saying something”: Messersmith to Jay Pierrepont Moffat, June 13, 1934, Messersmith Papers.

7 “she had behaved so badly”: Messersmith, “Goering,” unpublished memoir, 5, Messersmith Papers.

8 “That was not a house”: Brysac, 157.

9 “created a nervousness”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 52.

10 “the most sinister, scar-torn face”: Ibid., 52.

11 “a cruel, broken beauty”: Ibid., 53.

12 “Involved affairs with women”: Gisevius, 39.

13 “I felt at ease”: Ludecke, 654–55.

14 “He took a vicious joy”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 52.

15 “remarkably small”: Gellately, Gestapo, 44–45.

16 “Most of them were neither crazed”: Ibid., 59.

17 “One can evade a danger”: Quoted in Gellately, Gestapo, 129.

   Even within the Gestapo there was fear, according to Hans Gisevius, author of the Gestapo memoir To the Bitter End: “For we were living in a den of murderers in which we did not even dare step ten or twenty feet across the hall to wash our hands without telephoning a colleague beforehand and informing him of our intention to embark on so perilous an expedition.” His boss advised him always to stay close to the wall and away from the banister when walking up a stairway, on the theory that this made it harder for an assassin above to get a clear shot. “Not for a moment was anyone’s life secure.” Gisevius, 50–51.

18 “like a mass of inanimate clay”: Gallo, 25–26.

19 “They ordered me to take off my pants”: Rürup, 92.

20 “The value of the SA”: Metcalfe, 133.

21 “the golden death of the Tiergarten”: Martha to Thornton Wilder, Nov. 10, 1934, Wilder Papers.

22 a “most indiscreet” young lady: Quoted in Wilbur Carr, Memorandum, June 5, 1933, Box 12, Carr Papers.

23 “he was constantly facing the muzzle of a gun”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 56.

24 “There began to appear before my romantic eyes”: Ibid., 53.

Chapter 14: The Death of Boris

1 “He had an unusual mouth”: Agnes Knickerbocker, in miscellaneous notes, Box 13, Folder 22, Martha Dodd Papers.

2 In a later unpublished account: Martha left a rich typescript account of her relationship with Boris that includes passages of dialogue and myriad observational details, such as who laughed at what remark, who frowned, and so forth. “Bright Journey into Darkness,” Box 14, Martha Dodd Papers.

3 “nigger-Jew jazz”: Kater, 15.

4 “seemed totally unintimidated”: Quoted in “Bright Journey into Darkness,” Box 14, Martha Dodd Papers.

5 “made some ceremony”: Agnes Knickerbocker, in miscellaneous notes, Box 13, Folder 22, Martha Dodd Papers.

Chapter 15: The “Jewish Problem”

1 It began amiably enough: My account of Dodd’s meeting with Neurath is derived from Dodd’s Diary, pages 35–37, and from his seven-page Memorandum, Sept. 14, 1933, Box 59, W. E. Dodd Papers.

2 “No doubt can be entertained”: Leon Dominian to Hull and to Berlin Embassy, Sept. 15, 1933, 862.113/49 GC, State/Decimal.

3 On one notorious occasion: Messersmith to Hull, July 29, 1933, Messersmith Papers.

Chapter 16: A Secret Request

1 “this disagreeable and difficult business”: Dodd to Samuel F. Bemis, Aug. 7, 1933, Box 40, W. E. Dodd Papers.

2 “Herewith I am informing you”: Alfred Panofsky to Dodd, Sept. 18, 1933, Box 42, W. E. Dodd Papers.

3 Dodd’s first draft: For first and final drafts, see Dodd to Alfred Panofsky, Sept. 20, 1933, Box 41, W. E. Dodd Papers.

4 “There was too much noise”: Memorandum, n.d. (c. 1935), Box 47, W. E. Dodd Papers.

5 “happy mix of courage”: Klemperer, Language, 32, 43, 48, 60.

6 Another attack occurred against an American: Dodd, Diary, 44; Messersmith to William Phillips, Oct. 19, 1933, Messersmith Papers.

7 The Ministry of Posts: Miller, 53.

8 “There has been nothing in social history”: Messersmith to William Phillips, Sept. 29, 1933, Messersmith Papers.

9 “forcible intervention from the outside”: Ibid.

10 “There is nothing here”: Dodd to Edward M. House, Oct. 31, 1933, Box 41, W. E. Dodd Papers.

11 “It defeats my history work”: Dodd to Jane Addams, Oct. 16, 1933, Box 40, W. E. Dodd Papers.

12 “Please do not refer to others”: Dodd to Hull, Oct. 4, 1933, Box 41, W. E. Dodd Papers; Hull to Dodd, Oct. 16, 1933, Box 41, W. E. Dodd Papers.

Chapter 17: Lucifer’s Run

1 “harshness and callousness”: Diels, 328–31; also, Crankshaw, 51–61.

2 “From his retreat in Bohemia”: Quoted in Crankshaw, 56.

3 “very much the German Frau”: Brysac, 200.

4 “She was slow to speak”: Unpublished Memoir, p. 9 (marked as p. 8), Box 13, Martha Dodd Papers.

5 While abroad he was recruited: Dallin, 236.

6 Arvid had “gone Nazi”: Brysac, x.

7 “dove tans, soft blues”: Ibid., 111.

8 “to build up a little colony”: Martha to Thornton Wilder, Sept. 25, 1933, Wilder Papers.

9 “Martha, you know that I love you”: Mildred Fish Harnack to Martha, May 4 (probably 1934), Box 5, Martha Dodd Papers.

10 “I prized these post-cards”: Unpublished Memoir, p. 4 (marked as p. 3), Box 13, Martha Dodd Papers.

11 “the kind of person”: Martha to Thornton Wilder, Dec. 14, 1933, Wilder Papers.

12 “And there I sit on the sofa”: Quoted in Brysac, 419.

13 “the astonishment”: Ibid., 146.

14 “the capital’s jeunesse dorée”: Ibid., 154.

Chapter 18: Warning from a Friend

1 “to hear amusing conversation”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 86.

2 her birthday party: In her memoir, Martha makes reference to parties on pages 43–45 and 65–66. They appear to be the same party. The late Philip Metcalfe, in his book 1933, likewise links these references and states with certainty that they apply to her birthday party. He had the benefit of having corresponded with Martha Dodd well before her death in 1990. Metcalfe, 195–96.

3 “young, heel-clicking, courteous”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 44.

4 “That is not the sort of music”: Ibid., 67. The “Horst Wessel Song” was indeed a point of sensitivity for hard-core Nazis. One bandleader who dared to lead a jazz rendition of the song was compelled to flee Germany. Kater, 23.

5 “to continue to persuade”: Dodd to Leo Wormser, Sept. 26, 1933, Box 43, W. E. Dodd Papers.

6 “It was because I had seen so much injustice”: Dodd to Jane Addams, Oct. 16, 1933, Box 40, W. E. Dodd Papers.

7 “the President told me”: Dodd to William Phillips, Oct. 14, 1933, Box 42, W. E. Dodd Papers.

8 “In times of great stress”: For the text of Dodd’s speech, see enclosure in Dodd to Roosevelt, Oct. 13, 1933, Roosevelt Correspondence.

9 Schacht “applauded extravagantly”: Ibid.

10 “When the thing was over”: Dodd to Hull, Oct. 19, 1933, Box 41, W. E. Dodd Papers.

11 “Silent, but anxious Germany”: Ibid.

12 “I enjoyed all these nicely disguised hints”: Fromm, 132.

13 “The situation is very difficult”: Metcalfe, 164–65.

14 “My interpretation of this”: Dodd to Roosevelt, Oct. 14, 1933, Box 42, W. E. Dodd Papers. (Note: A handwritten version of this letter in Roosevelt’s correspondence bears the date Oct. 13, 1933. It seems clear that the typed version, dated Oct. 14, is the final and correctly dated copy.)

15 “to constitute a serious affront”: Dodd to Hull, Oct. 13, 1933, 362.1113/13, State/Decimal.

16 “as a sort of rebuke for my speech”: Dodd, Diary, 47.

17 “that some embarrassing interpretations”: Dodd to Roosevelt, Oct. 14, 1933, Box 42, W. E. Dodd Papers.

18 “in the hope that you”: Dodd to Phillips, Oct. 14, 1933, Box 42, W. E. Dodd Papers.

19 “the schoolmaster lecturing his pupils”: Moffat, Diary, Oct. 12, 1933.

20 “that I was in doubt whether any words”: William Phillips to Dodd, Nov. 27, 1933, Box 42, W. E. Dodd Papers.

21 “It was delightful to hear the President”: Edward M. House to Dodd, Oct. 21, 1933, Box 41, W. E. Dodd Papers.

22 “It was not the address of a thinker”: Dodd, Diary, 48.

23 “That the allies at this time”: Shirer, Rise, 211.

Chapter 19: Matchmaker

1 There had been talk of numerous liaisons: For details on Hitler’s love life, see Kershaw, Hubris, 284–85, 351–55.

2 his “clammy possessiveness”: Ibid., 354.

3 “Believe me,” she said: Ibid., 187.

4 “Hitler needs a woman”: Conradi, 121.


