The Final Moments Of Adolf Hitler

Perhaps the only man to satirize Adolf Hitler better than Charlie Chaplin was the not-so-great dictator himself. As Charles Bracelen Flood observes in an article for the Kentucky Review, Hitler co-opted the Nietzschean concept of a "self-willed heroic superman who would be far above the common herd, far above conventional morality and entitled to rule the world." The Nazi superman took a Nordic form: a blue-eyed, blond-haired Aryan who prevailed by sheer triumph of the will. Hitler embodied the opposite of the portrait he painted, imbuing his blueprint for a master race with an almost Dorian Gray-like quality.

Far from being the pinnacle of civilization and elite physical condition he envisioned, Hitler was a crass and sickly man. As Live Science details, the man who planned to master the planet couldn't even manage his flatulence. Medical records reveal that he "suffered from uncontrollable" farting. Erlangen-Nuremberg University professor Peter Fleischmann tracked down medical records revealing that Hitler probably had a "stunted" testicle, via the Guardian. He tried to boost his libido with extracts from bulls' balls.

Toward the end of his life, the possibly flaccid dictator became addicted to a cocktail of cocaine and opiates, according to author Norman Ohler, who told NPR that Hitler was a "wreck of a man" in the final days of his life.

Portrait of the failed artist as an old man

In the end, Hitler was the spitting image of frail desperation. His Aryan fantasy was disintegrating before his eyes, and as described by the National WWII Museum in New Orleans, he holed himself up in a bunker while the Soviet Red Army combed Berlin in search of him. Major Bernd Freytag witnessed Hitler's deteriorating state firsthand. It wasn't the first time he noticed that something was amiss with the Fuhrer.

Freytag first laid eyes on Hitler in 1944 on the heels of an assassination attempt. Speaking with the BBC, he painted a stark contrast between the picture he had in his mind and the "flabbergast[ing]" reality: "I had the image of a very strong, vital person with charisma, but what I saw was a sick old man." He recalled that Hitler's right arm was injured from an explosion, "his left hand was very weak and his left foot dragged behind him." In the days before he assassinated himself in 1945, Hitler "was a wreck" said Freytag. The dictator had erratic mood swings and showed cold aggression to his generals.

Hitler confronted his own mortality with cold resignation. He had a final meal and shook hands with his staff. Per History, he took cyanide and then shot himself. In the aftermath, as detailed by Deutsche Welle, aides doused his corpse in gasoline and burned it beyond recognition in the garden of his chancellery.