The Propagander ™ FAQ
Was Hitler Gay?
[T]he circumstantial evidence Machtan offers is just that--circumstantial. And the hard evidence seems far less reliable than he would have us believe . . . . But the biggest problem with Machtan's book ... [is] his mode of argumentation. He accepts what fits his thesis and rejects what doesn't. One feels, at times, that one is reading an internal FBI report from the J. Edgar Hoover era rather than an evenhanded work of scholarship in which the author is ready to be led by the facts. To interpret evidence his way, Machtan employs innuendo and insinuation. He asks rhetorical questions designed to lead the reader to answer them in a manner that supports his argument, even when alternative explanations are at least as plausible. He introduces possibilities that are then assumed to be probabilities and, indeed, certitudes . . . . In short, he has written a tendentious book that is more a brief for the prosecution than a work of balanced history.Paul Schindler, LGNY (The Newspaper for Lesbian & Gay New York):
Right from the start the book is explicitly argumentative, and Machtan often resorts to tortured twists in buffering his case. When evidence is missing, it is because Hitler destroyed it. When evidence of Hitler's homophobia is addressed, we learn that Hitler was simply protesting too much. Sweeping conclusions about Hitler's personal life and personal actions are based on the argument that nothing else could explain the fact pattern, even when the data is sketchy at best . . . .
The discussions of [Hitler's youthful relationships with two men] are particularly troubling. Throughout, Machtan emphasizes that Hitler lived in men's hotels (which early homosexual advocate Magnus Hirschfeld identified as hotbeds of homosexual activity), that all three men were close to their mothers, and that all were devotees of Wagner. The author's argument that all of these characteristics of homosexual life were identified in Hirschfeld's writings does not alter the fact that they are slender stereotypes on which to draw broad conclusions. Machtan's book makes abundantly clear what has been pretty much a given in Hitler historiography--that the man who led Germany into heinous crimes led a puzzling and undoubtedly dysfunctional personal life. But, he comes nowhere close to demonstrating that Hitler was homosexual.
In 1949, Eugen Dollman wrote that one evening in 1923, after Hitler's failed Beer Hall Putsch, Gen. Otto von Lossow, assembled a few guests privately after dinner and read some juicy tidbits from a police dossier on Hitler. Dollman wrote that it contained various reports by starving teenage boys who, enticed by money, accompanied Hitler back to his apartment and stayed the night. His recollections were quite precise. When Hitler came to power, the dossier was confiscated destroyed, but von Lossow hinted that he'd sent copies somewhere overseas. If so, they have never materialized.
So what we have is a third-hand account based on documents Dollman apparently didn't see (they were read aloud) and that no longer exist. What's more, he wrote his account 26 years after the fact, and it's a wonder that he remembered the exact names and ages of the boys in question. Machtan's theory is intriguing, to be sure, and he provides a great many tantalizing facts. But even if he were on to something, the evidence he provides--all of it either circumstantial or third-hand--is far from the sort of documentation that would be needed to make the case persuasively. Then, too, there is all the counter-evidence that Hitler was in fact a confirmed heterosexual who died in the arms of Eva Braun.
Suggestions that Hitler can by explained by sexual aberration serve to distance. Distance Hitler from "normality," thereby distancing "normal" human nature from implication in Hitler's crimes. He was "not like us" in any way. Sexual theories imply there is no Hitler potential in "normal" people, only in "the abnormal type," whether it involves heterosexual or homosexual practices condemned by convention. And yet millions of conventionally normal people became Hitler's partners in genocide. It's far more disturbing to envision a Hitler normal in any respect than some "abnormal" Other.Conclusion: There is not one single piece of documented evidence to support the contention that Adolf Hitler was homosexual. Those who persist in propagating this fantasy should be ignored.
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