Chapter 20: The Führer’s Kiss

1 “neat and erect”: Dodd, Diary, 49.

2 “Chauffeureska”: Kershaw, Hubris, 485.

3 King Kong was a favorite: Ibid., 485.

4 “Hitler looked like a suburban hairdresser”: Hanfstaengl, 22.

5 First Dodd raised the subject: Dodd, Diary, 49.

6 “Perhaps I was too frank”: Dodd to Roosevelt, Oct. 28, 1933, Box 42, W. E. Dodd Papers.

7 “The total effect of the interview”: Dodd to Hull, Oct. 17, 1933, 362.1113/19 GC, State/Decimal.

8 “The Chancellor’s assurances”: Messersmith to William Phillips, Oct. 19, 1933 (pp. 12–13), Messersmith Papers.

9 “appointed to change the history of Europe”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 63–65.

10 “that Hitler was not an unattractive man”: Ibid., 65.

11 “I was a little angry”: Ibid., 65.

12 “By promoting me”: Diels to Himmler, Oct. 10, 1933, vol. 11, p. 142, Archives of the Holocaust.

Chapter 21: The Trouble with George

1 “For the first time, therefore”: Henry P. Leverich, “The Prussian Ministry of Justice Presents a Draft for a New German Penal Code,” Dec. 21, 1933, GRC 862.0441/5, State/Decimal.

2 “to permit killing incurables”: Dodd, Memorandum, Oct. 26, 1933, 862.0441/3, State/Decimal.

3 “could remember neither the name”: Enclosed with Dodd to Hull, Nov. 13, 1933, GRC 362.1113 Kaltenborn, H.V./5, State Decimal.

4 “Wealthy staff people”: Dodd to Hull, Oct. 19, 1933, Box 41, W. E. Dodd Papers.

5 “It would seem that in view”: D. A. Salmon to William Phillips, Nov. 1, 1933, enclosed in Phillips to Dodd, Nov. 4, 1933, Box 42, W. E. Dodd Papers.

6 “the extravagance in the telegraphic business”: William Phillips to Dodd, Nov. 4, 1933, Box 42, W. E. Dodd Papers.

7 “Do not think that Mr. Salmon’s comparison”: Dodd to William Phillips, Nov. 17, 1933, Box 42, W. E. Dodd Papers.

8 “another curious hangover”: Dodd to Hull, Sept. 6, 1933, Box 41, W. E. Dodd Papers.

9 “His office is important”: Ibid.

10 He had fallen, apparently: Stiller, 40.

11 “They seem to believe”: Messersmith to William Phillips, Oct. 28, 1933 (pp. 6, 9–10), Messersmith Papers.

12 “Rosenberg administration”: Breitman and Kraut, 225.

13 “has many sources of information”: Dodd to William Phillips, Nov. 15, 1933, Box 42, W. E. Dodd Papers.

14 “I must add that he has been”: Ibid.

15 “without the slightest injury”: Dodd to William Phillips, Nov. 17, 1933, Box 42, W. E. Dodd Papers.

16 “It occurs to me,” Dodd told Phillips: Dodd to William Phillips, Nov. 15, 1933, Box 42, W. E. Dodd Papers.

17 “The letters and dispatches”: William Phillips to Dodd, Nov. 27, 1933, Box 42, W. E. Dodd Papers.

18 On Sunday, Oct. 29: Dodd, Diary, 53.

Chapter 22: The Witness Wore Jackboots

1 “I walked in, my heart in my throat”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 59–60.

2 “a yawning abyss of boredom”: Tobias, 211.

   Hans Gisevius, page 29, comments on the slow pace as well: “Slowly, like a heavy, viscous liquid, the stream of witnesses and experts flowed by.… The trial proved unexpectedly boring.…”

3 “looked wiry, tough, indifferent”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 58.

4 “the hind end of an elephant”: Bullitt, 233.

5 “Everyone jumped up as if electrified”: Tobias, 223.

6 “With one hand he gestured wildly”: Gisevius, 32.

7 “especially anxious to have me present”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 62.

8 “A botch,” Göring had acknowledged: Holborn, 143.

9 “thus preventing the apprehension”: Tobias, 226.

10 “a brilliant, attractive, dark man”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 60.

11 “For the world had been told”: Tobias, 228.

Chapter 23: Boris Dies Again

1 “Boris, stop it”: Martha Dodd, “Bright Journey into Darkness,” Box 14, Martha Dodd Papers. Martha tells the story of Boris and the roadside shrine in pages 15–16.

Chapter 24: Getting Out the Vote

1 “On an eleventh of November”: Shirer, Rise, 211.

2 “Show tomorrow your firm national unity”: Ibid., 211–12.

3 Every German could find a reason: Messersmith to Hull, “Some Observations on the election of Nov. 12, 1933,” p. 3, enclosed in Messersmith to Dodd, Nov. 18, 1933, Box 42, W. E. Dodd Papers.

   Ian Kershaw, in Hubris, quotes a portion of the ballot: “Do you, German man, and you, German woman, approve this policy of your Reich government, and are you ready to declare it to be the expression of your own view and your own will, and solemnly to give it your allegiance?” Kershaw, Hubris, 495.

4 One report held that patients: Messersmith to Hull, “Some Observations on the election of Nov. 12, 1933,” p. 5, enclosed in Messersmith to Dodd, Nov. 18, 1933, Box 42, W. E. Dodd Papers.

5 “extravagant propaganda”: Klemperer, Witness, 41.

6 “In order to bring about clarity”: Messersmith to Hull, “Some Observations on the election of Nov. 12, 1933,” p. 7, enclosed in Messersmith to Dodd, Nov. 18, 1933, Box 42, W. E. Dodd Papers.

7 Some 45.1 million Germans: Messersmith to Hull, “Some Observations on the election of Nov. 12, 1933,” p. 2, enclosed in Messersmith to Dodd, Nov. 18, 1933, Box 42, W. E. Dodd Papers.

8 “historically unique acknowledgment”: Ibid., 2.

9 “The election here is a farce”: Dodd to Roosevelt, Oct. 28, 1933, Box 42, W. E. Dodd Papers.

10 Nothing indicated this more clearly: Shirer, Rise, 212.

11 “I am glad you have been frank”: Roosevelt to Dodd, Nov. 13, 1933, Box 42, W. E. Dodd Papers.

12 “that certain reactionary papers”: Dodd, Diary, 58.

Chapter 25: The Secret Boris

1 “I wanted to love him only lightly”: Martha Dodd, “Bright Journey into Darkness,” 23, Box 14, Martha Dodd Papers.

2 “You always see the bad things”: Ibid., 29.

3 “I love you.”: Ibid., 29.

4 “I could not bear to think of the future”: Ibid., 21.

5 “Martha!” he wrote: Boris to Martha, Spring 1934, Box 10, Martha Dodd Papers.

6 A bleak day: Details of this encounter between Martha and Boris come from her unpublished memoir, “Bright Journey into Darkness,” 21–26, Box 14, Martha Dodd Papers.

Chapter 26: The Little Press Ball

1 “It is always easier to pump a man”: Schultz, “Winter of 1933–1934,” 4, Personal Writings, Box 29, Schultz Papers.

2 “painfully crowded”: Schultz, “1934,” 2, Personal Writings, Box 34, Schultz Papers.

3 “without any display of orders”: Fromm, 137.

4 “Gravedigger of the Weimar Republic”: Ibid., 321.

5 “I have Hindenburg’s confidence”: Gellately, Gestapo, 1.

6 “Not until they had riveted”: Wheeler-Bennett, Nemesis, 293.

7 “When he arrived he was as suave”: Schultz, “1934,” 3, Personal Writings, Box 34, Schultz Papers.

   At diplomatic functions, Papen would often sidle up to George Messersmith’s wife and try to pry from her bits and pieces of intelligence about political matters, such as American attitudes toward Germany. She learned to parry these probes by talking about her pastime of collecting porcelain. Papen “never made any progress,” Messersmith wrote, “because she always returned to porcelain.” Messersmith, “Conversations with Von Papen in Vienna,” unpublished memoir, 7, Messersmith Papers.

8 “The louder the motor”: Fromm, 136.

9 “Why should you worry?”: Ibid., 136–37.

10 Göring had claimed: Messersmith, “When I arrived in Berlin…,” unpublished memoir, 7, Messersmith Papers.

11 “sit and calmly tell you”: Messersmith to William Phillips, Sept. 29, 1933, (p. 6; see also, pp. 4–5), Messersmith Papers.

12 “I can tell you that”: Schultz, “Winter of 1933–1934,” 7, Personal Writings, Box 29, Schultz Papers; Schultz, “1934,” 4, Personal Writings, Box 34, Schultz Papers.

13 “brutal and ruthless”: Fromm, 137, 304.

14 Rumors of suicides were common: Goeschel, 100.

15 “I can’t live any more”: Fromm, 138.

16 “We all had a really good time”: Louis Lochner to Betty Lochner, Dec. 26, 1933, Round Robin Letters, Box 6, Lochner Papers.

17 “The dinner was a bore”: Dodd, Diary, 59.

18 “From that day on”: Schultz, “Winter of 1933–1934,” 7, Personal Writings, Box 29, Schultz Papers.

19 “Bellachen, we are all so shocked”: Fromm, 138–39.

