Tut Tut, Hitler
Thursday, 19 February 2009
Now this is my kind of story. Page 30 headline in the Daily Mail today: UNCOUTH HITLER HAD TERRIBLE TABLE MANNERS.
A diary written by a high-ranking Nazi, hidden until a recent house clearance, reveals that “The Fuhrer eats rapidly, mechanically… He abstractedly bites his fingernails, he runs his index finger back and forth under his nose…”
What a scoop! I love everything about it. It’s so English to make headlines out of Hitler’s bad manners. Tut tut, Adolf. Next we’ll be hearing that Stalin always took the last slice of cake, and Pol Pot never put his hand over his mouth when he coughed. It’s so Dad’s Army. It’s like laughing at his moustache. And yet, it works. However much we know about the extent of Hitler’s evil, the ghastliness of his practices, there remains something strangely satisfying in standing here, bitching over the garden fence about the small stuff.
Nevertheless, English as I am, disapproving of bad manners as I am, keen as I am to find new ways to dislike this ogre of history, I was a little startled by the opening paragraph of the Mail piece:
“To the wartime world, he was nothing less than a monster. In private, it seems, Adolf Hitler was equally unappealing”.
EQUALLY? Jeez, those must have been some bad table manners…