The Propagander ™ FAQ

Was Hitler Gay?

Robert G. L. Waite, in The Psychopathic God: Adolf Hitler, is one of the first to take the "Hitler was homosexual" idea seriously. Waite's MO was to utilize any and all incidental facts to push whatever spurious thesis he was setting out to 'prove,' regardless of whether the contention had any actual merit. The Psychopathic God is rife with ridiculous flights of fancy and is a book to be avoided. It is a worthless volume and would be better placed in the fantasy-fiction section of the library than in the history section.

The Hidden Hitler (published in Germany as Hitlers Geheimnis. Das Doppelleben eines Diktators--Hitler's Secret: The Double Life of a Dictator), by German-Jewish professor and historian Dr. Lothar Machtan, takes up where Waite leaves off. The fact is that there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever provided to support the idea, other than the purely circumstantial. There is not one shred of documentation that is not third-hand, and no physical evidence of any kind. The entire exercise is similar to any number of books that purport to 'prove' the extraterrestrial origins of UFO's without providing any physical evidence to support the contention. Sure, it is conceivable that such is the case, and it would explain a number of phenomenon if true, but this in itself is not enough to cause one to embrace the idea. One simply cannot prove anything without proof, no matter how elegant the proposed solution may seem to be. Whether it is UFO's, or Hitler's sexual preferences, proof is still required. Machtan provides no proof, and thus proves nothing.

The 'evidence' he points to consists of second or third-hand accounts by people who claim to have actually seen such evidence when it existed, but it has all since disappeared. This evidence allegedly includes police reports, affidavits, and even a porno film (perish the thought!) starring a young Hitler. The author claims that Hitler's agents destroyed this substantial body of evidence before it could fall into 'the wrong hands.'

While it is a fact that Hitler did his best to keep his personal history under wraps, the motivation does not necessarily include hiding evidence of Hitler's homosexuality. In
Mein Kampf, Hitler reinvented himself, playing fast and loose with the facts to make his 'rags-to-riches' history as compelling as possible. This included stating that his family was poor and struggling, when in fact they were prosperous and upper middle-class, and ignoring unpleasant facts, such as his Aunt Johanna's hunchback, the Schicklgruber Name-change, the unknown paternal progenitor, his half-brother's police record, etc.. (See: Biographical Timeline of the Infamous Adolf Hitler.)

It is documented that Hitler did his best to keep these facts from the German electorate. But, seeing as all sources were available to researchers without restriction until January of 1933 in the case of his Munich days, and until the Anschluss in the case of Austria, it is apparent that this attempted cover-up was decidedly unsuccessful. Conrad Heiden and a plethora of his peers tore apart every available archive seeking every possible fact about Hitler long before he acquired the power to stop them. Had there been any evidence that Hitler was homosexual, it would have turned up then, and since all those researchers were journalists working for newspapers opposed to Hitler, such evidence would have immediately seen print. In the event, all of the dirt that was fit to print was indeed printed.

Why is this considered so important to some? Is this whole line of inquiry just another variation of the "Hitler was not 'normal,' and thus his crimes cannot be laid on the doorstep of us 'normal' fellows" theory (leaving aside whether or not homosexuality can indeed be considered beyond the norm)? The idea that there was something wrong with Hitler that caused him to perpetrate his crimes is prevalent in the literature, whether it is an implication that he was insane, possessed, or otherwise abnormal. All of these popular explanations employ circular logic and spurious assumptions to make their points, and I, for one, remain unconvinced by any of them.

Here are a few excerpts from various reviews of The Hidden Hitler:

Walter Reich, The New York Times Book Review:

[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.

David Williams, editor of The Letter, a GLBT newspaper published in Louisville, Kentucky:

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.

This last excerpt is by the foremost authority on Hitler explanation (Explaining Hitler is highly recommended):

From Explaining Hitler: The Search for the Origins of His Evil by Ron Rosenbaum:

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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