We don’t need to tell you that Hitler was evil or that he was the architect of millions upon millions of innocent deaths. You know that already.
But on the 70th anniversary of Hitler’s death, here are a few things about the man that you may not know.
He may have been a regular user of crystal meth
According to a 47-page wartime dossier compiled by American intelligence, Hitler took over 74 different medications, including methamphetamine, which he was prescribed for ‘alertness’. The dossier claims that Hitler took the drug before a meeting with Mussolini in 1943 and ranted for two hours without stopping.
He suffered from chronic flatulence
Historians are unanimous in agreeing that Hitler had uncontrollable flatulence. Since childhood, he suffered from stomach cramps, constipation and diarrhoea. Architect Albert Speer said that the Fuhrer would often leap to his feet during dinner and disappear to his room.
He loved Disney
It may not fit in with his image as a murderous dictator, but Adolf Hitler loved Disney. He reportedly adored Snow White most of all. This may not actually be that bizarre. Many Disney films of the period can trace their origins to German folk tales. Take a look at Bavaria’s Neuschwanstein Castle and Sleeping Beauty’s Castle at Disneyland to see the similarities.
He banned smoking and had comprehensive animal protection laws
Nazi scientists were the first people to notice a link between smoking and lung cancer. A strong anti-tobacco campaign led to banning smoking on trams, buses and city trains, promoting health education, organising medical lectures for soldiers and raising tobacco tax. And despite his complete disregard for human life, he loved animals. He was a vegetarian and passed laws that banned animal cruelty and placed more stringent restrictions on animal testing.
In 1913, Hitler, Stalin, Trotsky, Tito and Freud all lived within a few miles of each other in Vienna
Staling was writing Marxism and the National Question while staying in Vienna, often meeting Leon Trotsky, who was launching the radical newspaper Pravda. Hitler was there from 1908 to 1913 and struggling to make a living as a painter, while Josip Broz – later Yugoslav leader Marshal Tito – was working as a metalworker. Sigmund Freud had moved to Vienna as a child in 1860, and left the city in 1938 when the Nazis annexed Austria.
Hitler practiced his speeches by taking photos of himself making speeches
Photographer Heinrich Hoffman was ordered by the image-obsessed Hitler to picture him miming out his speeches to see how he looked. The photos were supposed to be destroyed but Hoffman kept hold of them and published them in his memoir.
Hitler didn’t always wear a toothbrush moustache
Hitler had a bushy handlebar moustache until the outbreak of World War One, when he was instructed to clip it so it would fit more snugly under a gas mask. Historians used this to prove that a famous photo of him celebrating the outbreak of war in Munich was faked.
Hitler’s father changed his name from Schicklgruber
Hitler’s father, Alois, was born Schicklgruber in 1837. He changed his name aged 39 to Hitler, a variant on his stepfather’s surname, Hiedler.