There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.
Tue, 24 Apr 2018 10:00
Behind The Bastards: Episode 0
Hello everybody. I am Robert Evans and this is behind the ******** the podcast where we take you through all of the strange things you didn't know about the very worst people in all of history. With me today is Jack O'Brien, my once and future boss we worked together at craft for like. More than a decade. Long time, yeah. Very long time. Yeah. I am thrilled to be here. Thrilled to be launching a podcast with the Robert Evans who you know, started the Personal experience section at Cracked, wrote some of our most popular articles. And yeah, one of the things you were always good at is finding out interesting information about awful, awful people. Yeah, yeah. I think the the genesis of this might have come after the. Revolution in Ukraine, where that quasi dictator Yanukovich, got kicked out. And he did this press conference afterwards where he was like shouting at how angry he was. And he tried to break a pencil to, like, emphasize a point, but he had a pen in his hands and it just bent. And so there's just like 20 seconds of this dictator trying to break a pin and failing. And that's the stuff I want to like the, the sad, like Michael Scott from the office, moments in the lives of all these, like nightmarish dictators who who started wars and, you know, ruined hundreds of thousands or millions of lives. They're all such, like weird, sad people when you really get right down to them, right? Yeah. One of our most popular articles that cracked was you reading every single edition of the ISIS like magazine. That was almost like a 17 for ISIS kids. Yeah, yeah, it's like they're people. Yeah, it's always like these. The monsters and their monstrous regimes are always like there's this beautiful layer of the absurd that if you can get past the, the nightmarish human suffering, like there's a lot to just goggled at. Yeah, it's amazing. So. In addition to being a really funny dude, Robert is also a really great journalist. The Personal experience section of the Cracked site was where he would interview people with just really crazy or harrowing or interesting life experiences. And then you would put together these articles that were, you know, funny but really interesting accounts that you've never heard before of like what it's like to be on heroin, what it's like to be on meth. A lot of drug stuff. Mostly that, yeah, but. You know, all all sorts of interesting stories, things that truck drivers see out on the highway, which included a lot of people having sex, apparently. But yeah, so this was one of the ideas when we decided that you were allowed to work with me again. This was, I think, the first idea you pitched. And I got super excited right away. Yeah, I just. I love talking about terrible people. You get a a deeper understanding of the world when you understand these guys, monsters like Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden and good old fashioned Hitler, Nikolai Cheskey, like all these dictators. But they're also just like, like we're going to be talking about later in the in the series. We're going to be talking about, like, Hitler's young adult fiction novels that he based, his plans for World War Two on, right. And we'll be talking about like, Osama bin Laden's love of Hollywood movies and how he'd use it to jazz up his fighters before, like, going into battle, like all these ridiculous. Stories that add, like, so much color to these people's lives and help explain like, why they did the **** they did like. Right. But also, you know, puncture the myths. Like, we mythologize and make these people into just these huge icons of, you know, they're Darth Vader type people and actually they have bowel problems, as we'll talk about today. Yeah, that's what we're getting into today. Adolf Hitler. Warlord's Monster histories, greatest evil and also. A ridiculous farting hipster in his 20s and 30s. Yeah. So you're giving them a little taste of what they would get in a normal episode? Just a quick, quick in and out. Yeah. Yeah. Gotcha. I think a lot of people feel like they they they know the fewer pretty well. You know, you've seen a lot of Hitler in movies and TV shows, and he's usually either this, like, psychopath thing. