“For those in the Führer Headquarters not preoccupied with military planning, life was dull and monotonous. Hitler’s secretaries would go for a daily walk to the next village and back. Otherwise, they whiled away the hours. Chatting, a film in the evenings, and the obligatory gathering each afternoon in the Tea House and late at night again for tea made up the day. ‘Since the tea-party always consists of the same people, there is no stimulation from outside, and nobody experiences anything on a personal level,’ Christa Schroeder wrote to a friend in February 1942, ‘the conversation is often apathetic and tedious, wearying, and irksome. Talk always runs along the same lines.’ Hitler’s monologues— outlining his expansive vision of the world—were reserved for lunch or the twilight hours. At the afternoon tea-gatherings, politics were never discussed. Anything connected with the war was taboo. There was nothing but small-talk. Those present either had no independent views, or kept them to themselves. Hitler’s presence dominated. But it seldom now did much to animate. He was invariably tired, but found it hard to sleep. His insomnia made him reluctant to go to bed. His entourage often wished he would do so. The tedium for those around him seemed at times incessant.” – Ian Kershaw, Hitler 1936-1945: Nemesis

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