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"One may regret living at a period when it's impossible to form an idea of the shape the world of the future will assume. But there's one thing I can predict to eaters of meat: the world of the future will be vegetarian."
- Adolf Hitler.
November 11, 1941. Section 66, HITLER'S TABLE TALK

"If I offer a child the choice between a pear and a piece of meat, he'll quickly choose the pear. That's his atavistic instinct speaking."
- Adolf Hitler.
December 28, 1941. Section 81, HITLER'S TABLE TALK

"The only thing of which I shall be incapable is to share the sheiks' mutton with them. I'm a vegetarian, and they must spare me from their meat."
- Adolf Hitler.
January 12, 1942. Section 105, HITLER'S TABLE TALK

"At the time when I ate meat, I used to sweat a lot. I used to drink four pots of beer and six bottles of water during a meeting. … When I became a vegetarian, a mouthful of water was enough."
- Adolf Hitler.
January 22, 1942. Section 117, HITLER'S TABLE TALK

"When you offer a child the choice of a piece of meat, an apple, or a cake, it's never the meat that he chooses. There's an ancestral instinct there."
- Adolf Hitler.
January 22, 1942. Section 117, HITLER'S TABLE TALK

"One has only to keep one's eyes open to notice what an extraordinary antipathy young children have to meat."
- Adolf Hitler.
April 25, 1942. Section 198, HITLER'S TABLE TALK

"When I later gave up eating meat, I immediately began to perspire much less, and within a fortnight to perspire hardly at all. My thirst, too, decreased considerably, and an occasional sip of water was all I required. Vegetarian diet, therefore, has some obvious advantages."
- Adolf Hitler.
July 8, 1942. Section 256, HITLER'S TABLE TALK

"I am no admirer of the poacher, particularly as I am a vegetarian."
- Adolf Hitler.
August 20, 1942. Section 293, HITLER'S TABLE TALK

Source: HITLER'S TABLE TALK: 1941-1944. Enigma Books.

Debating Hitler's Vegetarianism


On May 30, 1937 The New York Times reported,"Hiler is a vegetarian,...although he occasionally relishes a slice of ham and relieves the tediousness of his diet with such delicasies as caviar...."
. How can such allegations of Hitler"occasionally "eating meat be reconciled with the apparent fact that Hitler was a vegetarian?

Whenever people make an extreme change in diet it is entirely normal for them to
"occasionally" suffer from a lack of willpower during which they will temporarily revert to their old eating habits. As time goes by, the frequency of their backsliding diminishes until eventually the transition to their new diet is complete. It's a natural weaning process: three steps forward for every one step backward until the goal is reached. Accordingly, there is nothing damning nor surprising in any allegations that Hitler "occasionally" ate meat, as was claimed in The New York Times article dated 1937. Such unsubstantiated claims, if accurate, merely indicate that Hitler's transition to vegetarianism was a routinely gradual one that may not have reached completion until the 1940's,* (by all accounts, Hitler's lasting effort to go vegetarian began in the 1930's). All things considered, there is nothing to suggest that Hitler's vegetarianism was anything less than a sincere struggle marked with honest failings in its formative stages. 


If Hitler was really a vegetarian then why did his Nazi party close down vegetarian societies?


The Nazis were intent on stamping out all manner of potentially subversive organizations. Vegetarian societies fell victim to that blanket policy -- undoubtedly because of their suspected pacifist ideals. However, individual vegetarians were not persecuted unless for some reason unrelated to their diet. In fact, they were given special allowance to take credit notes that had been issued for meat and use them for dairy products instead. About 83,000 vegetarians freely participated in this program. Significantly, one vegetarian magazine, (THE VEGETARIAN PRESS), was even allowed to continue publication as long as it did not use the term "vegetarian movement" and did not advertise vegetarian meetings. These glaring allowances plainly demonstrate that Hitler's Nazis were never against vegetarianism in and of itself.

Source: THE VEGETABLE PASSION: A History of the Vegetarian State of Mind. Janet Barkas. 1975 Scribners New York.

Is it logical to speculate that Hitler's vegetarianism was purely a propaganda myth spread by his Minister of Information -- as uniquely theorized by biographer Robert Payne three decades after Hitler's death?

No. Germany had always been a nation overwhelmingly comprised of die-hard meat eaters -- people who tend to have a predictably negative reaction to vegetarians. Hitler therefore had nothing political to gain by claiming to be a vegetarian. If anything, he was at risk of offending the bulk of his followers by admitting to a dietary philosophy that was in direct opposition to their national traditions -- a consideration which perhaps explains why no other western leaders have ever dared to go vegetarian!
We can therefore logically conclude that Hitler's vegetarianism was as real as it was radical.

