Newly released doctor’s letters show Adolf Hitler’s fear of illness
The Swiss descendent of one of Adolf Hitler’s doctors has released details of letters that show how he treated the Nazi dictator for voice problems, the newspaper NZZ am Sonntag reported on Sunday.
The letters show Hitler’s fear of serious illness. “If there is something bad, I absolutely have to know,” Hitler told the doctor after their first consultation in May 1935, according to the letters.
Hitler was treated several times by Carl Otto von Eicken, a German ear, nose and throat specialist, for 10 years from 1935, the newspaper said.
The letters from the doctor to a cousin were discovered by Robert Doepgen, Von Eicken’s great-great-grandson, who found them when researching family archives for a school project. Von Eicken died in 1960.
The British historian Richard J Evans, a specialist in German history, had vouched for the authenticity of the unpublished letters, the newspaper said.
The newspaper said the letters also showed the importance Hitler attached to his voice, which he used in speeches to whip up support for his regime.
One operation to remove a polyp was postponed until after a speech, the letters say, as Von Eicken advised Hitler he needed to rest his voice after the procedure.
In his letters, Von Eicken never questioned that he had treated a man whose actions led to millions of people being killed in the Holocaust and second world war, the newspaper said.
The paper said that when asked by Russian interrogators after the war why he hadn’t killed Hitler, Von Eicken said: “I was his doctor, not his murderer.”
Hitler died by suicide in a bunker in Berlin in 1945, shortly before the end of the war.