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on 25 May 2016
The author really, really wants his hypothesis that Hitler was an active, but closeted homosexual to be true. He's searched widely for evidence, but he doesn't seem to have anything solid. He does seem to have Hitler being close friends with a couple of homosexuals, but he doesn't have any evidence for sexual activity.

What he does have is plausible as support for another hypothesis: that Hitler's sexual activity was fairly limited - he wasn't a normal person - and as an arch-exploiter, he was willing to flirt with homosexuals if he thought they could be of use to him. In his early days in politics, that seems to have been the case but once he started to become famous, even before the seizure of power, he dropped them. That makes sense on several levels: they were no more use to him, and the idea that he had contact with them would undermine his image as a man dedicated to Germany, a country where homosexuality was illegal.

One is left wondering why Machtan is so dedicated to his cause. He explains that post-war Germany's shame would have been greater had it fallen under the spell of a murderous homosexual dictator than a heterosexual or asexual one, which may well be true. But why does that matter so much to him now?

Sublimated prejudice, or a personal obsession, it doesn't really matter. This book just isn't significant. It's simply another case of projection of modern-day issues into the past.
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on 24 September 2011
It will be years before we know the final secrets behind Hitler and what drove his intense political ambition and anti-semitism, but this book makes a valuable contribution that, due to the modesty and lack of knowledge amongst historians of homosexuality, has been lacking from any other intelligent analysis of Hitler. Extremely unpopular amongst some as it seems to shift blame from Hitler himself onto the homosexual community, or at least makes us see Hitler as more of a person one could almost sympathize with ('poor Hitler - he was forced to spend his life in the sexual closet, and could not help the way this repressed energy expressed itself.'). However, I think that is silly reasoning. It doesn't relieve Hitler of any guilt if we investigate his person and look at his biological drives, but provides us an interesting insight into the development of an anti-semitic dictator.

Personally, I think many complaints about this book come from people who think that Lothar Machtans has exaggerated Hitler's homosexuality. This complaint is partly justified, I think, and I doubt he had all of the gay relationships insinuated in this book. But Machtan's book is valuable as it forces us to admit that Hitler, although maybe not simply homosexual, had some serious psychosexual neuroses that played a large role in his political career. He presented an asexual image, as if Germany was his virgin bride, and Eva Braun was just a stage prop to give the effeminate dictator some much-needed masculinity. Saying Hitler was not sexually normal does not relieve him of any responsibilty, but brings us far closer to the truth than those that merely relate Hitler's life without looking into his sexual psychology.

To understand this book's unpopularity in Germany and elsewhere, one must remember that it is equally unpopular with people on the political left as on the political right. As mentioned above, for many on the left this book tries to lessen Hitler's crimes and make him seem more human, while those on the right wing see this book as an attack on the masculinity of their hero. It will be years before books on this theme can be objectively handled in Germany, and until then it will remain unappreciated. However, it is definitely recommended reading for anyone interested in 20th century history who does not suffer from such distortions in their judgement.
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on 31 August 2014
Unfortunately, the author absolutely does not "[make] a compelling case that Adolf Hitler was homosexual", as is claimed quite misleadingly in the blurb above. Only one sort-of "witness" is called forward in the text - and that person was, as we read, a notorious liar. Everything else is pure speculation. Meanwhile, of course, there remains a great body of evidence, detailed in a vast range of decidedly "compelling" and convincing Hitler biographies, which supports the case that Adolf Hitler was in fact --- yes, heterosexual. Finally, one has the feeling that this book seems to have been produced chiefly with the aim to bolster the "gays are the root of all evil" line that is so insistently advanced in the world of organised religion in our day. (Along with the work of Klaus Theweleit, Machtan's book has been eagerly seized upon as a monumental and central revelation by Christian evangelists who fill the world with violent homophobic texts such as "The Pink Swastika" etc.)
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on 31 October 2015
A flawed interpretation of his private life. Enjoyable for the questions it poses about his repressed sexuality. I believe he was more an ascetic with little or no developed adult sex drive but the premise of the author, backed by the retelling of memories by some of his many detractors, is intriguing. A stunted, hysterical maniac who is able to uses his own sense of injustice (and the fear of a people traumatised by the world war) to his own advantage. Well worth a read for the way it highlights the mediocrity of his fawning troupe and how they react when slighted....politicians in a nutshell ;)
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on 28 October 2001
The translation is excellent, and whilst it is clear the author has made up his mind about Hitler's sexuality right from the start, he goes on to very easily convince you of the fact. The evidence he presents just keeps on mounting up, until you, the reader, can no longer argue that Hiter wasn't a homosexual. The only surprise is why no-one publicly recognised this, whilst there had been a number of published references to Hitler's sexuality before, during and after the war. There are some published and unpublished pictures of Hitler which show him in a very different light than usual! The book leaves you wanting more details about Hitler's private life and the details which this book does contain is an enourmous credit to the author, as clearly Hitler spent a lot of effort trying to destroy both people who knew about his "secret" life and any records which would "out" him. Buy the book. Talk about it, and let's learn from it!
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on 25 October 2001
The book is a product of someone who has taken into his mind that Hitler was homosexual and then goes on trying to prove it by references to other people's writings. Under the fixed idea the author basically keeps quoting excerpts, taken out of context. In the same way one could prove that Stalin had a tail or Mao - an artificial limb. Amazingly, there is no attempt to explain anything, for example, if the author was true and Hitler was a homosexual, what is the link of that with attacking other countries, Holocaust or persecution of the homosexuals. Hopeless, unless one is fond of reading writings of the sort"and what if...
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on 22 December 2014
Everybody knows that Hitler had a mistress called Eva Braun - and that he had an infatuation with his niece. But he never slept with Eva and he never had anything like a normal relationship with a woman in his life. Why? As popular and admired leader he could have got plenty. There is also another mystery about Hitler - how did he actually support himself for five years after he left school and went to live in Vienna? He had no job and the best suggestion that conventional biographers can come up with is that he inherited a pension from his father. But that isn't true.
Then there is a third mystery., Why did he never get promoted above the rank of corporal in WW1?
This book argues from a wide range of sources that Hitler was a homosexual, and survived his early years in Vienna as a rent-boy. He was known as the "schone Adolf" (handsome Adolf) and the older men he mixed with were predominantly homosexuals. Homosexuals played a crucial role in setting up the Nazi party. And Hitler's war comrades remembered him as an active homosexual. That was why he never got promoted in the army and he may well have been bitter about it.
Homosexuality was so prevalent in the SS that it can even be described as a norm. And since this book was written, more evidence has emerged to support Machtan's theory. After the war, Hitler's two personal physicians were interviewed by American army personnel and both stated that the Fuhrer was homosexual. Documents are in the US army archives and have been photographed and placed online.
There will always be people who say "We won't believe it unless we have a signed letter from Hitler stating it himself", but even that might turn up one day. Given that his doctors both thought it was true, outright denial looks a bit silly.
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