Historians Alan Bullock, Ian Kershaw, and John Toland are indisputably the three most highly acclaimed Hitler biographers. Each of their extensive Hitler biographies was written after Robert Payne had published his speculative denial of Hitler’s vegetarianism. Neither Bullock, Kershaw, nor Toland gave any credence to Payne's unfounded theory. On the contrary, all three concluded that Hitler became a vegetarian.

If Hitler was really a vegetarian, why didn't he pressure the Germans to stop eating meat?

Hitler understood that if he had pressured the German people to abandon their traditional diet then they would have opted to abandon his movement instead. Here, Hitler explains the dilemma to one of his navy admirals:

"Above all, don't go believing that I'll issue a decree forbidding the Navy to eat meat! Supposing the prohibition of meat had been an article of faith for National Socialism, it's certain our movement wouldn't have succeeded."
- Adolf Hitler.
January 22, 1942. Section 117, HITLER'S TABLE TALK

Elsewhere, Hitler explained that he faced a similar dilemma with regards to prohibiting hunting:

"Personally, I cannot see what possible pleasure can be derived from shooting. … I have never fired at a hare in my life. I am neither poacher nor sportsman. …[But] if I excluded poachers from the Party, we should lose the support of entire districts."
- Adolf Hitler.
September 2, 1942. Section 308, HITLER'S TABLE TALK

Killing animals, if it must be done, is the butcher's business. But to spend a great deal of of money on it in addition....I understand, of course, that there must be professional hunters to shoot sick animals. If only there were still some danger connected with hunting, as in the days when men used spears for killing game. But today, when anybody with a fat belly can shoot the animal down at a distance....Hunting and horse racing are the last remnants of a dead feudal world.

~Adolf Hitler (Remarks made at Obersalzberg, quoted in Albert Speer's Inside the Third Reich, Chapter 7)

The teetotal and vegetarian Führer was by nature against hunting on grounds of cruelty.[Hitler’s first dictatorial act, after the passing of the Enabling Act (1933) was to regulate the cooking of lobsters (he was distressed by their screams when tossed into boiling water). Only then did he abolish free trade unions.

Radical environmentalism and animal rights

Environmentalism has become a national religion.

In the New Age one finds not only the idea of conservation of the natural environment but the actual worship of Nature as a "god". New Agers say that animals, man, and vegetable have no fundamental difference.

What is the Animal Rights movement if not a nihilistic exponent of postmodernism and New Age? Only this theory can explain this group's extreme militance and willingness to resort to violence against their fellow humans.

The Anti-Vivisection League of the late 19th and early 20 cent, forerunner of the animal rights movement, was closely connected with the Theosophical movement led by Blavatsky and Besant. In the 1890s, theosophist Anna Kingsford, who believed she was the reincarnation of the Virgin Mary, attempted to use occult powers and witchcraft to kill scientists involved in animal research.

When Animal Rights kills or maims a human in defense of animals, this is equivalent to a sacrifice to the earth goddess. Animals are considered the equals of humans, our "brothers and sisters".

A non-New Age way of deriving something similar to animal rights is Albert Schweitzer's "reverence for life" theory. This, like the New Age theory, has no hierarchies of legitimacy for different forms of life, and this is where the problem begins. In principle one cannot say, for example, that a bacterial infection should be destroyed with antibiotics to save a human's life.

Apart from their opposition to hunting, what Hitler and some of the most extreme contemporary animal rights activists tend to share are an implacable self-righteousness and misanthropy. Advocates of “good causes” all too often confuse the justice of their cause with their own moral worth. Since they support a holy cause they are sanctified by it and brook no criticism. When that sort of self-righteousness peaks in an extreme animus, other moral considerations go out of the window. Supporting animal rights for instance can legitimize violence against human beings in such people’s minds.

With some key Nazis this perversion of morality was central to their psychology. But it also had ideological justifications. The Nazis associated a raft of what they regarded as undesirable phenomena. They saw Jews as anti-natural and promoters of the alienation of man from nature. Their sentimentality about nature and their condemnation of millions of people as “unnatural” went hand in hand.

Hitler’s chief mass murderer, Heinrich Himmler, regarded shooting birds or animals as “pure murder” and waxed lyrical about the ancient Germanic peoples had “respect for animals”. Like many modern animal rights advocates, Himmler rejected the Judaeo-Christian tradition and looked to Buddhism for inspiration about how man (or at least Aryan man) should deal with nature. In his article ‘Animal Rights’ for the SS house magazine in 1934, Himmler recorded his admiration for medieval Germans who put rats on trial for their depredations and gave them a chance to change their ways!

