Adolf Hitler is the subject of many myths. Did his skull actually turn up in the Russian state archives? Or did the Fuhrer live on in South America, as a documentary now tried to prove? Ten scurrilous facts show that reality and propaganda are often far apart.
- To get an unbiased picture of Adolf Hitler seems to be an impossible task.
- Propaganda and reality diverge widely on many points.
- Little known, for example, is that Hitler was a meth junkie.
Adolf Hitler died on 30. April 1945 in the Fuhrerbunker in Berlin – or maybe not?? A documentary from the U.S., aired in mid-December on the TV channel History, looks for evidence that Hitler fled to South America. In fact, massive doubts are cast on this thesis, as well as on many other theories about Hitler.
For a long time, historians have been trying to get a concrete picture of his personality. A task that seems almost unsolvable. Too much the real person is overlaid by the art figure that the Nazi propaganda drew of him. Even later recollections of eyewitnesses should be treated with caution, because these witnesses may have tried not to incriminate themselves in their accounts.
A coherent picture of Adolf Hitler can also not draw the following ten bizarre things. But they show, among other things, how far propaganda and reality can diverge.
1. Hitler was not a vegetarian
The fact that Hitler was a vegetarian fits in well with the image the Fuhrer wanted to show of himself: he wanted to look like the lonely ascetic who sacrifices himself for the state. However, the reality is different.
Hans Schirmer, a Munich doctor who bought a painting from Hitler in the period before the First World War, recalled that Hitler immediately bought some Vienna sausages with the money. Even his Munich landlady Anna Pop did not forget that he bought sausage regularly.
Hitler allegedly became a vegetarian only after the suicide of his niece Geli Raubal, with whom he had a very intimate relationship. After the autopsy of the corpse, he would have refused to eat meat ever again from now on. However, this is also a myth. Because an autopsy of Raubal’s body never took place. Instead, it has been credibly handed down that Hitler at least continued to enjoy liver dumplings – prepared by his sister on the Obersalzberg and when visiting the Wagner Festival in the Villa Wahnfried.
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2. Hitler was a communist functionary
Before the First World War, Hitler was a broke existence in Munich. With his self-painted postcards he could just about keep his head above water. The war, on the other hand, gave him a purpose and a place to be. After the end of the war, he was in danger of falling back into his former life as a stray.
The leftist revolution and the subsequent soviet republic in Munich were a welcome opportunity for Hitler not to have to become a civilian again. When the communists were killed on 13. When the Communists putsched into power on April 4, 1919, Hitler temporarily assumed a Communist functionary post as a substitute battalion councillor in his unit. A fact that was later held against him by Heb, Rohm and Epp, as Anton Joachimsthaler reports in his book "Hitlers Weg begann in Munchen" (Hitler’s Path Began in Munich).
3. Hitler actually spoke quite differently
We know Hitler’s voice only from public appearances. There it sounds dramatic, and often the dictator also lapses into a shouting tone of voice. In the summer of 1942, a Finnish radio technician made a recording of a conversation between Hitler and General Carl Gustaf Mannerheim, in which his voice sounded unfamiliar, unexcited and harmless.
What he talks about, of course, is anything but harmless. The conversation is about the fact that the German tanks were not equipped for the war in the Russian winter. "You can’t wage war in winter", Hitler declares. He was to be proved right. Six months later, the 6. German army wiped out at Stalingrad.
4. Hitler was a Disney fan and drew his cartoon characters
In 2008, William Hakvaag, director of the Lofoten Krigsminnemuseum, said he had bought four drawings at auction. The special thing about it: The drawings are allegedly by the hand of Adolf Hitler – and are copies of comic figures by the American Walt Disney. They show Pinocchio and three of the dwarfs from the film "Snow White". Three of the drawings are marked A. H. signed.
Whether this was just a clever publicity stunt for the museum remains to be seen. The fact is that Hitler was indeed a Disney fan. At Christmas 1937, Joseph Goebbels gave him twelve Disney short films and noted in his diary: "The Fuhrer is very pleased about this. Is quite happy about this treasure."
