Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Letter: Hitler, a sick homosexual? Evans vs Machtan and Trevor-Roper

Note: I wrote the following brief letter to the London Review of Books in reply to Cambridge Professor Richard J. Evans’s review of a new book on Hitler's illnesses. I had occasion to think Evans an academic bully as I say in my letter because he seems to take the “my way or the highway” approach to his readers.

I was moved to write when Evans attacked Lothar Machtan’s brilliant and persuasive finding that Hitler was a homosexual (The Hidden Hitler) without proffering any evidence. Similarly Evans dismissed a key finding in H. Trevor-Roper’s remarkable and indispensable The Last Days of Hitler, a book which provides essential evidence for my own views and theories about Hitler (see below). --RB

To The London Review of Books
Re: Richard J. Evans, “Thank you, Dr Morell," LRB, 21 Feb 2013,

February 20, 2013

To the Editor:

I've long since learned to be wary of many of Professor Richard J. Evans’s assertions. While I have the highest regard for his research and writing abilities, ever since he explained that he was substituting “Leader” for “Fuhrer” and “Hail Hitler” for “Heil Hitler,” etc., in the first volume of his WWII trilogy, I felt that he was gratuitously imposing his authority on his readers just because he could: the proverbial academic bully.

In his review article Evans doesn't make clear whether his refutation of Lothar Machtan's superbly researched and more than persuasive expose of Hitler's homosexuality is based on his own research or on what he learned from the Newmann-Eberle book under review.

Typical of Evans’s bullying is his claim that “Hitler is known to have had affairs with a number of women, and spent his last years in a conventional heterosexual partnership with Eva Braun.” This seems a classic case of begging the question. Why doesn't Evans name one of those women? What evidence does Evans have that Hitler actually had sexual relations with Eva Braun?

Since Evans could have strengthened his argument by pointing to evidence in the book under review or elsewhere, but chose not to, I wouldn't be surprised if such proof doesn't exist and that Evans’s assertions are simply meant to uphold the conventional view of Hitler as heterosexual.

I agree with Evans’s conclusion that Hitler was “fully responsible for his actions” but I'm not sure what to do with his contention that “Hitler was sane according to any reasonable definition of the term.”

I believe that Hitler was a suicidal psychopath, bent on destroying as much of culture and civilization as he could, and taking down with him as many scores of millions, especially Germans, as possible. There's plenty of evidence that Hitler fully understood his criminal liability and for me his pathology does not conflict with his “full responsibility.”

Ronald Bleier

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