[FOUNTAIN]Secrets From the Grave

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[FOUNTAIN]Secrets From the Grave

One woman is always mentioned when talking about the last moments of Adolf Hitler; her name was Eva Braun. She was Hitler's secretary and mistress, and was with him during his last days. As the Soviet Red Army marched into Germany, Hitler knew that his days were numbered. In his underground bunker in Berlin, he held a wedding ceremony with his beloved Eva and apparently shot himself fatally with a pistol. Immediately after his death, Ms. Braun killed herself by taking poison, following her love, "Adi." The wedding for death, planned by the couple, was material for at least one movie.

During his life, Hitler had six women around him. From Geli Raubal, his niece, to Eva Braun, all six women either committed suicide or attempted to do so. That is too tragic and too mysterious to consider just a coincidence.

In a new book, "Hitler's Secret: The Double Life of a Dictator," Professor Lothar Machtan, a historian at Bremen University, claimed that Hitler was a homosexual. According to Mr. Machtan, Hitler's homosexual life began in his 20s and eventually spun out of control.

According to the book, including Ms. Braun, all the women who were close to Hitler were nothing more than tools to disguise his homosexuality. The book argued that the women's suicide attempts could be related to Hitler's secret about his sexual orientation.

Stories about hidden homosexuality of famous persons have become trite. Paul Russell, professor of English at Vassar College in the United States, published "The Gay 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Gay Men and Lesbians, Past and Present," in 1995. From ancient Greek philosopher Socrates to female poet Sappho, the author reels off names of famous persons. The list includes Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Andre Gide, Francis Bacon, Jean-Nicolas-Arthur Rimbaud, Oscar Wilde, Adeline Virginia Woolf, Marcel Proust, Michel Paul Foucault and Andy Warhol.

The American Psychiatric Association made a decision to delete homosexuality from its list of mental diseases in 1974, less than 30 years ago. Since then, "coming-out," a revelation of a person's homosexual identity, has been common.

Mr. Machtan said he disclosed the hidden life of Hitler because revealing the secret could provide a new perspective through which we can see what we have missed until now about Hitler and his era.

After the spate of "coming out," the era of "pulling-out" of homosexuals from their graves may have begun.

The writer is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.

by Bae Myung-bok

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