Ernst Hanfstaengl “Putzi” Hitler’s Piano Player – USA was origin of Nazi salute

A lot of fascinating research examines how socialism has been influenced by America and Americans. Many authors worry about a future filled with persecution and global socialism. Those worries have relevance today in the enormous size and scope of government in the USA and its growing police state.

Harvard helped Hitler. Here’s how: Harvard graduate Ernst Hanfstaengl was a close associate of Hitler. Hanfstaengl had attended school in the United States during the time when the United States used the stiff-arm salute in the Pledge of Allegiance and elsewhere. The stiff-arm salute originated from the Pledge of Allegiance, which was written in 1892. It was the source of the salute adopted later by the National Socialist German Workers Party, as shown in the work of the historian Dr. Rex Curry (author of “Pledge of Allegiance Secrets”).

A youtube video explains more

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Hanfstaengl created the infamous “Heil Hitler” chant, he spread America’s straight-arm salute in Germany, and he taught the German National Socialist leader to use swastika-style symbolism in signatures.

Wikipedia has helped to spread the news about Dr. Curry’s discoveries about Hanfstaengle, German chants, and how the German flag and its swastika was used sometimes to represent overlapping “S” letters in alphabetic symbolism for “socialism” under the National Socialist German Workers’ Party.

Recent articles at report on the many references to Dr. Curry’s research and discoveries on Wikipedia. Even Wikipedia founder Jimmy “Jimbo” Wales  has publicly noted Dr. Curry’s influence on Wikipedia. Some Wikipedia writers use Dr. Curry’s work without attribution in apparent attempts to bolster their own credibility.

Ernst Franz Sedgwick Hanfstaengl (1887 – 1975) was the only person known to have worked directly for both Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSGWP). Both of Hanfstaengl’s employers promoted national socialism, the former in America, and the latter in Germany. Both enlarged government massively.

Hanfstaengl was born in Germany, spent his early years in Germany, and then moved to the United States and attended Harvard University, graduating in 1909. While at Harvard he participated in patriotic events, played the piano, and composed football songs. He resided in America until 1921, when he returned to Germany.

National socialism had been promoted in the USA from 1888 by Edward Bellamy, author of the book “Looking Backward.” Roosevelt was so impressed by Bellamy’s book that Roosevelt wrote “Looking Forward” to impose Bellamy’s national socialism in America.

Bellamy’s book was an international bestseller and was tranlsated into every major language including German, Russian and Chinese. Clubs sprang up in the USA and worldwide for touting the book’s ideas. The Bellamy dogma influenced socialists worldwide, including the countries of the socialist Wholecaust (of which the Holocaust was a part): ~60 million dead under the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics; ~50 million under the Peoples’ Republic of China; ~20 million under the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSGWP).

Roosevelt’s book was not an international bestseller. Roosevelt’s policies (Bellamy schemes) were imposed by law on Americans, nevertheless.

National Socialists wanted government to monopolize education, and that scheme was supported by Roosevelt, Edward Bellamy, and Francis Bellamy (cousin and cohort to Edward).

Francis Bellamy wrote the Pledge of Allegiance that is chanted robotically in many government schools (socialist schools). The Bellamys wanted government to take over all schools and create the “industrial army” from children to spread “military socialism.”

The early Pledge of Allegiance to the U.S. flag (1892 to 1945) was the origin of the straight-arm salute used later by the NSGWP, as discovered by the historian Dr. Rex Curry, author of “Pledge of Allegiance Secrets.” Shocking photos are on the web.

By the time Hanfstaengl was attending school in the U.S., the straight-arm salute was used for various purposes, including the National Anthem (the Star Spangled Banner), for school flags, and even as a general greeting or cheer during sports events (including Harvard football games).

About 1921, Hanfstaengl returned to Germany and heard for the first time a speech by the leader of the NSGWP in a beer hall. The leader of the NSGWP stated that the first time he saw the straight-arm salute he was in a beer hall and he described it as occurring at “about” the same time (as when Hanfstaengl claims that Hanfstaengl heard him speak). (According to Toland, p. 128, the first encounter was on 22 November, 1922 at the Kindlkeller, a large L-shaped beer hall).

Of course, there were other Germans, et cetera, who had moved to and from the United States since 1892, where the stiff-armed salute was already used to salute the national flag. There were also movie depictions and other ways in which Germans would have been exposed to the early American raised-arm gesture.

Rudolph Hess published an article titled “The Fascist Greeting” in June 1928, claiming that the gesture was used as early as 1921, before the German National Socialists had heard about the socialist Mussolini.

It is possible that the Olympics adopted the American salute before the American salute was adopted by the socialists Mussolini and Hitler.

Hanfstaengl was so impressed that he became a follower of the NSGWP leader.  Hanfstaengl participated in the failed 1923 Beer Hall Putsch.  Afterward, he sheltered the NSGWP leader in the attic of his home in Uffing, outside of Munich.

The straight-arm salute was not the only time that Hanfstaengl provided promotional assistance to the the NSGWP.

