BY ANGEL CHRISTOPHER
For years, Adolf Hitler's sexuality has been a matter of of debate and disagreement. Suggestions that he was homosexual appear to be unfounded but may well have been based on what was observed as his feminine characteristics: his gait, his mannerisms and even his choice of art as a profession were once interpreted as feminine manifestations.
With the possible exception of Heinrich Hoffmann -the Nazi Party's official photographer, and Hitler's personal adjutant-, no one knew the nature of his sexual activities, causing much conjecture in party circles, with some believing that he was sexually “normal” while others suggested that he was inmune to sexual temptation.
Others thought he was homosexual because many of the party's inner circles in the early days were known homosexuals. Rudolf Hess was known as 'fraulein Anna'. For a long time Hitler ignored the fact that many in the SA leadership were homosexuals, incluiding Ernst Röhm. Röhm was well aware that Hitler was attracted to the female form, and one time remarked in Hitler's presence: “He is thinking about the peasant girls. When they stand in the fields and bend down at their work so that you can see their behinds, that's what he likes, especially when they've got big round ones. That's Hitler's sex life”.
Hitler preferred to look rather than touch, and he also enjoyed the pornography his official photographer Hoffmann may available to him. Ernest Pope claimed Hitler frequently visited The Merry Widow, in which an American actress played the lead. “I have seen Hitler nudge his Gaulieter and smirk when Dorothy does her famous backbending number in spotlight. Hitler watched through opera glasses and sometimes had command performances for his private benefit”.
What is clear is that Hitler was unable to have a normal relationship with women. It seems almost too clichéd to suggest that the man who delighted in the sadistic torture of his enemies and had not an ounce of compassion for those he sent to their deaths, was also a voyeur and masachist in need of punishment from pretty girls like Renate Müller.
Alfred Zeisler, a film director at Berlin's Universum Film AG -founded by Hitler- better known as UFA, has said that he provided Hitler with female stars for company and to have sexual intercourse with them. These encounters with stars and would-be stars, at the studio or in some secret room in the Reich Chancellery, would seem to indicate that the Führer vereed erratically from being a starstruck fan to some kind of impotent despot who wanted to impress and scare little girls; he has certainly known to forma attachments to much younger women than himself who were vulnerable and whom he could dominate.
But the power he had over the young starlets is apparent. And probably not as harmless as it might have seemed to the chorus girls who only had to endure Hitler's boastings. One famous actress endured much more, and paid the ultimate price. In 1937 Germany was shoked by the news that actress and singer Renate Müller had died at the age of thirty-one. Her body was found on pavement outside a hotel on 7 October. She had fallen from the third-storey window, and died instantly. The blue-eyed beauty had starred in more than twenty German films and was regarded by the National Socialist as an ideal aryan woman and, in light of Marlene Dietrich's defection to Hollywood, was courted and promoted as one of Germany's leading film actress.
The first story that went out over the radio was that the cause of her death was epilepsy and she had fallen from a window of a hospital. At some point, this hospital became a hospita for the mentally sick, suggesting Müller was mentally ill, or had had a breakdown. Joseph Goebbels spread rumours that she had become addicted to morphine and was an arcoholic.
The true story about Müller's death was never revealed. Her funeral was held in private, and her adoring public was barred. Her possesions were confiscated and sold even though her parents and her sister were alive. Some years later, according to reports, they were all buried in the same grave as Renate, suggesting the family were all silenced.
Theories for the possible murder include her lack of cooperation with Goebbels, her love affair with a Jew, and the regime's fear that she was going to turn traitor and leave Germany as Dietrich had done. What is certain is that there was a cover-up about her death. The absolute truth will never be known, and her death remains as much of a mistery in the annals of the German film world as Marilyn Monroe's has in Hollywood.
If it is true what Zeisler claimed about Renate Müller being coerced into inflicting pain upon Hitler, it would appear to shed light on her death. What is also apparent es that she had been seeing Hitler for around two years and Zeisler left Germany in 1935, two years before she died.
In Hitler's cult of celebrety, as in showbusiness anywhere in the wolrd, celebrety and sex went hand in,hand. But in his case, celebrity also went hand in hand with terror and death. His cult of celebrety was like a vortex into which anyone wanting success in their chosen field, whether it was drama or music, painting or writting, was sucked without mercy. It's known that Hollywood can be cruel, but Hitler's cult of celebrity was devastating for all, including Hitler himself. It was as though he couldn't control it or himself; he was driven by one overwhelming and unhinged desire to get to the top.
-Munn, Michael. Hitler and the Nazi Cult of Film and Fame. Shyhorse Publishing. New York, 2013
-Cristobal, Angel. Enigmas del III Reich. Letras Latinas Publishing. Caracas, 2015