174 FIELD-MARSHAL, PRESIDENT the last vestiges of servility, those survivals of the feudal age. I don't know how the expression was born, I've nothing to do with it. It suddenly implanted itself in the people, and gradually acquired the strength of usage. What a happy inspiration I had, to refuse the title of President of the Reich. You can imagine it: President Adolf Hitler! There is no finer title than that of Fuehrer, for it was born spontaneously in the people. As for the expression "my Fuehrer", I imagine it was born in the mouth of women. When I wished to influence "the old gentleman", I used to address him as "Herr Generalfeldmarschall". It was only on official occasions that I used to say to him: "Herr Präsident". It was Hindenburg, by the way, who gave prestige to the presidential title. These fine shades may seem to be trifles, but they have their importance. They're what give the framework its rigidity. The destiny of a word can be extraordinary. For two thousand years the expression "Caesar" personified the supreme authority. The Japanese also have their own expression to indicate the highest authority: they say "Tenno", which means "Son of Heaven". The Japanese are still at the point where we were sixteen hundred years ago, before the Church crept into the affair. One must never admit that the authority of the State and the authority of the Party are two different things. The control of a people and the control of a State have to be combined in one person. 91 4th January 1942, midday SPECIAL GUESTS : SEPP DIETRICH AND COLONEL ZEITZLER The Italian High Command made three mistakes—On publicity—The beer demagogues—The first loud-speakers —Air travel and weather forecast. The Italian High Command has committed three great mistakes in strategy. The resulting disasters have deprived the Italian Army of its former confidence. That's the explanation of its present mediocrity.
MISTAKES OF ITALIAN CAMPAIGNS 175 It was first of all a mistake to hurl the best regiments of bersaglieri against solidly fortified French positions, the plans of which were utterly unknown to the Italian Command, and to do so in the snow at a height of three thousand metres, and that precisely at a time when aircraft could play no part. It's not surprising that these regiments were so sorely tested. We ourselves could not have achieved any result in such conditions. If they'd listened to me, they'd have taken the French in the rear by the Rhine valley. The second mistake was Africa. The Italians had no protection against the British tanks, and they were shot like rabbits. Many senior officers fell beside their guns. That's what gave them their panic terror of tanks. The third mistake was their fatal enterprise against Albania. For this attack they used troops from Southern Italy—exactly what was needed for a winter campaign in mountainous country, without proper equipment, over an impracticable terrain, and without any organisation in depth! Speaking of that, Keitel, we must see to it that the regiment of bersaglieri we're expecting is sent immediately onto the job. They couldn't endure a long march in this season and in such conditions. Let's prevent these bersaglieri from becoming demoralised before they've even arrived at the front! Hitler turns to Sepp Dietrich: Hoffmann often speaks of his desire to have me visit his model farm. I can see from here what would happen. He'd photograph me entering a barn. What publicity for the sales of his milk! I'd be posted up in all the dairies. If I agreed to be photographed with a cigar between my teeth, I believe Reemtsma would immediately offer me half a million marks! And why not just as well some publicity for a master furrier? A pelisse on my back, a muff in my hand, on the look-out to shoot rabbits ! I once did myself incalculable harm by writing an open letter to an inn-keeper. I reproached him with the commercial