Chapter 27: O Tannenbaum

1 “Berlin is a skeleton”: Isherwood, Berlin Stories, 186.

2 The SA monopolized the sale of Christmas trees: Gilbert L. MacMaster to Clarence E. Pickett, Feb. 12, 1934, vol. 2, p. 49, Archives of the Holocaust.

3 “persons who had a grudge against him”: Details on the Wollstein incident can be found in Raymond H. Geist to Hull, Dec. 15, 1933, GRC 362.1121 Wollstein, Erwin/1, State/Decimal.

4 Martha assigned herself the task: Martha describes this tree-trimming episode in her unpublished memoir, “Bright Journey into Darkness,” 14–17, Box 14, Martha Dodd Papers.

5 “Have you lost even your literary interest”: Martha to Thornton Wilder, Dec. 14, 1933, Wilder Papers.

6 “On one occasion the hilarity was so great”: Wilbur Carr took careful notes on his conversation with Raymond Geist, and reported them in a “Strictly Confidential” memorandum dated June 5, 1935, Box 12, Carr Papers.

7 “There appears to be a spare typewriter”: John Campbell White to Jay Pierrepont Moffat, Nov. 17, 1933, White Papers.

8 “a curious individual”: Jay Pierrepont Moffat to John Campbell White, March 31, 1934, White Papers.

9 “Permanent retirement from the post”: Dodd to William Phillips, Dec. 4, 1933, Box 42, W. E. Dodd Papers.

10 “I cannot imagine who gave the Tribune”: William Phillips to Dodd, Dec. 22, 1933, Box 42, W. E. Dodd Papers.

11 “an inside glimpse of conditions”: Phillips, Diary, Dec. 20, 1933.

12 “We went over it from all angles”: Moffat, Diary, Dec. 14, 1933.

13 “much concerned at letters”: Moffat, Diary, Feb. 13, 1934.

14 “Our mutual friend G.S.M.”: George Gordon to Dodd, Jan. 22, 1934, Box 44, W. E. Dodd Papers.

15 Lochner told Dodd: Details of Lochner’s plot to save Dimitrov come from Metcalfe, 232–34; Dodd, Diary, 65–66; Conradi, 136–38.

16 “high treason, insurrectionary arson”: Tobias, 268.

17 “We were sitting together drinking our coffee”: Lochner, Dec. 26, 1933, Round Robin Letters, Box 6, Lochner Papers.

18 Diels’s precise motives cannot be known: Wheaton, 430. Though he found the camps repellent, Diels was not being entirely altruistic. He recognized that an amnesty would have great political value, burnishing Hitler’s image both inside and outside Germany. But clearly he also knew that an amnesty would be an affront to Himmler, whose SS ran the camps, and that on that score alone the idea would appeal to Göring. Hitler and Göring approved the idea, but insisted that Dachau be exempted, and limited the number of prisoners to be included. They gave Diels authority to decide who would be freed. Göring announced the decree, and said that a total of five thousand prisoners would be released. In fact, the amnesty was not so wide-ranging as Göring’s announcement suggested. A number of camps outside Prussia also were exempted, and the overall total of prisoners released was lower than what Göring had promised. Moreover, plans existed to expand the capacity of the camps in Prussia alone by as many as eight thousand additional prisoners. Crankshaw, 45–47; Wheaton, 429–30.

19 “The Secret Police Chief did”: Dodd, Diary, 67.

20 “One might think,” he wrote: Ibid., 66.


Chapter 28: January 1934

1 “Thank you for telling me”: Tobias, 284.

2 “Herr Hitler seemed to feel a genuine sympathy”: Phipps, 40.

3 “Hitler is improving definitely”: Martha to Thornton Wilder, Dec. 14, 1933, Wilder Papers.

4 The official tally of unemployed workers: Fritzsche, 57; Miller, 66–67, 136.

5 Within the Reich Ministry of the Interior: Krausnick et al., 419.

   One more sign of normalcy was the way the government dealt with an attack against an American that occurred on Jan. 15, 1934. On that cold, rain-soaked Monday a U.S. citizen named Max Schussler, working in Berlin as a landlord, stumbled into the consulate on Bellevuestrasse “bleeding profusely,” according to an account by Raymond Geist, who was serving as acting consul general while Messersmith was in America. Schussler was Jewish. The next morning, after consultation with Dodd, Geist went to Gestapo headquarters and lodged a protest directly with Rudolf Diels. Within forty-eight hours the assailant was arrested, convicted, and sentenced to seven months in prison. What’s more, news of the arrest and punishment received broad play over radio and in newspapers. Geist reported to Washington, “It is very gratifying to see how promptly the German authorities acted.… I believe that these attacks will now definitely cease.” He was wrong, as time would show, but for the moment at least there seemed to be a new effort by the government to win America’s goodwill.

   There was an unwholesome element to Geist’s final conversation with Diels. The Gestapo chief complained that Schussler and certain other abused Americans were “not altogether a desirable lot,” as Geist recalled Diels’s remarks. The innuendo was clear, and Geist’s temper spiked. “I told him,” he wrote, “that we would never consider any other fact than that a man was an American citizen, and that the question of race or origin was entirely beside the point, and that any American citizen was entitled to the full protection of the American Government.” Geist to Hull, Jan. 16, 1934, FP 362.1113 Schussler, Max/1, State/Decimal; Geist to Hull, Jan. 18, 1934, 362.1113 Schussler, Max/8 GC, State/Decimal.

6 “More atrocity reports”: Gilbert L. MacMaster to Clarence E. Pickett, Feb. 12, 1934, vol. 2, pp. 58–59, Archives of the Holocaust.

   Deschner, in his biography of Reinhard Heydrich, writes that in these early days, “Jews were not imprisoned in Dachau by virture of their being Jews but because of their having been politically active opponents of National Socialism, or communists, or journalists hostile to NS or ‘reactionaries.’ ” Deschner, 79.

7 “Tolerance means weakness”: Noakes and Pridham, 284–86.

8 “Any pity whatsoever for ‘enemies of the State’ ”: Krausnick et al., 433.

9 “Outwardly Berlin presented”: Memorandum, David Schweitzer to Bernhard Kahn, March 5, 1934, vol. 10, pp. 20–30, Archives of the Holocaust.

10 Some ten thousand Jews: Dippel, 114; Breitman and Kraut, 25.

11 “Before the end of 1933”: Testimony of Raymond Geist, Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, vol. 4, Document No. 1759-PS, Avalon Project, Yale University Law School.

   Germany’s supposedly secret effort to rearm itself in contravention of the Treaty of Versailles was, to Berliners, no secret at all, as became evident in the rise of a popular joke. It went like this:

   A man complains to a friend that he doesn’t have the money to buy a carriage for his new baby. The friend happens to work in a carriage factory and offers to sneak out enough parts to allow the new father to build one on his own. When the two men see each other again, the new father is still carrying his baby.

   His friend the factory worker is perplexed, and asks the new father why he’s not using his newly built baby carriage.

   “Well, you see,” the father replies, “I know I’m very dense and don’t understand much about mechanics, but I’ve put that thing together three times and each time it turns out to be a machine gun!” Wheeler-Bennett, Nemesis, 336.

12 “Any one motoring out in the country”: John Campbell White to Jay Pierrepont Moffat, Nov. 27, 1933, Carr Papers.

13 “You must know that I am grateful”: Gallo, 7–8; Gisevius, 171. Gallo and Gisevius present two slightly different translations of Hitler’s greeting. I chose Gallo’s, but for no particular reason.

14 Soon afterward, however, Hitler ordered: Diels, 385–89; Diels, Affidavit, in Stackelberg and Winkle, 133–34; Wheaton, 439; Metcalfe, 235–36.

15 “I am confident,” he wrote: Kershaw, Myth, 63.

16 Röhm, the Hausherr, or host: Seating chart, Feb. 23, 1934, “Invitations,” Box 1, Martha Dodd Papers.

Chapter 29: Sniping

1 “to read a whole series of letters”: Moffat, Diary, Dec. 26, 1933.

2 the number of Jews on his staff: Dodd to William Phillips, Dec. 14, 1933, Box 42, W. E. Dodd Papers. Dodd wrote this letter longhand, and added a note at the top, “For you alone.”

3 “righteous aloofness”: Dodd to William Phillips, Dec. 14, 1933, Box 42, W. E. Dodd Papers. This letter, with the same date as the letter in the preceding citation, is nonetheless markedly different in content and form. It is typed, and marked “Personal and Confidential.”

4 “As usual,” Moffat wrote: Moffat, Diary, Dec. 26, 1933.

5 “I hope it will not be difficult for you”: William Phillips to Dodd, Jan. 3, 1934, Box 45, W. E. Dodd Papers.

6 “I confess I am at a loss”: Ibid.

7 “would limit a little the favoritisms”: Dodd to Roosevelt, Jan. 3, 1934, Box 45, W. E. Dodd Papers.

Chapter 30: Premonition

1 Early in January, Boris arranged a date: Once again I have relied heavily on Martha’s unpublished recollections about Boris, “Bright Journey into Darkness.” And once again, this memoir provides invaluable detail. When I say Boris smiled as he opened the door to his room at the embassy, it is because Martha says he smiled at that moment. Whether her recollections are truly accurate, who can say? But she was there, and I am more than happy to rely on her testimony. Box 14, Martha Dodd Papers.

