294 HITLER AS A MOUNTAINEER 140 5th February 1942, evening Excursions with Baroness Abegg—The fake Donatello—A dubious Murillo. I would find no pleasure in living all the time on the banks of the Königssee. It's too depressing. None of our lakes is so reminiscent of the Norwegian fjords. By contrast, it gives one an impression as of fairyland to arrive there after having come along the Chiemsee, whose blurred tints are so restful to the eye. I've made innumerable excursions on the mountain, led by the Baroness Abegg. (Without her, I'd probably never have been on the summit of the Jenner. She was indefatigable and could climb like a goat.) All that was arranged by Eckart, who didn't care for walking and could thus remain in peace at the boarding-house. Dietrich Eckart used to say that she was the most intelligent woman he'd ever known. I'd have been willing to accept the intelligence, if it hadn't been accompanied by the most spiteful tongue imaginable. The woman was a real scorpion. She was as blonde as flax, with blue eyes and excessively long canine teeth, like an Englishwoman. I admit she was remarkably intelligent. A woman in the class of Frau Bruckmann. She had travelled a lot, all over the world. She was always in one or other of two extreme states. The first kept her at home in a state of almost complete collapse. She would sprawl on her veranda, like a run-down battery, whilst everybody around her was kept busy attending to her. The second state was one of incredible petulance—she'd fly into a rage, sweep out like a whirlwind, climb up somewhere and come rushing torrentially down again. In my opinion, the most attractive thing about her was the famous bust by Donatello. She valued it at a hundred and fifty thousand marks in gold. In the event of sale, half the money was to go to the Party funds—which would have enabled us to solve all the difficulties caused by the inflation. Unfortunately, nobody believed in the authenticity of this Donatello. When I saw her for the first time, my instinct immediately told me it was a fake. She claimed that the stucco-worker in whose house
THE TWO ECKARTS 295 she'd bought it had no knowledge of its value. At the best, it could only be a bad copy. The Baroness's husband had thrown himself into the Königssee. As can well be understood ! In his place, I'd have done the same. Of the two faithful admirers whom she was known to have, one died, and the other went mad. That story reminds me of the story of Simon Eckart's Murillo. The picture contained a fault in design that could not have escaped Murillo's attention. If it had done so, there were people in his entourage who would have called it to his attention. These great painters used often to work in collaboration. One of them would paint the Madonna, another the flowers, etc. I intended to write a play on the subject of this Murillo. A man who was furious was the banker Simon Eckart. What a difference between the two Eckarts! A whole world separated them. Dietrich was a writer full of idealism. Simon was a man deeply immersed in the realities of nature.