5. Hitler was a meth junkie
At the latest since 1943 Hitler took as pick-me-up specially made for him, in gold paper wrapped, square Vitamultin tablets. These contained a substance in a particularly high dose: Pervitin. This synthetically produced chemical substance was also in the so-called "Panzerschokolade", in "Hermann Goring pills or in "Stuka tablets" contain. Soldiers had already been using it for some time to counteract signs of fatigue.
In modern parlance, this drug is known as methamphetamine or meth for short. In 1980, "The Medical Case Book of Adolf Hitler" was published, in which the psychiatrist Leonard L. Heston and nurse Renate Heston theorize that Hitler’s Pervitin addiction led to the side effects that characterized his character in Hitler’s final years, such as paranoid delusions, unpredictability, and tremors.
6. Hitler was doped with bull semen
Theodor Morell, Hitler’s personal physician, who also treated him for his flatulence, had been injecting him with testosterone since 1944, before he started seeing Eva Braun. For special occasions, there was even a cocktail with the extract of seminal vesicles and the prostate of young bulls. Whether and how Hitler was actually sexually active, however, remains controversial among historians.
Unlike his role model Benito Mussolini, who liked to present himself as a virile father of five children and demonstrably had several mistresses, Hitler allowed himself to be portrayed by propaganda as an ascetic married to the Reich. To this day, Hitler’s sexual orientation itself is the subject of scholarly dispute. From the current state of knowledge, the historical truth cannot be inferred.
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7. Hitler had flatulence and bad breath
In the film Schtonk, an entry from the fake Hitler diaries is quoted several times: “The superhuman efforts of the last time cause me flatulence in the intestinal area, and Eva says I have bad breath.”As well suited as the sentence is for satire, there is also a kernel of truth in it.
From the estate of Hitler’s personal physician Theodor Morell it is known that he treated Hitler several times for flatulence, first with “Dr. Kosters Antigastabletten”, then also with the drug Euflat. And the bad breath is also a historical fact. It was caused by severe periodontal disease, poor nutrition and, since 1944, also by suppuration of the upper jaw.
8. Hitler had only one testicle
On 5. October 1916, a shell fragment hit Hitler in the groin area. Johan Jambor, the paramedic who treated him at the time, reported this injury to his pastor in 1960. He had to amputate one of Hitler’s testicles in the process. The Red Army doctors who performed Hitler’s autopsy also came to the conclusion, independently of Jambor’s statement in 1945, that he had only one testicle, medically called a monorchia.
The English soldiers in the Second World War seem to have suspected this circumstance. One of their most popular anti-Nazi songs was titled “Hitler has only got one ball”. The melody became world famous through the film “The Bridge on the River Kwai.
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9. Hitler’s first love was called Stefanie Isak
In his youth in Linz, Hitler was friends with August Kubizek, with whom he also shared a room for a time. In his memoirs “Adolf Hitler, my childhood friend,” Kubizek also writes of a Hitler admirer named Stefanie Isak. He virtually stalked the girl and even fantasized about a dramatic love death, according to Kubizek in his book: “He wanted to kidnap Stefanie in order to commit suicide with her together.” But in fact he did not even address them.
The fact that the name Isak indicated a Jewish family background did not seem to bother Hitler at the time. Apparently he became an anti-Semite only after the First World War. Afterwards, however, his first love troubled him very much, as he was firmly convinced that he had been in love with a Jewish woman. He had the relevant passages from Kubizek’s book censored. An unnecessary step, because the name is deceptive. Stefanie came from a Christian family.
10. Hitler’s skull comes from a woman
In the year 2000 a sensation was presented to the world public. In the Russian state archives a small box had turned up in which there was a part of a skull with a bullet hole: apparently the skull of Adolf Hitler. Besides this skull part, the only remaining traces of Hitler’s corpse are a blood-soaked sofa, on which he shot himself, and a piece of his jaw. Both relics are also in the same state archives.
American anthropologist Nick Bellantoni, who examined the skull, however, raised doubts: The skull was clearly from a 20- to 40-year-old woman, he said, and the bullet hole was also too small for the caliber Hitler used. To which corpse the skull fragment actually belongs, can probably no longer be clarified in view of the past time and the chaotic circumstances at the end of the war.