What Happened To Hitler's Personal Physician?

It's impossible to discuss the Third Reich and Nazi Germany without talking about Adolf Hitler and those who surrounded him. While Hitler was obviously at the helm of the Nazi war machine (per History), he didn't do it alone. He portrayed himself to the German people not only as a strong and capable leader, but also as their savior. Despite his efforts to convince others that he was infallible and invincible, Hitler was in fact, just human.

As he was just a mere mortal like the rest of us, Hitler had basic needs. He had to eat, drink, and sleep in order to take care of himself and function. In order to implement his plans for taking over the world, Hitler also needed to maintain his health. To accomplish this, he had many different doctors attending to him. One of those men was Theodor Morell, and according to All That's Interesting, he is allegedly the man who turned Hitler into a full-blown drug addict.

Life before Hitler

Theodor Morell was born July 22,1886 in Trais-Münzenberg, Germany. Though he became a physician to the most powerful man in the world later in life, he initially did not do well in school. However, the older he got, the better he did with school and pursuing his education. Morell went on to study medicine in Heidelberg, Grenoble, and Paris before completing his Ph.D. in 1913 (per Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh). He specialized in obstetrics and gynecology, then worked as a physician on cruise ships.

Morell served as a physician on the front lines for four years during World War I. Following the war he set up his own private practice and grew his clientele. According to All That's Interesting his patients included prominent businessmen and famous athletes. His services were requested by some of the world's royalty, including the Shah of Persia and King of Romania.

Personal physician to Adolf Hitler

Though Morell had a lucrative practice going, with the rise of the Nazi party in 1933, his practice began to struggle. The reason? Morell's looks. Due to his features and darker skin tone, it was rumored he was of Jewish ancestry (per All That's Interesting). During this time, being associated with the Jewish community in any way was potentially very dangerous. Despite this speculation about his heritage, or perhaps to quash the rumors, Morell joined the Nazi party and worked his way up the ranks.

According to Medium, Morell met Hitler at a dinner party, after he had become the personal physician for Hitler's principal photographer, Henrich Hoffman. Hitler reportedly mentioned physical discomfort that he experienced after eating large meals. Morell could ease the pain, he convinced Hitler, and Hitler obliged, as he was a complete hypochondriac. When Hitler felt immediate relief, he promptly made Morell one of his personal physicians.

Drugs, drugs, and more drugs

So what was it that Morell initially gave the Führer that magically "cured" him? Allegedly, Morell was able to convince Hitler to take a combination of Mutaflor, which contained a strain of hydrolized E. coli, and Dr. Kuster's Anti-Gas pills (per All That's Interesting), which reportedly made Hitler feel better almost immediately. Morell then put Hitler on a daily dose of something called Vitamultin, which gave the dictator extraordinary boosts in energy.

Those initial "medications" eventually grew into a ridiculously long and bizarre list of pills and injections. Morell undoubtedly injected the dictator with glucose and Pervitin on any occasion that he might be feeling a bit sluggish (per Journal of the Royal College of the Physicians of Edinburg). According to Amusing Planet, Pervitin was essentially meth. The world's most dangerous man at the time was seriously high. This drug was also administered to Nazi soldiers in order to create their idea of "super soldiers."

As if meth wasn't bad enough, Morell was giving Hitler all sorts of other nonsense as well. In addition to speed, Morell was giving his patient other stimulants, along with barbiturates (depressants), calcium, hormones like testosterone and oestradiol, heart and liver extracts, as well as adrenocorticosteroids. He was also being given an opioid known at the time as Eukodal. We know it today as oxycodone.

World War II

Morell was Hitler's doctor starting in 1937, and served him through World War II. As the war progressed, the dictator became more unhinged, but also more ill and drug-addicted. With each injection or dose, Hitler built up a tolerance to his treatments, therefore requiring more frequent use in higher quantities. By 1943, Morell's weird and dangerous concoctions were no longer effective, which is when he turned to the use of Eukodal to manage Hitler's symptoms (per All That's Interesting).

Today we know the potentially deadly side effects of using opioids like oxycodone. It isn't certain whether or not Morell or others knew of these dangers, but honestly it probably wouldn't matter if they did. It was becoming more clear by the day that the Nazis were losing steam, and Hitler himself was becoming increasingly ill — emotionally, physically, mentally. Before long, Eukodal was the only thing sustaining the Führer, and even that didn't last long. By 1945, Allied bombing raids on Germany's manufacturing facilities completely cut off access to Hitler's drug of choice, and therefore he was no longer really able to function. Morell remained with his patient almost to the very end, but eventually the doctor was allowed to leave Berlin.

After the war

After Hitler killed himself at the close of the war, Allied forces were on the hunt for anyone and everyone who was associated with the Nazi regime. This included Hitler's doctors, which meant they were looking for Theodor Morell. He was eventually captured by American forces on April 23, 1945, and imprisoned at Dachau Concentration camp, which had been turned into an American Internment camp (per Journal of the Royal Physicians of Edinburgh).

While he was being held prisoner, Morell was interrogated and thoroughly investigated for war crimes and crimes against humanity. He was eventually cleared of those charges, but life was taking its toll on him as well, and his health declined very quickly. Morell's physical appearance and hygiene was always an issue for the others who worked around him — he was said to sweat copiously, had quite bad breath, and a uniquely unpleasant body odor (per All That's Interesting) — by the time he was 60 he was deteriorating fast. Morbidly obese and suffering from aphasia, Morell was admitted to a hospital in Tegernsee in 1947. He remained there for a year until his death on May 26, 1948. Until his dying day, he blamed all of the world's troubles on the war, and neither blamed nor betrayed Hitler.