London, June 24 : Reviled as one of the most evil dictators in the history of mankind, Adolf Hitler, however, loved to crack jokes.
According to The Mirror, the megalomaniac Nazi leader reportedly had a whole repertoire of weak gags he told over and over again.
According to one of his staff, one was about his Luftwaffe chief Hermann Goering, who was notoriously fond of awarding himself medals and decorations.
Hitler used to say: "Mrs Goering came into the bedchamber and found her husband waving his baton over his underwear.
"She inquired 'Hermann, darling, what are you doing?' And she replied' I am promoting my underpants to OVERpants!'" Maybe it was the way he told them. Or the fact that no one would dare not laugh.
The Fuhrer was so proud of his joke he even got some medals made from gold and silver paper - for Goering to wear on his pyjamas.
On another occasion he noticed that his official photographer Heinrich Hoffmann had drunk too much and told him: "Don't stand too near the fire Heini - you might burst into flames!"
Inevitably, Hitler's humour had a sinister side - and he regularly had his henchmen roaring with laughter with sick jokes about concentration camp victims.
The insight into the mind of the monster comes in a new book, The Last Witness, to be published in Britain later this year by the last survivor of Hitler's inner circle.
Rochus Misch, 90, was the telephonist in the Berlin bunker where Hitler spent his final days before killing himself in April 1945.
He says: "When not making off-colour jokes and trying to conquer the world, Hitler doted on his Alsatian dog, Blondi."
Despite his boss's fondness for pets and joke telling, Misch admits he found him a daunting figure.
He says: "The first time I met him a chill ran down my spine."