Although Adolf Hitler claimed the Germans were of a superior Aryan race of white, tall, blonde hair, blue-eyed individuals, he himself was of modest height, blue-eyed, and brown-haired. Traudl Junge, his last secretary often told in interviews, that people were amazed about Hitler’s blue eyes. Those who met Hitler, after the War often refer, in their reminiscences, to his remarkable pale, clear blue eyes, which many states, unequivocally, had a distinctly hypnotic quality.
Hitler’s eyes are important historically because of the mystical qualities sometimes attributed to them: followers frequently describe them as blazing, hypnotic, dominating. In objective fact, they were physically prominent – large and slightly bulging – and Hitler made a point of using them for dramatic effect.
It was his practice when meeting someone for the first time, to with what he imagined to be a penetrating gaze. Not surprisingly, this made a profound impression on many visitors, especially those who had come to the interview wanting this to be their unforgettable meeting with the Führer. Others found the famous stare “opaque, dull”.
Goebbels described one of his first meetings with Adolf Hitler in the diaries he kept:
Shakes my hand. Like an old friend. And those big blue eyes. Like stars. He is glad to see me. I am in heaven. That man has everything to be king.
Leon Degrelle in his article “The Enigma of Hitler” (The Journal of Historical Review):
Hitler had deep blue eyes that many found bewitching, although I did not find them so. Nor did I detect the electric current his hands were said to give off. I gripped them quite a few times and was never struck by his lightning.
Sefton Delmer of the Daily Express wrote on February 23rd, 1933:
By a detour, we next reached a part of the building which was actually in flames. Firemen were pouring water into the red mass. Hitler watched them for a few moments, a savage fury blazing from his pale blue eyes.
Karl Ludecke, who published a book called “I knew Hitler”, wrote the following about the first time that he heard Hitler speak:
Hitler was a slight, pale man with brown hair parted to one side. He had steel-blue eyes…he had the look of a fanatic…he held the audience, and me with them, under a hypnotic spell by the sheer force of his conviction.
Ernst Franz Sedgwick Hanfstaengl was a Harvard-educated German businessman who was an intimate of Adolf Hitler before falling out of favor and defecting. In his article in Collier’s, August 4, 1934, “My Leader” tells how he got to know and serve Hitler for whom he has the greatest admiration.
Then Drexler introduced Adolf Hitler. He didn’t look very impressive standing there in repose. That is, until you noticed his eyes. He had clear blue eyes and in them, there was neither guile nor fear. There was honesty; there was sincerity; there was a hint of scorn.
Martha Dodd writes in her book “Through Embassy Eyes”:
The first glance left me with a picture of a weak, soft face, with pouches under the eyes, full lips, and very little bony facial structure. The mustache didn’t seem as ridiculous as it appeared in pictures – in fact, I scarcely noticed it; but I imagine that is because I was pretty well conditioned to such things by that time. As has often been said, Hitler’s eyes were startling and unforgettable – they seemed pale blue in color, were intense, unwavering, hypnotic.
Certainly, the eyes were his only distinctive feature. They could contain fury and fanaticism and cruelty; they could be mystic and tearful and challenging. This particular afternoon he was excessive, informal, he had a certain quiet charm, almost a tenderness of speech and glance.
Hundreds of other, similar quotes are to be found in mainstream Hitler biographies. From John Toland to Alan Bullock, historians agree: Hitler had blue eyes.