2 if your goal was seduction: MacDonogh, 31.

Chapter 31: Night Terrors

1 “How is Uncle Adolf?”: Memorandum, David Schweitzer to Bernhard Kahn, March 5, 1934, vol. 10, pp. 20–30, Archives of the Holocaust. See also Grunberger, 27.

2 One German dreamed that an SA man: Peukert, 237.

3 “Here was an entire nation”: Brysac, 186.

4 “constant fear of arrest”: Johnson and Reuband, 288, 355, 360.

5 Some 32 percent recalled telling anti-Nazi jokes: Ibid., 357.

6 “whisper almost inaudibly”: 277. Martha does not refer to Mildred by name in this passage—in fact she never does so in her memoir, for fear of exposing Mildred and her nascent resistance group to danger—but many of Martha’s references in Through Embassy Eyes, when triangulated with other material from her papers in the Library of Congress, clearly are to Mildred. Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 277.

7 One day he invited her to his office: Ibid., 53.

8 “a sinister smile crossed his lips”: Ibid., 55.

9 He filled a cardboard box with cotton: Ibid., 55.

10 “the German glance”: Evans, Power, 105; Grunberger, 338.

11 Whenever he appeared: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 56, 145, 147, 274, 278.

   Also, see “Bright Journey into Darkness,” Box 14, Martha Dodd Papers.

12 “There is no way on earth”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 277.

13 “As time went on, and the horror increased”: Ibid., 368.

14 rudimentary codes: Ibid., 276.

15 Her friend Mildred used a code for letters home: Brysac, 130.

   Another example: In Beyond Tears, Irmgard Litten writes of the tribulations of her son, Hans, at the hands of the Gestapo, and tells how she deployed a code in which “the first letter of the fourth word of each sentence would serve as a key to the message.” Litten, 60.

16 “It seems absolutely unbelievable”: Peter Olden to Dodd, Jan. 30, 1934, Box 45, W. E. Dodd Papers.

17 “to find out the contents of confidential reports”: Raymond Geist to Hull, March 8, 1934, 125.1953/655, State/Decimal.

18 “I shall be walking at 11:30”: Dodd, Diary, 63.

19 “Could we meet tomorrow morning”: Sir Eric Phipps to Dodd, May 25, 1935, Box 47, W. E. Dodd Papers.

20 Despite the toll: Nonetheless, Messersmith claimed in his unpublished memoir that “on two occasions I was almost run over by a Gestapo car or an SS or SA car.” Both incidents occurred as he tried crossing the street to the Esplanade Hotel; both involved powerful cars speeding from a narrow alley. He believed the drivers had been waiting for him. Messersmith, “Additional paragraph to memorandum on attempts on my life,” unpublished memoir, Messersmith Papers.

21 “If I had been with people who had been brave”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 54.

22 “bordered on the hysterical”: Ibid., 54.

13 “I often felt such terror”: Ibid., 54.

Chapter 32: Storm Warning

1 “more living space for our surplus population”: Kershaw, Hubris, 504–5; Gallo, 81–82.

2 “That was a new Versailles Treaty”: Gallo, 83.

3 “We’ll have to let the thing ripen”: Kershaw, Hubris, 505. Kershaw quotes Röhm as also saying, “What the ridiculous corporal declared doesn’t apply to us. Hitler has no loyalty and has at least to be sent on leave. If not with, then we’ll manage the thing without Hitler.” Also see Gallo, 83, for a slightly different translation.

Chapter 33: “Memorandum of a Conversation with Hitler”

1 “I stated that I was sorry”: Hull, Memorandum, Feb. 29, 1934, State/Foreign. For a full account of the mock trial, see Anthes.

   On May 17, 1934, a counter-rally took place in Madison Square Garden that drew twenty thousand “Nazi friends,” as the New York Times put it in a front-page story the next day. The meeting was organized by a group called Friends of the New Germany, with the stated purpose of opposing “the unconstitutional Jewish boycott” of Germany.

2 “do something to prevent this trial”: John Hickerson, Memorandum, March 1, 1934, State/Foreign.

3 “that if the circumstances were reversed”: Ibid.

4 “I replied,” Hickerson wrote: Ibid.

5 the speakers “were not in the slightest”: Hull, Memorandum, March 2, 1934, State/Foreign.

6 “noticed and resented”: Dodd, Diary, 86.

7 “malicious demonstration”: Memorandum, “The German Foreign Office to the American Embassy,” enclosed with Dodd to Hull, March 8, 1934, State/Foreign.

8 “nobody could suppress a private or public meeting”: Dodd, Diary, 87.

9 “I reminded the Minister”: Dodd to Hull, March 6, 1934, State/Foreign.

10 “an extraordinary impression”: Ibid.

11 “that nothing which was to be said”: William Phillips, Memorandum, March 7, 1934, State/Foreign.

12 Here too Phillips demurred: Ibid.

13 “take the matter under consideration”: Ibid.

14 The trial took place as planned: New York Times, March 8, 1934.

15 “We declare that the Hitler government”: Ibid.

16 “no comment other than to re-emphasize”: Hull to Dodd, March 8, 1934, State/Foreign.

17 First Dodd asked Hitler: My account of Dodd’s meeting with Hitler draws its details mainly from Dodd’s Diary, pages 88–91, and his six-page “Memorandum of a Conversation with Chancellor Hitler,” Box 59, W. E. Dodd Papers.

18 On March 12 an official: Dodd to Roosevelt, Aug. 15, 1934, Box 45, W. E. Dodd Papers; Dallek, 227.

19 “Dodd made no impression”: Hanfstaengl, 214.

20 “Ambassador Dodd, quite without instruction”: Moffat, Diary, March 7, 1934.

21 “I do not think it a disgrace”: Dodd, Diary, 92.

22 “such offensive and insulting acts”: Hull, Memorandum, March 13, 1934, State/Foreign.

23 “I stated further that I trusted”: Ibid.

24 “was not feeling as cool as the snow”: Hull, Memorandum, March 23, 1934, State/Foreign. This is one of the few official memoranda from these early days of America’s relationship with Nazi Germany that makes one want to stand up and cheer—cheer, that is, in a manner as understated and oblique as Hull’s prose. Alas, it was only a brief matchbook flare on behalf of liberty.

   Undersecretary William Phillips was present for this meeting and was startled by the “violent language” Luther unleashed. “The Secretary,” Phillips wrote in his diary, “was very calm and caustic in his replies and I am not sure that Doctor Luther got the underlying tone of coolness.” Phillips added that if it had been up to him he would have told Luther to leave and come back “after he had cooled down.” Phillips, Diary, March 23, 1934.

25 “tone of asperity”: Hull to John Campbell White, March 30, 1934, State/Foreign.

26 “to communicate to the Government of the German Reich”: Quoted in Spear, 216.

27 “in an embarrassing position”: R. Walton Moore, Memorandum, Jan. 19, 1934, State/Foreign.

28 “exerted his influence”: Spear, 216.

Chapter 34: Diels, Afraid

1 “on all sides of the fence at once”: Metcalfe, 201.

2 “We didn’t take too seriously what he said”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 134.

3 “You are sick?”: Diels, 283. Also quoted in Metcalfe, 236.

4 Once again Diels left the country: Metcalfe, 237; Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 134.

5 “a pathetic passive-looking creature”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 134.

6 “I was young and reckless enough”: Ibid., 136.

7 “like a frightened rabbit”: Ibid., 135.

8 “In some ways the danger”: Ibid., 135–36.

Chapter 35: Confronting the Club

1 “on a short leave”: New York Times, March 24, 1934; Dodd to “family,” April 5, 1934, Box 61, W. E. Dodd Papers.

2 “handsome limousine”: Dodd, Diary, 93.

3 “duty, readiness for sacrifice”: Hitler to Roosevelt, reproduced in Hull to John Campbell White, March 28, 1934, State/Foreign.

4 “strange message”: Phillips, Diary, March 27, 1934.

5 “to prevent our falling into the Hitler trap”: Moffat, Diary, March 24–25, 1934.

6 “who have freely and gladly made heroic efforts”: Roosevelt to Hitler, reproduced in Hull to John Campbell White, March 28, 1934, State/Foreign.

7 “We sought to sidestep the impression”: Phillips, Diary, March 27, 1934.

8 “there might easily be a little civil war”: Dodd to Mrs. Dodd, March 28, 1934, Box 44, W. E. Dodd Papers.

9 “to quiet things if possible”: Ibid. Also, see Dodd, Diary, 95; Dallek, 228.

10 “Louis XIV and Victoria style”: Dodd, Diary, 94; Dallek, 231.

11 “house with a hundred rooms”: It was this mansion that became the new location of the Cosmos Club, after Welles sold it to the club in 1953. Gellman, 106–7, 395.

12 Indeed, his lecture: R. Walton Moore to Dodd, May 23, 1934, Box 45, W. E. Dodd Papers.

   Moore compliments Dodd on his presentation to the group, known as the Personnel Board, but adds, with a good deal of understatement, “I am not at all certain that some of the members of the Board were pleased to hear it.”

