The Hidden Führer: Debating the Enigma of Hitler's Sexuality (2004)

TV Special  |   |  Documentary
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German historian Lothar Machtan proposed in his book that Hitler may have been gay and his desire to keep it a secret motivated many of his actions. This film details Machtan's explorations... See full summary »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Marlene Sanders ...
Narrator (voice)
Himself (archive footage)
Lothar Machtan ...
Himself, author of 'Hitlers Geheimnis: Das Doppelleben eines Diktators'
Michael Bronski ...
Himself, author of 'The Pleasure Principle: Sex, Backlash and the Struggle for Gay Freedom'
Lawrence Mass ...
Himself, author of 'Confessions of a Jewish Wagnerite: Being Gay and Jewish in America'
Frederic Spotts ...
Himself, author of 'Hitler and the Power of Aesthetics'
Geoffrey Giles ...
Himself , author of 'Students and National Socialism in Germany'
Michelangelo Signorile ...
Himself, radio host, Sirius OutQ
Friedrich-Paul von Groszheim ...
Himself, gay survivor of Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp
Rochus Misch ...
Himself, Adolf Hitler's telephone operator
Rüdiger Lautmann ...
Himself, sociologist, Universität Bremen
Ron Rosenbaum ...
Himself, author of 'Explaining Hitler: The Search for the Origins of His Evil'
Rainer Herrn ...
Himself, scientific director, Magnus-Hirschfeld-Gesellschaft
Magnus Hirschfeld ...
Himself (archive footage)
Ralf Dose ...
Himself, director, Magnus-Hirschfeld-Gesellschaft


German historian Lothar Machtan proposed in his book that Hitler may have been gay and his desire to keep it a secret motivated many of his actions. This film details Machtan's explorations and provides other historians a chance to refute Machtan's conclusions. Written by

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Release Date:

17 June 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Führer no Armário - Debatendo o Enigma da Sexualidade de Hitler  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

Gay or not, Hitler's life captivates;the vintage images alone are worthwhile
27 December 2004 | by (Santiago, Chile) – See all my reviews

Whether Hitler was gay or not, how sexual (or not) he was,... these points will always be debatable, and stir great controversy.

This documentary is based on a well researched book by a known (not gay) historian, who claims Hitler was gay, after dedicating a good part of his life to researching the claim. He and many other eloquent characters (including Hitler era survivors) are interviewed masterfully in this film, alternating with extraordinary vintage images, rarely seen - even for those who think they've seen it all.

These "lost" images alone make this film a must watch. Additionally, the arguments (pro and con) about Hitler's sexuality are very well told using cinema as a medium, especially when compared to a book as a medium for this debate. The live testimonies in both German and English, from contemporary intellectuals, and from witnesses who were there 60 or 70 years ago, plus uncovered "secret" letters, passionate arguments from the "he was gay" camp and the "he wasn't gay at all" side ALL come together to make for a powerful documentary.

A must watch, and a shame it has been restricted mainly to gay film festivals so far. The film is of great interest to all; proof that even the worst monster is often a mere human, surrounded by all the speculative gossip we all suffer: a complex contradictory paradox, ultimately unable to really decipher after death. But it's sure fascinating to speculate with so many "irrefutable theories" and passionate opinions abound.

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