How Tall Was Hitler? A Look at the Fuhrer’s Height and Physical Stature

(Original Caption) Hitler greets President Hindenburg with a handshake and a deferential bow of the head on "Potsdam Day", march 21, 1933.

Adolf Hitler’s stature, both literal and figurative, continues to intrigue. Amidst the darkness of his regime, a seemingly trivial question persists: How tall was Hitler? Beyond historical atrocities lies a curiosity about the physical dimensions of this infamous figure. Exploring his height offers a unique perspective on his persona, unveiling nuances within his character.

In delving into this seemingly trivial detail, we uncover the enduring fascination with understanding every facet of one of history’s most reviled figures. Join us as we unravel the enigma of Hitler’s height, delving into the depths of his physical and psychological stature.

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.

Height Relative to Associates

Photos of Adolf 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.

Why Did Hitler Hate Jews?

Hitler’s hatred of Jews stemmed from historical prejudices, belief in Aryan racial superiority, scapegoating for economic woes, ideological indoctrination in Nazism, and likely personal biases from his experiences. This toxic mix fueled the Holocaust, leading to the systematic persecution and genocide of millions.

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.

Hitler greeted President Hindenburg with a handshake and a deferential bow of the head on "Potsdam Day", march 21, 1933.
Hitler greeted President Hindenburg with a handshake and a deferential bow of the head on “Potsdam Day”, march 21, 1933.

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:

Year (Age)HeightWeightBlood Pressure
1907 (18)170 cm (5’7″)150 lbs105/80
1943 (54)173 cm (5’8″)152 lbs118/84
1945 (56)173 cm (5’8″)160 lbs120/80

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.

What are Some Facts about Hitler?

Rise to PowerHitler rose to power in Germany in the 1930s through the Nazi Party, capitalizing on discontentment with the Treaty of Versailles and economic hardships.
Nazi IdeologyHitler’s ideology, Nazism, was based on extreme nationalism, racial purity, and anti-Semitism. He sought to create a racially pure society through brutal means.
World War IIHitler’s aggressive expansionist policies led to the outbreak of World War II in 1939, with Germany invading Poland and sparking a global conflict.
HolocaustHitler’s regime perpetrated the Holocaust, systematically exterminating six million Jews and millions of others, including Romani people, Slavs, and dissidents.
DownfallFacing defeat as Allied forces advanced in 1945, Hitler committed suicide in his Berlin bunker on April 30, bringing an end to his regime.
ImpactHitler’s actions had far-reaching consequences, resulting in the deaths of millions and shaping the course of history, serving as a stark reminder of the dangers of fascism.

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 MussoliniItaly5’7″ (170 cm)
Joseph StalinUSSR5’4″ (165 cm)
Mao ZedongChina5’10” (178 cm)
Francisco FrancoSpain5’0″ (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.

Final Words

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.