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Adolf Hitler. No other figure in contemporary history is associated with such far-reaching historical impact and such monstrous crimes. His name alone is emblematic of world war and holocaust. If only because of the barbarity for which he is responsible, Adolf Hitler has become an anxiety neurosis, a vision of horror. And that is why he remains even now, as he was to many of his contemporaries an incomprehensible mystery. This book focuses on Hitler the man. Lothar Machtan's thesis is that Adolf Hitler was homosexual, and that one cannot begin to understand him, his entry into politics and the early Nazi movement without a clear understanding of this aspect of his identity. This book documents the homosexual milieu in which the young Hitler lived and thrived from his early years in Vienna, through the beginnings of his political career in Munich and during his years as the Fuehrer. Machtan documents a succession of homosexual and homosexually inclined men among Hitler's most intimate friends and supporters, including August Kubizek, Rudolf Husler, Reinhold Hanisch, Ernst Schmidt, Ernst Rhm, Dietrich Eckart, Rudolf Hess, Emil Maurice, "Putzi" Hanfstaengl and Kurt Ludecke. Of these, Eckart and Rhm were pivotal to his entry into politics. Machtan also unearths documents that attest to Hitler's homosexuality in those early years. While it is doubtful that Hitler was sexually active in any way (gay or straight) after 1933, his homosexual past, nevertheless, was his Achilles' heel. It threatened him politically and left him open to blackmail by his most intimate associates. The assasination of Ernst Rhm, along with roughly 150 other men over a four-day period in 1934, served as a chilling message to all with knowledge, or access to knowledge, about the Fuehrer's past life. Books on the Nazi movement have argued that the Third Reich was a fundamentally sordid regime; Machtan provides powerful evidence in support of this view.