According to a 1990 Vanity Fair interview, Ivana Trump once told her lawyer Michael Kennedy that her husband, real estate mogul and now Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, kept a book of Hitler’s speeches near his bed.
“Last April, perhaps in a surge of Czech nationalism, Ivana Trump told her lawyer Michael Kennedy that from time to time her husband reads a book of Hitler’s collected speeches, My New Order, which he keeps in a cabinet by his bed … Hitler’s speeches, from his earliest days up through the Phony War of 1939, reveal his extraordinary ability as a master propagandist,” Marie Brenner wrote.
Hitler was one of history’s most prolific orators, building a genocidal Nazi regime with speeches that bewitched audiences.
“He learned how to become a charismatic speaker, and people, for whatever reason, became enamoured with him,” Professor Bruce Loebs, who has taught a class called the Rhetoric of Hitler and Churchill for the past 46 years at Idaho State University, told Business Insider.
“People were most willing to follow him, because he seemed to have the right answers in a time of enormous economic upheaval.”
When Brenner asked Trump about how he came to possess Hitler’s speeches, “Trump hesitated” and then said, “Who told you that?”
“I don’t remember,” Brenner reportedly replied.
Trump then recalled, “Actually, it was my friend Marty Davis from Paramount who gave me a copy of Mein Kampf, and he’s a Jew.”
Brenner adds that Davis did admit to giving Trump a book about Hitler.
“But it was My New Order, Hitler’s speeches, not Mein Kampf. I thought he would find it interesting. I am his friend, but I’m not Jewish,” Davis reportedly said.
After Trump and Brenner changed topics, Trump returned to the subject and reportedly said, “If, I had these speeches, and I am not saying that I do, I would never read them.”
In the Vanity Fair article, Ivana Trump tells a friend that her husband’s cousin, John Walter “clicks his heels and says, ‘Heil Hitler,” when he visits Trump’s office.
Here’s the entire Vanity Fair interview.