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72 interesting facts about Adolf Hitler

  1. Historians note that, more so than Stalin or Mao’s regime, Hitler’s dictatorship stands as a paradigm of the 20th century. It reflects unforeseen levels of state repression and violence, unparalleled manipulation of the media to control and mobilize the masses, acute dangers of über-nationalism, the destructive power of ideologies of racial superiority and racism, and a perverted use of modern technology and social engineering.i
  2. Historians note that Hitler’s regime is particularly chilling because it reveals how a modern, advanced, cultured society can rapidly sink into barbarity and genocide. In short, Hitler’s dictatorship reveals what we are capable of.i
  3. As it is their goal to do this for all people who have ever lived on the Earth, Mormons posthumously baptized and endowed Hitler in 1993. He was “sealed” to his parents on March 12, 1994. Both took place in England.m
  4. A recently opened clothing store in the Indian metropolis of Ahmedabad is named “Hitler.” A swastika dots the letter “i” in Hitler.k
  5. Hitler’s immediate legacy is dramatic and includes the Cold War, a split Germany, the Iron Curtain, nuclear weapons, and moral trauma.j
  6. Hitler’s longest relationship was with Eva Braun (1912-1945). She tried to commit suicide twice in an attempt to garner more of Hitler’s attention.i
  7. Hitler was a gifted orator but had a raspy voice as a consequence of a gas attack he suffered during WWI.i

Hitler’s mustache has also been nicknamed the “toothbrush mustache”

  1. When Hitler’s close associate Ernst Hanfstaengl told him that his short mustache was unfashionable, Hitler replied: “If it is not the fashion now, it will be because I wear it.”e
  2. Historians argue whether Hitler was a natural consequence of German history or an aberration of it.i
  3. Hitler and Eva Braun were married in 1945 and killed themselves 36 hours later. Braun was 33 years old. Hitler was 56.j
  4. In his last will and testament that he dictated to his secretary Traudl Junge (1920-2002), Hitler stated that “in spite of all set backs” the war “will one day go down in history as the most glorious and heroic manifestation of a people’s will to live.”i
  5. In 2009, DNA tests reveled that the skull fragment long thought to have been Hitler’s is that of an unknown woman under 40. Scientists don’t believe the skull belongs to Evan Braun because she committed suicide by cyanide rather than with a gun.d
  6. Hitler’s unusual medical remedies included enemas and leeches.f
  7. The name “Adolph” means “noble wolf.” Hitler used the pseudonym Herr Wolf early in his career when he wanted to avoid recognition. He named his headquarters “Wolf’s Lair” and “Wolf’s Headquarters” and named his favorite German shepherd puppy “Wolf.”i
  8. Hitler never gained majority support in free elections. The most the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) garnered was 37.3% in July 1932. In 1933, when Hitler became Chancellor, the Nazis had only one third of the seats in the Reichstag.i

Using the Hitler salute is a criminal offense in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, and the Netherlands

  1. After becoming Chancellor of Germany, Hitler ordered a wave of assassinations and executions called the “Blood Purge,” which was aimed at rivals within the party. He justified these murders by saying that there would be no further upheavals in Germany for a thousand years once these rebels were killed. The Reich lasted a little more than 12 years.i
  2. Hitler’s father’s name was originally Alois Schicklgruber but changed it to Alois Hitler in 1876, 13 years before Adolf was born. He later said that nothing his father had done had pleased him so much as when he changed his name. It is unclear why he changed his name.i
  3. Hitler’s family had for generations been a peasant family, small holders in the Waldviertel, a poor area in the northwestern part of Lower Austria, bordering on Bohemia. The people there had a reputation for being hard nosed, dour, and unwelcoming.i
  4. Hitler’s father, Alois, was born on June 7, 1837, in the village of Strones. He was the illegitimate child of Maria Anna Schicklgruber (1792-1857) who was 42 years old when she gave birth. There is some speculation that Johann Georg Hiedler, a man whom Maria Anna married five years after Alois birth, may have been his father.i
  5. Hitler’s father was married three times. First to a woman much older than himself, then to women who were young enough to be his daughters.i
  6. Klara Polzl (1860-1907) was Hitler’s mother and was the eldest of only three surviving children out of 11. Officially, Hitler’s father, Alois, and his mother were second cousins and needed government permission to marry.i
  7. Hitler was born on April 20, 1889, at half past six in the evening on an Easter Saturday in Braunau Am Inn, Austria.i
  8. The name Hitler means “small holder” and appears interchangeably with the names Hiedler, Hietler, Huttler, and Hutler.i
  9. It was significant to Hitler that he was born in a town on the very frontier of the Austrian and the German empires. Very early in his life he felt loyal to the Germans and rejected the multinational Hapsburg Empire.i
  10. Both of Hitler’s parents died before he was 19. His mother died of breast cancerin 1907, when he was 18 years old. His father died of pleural hemorrhage in 1903, when Hitler was 14 years old.i
  11. Bloch, the Jewish physician who cared for Hitler’s mother, noted that in nearly 50 years of his career as a doctor, he had never seen a young man as broken with grief as Adolf Hitler was at the death of his mother. He had carried her picture with him down to the last days in the bunker.i
  12. Hitler’s father was an authoritarian, overbearing, domineering husband and a stern, distant, masterful, and irritable father. Long after their marriage, Hitler’s mother Klara could not break the habit of calling him Uncle.i
  13. Hitler was a decorated WWI veteran. He received the Iron Cross, Second Class in 1914. He received the Iron Cross, First Class in 1918. He also received the Black Wound Badge on May 18, 1918.i
  14. Hitler was imprisoned in 1923 when he participated in the Beer Hall Putsch, which was an attempt to overthrow the government. During his time in prison, he wrote his memoir, Mein Kampf(My Struggle).i
  15. The purpose of Hitler’s domestic and foreign policies was to accumulate more living space or “Lebensraum” for the German people.i
  16. Hitler’s racism and supremacists policies led to the murder of 11 million people, which includes 6 million Jews. Overall, between 50-70 million died during WWII.i
  17. Hitler believed that Germany lost WWI because the German army was “stabbed in the back” on the home front by Marxists (“November Criminals”) and civilian leaders.i
  18. Hitler was the 4th of 6 children. His older siblings Gustav, Ida, and Otto died in infancy. His younger brother Edmund would die of the measles in 1900, when Hitler was 11. Only a sister, Paula, would survive to adulthood.i
  19. Contrary to his father’s wishes to become a civil servant, Hitler’s dream was to become an artist. However, he was rejected by the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna twice (1907, 1908).i
  20. Hitler lived briefly in a homeless shelter after his mother died and after his second rejection from an art school.i
  21. In Mein Kampf, Hitler states he first became an anti-Semite when he lived in Vienna, which was a center of religious prejudice and 19th-century racism. Most historians agree that his violent anti-Semitism emerged after Germany’s defeat in WWI.i

