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Posted June 9, 2010
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This is the story of a fat, balding and sloppy doctor named Theodor Morell, Adolf Hitler's personal physician. No doubt a meglomaniac, Morell catered to all of Hitler's medical needs and jealously guarded this title against all rival doctors vying to be Hitler's number one personal physician, particularly Karl Brandt you might want to read Ulf Schmidt's book entitled "Karl Brandt: The Nazi Doctor: Medicine and Power in the Third Reich" and Felix Kersten book called "The Kersten Memoirs 1940 - 1945" to gain additional perspective. With a tremendous ego, Morell actually designed his own dashing uniform with a gold buckle sewn in by his wife so that he could feel part of the Fuhrer's jealous coterie. Nevertheless, Brandt and Kersten mocked him and intrigued against him. Morell was accused of munching "like a pig at a trough" and having no friends was the price of being Hitler's favorite doctor. There is another book that fits nicely into this research written by John H. Waller. Called "The Devil's Doctor: Felix Kersten and the Secret Plot to Turn Himmler Against Hitler" this biography tells the story from Morell's start, whereupon as a licensed medical practitioner with only a dabbler's knowledge in other disciplines, that was enough to satisfiy Hitler to take him on. In 1936, when he arrived at Hitler's Berghof villa to begin serving as his personal physician, Morell was already used to treating the wealthy and famous of Germany. In the next eight years, at Hitler's behest, he would continue to do so. Other notable patients were Prince Phillip of Hesse, Benito Mussolini, Japan's Ambassabor Oshima (who presented him with a Samurai helmet) and even Neville Chamberlain (for flu, in 1938). Irving presents an interesting format of writing this book. He interweaves Morell's diaries and correspondence that were discovered shortly prior to publication of this book with the impressions of Hitler's stenographers, valets, housekeepers, and various other doctors. The reader of this rare book is treated to a careful description of Adolf Hitler's mental and physical health that details the pattern of decline that bizarrely parallels that of the Nazi war machine. My only criticism of this book is that the reader is bored with endless notations of Morrell's meticulous record keeping and detailing of the daily injections of vitamins, glucose, and one or several of the 77 different medicines he administered to Hitler between 1941 to 1945. David Irving takes the reader alongside both Hitler and Morell from the early days of the war, i.e. the invasion of Poland, France, the "Phony War", the "Battle of Britain", "Barbarossa", all the way to the last days of Hitler rudely discharging Morell ungratefully in the bunker in Berlin right before his suicide. Aside from the medical boredom of Hitler's "drugalog", there is a tremendous historical lesson to be gleaned from this book, unavailable prior to this. For the serious student of Adolf Hitler and World War II, this is a "must read", indispensible book! Well worth it!
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