The Hidden Fuhrer

  • 2005
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Documentary

Randy Barbato, Fenton Bailey and Gabriel Rotello's provocative documentary puts a tabloid twist on history by examining Adolf Hitler's closeted sexuality. Scholar Lothar Machtan poured five years of research into his 2001 book The Hidden Fuhrer: Debating the Enigma of Hitler’s Sexuality, and debates scholarly detractors, including the heterosexual Machtan’s...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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Randy Barbato, Fenton Bailey and Gabriel Rotello's provocative documentary puts a tabloid twist on history by examining Adolf Hitler's closeted sexuality.

Scholar Lothar Machtan poured five years of research into his 2001 book The Hidden Fuhrer: Debating the Enigma of Hitler’s Sexuality, and debates scholarly detractors, including the heterosexual Machtan’s own homosexual mentor, Rudiger Lautmann, who challenges his published suppositions. In the midst of his rebuttals, incendiary evidence surfaces, including an eyewitness who claimed to have seen Hitler engaging in intimacies with a fellow soldier during WWI. There's also the matter of Der Fuhrer's concerted efforts to

destroy data from his hometown of Lindzt, and evidence of the young Hitler's cohabitation with teenage pal August Kubizek in Vienna bears further scrutiny. Although Vienna's night life was notoriously gay, the city wasn't hospitable to the ambitious Hitler, who failed to gain admittance to the Vienna School of Fine Arts. Frustrated as an artist and raging against influential Jewish policy-makers, Hitler joined the "Wandervogel" movement, an outdoor scouting ideology that swept the Fatherland; its all-male camps were a haven for admirers of the unclothed masculine form. Whatever Hitler did or didn’t do in the woods, he incorporated elements of this rapturous, nature-loving philosophy into his Master Race propaganda. Once in power, Hitler polished his image of stolid masculinity, but sustaining his place on a lofty pedestal required vigilance about any breath of scandal. Inevitably, Germany's anything-goes cabaret scene became was suppressed and to silence his unrepentantly gay comrade, Ernst Rohm, Hitler ordered his assassination and the purging of the military's S.A. branch. Machtan can't conclusively prove his theory; he can only point to the giant nude statues and gay-influenced architecture favored by Hitler and keep on asking questions. You don't have to believe Machtan's speculation to find it intriguing and the film's amazing archival footage, which clearly documents the homo-erotic aspects of officially sanctioned art during the Third Reich, is provocative even if Hitler's bedroom secrets remain shrouded in secrecy.

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  • Released: 2005
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Randy Barbato, Fenton Bailey and Gabriel Rotello's provocative documentary puts a tabloid twist on history by examining Adolf Hitler's closeted sexuality. Scholar Lothar Machtan poured five years of research into his 2001 book The Hidden Fuhrer: Debating… (more)

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