Backed by Himmler, Hitler would have gone much further down the animal rights agenda but important Nazis such as Göring, who gloried in the title ‘Reich Master of the Hunt’ were not prepared to sacrifice shooting and fishing. However, Göring was anxious to be seen as politically correct , 1930’s style. He assured a radio audience in 1933 that whereas democracy had consumed years of futile discussion about animal rights, he had moved decisively to stop maltreatment of animals, including vivisection in his own domain of Prussia. Warming to his subject, Hitler’s number two threatened that anyone who flouted the Nazis concern for animal rights would be imprisoned.

Hitler’s vegetarianism led him to experiment with a meat-free diet for his beloved German shepherd dogs – though before one could finish the course she was poisoned by her master to test cyanide for his own use as the Red Army arrived outside his bunker in April 1945.

Hitler’s politically correct dogmas would no doubt have earned him the reputation of a prophet of modern attitudes if he had stuck to petty tyrannical regulation rather than combining it with mass murder and militarism. Today’s Nanny State could hardly disagree with his ferocious anti-smoking views for instance. Towards the end of the war in March 1944 he found time to insist on the necessity of banning smoking in trams, fearing the effect of passive smoking on their conductors’ health. Naturally he had already banned smoking in Nazi party offices years earlier. But even Hitler had to recognise that banning smoking in the Wehrmacht might be bad for morale and decided to leave that measure until after his final victory.

Nothing is more distressing than discovering uncomfortable ancestors in the genealogy of one’s own beliefs. But it is certainly the case that a measure of subterranean intellectual continuity does exist between some contemporary Green movements and the Green/Brown world of ideas before 1945. It is also the case that the Authoritarian personality-type that attributes absolute moral correctness to its own views, and damnation to anyone who does not agree with them, is something which fanatics share. Misanthropy cannot be justified by a cloak of animal welfare.

So far the violence and intimidation exercised by hunt saboteurs may be only a faint echo of Hitler’s combination of animal rights and inhumanity, but reasonable opponents of hunting ought to ask themselves how far their opposition is motivated by deep resentments which could turn ugly and how far by a more benign concern for animal welfare. People asking those questions should then ponder whether they want to be associated with the fanatics’ cause.

Reichsjägermeister Hermann Göring
and a
Royal Prussian Stag

Hunting weaponry is not restricted to firearms and archery equipment. Hermann Göring, the Reichsjägermeister (Master Huntsman) of the Third Reich, was a traditionalist and appreciated the old-fashioned methods used for centuries by the Germans. And, in the tradition of the big game hunters, the kill is only a part of the celebration of the hunt. The presentation of trophies, prizes; and, even the serviceware he used to eat the game they took, played an important part in the overall pageantry of the event. Göring loved to share the experience of the hunt with his closest friends, and to further his enjoyment; he had a massive game preserve which was virtually his private hunting grounds.

The Rominten Heath (or Moor), located in northeastern Prussia, has been a hunting haven since the days of the Hohenzollern kings. In 1890/91, Kaiser Wilhelm II commissioned the Norwegian architect Ufer der Rominte to build the definitive Jagdschloss, literally a hunter's castle. The Dutch exile architect, Hetzelt, later remodeled the lodge to suit the desires of Hermann Göring. The Reichsjägerhof -- called "Emmyhall" for Göring's second wife -- was in almost constant use by Göring and members of the Nazi High Command from September 26, 1936 until the arrival of the Russian army in October 1944.

The hunting preserve surrounding the lodge comprised nearly 40,000 hectares (approximately 16,000 acres or 25 square miles). Göring regularly stocked this preserve with Prussian elk, deer, wild boar, antelope, and other game animals.

The Rominten Heath is located in Lithuania Minor. Currently, it is called Krasnolesje by the Polish, Kaliningrad by the Russians, and Königsberg by the Germans. Geographically, it is in an outlying fragment of the Russia, about 250 miles from Berlin. When the borders were altered in 1945, part of the Rominten Heath was in Poland, the rest in Russia. Today, both countries maintain their portions as a natural wildlife preserve.

There are many letters, diaries, and guest books documenting Göring's use of the land, stocking the game herds and innumerable hunting trips with his personal friends, guests, and members of the German High command from the middle 1930s to late 1943. Records of the period indicate Göring spent a considerable amount of time their during the Russian Offensive of 1942/43. Documentation -- including an intact guest book which survived the fire when the Russians burned the lodge in 1945, subsequently sold at auction several years ago -- and hundreds of photographs indicate that Göring made dozens of trips to the hunting preserve.

