Orson Welles and his dinner with Hitler

I consider myself to be a pretty big Orson Welles fan, but, up until this evening, I never knew that he’d dined with Hitler. I suppose I still don’t know it for certain, as it’s possible that Welles is lying in this interview with Dick Cavett, but, nonetheless, I find it fascinating that he may have dined with the Führer during a trip to Germany as a young man. For what it’s worth, his claim later in the interview to have have been descended from U.S. Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles appears not to have been the case. In his defense, though, he may have been brought up thinking that he was related to the Civil War hero… There are very few people in this world whom I regret not having met. Orson Welles is one of those people. As weird as this may sound, I feel as though he had something to teach me. And it may be delusional on my part, but I suspect that, had I written to him as a young man, he would have written back. I hate myself for not being more motivated as a young man… or, for that matter, now.

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  1. Edward
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    It must have been cool to have been around in the time before the “information age” where there were few records kept and photos taken. If you were bold enough to try it, you could say absolutely anything. According to Welles’s own admission, he got his first acting job in Ireland by showing up at a theater and telling them that he was a famous actor from New York, when that wasn’t true. I can’t imagine having the balls to get on national television and saying that I’d had dinner with Hitler, when I hadn’t, but maybe that’s the kind of spirit it takes to do things like Welles was known for.

  2. Tom Pier
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    I think he’s steeling the truth. Otherwise he would have said that he’d met Stalin too. Or maybe that was part of his plan. Maybe he brought up no having met Stalin, to make his story about Hitler appear more believable. Maybe that’s how good liars do it.

  3. Robert
    Posted November 1, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Sometime in the early 40s, my mother saw Hitler as his motorcade drove up Mosstrasse just outside Salzburg where she grew up. Officials would visit the homes along the route some time before the motorcade was to come by, and they would provide a National-socialist flag to anyone who didn’t already have one, instructing them that it be displayed when Hitler’s motorcade passed by. My grandmother was a Republican and refused to fly the flag as instructed. The whole family was worried that Hitler would notice from his car and order some sort of punishment be carried out against them.

  4. Eel
    Posted November 1, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    And the punishment was indeed cruel. Years later, the daughter gave birth to Robert.

  5. Jon
    Posted January 6, 2012 at 2:35 am | Permalink

    Eeel – no the punishment is having people like you who make light of a story that illustrates the fear and criminal nature that Hitler represented…. Your comment was just a tad stupid and inappropriate.

  6. Anonymous
    Posted January 6, 2012 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Orson’s Lornelia Cunt stories are better.

  7. Candace
    Posted August 24, 2013 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    I adore Orson, but his entire story is specious. Hitler was NEVER in Austria between 1913-1931, when he returned for one day to Vienna to bury his niece, Geli. So Orson completely invented this story. I have my doctorate on Hitler and am a scholar of him and Orson’s story is utterly invented. It’s like him claiming to have dined with Lenin in Florida in 1919.

  8. Frosted Flakes
    Posted January 2, 2020 at 2:59 pm | Permalink



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