Lothar Machtan comments on Hitler’s sexuality and the Holocaust

Over the last week or so, Bryan Fischer made a series of claims regarding homosexuality and the Holocaust. He summarized his arguments in an article on the RenewAmerica website:

Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews.

In making his case, he relies heavily on two books: The Hidden Hitler by Lothar Machtan and The Pink Swastika by Scott Lively. Last summer, I did a series of posts critiquing The Pink Swastika. This morning I had a brief email exchange with Lothar Machtan regarding Fischer’s central thesis.  His current schedule did not allow an extensive interview at this time, but he did react to Fischer’s claim.

In the Hidden Hitler, Dr. Machtan argues largely from circumstances, inference and second hand accounts that Hitler was a homosexual. He is in the minority in his view but he presents an account that is important to consider.

Everything about Hitler is historically interesting and relevant. If Hitler was same-sex attracted, it would be of interest to students of history in the same way that historians have examined the imperial heterosexuality of Mao Zedong. Machtan told me that Hitler’s (alleged) homosexuality influenced his political career up to about 1934-35. However, he said in clear terms that Hitler’s cruelty was not due to his sexuality, saying, “Hitler’s atrocities primarily do NOT derive from his homosexuality.” Regarding the Holocaust, Machtan added, “Of course you CANNOT blame Hitler’s homosexuality for the Holocaust.” (Machtan supplied the emphasis)

I am about half way through The Hidden Hitler and am reserving my opinion until I complete it and perhaps until after I am able to interview Machtan. However, as I suspected, Machtan does not advance the simplistic causal links advanced by Mr. Fischer in the service of the culture war.

See my prior post relating to Bryan Fischer’s claims.

  • Lynn David

    Fischer would have an easier time using Alexander the Great as an example.

    One might say, so what? Show us the studies that gays are inherently violent people beyond that of the population at large? Besides, the American military has been giving waivers for criminals, some violent, while kicking gays out of the military. So?

  • Tim

    Warren, thank you for going to the source, so to speak. I look forward to reading your posts on Machtan. I have not read his book, but my understanding of it is that he claims that Hitler was gay b/c he had no overt romantic relationship w/ a woman and he tried to destroy some documents, which Machtan speculates would have revealed Hitler’s homosexuality. Maybe there is more to it, but it seemed like a laughably thin thesis.

    I recently had the opportunity to check something on my own. As you know, most of Lively’s book consists of extended text copied from a single disreputable work by a non-historian, Sam Igra, who somehow did his research from London. But in a couple of places, Lively cites William Shirer, who, although not a historian, covered the rise of Nazi Germany for CBS and later wrote the lengthy and popular, Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. Shirer is a reputable source, so I wanted to see whether Lively’s citation had any merit. Shirer’s book is on Google Books, so it is searchable.

    The striking thing is that in a book of 1250 pages, there are only 16 references to homosexuality. All are brief references and all but one or two concern a Ernst Roehm and Roehm’s underling, both of whom were killed in 1934, to the great satisfaction of other high level Nazis – all heterosexual and all of whom had been pushing Hitler to clean house. The other few references are in the nature of insults that pepper Shirer’s book. (The author frequently taunts and insults various Nazis based on their girth, looks, demeanor, and sexuality.)

    In the entire book, there is no suggestion that Nazi Germany was the product of super-masculine homosexuals, or that homosexuality played any part in Nazi ideology, its war machine, or its cruelty. Shirer also affirms Hitler’s heterosexuality and specifically notes his excitement at spending time with beautiful women. Somehow, over the course of 1250 pages, Shirer missed Lively’s entire thesis on the rise of the Reich, the Holocaust, and WWII.

    What does Shirer believe was the major factor in Nazism’s rise and its anti-semitism? He pins a good part of the blame on German national character, and in particular the influence of Martin Luther. How rich the irony. So, using Lively’s own logic, we should start purging Protestants from the military as quickly as possible.

  • John

    if hitler was gay or “same-sex attracted,” then why didn’t he die with his “lover” rather than eva braun whom he was with for many years? I haven’t read the book, so maybe it addresses that.

  • Mary

    if hitler was gay or “same-sex attracted,” then why didn’t he die with his “lover” rather than eva braun whom he was with for many years? I haven’t read the book, so maybe it addresses that

    Image and propaganda to the death.

  • Mary

    However, I have not read any of the books or their authors in discussion and so have no opinion about the claims they make about homosexuality.

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  • Chris C

    Lothar Machtan’s theories are absurd and readily proven to be false.Hitler’s personal valet,Heinze Linge,was in a position to know his relations with Eva Braun,and he always stated he was 100% positive that it was a sexual relationship.Hitler’s fellow nazi’s,including the founder of the party,Anton Drexler,and several others circulatesd a flyer,with the intent of having Hitler removed as leader of the Nazi party.The flyer stated Hitler reffered to himself as “the king of Munich”for his many sexual cxonquests of Munich women.Certainly this would not have been a cause to have him ridiculed,if he were a homosexual.Machtan obviously used an angle that would sell books,and it is utterly absurd.There is plenty to disgrace Hitler,without having to use false premises.

  • Richard Willmer

    So what if Hitler were gay (which he almost certainly wasn’t)? It does not follow that (to quote Obergruppenfuhrer Fischer) “homosexuality gave us Adolf Hitler …”

    (Of course, it was heterosexuality that gave us Hitler, just as it gave us me … and everyone else on this blog! So there we are!)

  • Thomas M. Pierson

    Let’s look at some facts.

    1 – Hitler died in 1945.

    2 – Eva Braun was his companion for 12 years.

    3 – Hitler had Ernest Roehm killed in 1934, along with his aid because he was a homosexual.

    4 – Hitler was a politician.

    5 – Lothar Machtan says that Hitler’s homosexuality ceased to be a factor around 1934.

    6 -Machtan is a credible source, seeing as he is a professor of history and his word would be good enough to reference in a doctoral thesis.

    Bearing this in mind, and applying logic, I come to the conclusion that Hitler was bisexual and ceased indulging in homosexual activity before 1934 and that his linking up with Braun was a political move to separate himself from that lifestyle.

    Bisexuality has been common throughout human history, it wasn’t until the last few hundred years that religious and political groups have taken the “homosexual or heterosexual” stance. Bearing this in mind, I have no problem believing that Hitler started a movement that eventually forced him to change his ways or be seen as impure. This suppressed desire and constant pressure to be the model of the Nazi movement would certainly contribute to his waning sanity in the closing years of his life.

    Logically it all makes sense. Unfortunately, not many people care about logic any more (see Bryan Fischer).

  • Isabella

    Lots of homosexuals are good people, but undoubtedly, a portion of them has an unhealthy relation to power semantics (Sparta, pederasty, sadism, hate of women and passive homosexuals, etc).

    In France, homosexuals flock to the FN (the National Front Party, the extreme right-wing). Same cause, same effects? As a french person and a left-winger, it scares me.


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