During the Stalingrad crisis from November1942 to January 1943, Göring spent most of his time in East Prussia, occasionally traveling to Carinhall or Berlin. Staying at the Rominten lodge left the Reichsmarschall conveniently close to Hitler who was in his East Prussian fortress, the Wolfsschanze (Wolf's Lair). Hitler was awaiting the fate of the doomed German Sixth Army, by this time completely surrounded by the Red Army. Göring's appointment diary and the diary of Wolfram von Richthofen (the cousin of the famed Red Baron), both record Göring's participation is several Rominten wild boar and Prussian Royal Stag hunts in January and early February of 1943. While the war was being lost on the Russian Front, Göring was living the life of royalty.

In January 1943, Hermann Göring was preoccupied with the preparation of his 50th birthday celebration. He wined and dined many of the Axis powers heads of state and leading businessmen. One of the planned events was a hunt for the Royal Stag Augustus in the Rominten Heath scheduled for the 24th of January 1943.

Göring had a singular fascination with wild boar hunting. He was enamored with the mediæval tradition of boar hunting with a spear. His Carinhall hunting estate in the Shorfheide that overlooks the lake Dolln See even had a boar target range, with a life-sized boar mounted on a rail system to simulate the hunting experience for his guests.

Hermann Göring was a truly evil man, ruthless and amoral. However, as the master huntsman of the German Third Reich, he put in place many game preservation laws and environmental policies that remain unchanged since they were put into practice 65 years ago. He was a warrior, a statesman, and a businessman. He was also one of the last great hunters in the grand tradition of man against beast.


Even if Hitler was a vegetarian, isn't it true that it was purely for health reasons?

Hitler identified his vegetarianism with his disdain for hunting:

"I am no admirer of the poacher, particularly as I am a vegetarian."
- Adolf Hitler. August 20, 1942. Section 293, HITLER'S TABLE TALK

From that, it is logical to infer that Hitler's vegetarianism was in part a reflection of his well-known love for animals.

"I love animals, and especially dogs."
- Adolf Hitler.
January 25, 1942. Section 125, HITLER'S TABLE TALK

If Hitler loved animals, "and especially dogs", then why did he test his suicide pills on Blondie, his cherished canine companion?"

In the devastating hours before his looming suicide, a distraught Hitler made the painful decision to poison his beloved dog Blondie, rather than risk leaving her in the enemy hands of the barbaric Stalinist troops that were rapidly closing in on his bunker. It reasonably seemed to be the lesser of two evils and therefore the humane thing to do. For the record: Hitler and his devoted bride, Eva Braun, voluntarily ingested the same lethal cyanide as Blondie, and for the very same reason - to avoid falling into merciless enemy hands.

Blondi (sometimes called Blonda) was a female Alsatian (German Shepherd) that belonged to Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler during most of his life as German Chancellor (1933-1945). As the Soviet Army closed in on Hitler's bunker in Berlin, Hitler and some of his staff planned suicide by cyanide poisoning. However, Hitler was mistrustful of the poison capsules that had been supplied by SS Chief Himmler (whom he now saw as a traitor), so he ordered his personal doctor Werner Hasse to try one of the capsules out on Blondi.

Blondi was initially buried in a shell crater outside the emergency exit to Hitler's bunker, and this same burial site was later used to inter the cremated remains of Hitler and Eva Braun. On April 30, 1945, on Hitler's orders, Blondi, Hitler and Eva Braun were cremated with diesel fuel in the Reich Chancellery garden above his bunker. The charred corpses were later discovered by the Russians. These remains were allegedly shipped to Moscow for tests that confirmed their identity although some accounts have them being autopsied in a pathology clinic in Buch, a suburb of Berlin.

After the autopsies, Hitler, his wife, Eva Braun and his propaganda leader, Josef Göbbels were allegedly buried in a series of locations including Buch, Finow and Rathenau (all in East Germany).

In February of 1946, the remains were again moved to a Soviet Smersh facility in Magdeburg (Nos. 32 and 36). These remains were removed one final time in 1982 (some account say it was as early as 1970) by the request of Yuri Andropov, Secretary General of the USSR, 1982-84. Andropov, former KGB chief, fearing that Neo-Nazi's may discover the location, had the graves opened. All remains (still in a state of decomposition) were ground-up and put into a nearby Danube River tributary. All of these details are in dispute and there are many conflicting 'facts' stated in a variety of sources.


Why didn’t Hitler more openly express that his vegetarianism was based in part on moral consideration for animals, if indeed it was?

