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18 Strange and Startling Facts About Hitler

Updated October 1, 2019 1.4m views18 items

Adolf Hitler is one of the most studied and written-about figures in history. But that doesn't mean new facts aren't constantly being found out about him. In February 2016, a book was released that all but confirmed the long-standing rumors that he suffered from a condition that gave him an abnormally small penis (aka micropenis), along with only having one testicle.

The Hitler biography is full of strange anecdotes and historical oddities, especially about his childhood. Far from making the monstrous dictator sympathetic, they somehow make his evil even more apparent. He was from a huge mess of a family, with an elderly father who had uncertain parentage. He was impossibly vain and paranoid about his image and the sound of his voice. He was both a teetotaler and a drug addict. He had a taste for young women, yet was totally uninterested in sex. And he was a tax cheat, skimming money from the Nazi party to buy luxury goods unavailable to most Germans.

Here are some truly bizarre Adolf Hitler facts - not the fascist dictator as much as the person, in all of his paranoia and loathing.
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  • Four of His Lovers Attempted or Committed Suicide

    Speculation about Hitler's sex life has been rampant ever since his rise to power. As far back as 1943, the US commissioned a study by the forerunner to the CIA that used information from an anti-Nazi politician to label him as impotent, possibly gay, and being sexually aroused by human feces.

    While much of this was probably exaggerated or misinformation, it's true that he had a profound, often shattering effect on the women in his life. As many as four women he was known or thought to be sexually involved with tried to kill themselves. His half-niece Geli Rabual committed suicide in 1931 at the age of 23. His girlfriend and wife on the last day of his life, Eva Braun, killed herself alongside Hitler in 1945. Two other women linked to Hitler, Maria Reiter and British socialite Unity Mitford, survived suicide attempts that might have been related to Hitler.
  • Hitler Was a Late Riser, a Drug Addict, and a Smug Vegetarian

    Photo: via youtube

    As Führer, Hitler had a veritable book of insecurities and maladies. He was paranoid about food, his image, and the sound of his voice. He disdained modern art, cosmetics, animal products, and became a teetotaler - often smugly belittling those around him who smoked, drank, or ate meat. At the same time, he was likely addicted to amphetamines to stay awake and to pain meds for his stomach issues. In fact, he might have been on as many as 90 medications for everything from IBS to Parkinson's disease. It's thought that he took a huge hit of methamphetamine before delivering a two hour rant to Mussolini, and was strung out during his last days in Berlin.

    One of his most infuriating habits was his penchant for sleeping late and exhibiting thundering anger when awoken early. He often slept as late as noon, and this habit came back to haunt him during the D-Day invasion. Allied units were making headway on the beaches of Normandy, and while German armored divisions were standing by to counter-attack, they required approval from Hitler personally. Nobody dared wake him, so the tanks sat idling.
  • Hitler Wasn't Just a Failed Artist, He Was Also a Failed Architect

    Hitler's failed attempts at a career in art are well documented. He was rejected by the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna twice, produced a variety of derivative sketches and paintings, and likely would have created nothing of note had history not taken his life in another direction. But Hitler's first artistic love was architecture, which is what he intended to study in Vienna. A such, he had no qualms about modifying the look of buildings in pictures he painted.

    His affections trended toward ugly, grandiose, massive structures modeled after ancient Rome. Once Führer, he found a like-minded architect in Albert Speer, and tasked him with carrying out his grand visions for a monstrous German capitol featuring a great hall so cavernous that the water vapor in the breath of those inside would have formed rain clouds.
  • He Skimmed Donations to the Nazi Party to Buy Nice Stuff

    While Germany's economy was wrecked by the Great Depression and hyperinflation, the Nazi Party raked in massive donations from prominent German industrialists. Rather than going to support the Party in general, much of this money was siphoned off by Hitler himself. He used it to pay for extravagant personal projects, such as his famed retreats the Berghof and the Eagle's Nest. He also used party slush funds for luxury cars, expensive wines, and shopping sprees.