Posts Tagged ‘Adolf’

Adolf Hitler really did have only one ball, according to new medical report

December 23rd, 2015

• Spanish dictator Franco ‘only had one testicle’

On November 12, 1923, Hitler had to undergo the indignity of a medical examination on his arrival at Landsberg prison.

Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, left, with his second-in-command Hermann Göring

The records of that examination were long thought lost, until they surfaced at an auction in 2010.

They were promptly confiscated by the Bavarian government and have only now been properly studied.

Dr Josef Steiner Brin, the prison’s medical officer’s notes record “Adolf Hitler, artist, recently writer” as “healthy and strong” but suffering from “right-side cryptorchidism”.

• Adolf Hitler took ‘primitive Viagra’ to have sex with Eva Braun, claims new book

Cryptorchidism is when the testicle fails to descend properly.

“The testicle was probably stunted,” Prof Fleischman said.

The new findings appear to contradict claims that Hitler lost a testicle to a shrapnel injury in the First World War.

In an account that was only discovered in 2008, Franciszek Pawlar, a Polish priest and amateur historian, claimed a German army medic who treated Hitler after the incident told him about the injury.

They also appear to contradict the account of Hitler’s childhood doctor, Eduard Bloch, who told American interrogators in 1943 the Fuhrer’s genitals were “completely normal”.

In very rare cases, cryptorchidism can develop later in life.

A practising Jew, Dr Bloch stayed in Austria under Hitler’s personal protection until 1940, when he emigrated to the US.

The Soviet autopsy carried out on Hitler’s remains in the Fuhrerbunker after the fall of Berlin found that one testicle was completely missing — although, curiously, it recorded the left testicle as absent.

If Hitler did have an undescended testicle, it could explain why he had no children, as it is often linked to reduced fertility.

It would not necessarily have affected the Fuhrer’s sex life, as there is not generally a link to impotence.

The popular song emerged in 1939 and is thought to have been written by a publicist for the British Council, which was tasked with helping build propaganda that would damage the Nazis.

The commonly-recalled version is an adaptation of the original, which ran: “Göring has only got one ball, Hitler’s [are] so very small, Himmler’s so very similar, And Goebbels has no balls at all.”


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Adolf, the dog that looks like Hitler

March 4th, 2015


Hairdresser Claire Walsh is looking for a new home for Adolf (Wales News Service)

Mrs Walsh, from Gorseinon, Swansea, added: “We have called him Adolf – although, obviously, it is just tongue-in-cheek.

“We don’t have any time for what Hitler stands for, but we can see there is a resemblance.”

The family are now looking for new homes for Adolf and his siblings – although Claire and husband Niall’s son Zak, 11, has already grown attached to the puppy.

“Zak loves him,” said Mrs Walsh. “He is the cheekiest in the litter, and is full of character. One of the pubs has already gone, but we are still looking to find homes for the others.

“I bred the puppies myself, and have been looking to sell them.”


The house in Port Tenant, Swansea, that looks like Hitler (Athena)

The dog lives just four miles from a house that caused an intenet sensation for looking like Hitler.

The end property on a terrace in Port Tennant went viral after comedian Jimmy Carr retweeted a photo of the building.

The lintel above the door echoes the toothbrush moustache of the Nazi dictator and the black sloping roof resembles his hair.


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The man who shot Adolf Eichmann

January 18th, 2015

Fruchtman himself is now 88 and not strong enough to take part in an interview. But in an email during research for the programme he told Bowen he had been motivated by reading the philosopher George Santayana.

“I had been warned by one of my professors at Columbia University not to have unattainable expectations,” he wrote. “He said it was impossible for one ordinary person to affect the course of history, even in a minor way. But, fortunately, in my philosophy courses, I also heard [the Santayana saying], ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it’, and this dominated my thinking.”

Difficult as it might be for us to imagine today, in 1961 the world had still not faced up to the sheer scale of the Holocaust. Obviously, since the original newsreel footage of the death camps had played in cinemas in 1945, everyone was perfectly aware of what had happened. There was a sense, though, even in some communities in Israel, that people wanted to shut it out.