The Treaty of Versailles helped fuel Hitler’s political motivations

  1. Hitler effectively used the Treaty of Versailles as a political tool. The treaty made Germany relinquish several of its territories, it imposed severe economic sanctions, and it declared Germany responsible for the war. Many Germans felt that the treaty completely humiliated Germany.i
  2. After WWI, Hitler stayed in the army in intelligence, where he met his mentor Anton Drexler (1884-1942), a leader in the German Worker’s Party (which later became the Nazi party) and a fervent nationalist. In February 1920, Hitler and Drexler published their “25 Points” which refused the terms of the Versailles Treaty, called the reunification of all German people, and preached virulent anti-Semitism.b
  3. Historians have noted that Hitler had almost hypnotic oratory over large groups and that he used his own personal charisma and an understanding of crowd psychology while public speaking.b
  4. Hitler was influenced by Aufbau Vereinigung (Reconstruction Organization), a group that was made up of White Russian exiles and National Socialists who were financed by wealthy industrialists like Henry Ford.i
  5. As an adolescent, Hitler hated school. He later would praise only one of his teachers, his history teacher Dr. Potsch, for introducing him to narratives and tales of heroism from the German past and stirring in him a strongly emotional German nationalist, anti-Hapsburg feeling.i
  6. Hitler was seriously injured twice during WWI. In October 1916 he was wounded by a grenade splinter. In October 1918 he went temporarily blind from a gas attack.i
  7. The phrase “Sieg Heil” was devised by Harvard-educated businessman Ernst Hanfstaengl. Hanfstaengl was impressed by the camaraderie and excitement at Harvard football games and sought to simulate the excitable atmosphere at Hitler’s rallies.e
  8. Hitler reportedly was a vegetarian. He made the decision after the autopsy of his half-niece and ex-girlfriend Geli Raubal, who shot herself in the heart.e
  9. The swastika is an ancient symbol that most likely represents the sun wheeling across the sky and has been a symbol of good luck. In some cultures, a swastika whose arms point to the left rather than the right signals darkness and evil.i
  10. In 1937, Hitler created a new medal for foreign friends of the Reich called The Cross of the German Eagle Order. The first recipient was American Henry Ford. Hitler admired Ford largely because Ford hated Jews and had bought the newspaperDearborn Independentto publish anti-Semitic stories. Ford even built Hitler an automobile assembly plant in Berlin.i
  11. Charles Lindbergh was the second American after Henry Ford to receive the Cross of the German Eagle Order, an award for friends of the Third Reich. Lindbergh wasn’t anti-Semitic, but he said that the U.S should not oppose Hitler because Hitler had superior air power and that Nazism may even be superior to democracy as a form of government. Ironically, Hitler said he created the medal so that no pure German medal would be defiled by a foreigner and that it was a lot cheaper than the goldor silver cigarette cases that were formally given to foreigners.i
  12. In 1937, Carl Jung analyzed Hitler’s handwriting and wrote that it included “typical characteristics of a man with essentially feminine instinct.”e

