The Flatulent Fuhrer

Beyond his totalitarian rages and murderous anti-Semitism, Hitler was apparently an unpleasant guy to be around. As reports,

Medical historians are unanimous that Adolf was the victim of uncontrollable flatulence…his private physician, Dr. Theo Morell, recorded in his diary that after Hitler downed a typical vegetable platter, “constipation and colossal flatulence occurred on a scale I have seldom encountered before.”

His digestive problems were a lifelong problem, worsening as he aged, but they also may have represented an instance where the cure was worse than the disease. The article states that his physician prescribed pills for the disorder containing strychnine and atropine, compounds contributing to vicious mood swings. He also administered daily amphetamine injections, cocaine eyedrops and pills derived from ground bull testicles.

German intelligence went as far as to wonder whether the doctor was a spy, but the historical record seems to support the notion that he was just an idiot. It’s hard to think of a more fitting victim for malpractice.

At the same time, it’s also tempting to wonder how much of the madness at the end of World War II was inspired by a raving, drug-fueled mania, as opposed to the alternative, a monstrous, sober mania. Some combination of the two is probably where the truth lies.