His father was a well-known art dealer. Ernst attended the Bavarian Emperor Wilhelm Gymnasium, where his father was a classroom teacher, Heinrich Himmler. Since it was intended to take over the family business branch on 5th Avenue in New York City, Ernst was sent in 1905 at Harvard University, which he graduated in 1909. He spent all four years of the 1st World War in the United States and was disappointed in his inability to serve the country of their ancestors during the crisis. After the war he returned to Munich.
Hanfstaengl left Germany at the top of its imperial glory, and returned, and found the country defeated in a state of complete collapse. It is surrounded by the Hitler nearly six-foot giant with a huge head, protruding jaw and thick hair put up with the resulting nickname "Putzi". He was a gifted pianist and virtuoso performed, despite his huge hands, works of Liszt and Wagner. The political chaos in Munich early 20-ies. Hanfstaengl mysteriously imbued with sympathy for Hitler, even if no one knows politics begin. The only literary gifted man surrounded by Hitler, Hanfstaengl introduced in Munich ignorant Austrian artistic and cultural circles. After the suppression of the "Beer Hall Putsch" in 1923 Hitler had found temporary refuge in Hanfstaengl villa in the Bavarian Alps. Hanfstaengl visited Hitler in Landsberg prison and helped him recover after his release.
Both before and after the Nazis came to power, Hanfstaengl remained among the closest associates of Hitler. He was cheerful and amusing companion during political campaigns. Through his time uttered jokes and unusual sense of humor, in Nazi circles he perceived something like Shakespearean jester, able to provide relaxation to wear down the leader. Hanfstaengl did not stop the clock. For this he was rewarded with a slight foreign office press secretary NSDAP. In this position, which he held until he left Germany, Hanfstaengl tried to benefit for the Nazi movement with the help of his many influential friends abroad.
By the end of 1934 the relationship between Hitler and Hanfstaengl considerably tempered. Putzi delicately tried to influence the Fuehrer, to moderate some of its political, religious and racial views, while Hitler did not allow any interference in its affairs and was angry at the slightest objection. On a crowded receptions, Hanfstaengl loudly called the Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, Dr. Goebbels pig. Such honesty brought him by the Nazis love. In March 1937 Hanfstaengl, sensing the impending danger to him, left Germany. He later learned that was already conceived his plan to eliminate - its going to throw out of the plane. April 19, 1937 Goering wrote a letter to Hanfstaengl, assuring him that it was intended as a harmless joke: "We wanted to give you an opportunity to reflect on some overly bold statement that you currently allowed and nothing more than that I give you my word of honor that you can.. stay here, as you have always done among us, freely. Forget your suspicion and would be wise. I hope you favorably react to my words. " Hanfstaengl was not inclined to accept geringovskoe "word of honor" and remained in exile.
During the 2nd World War Hanfstaengl served in the United States at the White House expert on Nazi cases. After the war he was interned. Freed, he returned to his homeland. In 1957, released in London the book "Hitler: The lost years". Hanfstaengl died November 6, 1975 in Munich.