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An examination of Adolf Hitler’s actual height compared to public perception at the time. Discover How Tall Was Hitler based on historical records and photos. Learn about his height complex and use of propaganda to appear taller than his actual 5-foot 8-inch stature.
Adolf Hitler, the leader of Nazi Germany from 1934 to 1945, was a man of average height for his time, but his presence and personality made him appear taller than he was. Hitler’s actual height and physical stature have been scrutinized as people try to understand what role his physique played in his rise to power and impact on history.
Hitler’s Height Measurements
Historians estimate Hitler’s height to have been:
- 5 feet 8 inches (173 cm)
- 1.73 meters
- Around average height for a European man of his time
There is some debate around his exact height, with estimates ranging from as short as 5’6″ (168 cm) to as tall as 5’10 (178 cm). However, most historians agree he was likely 5’8″ based on medical records and descriptions of his height compared to others. Read also Wahaj Ali Height.
Hitler’s Height Relative to Associates
Photos of Hitler next to associate Nazi officers give a sense of scale. He was:
- Taller than Joseph Goebbels, who was about 5 feet 5 inches
- Shorter than Hermann Göring, who was around 5 feet 9 inches
- Similar in height to Heinrich Himmler, who was 5 feet 7 inches
So at 5’8″, Hitler was on the taller side of average for the time, but not remarkably tall. Among his inner circle, Göring was taller but most were shorter.
Perceptions of Hitler’s Height
Hitler was very conscious of his public image and wanted to appear taller than average. He utilized several tricks to appear more imposing:
- Wearing stacked shoes or shoes with lifts to gain 1-2 inches
- Standing taller with an upright posture and planted feet
- Using low camera angles in propaganda photos
- Surrounding himself with shorter officials to seem bigger
He also grew his signature mustache to make his face seem longer. So while he was of modest height, through his careful posturing Hitler projected a taller, more intimidating presence.
Hitler’s Other Physical Attributes
In addition to his height, Hitler had some other notable physical features:
- Weight: Approximately 155-160 lbs in the 1930s and 1940s
- Hair: Dark brown as a young man, greying in his later years
- Eyes: Blue
- Complexion: Fair skin
- Health issues: Possible Parkinson’s disease later in life affecting his gait
Hitler was slender and fit during his rise to power, often portrayed heroically in Nazi propaganda. However, his health deteriorated under the strain of World War II until his suicide in 1945 at age 56.
Measurements From Hitler’s Medical Records
Hitler’s physician Dr. Theodor Morell kept notes on Hitler’s medical exams and health. From those records, historians have gleaned:
- 1907 (age 18) – Height: 170 cm (5’7″); Weight: 150 lbs; Blood pressure: 105/80
- 1943 (age 54) – Height: 173 cm (5’8″); Weight: 152 lbs; Blood pressure: 118/84
- 1945 (age 56) – Height: 173 cm (5’8″); Weight: 160 lbs; Blood pressure: 120/80
So Hitler’s height was consistently around 5 feet 8 inches from young adulthood through middle age. His weight and blood pressure rose gradually under wartime stress.
Possible Explanations for Hitler’s Modest Height
There are a few theories about why Hitler was only of average height, and not the towering figure his persona suggested:
- Genetics – His father was 5’2″ and his mother 5’5″, so he exceeded both but did not grow exceptionally tall.
- Health issues – Some historians believe Hitler may have had a glandular issue or vitamin deficiency causing stunted growth.
- World War I service – Hitler served 4 years in the trenches, exposing him to conditions that limited growth.
- Poverty – Hitler grew up in poverty, lacking proper childhood nutrition that could have allowed him to grow taller.
So while his height fed his complexes, it was likely tied to his circumstances rather than anything unusual biologically.
Hitler’s Height Complex
Hitler was quite sensitive about his height and went to great pains to appear taller. This complex may have stemmed from:
- Childhood insecurity – Hitler had poor health and low status among their peers as a child.
- Napoleon complex – Like Napoleon, Hitler craved power and used his brash persona to overcompensate for his unimpressive stature.
- Intimidation – Hitler wanted to strike fear in rivals, so engineered his looks and posture to maximize his domineering presence.
- Vanity – Hitler was obsessed with appearances and wanted to achieve what he saw as the “ideal” tall and strong Germanic figure.
Hitler’s height preoccupation led to propaganda portraying him as a towering tyrant, though in reality, he was just a man of modest height consumed by dreams of grandeur.
How Hitler Used His Height to His Advantage
While self-conscious about his lack of height, Hitler was able to use it strategically:
- Cultivated an intimidating persona to make up for his unimpressive physical stature
- Used anger, dramatics, and body language to appear larger-than-life
- Inspired fanatical loyalty in followers who could relate to him as an underdog
- Benefited from lowered expectations due to his average height
- Used lifts, camera angles, and platform shoes to exaggerate his height
- Surrounded himself with shorter men to seem more impressive in comparison
Hitler proved that while size matters, attitude and aura can outweigh physical stature. His shrewd manipulation of his image speaks volumes about his skills as a propagandist and politician.
Hitler’s Height Compared to Other Dictators
Hitler was certainly not the only dictator conscious of his height. Here is how he compared to others:
- Benito Mussolini (Italy) – 5’7″ (170 cm)
- Joseph Stalin (USSR) – 5’4″ (165 cm)
- Mao Zedong (China) – 5’10” (178 cm)
- Francisco Franco (Spain) – 5’0″ (153 cm)
While not the shortest, Hitler was self-conscious standing next to taller statesmen like Winston Churchill (5’10”) and Franklin D. Roosevelt (6’2″). This led to his use of many optical and political “height enhancement” techniques.
Reasons Hitler’s Height Captures Our Interest
Hitler’s modest height is captivating because it shows:
- The power of image manipulation and propaganda
- How physical insecurities can drive personality and ambition
- That perceived “greatness” often belies unremarkable realities
- The complex interplay between physique and psychology
- The human foibles and vanity even in history’s worst figures
Looking at Hitler’s height makes him less of an evil enigma and more of a flawed and vulnerable human gripped by megalomania. It reminds us that even mammoth figures in history ultimately had human proportions.
Hitler, at 5 feet 8 inches (173 cm), had an average height, but his obsession with the Aryan ideal made him seem larger than life. Exploring his height offers a glimpse into the person beyond the tyrant, showing that physical stature doesn’t define political power.
Frequently Asked Questions About Hitler’s Height
Hitler’s height has long been the subject of curiosity and debate. Here are some commonly asked questions:
How tall was Hitler compared to other Nazis like Göring and Goebbels?
Hitler was taller than Goebbels but shorter than Göring. Goebbels was about 5’5″, Hitler 5’8″, and Göring 5’9″.
Could Hitler actually have been as short as 5’6?
It’s possible but unlikely. The most credible sources put him between 5’7″ and 5’9″, so 5’8″ is generally accepted based on the balance of evidence.
Was Hitler made insecure by his lack of height?
Yes, Hitler was quite sensitive about his modest height. This insecurity drove his efforts to appear taller through posture, shoe lifts, and propaganda depicting him as towering and imposing.
Did Hitler’s poor childhood nutrition impact how tall he grew?
Potentially. Malnutrition during developmental years can limit growth. Hitler grew up impoverished and lacked resources as a child which may have prevented him from achieving his full adult height potential.