Hitler’s Bizarre Sex Life? February 3, 2013Posted by Beachcombing in : Contemporary , trackback
Hitler’s sex life has spawned thousands of pages of discussion and speculation. Indeed, there are whole books given over to the subject, many chapters and countless paragraphs. Hell, there are even schools of thought: Hitler the copromaniac, Hitler the homosexual, Hitler the heterosexual… All compete to give an insight into Hitler’s anger and his surreal nationalism (which coupled ended in genocide and a world war). And even if sex can’t explain his murderous take on reality, perhaps understanding what made him tick, sexually-speaking, will fill in some more blanks of that apparently empty, fridge-like place that passed for his personality.
The first point to make is that all the allegations of, let’s call them, ‘sexual eccentricities’ come from hostiles: individuals who had reasons for speaking badly of Hitler. (God knows there were enough of them). This is not to say that what they said was not true. Only that their allegations would need to be confirmed from a second and preferably a third source and that they have not been. For example, the claim that Hitler defecated on his niece (Geli Raubel) came from Otto Strasser, a dissenting Nazis who was driven out of the country. The claim that Hitler had had a homosexual affair in the trenches comes from Hands Mend, a comrade from the Great War who died in a Nazi prison.
With feather-brained Eva Braun (pictured), Hitler’s lover from about 1932, the evidence is, on the other hand, really quite good. The two slept apart and Hitler’s butler helpfully noted, naturally after the war, that he had never, despite careful examination, seen any evidence of sexual relations between the two in their bed linen. (Why look?!) But there are also hints that Hitler did have sex with Eva Braun. She seems at one point to have described their love-making to her friends and Hitler was given a medicine that acted (or that was supposed to act) as a sex stimulant. Perhaps the sensible conclusion is that this was a relationship that was not primarily sexual, but that included sex. Certainly, to read contemporary accounts (e.g. Speer) it is clear that no sparks were flying as E&A met in the middle of a crowded room.
Many highly-sexed men and women, of course, have had partners who are not. Successful relationships are not necessarily founded on sex. But this low intensity passion seems to repeat itself in Hitler’s other affairs. For a start, there were not many of them, despite the fact Hitler proved attractive, in some cases magnetic towards women: unbelievable as this might seem to anyone who has ever seen his spittle fly on a news reel. Historians know of perhaps eight lovers: but half of these are doubtful. There are also reports of Hitler finding it difficult to kiss or make love. Mimi Reiter, for example, a young girlfriend describes how Hitler clenched his fists while he tried to kiss her: ‘he didn’t know what to do’. Later in their relationship though everything seems to have gone much more smoothly, at least on the sexual plane. Other aspects of that relationship were less happy. After a bit of emotional-deprivation Adolf-style, poor Mimi tried to hang herself. As a horrific aside: of the eight women mentioned above four tried or succeeded in killing themselves; Eva Braun had two attempted and one successful suicide while with Hitler.
The answer to the conundrum of Hitler’s sexuality is probably the most banal of all. Hitler did belong to a sexual minority, one of the most obscure of all, the asexual: 1.5% of the male population according to Kinsey. Hitler doubtless wanted company. He had an aesthetic sense that this or that woman was attractive. He certainly wanted to be adored. But he doesn’t seem to have been particularly concerned about sex with anyone: man, woman or animal. His frequent references to how he could not marry or have children or even really love because of his continent-destroying ‘mission’ were in some sense true. But his mission grew out of his sad little, cold-fish personality. Asexuality has sometimes been associated with extreme ambition: one of Churchill’s biographers puts the cigar-chomper in the same club. Conversely, we might wonder that if Hitler had had some passionate romps in a Bavarian hay field at an impressionable age, whether Europe would not be a much happier place today. Any other keys to Hitler’s sex life: drbeachcombing AT yahoo DOT com
9 Feb 2013: First a complaint. Ed writes in: Perhaps you didn’t mean it this way, but your post on Hitler’s sex life seems pretty cruel to asexuals. It sounds as if you’re describing his supposed asexuality as having a “sad little, cold-fish personality” and even suggesting it (that is, his asexuality, exemplified by, or causing, his lack of Bavarian hay-field romps) was responsible for his being, well, Hitler. That really doesn’t seem fair to asexuals.’ This was certainly not my intention though I agree that given how I wrote the post this conclusion is a fair one. For me Churchill (for all his faults) had a warm, humane personality and was very likely asexual. He is the proof that asexuality does not go hand in hand with cruelty. My comment about the romps in 1910s Bavaria meanwhile were really just part of that old game: if we could change something about Hitler, just thrown one little change into his works at an early age, perhaps everything would have turned out differently. I can assure Ed then that I did not mean to put asexuals in the doghouse: though unfortunately I can see why he came to that conclusion. Apologies, Ed, for that lack of clarity. The great Mike Dash writes in giving us permission to quote from an article of his on the question of Hitler having one testicle or a deformed penis: The truth is that almost no-one who survived the war could say for certain what Hitler’s genitals looked like. The dictator was pathologically reluctant to let even his own personal doctors examine him intimately – in fact this reluctance is the main reason many people suspect he must have had some sort of deformity. According to David Irving, the controversial right-wing historian and author of The Secret Diaries of Hitler’s Doctor (London: Grafton Books, 1990), Hitler’s principal doctor, Theo Morrell, conducted many examinations of the rest of the Nazi warlord’s body (reporting he had no hair on his chest or back, had poor teeth and was bothered by a furred tongue), but was never allowed to go ‘further south’. On one occasion, when Hitler was asked to consent to an enema to relieve the symptoms of hepatitis, the Fuhrer refused to let his doctor slip a tube up his arse, and retired to a locked toilet to try to administer it himself. If Hitler did have some sort of deformity, though, it may not have made him incapable of getting it up. Most Nazis in Hitler’s inner circle believed he did have sex with Eva Braun, though only very occasionally (the couple generally slept in separate beds). However, another Nazi doctor, Professor Doktor Hanskarl von Hasselbach, testified in 1951: ‘Hitler had an extreme disinclination to let people see his body. Even I never saw him completely unclothed, let alone checked him over in that state.’ Hasselbach went on to confirm that even members of the Nazi hierarchy suspected their Fuhrer’s motives for this excessive modesty, but all he could offer was: ‘Probably his former manservant Emil Maurice could give some information as to whether his sex organs were deformed; he dropped hints when we were in captivity.’ Borky writes in with this thought: His early female depictions suggest to me a certain schoolboyish fascination with tastefully sized non-Hindenburgesque dimensioned melons but no one ever accused him of being cunt struck. He also seems to’ve suffered from the same hang up a lot of ‘spiritually minded’ people have the less sex you have the more holy you become as well as the Gandhiesque idea penetration especially accompanied by ejaculation confers potency on the woman withholding confers her power on him. Finally Mary-of-the-Homeland writes in: We’ll never know for sure will we. Then there’s Hitler the syphylitic very convincingly argued in _Pox: Genius, Madness, and the Mysteries of Syphylis_ by Deborah Hayden. Ms. Hayden draws from AH’s autobiography ‘my struggle’ numerous expressions of disgust with sex and an obsession with -syphylis!’ Thanks Ed (for his patience), Mary, Mike and Borky!!!