If Hitler had more openly declared his moral reasons for going vegetarian it would have been construed as an attack on the moral character of the vast majority of Germans who were voracious meat eaters with no great consideration for animals. By prudently choosing to instead emphasize the health-related motives for giving up meat, Hitler greatly reduced the risk of his followers becoming alienated by his vegetarianism. It’s a common diplomatic strategy practiced by many vegetarians when surrounded by meat-eaters with whom they need to stay on co-operative terms.

Could anyone soft-hearted enough to love animals be hard-hearted enough to authorize the slaughter of millions of innocent humans?

Animal lovers are acutely sensitive to the horrific suffering that humankind routinely inflicts on animals. Therefore, it is only logical that some animal lovers would develop an extremely hard-hearted attitude toward humans. In their minds, any suffering imposed on humankind might be seen as appropriate karmic payback on behalf of animals. For example, in order to justify his persecution of the Jews, Hitler used graphic films of how Jews slaughter animals.*

[The Jewish tradition of "kosher" slaughter requires that animals be kept fully conscious as their necks are slit and they are bled to death. It is an unsightly practice which appears demonically cruel even to most meat eaters. It had been declared illegal by Hitler's 1934 animal protection laws.]

Source: ANIMALS IN THE THIRD REICH. Boria Sax. 2000. Continuum Publishing, New York. 

From James Pool's Hitler and His Secret Partners: Contributions, Loot and Rewards, 1933 to 1945, Pocket Books, NY 1997:

His pilot, Hans Baur, remembered him watching films from India sent by a maharaja. Hitler could calmly look at scenes of the bloody bodies of people who had been attacked by tigers. but during scenes of animals being hunted and killed he would sometimes cover his eyes with his hands like a child and ask to be told when it was over. He hated blood sports and sometimes would cry at the sight of a wounded animal.

Did Hitler suffer from any medical problems that might disprove his Vegetarianism?

According to all accounts, Hitler did not make a lasting effort to go vegetarian until the 1930's. Previously, he had admittedly been a meat-eater for the majority of his life and would therefore have been left with some cumulative, residual, effects of his former meat-based diet. Also, Hitler was the sort of vegetarian whose diet often still allowed for egg and dairy products. That means he might have wound up suffering the same maladies as meat eaters, (because fat and cholesterol are as prevalent in egg and dairy products as they are in meat).



The Final Witness To Hitler's Vegetarianism

BBC NEWS. February 4, 2002:


Adolf Hitler, one of the greatest mass murderers in history, is remembered by his secretary as a kind and paternal man who ate little aside from mashed potato and passionately loved his dog.

Hitler's secretary, the last surviving witness from his inner circle, has finally published her memoirs of the final days of the German Führer.

Traudl Junge was just 22-years-old when Hitler selected the slim blonde from a pool of hundreds of young applicants to become one of his secretaries, in December 1942. As Soviet troops began their advance on Berlin in April 1945, Mrs. Junge - then Miss Humps - followed her boss into the relative safety of the bunker beneath the chancellery. It was here on 28 April, as the bunker shook with each explosion outside, she took down what was to be the final document of the Third Reich, Hitler's last will and testament. Two days later, Hitler and his newly wed, Eva Braun, committed suicide.

I admit, I was fascinated by Adolf Hitler. He was a pleasant boss and a fatherly friend. I deliberately ignored all the warning voices inside me and enjoyed the time by his side almost until the bitter end. … It wasn't what he said, but the way he said things and how he did things.

Such things included his modest appetite, and the way he ate only side dishes - always avoiding meat.

His Austrian cook Krümel believed that life without meat was not worth living, and would often try to sneak a little animal broth or fat into the meal.

Mostly the Fuhrer would notice the attempt at deception, would get very annoyed and then get tummy ache. At the end he would only let Krümel cook him clear soup and mashed potato.

After a light breakfast, one of Hitler's favourite activities was to walk his sheepdog Blondi.

Hitler's greatest pleasure was when Blondi would jump a few centimetres higher than the last time, and he would say that going out with his dog was the most relaxing thing he could do.


Closing Thoughts

"One may regret living at a period when it's impossible to form an idea of the shape the world of the future will assume. But there's one thing I can predict to eaters of meat: the world of the future will be vegetarian."
- Adolf Hitler. November 11, 1941. Section 66, HITLER'S TABLE TALK

There is more than enough factual evidence -- regarding human health, world hunger, animal welfare, the environment, and economics -- to easily demonstrate that a vegetarian diet is the optimum diet for humankind, now more than ever. It was the one thing that Hitler actually had right!


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