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In which John discusses the sex life of Adolf Hitler in response to a conversation he had with a cable television producer.


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A Bunny
( - -)
((') (')
Good morning, Hank; it's Tuesday.

So recently I was talking to a producer from a cable channel that shall remain nameless and he was like, 'I love Crash Course and you guys should make a TV show. The only thing is that if you're gonna be on television, you gotta talk about stuff that people enjoy, like Hitler. And sex.'

True story, Hank. So I thought I'd make a pilot for him.

Dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun HITLER AND SEX!

So among Nazi troops, syphilis was a big problem in occupied France, and Hitler had a solution, which was to send blow-up sex dolls to the army. They were smaller than life size, but they were blow-up sex dolls, very Aryan looking, and they were designed to be able to, like, fold them up and put them in your backpack. It probably goes without saying that the idea was eventually abandoned because the troops were like, 'Actually, we just prefer syphilis.'

Dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun HITLER AND SEX!

So there have been many rumors about Hitler's sex life over the years, mainly thought up by Allied propaganda for the purposes of discrediting him. Are they true? Probably not, but we're going to repeat them anyway because this is a television show.

The longest standing story is that Hitler was secretly gay, a case made by the 1995 book The Pink Swastika, which basically argued that all of Nazism was like an extension of the homosexual agenda. That argument is a little bit problematic because one, 100,000 people were arrested in Nazi Germany for being gay, two, many of those people were killed in concentration camps, and three, the prominent Nazis who were actually gay? Generally executed.

So was Adolf Hitler secretly gay? Let's watch two minutes of commercials before I say no.

Dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun HITLER AND SEX!

So the truth is that by most accounts Hitler was a pretty vanilla, heterosexual guy. So why would a bunch of male, heterosexual historians want to paint him as different? Your guess is as good as mine.

But more importantly, did Hitler have one testicle? Let's find out after the break.

Dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun HITLER AND SEX!

No, Hitler probably had two testicles, at least according to his personal physician. But bringing this up allows me to share with you one of my favorite words in the English language, monorchid, which means an individual with only one testicle. Actual prominent monorchids include Mao Zedong, Lance Armstrong, Hermann Göring, and the drummer from Green Day.

Dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun HITLER AND SEX!

So Hitler, this probably goes without saying, was not a very good boyfriend. He was controlling and possessive and domineering; he was basically all the hallmarks of the abusive relationship. And, in fact, of the six women that Hitler most likely had sex with, four of them committed suicide. They included his half-niece Geli, the British woman Unity Mitford, Renata Müller, and of course Hitler's longtime lover Eva Braun, whom he married just 40 hours before they committed suicide together.

Of the two remaining most likely lovers, one, Maria Reiter, attempted to kill herself in the midst of her breakup with Hitler and the other, Erna Hanfstaengl, tried to kill Hitler or at least to overthrow him in 1943. So yes, dating Hitler was clearly not the key to happiness.

Dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun HITLER AND SEX!

Why yes, I did say half-niece earlier; Hitler's half-niece lived with him for two years, during which time he grew increasingly possessive and crazy. He forced her to cut off all contact with her friends, and she eventually committed suicide. I wish that story were unique.

But the truth is domestic abuse is disgustingly common, and this is yet another example of Hitler being tragically unextraordinary.

Hank, a real, accurate television show about Hitler and sex would be boring and sad because Hitler's sex life was boring, and the awful way he treated the women he loved was not unique or even rare. All the essentializing and sensationalizing of these stories is designed to make us feel comfortable, to make us feel like we aren't like 'those people'. We want to feel fundamentally different from the people who participate in genocide. But of course, that's not the truth, Hank. The truth, whether TV executives want to accept it or not, resists simplicity. I think I'll stick with YouTube.

Hank, I'll see you on Friday.