15th November 2008 - History


The Nazi leader, Adolf Hitler, was known to have Parkinson's Disease from 1933 until his suicide in 1945 [reference]. At the end of the Second World War he was largely confined to his bunker in Berlin. In his final days in the bunker, he shuffled around his room, mumbling to himself, repeating the same phrases, sometimes pointing to his hand and saying repeatedly, "Look it is getting better". It's not trembling so much, and I can keep it still". He had trembling hands and stooped shoulders. The stoop may have been due in part to a lack of exercise. He also had tremor in his left leg. The right arm trembled more than the left. With his hand extended and fingers spread he did not tremor. His shaking was related to emotional upsets. When the military situation became far worse his left hand tremor was stronger. At the end he had a stooped back, could barely walk, a shuffling gait, his right leg was dragging, he had head shaking.  His left hand violently trembled on a limply dangling arm. Physically, he had quickly deteriorated and developed the appearance of an old man. The Nazi hierarchy had throughout tried to conceal his Parkinson's Disease by all means. There are two films of Adolf Hitler's last public appearance, one that was shown in which he displayed no symptoms of Parkinson's Disease, and another that was not shown in which he was displaying the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease.

Hitler was treated by his personal physician, Dr Theo Morrell.  Theo Morell was well known in Germany for his unconventional, holistic and alternative treatments. Dr Morell kept very detailed diaries of his treatment of Hitler's Parkinson's Disease. For more details see the The Secret diaries of Hitler's Doctor. This is the complete book. Hitler was being given 28 different pills a day along with numerous injections every few hours. Dr Morell saw Hitler every day, sometimes 2 or 3 times daily. Field Marshall Gerd von Rundstedt described Hitler as constantly fumbling with Vitamultin tablets or "whatever junk Morell had given him". Hitler was also a vegetarian, drank no alcohol, didn't smoke, and drank decaffeinated coffee. Dr Morell made an attempt at temporarily influencing Hitler's Parkinson's Disease by subcutaneous injections of Harmin (a MAO inhibitor) - one drop, then one drop, then two drops, and by administering one drop of Homburg 680 (an anti-cholinergic) - am, midday, evening. On April 22nd, 1945 Hitler dismissed Morell from his bunker in Berlin, saying that he didn't need any more medical help. Dr Morell's methods still continued after he went, because he left behind a lot of pre-prepared medicines, including those for Parkinson's Disease.  However, just a week later, Hitler was dead.



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