Hitler, for “better or worse,” was the most influential man in 1938

  1. Hitler was Time Magazine’s Man of the Year in 1938.e
  2. Hitler reportedly had a sweet tooth. He ate up to two pounds ofchocolateper day.g
  3. Hitler plotted to kill Sir Winston Churchill with exploding chocolate. Hitler’s bomb makers covered explosive devices with a thin layer of dark chocolate and wrapped it in black and gold paper. British agents foiled the plot.c
  4. Hitler’s personal dentist Johannes Blaschke (1881-1959) reported that Hitler had terribly bad breath, abscesses, and gum disease. Hitler dreaded going to the dentist to the point of it being a phobia.g
  5. Hitler’s favorite composer was Richard Wagner.i
  6. Hitler never learned to drive, though he spearheaded the development of the Volkswagen car.i
  7. Biographer August Kubizek reports that a teenage Hitler was obsessed with a young Jewish girl Stefanie Isak. He allegedly stalked her and fantasied about kidnapping and committing suicidewith her.i
  8. Hitler was not even born in Germany, though he became chancellor of the country. He was born in Austria.e
  9. Historians report that in 1944, Hitler’s private physician, Theodor Morell, began giving Hitler injections of testosterone, especially when Eva Braun was around. They also believe that before meeting Braun, Hitler sometimes had Morell inject an extract derived from the seminal vesicles and prostate glands of young bulls into his bloodstream.e
  10. Historians note that Hitler was terrified of getting cancer and had polyps removed from his vocal chords twice. He also had high blood pressure and chronic gastrointestinal cramps and took massive amounts of a drug to fight flatulence. Additionally, Hitler suffered from hepatitis, which was triggered by blockage around his gall bladder.f
  11. Historians have noted that Hitler’s private physician gave into Hitler’s every demand, which led to Hitler being addicted to pills. For example, Dr. Morell supplied him with the stimulant Pervitin, which is an ingredient in the drug crystal meth. Hitler also supplied his soldiers on the front with the drug. Incidentally, today Pervitin is also called “Hitler speed.”n
  12. Some historians believe that Hitler had Parkinson’s disease.f
  13. Hitler gave Nazi soldiers blow-up sex dolls to combat syphilis. The dolls were smaller than life sized and could easily fit into a soldiers backpack. They initially approached Hungarian actress Kathy von Nagy to serve as model for the dolls, but when she refused, they chose a blue-eyed blond version to hand out to the solders.h
  14. In 2010, parents who named two of their four children Adolf Hitler and Aryan Nation lost custody of all four kids. The New Jersey appeals court ruled that putting children into state care had nothing to do with their names, but that there was sufficient evidence of abuse or neglect and prior domestic violence to seize the children.l
  15. Both Hitler’s father and mother were Catholic, though his father was religiously skeptic. According to Goebbels, Hitler was “deeply religions but entirely anti-Christian.” Hitler believed that the religions of the Japanese and the Muslims as superior to Christianity because Christianity was too “meek” and “flabby.”e
  16. Some historians believe Hitler had a son with a French teenager while serving as a soldier during WWI. Hitler is said to have had an affair with a woman named Charlotte Lobjoie, age 16, in June 1917. Their son Jean-Marie Loret died in 1985 at the age of 67. He never met his father, but he did fight the Nazis during WWII.a
  17. Hitler’s private dentist had more than 110 pounds of dental gold taken from Jewish concentration victims in his possession. It is unknown whether he used them in Hitler’s teeth.g
  18. Allied solders would sometimes sing a song that began “Hitler, he has only one ball . . . .” Since then, hundreds of pages have been written speculating about his genitals. But the debate has not been conclusive.e
  19. Hitler bragged to his generals that he could hold the salute longer than any of his subordinates. Contemporary legend attributed this to a collapsible spring support under his jacket sleeve.e
  20. Hitler’s regime is often called the Third Reich, or Third Empire. Hitler’s Propaganda Minster Goebbels heavily promoted this terminology. The first Reich was the Holy Roman Empire of the Middle Ages; the second was the one established by Bismarck.i

The swastika is an ancient symbol meaning “good luck”

  1. During his childhood, Hitler and his family lived near a Benedictine monastery, which included in its coat of arms a large swastika. In fact, the swastika has been used for thousands of years, dating to the Bronze Age. It has been seen around the world from India to Scandinavia. For example, the British National War Savings Committee used the swastika as an emblem in WWI.  The Boy Scouts also used the swastika as an emblem. Additionally, the Native American basketball team in 1909 featured the swastika on their basketball uniforms. The term “swastika” comes from the Sanskrit su“good” + asti “to be,” which means “good luck.”i
  2. When he turned 50 on April 20, 1939, Hitler told his generals that he wanted to fight a war soon, while he was still strong. Less than five months later, on September 1, he invaded Poland and WWII began. FDR was 57, and Churchill was 65.i
  3. Hitler once ordered a team of phrenologists to take measurements of his skull. They concluded that his skull was “just like Napoleon’s” and they had seen “nothing like it since Frederick the Great.” Ironically, when he was on trial earlier in life for attempting to seize the government, a professor of something called “racial hygiene” reported that Hitler’s features demonstrated “bad race, mongrel, low receding forehead, ugly nose, broad cheekbones, small eyes, and dark hair.”i
  4. Hitler weighed about 155 pounds and stood just less than 5′ 10″ tall. His weight is just an estimate because he refused to undress even for medical examinations.e



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