The Myth of Adolf Hitler’s Vegetarianism

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In Adolf Hitler’s defining (and only) book entitled ‘Mein Kampf’ (‘My Struggle’), he records how the use of ‘lying’ and ‘deception’ should be an integral part of any rightwing campaign to acquire and maintain political power. His attitude is one of ‘existentialism’ and ‘presentism’, where the past and future are defined by the present, and can be defined as anything one happens to think at the time. This attitude eradicates the necessity for a ‘correct’ history, and replaces this concept with a fluid and highly malleable version of what might have happened in the past, and how this should be interpreted in the present, so as to bring the desired future ever present. Of course, Hitler lived within the false mythology of a racially ‘pure’ (but distant) past, which must be regained and restored in the immediate and present time. Hitler assumed that between this ‘perfect’ time of racial purity in the past, and the present times of racial ‘decadence’, the ‘Aryan’ (i.e. ‘White’) European race had lost its purity and supremacy in the world through ‘race-mixing’. One manner for solving this problem as conceived by Hitler, was the permanent separation of the races – so that the White race could maintain its inherent purity unsullied – with the most decadent and degraded races in the world being designated ‘life unworthy of life’, and ear-marked for ‘extermination’. This process was not limited to the Jews, Romany or Slavs, but included the disabled from all races (including the ‘Aryan’), homosexuals, White Germans who disagreed with Hitler, and anyone who supported Communism.

Another aspect of this racial purification process that has not received the attention it should, was Hitler’s apparent conversion to a vegetarian diet. According to some biographers of Hitler, the influence on his diet was provided by the works of the composer Richard Wagner, who promoted the spread of vegetarianism. In 1881, Wagner argued that the natural diet of humanity should be plant-based, and that eating meat was tantamount to polluting the blood (in very much the sameway as ‘race-mixing’). When Hitler was young, he admired Wagner and said: ‘I do not touch meat because of Wagner’s opinion on meat-eating’. As Hitler employed ‘lying’ as a means to create false-fronts and appealing propaganda, the question must be asked whether he actually followed a vegetarian diet, or simply said he did as a matter of show business designed to make him more appealing to the masses. One disturbing aspect of this issue is the extent to which a number of modern vegan and vegetarian movements in the West are willing to accept Hitler as a role model and a representative of their cause, simply because he apparently adhered to a vegetarian diet (as if the historical inconveniences of the holocaust and the deaths of 40 million Soviets never happened or simply do not matter). To my mind, these groups are criminal and should be investigated in exactly the same manner as holocaust deniers.

Was Adolf Hitler a vegetarian? Despite the rhetoric that he was, ample biographical evidence suggests that he regularly ate meat, and although apparently opposed to animal cruelty in principle, it is known that he killed his own German Shepherd dog whilst hiding in his bunker under Berlin, toward the end of WWII. However, it cannot be denied that within the Nazi Party, there was a drive toward curbing animal cruelty.  At the end of the 19th century in Germany, the main problem concerning animal rights campaigners was the practice of vivisection. In 1927, a representative of the Nazi Party (but not Adolf Hitler) was the first to raise this problem in Germany’s Parliament. After the National Socialists Party came to power in 1933, the Reichstag voted to ban vivisection (making Germany the first country in the world to prohibit such a procedure). In early 1934, Hitler ordered that hunting be limited – with the Ministry of Trade and Employment issuing a decree on July 3rd of the same year. On July 1st, 1935, the ‘Reich Law on Nature Conservation’ was adopted. In 1933, the ‘Imperial Union of German Animal Societies’ issued a medal with a portrait of the Hitler on one-side and an inscription on the other which read: ‘I am a determined opponent of the slaughter of animals. Adolf Hitler’. However, following Hitler’s murderous invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 (designed to eradicate the ‘inferior’ Slavic race), the Soviet poet Samuel Yakovlevich Marshak wrote the satirical poem entitled ‘The Cannibal and Vegetarian are Two Sides of the Same Coin’, as a means to point-out the contradiction and hypocrisy of Hitler’s rhetorical position. Here was a man who had forged a racist regime to commit mass murder, whilst he advocated animal rights! The poem read:

This kind man ordered a medal which said: ‘To the lambs I have slaughtered – I am very sorry!’ As you know, every coin has two-sides and on the other it fatally reads – ‘Although I will not spill the blood of lambs, I have no qualms against the spilling of human blood!’

(Этот добрый человечек заказал себе медаль:«Мне зарезанных овечек и барашков, очень жаль».Как известно, у медали есть другая сторона,И на ней мы прочитали роковые письмена:«Не нужна мне кровь овечья, а нужна мне человечья!»)

Many biographers of Adolf Hitler claim that he was a vegetarian since the time of the suicide of Geli Raubal in 1931, up until his death in 1945. However, there are also arguments against this assertion. Hitler’s biographer Robert Paine wrote that Hitler ‘had a special love for Bavarian sausages’, whilst Salvatore Paolini, a former Hitler waiter claimed that the Fuhrer ‘loved sausages and ham, but generally never ate meat, preferring potatoes and fresh Vegetables’, and Dion Lucas, a chef of Hitler, wrote in the late 1930’s that Hitler’s favourite dish was stuffed pigeons. The confusion seems to stem from the fact that Hitler retained a number of cooks – one of which was a specialist in vegetarian cooking – whilst the others cooked meat. It seems that Hitler ate both meat and vegetarian dishes – a fact which means that he was not a vegetarian in the strict sense of the term. This behaviour could have been motivated to gain favour with the animal rights trend that existed within the otherwise murderous Nazi Party, a policy that could be seen as ‘typical’ of Hitler’s deliberate appeal to whatever fad was apparent, as a means to retain power and dominance over the Party apparatus, and of course the German people.

Russian Language Reference:

https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Вегетарианство_Гитлера

 

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