Milton Fruchtman (left), and Martin Freeman who plays the US producer in a new drama

Added to this, the Cold War had been freezing over; the authorities of the West were now focusing on their new enemies on the other side of the Iron Curtain.

Fruchtman, a father of two young children, had been following closely the news that Eichmann had been tracked down to Buenos Aires and snatched by Mossad agents, then ingeniously smuggled out of the country in an El Al steward’s uniform. And he burned with a personal zeal to tell the world about Eichmann’s horrific crimes.

He also wanted to warn the world that the Nazi evil had not been wholly extinguished. In 1959 he had been in Munich, making a documentary about neo-Nazis for American TV. One evening, he accepted an invitation to a smart brasserie where Leni Riefenstahl’s Nazi propaganda vehicle The Triumph of the Will was being screened. To Fruchtman’s indescribable horror, whenever Hitler’s image flickered up, there were cries around him in the audience of “Sieg Heil!”

He also visited a local fencing club. Once inside, he saw that portraits of Hitler and various Nazi leaders had been hung within. Club members clicked their heels to them.

So, as Eichmann sat in an Israeli jail, writing thousands of pages of self-justifying notes and memoirs, Fruchtman approached the court and asked for permission to film the forthcoming court case.

The judges were not sure. Would not the television cameras be an intolerable intrusion? Would filming not lead to accusations that Israel was staging a show trial?

But, as the processes of legal technicality ground on, Fruchtman went straight to the top.

He had interviewed David Ben-Gurion on camera on a previous occasion. Ben-Gurion was profoundly suspicious of the medium of television, regarding it as corrupting.

But Fruchtman persuaded him that the trial needed to be recorded and broadcast as widely as possible, not just to show a blood-soaked criminal being brought to justice – Eichmann was hanged the following year in 1962 – but also for the new embattled state of Israel to grab the world by the neck and force it to really listen to the horrors inflicted on Europe’s Jews.

And no one in Israel save him and his director, Leo Hurwitz, knew how to do it.

“In Israel they only knew how to shoot with film, and I wanted to use video,” he told Israeli newspaper Haaretz in 2011. “The light in the courtroom was insufficient for film. Aside from this, at a trial you must work with four cameras. There is a huge amount of raw footage. It was impossible for the Israeli studios, from both economic and technical standpoints.”

Fruchtman, who successfully resisted an attempt by the NBC network to wrest the rights away from him, allayed one of the fears of the judges by building holes into the walls of the courtroom. Cameras were then placed in these holes to ensure they were as unobtrusive as possible.

And when the trial broadcast, which featured on the nightly news bulletins in 37 countries (including the UK), finally began, it had an instantaneous impact.

More than 100 Holocaust survivors appeared in the witness box. Each gave their searing personal testimony: of cattle trucks, dark winter forests, degrading brutality, starvation, torture, the decaying stench of death ever-present.

It thereafter became accepted throughout the West that the Holocaust should be discussed, loudly, its victims properly remembered, not hushed away into the shadows through shame. West Germany became galvanised to track down other war criminal fugitives.

The broadcast also changed the way the world saw wickedness. Eichmann, the architect of death on a scale that is still almost impossible to absorb, did not look like a mass murderer. Fifty-five years old, with receding hair, thick horn-rim spectacles, suit and tie, he projected an air of stolid dullness, summarised by writer Hannah Arendt’s haunting description: “The banality of evil.”

Viewers were transfixed by Fruchtman’s black and white video images that zoomed in on the defendant. They observed him, standing behind bullet-proof glass, every twitch of his face, every rolling “r’” of his deep-voiced self-serving responses. It was the first time such a figure had been held up to such public microscopic inspection.

The trial, for which Fruchtman won a Peabody award for excellence in broadcasting, still chills today, and the BBC drama uses real footage.

Eichmann had, from the earliest years of Hitler’s regime, been in charge of the forced movement of Jews. At first, via intimidation and violence, Jews were encouraged to leave Germany, then Austria, their goods and money stolen from them as they went. Then the anti-Semitism intensified step by step to a more terrifying frenzy: the yellow stars, the ghettoes, then the death trains, of which Eichmann was in charge.