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. He's either like the psychopathic, powerful warlord or the broken, trembling wreck of a person in downfall. And those are both accurate to certain periods, but you never see nerdy. Hipster Hitler portrayed in fiction? You sure do not. So when Hitler was a teenager and a young adult, his best friend was a violinist named August Kubichek. Now, after the war, Kubichek wrote a book about Hitler called the young Hitler I knew. And it's weird because Hitler and Kubichek had a very weird relationship. In the book, Kubichek writes about a time when Hitler went with him to the funeral for kubichek violin teacher, which quote rather surprised me as he did not know Professor Dessauer. At all, when I expressed my surprise, he said I can't bear it, that you should mix with other young people and talk to them. So that's that's the kind of friend, young, jealous, little, showing up at stranger's funeral so his friend doesn't talk to anyone else. So one night in 1905, Kubichek and Hitler are on a walk and Hitler's, you know, ranting about Hitler stuff, which he apparently did from the time he was like 15 on up. Oh, that's adorable. Yeah, like just a smaller version of himself, but just always ranting. He's always been yelling about stuff. And so during this walk they see a quote, slim blonde girl and Hitler grabs his friend's arm and says, you must know I'm in love with her. God. According to kubichek's book, Hitler remained obsessed with this girl for like four straight years. He never talked to her, he never told her how he felt, he never flirted with her. But he forced his best friend to spy on her and report back to him for years. There's like all these crazy little, like one time there's this parade. And she's one of the girls who's, like, handing out flowers at the parade and she, like, throws one to Hitler just because he's in the crowd. And he's like, that was a secret sign that she loves me. Like, he's full on nuts. So he never talks to this girl, not once. But he becomes convinced that she loves him too and that, you know, all these different things that his friend is reporting on her doing or like her sending him secret messages because he's nuts. After the war, someone tracked her down and let her know that. Like, Hitler had had a crush on her when they were kids, and she was like, I I have no idea. But she did say I once received a letter from someone who said they were to attend the Academy of Arts and that I should wait for him. He could come back and marry me. I had no idea who the letter might have been from or who I should have sent it to. So that's, do you think it's like a the social network thing where everything he did was secretly for this woman? She was like, maybe she'll love me now. I think that there's a little bit of that there because she was always dating young Austrian soldiers, and Hitler kind of had a chip. On his shoulder about the army because there were all these like good looking, fit guys and he was like this sick, pale kid who couldn't talk to girls. So, yeah, I feel like there's a little bit of that going on. But as he grew up, Hitler got a little bit less awkward. Not a lot less awkward, but a little bit. And in his mid 20s, when his political career was still young, he started to make some rich friends. One of them was a cultured, wealthy German named Hanfstaengl. And so this rich dude frequently would have Hitler over for dinner, but he and his wife were appalled by the man's lack of table manners. And at one point, Hochdahl reports being horrified that Hitler was caught pouring sugar in fine wine so that he could drink it. Which is like. It's like a Michael Scott moment, right? Gary, that's great. Someone handsome. Like, here's this, you know, decade old French wine. And now I'm going to take my wine with two lumps of sugar. Yeah. Wow, that's great. Yeah. So Hitler's a classy guy. But as he grew older, into his 30s and stuff, and his political career blew up, he started to make some actual money, mainly from like, Nazi party dues and stuff. And, you know, he put a lot of that money into perfecting his look, which would not be at all out of place in an all right gathering today. In the biography Hitler by Ian Kershaw, Kershaw notes that the young fur wore quote a trilby, a light colored raincoat, leather leggings and a riding whip. Yeah, that's like his leather shorts and a fedora and a whip is how this guy is walking around. Hitler in the 1920s was never without a whip. Another description from the book notes quote in his gangster hat and trench coat over his dinner jacket, touting a pistol and carrying, as usual, his dog whip, he cut a bizarre figure in the salons of Munich's upper crust. So that's whip dog. Whip. Yeah. Yeah. Hitler impressed girls by whipping dogs with his hippopotamus. Hide. Whip. Yeah. And also people. When Hitler would get into fights, you know, there were all these brawls. He would just pull out a whip and start whipping folks. I thought whips were cool when I was like, 6. Yeah. Yeah. Hitler didn't grow out of that. He spent like a solid decade never leaving the house without a hippopotamus with the whip, just beating people with a whip. So yeah, that's young Hitler walking around in a trilby in a trench coat, hitting people and animals with whips. And he went by the nickname Hair Wolf and