13 had begun to express real hostility: For example, see Moffat, Diary, Dec. 16, 1933; Phillips, Diary, June 25, 1934.

14 “He is … by no means a clear thinker.”: Moffat, Diary, March 17, 1934.

15 “Their chief protector”: Dodd to Mrs. Dodd, March 28, 1934, Box 44, W. E. Dodd Papers.

Chapter 36: Saving Diels

1 “obviously in a greatly perturbed situation”: Messersmith, “Goering,” unpublished memoir, 3–8, Messersmith Papers.

2 A photograph of the moment: This photograph is one of many in a unique exhibit in Berlin that tracks the growth of the Gestapo and of Nazi terror in a block-long outdoor, and partly subterranean, display erected along the excavated wall of what once was the basement and so-called house prison of Gestapo headquarters. Certain locations in the world seem to concentrate darkness: the same wall once served as the foundation for a segment of the Berlin Wall.

3 “The infliction of physical punishment”: Quoted in Richie, 997; Metcalfe, 240.

4 In mid-April, Hitler flew to the naval port: Evans, Power, 29; Shirer, Rise, 214–15; Wheeler-Bennett, Nemesis, 311–13.

5 “Look at those people over there”: Gallo, 35.

6 “Reactionaries, bourgeois conformists”: Ibid., 37.

7 Two days later, however, a government announcement: Ibid., 88–89; Kershaw, Hubris, 509.

8 “the Man with the Iron Heart”: Deschner, 61, 62, 65, 66; Evans, Power, 53–54; Fest, 98–101.

9 “I could very well venture combat”: Gisevius, 137.

10 Toward the end of April the government: Kershaw, Hubris, 743; Wheeler-Bennett, 312. Wheeler-Bennett cites a government “communique” issued April 27, 1934, but Kershaw notes that he provides no source to substantiate its existence.

Chapter 37: Watchers

1 “Tell Boris Winogradov”: Haynes et al, 432; Weinstein and Vassiliev, 51. Both books present the NKVD message, though the translations vary slightly. I use the Haynes version, which is also the version that can be found online at Vassiliev, Notebooks, White Notebook #2, p. 13, March 28, 1934.

Chapter 38: Humbugged

1 A troubling incident: Dodd to Hull, April 17, 1934, Box 44, W. E. Dodd Papers.

2 “It is my opinion,” Dodd wrote: Ibid.

3 Dodd only learned of its existence: Dodd to R. Walton Moore, June 8, 1934, Box 44, W. E. Dodd Papers.

4 Entitled “Their Excellencies”: “Their Excellencies,” 115–16.

5 “reveals a strange and even unpatriotic attitude”: Dodd to William Phillips, June 4, 1934, Box 45, W. E. Dodd Papers.

6 “With regard to that article in Fortune”: William Phillips to Dodd, July 6, 1934, Box 45, W. E. Dodd Papers.

7 “Once there,” he wrote to Martha: Dodd to Martha, April 24, 1934, Box 62, W. E. Dodd Papers. He opens the letter, “Dear ‘Little’ Martha.”

8 “how they and their friends had calmed their fellows”: Dodd, Diary, 95.

9 “THEREFORE HOPE YOU CAN BRING NEW CAR”: Mrs. Dodd to Dodd, via John Campbell White, April 19, 1934, Box 44, W. E. Dodd Papers.

10 “I fear Mueller was driving carelessly”: Dodd to Martha, April 25, 1934, Box 62, W. E. Dodd Papers.

11 “ridiculously simple for an Ambassador”: Dodd, Diary, 108.

12 “This was a beautiful day”: Ibid., 98.

13 “the syphilis of all European peoples”: Dodd to Roosevelt, Aug. 15, 1934, Box 45, W. E. Dodd Papers.

14 “all the animosities of the preceding winter”: Ibid.

   Dodd expresses a similar dismay at being embarrassed in a letter to Edward M. House, May 23, 1934, Box 44, W. E. Dodd Papers. He writes: “You recall what we did to ease off the excitement in Chicago, and you remember perhaps my advice to leading Jews that it would be well to let up a little in the boycott if the Germans gave evidence of a conciliatory attitude.” He closes, “I am frank to say that it has embarrassed me a good deal.”

15 “I was delighted to be home”: Dodd, Diary, 100.


Chapter 39: Dangerous Dining

1 The post of ambassador to Austria: Phillips, Diary, March 16, 1934; Stiller, 54–55.

2 While Dodd was in America: Louis Lochner to Betty Lochner, May 29, 1934, Round Robin Letters, Box 6, Lochner Papers; “List of Persons Invited,” Box 59, W. E. Dodd Papers.

3 “I wonder why we were asked today”: Fromm, 162–64.

4 The host was a wealthy banker: I pieced together the story of the Regendanz dinner from the following accounts: Evans, Power, 26; François-Poncet, 139–40; Phipps, 66–67; Wilhelm Regendanz to Attorney General Brendel of Gestapo, July 2, 1934, Box 45, W. E. Dodd Papers.

   Herman Ullstein, of the great German publishing dynasty, tells a darkly amusing story about another meal, this at a fancy restaurant in Potsdam. A man was dining in a group that included an attractive, dark-haired woman. A Nazi from a neighboring table, having concluded the woman was Jewish, asked the group to leave the restaurant. The seated man smiled and asked, “Do you mind if we finish our dinner first?”

   Fifteen minutes later, the group was still eating and having a grand time, which caused the Nazi to return and demand that they leave at once.

   The seated man calmly gave the Nazi his card, which identified him as “François-Poncet, Ambassadeur de France.” Ullstein, 287–88.

5 On Thursday, May 24, Dodd walked: Dodd, Diary, 101–2.

Chapter 40: A Writer’s Retreat

1 One of the most important moments in her education: My account of Martha’s day at Carwitz is based on the following sources: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 83–85; Martha Dodd, unpublished memoir, 2–3, Box 13, Martha Dodd Papers; Hans Fallada to Martha Dodd, June 8, 1934, and June 18, 1934, Box 5, Martha Dodd Papers; Williams, xvii, 126, 142, 150, 152–55, 176–78, 185–88, 194, 209; Schueler, 14, 66; Brysac, 148–50; Metcalfe, 193–95. Also see Turner, “Fallada,” throughout.

   After this episode, Martha and Fallada had a brief exchange of letters. She sent him a short story of hers. He sent her a photograph, one of many he had taken that day at Carwitz—“unfortunately the only picture I took which turned out nicely.” Of her story, he wrote, “I wish that you will soon find the necessary quiet time and inner peace to work intensively—it’s worthwhile, I can tell from this little example.” Martha in turn sent along a collection of Boris’s photographs, and told Fallada she hoped one day to visit him again, which seemed to come as a relief to Fallada—“so,” he wrote back, “you did enjoy yourselves.”

   She never returned to Carwitz. As the years advanced, she heard little of Fallada or his work, and believed “he must have surrendered completely both his craft and his dignity.” Fallada to Martha, June 8 and June 18, 1934, Box 5, Martha Dodd Papers; Martha Dodd, unpublished memoir, 2, Box 13, Martha Dodd Papers.

2 his pseudonym, Hans Fallada: Ditzen built his pseudonym from the names of two characters from Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Hans, from “Lucky Hans,” and Fallada from “The Goose Girl,” in which a horse named Falada (spelled with one l in the fable) proves able to detect truth even after being beheaded. Williams, xi.

3 “inner emigration”: Ritchie, 112.

4 “It may be superstitious belief”: Ibid., 115.

5 “By the spring of 1934,” she wrote: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 131–33.

6 “The prospect of a cessation”: Dodd to Hull, June 18, 1934 (No. 935), State/Foreign.

7 In May, he reported, the Nazi Party: Ibid.

8 Germany’s Aryan population: Dodd to Hull, June 18, 1934 (No. 932), State/Foreign.

9 “Germany looks dry for the first time”: Dodd, Diary, 105.

10 “the great heat”: Moffat, Diary, May 20, 1934.

Chapter 41: Trouble at the Neighbor’s

1 “tense and electric”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 134.

2 The change was obvious: Gallo, 122.

Chapter 42: Hermann’s Toys

1 Sunday, June 10, 1934: My account of this creepily charming episode is derived from the following sources: Cerruti, 178–80; Dodd, Diary, 108–9; Phipps, 56–58. I also examined Göring’s own portfolio of photographs of Carinhall, Lot 3810, in the photographic archives of the Library of Congress.

2 “rather attached to her”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 220.

Chapter 43: A Pygmy Speaks

1 The names of two former chancellors: Wheeler-Bennett, Nemesis, 315–17.

2 “Everywhere I go men talk of resistance”: Dodd to Hull, June 16, 1934, Box 44, W. E. Dodd Papers.

3 “The speech took months of preparation”: Evans, Power, 29–30; Jones, 167–73; Gallo, 137–40; Kershaw, Hubris, 509–10, 744 n. 57; Shirer, Rise, 218–19.

4 “I am told,” he began: For text, see Noakes and Pridham, 209–10; and Papen, 307. Also see Jones, 172; Gallo, 139–40; Kershaw, Hubris, 509. In his memoir, published in 1953, Papen states, “I prepared my speech with great care.…” This claim has been widely discounted. Papen, 307.

