The story goes like this: in 1908, a young Adolf Hitler catches syphilis from a prostitute. Fueled by anger over the disease, which he associates with Jews, he becomes obsessed. When combined with neurosyphilitic madness, this explains the Holocaust. It can be an appealing narrative - but what evidence do these kinds of claims rest on? This talk examines the case of Hitler’s alleged syphilis among others to show why we should be sceptical over claims of retrospective diagnosis.
About the speaker:
Frances Osis is a doctoral student at the University of Glasgow. After a long history of not being able to make her mind up on what was the most interesting thing to study, she has instead settled for being an ‘interdisciplinary’ researcher. She is perfectly suited to her research by virtue of being immature enough to find studying phalluses amusing for the entire length of a PhD.