212 ADVENTURES AT BERGHTESGADEN much the better," said Rohm. "It will be excellent if the vehicle is full." I went to see Drexler, and asked him if he would like to go off for a few weeks with Dietrich Eckart. He was enthusiastic at the proposal. Eckart began by jibbing at the idea, but in the evening he let himself be led off. All this happened during the winter 1922-1923. So they went up to Obersalzberg, where there was still a lot of snow. I've had no details of that journey. Next day the police came to my house. They knew nothing, of course. That reminds me that we used to treat these police fellows very rudely. When we were telephoning, and suspected that the line was tapped, we used to exclaim at once: "Good God, another of these chimpanzees taking an interest in us!" Christian Weber gave us news regularly. All that 7 knew was that they were in a boarding-house somewhere near Berchtesgaden. One day in April I went to Berchtesgaden, accompanied by my young sister. I told her that I had to have an interview on the mountain, and I asked her to wait for me. I set off on foot with Weber. The path rose sharply, and went on and on: a narrow path, through the snow. I asked Weber whether he took me for a chamois, and threatened to turn back and return by day. Then we found a house before us, the pension Moritz. Weber said to me: "No knocks at the door; we can go in." As a precaution, we had not announced ourselves. Eckart, brought from his bed, came to meet us in his nightshirt, displaying heels bristling with hair like barbed-wire. He was very much moved. I asked Eckart at what hour I should get up next day in order to admire the landscape. He told me that it was marvellous at 7.30. He was right—what a lovely view over the valley! A countryside of indescribable beauty. Eckart was already downstairs. He introduced me to the Büchners: "This is my young friend, Herr Wolf." Nobody could think of forming any connection between this person and that crazy monster Adolf Hitler. Eckart was known at the boarding-house under the name of Dr. Hoffmann. At midday he took me to the Türken inn, promising me a genuine goulash. He was addressed there as "Herr Doktor", but I saw at once that everybody knew his real identity. When I mentioned this
HITLER INCOGNITO 213 to him, he answered that there were no traitors in Obersalzberg. After a meeting at Freilassing, he had spoken under the name of Hoffmann, but during the speech he had become carried away by passion and had so far forgotten himself as to say: "What's that nonsense you're telling me? Why, I'm better informed than you are. I'm Dietrich Eckart!" I didn't stay there long, and went back to Munich. But every time I had a few free days, I used to return up there. We often went on excursions. Once we were caught in the Purtscheller hut by a terrible storm, so fierce we thought the hut was about to fly away. Dietrich Eckart cursed: "What folly to have shut myself up in such a wretched shanty!" Another time, Büchner took Eckart on his motor-cycle. I can still see them climbing at full speed the stiff, winding path to Obersalzberg. What a team ! A day came when it was impossible to keep Eckart at the boarding-house any longer. People were saying everywhere that a horde of policemen was coming to pick him up. One afternoon we moved him into Göll's little house. As he always did when he moved, he took with him his bed and his coffee-grinder. I had become immediately attached to Obersalzberg. I'd fallen in love with the landscape. The only people who knew who I was were the Büchners, and they'd kept the secret. All the others thought of me as Herr Wolf. So it was very amusing to hear what people said at table about Hitler. I'd decided to go to Passau for a meeting. Our boardinghouse had a customer accompanied by a very pretty wife. We were chatting together, and suddenly he said to me: "I've come from Holstein as far as Berchtesgaden. I refuse to miss the opportunity of seeing this man Hitler. So I'm going to Passau." It seemed to me that this was a bad look-out for me, and that I would lose my incognito. I told him I was going there, too, and offered to take him in my car. When we reached Passau, a car was waiting for me. I went ahead and warned my friends that I was Herr Wolf, asking them to avoid any gaffes with the braggart whom I was leaving in their care. I invited the braggart to come into the meeting with my friends, telling him I'd join him in the hall. The fact was that I had to take off the overalls hiding my uniform.