n Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe - Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) se siektegeskiedenis

Volume 45, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0041-4751


Adolf Hitler is one of the world's most controversial historical figures. His politics and ideology of supposed Aryan supremacy and of "Lebensraum im Osten", plunged the world into the most devastating conflict yet experienced by humankind. The Second World War led to wholesale destruction across Europe and eventually also in the Far East, and caused the death of more than sixty million people, including approximately six million Jews who were put to death in Nazi extermination camps. Many studies have been published in which researchers have tried to explain how and why Hitler was able to generate such terribly destructive forces. In this article the focus is placed on his medical history, including his childhood and formative years in Vienna and Munich; the effect the First World War had on his health; his health (or lack of health) during his rise to power, as well as during his first six years as Führer (leader) of the German people in the run-up to the Second World War; and then, of course, the way in which the last-mentioned conflict affected his physical and psychological health, but also on how his (ill-) health might have affected his decisions with regard to the war.

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