Medicating a Madman

Posted: February 3, 2011 in World War 2
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ARTICLE BY Christoph Gunkel PUBLISHED ON SPIEGEL

There are myriad theories out there about Hitler’s health. Some say he was a drug addict, others say he was the victim of a hypnosis gone wrong. Then there are the strange hypotheses about his genitalia. A new book, however, debunks most such ideas. Drugs & illness, the authors conclude, had little effect on his actions.

For a mass murderer, Adolf Hitler had a downright fatherly relationship with his personal physician. “My dear doctor, I so look forward to seeing you in the morning!” the Nazi dictator told his doctor, Theodor Morell, whom he trusted implicitly. In fact, Hitler was convinced that Morell had saved his life on several occasions. “My dear doctor!” the despot said to Morell in November 1944, “if we both make it through the war in one piece, you will see how generously I’ll reward you!”

Traudl Junge, who was Hitler’s private secretary during the war, later said that he was “utterly addicted to Morell.” Ironically, however, the doctor didn’t enjoy the best of reputations. When Eva Braun, Hitler’s longtime companion, complained about Morell’s poor bodily hygiene, Hitler stubbornly defended his personal physician, saying: “Morell isn’t here to be smelled, but to keep me healthy.”

But it was precisely Morell’s ability to treat his patient that those in Hitler’s inner circle questioned. For example, General Heinz Guderian called Morell a “fat, unappetizing quack,” & Hermann Göring, the morphine-addicted commander of the Luftwaffe, disparagingly referred to Morell as the “Reich syringe master.” Likewise, there were persistent rumors that the doctor had made Hitler dependent on certain medications & illicit drugs.

Even after the war, hardly any aspect of Hitler’s private life fueled as much speculation as his physical ailments. Generations of historians, psychologists, psychiatrists & amateur sleuths have sought to uncover Hitler’s real & imagined illnesses. To them, it seemed only logical that the irrational raging of a man who ordered millions of Jews, Roma & myriad others to be murdered was the outgrowth of a sick mind. Of course, the theory went, Hitler must have been somehow traumatized, a drug addict or even mentally ill! [Read More]

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Comments
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  3. Suplementy says:

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