Hanfstaengl wrote Brownshirt marches based on his Harvard football songs. That is how Hanfstaengl devised the chant of “Heil Hitler” and “Sieg Heil.” The leader of the NSGWP was so impressed with Hanfstaengl’s style that Hanfstaengl became the unofficial piano player at various social gatherings. One night, at the home of the photographer Heinrich Hoffmann, he played band marches used at halftime in American football games. He described college cheerleanding and the deliberate whipping up of hysterical enthusiasm and robotic chanting. He described thousands of spectators being led in roars of, “Harvard, Harvard, Harvard, rah, rah, rah!” and about “the hypnotic effect of this sort of thing.” Hanfstaengl demonstrated on the piano how German marches could be adapted to the buoyant American beat. The NSGWP’s leader declared enthusiastically that the same performance was needed for German National Socialism. “Harvard, Harvard, Harvard” became “Sieg Heil! Sieg Heil! Sieg Heil!” and “Heil Hitler! Heil Hitler! Heil Hitler!”  Evidence for the preceding event is provided by the author Thomas Fuchs in his concise biography of the NSGWP leader; and by the author John Toland in his biography of the NSGWP leader (p.135); by the author Peter Conradi in his book “Piano Player: The Rise and Fall of Ernst Hanfstaengl”; and in Hanfstaengl’s book “Unheard Witness” (1957).

For more information about the Pledge’s past see

U.S. wartime intelligence also believed the National Socialist salute may have been copied from American cheerleaders, rather than from Mussolini (who began using the salute while he was a popular socialist, but decades after the salute was created in the U.S. by the socialist Francis Bellamy and decades after the salute’s widespread use in the United States). The claim from U.S. wartime intelligance is one of many observations in a strange psychological profile of Adolf Hitler declassified by the CIA. The profile relies mainly on personal views of Ernst Hanfstaengl, a best friend of the German National Socialist leader. In the document, produced by the Office of Strategic Services, he is known by the codename Dr Sedgwick, said reports. The report claims of the Hitler salute: “In 1923 he adored American football marches and college songs. The ‘Sieg Heil’ used in all political rallies is a direct copy of the technique used by American football cheerleaders.” And the American football cheerleaders adopted the method from the American Pledge of Allegiance. Cheerleaders continue to use the military salute to the chest extended out into the stiff-arm palm-down salute.

In the USA today, high schools and universities continue to use out-stretched arm salutes in their alma mater songs, chanted in unison while pointing at the school flag or emblem. and Almost no American students are aware of the history of the Pledge of Allegiance and the similarity of some alma mater salutes to the early American pledge salute.

Hanfstaengl helped spread the alphabetic symbolism of the swastiika, and even influenced the signature of the NSGWP’s leader, as discovered by the historian Dr. Rex Curry (author of “Swastika Secrets”). An autographed photograph shows the signature of Hanfstaengl with a swastika used as alphabetic symbolism for the first letter “H.”

This is the photograph showing the signature and image of Ernst Hanfstaengl.

The most that is known about the date of the photograph is “about 1934.”  About 1934 is when a similar alteration began in the signature of the NSGWP’s leader. “Adolf” began to resemble one large “S” shape, evoking the swastika and it’s “S” letters for “Socialism.”

Although the swastika was an ancient symbol, Dr. Curry showed that it was also used sometimes by German National Socialists as alphabetic symbolism, including meshed “S” letters for their “socialism.”  The leader of German National Socialism altered his own signature to use the same stylized “S” letter for “socialist.”  Similar alphabetic symbolism still shows on Volkswagens.

In 1936, Berlin hosted the Olympic Games, where American athletes continued to demonstrate the straight-arm salute to the US flag during the National Anthem in awards ceremonies.

Eventually, Hanfstaengl fell completely out of favor and he had to flee Germany. In 1942 Hanfstaengl was moved from a Canadian Prisoner of War camp and turned over to the United States. He entered the employ of Roosevelt and advised him on the German National Socialist leader.

Although Roosevelt helped to defeat Germany in World War II, Roosevelt was put on the side of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the Peoples’ Republic of China. At the end of WWII, Roosevelt helped to hand over half of Europe to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. After WWII, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the Peoples’ Republic of China went on to kill even more millions of people than had been killed by the National Socialist German Workers’ Party.

It all shows how close the USA came (and is still coming) to the socialist Wholecaust. Many Americans serve as sad examples of how places like that come into existence, grow so large, last so long, and kill so many.

Historians make their work relevant to current events. Such stories are relevant to the fact that the present government in the USA is anti libertarian and is out-socializing the previous administration by more than double and growing (in social spending ALONE). The demonic dogma of socialism, sacrifice, and self-sacrifice is still growing all over the world.


Dr. Rex Curry’s work is supported by the book “The Third Reich in the Ivory Tower: Complicity and Conflict on American Campuses” by Stephen H. Norwood  (Cambridge University Press) even Norwood seems ignorant of the early salute to the Pledge of Allegiance and its philosophical origins in national socialism in the United States from 1892. Norwood’s book is a chilling chronicle that many Americans showed enthusiasm for the National Socialist German Workers Party. According to Norwood the “stiff-armed Nazi salute and Sieg Heil chant” was “modeled on a gesture and a shout” that Hanfstaengl had used as a Harvard football cheerleader.

Ernst Putzi Hanfstaengl Ernst Hanfstaengl
Ernst Hanfstaengl Franz Sedgwick Adolf Hitler Nazism National Socialism
Ernst Hanfstaengl Ernst Hanfstaengl

The sign of socialism: the socialist signature!


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  1. Posted January 26, 2014 at 5:00 am | Permalink


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