5 “The thunder of applause”: Gallo, 141.

6 “It is difficult to describe the joy”: Wheeler-Bennett, Titan, 459.

7 “All these little dwarfs”: Gallo, 143–44; Shirer, Rise, 219. Also see Kershaw, Hubris, 510.

8 “If they should at any time”: Kershaw, Hubris, 510.

9 “were snatched from the hands of the guests”: Dodd to Hull, June 26, 1934, State/Foreign. For other details of the government’s reaction, see Evans, Power, 29–30; Jones, 172–74; Kershaw, Hubris, 510–11; Shirer, Rise, 218; Wheeler-Bennett, Titan, 460, and Nemesis, 319.

10 “There was something in the sultry air”: Gisevius, 128.

11 Someone threw a hand-grenade fuse: Ibid., 129.

12 “There was so much whispering”: Ibid., 129.

13 “Everywhere uncertainty, ferment”: Klemperer, Witness, 71. Klemperer looked to the weather to fuel his hopes that Hitler would be deposed. He wrote in his diary, “ ‘Beautiful weather’ = heat + lack of rain, abnormal lack of rain, such as has been causing havoc for three months now. A weapon against Hitler!” Witness, 72.

14 “There is now great excitement”: Dodd, Diary, 114; Dodd, Memorandum, June 18, 1934, Box 59, W. E. Dodd Papers.

15 “I spoke at Marburg”: Gallo, 152.

16 He promised to remove the propaganda: Evans, Power, 30; Kershaw, Hubris, 510.

17 “It was with cold calculation”: Gisevius, 131.

18 The next day, June 21, 1934: Evans, Power, 30; Kershaw, Hubris, 510–11; Wheeler-Bennett, Nemesis, 320.

19 “who after the Marburg speech”: Dodd, Diary, 114.

20 “The week closes quietly”: Ibid., 115.

Chapter 44: The Message in the Bathroom

1 “He was entirely calm and fatalistic”: Wheeler-Bennett, Titan, 462.

2 “Woe to him who breaks faith”: Wheaton, 443.

3 On the medicine chest: Jones, 173.

4 “beautiful Rhineland summer day”: Diels, 419.

Chapter 45: Mrs. Cerruti’s Distress

1 “During the last five days”: Dodd, Diary, 115–16.

2 “the situation was much as it was in Paris”: Ibid., 116.

3 “by the example of his magnetism”: Martha Dodd, “Bright Journey into Darkness,” 18, 21, Box 14, Martha Dodd Papers.

4 Under Stalin, peasants had been forced: Riasanovsky, 551, 556. A personal note here: While I was an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania, I took two wonderful courses from Riasanovsky’s brother, Alexander, who on one noteworthy evening taught me and my roommates how to drink vodka Russian-style. It was his delightful lecture style, however, that had the greater influence, and drove me to spend most of my time at Penn studying Russian history, literature, and language.

5 Tour No. 9, the Volga-Caucasus-Crimea tour: “Detailed Schedule of Tour No. 9 for Miss Martha Dodd,” Box 62, W. E. Dodd Papers.

6 “Martha!” he wrote, indulging his passion: Boris to Martha, June 7, 1934, Box 10, Martha Dodd Papers.

7 “I never plotted the overthrow”: Martha to Agnes Knickerbocker, July 16, 1969, Box 13, Martha Dodd Papers.

8 “It was the hottest day”: Cerruti, 153.

9 “seemed self-confident”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 140.

10 “You and Dr. Goebbels”: Dodd, Diary, 116.

11 “She sat by my father”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 141.

12 “Mr. Ambassador, something terrible”: Ibid., 141.

13 She found this astonishing: Cerruti, 153, 157.

14 “Temperature 101 and ½ in the shade today”: Moffat, Diary, June 29, 1934.

15 The three men undressed and climbed in: Ibid.

16 “Presumably the Ambassador has been complaining”: Phillips, Diary, June 15, 1934.

17 “well and in extremely high spirits”: Moffat, Diary, July 17, 1934.

Chapter 46: Friday Night

1 That Friday evening, July 29, 1934: For this chapter I relied on the following sources: Birchall, 203; Evans, Power, 31–32; Gallo, 33, 38, 106; Kershaw, Hubris, 511–15. For a lengthy excerpt of Kempka’s account, see Noakes and Pridham, 212–14.


Chapter 47: “Shoot, Shoot!”

1 “strolled serenely through the streets”: Adlon, 207.

   Hedda Adlon, wife of the Adlon’s proprietor, liked driving about town in her white Mercedes, and was said to keep twenty-eight Pekinese dogs. De Jonge, 132.

2 “It was a beautiful serene blue day”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 141.

3 “Röhm,” Hitler barked: Various and varying accounts of this episode appear in the literature. I relied on Kershaw, Hubris, 514; Noakes and Pridham, 213–14; and Strasser, 250.

4 “It is never safe to despise a telephone call”: Birchall, 193.

5 “dead tired—[could] weep”: Schultz, Daily Logs, July 5, 1934, Box 32, Schultz Papers.

6 One of the most alarming rumors: Birchall, 198.

7 At the Hotel Hanselbauer, Röhm got dressed: Noakes and Pridham, 213.

8 “You have been condemned to death”: Kershaw, Hubris, 514.

9 “As I followed Daluege”: Gisevius, 150.

10 He looked troubled: Dodd, Diary, 117.

Chapter 48: Guns in the Park

1 “our heads giddy”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 142.

2 “to his great sorrow”: Office of Der Stabschef der S.-A. to Dodd, June 29, 1934, Box 45, W. E. Dodd Papers.

3 “In view of the uncertainty of the situation”: Dodd, Diary, 117.

4 A wooden leg: German Office of Foreign Affairs to Dodd, May 28, 1935, Box 47, W. E. Dodd Papers.

Chapter 49: The Dead

1 “unbearable tension”: Quoted in Gallo, 257.

2 “For weeks we have been watching”: Birchall, 205–7; Gallo, 257.

3 No one knew exactly how many people lost their lives: I constructed this paragraph and the one following from an array of sources: Hugh Corby Fox, Memorandum, July 2, 1934, Box 45, W. E. Dodd Papers; H. C. Flack, Confidential Memorandum, July 7, 1934, Box 45, W. E. Dodd Papers; Wheeler-Bennett, Nemesis, 323; Gallo, 256, 258; Rürup, 53, 223; Kershaw, Hubris, 515; Evans, Power, 34–36; Strasser, 252, 263; Gisevius, 153; Birchall, 20; Metcalfe, 269.

4 One target, Gottfried Reinhold Treviranus: Gallo, 255; Martha offers a slightly different account in her memoir: Embassy Eyes, 155.

5 “To the king of Siam”: Adlon, 207–9.

6 poor Willi Schmid: Shirer, Rise, 224n. See also Birchall, 207; Evans, Power, 36; Kershaw, Hubris, 515.

7 Providently, he was in America: Casey, 340; Conradi, 143, 144, 148, 151, 157, 159, 163, 167–68; New York Times, July 1, 1934.

8 “against the background of a blood-red sky”: Gisevius, 160.

9 In a radio address propaganda chief Goebbels: Birchall, 205.

Chapter 50: Among the Living

1 “It was a strange day”: Dodd, Diary, 117.

   That Sunday, the Jewish newspaper Bayerische Israelitische Gemeindezeitung, still in operation—it would continue until 1937—published cautionary advice for its readers, urging them, according to one historian’s account, “to show more reserve, tact and dignity and to behave impeccably in public places so as not to offend.”

   That Sunday afternoon, Hitler held a tea party at his chancellery for members of his cabinet, various ministers, and their families. Children were invited. Hitler at one point walked to a window overlooking the street. A crowd gathered below roared its approval.

   The ever-present Hans Gisevius was there as well. Hitler spotted him and raised his hand in greeting. Gisevius wrote, “It occurred to me that if he could read my innermost thoughts, he would have me shot.” Dippel, 150; Gallo, 269; Kershaw, Hubris, 516; Gisevius quoted in Gallo, 270.

2 They drove past the entrance very slowly: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 142–43.

3 The story, pieced together later: Evans, Power, 33; Kershaw, Hubris, 176, 516.

4 Accounts vary: Evans, Power, 33; Kershaw, Hubris, 516; Gallo, 270; Shirer, Rise, 221; Noakes and Pridham, 215.

   After Röhm’s murder, Hitler claimed that the SA chief’s homosexual practices had come as a complete surprise to him. A new joke promptly made the rounds in Berlin: “What will he do when he finally finds out about Goebbels’s club foot?”

   Another joke began circulating at about the same time: “It is only now that we can realize the full significance of Röhm’s recent address to Nazi youth, ‘Out of every Hitler Youth, a Storm Trooper will Emerge.’ ” Grunberger, 332, 335.

5 As a reward: Wheaton, 452.

6 “The Führer with soldierly decision”: Noakes and Pridham, 216; see slightly different version in Wheeler-Bennett, Nemesis, 325.

7 “Lebst du noch?”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 151.

Chapter 51: Sympathy’s End

1 “The diplomats seemed jittery”: Fromm, 171–72. Fromm claimed that after the purge she briefly took to carrying a revolver, but then threw it into a canal. Dippel, 150.

