Bedtime Story

The allegation that Donald Trump kept a copy of Hitler’s speeches in a cabinet beside his bed was first made by Ivana Trump. When Marie Brenner of Vanity Fair asked about the book, Trump grew defensive but notably did not deny that he did in fact own a book written by Hitler. Trump claimed that the book was Mein Kampf and had been given to him by a Jewish friend. But his friend Marty Davis admitted giving Trump a book of speeches by Hitler called My New Order and denied that he was Jewish.

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. Kennedy now guards a copy of My New Order in a closet at his office, as if it were a grenade. Hitler’s speeches, from his earliest days up through the Phony War of 1939, reveal his extraordinary ability as a master propagandist.

“Did your cousin John give you the Hitler speeches?” I asked Trump.

Trump hesitated. “Who told you that?”

“I don’t remember,” I said.

“Actually, it was my friend Marty Davis from Paramount who gave me a copy of Mein Kampf, and he’s a Jew.” (“I did give him a book about Hitler,” Marty Davis said. “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.”)

Later, Trump returned to this subject. “If I had these speeches, and I am not saying that I do, I would never read them.”

(Vanity Fair, September, 1990)