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April 26, 2001

Was he just misunderstood?

Hitler's doctor foresaw world's 'craziest criminal'

By Pauline Jelinek
The Associated Press

April 27 2001, 1:33 PM CDT

WASHINGTON -- Adolf Hitler was a "border case between genius and insanity," the Nazi leader's doctor told a U.S. informant before World War II, predicting he could become "the craziest criminal the world ever knew," a CIA document shows.

The document is among 10,000 pages of CIA files declassified today in an effort to shed more light on Nazi war criminals and how Western governments later used them as intelligence sources.

The comments reportedly made by German surgeon Ferdinand Sauerbruch were written in a Dec. 7, 1944, memo from Ron Carroll of the Office of Strategic Services, forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Carroll noted at the outset of the memo that there was a question about the informant's credibility. But he went on to report that an informant named Hans Bie told him he had talked to Sauerbruch at a party in January 1937 and that Sauerbruch discussed Hitler.

"Sauerbruch ... stated that from close observation of Hitler for many years, he had formed the opinion that the Nazi leader was a border case between genius and insanity and that ... the decision would take place in the near future whether Hitler's mind would swing toward the latter," Carroll's memo said.

"Sauerbruch then said that should the latter occur, Hitler would become "the craziest criminal the world every saw," the memo said.

It went on to say that when Bie and Sauerbruch again met in April 1937, the doctor "stated that in his opinion, the swing towards insanity had taken place and that the first symptom was the dismissal of moderate members of Hitler's government."

The file on Hitler was released with those of 19 other Nazi-era figures including Gestapo chief Heinrich Mueller and Dr. Josef Mengele.

In a press conference at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, officials and historians who reviewed the documents said they also revealed that Kurt Waldheim, who later would become U.N. secretary-general, was not used as an intelligence source by the U.S. government.

The files were released by the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working group first established in January 1999 to coordinate a large-scale effort by U.S. federal agencies to find, declassify and release U.S. records relating to Germany's Nazi regime.

So far, U.S. government agencies have declassified more than 3 million pages, and they are now available for research in the National Archives and Records Administrations. The effort was recently expanded to include records relating to the Japanese and Far East.

Copyright (c) 2001, The Associated Press
For the real-history facts on Adolf Hitler's health: David Irving: The Secret Diary of Hitler's Doctor (free download on this website)
© Focal Point 2001 [F] e-mail: Irving write to David Irving