Historic research has unveiled the fact that Germany’s Nazi dictator, Adolf Hitler, did indeed have only the one functioning testicle.
A version of a wartime propaganda song known to British soldiers and generations of schoolchildren alleged that Hitler only had one ball. The original song lyrics, sung to the tune of Colonel Bogey, in fact ascribed the condition to fellow Nazi Hermann Göring who sustained a groin injury during the Munich Beer Hall Putsch of 1923, but virtually all later versions reversed the diagnosis.
Hitler has only got one ball,
Göring has two but very small,
Himmler has something sim’lar,
But poor old Goebbels has no balls at all!
The song gave rise to decades of debate as to whether Hitler’s condition was real, or merely a figment of a propagandist’s comic imagination. Now, however, a German historian with access to the Nazi leader’s medical records says he has uncovered proof the song was correct, reports German television news channel N24.
Under arrest and in Landsberg prison a few days after the Nazis’ failed November Putsch, the future Führer was given a thorough medical examination by Dr Josef Brinsteiner. His medical notes were lost for decades, but resurfaced at an auction in 2010 where Bavarian state authorities took them and placed them in archives in Munich.
Professor Peter Fleischmann of Erlangen-Nuremberg University has now analysed the records and announced that they offer incontrovertible evidence Hitler suffered from “right-side chryptorchidism”, or an undescended right testicle. Chryptorchidism results in one or both testicles failing to descend into the scrotum during childhood, meaning the undescended object atrophies and withers away rather than developing.
Being a congenital abnormality the diagnosis refutes the suggestion made by some that one of Hitler’s testicles was lost in action on the Western Front during the First World War.
Athough chryptorchidism is the most common birth defect of the male genitalia, it can cause infertility and even raise the risk of testicular cancer. N24 speculates that Hitler’s shame about the malformation could have resulted in a disturbed sex life, although it is not generally linked to impotence.
Other than the physical abnormality, Dr Brinsteiner noted Hitler, who in later life became a vegetarian, was “healthy and strong”.
Dr Brinsteiner’s diagnosis is thought to be reliable because of his own politics. He sympathised with Hitler as a fellow nationalist and felt sorry for his physically injured and depressed patient.