The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Updated: May 3, 2019


Hitler [kneeling] as Caliban is held by Trinculo [Emile von Durchstucke?] who is in turn observed by a young Stiff Stifferrsen [Stephano] fresh from competing in the annual Best Wotan Beard Contest.
Hitler [kneeling] as Caliban is held by Trinculo [Emile von Durchstucke?] who is in turn observed by a young Stiff Stifferrsen [Stephano] fresh from competing in the annual Best Wotan Beard Contest.

The redoubtable Mrs Brunnhilde Go-Belles of The Wolf's Lair, Salzburg Drive, Chetnole has been rooting around in her capacious drawers once more and has yet again put her finger on a secret treasure. She has found and has generously agreed to share a second photograph bequeathed to her by her late great Aunt and intimée of the Kreis des Bunkers Mrs Magda Go-Belles. It depicts the former German celebrity Mr Adolf Hitler with an unknown actor [probably the distinguished stage actor and Dritter Reich favourite Emile von Durchstucke] in a scene from The Tempest in which the man known to his inner circle as Der Donald Woolfit der deutschen Bühne assumes the part of Caliban. This brings to three the number of photographs now know to have survived from the Goebels - Leni Riefenbacher-Falls Hitler's Shakespeare Project and offers faint hope that others - including perhaps Hitler's Pistol - might yet appear.


Pictured in Act III Scene 2 with Durchstucke as Triculo he is about to utter the famous lines "Beat him enough: after a little time I'll beat him too" - lines which the former Nazi celebrity leader was apt to repeat on countless occasions and in myriad circumstances for the remainder of his life.


"I found the photograph attached to the back of an image of my great aunt Magda absent-mindedly stroking a great dane [the tenor Stiff Stiffersen] whilst admiring his ample girth."* Mrs Go-Belles writes. "Stiff was a great favourite of hers and though she was a busy woman [she and husband Joe contributed thirteen members to the Hitler Youth between 1938 and 1944] she liked to squeeze him in whenever she could".


* The Danish tenor was also a favourite of the Führer's and was widely regarded as the leading Wagner singer of his generation. Blessed with a fine voice but poor acting technique he was described by Margarete Himmler as "Stiff by name and Stiffer by nature". Riefenbacher-Falls had hoped that Stiffersen might play the part of Prospero but accepted that he was more of a Stephano.


So might Mrs Go-Belles's draws be the source of further delights in future? "You never know", the wily old fox concedes with a twinkle, "they are quite roomy and no one's given them a good going over in years!". We can but hope - as does Mrs Go-Belles! [Oh for the Lord Jesus's sake [Ed]]

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