His implacable logistics created the timetables of slaughter, the transportation of Jews to death camps. He was there at the 1942 Wannsee conference in Berlin where “the final solution” was discussed. He was responsible, among many other atrocities, for sending 400,000 Hungarian Jews to their deaths.

After the war, Eichmann hid himself; at first in Austria, where his wife attempted via the courts to have him declared dead, and then, in 1947, across the Atlantic to Buenos Aires in Argentina, where he worked in a water supply company and called himself Ricardo Klement.

And then, a year after Eichmann’s capture, came the trial (or quasi-trial, since it was a foregone conclusion – he would hardly have skipped out of that courtroom a free man). Eichmann never denied, like some, that he was there close to the heart of the Nazi regime; but his defence of his actions, under the unblinking scrutiny of Fruchtman’s cameras, was couched in such a way to suggest that he was powerless before the workings of a mighty regime.

He described his original Nazi role as “emigration specialist”. “Everything was geared to the idea of emigration,” he said. “But constant difficulties were caused by various offices in a bureaucratic manner.”

He claimed that he had supported the idea of a Jewish state to be established in Madagascar. His wider claim was that manifold obstructions and complications, which he was powerless to remove or solve, somehow resulted in a chain effect that led via cattle truck to the death camps. He was only one cog in an inexorable machine; responsibility lay elsewhere.

“Where there is no responsibility,” he said in a later session, “there can be no blame and no guilt.”

But he was lying about his ideological blankness. The German historian Bettina Stangneth, in her recent book Eichmann Before Jerusalem, examined more evidence, deemed inadmissible in that Jerusalem court: tape-recordings from the Fifties when, in Buenos Aires, Eichmann had socialised with Nazi Willem Sassen.

The quality was fuzzy, but Stangneth transcribed them more clearly. What they revealed was the essential Eichmann.

“I have to tell you quite honestly,” he declared to his friend, “that if… we had killed 10.3?million, I would be satisfied and say good, we have destroyed an enemy… what’s good for my volk is. for me, a holy command and a holy war.’”

One of the (many) shocking aspects of the televised trial was that Eichmann, who was found guilty of 15 charges of crimes against the Jewish people and against humanity, could not even feign remorse. Yet in a sense, how could he? His hatred of the Jews was at the core of him. How could such a man ever be ‘“de?Nazified”?

Yet this is also one of the reasons the televised Eichmann trials still fascinate. They force us to confront the central mystery of evil. Not so much that it is “banal”, precisely, but that it can look and sound so reasonable, like us.

And is there any conceivable way that men such as Eichmann could ever find redemption? By asking us all to look at him squarely, as opposed to simply reading his words, or his self-edited diaries, the television cameras challenged viewers to look into darkness deeper than they had wanted to admit existed.

The Eichmann Show is on BBC Two on January 20 at 9pm


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Painting by Adolf Hitler expected to sell for £40,000

November 25th, 2014

Though Hitler’s paintings surface fairly regularly, Weidler said this 28×22 cm (11×8.5 inch) scene, unimaginatively called “The Old City Hall,” also includes the original bill of sale and a signed letter from Hitler’s adjutant, Albert Bormann, brother of Hitler’s private secretary Martin Bormann.

From the text of the undated Bormann letter, it appears the Nazi-era owner sent a photo of the painting to Hitler’s office asking about its provenance.

Bormann wrote back that it appears to be “one of the works of the Fuehrer.”

The starting price is 4,500 euros, and Weidler, whose auction house has sold several Hitlers over the past decade, said she expects it will go for 50,000 – but wouldn’t be surprised if sold for double that.

If it does, however, it will be because of the name in the corner alone, as its artistic value is fairly minimal, she added.

Another auctioneer, Anja Doebritz said it was legally legitimate to sell Hitler’s work but she wouldn’t do it.

“What to me is a shame is that money is being made with an affection for this regime. I personally would not do it but every auctioneer has to decide for himself.”