made all of his friends call him Mr Wolf or the Wolf. And that was another thing he kept doing his entire life because during like the invasion of Russia, his secret headquarters was called the Wolf's Lair is hair Wolf. Mr wolf? Yeah, Mr wolf. Man, that is a bad nickname. That's that was Hitler's nickname for himself that he made everyone call him by. He signed. His love letters, wolf. Wolf is OK, but Mr Wolf? Yeah, just silly. Yeah, yeah well the the real meat that I want to get into here is the story of Hitler's terrible farts and how they impacted history. OK, so we've set it up. Hitlers, you know, walking around in a trilby and a trench coat, wielding a whip, hitting dogs all the time. But he's also farting constantly because Hitler suffered through his entire life from what was then known as Meteorism, which is uncontrollable flatulence. He initially adopted his vegetarian diet so that his farts. To get better. But they only made his farts worse. Hitler's farts were a constant source of embarrassment and important political meetings. There's all these tales of, like, before he was in power, when he was still, like, in politics and stuff like him meeting with all of these other German politicians and, like, just couldn't stop farting in tiny enclosed rooms and train cars and it just ruins these, these meetings where he's trying to like, you know, establish a consensus government or whatever, but so this isn't a thing that he's overly sensitive about and. You know, he's worried about it. Oh, he hates it more than other people. But it's it's actually a thing where everybody else is like, oh, there goes Hitler, the guy who ends meetings by farting too much. Well, it was usually he would do a lot of dinner meetings and he would flee the room at the end of dinner like some they would just sometimes he would just run out like right afterwards and hide for the rest of the night because his farts were so bad like they were stick his *** out the window. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So in 1936, after he's in power, he decides he's had enough of his farts and he decides to seek professional attention. This brings him into the orbit of a guy named Theodore Morell, who was a 50 year old Doctor Who primarily worked on actors. So Morell prescribed Hitler two different pills for his terrible farts. The first pills were mutaflor capsules, which is a medicine you can still buy today. They're made from the poop of a World War One soldier who proved resilient to dysentery. And that is actual medicine, like you get it today. For for real stomach issues, poop transplants, yeah. The other thing he took were doctor Kester's anti gas pills, which were just pure strict 9, right? It's just poison. Yeah. Yeah, you got the farts. Yeah. There's no consensus on how much of an impact taking poison every day for a decade had on on Hitler. Some people say that it was probably responsible for his trimmers and his like horrible physical pain and and ailments. At the time. They said he would have needed to take 30 a day of these pills for them to be toxic. But we know he was taking like 6 to 10 per meal. Like he was just eating them like candy. And the doctor kept him constantly, you know, stocked up on anti fart pills. So there's a U.S. intelligence report made by the precursor to the CIA during World War Two that noted all this. It's it says Hitler complained of meteorism, especially after eating black bread and cabbage, and an abnormal feeling in the EPI hypogastric region. These symptoms probably were due to a neuroses, since occasional errors and diets such as the intake of lentils and peas brought only the normal amount of complaining. Furthermore, the prescriptions of unsuitable and useless drugs for these complaints brought about improvement epigastric, cramps and vomiting were noted during 1944. 35 these were probably the result of constant strict 9 and atropine medications and not a historic origin. So the CIA thinks Hitler's farts are all in his head and it's the poison pills that are causing his cramps. It's a weakness of character, as are all farts. Yeah. So Hitler considered Morell his savior for his anti farting pills, which apparently seemed to help and privately said he saved my life. Wonderful how he helped me. So Morrell became Hitler's number one doctor. This led merelda great wealth and power because he was able to start manufacturing vitamin pills first just for Hitler and then for everyone who wanted to take the same pills as Hitler and presumably in his lung like infomercial career afterwards as Hitler's number one doctor. So he starts giving Hitler different drugs like the the the fact that the farting pills work mean that Hitler trusts Morell to do anything. So over the course of World War Two we know that Morel gave Hitler 92 different medications. 20.