Was Hitler mentally ill? There is a great deal of debate on whether Adolf Hitler might have been mentally ill. Several books were written on this issue and one of them, The Medical Casebook of Adolf Hitler by Leonard L. Heston, MD, and Renate Heston, RN, suggested that Hitler did not suffer from bipolar, schizophrenic, paranoid schizophrenic or Parkinson’s disease. He was diagnosed as a chronic addict to amphetamine and barbiturate. The authors offered numerous clues to this addiction. Hilter can be seen moving his hand back and forth on his upper legs in a way consistent with amphetamine use in 1936 Olympic Games video1.
The injections were widely believed to be multi-vitamins specially formulated for the Fuhrer, ceased on occasion, throwing Hitler into severe depression, a common symptom among newly abstinent amphetamine or cocaine addicts2. He engaged in all night monologues with endless repetition of stories, along with disorganized thinking and confused syntax, which one would not expect from a supreme orator like Hitler3. The authors attributed his increased in volatile mood swings and paranoia to the side effects of amphetamine use.
According to this book, Hitler took barbiturates every night during World War II to help offset the effect of amphetamines to allow him to sleep. As his use progressed, he started to experience tremors, often mistaken as Parkinson’s disease. The authors argued that heavy amphetamine use mimics Parkinson’s disease and they strongly believe that Hitler was not mentally ill, but was just a chronic addict who suffered the adverse effect of personality, thinking, perception and behavioural changes due to the potent mixture of narcotics used. Dr.
Tom Hutton, an American neurologist, presented that the effect of Parkinson’s disease on Hitler’s brain may have contributed to his slower movements and reactions. He said 40% of Parkinson’s disease sufferers lose decision making functions and become mentally inflexible4. Even though Hitler tried to conceal his deteriorating health, it was apparent that he exhibited cognitive deficits of such nature towards the end of World War II. Hitler’s chief of staff, Colonel-General Heinz Guderian, referred to Hitler’s mental state in 1945 by saying: “He had lost his mental flexibility and imagination”5. On the other hand, the incidence of chizophrenia is substantially higher in certain regions such as the Black Caribbean, Bavaria and Austria6. In Germany, there is also a historically greater prevalence of incestuous relationships, though they are not widely publicized7. In 1885, Hitler’s father, Alois Hitler, married Karla Polzl, the granddaughter of his uncle8. Technically, Alois was marrying his own niece9. Another example of incestuous relationship in the history of this family is between Adolf Hitler and his niece, Geli Raubal9. A file containing results of three major Gestapo investigations into Hitler’s family background was discovered in the Nazi archives9.
The dossier claims that Hitler had several mentally ill cousins. Josef Veit had children with serious mental problems; a son committed suicide, a daughter, Aloisia Veit, was sent to the gas chambers under the “euthanasia program” to eliminate the mentally ill, another daughter was semi retarded and a third daughter was described as “feeble minded” 10. They were all related to Hitler through his father’s side of the family. In addition, another closely guarded secret was Hitler’s own sister, Paula. She was an imbecile and lived incognito for years11. With so much at stake, Hitler’s secrecy about his own family history was legendary.
More than six decades after his death, we are still searching for the true family history of Hitler. In conclusion, there is no medical proof that Hitler was ever mentally ill. There is preponderance of circumstantial evidence that he may have been mentally ill by association to the medical history that ran in his family. Considering the demand, stress, anxiety as the Fuhrer and the numerous attempts made on his life, I am not surprise he had developed extensive paranoia or distrust in his followers. 1 Thorburn Addiction Report, “Adolf Hitler, amphetamine addict,” Movie & Book Reviews, http://www. preventragedy. om/worldpress/? p=55 (accessed June 29, 2011). 2 Ibid. 3 Ibid. 4 Pamela Fayerman, “Hitler’s defeat after Allied invasion attributed to Parkinson’s disease,” The Vancouver Sun, http://www. fpp. co. uk/Hitler/docs/Parkinsonism/VancouverSun170599. html (accessed June 29, 2011). 5 Ibid. 6 David Irving, “Hitler’s mentally ill cousin “killed in Nazi gas chamber”,” Movie & Book Reviews, http://www. fpp. co. uk/Hitler/docs/medical/Hitlers_cousin_mad. html (accessed June 29, 2011). 7 Ibid. 8 HistoryPlace. com, “Adolf Hitler is Born,” http://www. historyplace. com/worldwar2/riseofhitler/born. htm (accessed June 29, 2011). ZDF-Enterprise. de, “The Hitler family – In the Shadow of the Dictator, Hitler’s Family,” http://www. zdf-enterprises. de/en/int-catalogue/zdfefactual/history-biographies/the-hitler-family-in-the-shadow-of-the-dictator (accessed June 29, 2011). 10 Dan Roberts, “A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts,” University of Richmond, http://classroomclips. org/video/3287 (accessed June 29, 2011). 11 Ibid. Bibliography Dan Roberts, “A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts. ” University of Richmond, http://classroomclips. org/video/3287 (accessed June 29, 2011). David Irving. “Hitler’s mentally ill cousin “killed in Nazi gas chamber”. Movie & Book Reviews, http://www. fpp. co. uk/Hitler/docs/medical/Hitlers_cousin_mad. html (accessed June 29, 2011). HistoryPlace. com. “Adolf Hitler is Born. ” http://www. historyplace. com/worldwar2/riseofhitler/born. htm (accessed June 29, 2011). Thorburn Addiction Report. “Adolf Hitler, amphetamine addict. ” Movie & Book Reviews, http://www. preventragedy. com/worldpress/? p=55 (accessed June 29, 2011). Pamela Fayerman. “Hitler’s defeat after Allied invasion attributed to Parkinson’s disease. ” The Vancouver Sun, http://www. fpp. co. uk/Hitler/docs/Parkinsonism/VancouverSun170599. html