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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 6, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 01
Allied spies plotted to 'feminize' Hitler, secret files show
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Allied spies plotted to 'feminize' Hitler, secret files show

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Allied spies plotted to dose Adolf Hitler with estrogen, hoping to feminize him, newly declassified files reveal.

Cardiff University Professor Brian Ford came across the files while doing research for his book Secret Weapons: Technology, Science, and the Race to Win World War II.

British and American intelligence agents seriously considered the plan to discredit Hitler by drugging his food with the hormone estrogen and 'feminizing' his appearance.

Poison could have been detected by German food tasters, the British spies feared, but adding hormones to Hitler's meals was 'entirely possible' due to their slow-acting effects.

Doses of estrogen would make the leader less aggressive, they believed, as well as humiliating him by altering his appearance, causing his trademark mustache to fall out and his breasts to grow.

Speaking on Netflix's 'White Rabbit Project,' Ford explained: 'The Americans put it rather well. They said, 'take away his moustache and give him breasts.'

'This was actually considered...In the 1930s, it was believed chemicals in the body controlled everything so it seemed fairly logical.

'Give it to Hitler and he'll stop being an aggressive man and turn into a gentle and mild-mannered woman. Instead of going to war he might just turn his back on the whole idea.'

But 'the whole idea from the top to bottom was just silly,' Ford concluded.

The idea that men would be 'aggressive' and women 'mild-mannered' is clearly a by-product of the mid-20th century construction of gender roles, but even the science behind the secret plan is questionable.

Unlike hormone therapy designed to aid gender reassignment, uncontrolled dosages of estrogen without medical supervision would have had unpredictable results.

'If it would have had any effect at all, it would have been to upset his hormone balance - and that could have made him far more angry, not less,' Ford explained.

While the idea of surreptitiously drugging a foreign leader sounds far-fetched, the CIA considered similar plots against Fidel Castro in the 1960s.

According to declassified CIA documents, the US spy agency collaborated with Mafia boss Sam Giancana to poison Castro. After several unsuccessful attempts to add poison pills to Castro's food, the Mafia associate assigned to the mission abruptly quit.

Other reported plots against Castro featured an exploding cigar and a booby-trapped conch shell that was placed in an area where Castro was believed to be skin diving.

Some plots were aimed at humiliating the Cuban leader rather than murdering him. For example, the CIA wanted to introduce a powerful depilatory into his clothes to make his beard fall out. Another scheme involved dosing him with LSD before a major speech, hoping to render him incoherent.

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