2 Dodd and his wife stood at the entrance: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 157.

3 “Der junge Herr von Papen”: Ibid., 158.

4 “a certain fine beauty”: Ibid., 157.

5 “The sight of these clothes”: Cerruti, 157.

6 “to bring her my heartiest greetings”: Wilhelm Regendanz to Mrs. Dodd, July 3, 1934, Box 45, W. E. Dodd Papers.

7 “When she spoke of her son”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 163–65.

8 “Arrived safe and sound”: Ibid., 165.

9 “We have replied to them”: Moffat, Diary, July 5, 1934.

10 “quite exciting”: Moffat, Diary, July 17, 1934.

11 “this would be extremely difficult”: Dodd to Hull, July 6, 1934, State/Foreign.

12 “By his own showing”: Moffat, Diary, July 7–8, 1934.

13 Hull angrily ordered Moffat: Ibid.

14 “with the utmost vigor”: Hull to Dodd, July 7, 1934, State/Foreign.

15 “It was a fairly stiff telegram”: Moffat, Diary, July 7–8, 1934.

16 “Ambassador Dud”: Moffat, Diary, July 5, 1934.

17 “The Secretary kept repeating”: Moffat, Diary, July 11, 1934.

18 “the entire State Department”: Ibid.

19 “Our people will have to lose their bonds”: Dodd to Hull, Aug. 2, 1934, vol. 37, Reel 11, Hull Papers.

20 “an interesting trip”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 170.

21 A photographer captured her looking jaunty: Ibid., opposite 198.

22 “I had had enough of blood and terror”: Ibid., 169.

23 “I could not have imagined the outbreak against the Jews”: Dodd to Daniel C. Roper, Aug. 14, 1934, Box 45, W. E. Dodd Papers.

24 “From the reports placed before me”: Wheeler-Bennett, Nemesis, 325–26.

25 “energetic and successful proceeding”: Ibid., 326n1.

26 “it was a relief that he did not appear.”: Dodd, Diary, 121.

27 “My task here is to work for peace”: Ibid., 123.

28 He vowed never to host: Ibid., 126.

Chapter 52: Only the Horses

1 “I shall not attend the address”: Dodd, Diary, 127.

   Sir Eric Phipps, in his own diary, wrote, “So long as the Reichstag merely serves as a convenient platform for the glorification of crime and for attacks on foreign heads of mission in Berlin, I propose to leave vacant the seat which in normal circumstances The King’s representative might be glad occasionally to occupy.” Phipps, 68.

2 “Deputies,” Hitler said: A translation of Hitler’s speech appears in Gallo, 298–307. Most accounts agree that Hitler claimed only seventy-seven people had been killed, though at least one (Evans, Power, 39) states that Hitler put the number at seventy-four. See also Birchall, 209.

3 Had Dodd been present: Birchall, 209.

4 “They stood face to face on the dais”: Ibid.

5 “NOTHING MORE REPULSIVE”: Dodd to Hull, July 14, 1934, Box 44, W. E. Dodd Papers.

   In Washington, Jay Pierrepont Moffat was able to listen to Hitler’s speech over the radio. “It struck me as full of banalities and by far the weakest speech he has thus far made,” Moffat wrote in his diary entry for July 13, 1934. “The transmission was extraordinarily clear. He has a curious rasping voice which at moments of excitement rose almost to a shriek. He gave no proof of the conspiracy and his remarks with regard to the outside world were distinctly weak.” Moffat, Diary, July 13, 1934.

6 “as if they were chloroformed”: Quoted in Conradi, 168.

7 “A few days ago in Germany”: Quoted in Hull to Roosevelt, July 13, 1934, State/Foreign.

8 Dodd at first seemed inclined to believe: For the evolution of Dodd’s thinking, see Dodd to Hull, July 2, 1934; Dodd to Hull, July 5, 1934; Dodd to Hull, July 6, 1934; and Dodd to Hull, July 7, 1934, all in State/Foreign.

9 Britain’s Sir Eric Phipps initially accepted the official story:

   Phipps, 14, 61.

10 “It has not increased his charm”: Ibid., 76.

11 “a type of gangland bloodbath”: Kershaw, Hubris, 522.

12 “I … had no idea that this hour of lightning”: Diels, 382.

13 An intelligence report from the exiled Social Democrats: Kershaw, Myth, 87.

14 “an even more terroristic regime”: Dodd to Hull, Aug. 2, 1934, Box 44, W. E. Dodd Papers.

15 “The people hardly noticed this complete coup d’etat”: Klemperer, Witness, 80.

16 “Today Hitler is the Whole of Germany”: Kershaw, Myth, 68.

17 “At a time when nearly every German”: Dodd, Diary, 140–41.

Chapter 53: Juliet #2

1 “I am very sad”: Boris to Martha, July 11, 1934, Box 10, Martha Dodd Papers. Also see, Boris to Martha, “late July-1934,” and Boris to Martha, “early Aug. 1934,” both also in Box 10.

2 “You are the one”: Boris to Martha, Aug. 5, 1934, Box 10, Martha Dodd Papers.

3 Martha was approached by emissaries: Weinstein and Vassiliev, 52.

4 “The entire Dodd family”: Ibid., 52; Vassiliev, Notebooks, White Notebook #2, 25.

5 she formally petitioned Stalin: Weinstein and Vassiliev, 55; Vassiliev, Notebooks, White Notebook #2, 37, March 14, 1937.

6 “in the interests of business”: Weinstein and Vassiliev, 58. A slightly different translation appears at Vassiliev, Notebooks, White Notebook #2, 33.

7 “I don’t quite understand”: Weinstein and Vassiliev, 58; Vassiliev, Notebooks, White Notebook #2, 45, March 21, 1937.

8 “Juliet #2”: Weinstein and Vassiliev, 58–59; Vassiliev, Notebooks, White Notebook #2, 45, March 21, 1937.

9 The meeting “went off well”: Weinstein and Vassiliev, 59; Vassiliev, Notebooks, White Notebook #2, 51, Nov. 12, 1937. Here the translation reads: “The meeting with ‘Liza’ was successful. She was in a good mood.…”

Chapter 54: A Dream of Love

1 “It is so humiliating to me”: Dodd, Diary, 276.

2 “With Germany united”: Dodd to Hull, Aug. 30, 1934, Box 44, W. E. Dodd Papers.

3 “In my judgment, the German authorities”: Dodd to Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Aug. 27, 1934, Box 44, W. E. Dodd Papers.

4 “If Woodrow Wilson’s bones”: Dallek, 279.

5 “the delicate work of watching”: Dodd, Diary, 216.

6 “What in the world is the use”: Phillips, Diary, n.d., 1219.

7 “That you have found me”: Kershaw, Myth, 82.

8 “With armies increasing in size”: Dodd to Hull, Sept. 19, 1936, Box 49, W. E. Dodd Papers.

9 “You must not mention to anyone”: Dodd to Martha, Oct. 28, 1936, Box 62, W. E. Dodd Papers.

10 “Dodd has many admirable and likeable qualities”: William C. Bullitt to Roosevelt, Dec. 7, 1936, in Bullitt, 194–95.

11 “Personally, I cannot see”: Moffat, Diary, Aug. 27, 1934.

12 “attacking me violently”: Dodd, Diary, 371.

13 “My position is difficult”: Ibid., 372.

14 “I thought of you, my dear”: Mrs. Dodd to Dodd, July 25, 1937, Box 62, W. E. Dodd Papers.

15 “spread over the nerve connections”: Dodd, Diary, 334.

16 “at sixty-five one must take stock”: Dr. Thomas R. Brown to Dodd, March 7, 1935, Box 46, W. E. Dodd Papers.

17 “It was quite obvious that something had happened”: Messersmith, “Visits to Berlin,” unpublished memoir, 10, Messersmith Papers.

18 “I think he was so thoroughly appalled”: Ibid., 10.

19 “speak the truth about things”: Dodd, Diary, 426.

20 “I have long believed Welles was opposed to me”: Ibid., 427.

21 “I have not the slightest doubt”: R. Walton Moore to Dodd, Dec. 14, 1937, Box 52, W. E. Dodd Papers.

22 “desired to make it plain”: Dallek, 313.

23 Hyde Park—“a marvelous place”: Dodd, Diary, 428–29.

24 “In Berlin once more.”: Dodd, Diary, 430.

25 “Much as the President regrets any personal inconvenience”: Hull to Dodd, Nov. 23, 1937, Box 51, W. E. Dodd Papers.

26 “Until now I have lived with the memory”: Boris to Martha, April 29, 1938, Box 10, W. E. Dodd Papers.

27 They became engaged: Chicago Daily Tribune, Sept. 5, 1938; New York Times, Sept. 5, 1938; Weinstein and Vassiliev, 61; Vassiliev, Notebooks, White Notebook #2, 56, July 9, 1938,

28 “You know, honey”: Weinstein and Vassiliev, 61; Vassiliev, Notebooks, White Notebook #2, 56, July 9, 1938. In Weinstein and Vassiliev, the translation reads “honey”; in the notebooks, “darling.”

29 She never learned that Boris’s last letter: Weinstein and Vassiliev, 61–62.

Chapter 55: As Darkness Fell

1 “must face the sad fact”: New York Times, Dec. 23, 1937.

