Hitler Feared Getting Sick, per Newly Revealed Letters

'If there is something bad, I absolutely have to know,' Nazi dictator said to doctor
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2022 8:20 AM CDT
Letters From Hitler's Doctor Reveal a Health Phobia
Hitler had a phobia against getting sick, per newly revealed letters from his doctor.   (Getty Images/Photos.com)

Screaming at Nazi rallies apparently does a number on your voice, and it seems to have spurred Adolf Hitler to see an ear, throat, and nose specialist for at least a decade. Now, details on letters written by that doctor about the World War II-era dictator have been released. Per the Swiss newspaper NZZ am Sonntag, via Reuters, Carl Otto von Eicken treated Hitler beginning in 1935, and the doctor often wrote to his cousin about his interactions with Germany's fascist leader. Von Eicken died in 1960, but his correspondence was recently unearthed by von Eicken's great-great-grandson, who'd been doing research for a school project in his family's archives. Reuters notes that a UK historian has confirmed the letters' authenticity.

Among the notes' revelations are that Hitler had a polyp that he refused to have removed until after a big speech, as von Eicken had told Hitler he'd have to rest his voice after the procedure. Hitler was also apparently a nosophobic—meaning he irrationally feared serious illness. "If there is something bad, I absolutely have to know," he fretted to von Eicken after their very first consultation in May 1935. The letters didn't seem to mention any hesitation on von Eicken's part in treating the man who brought about the Holocaust, and the Swiss newspaper notes that Russian interrogators once asked the doctor why he himself didn't simply kill Hitler, who eventually killed himself in 1945. Von Eicken's reply: "I was his doctor, not his murderer." (More Hitler stories.)

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