Hitler's Henchmen Dr. Henk van Capelle and Dr. Peter van de
Bovenkamp tell how Henriette von Schirach in 1943 was invited to the
Netherlands by friends in the German occupation forces. She witnessed a
frightful scene in Amsterdam: a crowd of scared Jewish women with
bundles brutally being rounded up for deportation.
She was shocked and asked her friends for an explanation. She later
recalled: "I was told that Jewish women were being deported and
didn't I know about it? .. My friends advised me to take the matter up
with Hitler himself .."
Henriette broke off her visit to the Netherlands, and telephoned the
Berghof to make an appointment with Hitler: "It was a splendid,
somewhat sultry fall evening when we joined the regular company by the
large open fire at the Berghof. I was still confused and had thought out
no plan for the manner in which I would approach Hitler .. Long after
midnight Hitler turned to me and asked in a friendly tone: You have just
come back from Holland, have you not?"
Henriette presumed on her long friendship with Hitler to describe what
she had witnessed in Amsterdam: "Although I had already had a
double cognac, the moment still came totally unexpectedly. I took a deep
breath and answered: Yes, that is why I am here. I wanted to speak to
you about some terrible things I saw; I cannot believe that you know
about them. Helpless women were being rounded up and driven together to
be sent off to a concentration camp and I think that they will never
"A painful stillness fell; all color had left Hitler's face. His
face looked like a death mask in the light of the flames. He looked at
me aghast and at the same time surprised and said: We are at war.
He very cautiously stood up .. At that moment he screamed at me: You
are sentimental, Frau von Schirach! You have to learn to hate! What have
Jewish women in Holland got to do with you?"
"The rest of the company were quite as mice. Nobody looked at
me. I walked out of the room and once in the vestibule I began to run.
One of Hitler's adjutants came running after me. The Führer was
furious. I was asked to leave the Obersalzberg immediately."
Henriette von Schirach and her husband were never invited again ...