Adolf Hitler: Expert discusses Parkinson’s symptoms
Adolf Hitler surged to power as German chancellor in 1933, before becoming Fuhrer the following year. His expansionist ideology triggered World War Two after he invaded Poland in September 1939. His disturbing worldview led to the death of six million Jews as the Nazis initiated the Holocaust.
Prior to World War One he was a “nobody”, according to Lawrence Rees, writing for the BBC. He could not form intimate relationships nor debate intellectually, and was “filled with hatred and prejudice”.
However, this hatred helped him form a connection with millions of German people, although initially it was only with a very small group.
The 1929 Wall Street Crash changed everything. Jutta Ruediger told the BBC in 2012 of the impact the resultant mass unemployment had on German people.
She said: “The people were really hungry. It was very, very hard.
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The video was one of the last times Hitler was seen alive.
The Nazi propaganda video was cut and supposed to be destroyed.
“And in that context, Hitler with his statements seemed to be the bringer of salvation.”
He told millions of Germans that they were Aryans and therefore “special”, and also racially “better” than the rest of the world.
Hitler’s propaganda videos tried to paint him as an omnipotent German hero, yet an unearthed Nazi propaganda video, which he tried to hide, showed a hidden illness.
Footage shot just before the fall of the Third Reich in May 1945, was supposed to be destroyed as it showed the medical condition the Fuhrer had tried to hide.
Adolf Hitler with his doctor Theodore Morell.
The narrator of the Smithsonian Channel documentary ‘Secrets of the Third Reich: Hitler’s Madness’ explained how the Fuhrer’s trusty, unconventional doctor Theodore Morell was by his side for nine years.
He helped Hitler daily with almost everything he did, and the Fuhrer heaped praise and honours upon his doctor.
However, the narrator said: “There was one critical condition that Doctor Morell was late in diagnosing.
“A debilitating disease that mirrored the collapse of Hitler’s crumbling Reich.”
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Hitler is seen shaking uncontrollably in the unearthed video.
Hitler received Reich Youth leaders at his Berlin headquarters, alongside a delegation of 20 Hitler Youth members. It was filmed for a Nazi propaganda video.
The narrator added: “It was one of the last times the Fuhrer would have been seen alive outside of his bunker.
“The propaganda film was supposed to show Hitler still in command, decorating brave young defenders of the Reich.
“But a critical part of the footage was deemed unfit for viewing, cut, and presumably supposed to be destroyed.”
Adolf Hitler awards decorations to Hitler Youth members in his last official photo
It wasn’t destroyed, though. It was discovered in an East German film laboratory in the Seventies.
The clip shows Hitler shaking, something he clearly could not control.
Sir Richard Evans is one of Britain’s leading historians. He has published more than 20 books on modern Germany and modern Europe.
He said in 2014: “Hitler began to show symptoms of Parkinson’s disease during the war.
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“He had a shake in his left hand and, for a time, that was cured, as it were, by the bomb that went off on July 20, 1944.
“As he said, that’s not the way I would choose of curing it. But soon after that, the shaking came back in his right side. He began to drag his feet and shuffle.
“He began to speak in a more flat, less animated way, normally. Though fits of rage could still bring out the old Hitler.”
A comparison of newsreel footage, in the same documentary, shows how Parkinson’s disease took hold of the Fuhrer.
In the 1940 footage, Hitler stands upright, agile and appears in control. In the 1944 footage, however, he looks stooped and slow on his feet.
The leaked propaganda video was one of the last times Hitler would be seen alive outside of his concrete bunker underneath the Reich chancellery building in the German capital.
He committed suicide on April 30 1945 by swallowing a cyanide capsule and shooting himself in the head.
Germany surrendered to the Allied forces soon after.