A new book out in Germany this week claims that Adolf Hitler was a 'sexually confused serial killer' whose murders for the Nazi state were driven by deviant sexual lust.
'Hitler 1 and Hitler 2. The sexual no-man's-land' by bestselling psychologist-author Volker Elis Pilgrim draws on a mass of archival material to paint the Fuehrer as a lurid pervert who - among other things - performed sex acts in cinemas when he witnessed acts of violence.
One of the sources for the book, being released in four volumes, is the Nazi era actress Marianne Hoppe who Hitler revered.
She told how on a night in the Berlin Reich Chancellery she watched a movie with Hitler called 'The Rebel' about an Austrian uprising against Napoleon.
During a scene the Austrian hurl boulders from a mountain top on to French troops the diva recalled; 'And there, I believe, Hitler got some kind of thrill and rubbed his knees at this event, as the stones rolled down on the French, and groaned. I don't know if he was crazy, but he got some kind of orgasm.
'I wanted to leave during the show. The man was creepy.'
Pilgrim said he developed the 'initial suspicion that there was a connection between sexuality and violence in Hitler - even more precisely, that it gave him the desire to force men into killing.
'However, since the "lust for killing" is the decisive feature of serial killers, the question inevitably arises: Was Hitler a serial killer who was murdered for the purpose of his gratification?'
Hitler's Holocaust of the Jews claimed six million lives, making him, says the author, the greatest serial killer of them all.
'The speciality of serial killing', he writes, 'is the slow, sophisticated, extremely cruel taking of life. That is exactly what Hitler practised-only with the aid of his helpers.
'Hitler's... sexuality, I believe, drove the dictator into the most colossal annihilation that man has witnessed.'
Pilgrim rails against the Hitler chroniclers who paint him as a man who had normal sexual relations with women, namely with his longtime mistress and short-term wife Eva Braun.
The author presents evidence to document Hitler's heterosexual abstinence. Hitler's former political companion Ernst Hanfstaengl, for example, coined the term 'sexual no-mans-land', in which his friend had been travelling.
The owner of the house at the Berghof near Berchtesgaden, who regularly inspected the bed linen on which Hitler and Eva had spent the night, said after the war he never saw anything which indicated they might have made love.
And Hitler himself wrote the curious confession that he had 'overcome the urge to possess a woman physically,' always believing the German nation was his 'true bride.'
Pilgrim believes that something sexual - although not full intercourse - occurred between Eva and Hitler in March 1935. Eva recorded 'a few wonderfully beautiful hours' with Hitler in his apartment at Munich's Prinzregentenplatz.
A few years later, on September 30, 1938, the British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, was in town and sat on a sofa, prompting her to remark to a friend: 'If only he knew what a story this sofa has!'
Pilgrim describes the dimensions of the sofa and concludes that a woman of her size could not have been ravished on it.
He concludes that 'something' occurred between them and that their sex life ever after was dormant as she displayed 'latent lesbian' tendencies and he 'could live out his life as a serial killer.'
Pilgrim has an explanation for this particular sexual disposition of the dictator. Hitler actually consists of two persons: 'Hitler 1' was inconspicuous and harmless and existed until 1918.
Then, after being wounded by gas on the Western Front, military psychiatrists 'ignited Hitler's previously displaced serial killer potential by accident'. This was supposed to be 'Hitler 2'.
Just what the mind doctors treating the blinded Hitler did will be revealed in the next volume of the book.