2 “Mankind is in grave danger”: New York Times, Jan. 14, 1938.

3 “I personally felt quite strongly”: Moffat, Diary, Jan. 14, 1938.

4 “Great Britain,” he said: New York Times, Feb. 22, 1938.

5 “I do wish we were all nearer together”: Mrs. Dodd to Martha, Feb. 26, 1938, Box 63, Martha Dodd Papers.

6 “So far I can’t get anything done”: Mrs. Dodd to Martha, April 26, 1938, Box 1, Martha Dodd Papers.

7 “Wish I did have a home”: Mrs. Dodd to Martha, May 23, 1938, Box 1, Martha Dodd Papers.

8 “It was the greatest shock”: Dodd, Diary, 446.

9 “the strain and terror of life”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 370.

10 “to kill them all”: Bailey, 192, 194.

11 “could scarcely believe”: Breitman and Kraut, 230.

12 “My hunch is that you have lots of chances”: Sigrid Schultz to Dodd, Nov. 30, 1938, Box 56, W. E. Dodd Papers.

13 “It was not my fault”: For details on this episode, see New York Times, Dec. 9 and Dec. 10, 1938; March 3 and May 7, 1939; Bailey, 195–96; Dallek, 332.

14 A front-page article: United Press, “Dodd Is Attacked …”, n.d., Box 2, Martha Dodd Papers.

15 “ill and not entirely responsible”: Bailey, 199.

16 “If they had co-operated”: Dallek, 332.

17 By fall, Dodd was confined: Bailey, 199–200; New York Times, Feb. 10, 1940.

18 He was buried: Martha later had Dodd’s body moved to Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington, D.C., Dec. 6, 1946, Section L., Lot 37, Site 4. One lovely spring afternoon, accompanied by one of my daughters, I visited the Stoneleigh Golf and Country Club, which is part of a development that includes large faux-colonial houses on outsized parcels of land an hour or so west of Washington, D.C. Though the golf course (18 holes, par 72) is necessarily closely manicured, I nonetheless got a sense of how compelling this terrain must have been for Dodd, especially during his first visit home from Berlin when the farm’s soft hills must have been deeply soothing. His old barn is still there and a few stretches of ancient stone fence, but now instead of pigs the barn shelters masses of suckling golf carts. Dodd took a dim view of golf and golfers, especially those members of his Berlin staff who were continually skipping work to play a few rounds at their Wannsee club. It is a good thing Martha moved his body, because his ghost surely would have proved a daunting hazard, blocking putts and hurling balls far off into the adjacent swales and roughs.

19 Five years later: Ryan, 418.

   At war’s end the remains of the Tiergarten came under further assault, this time by the starving populace, who cut the shattered trees and stumps into firewood and turned portions of the park into a vegetable garden. In 1947, Berlin’s mayor described the devastation of the park as “the most painful wound inflicted on our city by the war.” Daum and Mauch, 205.

20 “Knowing his passion”: New York Times, Feb. 11, 1940.

21 “the best ambassador”: Schultz, “Sigrid Schultz on Ambassador Dodd,” January 1956, Box 2, Schultz Papers.

22 “Dodd was years ahead”: Wise, Challenging, 234.

23 “I often think”: Messersmith, “Some Observations on the appointment of Dr. William Dodd, as Ambassador to Berlin,” 11, unpublished memoir, Messersmith Papers.

24 “a renewed pride and faith”: Thomas Wolfe to Maxwell E. Perkins, May 23, 1935, Wolfe, Selected Letters, 228.

25 “Above all, not too much zeal”: Brysac, 224.

26 “Jewish controlled”: Stiller, 129; Weil, 60.

27 “the man who pulled his people”: Stiller, 129.

28 “idiotic things as a rule”: Weil, 60–61.

   Ultimately even Roosevelt was taken aback by Wilson’s attitude, as George Messersmith learned during a conversation he had with the president. By this time, Messersmith had been posted to Washington as assistant secretary of state. In a personal memorandum dated Feb. 1, 1938, Messersmith summarized the president’s remarks. “He”—Roosevelt—“said he was much surprised that Wilson had indicated that he thought we ought to lay less stress on the democracies and democratic principles.” To which Messersmith replied, “There were some things concerning human psychology, and particularly German, that were a strange country to Wilson.” The president, he noted, was “somewhat disturbed concerning Wilson’s ideas.” Messersmith, Memorandum, Feb. 1, 1938, Messersmith Papers.

29 “I do think the chances”: William C. Bullitt to Roosevelt, Dec. 7, 1937, Bullitt, 242.

30 “But history,” wrote Dodd’s friend: New York Times, March 2, 1941.


1 “If there were any logic”: Dodd, Embassy Eyes, 228.

2 “I told her that if she published my letters”: Messersmith, “Goering,” unpublished memoir, 7–8, Messersmith Papers.

3 Martha at last created her own successful salon: Vanden Heuvel, 248.

4 “growing effectiveness”: Martha Dodd, unpublished memoir, 4, Box 13, Martha Dodd Papers.

   At its peak, the network included an operator in Hitler’s wire room and a senior officer in the Luftwaffe; Arvid Harnack became an adviser to Hitler’s economics minister.

5 By now, however, Martha knew: Falk Harnack, “Notes on the Execution of Dr. Arvid Harnack,” Box 13, Martha Dodd Papers; Axel von Harnack, “Arvid and Mildred Harnack,” translation of article in Die Gegenwart, Jan. 1947, 15–18, in Box 13, Martha Dodd Papers; Falk Harnack, “2nd visit to the Reichssicherheitshauptamt,” Box 13, Martha Dodd Papers. Also see Rürup, 163.

   The network got wind of Germany’s surprise invasion of the Soviet Union and tried to notify Stalin. Upon receiving this information, Stalin told its bearer, “You can send your ‘source’ from the German air force staff to his much fucked mother! This is not a ‘source’ but a disinformer.” Brysac, 277.

6 “And I have loved Germany so”: Falk Harnack to Martha, Dec. 29, 1947, Box 13, Martha Dodd Papers. Arvid, in a closing letter to “my beloved ones,” wrote, “I should have liked to have seen you all again, but that is unfortunately not possible.” n.d., Box 13, Martha Dodd Papers.

7 “a gifted, clever and educated woman”: Weinstein and Vassiliev, 51, 62.

8 “She considers herself a Communist”: Ibid., 62; Vassiliev, Notebooks, White Notebook #2, 61.

9 Through Martha’s efforts: Haynes et al., 440; Weinstein and Vassiliev, 70–71; Alfred Stern to Max Delbrück, Nov. 23, 1970, Box 4, Martha Dodd Papers; Vanden Heuvel, 223, 252.

   When toilets broke the Sterns called the Czech foreign minister to effect repairs; they owned paintings by Cézanne, Monet, and Renoir. Vanden Heuvel, 252.

10 They bought a new black Mercedes.: Martha to “David,” Feb. 28, 1958, Box 1, Martha Dodd Papers.

11 Martha became “obsessed”: Alfred Stern to Max Delbrück, Nov. 23, 1970, Box 4, Martha Dodd Papers.

12 “We can’t say we like it here”: Martha to Audrey Fuss, July 25, 1975, Box 5, Martha Dodd Papers.

13 After two years in Cologne: Metcalfe, 288.

14 “It was,” she wrote, “one of the ugliest”: Martha Dodd, “Chapter 30, August 1968,” unpublished memoir, 5, Box 12, Martha Dodd Papers.

15 “Max, my love”: Martha to Delbrück, April 27, 1979, Box 4, Martha Dodd Papers; Delbrück to Martha, Nov. 15, 1978, Box 4, Martha Dodd Papers.

16 “that ass”: Martha to Sigrid Schultz, April 25, 1970, Box 13, Martha Dodd Papers.

17 “a real buffoon”: Martha to Philip Metcalfe, April 16, 1982, Box 7, Martha Dodd Papers.

18 Bassett confessed he had destroyed: George Bassett Roberts to Martha, Nov. 23, 1971, Box 8, Martha Dodd Papers.

19 “Such love letters!”: Martha to George Bassett Roberts, Feb. 19, 1976, Box 8, Martha Dodd Papers.

20 “One thing is sure”: Martha to George Bassett Roberts, Nov. 1, “more or less,” 1971, Box 8, Martha Dodd Papers.

21 In 1979 a federal court: New York Times, March 23 and March 26, 1979.

22 Bill Jr. had died: New York Times, Oct. 19, 1952, and April 22, 1943.

23 “Bill was a very swell guy”: Martha to Audrey Fuss, Oct. 31, 1952, Box 1, Martha Dodd Papers.

24 “Where do you think we should die”: Martha to Letitia Ratner, March 9, 1984, Box 8, Martha Dodd Papers.

25 “Nowhere could be as lonely”: Martha to Van and Jennie Kaufman, March 6, 1989, Martha Dodd Papers.

26 He had forsaken the magnificent copper beech: New York Times, Sept. 4, 1996.


1 Years after the war, a cache of documents: Hitler, 102. Hitler’s off-the-cuff remarks, though passed along with inevitable modifications, provide a chilling and compelling glimpse into his mind.


1 Isherwood, Visit, 308.

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