NEW YORK -- Millionaire real estate developer Donald Trump may not be a crypto-Nazi, as his estranged wife has hinted, but he is a great believer in propaganda techniques ranging from exaggeration to the big lie, Vanity Fair magazine reported Wednesday.
In a profile by writer Marie Brenner, who has known Trump for 10 years, Vanity Fair's September issue disclosed that the Trump family is of German origin, not Swedish as Trump wrote in his book, 'The Art of the Deal.'
Trump's father, Fred, felt compelled to hide his German background because most of his tenants in Brooklyn were Jewish, she quoted family members as saying.
'Donald Trump appears to take aspects of his German background seriously,' the article said. 'John Walter (Trump's cousin) works for the Trump organization and when he visits Donald in his office, Ivana told a friend, he clicks his heels and says, 'Heil Hitler,' possibly a family joke,' Brenner wrote.
The article said estranged wife Ivana Trump has told her attorney, 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.'
It reports that Kennedy now keeps a copy of Hitler's book at his office, as if it were a grenade to be kept in reserve for the Trump divorce wars.
When questioned about 'My New Order,' Trump told Brenner it was given to him by Paramount Pictures head Martin Davis 'who gave me a copy of 'Mein Kampf,' and he's a Jew.'
Brenner wrote that when Davis was questioned about the book, he 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,' the article said. 'If I had these speeches, and I am not saying that I do, I would never read them,' it quoted him as saying.
'Is Ivana trying to convince her friends and lawyer that Trump is a crypto-Nazi?' Brenner asked. 'Trump is no reader or history buff. Perhaps his possession of Hitler's speeches merely indicates an interest in Hitler's genius for propaganda.
'The fuhrer often described his defeats at Stalingrad and in North Africa as great victories,' Brenner wrote. 'Trump continues to endow his diminishing world with significance as well.'
''There's nobody that has the cash flow that I have', he told the Wall Street Journal long after he knew better. 'I want to be the king of cash'.'