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Adolf Hitler’s house could become immigrants’ centre

May 14th, 2014

According to local press reports, she has rejected suggestions the house be made into an anti-Nazi memorial, and even refused the town authorities permission to put a plaque on the building, for fear it could provoke attacks from neo-Nazis or anti-fascists.

Instead, a small memorial stone on the street outside records the fact that this was Hitler’s birthplace.

Until two years ago, the building was used as a day centre for people with learning difficulties. The interior ministry carefully vets all prospective tenants to ensure it doesn’t become a neo-Nazi shrine, and the possibility of residential use was rejected in case it attracted Hitler admirers.

Now, after talks in Vienna dubbed the “Birthplace Summit” by Austrian newspapers, the interior ministry is optimistic it has found a solution acceptable to all parties – and one that seems a fitting response to Hitler’s racist policies.

Under the plan, after extensive renovation, the building would be used as a language school and integration centre for migrants.

Hitler spent the first three years of his life in the house. At the time, it was a modest guest-house where his parents rented rooms while his father was working as a minor customs official at the nearby border with Germany.

After his father was posted to Passau in Bavaria, the family moved away.

In 1938, after the Anschluss with Austria, huge crowds watched as Hitler returned to Braunau in triumph.

His private secretary, Martin Bormann, bought the house at 15 Salzburger Vorstadt for four times its market value, with the intention of turning it into a shrine.

In 1954, the former owner bought it back for a fraction of the price.


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Germany’s interest in Adolf Hitler at record levels

May 2nd, 2014

Another film dealt with Hitler’s decision to ban traditional Rhineland Catholic carnivals. Germany’s public ZDF Info channel was found to have screened 109 documentaries on Hitler this year alone.

Robert Bachem, its director said: “As history is one of our main fields of interest, it is not surprising that we run many programmes about National Socialism.”

Sociologists have attributed the rise of interest in Hitler and the Nazis to the fact that the majority of today’s Germans have had no experience of the Second World War, are less ashamed of the period than previous generations and more eager to learn about it.

They point out that most of today’s Germans had family experience of the war only through parents or grandparents.

In many German families, the Second World War remained a taboo subject for decades after 1945.

However, this aspect is now also under scrutiny. A rash of new books by German authors in their fifties and sixties have sought to lift the lid on their families’ dark past.

In several cases the authors have been shocked to discover that their parents were dedicated, and sometimes brutal, Nazis.


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German minister compares Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler

April 5th, 2014

The Russian foreign ministry summoned the German ambassador to complain on Thursday.

“We consider this kind of pseudo-historical excursion from the German minister to be a provocation,” the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement. “This analogy is a crude distortion of historical events and facts. An official occupying such a high placed position must give an account of his words,” the statement added.

Bernd Reixinger, the leader of Germany’s Left Party, demanded that Mr Schauble apologise to Russia for his “tasteless” remarks. Ralf Stegner, a senior Social Democrat MP described the finance minister’s comparison as “definitely not useful”.

Chancellor Merkel has said that the annexation of Crimea is in clear breach of international law. However, she has distanced herself from Mr Schauble’s comparison and insisted that it is an action which “stands for itself”.

Pro-Russian activists wave Russian flags during a rally in Donetsk, Crimea (AFP)

Mr Schauble told the German television channel ARD on Thursday: “I am not so stupid as to compare someone with Hitler.” He said his remarks had been quoted “in isolation” and out of context.

But in Russia that was cast as a “refusal to apologise”.

In March a Russian history professor lost his job after making direct comparisons between the Crimean annexation and Hitler’s take over of Austria in 1938.

Andrei Zubov, a professor at Moscow’s Institute of International Relations, wrote in an article in the Vedomosti business daily headlined “It’s Happened Before” that Russia could be on the brink of war and that “we must not behave the way Germans once behaved, based on the promises of Goebbels and Hitler”.

The university, which is formally part of the Russian foreign ministry, said Mr Zubov’s public comments about the Crimean affair were “harming the learning environment,” and he was fired for “knowingly and repeatedly” violating the institute’s charter and code of conduct.


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