In , she toured Afghanistan and India and, after publishing her memoir, decided to leave Germany. We located her at her home in La Jolla, California, and she almost hung up when we called, thinking we were telemarketers. At ninety-five, Schweitzer is an impressively sharp, brisk, and busy woman, who attends a weekly yoga class and still volunteers at the San Diego Museum of Man. She told us that in the spring of , when she had just turned fifteen and was failing Latin and math, her mother had her transferred to a new high school, where Melita became her best friend.
They did their homework together, discussed literature, and exchanged confidences. I came from a more progressive, artistic family, and I was more of a loner, a listener and observer. At first, Marianne and Melita agreed about politics. Gradually, these discussions erupted into serious conflict. Melita joined the B. I was horrified. She persuaded me to attend meetings where Hitler would speak; her intent was to have me convert. She told me that I was not able to appreciate his greatness because I had Jewish blood.
Eighty years later, Marianne recalls that she found this remark ridiculous. In , Melita suddenly disappeared. Marianne recalls being devastated that Melita had left without a word, and pressed Dr. Flashar, their favorite teacher, for answers. The Maschmanns, she explained, had decided that Melita needed more rigorous academic preparation for her Abitur end-of-school exam , and had transferred her to a boarding school. In the memoir, Maschmann writes that they sent her away to curtail her Nazi activities.
In the fall of , Melita reappeared to the Schweitzers, asking to renew the friendship. Their mother was also arrested, and was released after a week. Most of them wanted to remain in Berlin, but Marianne, remembering family friends who had visited from America when she was a child, had long dreamed about California. She and her father left for England in , and Marianne learned of the outbreak of the Second World War onboard an ocean liner to New York.
One of their brothers died fighting for Germany on the Russian front.
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Her parents and remaining brother got to New York by the end of the war. During those six years, Marianne went to school. In , Marianne moved to Panama, where her husband worked for a U. In , she and several other Latin American German instructors were invited by the Goethe Institute to visit Germany. I was confused, hurt, overwhelmed, and unable to talk about it.
She cried when we said good-bye. I did not. In retrospect, I would say she behaved in a direct, straightforward way, and I did not. I never saw her again. Marianne moved back to the United States and, in , became an instructor of German at the University of California. Adolf Hitler is often referred to as a madman, in part because most people are loath to accept such enormity of evil as anything other than the byproduct of psychosis.
Yet just how ''mad'' Hitler was, and how much of the evil he perpetrated can be attributed to illness, either physical or mental, has been a subject of disagreement among historians. In it, Dr.
Fritz Redlich, a neurologist and psychiatrist, concludes that though Hitler exhibited many psychiatric symptoms, including extreme paranoia and defenses that ''could fill a psychiatry textbook,'' he most likely was not truly mentally ill. Hitler's paranoid delusions, Dr. Redlich writes, ''could be viewed as a symptom of mental disorder, but most of the personality functioned more than adequately.
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And while the Nazi leader was afflicted with a variety of physical ills, both real and psychogenic, he suffered from nothing severe enough to take the blame for his crimes. Redlich, professor emeritus of psychiatry at both Yale University and the University of California at Los Angeles, began his research 10 years ago as an effort to refute assertions made by some so-called Holocaust revisionists, including that Hitler was manipulated by his personal physician, Dr.
Theodor Morell. But when Dr. Redlich discovered that there were few substantive works on Hitler's medical condition, the psychiatrist says, he decided to go further, constructing what he calls a ''pathography,'' or ''study of the life and character of an individual, as influenced by disease.
The result is an exhaustive text that meticulously weighs and considers virtually every aspect of the dictator's psyche and every detail of his physical health. Redlich based his conclusions in part on Hitler's own statements, but he also spent a decade examining medical records, including diaries kept by Dr. Morell, and conducting interviews with surviving sources.
The litany of Hitler's physical ailments is long. He experienced severe abdominal spasms, as well as belching, bloating and constipation. Beginning in the 's, he complained of buzzing and ringing in his ears. He was afflicted with hypertension, headaches and heart trouble.
And he had problems with his vision: After a mustard gas injury in World War I, he experienced two episodes of ''blindness,'' at least one of which Dr. Redlich judges to have been hysterical, and in later years Hitler described eye pain and hazy vision, ''as if he was viewing objects through a thin veil. Redlich adds several new medical diagnoses to the list. He believes that Hitler probably had both spina bifida occulta -- a not uncommon hereditary condition that is largely symptomless, but can cause difficulties in urination and frequent bladder infections -- and hypospadia, an abnormally placed urethra.
Redlich made these diagnoses by piecing together information from Morell's diaries, and from interviews with Henriette Hoffman von Schirach, daughter of Hitler's photographer, and Prof.
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- Adolf Hitler : The Dictator Of Germany During World War II;
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Ernst Gunther Schenck, a doctor and former Nazi who was the author of a German medical biography of Hitler. Redlich learned, for example, that Hitler had mentioned both conditions to Dr. Morell, leading the author to believe that they had been diagnosed earlier by another doctor. If the Nazi leader did have these abnormalities, Dr.
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Redlich argues, it might help explain his sexual inhibition, and the frequent hand washing that other authors attributed to psychological compulsion. Redlich also offers the opinion that Hitler probably suffered from temporal or giant cell arteritis, an autoimmune disease associated with inflammation of the arteries. A diagnosis of giant cell arteritis, Dr. Redlich asserts, would explain many of Hitler's complaints, including his headaches, cardiac symptoms and vision problems.
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A commonly repeated notion is that Hitler had only one testicle, an assertion made in the autopsy report filed by Soviet pathologists who examined bodies removed from shallow graves in a garden near Hitler's bunker, including one the Russians concluded was Hitler's. Various historians have either accepted this finding or rejected it as an attempt by the Bolsheviks to portray Hitler as sexually defective.
Redlich remains neutral on this question, though he points out that monorchism, as the condition is called, is sometimes associated with hypospadia. And there is no evidence, the author writes, to show that Hitler had syphilis, despite persistent rumors that he contracted the disease from a Jewish prostitute. Hitler's personal physician, Dr. Morell, to whom the Nazi leader was devoted, has always been controversial figure.
Some biographers have deemed him a charlatan and an exploiter. Others have said that he deliberately tried to harm his patient. Redlich concludes, in contrast, that while Dr. Morell was ignorant and made mistakes -- at one point he gave Hitler both very potent laxatives and opiates, a dangerous combination -- he ''was proud of his historical role,'' enjoyed the perquisites it provided and never caused deliberate harm.
Was Hitler a drug addict? Redlich thinks not.